I just got back from the latest commission laugh fest also known as a commission meeting. Three hours of my life that I can never get back. Why do I keep going? I believe it was Mark Twain that said the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over while expecting a different result. I must be insane because it was the same meeting.
10:31 into executive closed door eat lunch private session
12:45 allow the public in while commission toadies clean up the remnants of the catered lunch that the members have been gorging themselves on for the last 2 hours. No desert to be seen but the whole office will gather later for a forced coffee break to eat cake with the ex-chair.
12:50 the proverbial lets make a legislative recommendation that will never be passed but gives insight into how the commissioner’s minds work when it comes to gifts. Commissioner Carpinello again states he doesn’t like the removal of the safe harbor of intent to influence. Barry says why don’t we add it in separately that it’s not a gift unless it’s unreasonable to infer there was an intent to influence by the gift giver. Congrats all around and if passed every gift will be subject to the commissions subjective analysis of intent I feel better about gifts don’t you? By the way still no gift opinions till SAPA review on the gift regulations conclude but they will prosecute you for it (note to outgoing governor Pattersons lawyers give me a call I can show you how to beat that Yankee ticket rap)
12:55 exceeeeeeeeeedingly boring presentation by Shari Calnero (a Bruno contract) regarding regulations for policy makers
1:00 Cherkasky’s final statement (I thought he retired a month ago whats he doing still acting as ring master) I have reproduced it below with my translation and comments in bold
It is with a sense of thanks, pride, regret and concern, that I resign, effective January 1, 2011, as Chairman of the New York State Commission on Public Integrity. THIS IS THE SECOND TIME I’VE ANNOUNCED IT BUT MY NARCISSISM KNOWS NO BOUNDS I am thankful to Governor Paterson for giving me the privilege to serve our great State of New York as Chairman of this important commission. AND I AM POSITIVE THAT HE REGRETS IT BUT I ACTED LIKE A TYPICAL PATTERSON DECISION I am thankful to the staff, and particularly Barry Ginsberg the executive director, for the tireless support they have given me and this commission. They have worked long hours, frequently under fire, and have maintained their professionalism and integrity when others have not GOT ANYONE IN PARTICULAR IN MIND WHY NOT SHOW SOME GUTS AND NAME NAMES, and under conditions in which a lesser group would have given in to bitterness and despair. I applaud you. IS THAT CRICKETS I HEAR I thank my fellow commissioners, both current and past, for consistently bringing a non-partisan, disinterested, but keen intellect to the enormous challenges we have faced together. You have been disparaged on more than one occasion by critics, many of whom have acted out of self-interest and self-promotion. GOT ANYONE IN PARTICULAR IN MIND WHY NOT SHOW SOME GUTS AND NAME NAMES IF YOU MEAN ME YOU ARE RIGHT YOUR ANTICS HAVE BROUGHT ME A LOT OF BUSINESS You have responded by raising the level of the dialogue, going about your business in a professional manner and doing the job that you volunteered to do. HAVE YOU ACTUALLY LISTENED TO THE DIALOGUE ON GIFTS? A THIRD GRADER COULD RAISE THE LEVEL OF THAT DIALOGUEI am proud of the work we have done in the last year and a half. We are the only New York State agency that has taken on improper conduct in the last two gubernatorial administrations, charged those involved, and penalized them. YOU MIGHT WANT TO CHECK ON JOE FISCH’S IG OFFICE ABOUT THAT. BUT YOU ARE THE ONLY AGENCY THAT HAS BEEN ACCUSED BY BOTH THE IG AND ALBANY COUNTY DA OF IMPROPER CONDUCT IN THE WAY YOU RAN THE TROOPERGATE INVESTIGATION WHAT EVER HAPPENED TO FEERICK AND TEITELBAUM LOL We have brought charges against the current Governor and referred him for prosecution after concluding that he probably lied under oath during a Commission investigation, and have charged, and, after a hearing by a neutral officer, penalized Governor Spitzer’s chief of communications, among others. YOU DIDN’T ACTUALLY DO THE PATTERSON CASE THOUGH DID YOU YOU HAD TO BRING IN A BUDDY FROM OUTSIDE THE AGENCY TO DO IT AND WHERE DID HIS AUTHORITY COME FROM? REMIND ME AGAIN WHY THE YANKEES AND SPITZER GOT A PASS IN BOTH OF THOSE CASES. AND DON’T YOU HAVE A CONNECTION TO THE YANKEES THRU THE VENTURE CAPITAL FIRM THAT OWNS YOUR BUSINESS? MUST BE ONE OF THOSE CONFLICTS YOU WOULD RECUSE YOURSELF FOR. At the same time we have continued our less visible, but crucial work. We have received and reviewed tens of thousands of financial disclosure statements and lobbying filings, INCLUDING LATE FILINGS BY COMMISSION STAFF AND THEIR SPOUSES trained thousands of individuals in ethics and lobbying laws, and enforced the ethics and lobbying laws.
I am also proud of the way this commission responded to an unwarranted demand to resign by the current Governor. I found the commission’s actions to have been appropriate, and the Commissioners’ refusal to resign was both courageous and proof of independence from the political process, a characteristic that is a must for a watchdog on integrity. IF YOU HAD SHOWN INDEPENDENCE FROM THE SPITZER ADMINISTRATION PATTERSON WOULD NOT HAVE HAD TO ASK WHAT HE SHOULD HAVE DONE IS REMOVE EVERYONE BUT EMERY FOR FAILING TO INVESTIGATE TEITELBAUM AND GINSBERGS ACTIONS AS JUDGE FISCH POINTED OUT I regret that it is necessary to resign. I believe that disclosure of conflicts and recusal, when appropriate, will, in most cases, allow commission members, particularly unpaid commission members, to continue to serve. Unfortunately these are highly charged times, in which we are dealing with an appropriately disappointed public who may not care for some of the nuance of disclosure and recusal. Secondly, I concluded that because of a recent acquisition by my business and the scale of the enterprise I now run, with tens of thousands of clients, I might not become aware of a conflict before I became involved in a Commission matter. I cannot risk the Commissions reputation, nor mine. This fact requires me to step down. I do regret leaving at this critical point in the commission’s history, and I will miss working with my Commission colleagues to make New York better. SEE ABOVE COMMENT RE YANKEES BUT AS AN ASIDE IF YOU HAD AN ISSUE IN OCTOBER WHY DID YOU HANG AROUND UNTIL NOW AND WHY WON’T YOU RELEASE THE NAMES OF THOSE CASES WHERE YOU HAVE RECUSED YOURSELF “DISCLOSURE OF CONFLICTS” THOSE ARE YOUR WORDS NOT MINE. I’VE FOILED THE LIST AYERS SAYS HE WON’T RELEASE IT MAKES YOU A HYPOCRITE BUT YOU KNOW THAT ALREADY
Finally, a few notes of concern.
1. First, as I said in my public statement as Commission Chairman in May of 2009, with 13 members, the Commission is too large. It was a number arrived at as part of a political compromise. Five or seven is a more appropriate number. WHY NOT AN EVEN NUMBER? ITS ALL ABOUT GUBERNATORIAL CONTROL FOR THE OLD SPITZER CROWD LOBBY COMMISSION HAD 6 WORKED PRETTY WELL
2. Second the selection process looks too partisan. And appearances matter, even when the reality is different. Commissioners should be nominated by a bi-partisan panel and then selected by elected officials, much like the judiciary. THE REALITY IS THAT YOUR ACTIONS HAVE DEFINED THE REALITY IT’S THE PEOPLE STUPID NOT THE PROCESS
3. Third, the Commission has far too few resources to accomplish what it is asked to do. This is a crucial point. We set ourselves up for failure trying to police every ethical, conflict, disclosure or lobbying issue, when we do not have sufficient resources to discover and penalize those who break the law. Failure breeds the cynical view of government that we see from the public today. If the resources are not available, and in this economic crisis I do not believe they are, then we must be willing to triage and focus the limited resources to do the greatest good. We can accomplish this by raising the threshold for lobbying act and disclosure filings, and by limiting post-employment restrictions to managers. Some good government groups may claim these steps are a retreat from sound ethical oversight. Only by taking these types of steps, however, will we be able to have the resources to enforce the more important integrity laws. YOU HAVE P[LENTY OF RESOURCES TO DO THE JOB THE OLD ETHICS COMMISSION AND LOBBY COMMISSION DID JUST FINE WITH THE SAME RESOURCES AND STAFF THE PROBLEM IS ON THE SECOND FLOOR THE PEOPLE RUNNING THE AGENCY DON’T HAVE THE TALENT TO DO THE JOB YOU CAN’T LEARN THIS STUFF IN A SELF HELP BOOK
4. Fourth, the issuance of investigative reports by prosecutorial and quasi-prosecutorial agencies, without the right of the subject to contest the report before a neutral officer and a required standard of proof, is destructive to our society. How does any citizen get back their reputation besmirched by an unfair and biased government report? They can’t. Such reports gain headlines, create a sense of crisis, and destroy the fabric of a fair society. So we must build in safeguards to insure that such government reports are subject to a fair process before they are issued. IF YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT JUDGE FISCH AND THE IG REPORT ABOUT TEITELBAUM FEERICK AND GINSBERGS ACTIONS IN TROOPERGATE YOU ARE THE ONLY ONE WHO THINKS IT WAS UNFAIR HAVE YOU EVEN READ THE REPORT? STOP MAKING EXCUSES TEITELBAUM LEAKED INFORMATION TO THE TARGET OF AN INVESTIGATION FEERICK WAS ALERTED TO IT BY THE DA AND WITH THE EXCEPTION OF COMMISSIONER EMERY THE REST OF THE COMMISSIONERS STUCK THEIR COLLECTIVE HEADS UP THEIR ARSES AND HOPED IT WOULD GO AWAY REPUTATIONS WERE CERTAINLY RUINED AND DESERVINGLY SO YOU SHOULD BE MORE WORRIED THAT GINSBURG STILL INVITES TEITELBAUM INTO HIS OFFICE FOR ADVICE TALK ABOUT GIVING AN ARSONIST A MATCH
5. Finally, integrity cannot be limited to the executive branch of government. And the enforcement of integrity for the legislative branch must not just be Federal Prosecution. While, as I have clearly said above, in comparison to the virtually non-existent oversight of the Legislative branch, ethics oversight of the Executive branch must be graded as remarkably effective. But that is a comparison New York should not accept. Starting with meaningful disclosure and conflict of interest rules, and closing with independent oversight, New York State needs a complete reform of Legislative ethics oversight. YOU ARE RIGHT ABOUT THAT OVERHAUL STARTING WITH THE PUBLIC INTEGRITY COMMISSION. MR. CUOMO FULFILL YOUR CAMPAIGN PLEDGE AND START CLEANING UP ALBANY BY GETTING RID OF THE COCKROACHS AT PIC
1:05 Cherkasky has learned from Custer’s mistake and announces that their will be no questions from the public gets back on his horse tucks his tail between his legs and high tails it back to the second floor for his cake all staff is directed to attend and pledge loyalty to Barry