Monday, February 28, 2011
In 1988 she married  attorney Mark D. Lebow. Lebow is a former chairperson of the New York City Civil Service Commission. He is a current member of the board of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority , appointed by Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Lebow's son from a previous marriage, Michael P. Lebow, is also a member of the Bloomberg administration. Michael is the Chief Technology Officer of the Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications, earning an annual salary of $140,558. She is also the mother of Jeffrey and Alexandra Lebow.
The Oscars The Academy Misogyny Explain why Hailee and Jennifer didn't win Oscars? Sham, Legalized Organized Crime and more insights by Suzannah B. Troy Also Peter Fincher Lisbeth Sanders
Sunday, February 27, 2011
Christine Quinn Is Playing With A Stacked Deck.
When you ask New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn a question, she likes to give you a non-answer.
She likes to be evasive, but she is definitive about giving you the run-around. She doesn’t have to give you either a proverbial bait-and-switch or back-pedal, provided she never has to first give you any policy position with which to lure you.
When City Hall bureau reporter Erin Einhorm from The New York Daily News asked Speaker Quinn what she thought about a bill that « would require mayors to disclose when they leave town and to designate a proxy, » Speaker Quinn said, « I haven’t seen the bill, yet. »
Councilman Peter Vallone, Jr., planned to introduce the whereabouts bill, The Daily News reported. Here is how Speaker Quinn expaneded on her non-answer :
« The councilmember has put in a request for the legislation to be drafted. I know that the staff is working on it. I’ve spoken with the staff. I've asked them to send me an initial read they can get me on whether it’s within the powers that we have as a council. I've not gotten that back and of course haven't seen the draft and as soon as I get that information and [have] seen the draft, I’ll be able to take a position. »
Mind you, under Speaker Quinn, the City Council found it within its powers to over-turn in 2008 two voter referenda approving term limits, thus allowing Mayor Michael Bloomberg to run for a previously forbidden third term, but as to whether the City Council could require the mayor to leave a forwarding address, she would have to, proverbially, get back to us on that.
What is more, before Speaker Quinn was for extending term limits, she didn’t want you to ask her about it. « The mayor knows my phone number, » Speaker Quinn said in early September 2008, after she was pressed about Mayor Bloomberg’s plans to extend term limits. « He knows where my office is, » Speaker Quinn added. « He knows where I live. If he has a piece of legislation he's interested in, he'll call me and we'll talk about it. Up until then, there's really nothing for me to say about term limits. »
If democracies are supposed to work efficiently only if voters know well each of tge issues and the politicians who run for and hold office, then our experience with this pattern of deliberately evasive non-answers isn’t going to lead us to the path where voters know where we stand vis-à-vis Speaker Quinn. But that’s her real intention. She doesn’t want us to know where we stand. If we are like a « deaf speactator in the back row, » as Walter Lippmann has described disenfranchised voters, then that makes it easier for politicians like Speaker Quinn to avoid the messy work of having to live up to an ethic.
But to Speaker Quinn, who is climbing up the political ladder with her wagon hitched to Mayor Bloomberg’s coattails, taking on the powers that be is not likely going to happen. Taking a public policy position means you have to have something to fight for, and you have to be somebody, who fights for that in which you believe.
Using the spree of hospital closings in New York City, including that of St. Vincent’s Hospital, as a litmus test for Christine Quinn’s ethics.At an emergency community meeting in the West Village on January 28, 2010, just weeks before St. Vincent’s Hospital was to close, Speaker Quinn gave what should have been, by all accounts, a touching and inspiring speech. She endorsed the idea that fighting for the hospital’s survival was critical to New York City.
« I fail to accept that in all of New York, » she began, « there is no other healthcare institution that wants to merge with the great St. Vincent’s. I simply do not believe it. The State Department of Health wants us to believe it, because they have created an equation where that is the only answer that we would get. We are not going to fall for that bait-and-switch. We’re not going to fall for this trick that Continuum is the only entity out there. We’re going to say tonight, and we’re going to say it over and over again : the only plan that should be considered or ever approved by the state is one that keeps our hospital and our emergency room. »
There are times, like in the preceeding Save St. Vincent’s video, when Speaker Quinn can tap into the truth that the common New Yorker senses : that our economy and our social safety nets are a giant rug that is being pulled out from under us, and that, inspite of the horror, she sells herself as courageous enough and willing enough to fight for a progressive agenda. But in the year since Speaker Quinn spoke with such leadership at the emergency community meeting at Our Lady of Pompeii Church in Greenwich Village, we need to make an assessment of where we now find her in the fight to restore a hospital to the Lower West Side of Manhattan.
How we got from « We are not going to fall for that bait-and-switch, » to « As the sale of St. Vincent’s properties makes its way through bankruptcy court » and « We are currenlty engaged in a healthcare needs assessment, » is that time-honoured tradition : the people’s advocate has sold out, where even a
cornerstone institution such as a hospital can be deemed acceptable collateral damage if it means that a politician can collect large campaign donations to finance an expensive run for mayor of the most important city in the nation. (Flackback : Rewind : Mayor Bloomberg spent over $108 million dollars in reported/disclosed spending the last mayoral campaign only to win by a puny margin of about 5 per cent.)
Should St. Vincent’s properties be sold and a new hospital never to be opened at its former site, lots of real estate companies stand to make a lot of money. A quick glance through the Councilpedia records published by the Citizens Union Foundation shows that many real estate companies have made substantial campaign donations to Speaker Quinn’s presumed 2013 mayoral campaign. Here is a quick sample :
Indeed, as at February 26, 2011, according to Councilpedia statistics, Speaker Quinn had received over $569,000 in 2013 election cycle donations from the real estate industry. You don’t need me to tell you that that is a lot of money.
What Speaker Quinn is gambling, the deal that she is making with the Devil, is that nobody is going to call her on her inability to make good on simple policy decisions, like « We are not going to fall for that bait-and-switch. » She is also counting on nobody getting outraged enough to say that the influence of real estate developers, as indicated by their large campaign contributions to Speaker Quinn's campaign treasury, is over-riding the needs the voting public. But with social media tools, such as Councilpedia, the old political boss ways of days gone by are numbered. What is more, in the political vacuum of Speaker Quinn’s definitive non-answers, she is creating opportunities for other politicians, to swoop in and offer voters a new sense of hope.
When he was a councilmember, John Liu found the courage to give press conferences about the performance of, dissatisfaction with, and budget crisis overseen by Speaker Quinn.
Now that he is City Controller, Mr. Liu has found the courage to challenge Mayor Bloomberg to immediately review suspicious technology contract scandals, such as with the Emergency Communications Transformation Program (ECTP). In a letter written to Mayor Bloomberg by Comptroller Liu, the Comptroller's office rejected a $286 million contract request that would have nearly doubled the initial ECTP contract cost of $380 million. The new contract request would have raised the ECTP budget to $666 million. (Click on the link to read the news release issued today by the Comptroller's office about the latest New York City technology contract scandal.)
In the face of Speaker Quinn’s passivity, other leaders are stepping forward to demonstrate dynamism, charisma, and decisive leadership.
The Definitive Answer to End the Cycle of Cynicism is Alive and Well In a Surprising Group of Activists and Leaders, among them Mr. Liu, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, and the civil rights lawyer, Yetta Kurland.
If Mr. Liu continues to investigate questionable technology contracts, he is sure to win the praise of voters, who are tired of seeing tax money disappearing into blackholes of politically-awarded governemnt contracts, while, at the same time, the mayor runs his scorched earth campaign of school and firehouse closings with the tortured logic of the need to make budget cuts.
Shockingly, in the time that Speaker Quinn has presided over the New York City Council, at least eight city hospitals have closed. In 2010, North General Hospital in Harlem declared bankruptcy and St. Vincent's Hospital in the West Village shut down after shady backroom meetings. In 2009, two hospitals in Queens – St. John's Queens Hospital in Elmhurst and Mary Immaculate Hospital in Jamaica – went bankrupt. In 2008, Cabrini Medical Center in Manhattan, Parkway Hospital in Queens, and Victory Memorial Hospital in Bay Ridge closed. And in 2007, St. Vincent's Midtown in Manhattan was closed. Separately, one other hospital in Brooklyn, Long Island College Hospital, was recently saved : it had been on the brink of closing, and the only way the hospital was saved was by merging it with SUNY Downstate.
To some degree or another, each of the communities impacted by these hospital closings have objected, protested, or tried to litigate the decisions that lead to a hospital being closed in their community. But in no instance has a grass-roots community organisation powerfully come together as has happened following the closing of St. Vincent’s Hospital in Greenwich Village. There, a group called the Coälition For A New Village Hospital has been agitating, protesting, holding emergency community meetings, packing into Manhattan Community Board meetings, and litigating their cause to, first save St. Vincent’s Hospital, then, after the hospital closed, to restore a new hospital to the former site of St. Vincent’s. The group has shocked the normal course of cynical city politics, because, as we approach the one year anniversary of the closing of St. Vincent’s, this community group refuses to go away quietly. When the community heard « We are not going to fall for that bait-and-switch, » they believed it. Now, they’ve organised to make good on restoring a hospital to the Lower West Side of Manhattan. Recently, four community activists were even arrested after orchestrating a restro sit-in at the former main building of St. Vincent’s in a courageous act of civil disobedience ; the four activists spent one night in jail before they got processed out of the court system. The closing of St. Vincent's has even inspired the creation of a non-violent civil disobedience movement. The sense in the community is one of dire seriousness.
St. Vincent’s was more than a hospital, it was also a Level 1 trauma center, which, for Lower Manhattan, had served as a critical underpinning for New York City’s emergency preparedness in this post-9/11 world. Some see a parallel between the need to be ready for another terrorist attack in Lower Manhattan and the fight to keep essential municipal services and basic infrastructure. And given that Speaker Quinn takes so many campaign contributions from the real estate industry, some community activists are sensing that the fight for a new hospital transcends a mere fight to preserve basic infrastructure, but it also taps into the historical tradition in Greenwich Village to fight urban renewal imposed by political figures, who force through neighborhood-destroying mega-development projects.
In the face of over-development, there is a chance that New York City communities will link up in a city-wide grass-root effort to block urban renewal projects that would destroy the character of our neighborhoods.
In August 2010, Speaker Quinn advocated and won approval from the City Council for a 67-floor skyscraper just two blocks away from the Empire State Building. The new building is to be built in Speaker Quinn’s district. When The Gotham Gazette reported about the skyscraper’s approval, the newspaper quoted the City Council Speaker thusly : « We want new Rockefeller Centers. … New York City is about growth -- about growing bigger and higher all the time. » Whereas, all New Yorkers take pride in living in a vibrant city, we think that all the zone-busting development projects are just a revival of Robert Moses’ twisted idea that New York City should be one giant crosstown expressway, only this time the city planning idea being pushed is more skyscrapers and more and more glass and steel luxury condominiums.
And as in that time then, when Mr. Moses’s overdevelopment plans shocked the conscious of New Yorkers, unintentionally launching the careers of a whole wave of civic activists lead by Jane Jacobs, now in this time here, we have the creation of similar conditions under which Speaker Quinn’s development plans are triggering a new wave of civic activists, who are pushing back, who are saying, « Enough is enough ! » Whereas the popular perception then was that Mr. Moses was motivated by a power trip that made him feel like he needed to be in control over all major development projects in such a mania that bordered on demolishing as much of old New York as he could, we don’t know if Speaker Quinn is motivated by the same ambition. But we do know that she is in a race to raise substantial amounts of money to mount an expensive political campaign to become mayor of New York City in the elections of 2013.
The Coälition For A New Village Hospital is based squarely within Speaker Quinn’s City Council district. The Coälition has been networking with various city and state politicians, to find a champion on the inside, who could launch an investigation into the finances and the mysterious closed-door meetings that lead to the closing of St. Vincent’s. The Coälition has also been working to feverishly prevent any change in zoning for the main buildings that served as home to St. Vincent’s, to preserve the existing infrastructure for any new hospital that would be interested in replacing St. Vincent’s. Remember that in about the course of one year, we heard Speaker Quinn change her tune from : « We are not going to fall for that bait-and-switch, » to : « As the sale of St. Vincent’s properties makes its way through bankruptcy court. » The community sees the writing on the wall. And right now, there is no full-service hospital in the entire West Side of Manhattan from Columbus Circle all the way down to Battery Park. And with the loss of St. Vincent’s Level 1 trauma center, all of Lower Manhattan is at risk should another terrorist attack again happen below 14th Street. Even if Speaker Quinn really, deep-down, believed that the Lower West Side needed a hospital, nobody but her and her political campaign know for sure if she is really fighting for one, or if she is just going through the motions, a political bluff known as astroturfing.
In numerous conversations with the residents of the Lower West Side of Manhattan, many people are beginning to hedge their bets. Others are saying that we need all hands on deck. They are looking to City Controller John Liu to launch an investigation into St. Vincent’s finances, in any jurisdictional capacity at his disposal. Residents are also looking to several Manhattan Community Boards, to help preserve the zoning on the former campus of St. Vincent’s. And in the last few weeks, one new ally has showed up on their radar, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer. In his authority, President Stringer has broad zoning powers. According to the city’s website :
« The Borough President reviews all public and private land-use projects in Manhattan and can recommend approval or rejection of those projects. With an appointment to the City Planning Commission, the Borough President can also play a proactive role in shaping the future of development in Manhattan. Also, the Borough President appoints most members of Manhattan's Community Boards and then provides support and oversight to those boards as they make crucial decisions affecting zoning and permits. »
Do the liberal and progressive politics of Manhattan Borough President Stringer include a real sensibility for the spirit of Jane Jacobs' ethics about responsible urban planning to prevent community decay ?
At a February 16, 2011, meeting sponsored by the Coälition, Presdient Stringer spoke about the need for a full-service hospital in the area. By publicly throwing his hat into the ring of the fight for a new hospital, Mr. Stringer may have found a way to transform his political career. None of the often-touted, presumed 2013 mayoral candidates have yet to inspire a groundswell of grass-roots organisers to identify a clear early leader among the crowded field of Democratic candidates. As President Stringer prepares to launch his own mayoral bid, he could count on the support of a few hundred thousand New Yorkers, who live in the former St. Vincent's catchment area. He could also reasonably expect to count on the support of the teams of community organisers that are being developed by their participation in the Coälition. If President Stringer did find a way to enforceably preserve the zoning of the former St. Vincent’ campus, he would zone-block the biggest fear running through the community and the Coälition : the sale of St. Vincent’s properties currently making its way through bankruptcy court. The area that would most benefit from an enforceable zone-block would be a critical area of voters in Manhattan, which also happens to coïncide with what would be considered Speaker Quinn's strongest base of support, as she organises herself to run for mayor of New York in 2013. Not only would President Stringer win over a valuable new grass-roots organisation in Manhattan, but he would be undercutting Speaker Quinn’s base of support right in her very own City Council District. (One way for President Stringer to measure the likelihood that hospital closings will become a major mayoral campaign issue is if new threats arise that would affect hospital finances, or if neighborhoods outside of Manhattan begin to organise around this issue.)
President Stringer is an accomplished politician. His entry into politics was initially shaped by having served as a legislative assistant to Congressman Jerrold Nadler, back when the Congressman was an Assemblyman. Before he was elected to preside over the Borough of Manhattan, President Stringer served as an Assemblyman himself, representing the very seat once occupied by Congressman Nadler. A true Democrat, President Stringer has the support of progressive Democratic political clubs in New York City, among them the Jim Owles Liberal Democratic Club, named for the legendary gay activist Jim Owles. Like any elected politician, President Stinger has not been able to please all of his critics. But residents of the Lower West Side -- and beyond -- are turning to him for the opportunity that both see in each other : a way to legally preserve the zoning of the former St. Vincent’s buildings, as well as a way to elect a mayor, who could hear the calls from the community to reverse the spree of hospital closings and to put a stop to the irresponsible and systematic demolition of old New York. Already, the movement for a new Lower West Side hospital has attracted members or former members of major LGBT organizations such as ACT-UP and Queer Rising, among others, plus the conribution of activists outside of Manhattan. And the movement has also guaranteed the ascendancy of civil rights attorney Yetta Kurland as a respected community leader. Therefore, President Stringer is looking at the formation of an almost instant coälition of support for his mayoral candidacy, provided he delivered quickly on an enforceable zone-block to preserve the integrity of the St. Vincent’s properties, before the buildings are sold in bankruptcy court.
If President Stringer played by the normal cynical rules of New York City politics, he would be all talk and no action. But if he was ready for a game-changer, one that would transform him into an instant populist hero, he would call Speaker Quinn on what everybody sees as one of her two Achilles’ Heels : her St. Vincent’s astroturfing bluff. (Speaker Quinn's other Achilles' Heels are term limits and the slush fund scandal.) She says that she supports a new hospital, while, at the same time, she is taking tens of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from the very real estate industry that stand to make tens of millions, and possibly hundreds of millions in profits, from the demolition of the St. Vincent’s properties and the development of more glass and steel high-rise luxury condominiums in the heart of community where Jane Jacobs used to call home. And Speaker Quinn’s gamble is that she can get away with giving definitive non-answers when everybody in her very City Council District is longing for decisive leadership to restore a hospital at the former site of St. Vincent's.
Thursday, February 24, 2011
Charles Barron, Robert Jackson, Union Leaders and very large crowd City Hall sing Stop Shredding New York to the tune of New York New York
Charles Barron heading over to speak on behalf of Unions
I will be uploading speeches l later and by next week setting up a new YouTube channel for the speeches and some of these photos show you how after the speeches union workers surround City Hall and march in a large circle around City Hall to send the mayor a message.
In the wake of the announcements that Mayor Michael Bloomberg plans to layoff 6,000 teachers, cut daycare and senior citizen centers, and cut the budgets of independently elected officials, like the offices of the public advocate and the borough presidents, politicians and community leaders are decrying the mayor's cuts as politically-motivated.
For example, The New York Post questions why Mayor Bloomberg is blaming Gov. Andrew Cuomo over the loss of $600 million in state funding. In an NY1 broadcast, the mayor even called Gov. Cuomo ignorant about the city's budget.
Meanwhile, in respect of the proposed budget cuts to the offices of the public advocate and borough presidents has outraged Scott Stringer, the Manhattan borough president.
“It is outrageous that we are part of this political budget dance that impacts our ability to do our job effectively,” Stringer said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal. “And both the mayor and the council leadership have been complicit in this attempt to silence independent elected officeholders by going after our budget.”
Mr. Stringer told The Journal that under the twin administrations of Mayor Bloomberg and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, the annual process for setting the budgets for the borough presidents and the public advocate has become the “most politicized” in a generation.
Moreover, that the mayor seems obsessed with laying off public school teachers has worried others whether the mayor is, indeed, making biased budget cuts.
"His complete insistence on teacher layoffs seems bizarre to us at this point. We think it's more of a political game and scaring people," Michael Mulgrew, president of the United Federation of Teachers, told NY1 television, according to Yahoo! News.
Separately, proposed budget cuts to public libraries have triggered a backlash : is Mayor Bloomberg attacking freedom of expression, education, and access to information ?
Wednesday, February 23, 2011
Hey Mike Bloomberg, Mazer CityTime Crook wants to see his son compete, Christine Quinn from Albany to City Hall Culture of Corruption - new YouTube by Suzannah B. Troy
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
Christopher, one of Madonna's brothers who used to live down the hall from me and was always a nice guy noted that Lady Gaga's new song sounds like a rip-off of his sister's work. I am not quoting him. I had to smile. Madonna ripped off or borrowed or was heavily influenced by just about everyone from Mae West to Cyndi Lauper so what a tribute from Lady Gaga to "model" Madonna.
Lady Gaga does have a Madonna-esque quality in her new song and of course some of her fashion wear but with the opening of the song "Born this Way" Lady Gaga has you laughing with that funny, smart sense of humor of hers as she spells out "H" "I" "M"mmm .
If Gaga occasional channels Madonna it is a Madonna with a sense of humor! Lady Gaga does have a better voice. Now I am going to go listen to "Rain".
Monday, February 21, 2011
Sunday, February 20, 2011
In an apparent conflict of interest, Beth R. DeWoody, Madeleine R. Johnson, Eric C. Rudin, Jack Rudin, Katherine Rudin, and William C. Rudin each donated $4,950 to Christine Quinn's presumed 2013 mayoral campaign. During this time, the Rudin family has been trying to salvage a multi-million dollar real estate purchase of the buildings that belong to the bankruptcy estate of St. Vincent's Hospital. Since the Rudin family wants to build luxury high-rise condos on the site of St. Vincent's, do these large campaign donations explain why Speaker Quinn has done nothing to restore a hospital to the former St. Vincent's site ?
Saturday, February 19, 2011
The New York Times reported :
''Suit Suggests Political Party Knew of Fraud''
In contradictory new developments in the trial against GOP operative John Haggerty, prosecutors from the Manhattan District Attorney's office allege that ''Mr. Haggerty lied to the Bloomberg campaign to get it to pay $1.2 million to the Independence Party,'' according to court documents released on February 17 and reported about by The Times.
How did Mr. Haggerty lie to the Bloomberg campaign to get it to pay $1.2 million to the Independence Party, if the campaign to reëlect the mayor (CREEM) knowingly used Mayor Bloomberg's private banking accounts to ''wash in'' money in order to deliberately funnel the Independence Party donations to Mr. Haggerty ?What is more, the reporter Aram Roston from PolitickerNY has raised questions about Mayor Bloomberg's pattern in using private donations for campaign-related activities. Indeed, in court filings made on December 15, 2010, in the criminal trial against Mr. Haggerty, defense attorneys made assertions that CREEM "intentionally chose the least transparent way possible to conduct ballot security....It was Mr. Bloomberg who chose to hide payments, not Mr. Haggerty," reported The Wall Street Journal. The Journal's article added :
Mr. Haggerty's attorneys suggested the district attorney's office should "commence an investigation immediately" into the possibility that the mayor violated laws by transferring personal funds to the Independence Party for the direct purpose of helping his campaign with a ballot-security operation. If Mr. Bloomberg "made the contribution directing how it should be spent, he would be in violation of both the New York State Election Law and the New York City Campaign finance Law," Mr. Haggerty's attorneys allege.
According to New York State law, contributions in excess of $94,200 to a state political party are prohibited from being used to promote a candidate, The Journal reported. Furthermore, New York City law requires politicians' electoral campaigns to report and disclose campaign-related expenditures, and The Journal added that Mayor Bloomberg's ballot-security operations expenditures were not reported or disclosed by CREEM.
Adding to the lack of transparency about Mayor Bloomberg's intent in structuring the expeditures by transferring personal funds to the Independence Party is the fact that the Mayor's Office refuses to release all related e-mails about campaign-related activities. After The New York Post filed a Freedom of Information request, demanding more information about Mr. Haggerty's involvement with the Mayor's Office, the Mayor's Office release only "nine e-mail exchanges" between Mr. Haggerty and "mayoral aides" during 2008 and 2009. "There were other e-mails that the mayor's refuses to release on the grounds of 'personal privacy,' " The Post reported.
Meanwhile, back to The Times's own report about the February 17 court documents : this is the first time that prosecutors have said the Independence Party may have known about the alleged fraud. But The Times seems to be continuing with the storyline that the ''fraud'' committed was that the act that Mr. Haggerty used the CREEM payments for personal use, not that CREEM failed to disclose Mr. Haggerty's work as campaign-related activities.
''An extensive review of records and campaign documents by The Observer, as well as interviews with witnesses, indicate that Mr. Bloomberg funneled money to Mr. Haggerty, who claimed to be a 'volunteer,' sidestepping the political committee the mayor had promised to use to finance his election campaign. By deploying Mr. Haggerty and an unrelated political party, the mayor's team avoided drawing attention to a controversial election day tactic. But even more serious, experts say Bloomberg may have broken campaign finance laws,'' reported Mr. Roston.
The way that CREEM structured the payments to Mr. Haggerty allowed CREEM to avoid having to legally disclose the payments (and controversial activities), and the structure troubles some legal experts. "This is clearly an attempt to evade the purpose of the law," John Moscow, a former white-collar prosecutor in Manhattan, told Mr. Roston.
Meanwhile, the artist and blogger Suzannah B. Troy offers a slightly different political analysis. Mr. Haggerty is a "fall guy," she wrote. ''I have been saying all along Haggerty is innocent ! John Haggerty is as innocent as Mike Bloomberg,'' wrote Ms. Troy. ''Technically there is no doubt Haggerty broke the law but so did Mike Bloomberg by wiring money from his personal account, 1.1 million dollars the day before the election !''
The controversial campaign reëlection-related services that Mr. Haggerty was hired to provide have been described as a ''ballot security operation.'' In Mr. Roston's article, the impression of the ballot security operation was to presumably discourage or fend off the voters of Mr. Bloomberg's opponent, Controller Bill Thompson (D), an African-American. Although alluded to, left unsaid was whether the ballot security operation was intended to deliberately turn away Mr. Thompson's African-American voters from the polls.
Best known as the "house counsel" to the Gambino Crime family.
Question: If true where did Mazer get the money to hire Shargel?
Thursday, February 17, 2011
Sunday, February 13, 2011
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg provided secret grand jury testimony in the case against his own reëlection campaign worker, John Haggerty, Jr.Mr. Haggerty, right, escorts 2010 GOP gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino during the Columbus Day Parade in New York City on October 11, 2010. Photo by Anonymous.
During public proceedings in the criminal trial against John Haggerty, Jr., Assistant District Attorney Eric Seidel, one of the prosecutors in the case, told Judge Ronald A. Zweibel that Mayor Bloomberg had testified before a grand jury, and that the grand jury evidence supported the state's case against Mr. Haggerty.
In June 2010, Mr. Haggerty was indicted for allegedly stealing $1.1 million in campaign related payments funneled by Mayor Bloomberg through his private banking accounts to the Independence Party of New York State.
In 2009, Mayor Bloomberg was on pace to spend over $100 million dollars in declared campaign expenses through his committee to reëlect the mayor (CREEM). Because there was a backlash at Mayor Bloomberg's outrageous reëlection campaign spending, there must have been some sensitivity within CREEM to substantially exceed $100 million in declared reëlection campaign expenses, ergo the use of millions of undeclared campaign-related expenses from Mayor Bloomberg's personal and private banking accounts.
In 2008, Mayor Bloomberg made private donations to the Independence Party of New York State totaling $1.2 million. Around this time, the New York City Council changed the term limits law without a voter referendum. Then, in 2009, Mayor Bloomberg was endorsed by the Independence Party of New York City.
Ostensibly, Mr. Haggerty was to provide ballot security operations, which is a reëlection campaign activity, for Mayor Bloomberg. Which campaign laws did Mr. Haggerty break, if CREEM knowingly used Mayor Bloomberg's private banking accounts to ''wash in'' money in order to funnel the Independence Party donations to Mr. Haggerty ? What is more, the reporter Aram Roston from PolitickerNY has raised questions about Mayor Bloomberg's pattern in using private donations for campaign-related activities.
Friday, February 11, 2011
Mayor Bloomberg described Irish New Yorkers as being ''inebriated,'' and he added that he was accustomed to seeing drunken Irish ''hanging out the windows'' of the American Irish Historical Society in their drunken state.
The mayor's insult came during a speech he gave at the American Irish Historical Society, and his disparaging remarks triggered boos from the audience.
In an article about the insult, The New York Times quoted John Dunleavy, the chairman of the St. Patrick’s Day Parade, said the mayor’s words were “outrageous and totally uncalled for.”
Thursday, February 10, 2011
Why Are They Closing St. Vincent's Hospital ?
Four community activists were released from jail on Wednesday, following their arrest on Tuesday for having staged a sit-in at the former site of St. Vincent's Hospital, reported the Hedz-Up Report. Ms. Katz and the other activists were each charged with criminal trespass, but all they were trying to do was to bring a new hospital to the Lower West Side of Manhattan. Following is video of the a part of the press conference, where Evette Stark-Katz, one of the activists who was arrested, made a public statement.
Tuesday, February 8, 2011
This morning, NYPD arrested four activists, who protested the closing of St. Vincent's Hospital. Politicians, on whose watch the hospital closed, remain at-large.
Watch a YouTube video of the protesters, as they were taken into police custody. While they were being put into the back of the police van, the activists shouted : "Land-lock St. Vincents ; Trauma 1 now !"
A group called Hands Off St. Vincent's held a sit-in Tuesday morning at the shuttered medical center. At approximately 10:30 a.m., four activists were arrested. It is not known how many other activists took part at the demonstration.
Among the protesters, who were arrested, were LGBT civil rights activists Iana Di Bona and Alan Bounville. Following is the statement from a press release, which was distributed to the media, by one of the group's members :
New York, NY – On February 8, at 10:30 am, four former patients and impassioned community members entered the building at the location of the closed down Saint Vincent's Hospital. These activists then sat on the ground, unfurling a banner that read, "Guilty : Neglect !" and began to chant - refusing to move. Saint Vincent's personnel closed off that section of the building - currently operating as a Credit Union - and refused entry to members of the credit union as well as persons employed within the building. Two hours after their arrival, the four activists were arrested and taken away by the police.
For 284 days, 1.3 million New Yorkers have been without a hospital in the West Village. Since St. Vincent’s illegal closure on April 30, 2010, the community has been laden with false promises, patronized with a bogus needs assessment and forced, with tragic consequences, to seek emergency or medical care at already overcrowded uptown or East-side hospitals.
“Everyday that passes is critical,” said Iana Di Bona, one of the arrested activists, “Our elected officials have the ability to turn things around, yet they do nothing. It is so important to speak out and to continue to pressure and hold them accountable to service the needs of our community.”
Commitment for a New Village Hospital by the people of the West Village and all of New York City has not wavered. Any politician not actively working to get a new hospital is a target. That is a promise the St. Vincent’s Hospital Community Activists intend to keep.
Before the sit-in took place, it appears that the activists held a "peoples trial" of politicians, on whose watch St. Vincent's closed. According to the description of the YouTube video, an unidentified Hands Off member made the following statement : "We hold the elected officials responsible for betraying their very own constituency."
On her blog, the artist and political commentator Suzannah B. Troy broke the news of the activists getting arrested at St. Vincent's. Ms. Troy made the observation that Mayor Michael Bloomberg and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn recently pushed through a new smoking ban in public parks as a sign of their concern for public health, but Ms. Troy questions their commitment if politicians have made no commitment to save city hospitals from closing.
Monday, February 7, 2011
Saturday, February 5, 2011
Maybe after #OpEgypt and #OpItaly, we'll have #OpCityHall or #OpCityCouncil ?
After Mayor Michael Bloomberg insulted parents who heckled Chancellor Cathleen Black, Michael Mulgrew, president of the teachers union, compared Mayor with Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak, reported The New York Post.
Ms. Black's ''Awwwwwww'' moment came when she mocked parents, who were going to desperate measures to save several schools from closing, and her insensitive mocking and juvenile immaturity has inflamed the anger of parents and has shocked the conscious of even some school officials. In response to the despair of parents, Mayor Bloomberg has predictably unleashed a ridiculous backlash against Ms. Black's critics.
Mayor Bloomberg, who subverted a public referendum to run for a third term as mayor, went on to say that angry parents were acting unpatriotic. "This is not democracy -- letting people yell and scream. That's not freedom of expression," Mayor Bloomberg said. "That's just trying to take away somebody else's rights. And if we want to attract good people to come and work for the public, you don't do this."
Under his tight fist of ''mayoral control'' over the school system, Mayor Bloomberg wields totalitarian control over the Panel for Educational Policy, which votes to close schools ; the Panel operates under the appearance of independence, but in reality the Panel is ''entirely undemocratic'' and takes its ''marching orders only from Bloomberg,'' according to the Post Mr. Mulgrew noted that if the Panel doesn't vote the way that the Mayor wants, he retaliates against them. ''The last time they voted against him, he fired them,'' Mr. Mulgrew said.
Even The New York Times Agrees : the ''Fix'' Was In.
Meanwhile, at a meeting on Thursday night, where more schools were voted to be closed, City Councilmember Charles Barron said, “You will let us scream until we get hoarse, and then we know what will happen — you’ll shut all our schools down.”
''The closing of struggling schools has been a key piece of Mr. Bloomberg’s agenda, and his eight-person majority has stood behind him, phasing out more than 100 schools, often replacing them with small schools and charter schools,'' reported The Times.
Update on Christine Quinn
While Mayor Bloomberg spent the week closing schools, firing teachers, and getting rid of classrooms and school lunches, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn was using NYPD as enforcers against activists outside a fundraiser for her presumed candidacy for Mayor in 2013.
Friday, February 4, 2011
Christine Quinn Refuses To Audit Back-Room Decision-Making That Lead To St. Vincent's Hospital Closing
City Council Speaker Christine Quinn called Wal-Mart a ''union-busting, tax-evading, wage-correcting, job-destroying, civil-rights-abusing, food-stamps-denying multinational corporation.'' But Speaker Quinn won't investigate the shady and rapid closing of St. Vincent's Hospital.
If Comptroller John Liu were to launch an investigation into St. Vincent's Hospital, he could count on the support of a few hundred thousand New Yorkers, who live in the former St. Vincent's catchment area, who have been left with no hospital in the Lower West Side of Manhattan. That area also happens to coïncide with what would be considered Speaker Quinn's strongest base of support, if she were to run for mayor of New York in 2013.
Thursday, February 3, 2011
|Photo I took stuck underground courtesy of the MTA pathetic subway system....|
Wednesday, February 2, 2011
Is Speaker Quinn using city resources, and police,
for campaign activities ?
At a political fundraiser on the evening of Feb. 2, 2011, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn deployed a large team of police officers. Three peaceful protesters, myself included, gathered to hold up a banner, asking for a new hospital for the Lower West Side of Manhattan, to replace St. Vincent's. Police told us to move, and one officer pushed me to get me to move, even though we were on a public sidewalk and not blocking traffic. Plus, there were no barricades, to indicate that there was a restricted zone. Is Speaker Quinn using city resources, and police, for campaign activities ? Who is instructing NYPD to intimidate protesters ?