Monday, July 29, 2013

Try a little sunshine

JJOKE has a meeting tomorrow.

The agenda has not been posted but my vast network of insiders, spys and present and/or former commissioners and staffers tell me that the selection of the next executive director will be discussed in executive session.

I wonder will one of the commissioners make a motion to discuss the status of the search for the next executive director in public session?

Now that would go a long way to starting JJOKE down a different path.

I can almost guarantee that the vast majority of legislative appointees would love to see Horwitz explain why Latitzia Tagliafierro is his choice.

Horwitz could explain why all the other applicants have come up wanting in one way or another.

Horwitz could further explain that it has been 2 months since Biben left, it is almost 4 months since she announced she was resigning.

Even an average group of commissioners should have been able to recruit a decent executive director in that amount of time.

Hell I could do it in under a week even if you limited the field to those presently working for the executive branch.

Come on Horwitz admit I gave you a better name than Latitzia.  In fact why don't you share it with the other commissioners. . . I have.

Anyway if someone were to make that motion (hint hint Gary) I'm sure it would pass and a little sunshine might even seep in to the windowless star chamber they use for JJOKE meetings.

And then we can see what it will take to get Governor Cuomo's Moreland Commission to operate in the public eye.

After 6 years of failed ethics reforms you would think someone would finally realize you can't do this stuff in secret and expect a good result.

Cudos to Ken Lovett for starting to pull the curtain back on Regina Calcaterra and the Gov's Moreland Commission.  I wonder does Regina have to file a financial disclosure report?  Who is paying her and how much?  Does she have outside income?  What did she spend her campaign donations on? Will she look at the unreported lobbying activity that has occured with the state democratic party tv ads? With Yoko Ono and the Artists against Fracking. With Susan Lerner's source of funding disclosures? 

The fact that she asked Dick "dopey" Dadey for the lay of the land means it's going to take her both hands and a gps just to find her own rearend.

And while we are speaking of her rearend thats where the Moreland Commission SHOULD begin.  They should investigate all campaign, lobby and disclosure filings of members and staff before they start the do as we say not as we do investigations.  Just a thought.


  1. I'm not terribly happy about the Moreland Commission on Public Corruption's performance so far; they seem just as bad as JJOKE. Like the NYS Inspector General, they don't even acknowledge receipt of e-mails. Anyhow, perhaps you might know something about residency requirements:

    "A judge has dismissed a court claim filed by a former Albany County Stop-DWI official who challenged the county's residency requirement after she was fired last year in the wake of allegations she used a series of fake addresses to qualify for employment."
    Lyons, Brendan J. "Former Official's Claim Rejected; Stop-DWI staffer says sheriff, supervisor OK'd use of fake addresses." Albany Times Union. April 26, 2012: D1.

    "It's been 16 years since the Albany County Legislature began requiring county employees to be county residents. Rarely has that made for much in the way of contention -- until now. But in 2011, a 1995 law has the county sheriff's department in turmoil."
    "Albany County's Legal Dilemma." Albany Times Union. August 26, 2011: A14.

    Hasn't there been a residency requirement for much longer than that?

    N.Y. PUB. OFF. LAW §3 (1) states in part "No person shall be capable of holding a civil office who shall not, at the time he shall be chosen thereto, [be,] if it be a local office, a resident of the political subdivision or municipal corporation of the state for which he shall be chosen, or within which the electors electing him reside, or within which his official functions are required to be exercised."

    N.Y. PUB. OFF. LAW §3 states "The term 'local officer' includes every other officer who is elected by the electors of a portion only of the state, every officer of a political subdivision or municipal corporation of the state, and every officer limited in the execution of his official functions to a portion only of the state. [...] The office of a local officer is a local office."

  2. The full e-mails would be needed to understand some of the cc's. E-mail addresses have been altered with asterisks or deleted:

    From: Christopher Philippo
    Subject: Moreland Commission
    Date: July 2, 2013 7:11:56 PM EDT
    To: "Calcaterra, Regina (MAC)" , Kathleen Rice , William Fitzpatrick , "Milton L. Williams Jr." , Richard Briffault , "Daniel J. Castleman" , "Derek P. Champagne" , Eric Corngold , Nancy Hoppock , David Javdan , "David R. Jones" , Lance Liebman , Joanne Mahoney , "Gerald F. Mollen" , "Makua W. Mutua" , Benito Romano , Kristy Sprague , "Peter L. Zimroth" , "Thomas P. Zugibe" , "lwvny*" , Danya Perry
    Cc: "tips*" , "news-tips*" , "klovett* Lovett" , Dan Roberts , "uncac.cop*" , "InfoDesk*"

    I wasn't aware anyone had an address; I hadn't found a website for the new "Committee to Investigate Public Corruption."

    For those members of the public that fear the "Committee to Investigate Public Corruption" will be as bad as JCOPE has been all along, there's a great deal of public corruption for the committee to investigate that could prove them wrong - if the committee investigates it.


    Chris Philippo

    Begin forwarded message:

    From: Christopher Philippo
    Subject: "Civil Rights Law §107"
    Date: June 8, 2013 2:00:14 PM EDT
    To: "Daniel J. Horwitz"

    I had gone to some little trouble to try to get JCOPE to correct "Civil Rights Law §107" to "Civil Service Law §107" on the above pages, even contacting the NYS Attorney General when JCOPE chose not even to reply. Assistant Attorney General Mike Neppl's October 24, 2012 letter to Ellen Biben left it to JCOPE's discretion to fix it. That was what I took away from the letter I was sent, anyway: leaving the matter for her "review and whatever action you deem appropriate." JCOPE continued not to fix it for some time; not until sometime after February 6, 2013, though exactly how long after I do not know.

    I'm glad to see the incorrect citations finally were fixed at some point; I don't know why it proved to be such an issue to do, since the website was misinforming the public (worldwide, potentially) for eight months or more about one of the very laws over which JCOPE has oversight. You can see how they used to read here:
    also archived here on February 6, 2013:
    also archived here on February 6, 2013:
    also archived here on February 6, 2013:

    May I ask why the corrections took as long to make as they did? While those three webpages were fixed, the citation is wrong in two other places now since I'd originally written: (page 45) (page 13)

    Those two reports may even have been printed? If the PDFs are to be corrected, a specific note about the correction might be appropriate. I'm not seeking credit for the correction, but rather would just like for the information to be correct.

  3. "I can almost guarantee that the vast majority of legislative appointees would love to see Horwitz explain why Latitzia Tagliafierro is his choice."

    I'd love to know too. I doubt if any member of JCOPE should be appointed to lead it. Also, this:

    "Maria Keyes met with Governor Cuomo and UAlbany Alumna Letitzia Tagliafierro, a former student of Maria Keyes and now a Cuomo aide, at the Italian American New York State Legislators Conference held in Albany last June. Cuomo came to the Italian American Day celebration in support of Italian American culture in New York State."
    Fall 2011/Spring 2012. 10. LLCNews. (Archived by WebCite® at )

    A UAlbany student on an ethics commission? Heading an ethics commission? Yikes.

    Maria Keyes: "Worst professor I've ever had. Does't lecture, only shows movies, asks for student comments, cuts them off, repeats what they said, then mocks. Doesn't know how to use equipment. Very forgetful. Never prepared a proper syllabus. No paper b/c she doesn't want to police plagarism (lazy); instead has students do presentations which wastes class time." (Archived by WebCite® at )

    I had dropped Maria Keyes' class in disgust. Among the other things that didn't fit in the comment I'd written, a student who remained to the end of the semester told me what happened regarding the class presentations. My acquaintance, when ready to begin her presentation, observed Ms. Keyes talking to someone. She asked Ms. Keyes if she should wait to begin the presentation, but Ms. Keyes said to go on ahead and that she was listening. Ms. Keyes then immediately resumed her conversation, paying no attention to the presentation.

    I was so naive about UAlbany when I had written that comment. As rotten a professor as Keyes is, there's far, far worse at UAlbany than her. Some are downright sociopathic.

    The LLC department on the whole might be better, though; indeed, I'd been very pleased with German and Russian professors there. When a German professor had not arrived from Germany in time for the first class, the chair of the department showed up with the teaching assistant to lead the class, and promised that the day would be made up to students somehow. The professor, when she arrived, made the same promise to make the day up to the students. I doubt if many department chairs or professors would do that.