Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Bronx Assemblyman Blake Crosses the Line By Joining A Lobbying Firm After the Job Became Public the Blake Changed His Mind

Even As MSM and Their Mini Me Bloggers Attempts Cover-Up the Lobbyist Shadow Govt the New Media Pushing Back      

Ravi Batra ‏@RaviBatra 
Congrats @unitedNYblogs -you made Michael Blake awake from his greedy, arrogant & corrupt stupor to be a lobbyist-lawmaker.Thx God for Preet

Assemblymember Blake Decides Against New Consulting Job (Gotham Gazette) Two days after announcing that he would be joining a consulting firm as a partner while retaining his seat in the New York State Assembly, Michael Blake has changed his mind. "I've decided that the clear priority is and always has been the constituents of my district, and I'm not going to allow anything to distract from that. I'm not going to be a partner at Hilltop," Blake told Gotham Gazette Sunday evening, meaning Hilltop Public Solutions, the consulting firm."I'm not going to let the noise that's been out there continue," he added, referring to the immediate negative response that the announcement garnered from good government advocates and in the media. "I'm not going to let this be a distraction for the people. I want to be focused on the work and focused on my family."* Assemblyman Michael Blake, a Bronx Democrat who drew scrutiny for accepting a job at a political consulting firm while retaining his seat in the Legislature, said that he would not take the position, describing the situation as an “unnecessary distraction.”

NYT Does What It Does Best Cover's Up Blake 421-a Connection to Hilltop Clients and the Mayor's One NY1 That the Lobbyists Firm Operates
Facing Criticism, Assemblyman Says He Is Declining Consulting Job (NYP) Michael Blake, a Bronx Democrat who was criticized for accepting a job at a political consulting firm while retaining his seat in the New York Legislature, said on Sunday evening that he would not take the position. In an interview, Mr. Blake said that he had decided to decline the partnership at Hilltop Public Solutions, a firm with numerous political clients including Mayor Bill de Blasio, in the wake of criticism from reform groups over the weekend.

True News Last Friday
Bronx Assemblyman Crosses the Line By Joining A Lobbying Firm
Shock As Bronx Assemblyman Joins Lobbyist Firm On the Day Skelos Convicted 
Assemblyman Blake Voted for 421-a Which A Developer Client of his New Lobbying Firm Needs to Build Luxury Towers Against the Community Wishes
Bronx Lawmaker Joining National PR Consulting Firm (bronxchronicle) South Bronx Assemblyman Michael Blake Joins Hilltop Public Solutions The political establishment in the Bronx and Albany is agog at journalist Mike Allen’s POLITICO Playbook item reporting that South Bronx Assemblyman Michael Blake is joining Hilltop Public Solutions. * Bronx pol announces side job on same day as Skelos conviction (NYP) Bronx Assemblyman Michael Blake announced Friday that he’s taking a job as a political consultant — without leaving office. The first-term Democrat’s hiring at Hilltop Public Solutions comes amid calls for a ban on such outside income following the convictions of ex-Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and ex-Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos. The state Legislative Ethics Commission approved the job, concluding that it would not conflict with his legislative duties. Michael Benjamin, who preceded Blake in the same Assembly seat from 2003 to 2010, criticized the arrangement. “This isn’t appropriate given the climate we’re in,” he said. “Not everything that is legal is appropriate for a sitting lawmaker.”
@unitedNYblogs -Oh great, a lawmaker converting tax$ into Blake$$! Preet, Preet where art thou? Blake wants a SDNY's crooked moron award!

Lobbyist Assemblyman Blake Company Works For A 421-a Developer Who Used the Mayor's 1NY PAC to Fight the Community
.Fortis Hires Hyers Hilltop Firm With de Blasio Connections for LICHSite Proposal  Community Opposes Fortis Mega Development Which Hired Hyers   Struggle Over Controversial LICH Development Rocks CobbleHill Neighborhood Association  1.Hilltop's Hyers: de Blasio Campaign Manager Who Uses Candidate Fake Arrest to Protest A Closing Hospital As A Prop   2. Once the Hospital is Closed Hilltop's Hyers: 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. Hilltop's Hyers: Sell A Large Development to Replace te Closed to A Community Who Opposes It

Alarm raised about ‘dark money’ in de Blasio’s LICH -Fortis letter (Brooklyn Eagle)  The backlash continues against a letter sent out by a de Blasio lobbying group supporting the sale of Brooklyn’s Long Island College Hospital (LICH) to a developer.  The controversial June 26 letter touts the “stand-alone ER” that will be replacing the historic hospital. Although it was signed by Carroll Gardens’ resident Gary Reilly, the letter was mailed from the headquarters of de Blasio lobbyists operating under the name “The Campaign for One New York.” In the letter, Reilly says, “I was asked by Mayor de Blasio to share my views on what [the sale of LICH] means for families in Cobble Hill, Carroll GardensBrooklyn Heights, Boerum Hill, Downtown Brooklyn and Red Hook.” The outcome, Reilly writes, “. . . is a lot better than we had reason to think one year ago.”* Assemblyman Who Urged Reform Takes Job With Consulting Firm(NYT)

 With SUNY selling the hospital complex to developer Fortis Property Group, “We will have a freestanding, high quality emergency room, with up to 20 observational beds.” The letter has evoked a storm of criticism from residents of these neighborhoods who fought for more than a year to save the hospital, and who supported de Blasio in his campaign for mayor largely based on his promise to save LICH. That promise was seemingly forgotten after the election, however. In its statement, the BHA disputes the letter’s claim that a “stand-alone ER” could replace the 156-year-old hospital. After consulting area doctors, BHA found that patients with serious conditions would have to be transported to other hospitals to be treated.  “When seconds count, we’ll be out of luck,” their statement reads. BHA lists some of the conditions that will not be able to be treated at the Fortis ER, including, “acute heart attack or cardiac arrest, acute stroke, most pediatric emergencies, massive gastrointestinal bleed, pulmonary embolism, appendicitis, overwhelming infection leading to acute shock, high-risk pregnancy with bleeding, or other major traumas, including car accidents.” (See full letter below this article.) 

The Campaign for One New York is led by Bill Hyers, de Blasio’s campaign manager. Its treasurer, Ross Offinger, is the mayor’s former campaign finance director. De Blasio’s former campaign consultant Stephanie Yazgi serves as its secretary. This means that the same team that crafted de Blasio’s election campaign -- and his pre-election message that closing LICH would plunge Brooklyn into a health crisis – has created his post-election message that LICH’s sale and development is good news. Hyers, who joined the powerful public affairs and political consulting firm Hilltop Public Solutions in December, operates out of its New York City office at 32 Court Street in Downtown Brooklyn. The Campaign for One New York also operates out of 32 Court Street. Dr. Arnold Licht, chairman of the Department of Psychiatry at LICH for 25 years, said in a letter addressed to Reilly, “I would hope that you are medically naïve and thus led astray by your ‘experts.’ The alternative is that you are simply a toady for the  de Blasio camp and the Mayor’s abandoning LICH to the big money real estate interests. Perhaps you know what the Mayor will get himself arrested for in his next campaign as LICH won’t be around for him to use next time.” Dr. Toomas Sorra, a member of Concerned Physicians for LICH, told the Brooklyn Eagle, “The Reilly letter seems to be a blatant attempt by Mayor de Blasio to justify his desertion of LICH. The Fortis ER will not provide the backup necessary for any acute emergency, whether that be cardiac, major trauma, surgical, obstetrical or otherwise. If you have suspected appendicitis, have vaginal bleeding and are 30 weeks pregnant, have major rectal bleeding or any other similar problem, the message is: Don't go to Fortis ER if you have anything serious!”
More on Closing LICH Hospital

Assemblyman Blake Works for A Firm That Runs the Mayor's Slush Fund Campaign for One NY and Works for Airbnb Which is Reducing Affordable Housing in Gentrifying Neighborhoods

Hilltop is run by Mayor Bill de Blasio bestie Bill Hyers.  Hilltop Public Solutions says provides business, non-profit and other entities the strategies and tactics to win modern campaigns at the federal and state level. Allen reported in Friday’s Politico Playbook

Assemblyman Blake Used the Failed Silver Defense to Justify His Work for A Lobbyist
Michael Blake joins Hilltop Public Solutions: Blake previously served in the White House as Associate Director of Public Engagement & Deputy Associate Director of the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs, coordinating African American, Minority Business and county and statewide elected official outreach.” Nowhere in his item does Mike Allen mention that Blake is presently a freshman legislator in the New York State Assembly. Reached on his cell phone, Assemblyman Blake told POLITICO New York that the release did not mention the fact that he is an Assemblyman because “you’re not supposed to be utilizing your title or position for influence.” He told POLITICO that his work for Hilltop would be entirely on “projects that are national and international in focus,” and which are “predominantly political” campaigns, and would not be consulting for any clients with business before the state. He said he would “absolutely” disclose his clients on his annual disclosure forms. Ravi Batra, an attorney and former member of the Joint Commission on Public Ethics  (JCOPE) expressed shock that a sitting state lawmaker would risk creating the appearance of a conflict of interest. Batra says that Blake could not consult on issues involving New York state and New York City. And because New York is reliant on federal aid and actions, Blake couldn’t be involved in those issues as well. “He would have to create a massive Chinese FireWall to avoid any conflicts,” said Batra in a phone interview.* Assemblyman Rejects That There's a 'Culture ofCorruption' in Albany (WNYC) * Assemblyman Michael Blake is joining the consulting firm Hilltop Public Solutions as a partner, but he will not step down from his position representing a Bronx district, Politico New York reports: * Democratic Bronx Assemblyman Michael Blake is joining consulting firm Hilltop Public Solutions as a partner – a move the company announced in a release that nowhere mentions in its nearly 450 words the fact that Blake is a sitting New York state lawmaker.*  Albany reformers called Blake’s new side gig as a campaign consultant “brazen” and “disturbing,” ripping the freshman Democrat for serving private and public interests simultaneously.*   Bronx Assemblyman Takes Political Consulting Job SameDay Skelos Convicted via @Dnainfo

Blake Paid Berlin Rosen $70,000 Who Runs Campaign for One NY With Hilltop During the 2014 Campaign Which Elected Him to the Assembly

Good Government Groups Blast Bronx Assemblyman’s New SideGig (NYO) Good Government Groups Blast Bronx Assemblyman’s New Side Gig. Hilltop Public Solutions, a campaign consulting firm with close ties to Mayor Bill de Blasio, announced today it had brought on Mr. Blake as a partner in its New York office. The release highlighted every aspect of the lawmaker’s impressive career,  More About de Blasio Closing Hospitals from his work on President Barack Obama’s 2008 and 2012 campaigns, to his time as a White House staffer, to his activism in the black community through the My Brother’s Keeper Alliance, to his notices  in African-American publications like Jetand The Root—every aspect except his election to the Assembly last year.  The news didn’t sit well with good government groups, especially coinciding with the  corruption conviction of former State Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos. “It’s particularly brazen and disturbing that Assemblyman Blake today announced that he will now serve private interests as a political consultant as well as attempting to serve the public interest,” said Susan Lerner, executive director of the good government group Common Cause NY. Hilltop’s founder and managing partner is Nicholas Baldick, and the New York office Mr. Blake will work for includes Bill Hyers and Rebecca Katz—all close de Blasio consultants and confidantes, and veterans of his successful 2013 campaign. The mayor has aggressively pushed his progressive agenda in the state capitol in the past, and the potential overlap of interests concerned reformers. “Bill Hyers shouldn’t hire him. It reflects badly on the firm,” said Bill Samuels, founder of the reform group EffectiveNY. “This whole thing bothers me as not showing the type of reform that we need.” Mr. Blake stressed that the new job passed the scrutiny of the Assembly’s ethics committee, and vowed that he would not allow his work with the company to compromise his integrity in the State Legislature. He promised he would only work on national and international campaigns unrelated to New York State. * Assemblyman Charles Lavine in the Times writes that thestate Legislature must become a full-time legislature, ban outside income and put a ban on slush funds to bounce back from the convictions of both former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and former state Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos:

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