Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Maria Guevara - clogging up the pipeline

Normally I limit my blogging to the higher up fuck ups at JJOKE and there are plenty but today I'm going to focus some attention on one of the worst JJOKE staffers.

I hired her way back in the old lobby commission days so I guess in some weird cosmic sense this is karma.

Now Maria Guevarra, who makes $63146, was never a particular stellar staffer, even back in the old days.  She was grouchy with lobbyists and hyper technical in the way she applied the Lobby Act to specific issues.  Which if properly managed was useful in her role as an auditor.  And her niece Mariana Guevarra was one of the best hires I ever made at the old lobby commission, pretty much the exact opposite of Maria, so we tolerated her, kept a close eye on her and didn't give her much autonomy, but we tolerated her.

Now she isn't my problem any more, or so I thought.  She is Christina Wiesnet's problem since Christina is her supervisor now that Maria is in charge of the lobbyist registrations.  And she is Martin Levine's problem since Martin is in charge of the entire lobby compliance program.  And shortly she will be Seth Agata's problem since Seth will be in charge of JJOKE (we don't know when or for how much but that's a different blog).  And now Maria has become my problem again because I have clients that file registrations, which means they have to interact with the black hole of JJOKE.

I blogged about Maria before I just didn't use her name.

I'm pretty sure Maria was the staffer that changed the start date, can't prove it since JJOKE is refusing to be public about who did what but I'm pretty sure it was Maria.

Now comes the irony.  One of my clients registered using 2015 dates instead of 2016 dates.  Innocent typo.  I waited for the registration to be approved so that it could be amended to correct the typo.  I waited and waited and waited.  After 2 months of waiting I called Maria to inquire why the registration had not been approved. 

Her answer was that the authorization had not been received.

I had a date stamped copy of it in my hand, from two months earlier, it had been received by JJOKE and I told Maria so.

She told me to wait and she would look for it in her pile of forms (not good)

Several minutes later she found it and assured me she would "get to it"

I asked that she get to it while I was on the phone so that I could amend and correct the typos.

She refused and said she was too busy with other work (payback I guess for the blog piece above).

I told her that as soon as it was approved I would amend the typo and terminate the registration since the client was no longer lobbying and then I called Christina to alert her to the problem.

Christina did not answer her phone nor return my call (payback I guess for the blog piece above).

So I called Martin, who is always very responsive.  He took my call (he always does) listened to my explanation of the issue and said he would look into it and get back to me.  I told him yet again how bad Maria was and suggested he improve JJOKE by subtraction.

I followed up several days later and Martin said it was approved or soon to be approved.

I checked yesterday and it still wasn't approved.

I called Martin to inform him, he said he was told it had been and he would get back to me.

Within 10 minutes the client got an email from Maria listing 4 things wrong with the registration that needed to be fixed to approve it.

The start date. (The typo)

The end date. (The typo)

The clients title on the authorization. (their wasn't one)

The clients name on the authorization (different than the CEO's name on the registration)

Classic Maria being an obstructionist ass and wrong at the same time.

The typos would be corrected if she approved the registration which she knew because I told her and the title and name on the authorization were not required by statute to match the registration.

I called Martin and left him an email since it was after 4:30.  He responded quickly and told me that he had asked them to process the registration so that it might be amended and terminated.

I guess the email to my client was Maria's way of saying fuck you to me as well as to Martin.

Now in the grand scheme of things it's not a big deal it's just annoying.


It did get me checking, what it is that Maria is doing with her time at JJOKE.

Would you care to guess how many registrations are still being processed going back to when I left in 2007?


15 from 2007/2008
32 from 2009/2010
21 from 2011/2012
16 from 2013/2014
and 370 from 2015/2016 and that doesn't include the registration amendments

Tell me again why Maria still has a job?

JJOKE, being incompetent since 2012

Seth Agata, did you have any clue how bad the staff was that you have inherited?  Call me whenever you get around to starting I'll be happy to fill you in.

As for the rest of JJOKE I guess I've crossed the Rubicon and you are all fair game.  Get better or read about it.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Is anyone else amused?

By how absolutely clueless the good government groups are on ethics?

By how clueless certain members of the media (Casey Seiler) are on ethics and the good government groups?

By how many different ways the governor and the legislature can say fuck you to the good government groups?

Case in point, even though it was a "Watergate moment" (btw Blair that is a weak quote you should have gone with "it's time we learned the difference between chicken salad and chicken shit") the good government groups failed to focus on Cuomo's national search, that anyone who watches JCOPE knew would end up at the governors office (I admit I had Gagan not Agata but really what was the difference) and then to put the cherry on top vouched for Agata after the selection.   That idiot Dadey even said effectively Agata is the right man at the right spot at the right time.  Hey Dick how about you get the right man at the right spot at the right time to tell us his start date, his salary, how he will handle his conflict with the assembly, an explanation for his potential violation of the public officers law related to his role in Cuomo's book deal or why he filled out his financial disclosure report in the past incorrectly (Gagan had a similar problem)  JJOKE is already incompetent, installing a leader who can't fill out his own forms correctly does not bode well. 

And of course the Albany Times Union's punctuation police wrote the same old story about good government groups complaining about a lack of transparency during Blair's "Watergate moment"  News flash Casey try being a real reporter and getting Agata on the record about the questions his selection raises.  You might even pick up that thing they call a phone and call some people starting with Agata but move on to JJOKE commissioners past and present, you know, be a real reporter.

As for the Governor, those of us who know the players can only tip our hat to you and say you are a master at understanding what will and will not fly politically.  Agata will prove to be the wrong choice but who cares.  He will cover your ass and watching you tell the media and the good government groups to fuck off is worth the price of admission.   Knowing that they can't hurt you on ethics allows you to do or not do whatever you want on ethics reform.  But just remember there are some other folks that can hurt you quite a bit, they are the ones you can't tell to fuck off.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Meet the new boss . . . is he any different than the old boss?

Kevin Gagan will be the next executive director of JJOKE

I said that so many times that enough JJOKE commissioners, if for no other reason than spite, named Seth Agata the new executive director of JJOKE.  You really should have had that cup of coffee with me Kevin.  Now since it's no longer a conflict let me know when you want to get together and have a cup, I can even wait until you start your new job at Tax with the rest of the old JJOKE crowd.

But that's for later, now is the time to talk about Seth Agata.

Seth was even closer to Cuomo than Gagan but he had something Gagan didn't . . . a legislative connection that was good enough to get him the 7th and 8th votes he needed that Gagan simply could not obtain.

In the last 2 days I have heard from 3 people I normally trust when it comes to their ability to read people.  All 3 have said Seth is a straight shooter (a plus) a serious lawyer (that's a minus in this job) and a "good guy".  I told all 3 the same thing - ask him if he wants to sit down over a cup of coffee and chat - lets see if he does.  If he is like Mitra Hormozi or LT he will do it in the next week or so if he is like Gagan he will be tooooo busy in his new job to ever meet.  But just in case he does want to talk let me pose a question that is sure to piss him off.  If he can get past my gall of questioning his ethics and find the balls to answer we might be able to develop a relationship if not I don't give a fuck I've operated a long time with JJOKE boss's that hate me, most of them end up leaving JJOKE in disgrace.

Anyway it's actually one question and one demand.

The demand is simple, show the public how transparent you are by holding a press conference to discuss your appointing.  Start by disclosing who voted for you and who didn't.  And then tell us your vision for JJOKE, take questions about your independence from Cuomo and move on with doing the job.

The question will require Seth to examine his own ethics and his knowledge of the Public Officers Law.  Hopefully the JJOKE commissioners have already asked him and received an answer that even Dawn Smalls could understand.

Here it is.

Seth, you wrote the letter to JJOKE requesting permission for the governor to engage in outside employment (his book deal).  You wrote it in your official capacity as counsel to the governor and you wrote it using government resources including your time and official letterhead.  Can you explain how that was not a violation of Public Officers Law section 74 specifically misappropriating the services or resources of the state for private business? 

Remember the whole premise of your request was that the governor's book deal was not something the governor was doing as governor he was doing it outside of his official duties.  As such who were you representing when you wrote that letter, Governor Cuomo as governor or Andrew Cuomo as private party?  If it was Andrew that was a violation of section 74 if it was Governor Cuomo you better open an investigation into Governor Cuomo's book deal immediately, of course you will have to recuse as you are a witness.

After you publicly answer the question and announce who voted for you lets grab a cup of coffee and shoot the shit I hear you are a good guy.

As for Kevin Gagan is he still a JJOKE chief of staff?  and will Seth be making more money than Kevin? Will the JJOKE staffers Gagan brought with him stay?

If you are looking for your balls Kevin I can't help you I didn't cut them off Seth did.


My sources inside JJOKE tell me the resignation are coming fast and furious:

Marvin Jacobs gone
Joseph Cavullo gone
George Weissman soon to be gone


Heastie plans on replacing Marvin Jacobs with Patrick Jenkins.  Heastie was overheard saying "If the gov can put his lawyer in there I can put my lobbyist/consultant on that board"

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Another month another meeting and JJOKE continues to be mired in it's own pile of excrement

It's been over a month since I last blogged, I don't miss it and I don't think you the reader does either.  Nothing changes at JJOKE or with ethics in New York for that matter so until I pick up the novel again and add some chapters I'm going to limit my blogging to once a month, when the JOKE has a meeting.  And they have a meeting today . . . I think.

I say I think because the schedule and the agenda list March 22 as the meeting date BUT the meeting notice lists "Wednesday, March 22, 2016" as the date of the meeting.  WEDNESDAY?  Now I know what happened, whomever is responsible for posting the notice just did a cut and paste of last months meeting (which was on a Wednesday) without paying attention.  No one bothered to proof it and it goes out to the public with the wrong day (hey it happens I've done it myself and the old lobby commission once famously published an annual report that said pubic instead of public)  But with JJOKE it is just one more example of a group of lawyers that couldn't find their own talleywhackers with a 10 man search party. UPDATE someone at JJOKE reads the blog and between its posting and 10:15 they changed the notice to Tuesday from Wednesday.  Fortunately I took a screen shot.

In the last 8 months while they have engaged in a nationwide search for the next Cuomo hack to be executive director (Gagan) that same hack (Gagan) has been the chief of staff.  I'm not sure what a chief of staff does, maybe he arranges helicopter trips around Jones Beach in a state police helicopter, but he should at least be the chief of the staff.  In which case the hack (Gagan) has provided us a valuable opportunity to see how good he is at running JCOPE.

News flash HE SUCKS.

Since the hack (Gagan) has been in charge:

Both leaders have been convicted of corruption charges without a peep from JCOPE.

JCOPE has issued an opinion on lobby registration for public relations firms that makes little to no sense, has resulted in a federal lawsuit, many editorials about JJOKE's attack on the first amendment and lot's of new clients for me.

JCOPE has issued an opinion on statewide officials fundraising that they tailored to only apply to the statewide elected that aren't the governor while at the same time failing to apply that same opinion in the TRUMP case that they dismissed without investigating even though it was squarely on point.

Wrapped up a 2 year look see at Assemblyman Grabass that concluded after he had left office(yawnnnnnn)

Failed to prevent it's staff from changing sworn documents nor did they punish the staffers involved (you can't trust JJOKE not to modify electronic forms after they are filed)

Has no clue why there is a huge backlog of unapproved registrations and amendments (those same staffers)

Can't seem to point to any real accomplishments over the hack's (Gagan's) time as Chief of Staff

Can barely hold a meeting without a technical problem

And the reason is simple the hack (Gagan) is just that A HACK

But he will be the next executive director so until the next meeting take solace in the fact that when it comes to JJOKE nothing changes when nothing changes.



As soon as I posted I read the morning news clips and saw this piece in the Times Useless

It took me 3 minutes to read it, google Patriotic Millionaires, find their website, review the website, check JJOKE to see if they are registered to lobby (they are not) and update the blog.

If the hack (Gagan) spent those same 3 minutes he could have had real news to make at todays or tomorrows meeting. 

JJOKE should stop writing opinions they never enforce.

And for those patriotic millionaires you don't need to lobby for legislation just pay the higher amount voluntarily and leave the rest of us alone I pay enough taxes as it is.