Monday, December 13, 2010

How Albany Operates Like the Mob II

How Albany Operates Like the Mob II

Breaking News
Obama dismisses McChrystal after critical comments * Cuomo Accepts Millions From Special Interests He Assails (NYT)

How Albany Operates Like the Mob II

"I decline to answer under the Fifth Amendment."

Thomas Lucchese Three-Finger Brown"

"I respectfully decline to answer on the ground that my answer may tend to incriminate me"
Vito Genovese

" that "…to the best of my recollection I have no disremembrance of discussing with Scott any such question." Jimmy Hoffa

Ex-Aide to Gov. David A. Paterson Takes Fifth Amendment - David W. Johnson is said to have declined to answer questions in investigations into a domestic violence case and free Yankee tickets.

Democratic Party

Friday, June 4, 2010

What About Reforming New York's Democratic Party?

Breaking News
Judge Rules MTA Cannot Layoff Subway Booth Workers

New Democratic Party Spin

What About Reforming New York's Democratic Party? In the past 60 years, only two people have truly dared to reform New York City politics. In both instances, their motivations were not so much altruistic, as they were fueled by personal ambition and attempts to gain greater power over their party.

As the Democrats fight the mayor on non partisan elections it is an idea time to look at the sorry state of the city's Democratic Party elected officials have taken over the party positions with the sole purpose of centralizing power and using it resources to help in their reelection campaigns. The party has no agenda or issue it pushes beside fighting the mayor's non partisan voting proposal. Most of the people in party positions have never been challenged. It function more like the old soviet union then a democratic institution. It is even allow according to the U.S. Supreme Court to use politics to pick judges. Lopez Torres v. NYS Bd of Elections.

It has been 50 years since anyone has tried to reform New York's Democratic Party. In the mid 60's Robert Kennedy who defeated the democratic machine to become senator set his sights on cleaning up the state's Democratic Party.
Kennedy tried to clean up Manhattan’s Surrogate Court, which to this day remains a piggy bank for party patronage, calling the Court "a political toll booth exacting tribute from widows and orphans." He took aim at cronyism in Albany and fought to strengthen home rule of New York City. He also proposed nonpartisan redistricting, a move aimed at eliminating one of the main tools party leaders use to keep their incumbents in office for decades. Fiercely battled by a faction of the Democratic machine, Kennedy’s attempts to take over Albany were ultimately repulsed with the help of the Republicans, who were as deeply invested in maintaining the status quo as the old-line Democrats.

The first wave of reform came under Carmine De Sapio, the last head of Tammany Hall. In 1954, DeSapio campaigned against Franklin D. Roosevelt Jr., the late President’s son, eventually persuading Roosevelt to abandon his run for Governor. Eleanor Roosevelt, the former first lady and Franklin’s mother, blamed De Sapio for derailing her son’s political ambitions and vowed revenge. Using her enormous political influence, over the next seven years Eleanor Roosevelt battled to oust De Sapio from his post as Manhattan’s Democratic county leader. He ended up serving 2 years in jail.

What is truly interesting, though, is that in the course of his battle with Roosevelt it was actually De Sapiowho became the reformer. De Sapio calculated that his best chance to stay in control of his party was to recast himself as the real reformer and open up the Democratic Party to as many people as possible. It was De Sapio who first welcomed women, African-Americans, and Latinos into New York City’s Democratic Party. He named the first Puerto Rican district leader in Manhattan, Anthony Mendez, and pushed Hulan Jack as New York City’s first African-American borough president.

De Sapio also fought for rent control and lowering the voting age to 18. He even changed the Democratic Party’s rules to allow for the direct elections of district leaders. Prior to De Sapio’s reform, district leaders were selected by the county committee and the county leader in the same kind of shady backroom deals in which the county leaders are still chosen today. * A Brooklyn Democratic district leader was busted for practicing law without a license.

Tripping: Jay Jacobs lost the Nassau for the Democratic Party

State Democratic Party Chairman Jay Jacobs on the difference between the Independent Democratic Conference and the "amigos" of yesteryear: "I would simply answer that I think the circumstances were different in terms of what the motivations were. I don't think you could put the motivations of this group beside the motivations of Pedro Espada and Hiram Monserrate." (NYO)

Conflict of interest Board

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

City's Conflict of Interest Board Is a Joke

City's Conflict of Interest Board Is a Joke
It is shocking to know that the mayor appints the COIB and they rule that it is not inherently coercive for a boss in government to have a financial relationship with a subordinate as some of the good government groups has warned.
Some critics said the conflicts board would have greater credibility if the mayor yielded sole discretion to appoint its members.

Mayor Rebuffs Critics Over Aide Mayor Bloomberg rejected criticism from watchdogs that he's inappropriately blurred the lines between his public and private lives by personally paying government employees who moonlight for him.

The New Tavern on the (Dog) Green

Friday, May 21, 2010

The New Tavern on the (Dog) Green

The New Tavern on the (Dog) Green

From the NY Post:

"If Tavern on the Green ends up dead for good, as now appears plausi ble, City Hall will have only itself to blame.

As The Post has reported regularly, contract talks between prospective new Tavern operator Dean Poll and union Local 6 have gone nowhere. Until they make a deal, the Parks Department won't give a license to Poll, whom it chose last summer to run the landmark eatery. In tapping Poll, the city threw out common sense in favor of a nutty agenda utterly removed from the realities of the restaurant business. It's reminiscent of Mayor Bloomberg's too-frequent utopian obsessions at the expense of real progress -- like his far-fetched "vision" for Lower Manhattan after 9/11, even as he ducked responsibility for the World Trade Center site." Tavern on brink
The Parks Department decided last summer to dump longtime Tavern operator Jennifer LeRoy in favor of Poll, who runs Central Park's non-union Boathouse. Bloomberg's Left Tavern on the Green To Rot--Steve Cuozzo - * Future of Tavern on the Green is ... a hot dog stand? (DN) * Tavern on Green Back on Block (WSJ) * Team Cuomo is working behind the scenes to give AG hopeful Kathleen Rice a boost * Cuomo tried clearing the AG field by attempting to block two unions from endorsing Eric Schneiderman, and asking Sean Coffey to run for comptroller.

Tavern on the Truck?

Mike Bloomberg told Donald Trump to hold off measuring the drapes for Tavern on the Green.

My name is Mike and you'll be 'waiting' on me today * As Trump Eyes The Tavern, Unions Eye The Boathouse (Gothamist)

Not Everyone Dislikes Dysfunctional Albany: Unions, Lobbyists and Law Firms Buy the Government

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Not Everyone Dislikes Dysfunctional Albany: Unions, Lobbyists and Law Firms Buy the Government

Not Everyone Dislikes Dysfunctional Albany
Unions, Lobbyists and Law Firms Buy the Government

Like the ecosystem in a swamp the special interest in control of Albany grow and prosper. Not everyone hate Albany's control of redistricting, the corrupt election system that will result in less incumbent than every being challenges this year and member items which election officials use to buy election support from local community leaders. Without campaign finance reform the UFT and the unions in solidarity with it can do anything it wants to protect its charter school cap. Unions put 'bounty' on reformers promising candidates as much as $200,000 in campaign cash and help from the Working Families Party to take on leading charter proponent Sen. Craig Johnson.

Big law firms can buy the AG position, speaker or the leader of the state senate. Law Firm Is Big Donor to Attorney General Hopeful Weitz & Luxenberg is pouring money into the campaign of Kathleen M. Rice. The law firm counts Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver as among its members, a source of suspicion for critics of Mr. Silver, who has been a loyal ally of trial lawyers. Why would the UFT, Weitz & Luxenberg or Belluck & Fox which hired senate democratic leader John Sampson want election law reform in Albany which would cut back on much of their power. * All In The (Rice) Family (Daily Politics)

Throw the Bums out

unday, May 16, 2010

NYT Missing the Boat Again Can't Throw the Bums Out

NYT Missing the Boat Again
Can't Throw the Bums Out

NYT attacks everyone in Albany for the late budget and says lawmakers are blaming each other and hoping the economy will bounce back or that somehow they can put off painful decisions until after the election. The NYT says the voters should keep in mind two important dates Primary day, Sept. 14. And Election Day, Nov. 2. Jobs for Albany’s Do-Nothings

What the NYT does not understand is that the power of New York's incumbent reelection racket and the bad economy will result in most if not all of the Assembly and State Senate member not being challenged with serious challengers. Incumbent controlled redistricting, member items and million dollar reelection war chests guarantees that most incumbents will not have any oppositon. Those few challenger that do run campaigns will be loaded with special interest and union money that if they are elected they will not rock the Albany Incumbent Protection Society.. The NYT wrote about the lack of challengers in 2004 when it asked voters to Casting a Meaningful Vote

In 2004 the NYT Editorial Stated:
"This year, however, the few primary races for New York's abysmal State Legislature are a special case . . Our state government has totally broken down. The Legislature holds the national record for late budgets, and often appears incapable of passing even the simplest bills. The Assembly speaker, Senate majority leader and governor control all the power, and individual lawmakers are responsible for little more than showing up. Then every election season they go home to face what is, at most, token primary opposition. Since so many of the districts are gerrymandered to be safe for one party or the other, election results are usually preordained. . . But the real story this year is less about good men and women under attack than about terrible lawmakers who are getting a free ride.

If there is a primary race in your district, vote against the incumbent. Vote for an opponent, any opponent." (NYT, September 12, 2004)

Bloomberg Spin

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

24/7 365 Campaign Spin Becomes Government

24/7 365 Campaign Spin
Becomes Government

We have entered an era when spin to influence the voters is designed to hid reality and create a false reality. The reality is bad things still happen it just hidden, pols have become no fault. People are still unemployed, stores close and class sizes grow but it just happens without media coverage which are full of pols positive spin.

None of these spins improve government services. None of these spin give an unemployed worker a job or provide health care for the uninsured. The only thing the hot air does improve is the poll numbers of incumbent pols. So we have increasing creative spin high paid young brats completely disconcerted from the realities of the world and a press owned by corporation and developers, facing Hugh cutback that does little more than rewrite the spin masters press releases. What we get is a talking heads government like the people on cable shouting at each other and responsible for nothing. Campaigns that make promises like free crosstown buses or smaller class sizes that budget realities known last summer during the campaign to the pols and the press to be impossible. Or Obama changing his message and policies on a dime to saving the middle class after the biggest bank giveaway in history. Obama's Ill Advised Populist Turn - Los Angeles Times. Back to the President Bloomberg spin Mayor Bloomberg Not Planning Presidential Run, Despite Great Start to Third Term * Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver took a shot at Mayor Bloomberg for hiring Howard Wolfson. In a Wall Street Journal op-ed, Ford ripped President Obama's proposed tax on banks -- arguing that the White House bill would do "harm to New York's financial industry." Gillibrand's response? Ford favors "the wealthy and the powerful big corporations." The NYP editorial says Earth to Gillibrand: Those "powerful big corporations" provide tens of thousands of New Yorkers with jobs. And billions in tax revenue to local government. The job is senator from New York * Mayor: Proposed NY budget would mean big layoffs , Ex-Hillary aide Wolfson staying on Bloomberg's City Hall staff Spin Master Join the Bloomberg Team The mayor who ran his entire campaign saying his expertise in budgeting would protect the city of financial harm. Now see a city unemployment rate 10.6% higher than the state and nation unemployment rate. By hiring Harold Wolfson to spin for his administration we can expect to see more spin like yesterday were the mayor charged that Paterson budget would result in thousands of city workers being fired. This means dance of words by has nothing to do with policy or the impact on the public but it is important to the spin masters and the pols.

"'He was using his nice self. He let us know what he objected to, but he was very, very careful,'" said Assemblyman Denny Farrell of Mayor Bloomberg's polite objections to the governor's budget proposal." Bloomberg Uses His 'Nice Self' in Albany

no fault poltics, job jobs jobs

No Fault Politics: Pols Telflon Promises, Result Public Left Without Jobs

No Fault Politics
Pols Teflon Promises, Result Public Left Without Jobs
Jobs Jobs Jobs is no more than a slogan that the pols use to make it look like they are doing something. In a year when most of the council incumbent were reelected promising smaller class sizes, affordable housing and other spending programs when they knew the city would have to cut services. Even the Mayor promised free crosstown buses. We live in a culture where all the pols have to do is promise to create jobs and they get reelected. But the promise of jobs is far different than the realities and the citizens of New York are becoming the victims of the pols rhetoric and the city's double digit unemployment rate.