monkeeys

monkeeys

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Rob Cohens revolving door

Just a quick synopsis from today's JJOKE meeting,  the same meeting cancelled several weeks ago that resulted in Milgram releasing an inaccurate top ten list not once but twice.

And on the subject of Milgrams failure to count I dropped off a 1st grade coloring book for math at Milgram's seat at the meeting, he came in and looked at it then tried to hide it under his papers (when they replay the meeting watch the start lower right hand corner).  Don't worry Milgram I don't think the second floor will fire you for using a non common core text book but better safe than sorry just ask that guy on the Lake George Commission.

But I digress, Milgram's termination is coming I'm reliably informed.

Back to the meeting.

As usual nothing of substance in the public portion until they start a discussion on a proposed opinion regarding the 2 year revolving door ban.  Now I congratulate JJOKE for doing this in public, I'm not terribly interested in the 2 year revolving door since I've been out for way over 2 years but then lo and behold a couple of commissioners were actually very well informed and knowledgeable about the issue and started asking Rob Cohen, who wrote the opinion, some cogent questions that made it abundantly apparent that Rob was not knowledgeable nor particularly astute on the issue.  Soon Monica had to try to jump in to save Rob but only managed to establish that her ability to analyze statutory construction needs improvement as well.  Mercifully the Chair stopped the fight and adjourned any decisions to a later day.  LT followed the advice that it is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than speak and remove all doubt.

Both republican commissioners George Weisman and Judge Cavulla quickly exposed the flaw in Rob's analysis and in the end I thought I was watching a first year law student trying to support a failing argument.

It's clear Rob and the rest of the JJOKE staff lawyers think they know best who a client should hire but have never actually thought about why the revolving door ban exists to begin with.

It's also clear now what LT's biggest fault is.  She allows staff to embarrass her without penalty.  Milgram and Cohen are everyday reminders of this flaw.  And remember Cohen is the same staffer that failed to take his continuing legal education and timely file his attorney certification for over a year, until I blogged about it, is he really the best staffer to be writing ethics opinions about lawyers and revolving doors.  Should he even be working at an ethics agency?

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10    Just trying to help you get better at math Milgram.

#firemilgram

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

JJOKE top ten list aka why Milgrim should be fired

JJOKE today cancelled their commission meeting but sent out a press release listing the top ten lobbyists for the first half of 2014.

I guess you have to give them credit for doing something more than the old lobby commission did.  We used to release the figures at the end of the year in an annual report and hold a press conference to answer any questions.

Releasing the information at the half way point is probably a smart way to get a days worth of news coverage BUT

When you deal with numbers and top ten lists those numbers better be accurate AND THEY ARE NOT

Number 10 on the list is Robert Unger.  Now I'm sure Mr. Ungar has a nice little lobbying business but top ten? I DON'T THINK SO.

And sure enough Mr. Unger had a $1.6 million typo on his bimonthly report for his client Intermedix.

End result Mr. Ungar makes the top ten when he didn't belong there which means someone who really was number ten is not on the list.  OOOOPS

Lies, damn lies and statistics.

Or in JJOKE's case incompetance , lack of attention to detail and Milgrim

On my top one list of JJOKE employees to get the ax . . .  John Milgrim with a bullet.

But it gives me an idea  anyone that wants to make the top ten list for 2014 give me a call I'll show you how to have a typo in your Nov/Dec report putting you in the top ten and then in April next year we can fix it after the list comes out.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Schneiderman's Snow Solution

Fred Dicker did a column in which noted drug expert Randy Credico alleged that he was an eye witness to now Attorney General Eric Schneiderman's use of a controlled substance (cocaine).

WOW that is amazing!!!!

Not that Schneiderman used coke after all he is a spoiled rich Jewish kid from Manhattan I'm sure coke is just the tip of his moral dalliances.  No what's amazing is that Dicker actually named a source for the earth shattering accusation.  And not just a source but noted drug expert Randy Credico (and amateur comedian or do I have that reversed?) did anyone else catch a wiff of the stoner oops Stone as in Roger Stone stench on this one?

And if that was you Roger, much respect, you hit the right issue with such a short time to the election.  If you can't find a live boy, dead girl or a whore to put in bed with a public official drugs are a pretty good substitute.  Of course some Marion Barry video would have helped but marching out some more experts like Randy (not creditable) Credico to claim first hand knowledge will help.  It's not like Schneiderman will bring a liable suit, what between discovery and truth being a perfect defense (and by the way even I am hearing the rumors that there are more Randy Credico's out there). 

On the other hand Schneiderman really has nothing to worry about this is the New York State republican party  when it comes to losing winnable elections these guys are the coke whores at the debutant ball.  Fun to watch but uncomfortable for those that came to dance.

But it did give me a couple of ideas.

First why doesn't Cahill take a drug test and release the results and call on Schneiderman and every other New York Public official to do the same, with the exception of Steve Katz (spark up dude).

I know a reputable test will take longer than the 2 weeks we have left before the election but this is about more than proving Schneiderman's alleged drug usage its about integrity and ethics reform.

Think about it.  We can call it ethics reform, we can put JJOKE in charge of it and then we can move on to the next scandal.

And what is it we will do?  Why require drug usage disclosure.  A form with a lot of definitions and loopholes that elected officials fill out once a year, that JJOKE collects and puts on line at some point and never audits and the media for the most part will ignore, just like the financial disclosure forms we have now.

Problem solved, except for you Mr. Katz.

Or we could legislate random drug tests for our elected officials.  Crazy you say?  they do it for professional athletes, why is Schneiderman less regulated when it comes to drugs than the backup tight end on the Jets?

Think about it . . . we can find out which politician is smoking weed (Katz) doing bumps of coke (Schneiderman if you believe Credico), dropping acid (the majority in the senate if you can figure out what that means) or popping amyl nitrite (which will open up a whole new type of allegation for JJOKE to investigate).

Speaking of JJOKE investigations or lack thereof the hits continue.  I always liked this time of year because the media (who should also be drug tested to explain how lax they have become on ethics scandals) will write meaningless stories on public officials that have kernals of ethics gold in them that JJOKE will completely miss.

For example the DMV commissioner getting a speeding ticket.  Who cares I speed all the time.  I just got a new 2014 Caddy CTS-V wagon, my own drug of choice (in majestic plum no less) 556 horsepower and a six speed manual box, 0 to 60 in 4 seconds a top speed of 176 and I am doing my best to see how much of an asshole I can be driving it, in fact I did Albany to Rochester this weekend in under 3 hours with a full load of stuff to bring my son at college, but I digress.  It's not the speeding ticket that offended me (take the ticket pay the fine) it was the fact that the DMV commissioner used her state paid employee to act as a spokesperson with the media.  WTF you got the ticket in your private car on your private time tell the media to fuck off yourself don't use state resources to do it.  JJOKE? any interest?

If not how about the state employee that is running a private business out of his state office during working hours?  I guarantee if a DMV employee was selling used cars out of his/her state office JJOKE would be all over it but when the governor does an interview to promote his book and uses his state office with the seal of New York on the wall not a peep from JJOKE.  Book promotion for a state employee is a tricky thing don't believe me ask Regina Calcaterra.  I have a funny feeling though that JJOKE will come up with an exception for this governor.

So until further notice I'll anxiously await those drug tests and hope state employees don't piss on their taxpayer owned desks.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Looks like I was right again

Back in November I ran a blog, reproduced below, asserting that Cuomo press person Melissa Derosa violated the public officers law when she was quoted as saying JCOPE had confirmed that political parties were exempt from the lobby act.

Now I thought Melissa possibly had gotten confidential information from JJOKE or she was being untruthful.  Turns out Melissa had a time machine because 6 months after being quoted that "the lobbying law does not apply to political parties . . . this was confirmed by JCOPE and its predecessor agencies" that exactly what JJOKE did.

Now here's what LT said to Horner in her letter of May 2014 "This commission and its predecessors have never interpreted the Lobbying Act to require that political parties register as lobbyists"

WOW did Melissa tell LT what to do in November or did LT tell Melissa what they were going to do in May.  Either way its pretty clear that JJOKE and the 2nd floor talk as much as the independent elections enforcement counsel does and the Moreland Commission and the 2nd floor did.

And by the way both Melissa and LT are wrong.  And I'd be happy to debate either one or both publicly about the Lobby Act and its application to political parties.

Anyway here was what I said in November   It is even more appropriate now.

When will the media wake up  there is gambling in this establishment don't be shocked  

And as to that predecessor nonsense the following is 8 years old   http://blog.timesunion.com/capitol/archives/1505/are-campaigners-lobbyists/

I think I've been pretty consistent political parties are NOT exempt from the statute the question is are they lobbying


Thursday, November 21, 2013



Did Melissa DeRosa violate the Public Officers Law? Or you just got Dopped Melissa

Melissa DeRosa is employed by the State of New York as the press secretary to Governor Andrew Cuomo. This is an important point because as an employee of the executive branch she is subject to Public Officers Law section 74 (3) (c) and (d). Which means she should not disclose confidential information and/or use her position to secure unwarranted privileges or exemptions for another.

I'm pretty sure she has done one or the other or maybe both.

How can I make that statement?

Read below Melissa's statement to the AP's Mike Gormley about the NYPIRG allegation that political parties should be required to register if they lobby.

"It has been well settled that the lobbying law does not apply to political parties," said Cuomo spokeswoman Melissa DeRosa. "This was confirmed by JCOPE and its predecessor agencies, and every credible expert on the topic knows it," she added, referring to the Joint Commission on Public Ethics."

Now lets analyze it.

"It has been well settled that the lobbying law does not apply to political parties" Nothing wrong with this statement. It's not accurate or truthful but that is what pr flacks like Melissa do for a living.

"This was confirmed by JCOPE" UH OH Now Melissa has a big problem. When and how did JCOPE confirm it? I study this stuff and read everything JCOPE releases publicly, and plenty of stuff they keep secret, and I know for a fact that JCOPE has never confirmed that "the lobbying law does not apply to political parties" publicly.

Which leads to only two possible conclusions.

One that JCOPE secretly confirmed that "the lobbying law does not apply to political parties". In which case Melissa just disclosed confidential information a violation of section 74 (3)(c). Why JCOPE would have confirmed this statement confidentially is another violation for another day.

Or

Two that JCOPE never confirmed that "the lobbying law does not apply to political parties". In which case Melissa just used her official position to lie and try to secure an unwarranted privilege or exclusion for another, a violation of section 74 (3)(d).

Either way Melissa has a big problem except for the fact that it is JJOKE that would be prosecuting this case and "It has been well settled that JJOKE doesn't apply the Public Officers Law to the top staff on the 2nd floor ," and "This was confirmed by JCOPE and its predecessor agencies, and every credible expert on the topic knows it,".

And I apologize for plagiarizing Ms. DeRosa but I could not have said it better myself.

And speaking of plagiarism maybe Blair Horner should turn this blog entry into a complaint he can file at JJOKE . . . again.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

I told you so I told you so

Okay so this blog ran almost 3 years ago

In light of the recent indictment of Assemblyman Scarborough do you think JJOKE will wake up and start to act like a watch dog and not just Cuomo's lap dog?
 
Whatever happened to the NYPIRG complaint about Cuomo's State Democratic Party unregistered lobbyist ads?
 
Maybe the Independent elections enforcement Counsel Risa Sugerman ought to investigate or at least ask the Cuomo press shop what to do.
 
Enjoy I love saying I told you so.
 

Friday, December 2, 2011



Odds on Integrity

This is going to be another one of those posts that upsets some people.

Legislators will think I’m being unfair. The administration will think I’m taking a shot at the Governor. And other observers will say my critique is too harsh.

To each I say: Too bad. Take a step back. I’m trying to be helpful here.

At issue is William Boyland, Jr. I just read the new indictment of the young Assemblyman. It’s truly fascinating. It turns out that the feds ran a sting operation against him. They posed as businessmen and offered sizeable campaign contributions in return for assistance with a development project. And guess what? Boyland and his staff were only too eager to help.

Is anyone surprised by this scenario?

Now comes the part that will offend the lawmakers: If the same sting operation had been run against all 211 New York state lawmakers (and who is to say that it’s not), what do you think the results would be? How many lawmakers would take the bait? Be honest now.

Do you think a quarter of the lawmakers would do it. Half? More, perhaps?
I actually believe the majority of lawmakers could easily fallen prey to this sting. No, I’m not saying that they are all evil people. What I am saying is that there is a culture in Albany that perpetuates this sort of thing. And I’m also saying that the failure of state leaders to set up an aggressive independent ethics panel only worsens the problem.

Why? Because when Andrew Cuomo was elected, ethical transgressions did not suddenly cease. In fact, violations of varying severity are occurring every single day and no one, except the Feds, seems to care.

Once again, I make the point that not having a functioning ethics panel is an outrage. And it’s the state legislature itself that should be most upset about this situation. The feds are only filling the ethical vacuum. By failing to constitute a proper investigatory panel in New York, lawmakers have invited this level of federal scrutiny.

In fact, I’ll bet the Feds are salivating. They read the papers. Boyland is just one type of problem; there are many more categories of abuse.

For example, lawmakers are also abusing the “per diem” system. Does anybody doubt that? (BTW, where is DiNapoli or Schneiderman on per diem abuse. Either one could investigate.)

Another abuse involves “bundling.” John Liu is the current poster child for this problem, but it also has been linked to City Council member (and former top Cuomo operative) Bill DiBlasio.

Do the mental exercise again. What if all 211 lawmakers were scrutinized for their per diem claims and bundling practices? How many of the lawmakers would have issues?

It’s not often you can bet on a sure thing

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

UM

I know um I said um I was done blogging um but todays um um JJOKE meeting just um put me um in the blogging um mood.

The um meeting  um um start to finish was under um 5 minutes um

But um LT announced um that there is now um mandatory lobbyist um training um

As an aside mandatory? what happens if you don't take it?  any penalty?   NOPE so its hardly mandatory

LT did um fess up that um there are some um technical um problems

Of course there um are um

One last thing before the um executive session put an um end to um the um meeting JJOKE now has a newsletter um

Does anyone remember the um PIC newsletter? um   This one um is just as good um   in other words subscibe to the five guys facebook page it has more um value

Um unless anyone has something um new um we um are um going into um executive session um

And in all seriousness why does a fancy New York City lawyer like JJOKE Chairman Dan "um" Horwitz speak like a mumble mouthed member of Howard Stern's wack pack? um?

Actually the "um" was the most interesting part of the mmeting

Um

Friday, September 19, 2014

Do the right thing

Do the right thing

I wrote an entire blog this morning about ethics, the NFL, JJOKE, LT, Cuomo, Preet and the Moreland fiasco this bureaucrat investigating the Tappanzee financing and the phrase "Do the right thing".

It was biting, insightful, provocative and designed to rile up a whole bunch of folks.

I proofed it and thought about what effect it might have on those written about (actually that's bs I thought about the effect it might have on me) and then I hit delete.

Why?  because I decided to take my own advice from the deleted blog and trust my gut make a decision and do the right thing when it comes to ethics.

And right now the right thing is to let others figure it out for themselves.

My clients pay me a lot of $$$$ for ethics advice why should I give it away for free?

I guess what I am saying as far as the blog is concerned is goodbye.

To those that have enjoyed reading it I'm glad it amused you.

To those that may have learned something from it I'm glad to have been of assistance.

To those in the media that got useful information from the blog you still have my number just call and ask what I've heard.

To those who may piss me off in the future . . .

I can always tweet that the blog is back