Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Gary Lavine . . . just following orders sir Yes sir may I have another

Gary Lavine can you spell hypocrite without the letters P E R C O C C O?

Nice speach but all you are doing is bringing more attention to the fact that JJOKE and it's commissioners are a bunch of puffed up, arrogant, incompetant, boot licking minions.

I'm no fan of DiBlasio but really is JJOKE the right organization to talk about integrity and ethics?

And by the way making a donation to a charity is NOT a gift under the statute no matter how often the self proclaimed guardians of ethics bully people into settling your bs gift cases.  But we can let a court sort that one out as well.

I have a sneaky feeling folks aren't going to roll over and stick their bum in the air for JJOKE to violate them anymore, at least not the ones that come to me for guidance and advice.

As the Cuomo folks have told you it's time to focus on more important matters . . . like how to write a good resignation letter.

Friday, October 25, 2019

Who to blame for JCOPE?

It's been over 6 months since I last blogged.

The growth of the business has kept me busy along with numerous friends family clients and coworkers imploring me not to blog  As they have said "why make yourself a target things are going great"

And on the few occasions when I have felt the need to vent I've scratched the itch by feeding my addiction for cars (more on that later) or by starting a new division of the consulting practice called DGA media (more on that later as well).

But this morning my wife was visiting our daughter, my coworkers were away one at a Bills game the other one in Canada doing god knows what.  None of my friends or clients were there to tell me not to blog soooooooo.

When  I woke up to all the media about my probono client Kat Sullivan and JJOKE There was no one to stop me.  For the record Kat does her own media and she is far better at it than I ever could be.  But one thing caught my eye,  JJOKE Chairman and thin skinned apologist for victim compensation funds the world over Michael Rozen's letter to Assemblymembers Lavine and Rosenthal.  A letter signed by every JJOKE commissioner.  This letter was in response to the Assemblymembers request that JJOKE get their head out of their collective asses and leave Kat alone.  In Rozen's letter he chastises the legislature for failing to provide JJOKE legislation that would let him more fully explain their position re Kat.  Putting aside the tone he employed he fails to explain why JJOKE doesn't just vote to give him the authority to publicly disclose what JJOKE is up to.  Shady at best corrupt and dismissive in reality. 

But more importantly he goes on in an attempt to justify JJOKE's position on grassroots lobbying.  His recitation of the case law is inaccurate but lawyers have been known to do that and Kat's lawsuit will give the legislature a much clearer and more definitive answer as to the state of the law when it comes to grassroots lobbying.

What I found particularly troubling and disturbing was the following statement that all the commissioner's signed on to:

"Most recently, grassroots lobbying was included as part of the Commission's lobbying regulations after more than two years of public comment and open hearings . See 19 N.Y.C.R.R. Part 937.7 (the only challenge to the Commission's new regulations was voluntarily withdrawn with prejudice . . )"

Beyond the fact that the geniuses at JJOKE inaccurately cite the correct regulation for grassroots lobbying, its 943.7 not 937.7, there is no 937.7,  NYCRR 937 refers to access to records, but stupidity and sloppy legal work is par for the course for this bunch of incompetents.  What Rozen and the rest of the commissioners fail to point out was that the challenge was withdrawn after JCOPE agreed to a settlement that stated:

"Accordingly, while noncompliance with Part 943 does not support an independent cause of action . . ."

Get it guys YOU CAN"T USE YOUR REGULATIONS.  Why would Rozen and the rest of the JJOKE commissioners lie to the Assemblymembers?  Why?  Because they are corrupt and unfit for office.

Your ethics commissioners can't be honest with the public or the legislature. It doesn't suit there purpose.

I'd make a formal complaint that the entire commission has violated the Public Officers Law section 74 but who do I make it to?

So who are these holy men and women that are entrusted with ethics in New York?

Lets take a closer look at who is responsible for the state of affairs at JJOKE.

Michael Rozen appointed by Governor Cuomo.  Rozen made millions representing victim compensation funds including Penn State.  His partner represents the Roman Catholic Church's victim fund in New York.  His financial disclosure report fails to list who the clients are that are paying him millions.  I wonder why?  Yet he has not recused in Kats case.  Is it possible the Child Victims Act cost him lucrative fees?  He also called me "grandstanding Grandeau" on a hot mic at the last meeting.  I've been called worse but this guy is a classic telephone tough guy when he's in an undisclosed location on a television.  Show up in Albany for a meeting Mike I'd love to meet you in person.   In summary possible conflicts and corrupt motives lying to legislators and he's a thinskinned gutless telephone tough guy.  Great choice for the Chairman of JJOKE.

Rob Cohen appointed by Cuomo.  I actually have personal experience with Rob.  He used to be a staff member at JJOKE.  The first time I saw him he walked into a closet thinking it was the bathroom.  He is also purported to be the staffer that placed a book on the mute button during an executive session when DiFiore was Charman giving all of us an unfiltered private version of our Chief Judge. Priceless JJOKE clown move.  When Rob was appointed I was sure it was a joke but I guess he has friends in high places.  His law firm also advertises that "Taylor and Cohen LLP provides counsel and representation to individuals seeking to navigate this complicated area of the law or who are under investigation for possible ethics violations" along with  "Rob Cohen was a member of the leadership team that established New York State’s Joint Commission on Public Ethics"  LOL I'm sure that will be news to the governor and his staff.  It's also a little unseemly to commercially trade on your service on JJOKE don't you think?  With all his JJOKE experience you would think Rob could have at least cited the correct regulation before he lied about it.  A classic JJOKE underachiever.

Daniel Horwitz appointed by Cuomo.  This is Dan's second time on JJOKE.  He started as a commissioner and hatchet man whispering in DiFiore's ear then became Chairmen when Difiore got tired of getting parking tickets and became Chief Judge.   He was a much better hatchet man and horse whisperer than he was a Chairman so after ummming his way as Chairman and getting his wife a big job with Battery Park City he  left and got appointed to the Port Authority.   He must  really be off his game to let Rozen drag JJOKE into the Kat disaster.

Marvin Jacob appointed by Silver and then Heastie.  Marvin used to be someone with legal skill and integrity.  I'm wondering if he's gotten to the point where he no longer cares or just doesn't pay attention to what JJOKE staff and Rozen are doing.  Anyway I hate to say it Marvin but if you are appointed to an ethics agency by someone who is then convicted of corruption the polite thing to do is resign and move on.  It's unseemly for you to be on an ethics agency even more so to be a signatory to a letter that lies to the legislature.

Gary Lavine appointed by Cuomo and then by Flannagan.   Like Horowitz a two time commissioner.  Who knows what went on for Gary to be bounced by Cuomo and then appointed by Flannagan.  I heard it had something to do with a DA's race in Syracuse.  I've known Gary a long time and I'm disappointed that I so misread his intentions.  He once told me when I asked why he was still on JCOPE that it takes time to change things from inside.  All I can say Gary is to quote the great American novel Lonesome Dove as Gus tells Jake Spoon  "a man that will go along with all this is taking his leave a little slow . . . You know how it is you ride with an outlaw you hang with an outlaw".  Not only do you speak slowly Gary you are changing JJOKE at the pace of a glacier.

David McNamara appointed by Flannagan.  I don't know Mr. McNamara but his law firm Phillips Lytle is the client of a registered lobbyist and as such subject to JJOKE oversight.  Seems like a conflict to me. In addition much like Rob Cohen the Phillips Lytle website advertises that
"Our experience includes matters involving:

  • Lobbying Act violations"
Probably not an example of the kind of ethics we would want from an ethics commissioner.

George Weissman appointed by Skelos and then Flannigan.  Like Marvin Jacobs one of the OG at the JOKE.  And like Marvin his connection to an appointing authority now serving time is a constant reminder of the ethical failure in New York State.  Why are you still here George?   We don't hold the appointees responsible for the sins of the appointing authority, but maybe we ought to start.

Jim Yates appointed by Heastie.  Where do I start with Jim?  If you know who he is you don't need me to tell you why he is wrong to be on an ethics agency.  Remember he was Shelly Silver's counsel in the Assembly.  Maybe Shelly can tell us why Jim belongs on JJOKE.

Quite a rogues gallery and that is who is responsible for enforcing New Yorks Ethics laws.

Now I have a solution.

As I said at the top I've avoided blogging by feeding my car addiction.  I've run out of garage space at the office (and I have nine spots) the most recent addition is a 2019 Cadillac CT6-V, 550 hp hand built twin turbo v8.  They only made 275 of them I believe this is the only one in New York.  It's a beast and since I know you love cars, governor, why don't you give me a call I'll bring it down to the mansion you can take it for a spin and I'll tell you how to fix JCOPE. You can do it with the stroke of your pen and then be able to build something better next session with the help of the legislature.  The same legislature Rozen and JJOKE is demeaning and lying to.   If nothing else I guarantee you will love driving the V.

As to the other thing thats kept me busy I'll give you all a sneak peek.

I've started a new service called DGA Media.  We videotape and produce digital content for social media by recording lobby activity.  Either in the form of Lobby Days, protests, rallies widely attended events, charitable events, and grassroots activity.  With what JJOKE is up to you can never have enough video evidence of what you did or did not do and as a bonus you get content for your own use in promotion or advocacy.  Give me a call if you are worried about JJOKE or have an event coming up.  It's cost effective and a sound piece of your compliance program.  And for those that don't call don't worry next session we will be in Albany taping what goes on at the capitol.  You never know who may be involved in unregistered or illegal activity.

And it keeps me busy enough that I don't blog.

Monday, March 4, 2019

Why does Seth Agata still have a job?

I have tried very hard to behave and not blog about JCOPE.  My thinking being no one cares how incompetant, corrupt and/or foolish JJOKE is so why bother.

I know we will read the same old editorials that get written every couple of years about how we need "ethics reform" and the good government groups will blather on about what needs to change in the law but they always miss the point that its the people you need to change.

Now even when they change the people we end up with the same old tired clowns that we had before (see Dan Horowitz and Gary Levine).

I've tried to avoid writing this blog for over two months,  business has been great and JJOKE has been embarrising themselves without my help (did you see the sexual harassment hearing or read about the Percoco vote?) but someone needs to say it loud and clear


I could list all the things he has done to deserve being fired (just read past blogs or my ethics complaint they ignored - speaking of which will Latitzia Tagliafiero ever act on the complaint I discussed with her about Agata now that she is the Inspector General?) but all you need to know is it is March 4, four days after those of us in the compliance world should have begun filing bimonthly reports, and we can't.  The JJOKE $2million lobby application doesn't allow for bimonthly filings and when you call JCOPE to ask about it you are directed to the bimonthly department where you get a recorded message that they are not available, when you call back you are directed to the help desk where you get a recorded message that they are not available.  Try asking Seth Agata why and all you will get is his Al Franken impersonation.

No excuse for this.

None at all

Friday, December 21, 2018


It seems Seth Agata is having some difficulty understanding what the term "force and effect of law" means.  Espescially as it applies to the illegal JJOKE lobby regulations.

He is quoted in Chris Bragg's story as saying "Those who violate the regulations will face thousands of dollars in fines under the Lobbying Act"

Which is quite a bit different than what he said in this story "would not create a separate actionable violation of the law," and were meant to "maximize guidance"

Hmmm that sounds a lot like the language we used in the settlement.  Duh Seth I was trying to do you a favor by using that language so that you could say you were right a year ago when your Chairman Mike Rozen was quoted as bitch slapping you by saying "there is some confusion about the status of the commission's lobbying regulations which currently are under consideration. I want to be very clear: The commission is in the middle of a rule-making to develop and adopt regulations, which will have the force and effect of law."

in response to your  "would not create a separate actionable violation of the law," and were meant to "maximize guidance"

Maybe we should let New York's Attorney General have the last word.  According to the Times Union  "Attorney General Barbara Underwood's office, which was representing JCOPE, agreed that the new regulations will not in and of themselves have the force and effect of law"

Seems pretty clear Agata was right before Rozen was wrong before Agata was wrong.

Of course I was right from the very beginning.

Sunday, December 16, 2018

I've had an epiphany about Seth Agata and my own morality

I know I've said it before but I'm done blogging about JJOKE and Seth Agata.

I had an epiphany.

Tomorrow JJOKE is scheduled to show the world it's $1.5 million lobby application.  And ordinarily I'd be blogging all day about the pros cons glitches and outright disasters.  But I've decided to save that for my paying clients.

I will tell you the forms that JJOKE released over the weekend that lobbyists are required to use as part of the registrations do have pros, cons and just made my Article 78 easier for the Judge to decide, but you will have to read the court papers to know why.

I can tell you that most lobbying firms are going to have to scramble if they want to abide by the forms or if I lose the Article 78. 

Now of course I have figured out a work around (loophole for those at JJOKE that think I am lucifer himself) but again I will only share it with my clients.  the rest of you can figure it out for yourself.

But why am I blogging on a Sunday morning?  Thats right the epiphany.

I have plenty of reasons to hate Seth Agata.  Very few people in this town know the real reason but Seth does.  He went over the line.  I am as ruthless and coldblooded as they come but even I wouldn't do what he did.  And that is the epiphany.

I had figured out how to go one worse than what Seth did and I was all set to do it and I realized I couldn't handle the bad karma that went with it so believe it or not. . .

Seth I'm done caring about getting even with you.

WOW that feels good.

Whatever happens with the lawsuit and the regulations happens and I'll move on win lose or draw.

Whatever happens to Seth,  my complaint and his employment happens and I've moved on good bad or ugly

Now of course if Seth or JJOKE try to hurt me or my clients all bets are off and that I do not forgive but that aside I will not be the one to break the peace (Godfather reference).

And for those of you that are always goading me to blog so they can get a vicarious thrill, I say help me be a better person and don't mention the blog again.

I do plan on starting a new online novel after this filing period with some old characters returning, "Leathers" and some new ones appearing "Patty Junkins" and "Maria Johnson-Neighbors-Nephew-Wallace" come immediately to mind, so stay tuned.

Friday, December 14, 2018

A busy weekend ahead for JJOKE

After spending over $1.5 million to replace the old lobby application (who got that no bid contract?) and developing it for over 3 years (what was wrong with the old system?) JJOKE has yet to display it to the regulated community or even their own staff.


Because it isn't ready

Like the high schooler who has procrastinated on writing that term paper time is up.  It's due Monday at noon.  They have committed to the AG's office that it will be ready and live at noon on Monday.

You would think that after 3 years and $1.5 million it would be perfect and good to go.  You know like a new bridge scheduled to have a grand opening as long as the old one next door doesn't fall on it.  But nooooo JJOKE says they will be working on it all weekend to have it finished for Monday at noon.

Not to increase their workload this weekend but they may want to fix the fact that anyone and I mean anyone can make anyone else a delegated administrator for a verified entity, even without the new delegated administrators permission or knowledge.

Seems like a pretty large security breach especially since you can claim, capture and verify anyones profile without their permission.

For example using the new illegal JJOKE regulations I have created and verified a coalition called the "Coalition to fire Agata"  I am the coalition leader and as such could name anyone a delegated administrator  ANYONE

I know this because that is exactly what one of my clients cliens did to me.

JJOKE may want to fix that glitch this weekend     No Charge Seth you have enough problems with spending $1.5 million on something you didn't need that may not work

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Would you like to know when the new lobby application will be "live"?

Lots of people would like to know the answer to the question

Would you like to know when the new lobby application will be "live"?

The regulated community would like to know - after all they are responsible for getting their filings done in a timely and accurate manner.

The media would like to know - JJOKE allegedly spent three years and $1.5 million of taxpayer money to build it so it's kind of important to see if it was worth the time and effort.

JJOKE staff would like to know - they are the ones that have been on the front lines answering questions about the yet unseen application.  They can barely keep up with the backlog using the tried and true system that has been in place for almost two decades.  And none of the JJOKE big shots have told them what and when the new system will go live.

The New York State Attorney Generals office would like to know - they have to defend JJOKE against my Article 78 litigation and the new application is at the center of next weeks hearing.  The lawyer from the AG's office Christopher Liberati-Conant has already told the court that the application is live, a statement that we all know is not accurate.  And he is now assuring us that it will really go "live" on Monday.  That kind of mistake reflects badly on the AG's office but I don't blame Chris I think someone at JJOKE (probably Martin Levine) mislead him as much as JJOKE has mislead the rest of us.

But like death, taxes and JJOKE's incompetence Monday will surely arrive and we can all see the new $1.5 million application.   I for one hope it's really good.  Seriously I use that system every day.  If it's good that makes my job easier.  If it's hard to understand or use it makes me richer as more people have to hire me.  The verification portion and delegated administrator function that they released several weeks ago has been great.  Once you know all the ways to take advantage of it and the backdoor ways to exploit it's loopholes it is a pleasure to use.  And I've picked up a lot of new clients as a result of it.  They are all small clients but it all adds up.  So thank you JJOKE and keep up the wall of silence it helps.

Now if the new $1.5 million system is built with the illegal regulations embedded in it, and Chris Liberati-Conant has told the Court it was, we may all be in for a long month ahead as the Court, JJOKE and the regulated community deal with the fall out from that.

Again I'm all smiles.

It's a win win for me.  If the illegal regulations are found to be null and void it's JJOKE's problem to fix the new $1.5 million application but I will know more about it and sooner than anyone else.  If the new regulations stand then again more business flows to the firm that knows the most about those regulations and the new system because we had to immerse ourselves in it for the lawsuit and my bottom line goes up again.

Either way my clients will know before the rest of the regulated community.

Just like I knew that JJOKE plans to go "live" Monday. 

Now if they don't go live Monday I'll be sure to let you know and I think Chris will have some explaining to do to the Court.

You are all welcome!!!!