Monday, November 16, 2015

Kevin Gagan for ethics hero of the decade

Several weeks ago I wrote a blog praising JJOKE for writing a broad sweeping draft opinion limiting the way our statewide elected officials will be able to raise money.  You can read it here

In the blog I ask several questions that I now believe as a result of my numerous and varied resources within and without JJOKE I have answers to, such as:

The answer to this is a resounding no and trust me when I say both the legislature and the governors office were shocked and then major league pissed off once they figured out what it meant (no thanks necessary a large part of my audience is in the legislature and governors office)  Now of course neither the AG nor the Controller have appointments on JJOKE so who gives a rats ass what they thought even though they are impacted by it.  Especially the AG (think Trump complaint).  This is causing a lot of heartache at JJOKE over the last several weeks.  The legislature has no real voice on JJOKE at this time because the legislatively appointed commissioners are for the most part Skelos and Silver holdovers who have evidenced an independent streak and I am told on this draft opinion refuse to be persuaded to tone it down.  Now the gubernatorial appointees are a different matter they will do as they are told but they are still in the doghouse for not giving a warning to the Governor and his staff which answers the next question:

Not a chance they didn't even know it was being discussed.  This draft opinion was the brainchild of the JJOKE staff, specifically the soon to be executive director Kevin Gagan and his hand picked assistant John Harford who did the vast majority of the actual writing.  Now you might rightly ask how did a Cuomo lackey like Gagan do something this far reaching effecting the governor and not tell anyone on the second floor?  Only 2 ways that happens, either he was so politically inept he didn't consider the ramifications (in which case the Cuomo crowd will make sure if he becomes executive director he will not be allowed to wash his hands without clearing it by Linda Lacewell) or he truly is not a Cuomo lackey and was independent enough to basically tell the governor to f off by this opinion (if that is the case I'll withdraw my application and throw my support behind Gagan all he needs to do is have a cup of coffee and tell me that he knew what he was doing on this opinion and didn't care how it impacted Cuomo).

And lastly:

"Now of course the JJOKE group that wrote the opinion have no clue of what the real world is like so all the problems inherent in a sweeping opinion such as this will come flooding in and the opinion will never be issued but I need to know"

And here is where my sources tell me it gets really interesting.  With the draft opinion on the agenda to be discussed in open session at tomorrows JJOKE meeting the Gagan forces are doing all they can to modify the opinion and make it look like the commissioners are narrowing the reach as a result of comments from everyone but the parties that really care (the governor and the legislature)  As usual poor Monica Stamm has been tasked with cleaning up Gagan's mess and has been working overtime trying to get the commissioners to issue a much narrower opinion as a result of comments from the affected parties.  But all she really cares about is exempting the Governor from responsibility for what the agencies in the executive branch do.

Keep an eye on the next draft, if the legislative appointees stay rebellious the draft doesn't change and Monica will be forced to write guidelines to be imposed by the next executive director limiting the reach of the opinion, as to the governor.

If Monica gets the job done the draft will change and become far narrower and everyone will be told it was done to "provide clarity to the regulated community".  Someone remind me why the 2nd floor wants Gagan and not Monica to be the next executive director.

Rest assured when I am the executive director this opinion will be broadly interpreted, maybe even broadly enough to plug that LLC loophole everyone is talking about.


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