Tuesday, February 24, 2015
No I'm talking about how many JJOKE commissioners actually attended the JJOKE meeting today in Albany . . . 2 . . . out of 12 Just 2.
Guys and Gals on JJOKE we already knew you gave up a long time ago that was evident from your actions but if you can't muster the dedication to make one meeting a month, meeetings that are scheduled months ahead of time, THEN RESIGN.
Chairman Horwitz went even further and stated the reason he stayed in NYC to chair the meeting by remote control was because he was concerned that AMTRAK would be delayed and hold everyone up BULLSHIT Dan. If you took train 63 that left Penn station at 730 am you would have arrived in Albany at 10am That train was more than 5 minutes late once in the last week and it wasn't today. Tell the truth you did not want to take the time to travel to Albany, we get it, but once again if you can't put in the time don't accept the appointment. And don't make it worse with lies and excuses.
If Carl appoints me I will be at every meeting and if other commissioners aren't putting in the effort I will call them out publicly. No more Renee Roth cackling that she can't see or hear anyone. Get off your ass Renee and travel to Albany. OR RESIGN. You shouldn't be on this commission anyway you are a partisan hack. You too big Paul, and I love you Marvin, you're a menshe, but your rabbi is gone and so is your reason for continuing to embarrass yourself.
Siena is out with a poll that says the voters want ethics reform but they want an on time budget more. Why can't you have both?
If Carl appoints me to JCOPE I'll get you real meaningful ethics reform before April 1 and the three men in the room (for as long as they are in the room and not in Preet's room) can get an on time budget done.
Problem solved. It's all on you Carl. By the way I saw a picture of you with Dov Hikind, who was your shadow at the table? Was that Patrick Jenkins? You guys hang out a lot huh? I'm hearing if you need Carl you need to hire Patrick. Careful guys that can be a dangerous thing if no one is guarding your six. Lotta folks in this town loading up to take pot shots at you.
As for me and ethics get me on JCOPE it's time for me to:
Monday, February 23, 2015
Carl still hasn't called.
And Shelly's appointees are still on JJOKE.
Let's see if any of the three, Marvin Jacobs, Renee Roth and Gary Busey (I know it's Big Paul Casteleiro but he really does remind me of Gary Busey) actually make an appearance in Albany so the press can ask them some questions.
I am getting some calls from people around Carl wanting to know if I am serious about my candidacy or if I'm just f***ing with the readers. Since my son and his friends read the blog and are actually interested in Albany and the corruption that they hear me talking about they asked a very similar question and pointed out that my musical tastes don't connect with there generation. And that if I want them to keep reading I have to show some empathy to what they listen to. So Jason, Matt and Blaine here is my answer in music you can identify with, for the older folks don't listen it will offend you.
OK guys that won't become a habit but every now and then I will keep it real.
Speaking of keeping it real the gov is out with his 5th or 6th ethics reform (but whose counting) that I recall from recent memory. Once again are the suggested changes better than what we have? probably . . . will they prevent the need for a governor in the near future to propose another ethics reform to stop Albany's corruption? not a chance. And that's the danger that we accept the next "ethics reform" as the answer. It's not. Until we get aggressive independent ethics regulators the coverups and witch hunts will continue.
I'll give you a simple example. The legislature has responded and said Cuomo should hold himself to the same standard as he is holding them. OK that's a reasonable political response but what are they going to do about it? Here's an idea for those JJOKE commissioners with there collective heads in the sand or each others rear ends ask the following question at the meeting tomorrow. It's not new the legislature has already brought it up and it's a legitimate question.
Given the triangle offense that Preet is preaching (Shelly helps developer with legislation > developers LLC's send business to lawfim> who send $ to Shelly) should JCOPE investigate the governors book deal with Harper Collins? Most of the commissioners are so clueless they have no idea what I'm talking about. But in the example above if you substitute Cuomo for Shelly and Harper Collins for the law firm a similar potential scheme emerges. I can hear them now "It's totally different Harper Collins didn't get anything in the way of government help from the gov" that's true but much like the developer sent biz thru it's LLC's to the law firm, Harper Collins is owned by The News Corp who is the client of a registered lobbyist. Now I have no way of knowing if a quid pro quo took place but isn't it worth JJOKE asking before Preet does? And as an aside for those that say it's completely different because Cuomo disclosed his book deal in his financial disclosure. Ask yourself did he really? take a look he calls the half million or more that he received in 2013 a "royalty" yet the book hadn't been published yet. Royalty is commonly defined as "a payment to an author or composer for each copy of a work sold" when the book hasn't been written yet much less sold it's an advance or just a regular fee not a royalty. Given the amount of books sold one must ask what did Harper Collins / News Corp get for there payment? I would think JJOKE has a legitimate right to ask to see the agreement that resulted in this large payment and to depose the parties involved.
If you want to start to restore confidence in the system Mr. Cuomo you should call for that investigation and the release of the work that goes into it yourself . . . so that no one can question your motives or those of Harper Collins or News Corp.
As for you Carl give me a call I'm starting to wonder about your ethics and rest assured if I was a JCOPE commissioner I'd be telling the staff at JCOPE to start investigating all sorts of things I've been wondering about. The worst case is there is nothing there or maybe that's the best case. You need someone to watch the detectives.
Jason, Matt and Blaine that's when music was really music and yes I am old
Thursday, February 19, 2015
Carl Heastie still hasn't called.
Maybe I'll start researching Patrick Jenkins.
Had Carl called I would have updated him on some very troubling actions taking place at JCOPE.
I bet Marvin Jacobs and Renee Roth and the Gary Busey impersonater haven't provided him the insight I am about to share with the readers but that's why they suck at their jobs as commissioners and I would be fantastic (shameless self promotion until the lawn signs are printed).
In the last few days JCOPE has made news twice, both times the reporting was done by the Daily News (I wonder who gave them the helpful heads up). First there was the news that JCOPE lost their Article 78 case with Donald Trump. The Judge in no uncertain terms told JCOPE that they were dead wrong on their argument that they don't have to abide by the 45 day rule to present a complaint to the commissioners for action. By the way I bet the same JJOKE lawyer that told them to ignore the statute is the one advising that commissioners cannot vote to open their proceedings. Then it was reported that JCOPE had sent Shelly Silver a letter threatening to impose $120000 in fines for failure to properly file his financial disclosure reports (talk about a chickenshit kicking of a man when he is down). But beyond the tactical move of trying to force a legislator facing a federal indictment to modify his financial disclosure reports that form the basis for that indictment ( kind of like taking candy from a baby at gunpoint) the important fact is that in both these news items JJOKE staffers had taken actions WITHOUT the commissioners approval and/or knowledge.
If I was a commissioner I'd be holding a press conference right now to demand answers from the staff as to why they have gone rogue and were they directed by others to take these actions.
Carl, Dean and especially the minority leaders of the legislature should be scared. JCOPE was set up so no one faction could impose there will, but that is exactly what is happening. If they could do it to Shelly they could do it to the next legislator on his way to a trial.
Put me on JCOPE and at least you will know who is gunning for you.
Come on Carl we could have a great ethics marriage.
Wednesday, February 18, 2015
I was awoken this morning by a text from a former classmate and frequent lunch partner previously known to those of us that attend the lunches he coordinates as "Judge Lunchalot" and now known as hopes to be "Sheriff Lunchalot". This gourmand with short arms and deep pockets told me there was a letter to the editor in the Times Union about me that I should read. So I fired up the Ipad and went looking on the Times Union hoping it wasn't one of their premium stories that you can't access without a subscription, which I will not get until Casey Seilor leaves. I found it and here it is http://blog.timesunion.com/opinion/make-grandeau-new-ethics-officer/31818/
While I appreciate the positive comments from Mr. Burgdorf I had to rack my brain to figure out what I had done to him to deserve this fate. Go work as an employee of the Assembly? I would rather go ice fishing (which I have done twice, why I went the second time is still a mystery) I would rather slam my junk in a car door (which I have never done) in fact I would rather take Casey Seilor and John Milgram to dinner and pay (which I hope never to do).
Although I am very happy to see myself crowned the Preet of a decade ago, in fact Preet's comment that every time his investigators turn over an ethics rock in Albany something is crawling underneath it reminded me of the meeting I had with Bart Livolsi (then chairman of Lobby Commission) and Andy Celli (commissioner and Spitzer ethics bitch) where Bart asked me why I thought every rock I turned over had a guilty lobbyist under it (the answer is because they did).
But anyway back to my candidacy announcement. What position do I want to be a candidate for? I want to be appointed to replace one of the three Silver appointed commissioners on JCOPE. Not JJOKE because once I'm appointed I will make sure it becomes JCOPE.
Not only do I want the position I intend to do everything possible to get it, up to and including bribing Mr. Heastie (that's a joke Preet)
Here are the steps I will take:
Step one create a vacancy. Right now all three Silver appointees remain at JJOKE. Marvin Jacobs, Renee Roth and that guy that looks like Gary Busey from New Jersey whose wife works in the assembly. See this is how it starts if I don't get my way thru reason and logic I attack and destroy my opposition. Anyway all three should resign they are clearly the worst commissioners and are only there to protect Shelly, anyone that has watched their performance recognizes they have no knowledge or skills when it comes to ethics. They are partisan hacks with personal connections to Shelly.
Step two get appointed. Once we have a vacancy, actually well before since I have already begun, I have been talking to people close to Mr. Heastie. Most are existing or former clients of mine and there are a bunch. They all know I am loyal to my clients and will make Mr. Heastie look good unless he does something unethical in which case he should talk to Joe Bruno about what comes next.
Step three refuse to sign a nondisclosure. Not going to do it. And if they refuse to allow me to attend meetings I'm going anyway and will participate from the audience. That should give the media something to write about.
Step four at my first meeting I will move to have every issue discussed in public, including confidential matters. And we can go from there. If the motion is defeated I will invite the media into the executive session, I've done it before ask the folks at NYCLU about my deposition where they refused to ask a single question with the press in the room.
Step five any staff member or commissioner better bring their A game to meetings because I will not be polite, collegial or politically correct.
Before we get to the naysayers let me point out some other things I can bring to JCOPE.
I can get Pat Bulgaro, Peter Moschetti, Blair Horner, Ravi Batra and several other former Lobby Commission members to return and bring honesty and integrity to the commission.
My mere presence will get a bunch of commissioners to resign rather that be publicly abused by me.
The same goes for staff, I still know where the good ones are and what it will take for them to return. And many of the existing staff will certainly find new positions rather than have to take responsibility for there lack of skills. The world needs ditch diggers Milgram.
Now I would keep LT I really think she can do a very good job with the right support and I would enjoy the arguments over the things I'm going to do. How many times can she tell me I will lose credibility if I do this or that?
Lastly I have a list of things the new JCOPE should be investigating. Including unregistered lobbying by many groups, the actions of state wide electeds as set forth in complaints filed with the commission, I'm even curious about some book deals I've read about.
Now I know what people are going to say how can I be a commissioner when I have all these lobby and ethics clients? Am I going to give up my practice like Jeff Klein? Not a chance. If I have a client I'll practice the same hypocracy others have before me and recuse myself. In fact I will go a step better and disclose my clients, that way no one at JCOPE would dare do anything to upset my clients and its a win win for me and my clients. Kind of like ethics immunity. Remember if you can't tell in the first five hands of a poker game who the sucker is IT'S YOU!!!
So Carl if you really want to make an ethics impact
I'll be waiting.
Of course if I don't get that call I have a real nasty habit of acting out.
Wednesday, February 11, 2015
Do we need it because another State official has been accused or convicted of illegal behavior?
That happens all the time in Albany and has been happening for a long time and will be happening for a long time. The very fact that they are accused and convicted is the proof the present laws are working we don't need ethics reforms to fix the laws WE NEED MORE PREET'S to enforce them.
What is the rationale for more ethics reform? That a change in the laws will prevent the behavior?
That's complete bullshit. Will just one public official come forward and admit that the bribery statutes are the reason they don't take bribes . . . please just one I'd like to know who this corrupt but completely rational individual is. Because whomever it is we need more of them. They are honest about there ethical deficiencies and rational enough not to act on them for fear of punishment under our existing system. So who are you? step forward. You are the one public official for whom "ETHICS REFORM" will work. The rest are either so honest they would never consider doing something unethical (although one wonders why they never reported any of there brethren for corruption) or so corrupt and irrational they think they can get away with it. Neither group needs "ETHICS REFORM" It's wasted on them and just gives the public a false sense that things are going to get better, they won't. We have had at least 4 separate "ETHICS REFORM" in the last 8 years and arrests and convictions are increasing not decreasing. The vast majority of them as a result of aggressive federal prosecutors not "ETHICS REFORM" nor state regulators nor state prosecutors. Once again this is the proof the present laws are working we don't need ethics reforms to fix the laws WE NEED MORE PREET"S to enforce them.
Recently the State Senate IDC (is it me or does that sound like a supermarket . . . for corruption) released it's plan for "ETHICS REFORM" and Senator Klein (will someone please make him the leader of something, anything at this point) announced that he would be leaving his law practice. Once you get past the obvious grandstanding effect can you please explain why you are leaving your practice Jeff, and presumably foregoing outside income? I know it's part of your "ETHICS REFORM" to eliminate outside income but why? Did you engage in some type of Silver or Bruno type corruption in your practice? Did you have clients that benefitted from your public office? If so fess up and go straight to jail, while you are a small fish I'm sure Preet wouldn't throw you back . . . he might use you as bait but he won't throw you back. But if you were just practicing law unrelated to holding public office what is the harm in maintaining your practice and outside income? Oh I know it's the Caesar's wife syndrome you think it is an appearance issue, the public will lose faith in you if you have outside income. On this point I must respectfully disagree. I think it's the exact opposite. I have more faith in elected officials that are sharp enough to earn a substantial living from there talents outside politics. The lawyers, doctors, dentists, landscapers, investment bankers, hair stylists, plumbers, consultants, businessmen and women and any other profession an elected official has that results in outside income without the use of their official position. Those are the people I want making decisions for me about the budget, the safe act, common core, same sex marriage, charter schools and all the other issues the three men in the room decide on. Not the elected official who has no other talent than living in a district where he or she can run unopposed or getting into office as a result of being part of the lucky sperm club and trading on family connections or just by being photogenic enough in this political climate to appeal to the below average voter.
On this point ask yourself who do you want as an elected official, the party hack who can't earn a living doing anything else and has credit card debt so high s/he needs to claim per diems to pay their bills or a successful professional that is a part time legislator with substantial outside income from work that does not derive from holding public office? Give me the smart guy or gal you can keep the public official that can't make a better living doing anything else.
And on that point, when Mr. Klein suggests a full time legislature make sure to ask him why a full time legislature needs to be paid more? Most legislators are lucky to have the job they have. They can't make a better living and if they could they would be reporting more outside income. And for those that say they are already full time and that s why they don't have outside income . . . good for you but why should we give you a raise you have already decided to work for the posted salary stop complaining about your pay or get a different job, there are plenty of talented people in your district that will do what you do for the same or less money.
As always it's not "ETHICS REFORM" we need it's a higher quality public official . . both in terms of integrity and talent.
When it comes to "ETHICS REFORM" someone should write a book, collect a big payment from a subsidiary of a lobbying client and pass laws that benefit that company . . . of course without PREET we would have to rely on "ETHICS REFORM" and the Jeff Klein's of the Albany system to insure pure motives.
Good Luck with that "ETHICS REFORM" . . . again. Me? I'll put my faith in the smart talented ethical public officials and of course PREET.
From now on it's IN PREET WE TRUST.
Wednesday, February 4, 2015
Specifically Casey wrote "The panel has been criticized as ineffective in part due to laws that prevent it from giving a proper account of its level of activity." Now that's not a quote from someone at JJOKE that's Casey's factual reporting. Small problem Casey . . . there are no laws that PREVENT JJOKE from giving a proper account of it's level of activity. There are laws that make much of it's activity confidential unless JCOPE decides to make that information publicly available. It is up to JCOPE what information it chooses to keep confidential and which information it makes public.
The actual language is found in Executive Law section 94 sub 9-a(b) and reads as follows:
And not to belabor the point MAY OCCUR ONLY AS AUTHORIZED BY THE COMMISSION
Last I checked MAY means can all that JJOKE has to do if they really want to make information available, as they and you claim they do, is have a vote to authorize it.
ITS NOT ROCKET SCIENCE
But it does require a reporter to do more than spell check.
Here's hoping you get better at this stuff Casey.
As to JJOKE aren't you tired of excuses and blaming the statute for things you do not have the integrity to take responsibility for?
Next meeting all those JJOKE commissioners that want more openness make a motion pursuant to Executive Law section 94 sub 9-a(b) and if it doesn't pass demand the resignation of those that vote against it.
If you will not ask for openness then shut up and stop complaining that you are an orphan after you killed your parents.
Tuesday, February 3, 2015
That was going to be the start of a blog that did a takeoff on the Bill Murray classic "Groundhog Day" but when I googled Albany ethics reform to get some juicy quotes I was laughing so hard I couldn't write a word.
So lets play a game I'll list some quotes below and you tell me are they editorials? statements from elected officials? or statements from good government groups?
If you think you are right then guess if they were made pre 2010? 2011 to 2014? or After Shelly's arrest?
Get more than half right and you win a "ALBANY GOT CORRUPTION? tee shirt. Let's try a sample: