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.