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 collage, 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

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.


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


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


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

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

What's the big secret?

A couple of things happened yesterday that got me to thinking about what is wrong with JJOKE and ethics in general in NY

The two things were a phone call I made to JJOKE to speak to LT and an article in Crain's about Jennifer Cunningham and being a registered lobbyist.

First full disclosure.  I call JJOKE to speak with LT all the time sometimes its business, sometimes its just to chat and sometimes it is to offer advice solicited or unsolicited.  I've also spoken to Jennifer, she is not a client (but she should be after this article) but she has sent me clients and I've tried to be helpful to her when I can and I've respected and liked her for quite some time.

Let's start with Jennifer and the article and specifically the implied allegation that she should be registered as a lobbyist.  This is not a difficult question.  The definition is clear (at least to me) and when you apply the definition to a specific set of facts you can render an opinion about whether the party involved should register.  I do it all the time and it has provided me with a very good living, both when I was the head of the Lobby Commission and since 2007 as a consultant in private practice (granted the consulting gig pays much much better).  In this case based on the facts in the article Ms. Cunningham was not lobbying and was not required to register.   A simple answer to a simple question.  As I said I do it all the time.  If the media calls with those types of questions I answer, for free.  If a client calls I answer for pay.  If a prospective client calls I answer for free and hope to get paid down the road (and you ex-Cuomo types know who you are) BUT I ANSWER THE QUESTION.  

Yet when John Milgram the Public Information Officer at JJOKE who makes over $100k a year was asked he said  "A spokesman for the state's ethics watchdog agency, the Joint Commission on Public Ethics, declined to comment on any specific situations."  Why?   Why won't JJOKE and Milgram answer a simple question?    Thats what we pay you for.   Is it possible that no one at JJOKE has the technical knowledge to answer these questions?  As much as I criticize them even I believe someone must be able to answer  I know LT is knowledgable enough to answer so why don't they?

Which brings me to the phone call I made to JJOKE yesterday.  It was a routine call to LT to see how her weekend had been and continue a discussion of a personal nature we had begun the previous week (she asked for my advice on a private matter).  When the receptionist transfered me to LT the called ended up in the investigation unit  Here is a transcript as I recall it

"Investigation" (in a very serious voice)

Me "LT please"

Them "LT? do you mean the executive director?" (in a very aggressive tone)

Me "no I mean LT"

Them "Who is this? and how did you get our number?" (agressive and demanding)

Me "You are the investigator you figure it out" (in a sarcastic voice)

Them "Who is this?" (angry voice like a pissed off cop)

Me "who is this?" (mocking voice)

Them "you called me who are you?" (really agressive)

Me "no I called LT and Lori transferred me to you but if you tell me your name I'll tell you mine" (more sarcasm)

Them "Investigator Jack something or other Irish name"

Me "It's Dave Grandeau why don't you relax and stop being so agressive you sound like a hardon Irish cop"

Them "(silence)"

I kept torturing Jack for a while before I told him he owed me an apology for his tone and attitude, but it dawned on me this morning Milgram refusing to answer Crain's and Jack giving me the cop third degree are caused by the same thing.

JJOKE and most ethics agencies are afraid to commit to anything until they have more knowledge than you do.  It's a control thing and it is fatal in an ethics regulatory role.  Control works in politics it doesn't work in ethics.  Example 1 Cuomo and the Moreland Commission   don't worry about control if you tell the truth and behave appropriately you don't have to worry about control.  Letting the chips fall where they may will protect you in the long run.

Now why does Milgram make over $100k?  simple question I'm sure there is a simple answer.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

the folks at JJOKE and MOREJOKE are like the johns in a whorehouse

Or maybe a better analogy would be they are like a bunch of District Attorneys visiting an illegal casino.

Once they throw the dice we can't trust them to prosecute the owners of the joint.

And that is what happens all too often with the appointed members of ethics agencies or Moreland commissions or blue ribbon panels set up to investigate this or that.

They come to the jobs with sterling reputations and at least some connection to the politicians that appoint them (how else could they be appointed).

And then very very few have the sack to tell the other heavyweight genius appointees that what is going on is wrong and before you know it they have taken the free drinks and comped buffet at the casino (a metaphor for all the Casey Seiler types out there) and its too late to stand up and say that what is going on in there own commission is wrong.  No whistleblowers at this level.  And we end up with JJOKE and MOREJOKE.

Here is a fundamental question.  If you believe the NY Times reporting about Cuomo interference with Moreland (and its the Times so you have to believe) what was David Soares and Kathleen Rice and the other dozen or so District Attorneys doing?  Shooting ethics craps and gorging on the free buffet of complimentary press releases.  What was AG Eric "shakedown"  Schneiderman doing? my guess sitting in the rafters taping everyone else shooting ethics craps and gorging on the free buffet of complimentary press releases and wondering how to get his name in the press releases.


And thats why ethics in Albany will remain broken.  Ethics enforcement is based on trust that those appointed to oversee it will "do the right thing"  And in Albany that means go along and get along

Trust these clowns?  Hell the dice are probably loaded in their craps game.