Thursday, March 4, 2010

Today's Political Scandals in NYC

There's so much incoming, here is just a taste of scandal city from NYCEdNews parent activist listserve. And these are only 2 out of gazillions.

Paola de Kock

The NY Times reports today that, in an apparently unprecedented move, the commission charged with investigating the weighty matter of whether Patterson accepted or sought five tickets to a Yankees game and then lied under oath about whether he intended to pay for them, has now recommended the matter be referred to a prosecutor.
What an absurdity to see the governor of one of the largest states in the world's most powerful nation embroiled in a “scandal" over five lousy tickets! Consider what Paterson would be prosecuted for:

The commission charged Mr. Paterson with violating two provisions of the Public Officers Law, each carrying a maximum penalty of a $40,000 fine, and violating three sections of the State Code of Ethics, including a provision that bars the governor from using his official position to secure unwarranted privileges, which carries a $10,000 civil penalty.
On Wednesday afternoon, much of the reaction to the report focused on the accusations that Mr. Paterson had been untruthful when he testified before the commission. As the scandal surrounding his administration’s response to the domestic violence case widens, the governor’s statements about his own actions are being carefully scrutinized.
“It’s one thing to run afoul of the gift ban, a civil matter at best,” said Daniel J. French, a former federal prosecutor who served on the commission until late last year. “It’s quite another to have lied under oath, which, if proven, is a criminal matter with far-reaching implications to office and liberty.”

Watch government come to a standstill (questions over inability to govern tend to become self-fulfilling prophecies) as prosecutors plumb the governor's mind (because intent is the key element in any criminal prosecution) and possibly get him jailed …….. not for influence peddling, but for lying about whether he intended to write a check for a few hundred dollars before he actually got the tickets (since he did pay for them in the end).
Now consider the further absurdity that, while we’re supposed to worry about a corporate gift of 5 tickets to a Yankees game, the Supreme Court lifted all restrictions on corporate spending on elections. Every politician should state at the outset that he/she is in the pocket of every corporate interest that cares to contribute; as they would be telling the truth, they should be safe from prosecution. Moreover, in the Court’s twisted logic, this sort of disclosure is the only concession to the integrity of the political process-- should Congress bring itself to require it.
Paola de Kock

Steve Koss

Incredible -- $931 million already spent or projected still to be spent, but we can't afford to pay for the transportation to get our children to school everyon a day on a system that's already up and running.

I'd love to see a detailed breakdown of where that $931 million has gone/is going.

John Liu for Mayor, anyone?

Steve Koss

NEW YORK, NY – New York City Comptroller John C. Liu called for Mayor Michael Bloomberg to immediately freeze all requests for contracts or payments associated with the CityTime project (CityTime) until the completion of his audit into the Office of Payroll Administration's (OPA's) oversight of the bloated project. CityTime is one of the timekeeping systems used in City agencies for employees, the cost of which has mushroomed by nearly eleven hundred percent with less than one-third of projected City employees actually using the system to date.
In a letter to the Mayor, Comptroller Liu urged the Mayor to stop "the hemorrhaging of funds that are still slated to be poured into CityTime", which to date is at $193 million. “The reality is CityTime was intended to save money by modernizing timekeeping systems," Comptroller Liu wrote. "Unfortunately the cost has mushroomed from $68 million projected at its onset to more than $738 million to date. At the same time, only about 45,000 of a projected 156,000 City employees actually use the CityTime system." The full text of the letter is below.
Comptroller Liu stated: “As our City is faced with ever expanding budget gaps and service cuts, each dollar of taxpayer monies spent warrants ever more scrutiny to ensure both wise budgetary decisions and safeguards against this type of bloated spending."
Despite OPA's projections that CityTime will be completed within a year, Comptroller Liu labeled the deadline as unrealistic, citing OPA's "past performance" and loss of credibility relating to the mushroomed project. Comptroller Liu has subsequently appointed Mr. Ari Hoffnung, Executive Director of Accountancy and Budget in the Comptroller's Office, as his new representative and thus co-Director of OPA; the Mayor's representative also serves as co-Director. The two co-Directors of OPA make recommendations on the agency's staffing and operations.


  1. Our governor is now a national disgrace. Forget the pathetic ticket scandal where he apparently backdated a check and testified falsely about receiveing free Yankee tickets. That is called perjury but pales in comparison to upscoming charges against him. More importantly, and for some reason the women's groups are not protesting, he apparently personally intervened to get the state police involved in convincing a battered woman to drop her charges against his aide. The head of the state police resigned yesterday in disgrace over the issue, and today his chief spokesman resigned over the issue, and last week his chief law enforcement advisor resigned over the issue. The gov. may be faciing criminal issues over this issue and will not be in office one week from now.
    I would like to see our government set laws limiting the political contributions of newspapers, unions, and businesses. Unfortunately, the Supreme Court has ruled that would be tantamount to limiting free speech and therefore unconstitutional.

  2. Those "5 lousy tickets" represent:
    Access to businessmen, politicians and corporations.

    Yankee Stadium and Citi Field are up and flourishing, and if the Pataki/Bloomberg/Rangel team had had their way, the Jets would have had a stadium as well.

    Schools rot
    The MTA rots
    Bridges, roads, and other public works rot

    And the monied interests in this city call the shots.
    Every time I think of those expensive corporate sports tickets, I think white-collar crime like there's no tomorrow.

    (PS: I don't do sports. I looked up all that stuff about Yankee Stadium and Citi Field in Wikipedia.)

  3. The head of the state police resigned yesterday in disgrace over the issue, and today his chief spokesman resigned over the issue, and last week his chief law enforcement advisor resigned over the issue.


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