Thursday, December 31, 2015


It took JJOKE 2 years to stick a fork in this one.

I gave the public a solution to Public Officials acting like drunken frat boys in December of . . . 2013

Does anyone really believe Lopez and Grabass are the only 2 pigs in the capital?

But it was nice to see that JJOKE does understand the misuse of public property for personal gain being a violation of the public officers law.

Do you think they will ever apply that standard to the governor and his book deal and  book promotion?

How about just applying it to the governors staff emails?

Any government employee, male or female, that feels they are being sexually harassed should immediately notify JJOKE.

In fact any government employee, male or female, that gets invited to lunch, or for drinks or for a nooner should immediately notify JJOKE.

Can you imagine how busy JJOKE would be?

JJOKE the guardians of the states sexual ethics.

As long as it keeps them busy so they don't have time to do the job they were created for.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Why should we make the legislature full time much less give them a raise?

Common Cause has finally provided something of value to the ethics reform debate.

We've been hearing rumblings that part of ethics reform should be to ban outside income, make the legislature full time and pay them more.

My initial reaction was such a plan is the exact opposite of what you should do.  I believed that the vast majority of the elected officials could never find another job, much less one that paid them more and the less time they spent working as legislators the better off we all would be.

But that was just my gut reaction, my opinion.  Not supported by facts just my experience.

But now Susan Lerner and Common Cause have provided me the data to prove my point.

Read it here  I'm not sure if Casey's reporting is original or plagerized from the Common Cause press release but here is the important fact.

"Common Cause New York’s analysis of outside income for members of the state Legislature finds that of all those sitting lawmakers elected before the 2014 cycle (183 of the total of 213 legislators), about 60 percent (110) don’t make anything on the side"


Let Preet keep putting the greedy ones in jail and tell the rest if they want more money quit and get a real job.

I'm sure most could get jobs selling fake rolexs and handbags on Queens Blvd.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Twas the night rhyme

Twas the night before Preet put an end to JJOKE 


Twas the night before Christmas and all thru the JOKE

No staffers were working since they all thought Gagan was a moke


All opinions must wait for the commissioners to decide

But until Andy tells Horowitz what to do they are just along for the ride


Biben’s posse has been kicked out of their nest

All except Monica who with her spot in the lifeboat secured she said to hell with the rest


Biben was gone a judgeship Andy did give thee

Who do they think they are kidding her and DiFiore are two nuts from the same tree


Gagan’s appointment will prove to all that the JOKE is being run

By a governor who is shoveling ethics bullshit by the ton


With two leaders off to jail

It’s no wonder Andy looks pale


Now the word is out

And Preet has begun to shout


Indict, indict, Shelly and Dean have been found guilty

Everyone thinks Andy’s next but I’m betting on Heastie


And while Preet empties Albany into jail cells

JJOKE meets to debate if tweeting deserves a sentence in lobby hell


But it doesn’t matter anymore JJOKE has been exposed

Just a bunch of ass clowns jumping thru hoops and doing as they are told


I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again I’ve drawn a line in the sand 

When people don’t do the job I’ll do all that I can to get them shitcanned


I applied for the top job but I can’t even get an interview let me assure you I’m pissed

If you have any doubts just look at my list


I’ve retired more JJOKERS than social security

When faced with my blog most JJOKERS decide just to flee


Andy can keep giving judgeships to hacks like Ellen and DiFiore, the grinch

This year I’m focusing on Cavullo and Levine but will settle for Dawn Smalls in a pinch


Let’s not forget LT hired Harford and Hamilton on Gagan’s say so

Who she brought in at $165000 with hopes he’ll get to run the show.


So now we’ve got one of Andy’s hind lickers

Kevin is his name

He thinks he is the top dog now

But once he gets the nod I’ll add him to my list of those who can take the blame


It took LT six months to get herself appointed

It will take longer than that for Andy to get Gagan anointed


Many calls I did get from cops who are Gagan’s foes

This guy Gagan’s a wimp it will take only one blow


Kevin has refused to speak with me on more than one occasion

I’ve seen this before when Ginsberg was the answer to the equation


Let me try one last time to be helpful

In this Holiday season

Your staff can’t stand you except for Martin, John and Stacy Hamilton



When all else fails do what past leaders did best

Have Monica call a staff meeting you must quell the unrest


With their heads filled with nothing cause their dopes one and all

Jeanine and Deb said not us we’re taking a long lunch at the mall


Jeanine has the right to go to the mall since she retired and only works part time

But $30k for one day a week should be a crime


When all of a sudden the phone it did ring

Its Horowitz calling “The governors upset it’s become quite disturbing”


What I can do, Gagan nervously stammered

Shut the fuck up, no more interviews with Bragg you must have been hammered


It wasn’t my fault Gagan wimpered and pleaded

Grandeau tricked me and made me think the press needed to be feeded


So here’s some advice Kevin, so you don’t join the long line

Of clueless ethics cops Grandeau has forced to resign


Lest we forget I got Herb and then I got  Barry

I got Biben as well and LT left because it got scary


And so I heard him exclaim as he flew through the sky

Gagan’s not the answer you know I must try


With a prod and a poke

To get Preet to investigate JJOKE



Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Hey JJOKE #AmIalobbyist? or #youareidiots or #justresign

So here we are in the corruption capital of the United States and our ethics agency holds it's monthly do nothing meeting.

No recognition that the two legislative leaders were just convicted of public corruption by federal authorities while JJOKE continues to try to figure out what it is they should be doing.

No attempt to communicate to the public that there is nothing to worry about because JJOKE is there to be the state's ethical compass.


The opinions they have been working on since this summer don't appear any closer to being voted on.  They just keep being revised to suit the needs of the second floor  oops the regulated community.  It looks an awful lot like they can't muster the votes.   You have to be brain dead not to have been able to see that one coming.

But have no fear.  Out ethics watchdog is chomping at the leash to stake out a position on . . .  tweeting.

I swear to god Martin Levine spent 20 minutes trying to explain why tweeting could be lobbying.  And how his 4 year old son has told him it is beyond his skill set.

I've seen how bad JJOKE is at getting these commissioners connected remotely you don't have to prove how incompetent JJOKE is when it comes to technology.

But rather than watch JJOKE struggle with their tweeting opinion for 6 months.

Let me see if I can help . . . it's been a long time since I wrote an opinion on lobbying but if you really feel you need one on social media try this.

The use of social media to attempt to influence the introduction of legislation or the passage yada yada yada is lobbying.

It wasn't that hard was it?

I'm going to tweet how stupid JJOKE is I hope a legislator reads it and introduces a bill abolishing JJOKE.  I hope it gets retweeted a 100000 times.  Now if you think I spent over $5000 to tweet come and get me JJOKE I'd love the diversion.


When do consultants need to register as lobbyists?

It's on todays meeting agenda.

Does anyone want to bet on if Martin Levine can explain what the term "meaningful involvement" means in the real world?

Do you think any of the commissioners actually understand what the opinion does or is intended to do or what consequences it will have?

Come on down to the meeting and see how many lawyers it takes to truly screw up an issue.

Added bonus if Kevin Gagan actually speaks.

Monday, December 14, 2015

JJOKE needs a Preet

It has been over 4 months since LT quit as the head of JJOKE.  Got herself a job at Tax just like previous JJOKE (PIC) head disaster Barry Ginsberg and left us with the parting gift of Cuomo uber hack and Chief of incompetent Staff Kevin "I want to be boss because Andy told me to" Gagan  $165944 and the self involved pair of Gaganites John Harford $132000 and former LT classmate and buddy Stacey Hamilton $120000.  By the way what else do Harford and Hamilton share other than a connection to Gagan and long lunch hours?  Stay tuned I'm running those rumors down and will keep you apprised.  Remember Kevin, John and Stacey people are watching . . . all the time.

Four months and still no news on a new boss at JJOKE.  Every meeting we get an update from some committee on JJOKE, the search committee? or the national search committee? or the lets wait until we get new legislative appointed commissioners search committee.  I don't know about the rest of the applicants that JJOKE has previously said weren't good enough (how did you feel about that snub Kevin?) but I haven't been contacted for an interview.   Even after they give you the job next year you will always be known as the Cuomo hack that wasn't good enough for the rest of the Cuomo hacks)

When I met with Martin Levine to talk about his consultant opinion I asked him if he was surprised I hadn't been interviewed.  He looked shocked, not that I hadn't been interviewed but that I actually thought I would be.  He said why do you think they would interview you after you've spent the last three years attacking them personally? 

Now it was my turn to be shocked  what did my opinion about how bad these commissioners and staff are have to do with who should be the next person to run JJOKE?

I asked Martin if he knew of anyone who knew more about the Lobby Act and ethics laws in New York and was as independent as I was?

Silence, he didn't have a name.

Is Gagan more qualified?

Now here is why Martin is one of the few good ones at JJOKE.  He asked me what are the qualifications?

And that got me thinking why haven't the commissioners at JJOKE told us what they are really looking for?

Now I doubt they even know themselves or have thought about it but tomorrow each and every one of them should in public session when the topic comes up on the agenda speak out and tell the public what they are looking for.   It is the absolute least they can do.

As "ethics reform" returns to Albany like a $2 hooker to planned parenthood looking for another abortion to solve the problem, we should just take a deep breath and realize the most important "ethics reform" is about to take place at JJOKE, as they select the next executive director. 

It's always been about the people no matter how often the Governor tells us about historic reform and the most transparency in the history of government. 

You want transparency?  get the JJOKE commissioners to answer questions in public.  That's the only reason I want to be interviewed.  I have lots of questions to ask in that interview and I will insist on the press and public being able to be there as witnesses.

But here is a good start for the JJOKE crowd that has done such a terrible job of being the ethics watchdog over the last 4 years. 


After reading, every commissioner that believes that have the guts to stand up in front of the media and talk about the state of ethics and corruption in New York should.  The other 14 must resign!!!!

I'd even settle for any commissioner telling us  how JJOKE has helped curb corruption in the corruption capital.

Hell I'd even take a conversation about Cuomo's book deal and promotion thereof using state resources.

I'd even settle for Emily Logue $101959 (she's a JJOKE lawyer investigating the topic of using state resources for private gain) getting off her high horse and looking at Cuomo using his state office to promote his book.  Or if that is too sensitive Emily try asking Walter McClure $78752 about an email he received from the official email account of the executive chamber inviting him to a holiday party and toy drive being hosted by . . . get ready . . . the NEW YORK STATE DEMOCRATIC PARTY.

There you are Emily or Kevin or Dan or any other JJOKER that claims to be independent and investigating corruption no matter where the facts lead them.

I'll bet you are surprised Kevin "I want to be boss because Andy told me to" Gagan  $165944 that you didn't know about that little gem.  I'll bet Walter McClure $78752 never thought of himself as a witness to corruption (other than being in on the executive sessions).  I would have told you sooner but as you said we have nothing to talk about.

JJOKE sticks their collective heads in the sand and ends up looking up each others asses.

As for the rest of us we are left to listen to the same old same old bullshit on ethics.  I don't know about you but it brings this song to mind, which I'd rather listen to any day of the week.

If you dropped enough acid would Renee Roth ever remind you of Lauryn Hill?  Which would of course make Dan Horwitz . . . Wycliff Jean

How's that for a bad acid trip

Friday, December 11, 2015

Gagan and I have nothing to talk about

I feel like I just got stood up on a date.

LT has been telling me for weeks I have to give Gagan a chance, she is vouching for him and I should get to know him. have a cup of coffee, be nice to him since he is having a rough time of it.

And I have tried.  I call him but he will not take my call.

I stop in and invite him for coffee, he has a staffer tell me he will not talk to me without LT being present (how weird is that?  it's like he is a little kid that needs his sister to go to the prom with him).

Ordinarily I would just chalk it up to his just not being in to me, in that regard he would be no different than other former superstars of ethics officials Barry Ginsberg or Mike Cherkasky or Herb Teitelbaum (actually Teitelbaum used to have coffee with me before he started covering up for Spitzer) anyway I can deal with JJOKE staffers that either are afraid of me or just plain don't like me but I think Gagan is a different kind of cat.  I'm getting a strong whiff of bully mixed with his wimpyness,  And yesterday proved it for me.

I was at JJOKE dropping off documents when who walks into reception?  Kevin Gagan!!! 

Me: Hey Kev lets grab a coffee.

Him: I don't drink coffee

Me: No problem I'll get you a cup of tea . . . or hot cocoa if you prefer.

Him: Zip he just ignores me and walks into the conference room and closes the door.

2 minutes later he emerges pulling Chief Investigator Patrick Coultrie along on a leash like a whipped dog

Me: Comeon Kev let's make a date and get to know one another we have a lot to talk about

Him: We have nothing to discuss

and out of the room he goes

Nothing to discuss?


We have both applied for the same job.  I'm qualified and you're not how about we discuss that?

We could talk about those two high paid staffers you brought with you and how close they really are to one another.  Only a really bad manager purposely puts himself in that position.

We could talk about those draft opinions you and your boys wrote on campaign contributions and consultants  I might be able to show you how little you truly know about the Lobby Act

Or we could talk about your investigating your buddy the governors book deal.

Or we could talk about the misuse of state resources to benefit another (you don't see that one coming but you will soon)

Or we could talk about why you left the State Police (I'm getting lots of anonymous emails about you.)

Or we could talk about your financial disclosure report.  Specifically why a guy whose wife must be worth Billions, that's right with a B Billions, is so hung up on getting a job that only pays $160000 and which he is going to be terrible at. 

How do I know Kevin Gagan's wife is worth Billions? 

Because he said so on his own financial disclosure report in 2011.

His wife Mary Jeanne Hetzler Gagan, who is a consultant for NTT Data (I wonder if they have state contracts?) owns 100% of the stock of Microsoft, Cisco, Dell and Nokia.

Wow that is one rich chick.

Now of course she doesn't own 100% but Kevin made a mistake in filling out his financial disclosure form.

That doesn't make him a bad person it just means he isn't the right person to run JCOPE.

It's the same as getting parking tickets in your official County vehicle.  Wrong for JCOPE but maybe Gagan can be named to the Court of Appeals.

I've never had coffee with anyone on the Court of Appeals so you would be safe there Kev.

So that there is no confusion Kevin I now officially put you in the same category as Teitelbaum, Ginsberg and Biben.   Let's see how long you last.  Don't mess up people are watching and you have lots of enemies, trust me lots.

I'd tell you who but we have nothing to talk about.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Dick Dadey has a short . . . memory

PreDICKtably DICK Dadey is all over the news saying this is the moment for ethics reform.  It's our Watergate moment.  What a DICK!!!

Since DICK can't seem to remember all the times he and his friends have DICKed up ethics reform and since it appears to be okay to just say the same things over and over again I've listed a selection of previous blog posts on the subject rather than writing anything new.

I do have 2 constructive suggestions for the governor and the legislature if they want to take a step in the right direction and avoid more criminal prosecutions:

First, hire me to review your financial disclosure reports and provide you ethical guidance.  Pay for it from your campaign accounts and think of it as insurance or an ethical bullet proof vest.  I've been pitching this idea for years and a couple of legislators now former legislators have been honest enough to tell me that most electeds don't even want their wives to know their financial dealings (I get it)

But that brings me to point 2.

Simple fix to the disclosure requirements and one I would advise all legislators to do voluntarily right now.  ATTACH YOUR TAX RETURN TO YOU FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE DOCUMENT.  No question about where the income is coming from and conflicts would be disclosed for all to see.  Of course those that don't want to disclose their tax returns are probably the same ones that don't want to hire me to do their financial disclosure forms.

Thank god DICK Dadey is their to protect us.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

DiFiore named Chief Judge it's a good thing I don't ever appear before the Court of Appeals

But really what was Andy thinking?  This is the best we can do?

In case anyone has forgotten she was a complete disaster as Chair of JJOKE

A disaster.

But the Albany media is good at forgetting the past so that it can report the present and be outraged in the future.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Reflection or what took so long?

Thanksgiving always brings a flood of memories.  In this respect I guess I am no different for many many others.  I've got the family memories, both as a kid (my mother could not make a gravy to save her life) and as an adult with my own children to torture at the dinner table.  But since 2006 Thanksgiving day has always been a day when I take 10 minutes by myself, in my favorite chair and reflect on what the future holds.

It started in 2006 when I realized that Bruno, Silver and Spitzer were determined to end my career in government.  I was positive they had installed Paul Shechtman as Chairman of the old Lobby Commission to fire me.  And I knew he was smart enough to pull it off.  As I sat in my chair that Thanksgiving, kids and family having a wonderful meal with lots of noise and laughter, I could not have been more depressed.  I was absolutely certain I would never be able to earn the kind of living that would let us have a happy thanksgiving again (some dark shit huh?).

As it turned out I was able to outmaneuver Shechtman (he ended up being smart but a little wimpy in the PR department) and he resigned but Spitzer, Silver and Bruno still managed to get me out of government by abolishing the Lobby Commission and creating a brand new ethics agency that after years of turmoil, incompetence and disgrace turned into JJOKE and we know how well that has worked.  Karma caught up with Spitzer, Bruno and Silver in the form of indictments, trials and in Spitzer's case complete public humiliation  (that's the narcissist in me talking).  And by the time Thanksgiving 2007 rolled around I was back in that chair with an income that had doubled in the 2 months since I packed my bags at the Lobby Commission and a positive attitude that life was oh so much better in the private sector.  I still take 10 minutes every Thanksgiving to sit in that chair and reflect.  The chair is a little worse for wear but I'm going to always keep it as a reminder and I am secure in the knowledge that no matter what the powers to be in government throw at me in the future I can deal with it and thrive (that's what gives me that attitude that people that don't know me call arrogance).  This year was a little different though.

Instead of reliving the past and enjoying my good fortune and the misery of those that tried to harm me (and my family by extension) I thought about why government continues to think they solve the past problem by changing existing laws, rules or procedures in reaction to a recent event instead of proactively thinking about what will happen next and stopping it.  I noticed Cuomo is beefing up security at planned parenthood clinics as a RESULT of recent violence.  Why did it take recent violence to react?  The good government groups are calling for new ethics legislation as a RESULT of recent federal corruption cases. Why did it take recent corruption to react?  Every school shooting brings more calls for gun control. Wouldn't it be great if these politicians and groups could think about and tell us what is likely to happen before the event?  That would be useful.

It was with that thought that I met with JJOKE (at their request) to provide my insight into their most recent draft opinion on consultants.  An opinion prompted by the rise in power that was a RESULT of certain consultants being publicly identified as having perceived influence with unreported clients and politicians (most likely Berlin Rosen and Bill DiBlasio).  But rather than wait for the opinion to be published (which quite frankly will be a huge boon to my business) I offered my insight to help the opinion's author understand his own motivation in drafting it and the concomitant effect it will have on the regulated community and his own career.

I won't go into the legal realities of the opinion and it's enforceability (I'll leave that for paying clients) but I did discuss the motivation of JJOKE in issuing the draft.  If it's goal was to scare certain consultants into registering and disclosing their activity it will work but why use such a heavy hand?  You can acquire the same information and data by enforcement proceedings against lobbyists and clients that don't disclose their vendors on existing reports.  Every consultant involved in a lobbying effort, even the ones that sit mutely in meetings, is a lobbying expense that requires disclosure already.  I was told that certain consultants that "throw their weight around" are able to collect contingent fees and if they were registered they couldn't do that anymore.  ARE YOU KIDDING ME?  The prohibition against contingent fees has been the greatest single benefit to the lobbying community since politicians dim witted children.  If contingent fees were allowed every client would insist and every lobbyist would go bankrupt.  Lobbyists are successful about 10-15% of the time. (we ran the numbers at the old lobby commission do you think JJOKE has?)  Go ask personal injury lawyers that work on contingency if they could survive being successful on 10-15% of the cases they took.  Go ask the restaurants in town if they could stay open if only 10-15% of their customers were happy.  Ask the governor if his book publisher was happy with 10-15% of the governors books that were printed actually being sold.  And by the way if the folks at JJOKE understood the industry they would realize it's not contingent fees consultants make the money on, it's placing the ads, but this is what happens when government regulators without experience react instead of thinking ahead.

One last thought on contingent fees, much like source of funding, any client that wants to legally structure a contingent fee agreement need only give me a call. 

Every day is thanksgiving for me now that I've figured this game out.  But if the folks at JJOKE aren't careful they might need their own chair next thanksgiving to reflect on what happens when you react instead of thinking about future results.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Taking Notes

I got a chance to watch the commission meeting last night.  It was a tossup between watching the Titan/Jags football game or watch the JJOKE meeting.  I know I lead a boring life.  Fortunately I was able to finish the JJOKE meeting in time to see the Jags color rush uniforms.  You have to think the NFL must be asking the JJOKE brain trust for marketing advice.

Anyway just as striking to me as the baby shit brown uniforms was the number of JJOKE staffers with no real role to play at the meeting taking copious notes.  Over a million dollars a year in salaries in that room and only Monica and Martin were needed, yet all the rest were diligently taking notes.  What could they possibly have been writing?

Deb Novack is the secretary, it's her job to take notes to write the minutes.

The rest of them?  They don't need to be there so why bother taking notes?

If they want to create a record for review down the road I have a news flash for them  THE MEETING IS RECORDED YOU CAN WATCH AND REVIEW EVERY WORD ANYTIME YOU WANT.

Lucky for me I have great video editing equipment on my computer and the new camera angle provides a clear shot of the end of the table where the note takers sit (I couldn't see the notes of the overpaid under talented staff that sit against the wall but you could see they were scribbling away) so here is what my software allowed me to see.

Kevin Gagan's note pad stated "Don't say a word, you are making $160 large to be the executive director in waiting why speak, remain a man of mystery.  Where are Harford and Hamilton?  I said I was responsible for bringing them here but if that prick Grandeau finds out they are a couple I'm going to blame LT.  Hamilton is her law school buddy not mine.  Tell Martin that bow tie makes him look like Dr. Seuss.  Commissioners not happy with resumes for ED job.  No shit I threw out all the good ones.  I need that job otherwise I have to go back to the State Police and those cops hate me.  I should ask LT if I can join her and Ginsberg at Tax."

Lori Donadio's note pad stated "Why am I here?  I barely have enough knowledge not to stare into the camera with a vapid look on my face.  What does the word regulated mean?  Gotta look that one up.  Does Monica need more coffee?  Why is Horwitz rocking like a fat kid on a hobby horse?  I hope no one realizes I make $66780 and can't spell KAT oops CAT.  I don't think Marvin has pants on.  I'm going to keep staring into the camera until I see pants or his pecker.  OK those are pants.  I wonder where Harford and Hamilton are?  I bet they are together.  Why is Martin wearing a bow tie he looks like Pee Wee Herman."

Walt McClure's notepad stated "No comment, No Comment, I can't comment, The commission has no comment, No Comment.  Do you think anyone watching will notice my new watch?  This bitch is iced out.  I could never have worn something like this back at South Colonie High but now? wheeeee.  Martin's bow tie looks cute.   Just once I'd like to tell Grandeau to go fuck himself.  Horwitz is davening like he is at an orthodox bar mitzvah. No comment No comment $79k and all I have to do is say no comment?  this is awesome I wonder if I can afford an Alex and Ani bracelet?

Stephen Boland's notepad stated "I hate Jeanine Clemente.  2 + 2 =4.  Why is Gagan even here?  Guy's a paranoid control freak.   Why is Martin wearing a bow tie that clashes with his shirt? UGH  He looks like Winston Churchill.  Walt can't afford that watch I better audit our petty cash fund"

That's all I could get I'll try to snap some high res photo's myself at the next meeting.

After seeing the note taking I listened to staff and commissioners explain their thought processes on regulations and opinions.  Good lord these people are stupid and foolish.  Talk about not seeing the forest for the trees.  Marvin once again made an excellent point that they shouldn't be issuing opinions that go beyond the statute but Horowitz stopped his manic rocking just long enough to state the most important fact of the meeting.  These opinion are guidance and no one can litigate them until an enforcement proceeding.  He thinks he is safe from the result of scaring the lobbyists, consultants and electeds until JJOKE decides which ones to prosecute or should I say until Cuomo does.  He may be right but I have an idea how to pin the tail on these jackasses.

I'm going to ask for a formal opinion on all the issues JJOKE has been wrong on lately but no one is willing to litigate with them about.  It will not be a hypothetical it will be based on real facts tailored to force JJOKE to state a position.  Best part is I control the facts because I am going to engage in activity that JJOKE claims will make me a lobbyist.  And I am not going to register.  Lets see if they bring an enforcement proceeding.  I bet they pussy out and never respond to my opinion request or start an enforcement proceeding against me.  I may go one step further and ask for the opinion on behalf of myself and all others similarly situated.

Let's see how smart these smart New York lawyers really are.

I'm betting they have more hair on there heads than they do on there asses.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Nailed it

I told you on Monday what JJOKE would do on Tuesday when it came to that fundraising opinion.

My ability to predict JJOKE's actions is the reason I have too many clients.  I picked up a couple more in NYC on Tuesday which is why I missed the JJOKE shit show they call a commission meeting.  By the way did anyone notice they moved the camera angle so that "my" seat is no longer on camera?  Too funny, I may have to just start sitting at the table soon (when is my interview to be executive director?).

The Times Union's Chris Bragg had a piece today (terrible picture of Monica shows you what the TU thinks about JJOKE staff) that does a decent job of hinting at the behind the scenes actions related to this opinion (do you think he read the Monday blog?) but fails to hammer down on the most important issue, one deserving of a full blown investigation.  WHY WAS MONICA STAMM ASKING THE GOVERNOR, THE AG AND THE CONTROLLER FOR VERBAL COMMENTS?  The original request for comments was for written comments but only DiNapoli provided his comments in writing.  The AG and the Governor gave verbal comments to Monica, but what were they? what did they say? and why didn't Monica insist on getting them in writing?

The answer is simple.  The AG and the Governor prefer to have plausible deniability when JJOKE narrows the opinion.  But poor Monica was too honest when she told the commission in open session that she received verbal comments from the AG and the Governor.  My inside sources tell me the governors office is apoplectic that Monica was so honest and even more pissed that DiNapoli shoved it up there ass by providing written comments.

So now the opinion will stay bottled up until someone at JJOKE figures out how to modify it without looking like they are doing the governor's bidding.  That's a tough one.  I know how but they are not asking me.  Maybe during my interview I'll tell them.

Or they could dance with the one that brought them and ask Kevin Gagan what to do.  I'd love to hear him speak at a commission meeting and show us all why he is worth $160000.  It's even money now whether Gagan becomes the executive director or goes back to that State Police job they are holding for him.

One last thought on asking the effected parties for input on the opinion DO YOU THINK ELLIOT NESS ASKED AL CAPONE HOW TO WRITE THE TAX STATUTES?

Only in New York folks, only in New York. 

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.


Monday, November 9, 2015

This makes it official

Holly Levy does actually work at JJOKE and I have applied to be the next executive director

To: ""

Subject: NYS Joint Commission on Public Ethics - Executive Director

Date: Nov 9, 2015 4:38 PM

The New York State Joint Commission on Public Ethics has received the materials you submitted in connection with the position of Executive Director.  Your materials have been forwarded to the Search Committee for consideration. 
Holly Levy
NYS Joint Commission on Public Ethics
By materials I am assuming she ment my brochure and email application directing them to look at the opinions of the Lobby Commission and my blog for my writing sample.
If you want to see the email again you can find it here
Anyone want to guess how they avoid giving me an interview?  Blair Horner thinks they will use my statement that I will open my interview to the press as a basis for not interviewing me.  I'll keep you posted.
As to Holly Levy it took you 3 weeks 12 phone messages the threat of a formal complaint and a blog post to get you to acknowledge receipt of my application.  Check with Biben Holly see if that babysitting gig is still available because the second thing I do after I become the executive director is fire you.  The first thing is open an investigation into the JJOKE commissioners.  Now about that interview . . .

The Times Union - an editorial on ethics is as usual too little too late and too meek and mellow

The Times Union has written yet another editorial on ethics and specifically the failed ethics reform known as JJOKE

You can read it here

But it's basically just a luke warm rewrite of previous editorials like

or here where the Times Union stated in 2012 "it’s obvious that the governor and lawmakers must scrap the sham that is JCOPE and replace it with a truly independent board"

Compare that to todays editorial almost 3 years later  "The governor and lawmakers should make it a priority to improve on their imperfect work"

In reading the Times Union's opinion you could believe JJOKE has improved in the last 3 years  It hasn't.  The Times Union like most good government groups and JJOKE commissioners just can't remember the past so like Charly Brown they just keep landing on their ass when Lucy/Andrew pulls the football away.

This time they actually take Patty Salkin's poor excuse for a review panels work as legitimate   completely ignoring the nature of it's conflicts and lack of interest in properly performing it's function and build off of a deeply flawed and poorly researched report to say JJOKE needs improvement.  You were closer to the truth 3 years ago scrap JJOKE. 


In this case it will come down to the next executive director.

I've applied but can't even get JJOKE to acknowledge receipt of the application much less get an interview.

In case the Times Union crack editorial staff can't figure it out the next executive director will be Cuomo lackey Kevin Gagan.

Here's an idea compare Gagan to Grandeau and then ask JJOKE to do the same let's see what happens.


keep writing the same editorial for the next 3 years and I'll keep making bank and writing the same blogs I've been writing for the last 5 years.

On the positive side it does appear that while the idea hasn't changed the writing of the editorials is original which given Casey Seiler's reporting habits is a vast improvement

Casey "cut and paste" Seiler    Good nickname huh?

Friday, November 6, 2015

Who is Holly Levy and why does she make $89758

I am starting a new series of blogs about individual employees at JJOKE that are overpaid, under qualified, incompetent or just a general pain in the ass.

Holly Levy satisfies all 4 criteria.

Holly Levy works . . . strike that Holly Levy gets paid by JJOKE $89758 to be a secretary in the New York City office.

That's a lot of money for a secretary at a state agency, even in New York City.

I've been calling Holly Levy for weeks now and she has NEVER picked up the phone.

I've been calling because she is the JJOKEr responsible for collecting applications for the vacant executive directors job.  I've applied by leaving her a voice mail and sending an email.  For the last 2 weeks I've been calling Ms. Levy to confirm receipt of my application.  Gagan has confirmed that he knows about it but no one else at JJOKE has.  I know Marvin Jacobs who is on the search committee knows I applied because he has already pledged me his support and Marvin is a man of his word.  But Holly Levy is the JJOKE employee in charge of the applications and she is not reachable.  And I want to make sure I get at least an interview for the job that has already been promised to Kevin Gagan.

Now maybe she hasn't been at work for the last 2 weeks (Biben work rules) or maybe she doesn't know how to get her voice mails but at almost $90000 you would think she has to be really really good at her job.

Or does she?

I checked around and the consensus is she is horrible at her job, a real zero when it comes to talent as a secretary.

If that's true how did she end up in a position at JJOKE earning $90000?

And this is where it gets good.

Story is she was Ellen Biben's childrens nanny.

I'm going to really start digging to see if it's true but it sure makes sense why a no talent secretary in a New York City office that has no visitors and no phone calls, at least none they answer, makes $90000.

I'll foil her financial disclosure report, maybe the Chief of Staff Kevin Gagan can review her resume for us, maybe even show it to Commissioner Weissman.

If Levy was Biben's nanny that is a very good reason not to let executive directors hire who they want and pay them whatever.  (Was Kevin Gagan anyones nanny? is he related to a Cuomo? or was he just a reliable Cuomo lackey?)

If she is just overpaid, under qualified, incompetent or just a general pain in the ass she has lots of company at JJOKE.

And yes Commissioner Levine I know I am making it personal and that makes you uncomfortable.  Too bad get used to it.  That is how things get changed in Albany.  Your polite deliberate non confrontational way doesn't work.  You've been there 3 years doing it your way and the place is a mess. 

What you need are less babysitters and more talented staff, less lawyers and more common sense and less Cuomo lackeys and more Kevin Gagans.

And maybe I need more truth and less sarcasm.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

A happy ending for the JERKOFF review commission

The long awaited review of JJOKE's operations has finally come out


Once again proving in the world of ethical masturbation the pleasure given equals the pleasure received.


Casey Sailer has the story here but not having seen the press release I do not know if it is original reporting by Casey or another case of press release plagerism.


I don't recommend you read the report as it's the same old same old retreaded pablum the shallow thinkers in the ethics world have been harping on for 3 years (and yes I mean the good government groups.)

Too big

Too secretive

Needs more money


Well at least Patty Salkin's husband no longer has to fear losing state contracts if Cuomo gets pissed.  There is nothing in the report to upset anyone.  That is because there is nothing in the report at all.  JERKOFF was supposed to review and evaluate the activities and performance of JJOKE instead it wrote a 2nd graders book report without reading the book and dressed it up as a first year law students attempt at a law review article.  Lot's of foot notes and no substance.

While you shouldn't read it I have to since it is in my area of expertise (ethics not good government masturbation)

The report starts with a cite to Richard Rivkin (enough said, nice man but should be considered the father of ethical boredom and was neck deep in the Spitzer troopergate scandal as I recall) that "PIRA’s formal title has likely led to some of the criticisms surrounding the purpose and  performance of JCOPE."  Right, it is the name that lead to the criticism about the purpose and performance of JJOKE"  I criticize JJOKE more than anyone and I've never thought the Public Integrity Reform Act's title was the cause of JJOKE being ineffective.  IT'S THE PEOPLE STUPID


But if JERKOFF says it's the name the least they can do is point to empirical data to back up their claim but NOOOOO we just get a conclusion without analysis.  I think JERKOFF's formal title as "The New York Ethics Review Commission . . .  commonly referred to as the JCOPE Review Commission" has likely lead to some of the criticisms surrounding the purpose and performance of JERKOFF.  WOW this is easy even a lawyer could write that.


After a boring recap of how JJOKE was formed and it's legislatively mandated structure JERKOFF talks about their process and the limited number of people they reached out to.  They didn't include their reach around to me and my request for the type of data they should have asked for but never did.  The least JERKOFF could have done if they were going to stroke us was provide some ethics porn to help the process along.  The report provides no metrics, no data and none of the material a competent expert would need to review and evaluate the activities and performance of JJOKE with one notable exception they included material Blair Horner sent to JJOKE about his complaint regarding the Andrew Cuomo book deal.  Pay attention here Mr. Gagan the material provides a sound basis for investigating the book deal and for investigating JJOKE's actions in failing to investigate Mr. Cuomo.  It's found in the appendix at page 80 in the form of a letter from Ellen Biben to Seth Agata wherein JJOKE sets forth what Mr. Cuomo could and could not do as part of the book deal.  Point 2 states that no State property personnel or other State resources are utilized in producing or promoting the book like wise point 7 states the state official (Cuomo) does not advertise, promote or otherwise endorse the book while performing state duties.  I've blogged about Cuomo's promotion of the book while in his State office with the State seal over his shoulder and while on State time before do you think JERKOFF asked JJOKE or Biben or Agata about this complaint and violation?  They were on the JERKOFF reach around list but no mention of this potential ethical violation and JJOKE's failure to investigate it can be found in the JERKOFF report.  It would have made for a valuable case study but I guess that is asking too much of JERKOFF and it's volunteer lawyers with no budget.  Get a free haircut and it is going to look like a free haircut

Now we get to the body of the JERKOFF report.  They utilized a unique form for their review.  They tell us what they "heard" and then what they recommend.  I heard that JERKOFF was never intended to do an actual review and I recommend that the report they issue be used to wipe Volker's shriveled old ass.  Not very helpful I know so back to JERKOFF.

JERKOFF heard JJOKE is too big and recommends that the number of commissioners be reduced. but will not recommend a number.

EARTH SHATTERING and indicative of the depth of thought that went into this book report.  14 is too many?  How about just 1 and we can skip all this nonsense about anyone other that Cuomo having a say in what JJOKE does.  It's not the number IT"S THE PEOPLE STUPID

JERKOFF heard that people thought JJOKE should publish vote tallies on investigations and end the minority veto but will not recommend the disclosure of the identity of those commissioners that veto.

I just went limp.  What a bunch of pussies.  Let's keep protecting the problem guys  we can give lip service to transparency but when it comes to actually seeing whose doing the fucking . . . keep it behind closed doors.

I could do this for every point in the report but I'm putting my hand to sleep so just one or two more.

JERKOFF heard that JJOKE should be encouraged to adhere to the Freedom of Information Law and Open Meetings Law.  But JERKOFF only recommends that JCOPE review their policies regarding transparency.

That is particularly weak.  How about JERKOFF and all their bright lawyers determine if the existing statute provides a mechanism for JJOKE to disclose anything they want?  I've been making that argument for years.  And JJOKE lawyers say I'm wrong but never say why.  JERKOFF could have weighed in on that.  A law review article on my approach vs the JJOKE status quo would have been worthwhile but NOOOO just more bullshit from a bunch of ass clown lawyers who don't want to rock the boat.

One last example of how bad this JERKOFF report is.

JERKOFF heard that the threshold for lobby disclosure should be increased and recommended that it be increased from $5000 to $10000.

Why did you pick $10000? why not $15000 or $18000 or $20000?  My guess some good government group picked the number without the data to back up it's effect.  But not to worry I already did that for you a decade ago.  The lobby commission in 2005 I believe recommended raising the threshold from $5000 to $20000 after a statistical analysis established that at that level you would reduce the number of groups required to file  by over 25% while only losing under 10% of the total dollars reported.  I might not remember that actual statistics but it is an easy calculation to do as compared to picking $10000 out of Dick Dadey's ass.


I could go on and on with how useless this report was, is and will be and I'm sure I will revisit it because just like a JERKOFF I am sure of 2 things I like it and I am going to do it again.