Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Election Board pick could help Bloomberg stop override of NYPD bill veto

Councilman Erik Dilan, a swing vote in the city council's move to boost citizens' right to sue over racial profiling, is eyed to be the panel's new chief.

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Updated: Tuesday, July 30, 2013, 4:40 PM

 Mayor Michael Bloomberg along with housing officials held a press conference discussing the housing conditions in the Bronx.Councilman Eric Dilan New York City Chair of Housing and Buildings Committee.

Victor Chu for New York Daily News

New York Councilman Erik Dilan, center, is flanked by Mayor Michael Bloomberg and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn along with, at far right, disgraced ex-assemblyman Vito Lopez. Supporters of a bill to rein in the NYPD see Dilan as the vote to overturn Bloomberg's veto of the measure as the city eyes  Dilan to fill an empty Board of Elections post.

The New York City Board of Elections is considering a City Council member to be its executive director — an appointment that could help Mayor Michael Bloomberg kill legislation that would expand the right to sue the police for racial profiling.
The name of the councilman, Erik Dilan (D-Brooklyn), has emerged in recent days to fill the $170,000-a-year post, which has been vacant since Executive Director George Gonzalez was canned in October 2010, sources said.
But Dilan is being counted on by supporters of the racial profiling legislation to be the crucial 34th vote to override Bloomberg’s veto of the measure.
If Dilan is appointed by the Board of Elections before the override vote, the profiling bill most likely would go down to defeat.
Bloomberg has said the legislation is a threat to public safety, and he has vowed to use all the levers of power at his command to chip away at the veto-proof margin the legislation enjoyed when it passed the Council.
One source said the mayor is supporting Dilan’s appointment - but a spokesman for the mayor, Marc LaVorgna, said that was not the case. The mayor has taken no position on Dilan, LaVorgna said.
The board is fast approaching the task of running a competitive election for the first open mayor’s seat in 12 years.
George Gonzalez, former Board of Elections chief, was fired in 2010, leaving the post empty.

Thomas Monaster/Daily News

George Gonzalez, former Board of Elections chief, was fired in 2010, leaving the post empty.

Doing so without an executive director would expose the embattled agency to even more criticism.
Dilan, an ally of disgraced former Brooklyn Assemblyman Vito Lopez, had not formally applied for the job as of Monday evening and didn’t respond to a request for comment.
But he is said to be open to taking the position because he will soon be out of a job: He cannot run for re-election to the Council because of term limits.
At least one other candidate has emerged for the executive director’s post.
Michael Ryan, a Staten Island Democrat who previously served as a Board of Elections commissioner, is openly campaigning for the job and reportedly has the support of about five sitting commissioners.
Either candidate would need the backing of six of the 10 members of the bipartisan board to get the job.
Some insiders question Dilan’s qualifications to run the multimillion-dollar agency. He reportedly is not a college graduate.
“There’s been some talk in the background about possibly him coming in, but he doesn’t really have much in the way of experience,” one board source said.

Weiner Aide Lashes Out at Former Intern

In an interview she said she thought was off the record, the chief spokeswoman for Anthony Weiner’s mayoral campaign referred to the intern with vulgar and sexist terms.
Political Memo: Weiner’s Behavior Prompts a Question: Why Did He Do It?

Some suggested the indiscretions might be an addiction with neurological roots. Others theorized that Mr. Weiner, a Democratic candidate for mayor of New York, could be meeting sexual needs unsatisfied in a marriage. And still others said he might be driven by a combination of a mood disorder and feelings of inadequacy to seek reassurance about his masculinity from women he had never met. 

Monday, July 29, 2013

Anthony Weiner Drops To Fourth Place In New York Mayoral Poll

The Huffington Post  |  By Posted:   |  Updated: 07/29/2013 10:11 pm \
Anthony Weiner has dropped from the front of the pack to fourth place in the Democratic primary for New York City's mayoral race, a poll released Monday by Quinnipiac University finds, with voters increasingly viewing his personal history as a legitimate issue in the election.
City Council Speaker Christine Quinn now leads the primary field with 27 percent of likely Democratic voters, with Public Advocate Bill de Blasio and former Comptroller Bill Thompson taking 21 percent and 20 percent, respectively. Weiner, a former congressman, has just 16 percent.
In the last Quinnipiac poll, taken just before he admitted to sending inappropriate messages and lewd photos to women as recently as last summer, Weiner had a 4-point lead over Quinn.
"With six weeks to go, anything can happen, but it looks like former Congressman Anthony Weiner may have sexted himself right out of the race for New York City mayor," said Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.
HuffPost Pollster's chart, which includes all publicly available polling, shows Weiner's rapid rise and fall since his entrance into the race. Meanwhile, de Blasio and Thompson have each seen their share of the vote increase in recent polls of likely voters. Simple averages of the polls show a roughly 5 point increase for Thompson and roughly 7 point increase for de Blasio.

The share of Democratic voters saying Weiner's history of sending of lewd photos is a legitimate issue in the race jumped 15 points, from 50 percent in the previous Quinnipiac poll to 65 percent in the new one. Forty percent now say that his behavior is a disqualifying factor, up from 23 percent just two weeks previously.
An NBC New York/Wall Street Journal/Marist poll taken last week, immediately after the latest revelations, yielded similar results, with Weiner slipping to third place and his unfavorable rating skyrocketing to 55 percent.
In the new Quinnipiac poll, a 53 percent majority said Weiner should drop out of the race. If he did choose to end his candidacy, Quinn would take 30 percent, with Thompson and de Blasio tied at 25 percent each.
Quinnipiac surveyed 446 likely Democratic voters by phone between July 24 and July 28.
Mark Blumenthal contributed reporting.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Weiner’s Campaign Manager Steps Down
Danny Kedem resigned after learning of the New York City mayoral candidate’s latest online behavior.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Electing Anthony Weiner Isn't As Funny As It Sounds

Matt Taibbi. (photo: Current TV)
Matt Taibbi. (photo: Current TV)

By Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone
26 July 13

Nathan's Fourth of July champ backs hot dog Anthony Weiner for mayor
Rim-shot! The event was the pre-Independence Day weigh-in for the annual Coney Island Hot Dog eating contest, and improbably contending New York City mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner was there to secure the "endorsement" of perennial dog-pounding champ Joey "Jaws" Chestnut. "Joey Chestnut obviously has an affinity for Weiners," cracked the candidate, in a Twitter-ready sound bite.
Chestnut's actual endorsement must have been made off-camera - I can't find him quoted in any of the campaign stories - but we can take Weiner's word for it, right? It's not like the guy's ever lied before. "I can no longer say I don't have the support of any famous people," Weiner gushed, after scoring the endorsement.
Now, weeks later, the inevitable has happened: yet another sexting scandal has popped up involving Weiner and, surprise surprise, this one was still live a good year after he resigned from Congress promising never to flap his hose across the face of the Internet ever again. Predictably, a series of really gross, genuinely Favre-ean dong shots showed up on some Scottsdale, Arizona-based website called
It turns out that Weiner was pursuing his usual creepy Internet rubfest with some poor sap of a woman from Princeton, Indiana (which the Daily News noted is "one mouse click and 850 miles away from Weiner") using the nom-de-wank of "Carlos Danger," a preposterous title destined to be adopted by a whole generation of hackers and trolls justifiably tired of the whole "Emmanuel Goldstein" meme.
I don't mean to sound like a prude, but what the hell do you have to do to be disqualified from high-level politics in this country? When someone told me a while back that Weiner was running for Mayor, I thought it was a joke. This married politician sent unsolicited pictures of his penis to female strangers on the Internet! It's not a crime, I guess because indecent exposure laws haven't been updated for the cyber age, but basically, he's a 21st-century flasher who used the U.S. Congress as a raincoat. Then he got caught, had to resign from Congress in what normally would be shame and disgrace, only to turn around and start doing it all over again pretty much immediately.
I'm not saying the guy can't have a career after what happened, but his options should be pretty limited - a rodeo clown, maybe, or one of those guys who hands out fliers for strip clubs in Times Square. In an absolute best-case scenario, a guest panelist on some gross-out/embarrassing-video-footage compilation show on cable like Manswers or America's Dumbest Criminals.
But Mayor of New York City? I know the bar was set pretty low when Mike Bloomberg bought the office outright in 2001, but we can't have sunk this far. And it's not just that he's some poor guy who got caught jacking off on the Internet. He's also increasingly tone-deaf and belligerently nuts in an inappropriate-Thanksgiving-guest sort of way. Lawrence Downes of the Times passed on this tidbit just a few weeks back:
Anthony Weiner strides onstage at Simon Baruch Middle School and grabs the mic to talk to the good people of the Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village Tenants Association. He takes his position beside, not behind, the lectern. He has nothing to hide.

He wears a white dress shirt, sleeves rolled up, and pants that brightly violate the boundary between orange and red. "I don't usually dress like this," he says. He explains that he was just at a rally in Greenwich Village, celebrating the Supreme Court rulings on same-sex marriage. Is he really saying he hasn't had time to change out of his gay pants?
Weiner simply isn't a well man. His campaign strategy has been to act like his scandal and downfall never happened, but you only need to catch his act a few times to realize that the strategy is working precisely because Weiner isn't acting. He genuinely doesn't think he did anything wrong and spends a lot of time, as an unwell person would, slamming some nebulous "they" who he is convinced are the real guilty parties in his personal melodrama. He talks a lot about how his campaign is making those haters crazy, which - well, you've all read Freud, or at least seen The Seven Percent Solution, you be the judge, tell me this isn't a classic case of projection:
I'm running a campaign in a different way . . . and it makes them nuts . . . . You know, someone once yelled out to Harry Truman at a campaign stop, he yelled out, 'Give 'em hell, Harry.' And you now what he said? He said, 'I'm just telling them the truth and it sounds like hell to them.' The very evidence that I'm doing it right is how crazy I'm making them, and I'm not gonna stop doing it.
As a pundit I know I'm supposed to enjoy political car-wreck spectacles like this, but this Weiner candidacy is a very dark story. He's surging in the polls mainly because the other candidates in the New York mayoral race are so awful (Downes humorously called them talented but "collectively uninspiring," like the Eagles) and because of the I'll-do-absolutely-anything-to-get-in-the-newspapers factor that New Yorkers always love and respect (just ask Joey Chestnut). But the endgame here is that millions of New Yorkers might put a guy who needs a nice quiet decade or two away from cameras and the Internet, maybe manning an ice station or diving for abalone somewhere, into the least therapeutic job in America.
It's crazy. I bet there are thousands of New Yorkers out there right now who wouldn't hire Anthony Weiner to condo-sit (and who wouldn't go near the areas around their desktop computers afterward without a Haz-Mat suit), but would gladly send him to live in Gracie Mansion. Believe me, I'm all for funny, but this really isn't as funny as it sounds. This is one of those ideas that sounds hilarious when you're high, but the next morning - not so much. Can we not go there this time?

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Anthony's Soap Opera

Many New York Women Are Baffled at Loyalty Shown by Weiner’s Wife

Women expressed surprise that Huma Abedin would help the mayoral campaign of her husband, Anthony D. Weiner, who faces new allegations of lewd online conduct.
Does Weiner Deserve a Second Chance?
The Times’s Corey Kilgannon talks to residents of the former Congressional district of Anthony D. Weiner, now a mayoral candidate, to see if they could forgive him after revelations of a new scandal.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Weiner Continues Sexting During Apology

Anthony Weiner is in the running to be New York's Mayor.  (photo: Getty Images)
Anthony Weiner is in the running to be New York's Mayor.  (photo: Getty Images)

By Andy Borowitz, 
The New Yorker
24 July 13

The article below is satire. Andy Borowitz is an American comedian and New York Times-bestselling author who satirizes the news for his column, "The Borowitz Report."

ew York City mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner stirred controversy today by continuing to send dirty texts throughout a press conference devoted to apologizing for his behavior.
Mr. Weiner was halfway through his apology when reporters noticed him remove a phone from his pocket and aim its camera lens unmistakably in the direction of his pants.
After seeing the candidate snap a photo of the pants region and then send a text, reporters bombarded Mr. Weiner with questions, asking him if he had in fact just sexted.
"Yes, I did, but I swear this was the last time," he said. "This behavior is now behind me."
Mr. Weiner then concluded his press conference by removing his shirt and snapping a quick shot of his naked torso.
According to the latest New York City poll, Mr. Weiner still has a commanding lead among voters who describe themselves as pervs.

Anthony Weiner, wife Huma Abedin at his side, says he will stay in mayoral race after admitting to sexually explicit chats

The gossip site claims Weiner's online liaison took place in 2012, a year after a sexting scandal caused him to resign from Congress in disgrace.

Comments (488)
Updated: Wednesday, July 24, 2013, 7:01 AM

NYC PAPERS OUT. Social media use restricted to low res file max 184 x 128 pixels and 72 dpi

Andrew Savulich/New York Daily News

Anthony Weiner with wife Huma Abedin during a press conference to address the publication of sexually explicit chats Weiner engaged in with a 22-year-old woman following his resignation from Congress over a similiar scandal.

Anthony Weiner’s comeback campaign was rocked Tuesday by a new cybersex shocker, but he said he won’t quit the mayoral race — and his wife said she won’t quit their marriage.
Spouse Huma Abedin, in an extraordinarily candid state of their union address, declared her commitment to Weiner despite revelations he had X-rated online liaisons with a woman a year after he resigned from Congress for similar behavior.
Weiner used the nom de perv “Carlos Danger” as he sent lewd photos of himself to the woman and engaged in sex chats with her.
A photo of the 22-year-old woman who identifies herself online as 'Sydney Leathers,' the alleged receipent of Anthony Weiner's graphic sexual messages, according to BuzzFeed.

A photo of the 22-year-old woman who identifies herself online as 'Sydney Leathers,' the alleged receipent of Anthony Weiner's graphic sexual messages, according to BuzzFeed.

“Our marriage, like many others, had its ups and downs,” said Abedin, wearing a tight smile, as she faced a media horde. “It took a lot of work and a whole lot of therapy . . . but I made the decision to stay in this marriage.”
She said her husband made some “terrible mistakes both before he resigned from Congress and after” — but she claimed “we discussed all of this before Anthony decided he would run for mayor.”
The show of support came after Weiner, with Abedin at his side, acknowledged that he continued sexting until “last summer, I think,” after he and his wife sat down for a People magazine profile that marked the start of his attempt at public rehabilitation.
Anthony Weiner texted this image to Dangr33 as seen in a webstie called "The Dirty"

Anthony Weiner texted this image to Dangr33 as seen in a webstie called "The Dirty"

The woman involved in the new cyber-hookups claimed her relationship with Weiner lasted until November, when it “fizzled.”
“I said that other texts and photos were likely to come out, and today they have,” Weiner said at the news conference. “I’m surprised more things didn’t come out sooner.”
He brushed aside calls from his rivals that he abandon his candidacy. “I want to bring my vision to the people,” he said. “I hope they are still willing to give me a second chance.”
Weiner, 48, fessed up after a gossip site called The Dirty posted allegations from an anonymous woman who said she had an online relationship with him for several months beginning in July 2012, when she was 22.

Weiner Not Quitting NYC Mayoral Race Amid Sexting Scandal

Image: Weiner Not Quitting NYC Mayoral Race Amid Sexting Scandal
Tuesday, 23 Jul 2013 03:05 PM

By Todd Beamon

Former New York Rep. Anthony Weiner said on Tuesday he was not dropping out of the New York City mayoral race in light of newly revealed explicit online correspondence with a 22-year-old woman.

And his wife, Huma Abedin, is standing by him.

"This is entirely behind me," Weiner, a Democrat, said at a news conference. "We knew it might come up. It's in our rear-view mirror. We still work on this every day.

"I am sure a lot of my opponents would like for me to drop out of the race,” he said, referring to immediate calls by three of his rivals to quit the race. He has been near the top of most mayoral polls since his late entry into the race this spring.

Weiner admitted on Tuesday to exchanging racy photos and having sexually explicit chats with a woman whom he had met online. He had resigned his House seat in June 2011 after acknowledging having sexual conversations with at least a half-dozen women.

The newly revealed correspondence was posted Monday by the gossip website

The woman involved was not identified, but said their online relationship began in July 2012 and lasted for six months. She told thedirty that she was 22 when she began chatting with Weiner, who is 48 now, and they found each other on the social networking site Formspring. said the woman had been "lured" into an online relationship by Weiner using the alias "Carlos Danger" and that she believed he would provide her with an apartment in Chicago and a job, among other things.

The woman told thedirty that she and Weiner had exchanged nude photographs of themselves and engaged in frequent phone sex.The website also posted a pixelated photo of what appears to be a man's genitals.

"This was a bad situation for me because I really admired him," the woman was quoted telling "Even post-scandal, I thought he was misunderstood. Until I got to know him, I thought I lived him. Pretty pathetic."

The woman told the website that her relationship with Weiner "fizzled" in November 2012. She said she last heard from him in April, when his intention to run for mayor was first revealed in The New York Times Magazine.

Under questioning by reporters on Tuesday, Weiner acknowledged that the most recent incident occurred "sometime last summer" — after an interview with People magazine that was published last July 18.

In the interview, Weiner said, "I'm very happy in my present life," and said that he was looking forward to seeing his son Jordan, who was 6 months old at the time, take his first steps.

Abedin, who was a top aide to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, said on Tuesday that her husband "made some horrible mistakes." It was her first time speaking at a news conference regarding Weiner's activities.

She was pregnant with Jordan when Weiner resigned.

"I love him. I have forgiven him," Abedin said. "I believe in him. And, as we have said from the beginning, we are moving forward."

Meanwhile, two of Weiner's mayoral rivals — Public Advocate Bill de Blasio and former City Councilman Sal Albanese, both Democrats, and Republican John A. Catsimatidis — immediately called on Weiner to drop out of the running for mayor.
"Enough is enough," de Blasio said. "The sideshows of this election have gotten in the way of the debate we should be having about the future of this city."

John C. Liu, another Democratic mayoral candidate, issued a more cautious statement, The New York Times reports.
"The issue of Anthony's relationships, online or otherwise, is between he and his wife, however, the propensity for pornographic selfies is a valid issue for voters," Liu said in his statement. "Ideas and eloquence can propel candidates, but judgment and character still do count."
Two other leading Democratic candidates for mayor, William C. Thompson Jr. and Christine C. Quinn, declined to comment, the Times reports.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Christine Quinn is NOT a friend to NYC's animals

From: Allie Feldman []
Sent: Thursday, July 18, 2013 2:27 PM
Furry Fury

Christine Quinn is NOT a friend to NYC's animals - and to create a more humane city, she cannot become Mayor. That’s why we’ve launched a new site to educate voters about her anti-animal protection record:
From her refusal to help the abused carriage horses to her opposition to putting lifesaving fire sprinklers in pet stores after hundreds of animals perished, Christine Quinn shows callousness rather than compassion. She only cares about her political career.
And frankly, it begs a question: if Quinn has such disregard for our city's animals, how would she treat the people of New York City if she were in charge?
She literally left animals out in the cold by killing efforts to build animal shelters in the Bronx and Queens. And she opposed adding humane education into our city schools' curriculum.
Quinn thinks she can skate by and win with a record like this - but since we’ve started our campaign against Quinn, she has dropped 20 points in the polls. We have a real opportunity to send a message that our voices as humane voters will be heard in this election for NYC Mayor. Help us get it done!
Keep fighting for what’s right,
Allie Feldman

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Should Ray Kelly Lead Homeland Security?

Should Ray Kelly Lead Homeland Security?
New York City’s police leader has attracted controversy for his tough approach.

Don't Shoot Me for Absolutely No Reason

 (photo: unknown)
(photo: unknown)

By Andy Borowitz, The New Yorker
22 July 13
The article below is satire. Andy Borowitz is an American comedian and New York Times-bestselling author who satirizes the news for his column, "The Borowitz Report."

pponents of Florida's Stand Your Ground law are attempting to mobilize support for a new law called Don't Shoot Me for Absolutely No Reason.
The proposed law, which faces major opposition in the Florida legislature, would make it illegal for people in the state to shoot each other for no reason whatsoever.
"Under the provisions of Don't Shoot Me for Absolutely No Reason, you will be required to have an actual reason for shooting someone," said a spokesman for the measure, Harland Dorrinson. "This will be a first in Florida."
The controversial bill has already drawn the ire of the National Rifle Association, which issued a statement today saying that requiring someone to have a reason to shoot another person would violate the Second Amendment.
"If you force someone to have a reason to shoot someone, soon you will be taking away his right to shoot that person altogether," the N.R.A. said.
"We are not in principle against the idea of having a reason to shoot someone," the N.R.A. continued. "But we believe you should be allowed to shoot the person first and have the reason second."
Even if Don't Shoot Me for Absolutely No Reason somehow passes in the legislature, Florida Gov. Rick Scott said today that he would veto it, telling reporters, "Making people in Florida have a reason to shoot each other would fundamentally change our way of life."

Latinos Elected Official Trash former Governor Eliot Spitzer over 2008 DC hooker tryst

Video by Rafael Martínez Alequin

Video by Rafael Martínez Alequím

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Sonora Ponceña Feat: Cheo Feliciano - Franqueza Cruel

It's time for Congress to put Wall Street reform back on the agenda. We support passing a new Glass-Steagall law to prevent too-big-to-fail Wall Street banks from taking huge risks with people's life savings -- and then expecting taxpayer bailouts.

Florida gala was canceled – but Eliot Spitzer still flew in for ‘hook’-up in 2008


 Last Updated: 6:31 AM, July 21, 

2013Posted: 12:21 AM, July 21, 2013

Former Love Gov. Eliot Spitzer was so eager to do something in Palm Beach, Fla. — reportedly one of his favorite locations for secret hooker trysts — that he traveled there with his staff in February 2008 even after a big fund-raising event was canceled.
“He was the guest speaker at a gala that we had to cancel,” Palm Beach Democratic Party boss Wahid Mahmood told a local paper at the time, referring to a $100-a-plate, Feb. 29 fund-raiser for the local Democratic club.
“He still came,” Mahmood told the Palm Beach Post. “He was in a great mood.”
Spitzer’s fellow keynote speaker at the Palm Beach Convention Center that night was to have been Rep. Charles Rangel, who had to cancel, leading organizers to put the kibosh on the entire event.
HARD TIMES: Then-Gov. Eliot Spitzer traveled to Florida in 2008, even after the fund-raiser he was scheduled to attend was canceled — adding more suspicions to his scandalous itineraries as governor that included a DC jaunt to meet prostitute Ashley Dupré (above).
NY Post: Tamara Beckwith
HARD TIMES: Then-Gov. Eliot Spitzer traveled to Florida in 2008, even after the fund-raiser he was scheduled to attend was canceled — adding more suspicions to his scandalous itineraries as governor that included a DC jaunt to meet prostitute Ashley Dupré (above).
R. Umar Abbasi
But that didn’t stop Spitzer — who was at the time just two weeks away from being publicly shamed as “Client 9” in a federal wiretap.
Local Dems would accommodate Spitzer’s Palm Beach-or-bust inclinations by setting up an alternate event — a glad-handing reception at the Hilton Palm Beach Airport.
He also attended a State of Israel Bonds luncheon and fit in a few meets with donors, including philanthropist Howard Kessler before flying back home on state aircraft with his aides and security staff.
Spitzer’s state campaign filings showed he spent $667 for his room on Feb. 28 at the luxurious, beachfront Four Seasons Palm Beach.
Investigators have said that Spitzer met with prostitutes in Palm Beach, Dallas and Washington, DC, though they didn’t provide dates. They refuse to release details of the investigation into Spitzer’s estimated $100,000 in escort spending.
Prostitution charges against Spitzer were dropped, with the feds explaining he had stepped down from office and taken responsibility — and that they’d found “no evidence of misuse of public or campaign funds.”
But the Palm Beach trip is just the latest revelation to raise questions of whether the current candidate for city comptroller was arranging travel for the conveniences of his trysts.
Although a governor’s security is always on the public dime, his non-state business expenses must be paid for with campaign cash or out of pocket.
No one disputes that Spitzer, 54, paid out of his own pocket for his black-sock affairs with Ashley Dupré and others of her profession from the Emperor’s Club prostitution ring.
But as reported in The Post on Friday, Spitzer indeed knew how to mix business with pleasure on a taxpayer-funded trip.
Just two weeks before his trip to Palm Beach, he went through suspiciously great lengths to get himself a speaker’s slot at a hearing of the House Financial Services subcommittee on capital markets, insurance and government-sponsored enterprises, Fox Business Network senior correspondent Charles Gasparino wrote.
Just like for his DC trip, Spitzer arrived a day early for his Florida jaunt.
In DC, he also went through great lengths to arrange for his hookup with Dupré at his Mayflower Hotel room — taking two days to arrange her payment, hotel room and an Amtrak ticket, according to government documents.
“Eliot has long maintained that he never misused state or campaign funds for official or political trips,” Spitzer spokeswoman Lisa Linden said.
“These matters are ancient history.”
Additional reporting by Erica Landau

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Council candidate plans legal challenge, charges Councilwoman's petitions violate state eletions law

Petitions submitted to Board of Elections by Maria del Carmen Arroyo are rife with 'forged' names of celebrities and other irregularities, says challenger Julio Pabón.

Comments (2)

 SENDER: ?Teo, Ginnie?

Denis Slattery for News

Petitions submitted by campaign staff of Councilwoman Maria del Carmen Arroyo are flush with names of celebs not commonly known to live in the Bronx, including supermodel Kate Moss (underlined).

These names aren’t funny, they’re forgeries!
That is the claim of a group that will challenge signatures submitted to the Board of Elections by City Councilwoman Maria del Carmen Arroyo in state Supreme Court.
After the group revealed last week that Arroyo’s petitions listed such obviously bogus entries as Derek Jeter, broadcaster Joe Buck and Chicago Cubs President Theo Epstein they decided to challenge 3,437 of the incumbent’s 3,863 signatures.
The Board of Elections has begun reviewing the lists, but Arroyo’s challenger in the 17th District, Julio Pabón, and his volunteers weren’t stopping at that.
“This is not an isolated incident of some joker signing one page of a petition ‘Derek Jeter,’ ‘Theo Epstein’ or ‘Kate Moss,’” said Donald Dunn, the attorney representing the Pabón campaign, who said he would file suit before the Thursday deadline. “Ms. Arroyo submitted page after page of blatant, obvious forgeries.”
Julio Pabón (top row, second from l.) has already challenged validity of petitions with Board of Elections, but Friday his campaign said he would take it a step further, filing a lawsuit in state Supreme Court.

Denis Slattery for News

Julio Pabón (top row, second from l.) has already challenged validity of petitions with Board of Elections, but Friday his campaign said he would take it a step further, filing a lawsuit in state Supreme Court.

Dunn said the group is heading for the courtroom because it believes the petitions submitted by Arroyo should be invalidated under New York state election law.
Pabón and his supporters first planned on hitting the streets to check on addresses they found suspicious. Their goal: to gather affidavits from residents about the validity of Arroyo’s signatures.
A determination from the Board of Elections may come as early as this week, after officials scour each entry in the petitions of both parties.
The board will only throw out the names of people that are missing full addresses, do not live in the district or are not registered as Democratic.
Does supermodel Kate Moss really live in the Bronx? And is she a registered Democrat? And would she support Councilwoman Arroyo? City Council Julio Pabón candidate thinks not.


Does supermodel Kate Moss really live in the Bronx? And is she a registered Democrat? And would she support Councilwoman Arroyo? City Council Julio Pabón candidate thinks not.

The courts, on the other hand, have the authority to determine whether there is rampant fraud or irregularity in the rolls.
Both candidates need 450 signatures to remain on the ballot for the Sept. 10 primary.
The 17th District covers Hunts Point, Morrisania and sections of Highbridge.
“It is equally telling that Ms. Arroyo could not find 450 real voters to support another year of the misfeasance and malfeasance that the Arroyo dynasty has wrought upon its constituents,” said Jocelyn Valenzuela, the volunteer coordinator for the Pabón campaign.
Councilwoman Maria del Carmen Arroyo says that her staff handled the petitions that she submitted to get her name on the ballot for reelection. Her campaign has filed its own challenge against Pabón’s 2,500 signatures.

Bryan Smith for News

Councilwoman Maria del Carmen Arroyo says that her staff handled the petitions that she submitted to get her name on the ballot for reelection. Her campaign has filed its own challenge against Pabón’s 2,500 signatures.

Arroyo, asked why so many apparent fakes made it into her petition, said she relies on staffers to run the collection.
“It is highly recommended that candidates do not handle their own petitions,” Arroyo said.
Her campaign has filed its own challenge against Pabón’s 2,500 signatures.
It was unclear whether her camp would pursue legal action.
Many in Pabón’s circle were surprised to hear that the Councilwoman did not have someone vet her petitions before submitting them.
“Ms. Arroyo knew or should have known that her entire petition is permeated with fraud,” Dunn said. “It is telling that Ms. Arroyo already has begun to distance herself from her own petition.”

Friday, July 19, 2013

Queen Elizabeth Rips Chris Christie on Gay Marriage

The Borowitz Report

July 17, 2013

LONDON (The Borowitz Report)—Moments after approving a new law legalizing gay marriage in England and Wales, Queen Elizabeth II of Britain unleashed a blistering attack on New Jersey Governor Chris Christie for “lacking the guts” to do the same.
The British monarch’s brutal evisceration of Gov. Christie stunned observers, who did not know that she was such a close follower of his gay-marriage stance.
“I don’t like to badmouth people,” she said. “But I’m the head of a monarchy that began in the ninth century, and I’m apparently more modern than Chris Christie.”
After shocking observers with her opening salvo, she continued to tear Gov. Christie to shreds.
“Look, I know he has to appeal to the crazy right wingers in his party,” she added. “But the fact is, he’s not as forward-thinking as an eighty-seven-year-old lady who wears a crown on her head. It’s pathetic.”
Asked if she had advice for Gov. Christie, the British monarch said, bluntly, “Just sign the damn bill, Chris.”
Responding to a reporter’s question about the upcoming royal birth, Elizabeth replied, “Tell you the truth? I’m just glad the kid’s not being born in New Jersey.”
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Photograph by Dan Kitwood/POOL/Reuters

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Another day of sweltering temperature. Assigned to the S. Bronx where there was a blackout that affected 500 people. Remarkably, everyone was in great spirits. Life went on with dominoes and saxophones in the heat. No complaints....just resilience. A lesson in life. Roll with it and don't sweat the small stuff, literally.
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Political Corruption Boils Over in Albany

Machine pols and reformers alike are ensnared

Shirley Huntley labored in relative obscurity for a decade on a local school board in Queens before she made the jump into state politics in 2006, challenging the machine incumbent, Ada "The Wild Woman of Albany" Smith, for a senate seat in the 10th District.
Shirley Huntley has no regrets about turning in her fellow legislators, saying she “sleeps very well.”
Shirley Huntley has no regrets about turning in her fellow legislators, saying she “sleeps very well.”

Anthony Tremmaglia

Smith, by then, had been embarrassed by a series of reports about her conduct toward staff—the legislature had reprimanded her for screaming at her aides, and she had even been convicted of throwing coffee at one of them—but still, few thought Huntley would beat her, since Democratic machine incumbents are almost assured of victory. And yet Huntley did win, by a narrow 102 votes, and came into office touting plans to focus on housing, healthcare, and education.
Eric Stevenson, meanwhile, was Bronx political royalty, a third-generation pol following his father and grandfather into a machine job in the 79th Assembly District, his résumé buttressed by staff jobs with two borough presidents and the City Council Speaker. He spoke of a "passion for serving people" and said his election "fulfilled a longtime ambition."
From their disparate beginnings, both Huntley, the outsider, and Stevenson, the insider, wound up in the same place—staring down the business end of federal corruption indictments. For her part, Huntley was forced to make a deal to wear a wire by authorities, hoping to catch other pols in misconduct.
Stevenson was caught on a separate wiretap characterizing Albany as a cesspool of corruption, perhaps in an effort to justify his own conduct. "Bottom line . . . if half the people up here in Albany were ever caught for what they do . . . they would probably be in jail. So who are they bullshitting?"
Huntley and Stevenson certainly aren't alone. The past eight months have seen one state legislator after another arrested, indicted, or otherwise censured for misdeeds ranging from taking bribes to raiding nonprofits to stealing from the proceeds of foreclosed homes to redirecting state money into their pockets. The list of fallen legislators is so long that it's easy to lose track of the details.
In examining each of the recent indictments, what's perhaps most striking is how mundane and inevitable it all seems, like it's just the cost of doing business. The cases suggest that corruption is so ingrained in the culture of Albany that it ensnares machine candidates and reformers, the young and old, the neophytes and veterans alike.
"They come into office and they lose track of why they are there," says a longtime political operative. "There really isn't a way to vet these people to see whether they have a moral compass."
In April, for example, state Senator Malcolm Smith was slapped with bribery, extortion, and fraud charges for a scheme that is almost artful in its pure brazenness. Smith was accused of arranging $40,000 in bribes to two Republican county leaders so his name would be on their mayoral ballot line. City Councilman Dan Halloran was also indicted in the Smith case for taking bribes to act as the go-between. (Halloran wanted to be named deputy police commissioner if Smith won.)
"Smith tried to bribe his way to a shot at Gracie Mansion—Smith drew up the game plan and Halloran essentially quarterbacked that drive by finding party chairmen who were wide open to receiving bribes," said U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, who has become a kind of angel of destruction on the Albany political landscape. "After the string of public corruption scandals that we have brought to light, many may rightly resign themselves to the sad truth that perhaps the most powerful special interest in politics is self-interest."
State Senator John Sampson—a former chairman of the Senate Ethics Committee who once sought to become Brooklyn district attorney—was indicted for stealing more than $400,000 from the sales of foreclosed homes that he was supposed to oversee and protect, and then lying to investigators about it. The money went to finance that campaign for district attorney. (In 2009, Sampson portrayed himself as a housing crisis reformer, saying, "Ensuring that people do not lose their homes is of paramount importance.")
In yet a third brazen scheme, Pedro Espada Jr., the former senate Democratic majority leader, was convicted this year of robbing a network of nonprofit medical clinics that he controlled and spending the money on a lavish lifestyle—including deliveries of hand-shucked lobsters, spa visits, and a ghostwriter to tell his life story.
William Boyland Jr. was indicted for soliciting $250,000 in bribes to pay legal expenses in a separate court proceeding, and then again for steering public money to a favored nonprofit, which used some of the money to promote Boyland's campaign events. His chief of staff was charged, too.
Vito Lopez, a powerful assemblyman from Brooklyn, was crippled by sexual harassment allegations and a sleazy secret payoff by the legislature to his accusers. He agreed to step down at the end of his term.
Carl Kruger, the former chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, is in the second year of a seven-year prison sentence on a bribery conviction. And who could forget Joe Bruno, the Republican majority leader in the senate for 14 years, convicted of accepting bribes? The verdict was vacated and an expected retrial is pending. Others to fall in recent years include Hiram Monserrate and Brian McLaughlin. The list goes on and on.
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City to Help Immigrants Seeking Deportation Reprieves

An $18 million program will add thousands of seats to adult education classes, giving immigrants brought here as children the chance to qualify for a federal reprieve.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

David Brooks Wonders Why Men Can't Find Jobs: Comedy Ensues

David Brooks
David Brooks
William B. Plowman/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images
From a David Brooks column in The New York Times this morning:
In 1954, 96 percent of American men between 25 and 54 years old worked. Today, 80 percent do. One-fifth of men in their prime working ages are out of the labor force.
Brooks' point piece turns out to be a popular column topic among conservative writers: Why aren't people working? The twist in this one is that it's a gender-based thesis. Brooks got hold of some stats showing that men are having more trouble recovering the jobs lost in the recent recession than women. He cites a Floyd Norris column from this weekend, "Gender Gaps Appear as Employment Recovers From Recession," which provides all the relevant numbers.
Norris's piece actually offered a simple explanation for the gender gap. The jobs that are coming back, he says, are in the health care sector, where women hold four out of every five jobs. In fact, if you read Norris's piece carefully, you learn that women are actually losing ground in non-health-care related industries like manufacturing and financial services, that men are getting jobs back in those fields at a better rate than women. But, again, there's been more recovery in the health care sector for whatever reason, hence the stats.
Brooks takes all this data and decides that the real issue here is that men are not adaptable and can't bring themselves to make the changes needed to find work. He weaves an elaborate analogy involving the John Wayne movie The Seachers, which I guess is about the end of the cowboy era and how the rugged, violent men who tamed the West had trouble fitting in to the cushy, civilized world they helped create. (What David Brooks knows about any of this is anyone's guess). Brooks writes about Wayne's Ethan Edwards character as the hero who has made himself obsolete. "Once the western towns have been pacified," he notes, "there's no need for his capacity for violence, nor his righteous fury."
There's a famous scene in the film where Edwards brings an abducted girl home after a seven-year quest but, being the obsolete brute that he is, is unable to cross the threshold into her civilized home upon his return. To Brooks, this somehow is a metaphor for the men of modern times, who are unable to "cross the threshold into the new economy."
Anyone who's ever been unemployed knows that statistics like the ones Norris cites have everything to do with what kinds of jobs are available, and very little to do with the willingness of the population to work. Pretty much everyone who doesn't have a job will do just about anything short of organ donation to get a job. If you've got kids and you can't make rent, nobody needs to help you cross any freaking threshold into any new age. If it doesn't involve sucking on someone else's body parts, you'll do it.
Not according to Brooks, who thinks there's another explanation:
But, surely, there has been some ineffable shift in the definition of dignity. Many men were raised with a certain image of male dignity, which emphasized autonomy, reticence, ruggedness, invulnerability and the competitive virtues. Now, thanks to a communications economy, they find themselves in a world that values expressiveness, interpersonal ease, vulnerability and the cooperative virtues.
Surely, part of the situation is that many men simply do not want to put themselves in positions they find humiliating. A high school student doesn't want to persist in a school where he feels looked down on. A guy in his 50s doesn't want to find work in a place where he'll be told what to do by savvy young things.
Hmm. Men don't want to be put in positions they find humiliating? How many men out there today are working as telemarketers? As collections agents? How many grown men are working in fast-food restaurants, getting yelled at by people like Brooks when they put the wrong McNugget sauce in the take-out bag?
And as for those 50-year-olds not wanting to work in a place where he'll be told what to do by savvy young things – it's the other way around. Usually, the savvy young things are turning down the older guy. If Brooks thinks there are 50-year-old men out there with families, people maybe facing foreclosure, who turn down jobs because they don't want to take orders from "savvy young things," he's crazy. All jobs involve taking humiliating orders from bosses and everyone who's ever had a job knows that. If you need a job badly enough, you'll take a job offered by Hermann Goering, Hannibal Lecter, Naomi Campbell, anyone.
It's not just Brooks. These days you can't throw a rock without hitting some muddle-headed affluent white dude who spends his nights stroking his multiple chins and pondering the question of the lazy poor, convinced as he is that there are plenty of jobs and the problem is that prideful or uncommitted or historically anachronistic (that's Brooks' take) folks just won't suck it up and take them.
Earlier this year, for instance, when Yale and Penn started suing their graduates for failing to pay back their student loans, Bloomberg asked a Cato Institute fellow named Neal McCluskey for comment. He replied:
You could take a job at Subway or wherever to pay the bills and that's something you need to do if you have agreed in taking a loan to pay it back . . . It seems like basic responsibility to me.
First of all, if you need to take a job at Subway after getting a degree from Yale, that's pathetic and 100 percent on Yale, not on the kid who mortgaged his future to pay for a Yale education. Secondly, it's pretty obvious Neal McCluskey has never tried to live on a Subway salary. He should probably give that a shot and see how much money is left over at the end of every month to pay off his Perkins loan. He'd be hooking in Union Station within a month.
It's amazing how many educated people really believe that the unemployed just don't like to work. I remember seeing Jon Voight, of all people, reading one of his infamous letters on Mike Huckabee's show, talking about the "very poor and needy, who live to be taken care of," who have been fed "poison" by our president, giving them the idea that they're "entitled to take from the wealthy, who have lived and worked in a democracy."
Here's a guy lucky enough to have a job in a fantasy-land business where people hurl money at him round the clock for a few hours of work a day, who somehow finds the time to work himself into creepily genuine anger towards a group of people who have to fight to get jobs cleaning toilets or working fry-o-lators. Talk about a guy who needs a new hobby, or a puppy, something!
Remember that scene in American Psycho where Christian Bale stabs Reg E. Cathey's homeless "Al" character? The part where he's like, "Get a job, Al – you've got a negative attitude, that's what's holding you back!" Fellas, Mssrs. Brooks and Voight, that was satire. About the last thing the millions of broke Americans out there need is someone like you telling them their problem is that they need a more positive attitude. Actually their problem is much more simple: not enough jobs. Really, that's pretty much it. It's not a mystery.