Wednesday, September 15, 2010


I want to thank the public integrity commission’s executive director Barry Ginsberg for helping me clear my writers block.

It’s been 3 days since I blogged about the greatest show in pinstripes and I just couldn’t muster the outrage to keep writing the same piece over and over again.

So I decided to take a trip downtown to grab a dog at Eggy’s (perhaps the finest lunch truck in existence) visit with some friends from the commission (you would be surprised how many I still have and I am always surprised how many I lost because they were afraid of retaliation from the suits) to see if that provided inspiration.

But I came up dry, nothing, nada until I got the mail and lo and behold there it was a letter from Barry.

Now I’ve been expecting something from Cherkasky as I have written him every week reminding him of what responses he owes me. And sure enough Barry answered three of them and it shows you just what type of man Barry is and what type of agency he is running.

First response – yes you asked for an opinion on a widely attended event but it’s 6 months away and you will get it when we give it to you until then piss off (that’s my rough translation). Barry I asked for it 3 months ago, you’ve given responses in as little as a day when it came to clearing ex-commissioner Alonso on his gift question and since you clearly never learned anything in the private sector (I guess The Mintz group never put on events) these things take time and money to plan, its not like going apple picking. You clowns want the lobbying community to ask your permission on events but then you won’t give an answer. You are like cockroaches it’s not what you steal it’s what you touch and ruin for everybody else.

Second response – when it comes to your opinion on the lifetime bar don’t rush us we are letting your old friend Ralph get a little payback and write it so he doesn’t have to keep taking shots from you with his hands tied behind his back (again my rough translation). Barry I’ve told your chairman before I don’t need a staff opinion and I only need a formal commission opinion if the chair believes that Ralph’s bogus allegation of a lifetime bar has any validity. A formal opinion that applies to all former state employees like ex-governor Spitzer and Pataki, your commissioners Celli, Spinelli, Apuzzo and Peters and former commissioners Shechtman and Bulgaro along with former ethics executive directors Rivkin and Sleight etc etc etc. and not one crafted by the goon squad to apply only to the person saying the commission is acting like a king with no clothes.

Last response – Barry says he’s finally going to answer the question of “did the commission change the way it determines due dates since July 16, 2010 and here’s his answer word for word:

“Finally, with respect to your public inquiry after the Commission’s August 12 meeting. The Lobby Act authorizes the Commission to impose late fees on lobbyists and clients and the Commission has administered its late fee program consistent with the applicable law. The commission’s late fee program provides an adequate mechanism for contesting late fees that are imposed. A lobbyist or client may seek a waiver or reduction of a late fee by providing a written justification. Further, a lobbyist or client whose request for a waiver or reduction is denied may challenge the Commission’s final determination by initiating a proceeding pursuant to Article 78 of the Civil Procedure Law and Rules”

That’s your final answer Barry? The state pays you over $150k a year for that?

It was a yes or no question and if you think that nonsense is going to fool anyone you’re more delusional than I give you credit for.

Maybe you will answer the question during discovery at a deposition when you are under oath. I’ll show you the email and ask you if you have ever seen it before You’re not blind are you Barry I wouldn’t want you to slip out of a perjury charge because you didn’t see the exhibit.

As an aside you make a great case for why there is no lifetime bar on this It’s the Lobby Act that authorizes you to impose late fees. Your commission administers it consistent with applicable law. My state service 3 years ago has nothing to do with it. As far as I know the only open proceeding left from the lobby commission is Abbruzzese and I swear I have done no work for him nor will I.

Over a month and still no answer. I wonder how many lobbyists and clients have paid late fees that the commission its staff and chairman know where improperly imposed? I’m guessing it’s a lot of money Seems like it ought to be a crime.

By the way anyone notice the last batch of late fee letters now start counting the day after a report is due? You are all welcome when I get them to admit they changed the way they determine due dates you can all ask for refunds of your late fees.

Whew as you can tell Barry has cleared my blockage Thanks Barry I needed that.

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