Sunday, October 31, 2010

Bloomberg's Gift to Maura Keaney

Bloomberg's Establishment Pressure Haggerty in A Press Trial To Make A Deal An Offer You Can't Refuse?

It seem that when your in Bloomberg circle the press becomes the DA. Both Haggerty and Steve Rattner are being tried in the press. For three weeks there have been press stories about the SEC giving Rattner a tap on the wrist penalty an the the AG wanted more. Now it is Haggerty turn for a press trial. The Manhattan DA office filed court papers that said that Haggerty admitted to Manhattan prosecutors that he "lied" to and "misled" the mayor's campaign in order to conceal his intention to pocket the money, prosecutors allege in a new court filing. Haggerty lawyer Dennis Vacco "This is an over-the-top action by the DA's office, and it's got severe consequences on John's ability now to get a fair trial." Bloomberg and his friends in the establishment do not want Haggerty to go to trial. Haggerty was there when they bought term limits and knows who got what. If this matter goes to trial he will bring the whole house of cards down. Mike '$cammer' powwow (NYP) * New Allegations Against Bloomberg Operative(WSJ) We still do not know why the money was funneled to the Independence Party and why the money came from the personal account of the mayor and was not reported to the Board of Elections. Oh boy do they want this case to disappear. Why did the DA release this information gotten months ago right before the election Maybe this is why? Andy presses Carl on $1M scandal aide (NYP) * Former AG Dennis Vacco Defends John Haggerty Against Bob Duffy Swipe

Manhattan DA Cyrus Vance Jr. lays out case against Bloomberg, but decides not to follow through

Adam Lisberg

Sunday, October 31st 2010, 4:00 AM

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. has not brought a case against Mayor Bloomberg for possibly breaking campaign finance law last year.
Smith for News
Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. has not brought a case against Mayor Bloomberg for possibly breaking campaign finance law last year.

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. last week laid out in his clearest language yet how Mayor Bloomberg may have broken campaign finance law in funding his reelection bid last year.

Somehow, though, Vance doesn't see it as a case worth pursuing.

He filed legal papers Friday bolstering his indictment of John Haggerty, the election aide accused of pocketing $1.1 million Bloomberg spent for Election Day poll-watching.

Bloomberg funneled that money through a special "housekeeping account" of the state Independence Party, one that can accept unlimited donations and doesn't report them until two months after Election Day.

State law says housekeeping money can only be used for day-to-day party activities, not to benefit any specific candidate. Haggerty, though, claims he spoke directly with Bloomberg about how it would help the mayor's campaign.

Here's where it gets sticky for Bloomberg.

Haggerty's lawyers say that if Bloomberg's $1.1 million was truly a donation to the Independence Party, then prosecutors can't claim it was stolen just because they don't like how the party spent it.

In last week's filing, though, Vance scoffs at the idea Bloomberg's money was a donation to the party.

"This argument seeks to mischaracterize the nature of the transferred funds," prosecutors wrote. "Haggerty deceived Bloomberg and his staff into sending the money to pay for a fictitious ballot security operation."

If Bloomberg's $1.1 million wasn't really a party donation, it should presumably have been reported as part of his campaign spending.

"That's the conundrum here," said Dennis Vacco, one of Haggerty's lawyers. "It's either a contribution or it's an expenditure."

Bloomberg even filed a state Board of Elections form called a CF-16 promising that "all financial activity related to my campaign, including my own," would go through his official Bloomberg for Mayor 2009 campaign.

That's not what happened, though.

Vance and his office will not comment on why - or whether - they haven't tried to pursue a case against Bloomberg.

However, the law about housekeeping accounts is mushy and much-abused.

Bloomberg has some very high-powered lawyers who could presumably explain to Vance how all their decisions fell just inside the loopholes.

A freshman prosecutor with big visions for the future, taking over from a legend like Robert Morgenthau, might have balked at starting his tenure by bringing a difficult case against a popular mayor.

Whatever happened, Bloomberg appears to be in the clear. He has poured at least $6.2 million into Republican and Independence housekeeping accounts in the past nine years - and if he's spending more right now to influence Tuesday's election, we won't know for months.

"Any contributions that we may have given or may choose to give," said Deputy Mayor Howard Wolfson, "will be disclosed at the appropriate time."

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Kentucky Headstomper: She Should Apologize for Making Me Attack Her!

posted by: Robin Marty 16 hours ago
Kentucky Headstomper: She Should Apologize for Making Me Attack Her!
In what could be the most ridiculous turn around since Ginni Thomas called to ask Anita Hill if she was ready to tell Clarence Thomas she was sorry for letting him harass her, Tim Profitt, the Rand Paul campaign worker who stomped on a female activist's head after she was wrestled to the ground by other Paul supporters, has now stated that the concussed and sprained victim should "apologize to me."

Via Huffington Post:

Tim Profitt, the Rand Paul supporter behind the white sneaker that notoriously stomped on a MoveOn activist's head in Kentucky, sought to play down the importance of the incident Tuesday, and went so far as to ask the victim for an apology.

"I don't think it's that big of a deal," Profitt told WKYT. "I would like for her to apologize to me to be honest with you."

While the victim, Lauren Valle, said Tuesday that she believed the campaign workers' violent reaction to her presence there was "premeditated," Profitt told WKYT that he thought Valle was following a strict protocol with the intent of creating controversy.

"She's a professional at what she does," Profitt said, "and I think when all the facts come out, I think people will see that she was the one that initiated the whole thing."

He then blamed the forceful downward motion of his foot on the head of Valle as a function of chronic back pain, a claim he has made before:

"I put my foot on her, and I did push her down at the very end, and I told her to stay down. I actually put my foot on her to -- I couldn't bend over because I have issues with my back," Profitt said.

She had a past. She made me do it. I was protecting myself from her. I couldn't be held responsible for what my body did. She should apologize to me. And, in case it wasn't totally clear that Profitt is trying to repaint himself as the victim, be sure to watch the video, where he asks not to have his face shown on the camera.

We've all heard this type of victim blaming before. And Ilyse Hogue, Director of Political Advocacy and Communications for, the group that Valle was working with, calls it out in an email:

I am shaking as I write this. I'm not sure how many people have been following the story of our young woman organizer who got her head stomped by a Rand Paul campaign staffer. It's made a lot of news, and mostly sympathetic. The video speaks for itself, but if you haven't seen it, it's here.

Lauren is 23 years old, 110 pounds and was working on a short-term contract with us in KY on an issue that she feels strongly about--corporate money in politics.

Her attacker is at least 225 and 6 feet and he stomped on her head while she was motionless on the ground.

Now, he wants an apology from her. Why? Because since she has protested before, she was clearly a threat and deserved what she had coming. Where have we heard that before? oh, wait, i know! from every single rapist and batterer that has ever had to stand trial among his peers or in a court room.

I promised Lauren if she spoke out we wouldn't let her past become the issue. We're working on a response, but I thought you all would want to know.

The ensuing campaign: "Don't Stomp On Me," is a reminder that every voice matters, and that none of us are going to be intimidated out of speaking our minds, acting on our political beliefs, or allow others to blame us for their own deplorable actions.

The Tea Party and their supporters are not police. They do not have the right to throw you to the ground and assault you in an attempt to "crowd control." They do not have the right to question your ability to vote before you go into a polling place. They do not have the right to place a "bounty" on people's head in an attempt to create fear when it comes to democracy.

They do not have the right to be bullies. They do not have the right to blame the victim when they are caught. And they do not get to simply take over the country while they scare others out of fighting them for it.

Say you won't be intimidated. Say you will speak out. Say you won't be stomped on. And say it for Lauren.

Read more: kentucky, politics, tea party, 2010 election, rand paul, jack conway, lauren valle

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Third Term Mayor Bloombito (Flip-Flop) is now FOR TERM LIMIT.

Mayor Bloombito's News Conference 10/25/10. Today, the mayor said that he will vote on question 1 on next Tuesday election for term limit. Today, he and his billionaire friend Ronald Lauder are asking New Yorkers to vote for a third time to implement term limit. Mr. Lauder, support the mayor for a third term. Now, this two billionaires are asking voters, who has voted twice for term limit, to trust them. Can they be trusted? The answer is NO. support question 1. However, with don't trust this two this billionares.

See Video of news conference below.

Video by Rafael Martínez Alequín

video by Rafael Martínez Alequín

Monday, October 25, 2010

Ronald Lauder And Michael Bloombito—Again?

Video by Rafael Martinez Alequín

Billionaire Ronal Lauder, who support Mayor Bloomberg for a third term is calling New Yorkers to support term limits again. Can the voters believe him ? After he support his millionaire friend Mayor Michael R. Bloombito to run for a third term, after New Yorkers voted twice for two terms limit, for mayor and members of the City Council. He was at City Hall today to preview a campaign to get voters to vote YES on question 1 on the November 2, ballot, on whether to impose a two-term limit on municipal elected offices. He's to preview a TV spot to be aired by his New Yorkers For Term Limits, which is already up on the group's website at and which you can see below.

A Note To Chancellor Angela Merkel And The Supposed Failure Of Multiculturalism In Germany

Lia Petridis Maiello

Lia Petridis Maiello

Posted: October 21, 2010 06:26 PM

Liebe Frau Merkel,

Normally I wouldn't abuse my platform at The Huffington Post to burden the public with my subjective views on the world. Your remarks last week made it time for an exception.

Since Saturday of last week, Frau Merkel, the remaining trust in my home country's rational regarding the "immigration issue" has vanished. I had to digest your statement that "multiculturalism in Germany has utterly failed," and then become alarmed at Horst Seehofer, chairman of your sister party, CSU, the Christian Social Union, calling for a "halt to immigration for Turks and Arabs."

Multiculturalism is a concept that as a daughter of a Greek immigrant to Germany, I have been particularly proud of. A concept, that I, being now an immigrant to the United States was always happy to quote when trying to convince an international group of friends in New York City that "Germans are worldly now. Immune to nationalism and unintelligent pride that leads us nowhere, as history has proven."

I am not so sure anymore. Now I have a lot of questions. I might not be German enough to ever return.

Doubts occur, in particular, after a study on "Right Extremism in Germany" was released on October, 13th by the Friedrich-Ebert foundation, according to which every tenth German is longing for the guidance of a "Fuehrer", and every third of my countrymen would like to send foreigners back to wherever they came from. (I wish for John Cleese to take the stage and do an adequate spoof, and, yes, go ahead, do mention the war!)

For the first time, the authors of the study the Friedrich-Ebert foundation conducts every two years inquired about the sentiments Germans are nourishing towards Muslims. 58.4% percent of interviewees agree the practice of Islam in Germany should be considerably constrained. Did I miss something when I was taught the basics of democracy and how it shall be practiced in the land of Immanuel Kant, Johann Gottfried Herder and Friedrich Schiller? Does the school of humanism require a German pedigree now? Could I even apply?

And what would the requisitions be, I wonder?

How, liebe Frau Merkel, am I going to explain over here that 17.2% of respondents believe that "Jews still have too much influence"?

Do you understand, liebe Frau Merkel, what signal this is transmitting to the world? In particular, since you jumped the band wagon only four days later and declared my existence, the result of a multicultural relationship in Germany, as an utter failure? Do you realize that I would like to show the world that the country I originated from, by pure accident by the way, is ready for the international diplomatic challenges of a globalized world in the 21st century? Since you just won a seat on the UN Security Council?

And now who are you going to blame for the problems in German society? The immigrants that came to work for cheap and prolonged the German Wirtschaftswunder (economic miracle) in the late 60's or their children? Or those Germans that treated my father and his friends like they didn't belong and they never will, no matter how German they might become? Ruben Navarette pointed out at CNN this week, "Show me a group of people who are cloistered in ethnic enclaves and refusing to assimilate, and I'll show you a group of people who have often been marginalized and don't feel welcomed into the mainstream. They retreat to their own neighborhoods as a defense mechanism."

Due to a labor shortage during the Wirtschaftswunder in the 1950s and 1960s, West Germany signed bilateral recruitment agreements with Italy in 1955, Greece in 1960, Turkey in 1961, Morocco in 1963, Portugal in 1964, Tunisia in 1965, and Yugoslavia in 1968. These agreements allowed the recruitment of Gastarbeiter (guest workers) to work in the industrial sector for jobs that required few qualifications. Obligatory language courses would have made sense back in the day. But secretly the nation was hoping that the guests weren't overstaying their visit and leave after the dirty work was done.

I understand Germany is in demand of qualified laborers. 400,000 engineers are needed, according to Hans Heinrich Driftmann, President of the German Chamber of Industry and Commerce. With a declining birth rate in Germany in 2008, the Teutons brought up the rear in Europe with only eight babies per 1000 German citizens, half as many as in Ireland.

Where are you going to recruit these skilled employees from, if an unwelcoming atmosphere is created for everything that is not German? And to this day I am honestly pestered with the question what on earth that exactly means, being German?

Soon the productive country with attitude in the heart of Europe will be unattractive for highly skilled immigrants and internationally non-competitive.

According to ARD evening news from October 11th, more people are emigrating from Germany since 2008 than actually making the effort to get into Germany, since obtaining citizenship is a long lasting, complicated endeavor, outside of having to deal with an unwelcoming vibe.

It is extremely worrisome that a mob answers a questionnaire that documents their racist attitude. It is unacceptable for a Head of State to cave in to such sentiment.

Lia Petridis Maiello

Follow Lia Petridis Maiello on Twitter:

Sunday, October 24, 2010

78 Year Old Flamenco Dancer

Photo: Denise.R.Cooney

Pilar Rioja in an interview with Rafael Martínez Alequín
Pilar Rioja is known worldwide as the Queen of Spanish Dance. She was born in Torreón, México to Spanish parents who hailed from the Rioja region of Spain. From the time she could walk, her parents encouraged Pilar to dance, and supported her pursuit of a career in the arts. Ms. Rioja studied many forms of dance, but it was in Spain where she combined her modern, ballet and classical dance training with traditional Spanish dance forms. She has studied with Oscar Tarriba in Mexico, and in Spain with Regla Ortega, Samperio and El Estampío. She studied the classical bolero style with Angel Pericet.

Ms. Rioja considers her teacher, Manolo Vargas, to be one of her greatest influences. With her extensive knowledge and experience, Pilar has become one of the world's great teachers of Spanish Dance. For many years, she had an academy in Mexico City where she worked hard to keep Spanish Dance alive. Pilar has taught in such far away countries as Armenia, and to the dancers of the Bolshoi Ballet in Moscow. She is such a beloved figure in Moscow, that a statue of the Queen of Spanish Dance by David Narodnisky was erected in a town square.

Other statues of Pilar have been erected in the cities of Torreón (by Mexican sculptor, Joaquín Arias) and Morelia (by José Luis Padilla). Pilar has been an inspiration for many artists' work including: a sculpted bust by Arnold Taylor, drawings and paintings by Hector Javier, paintings by Spanish artist Antonio Peyri, a collection of songs and poetry by Luis Ríus, poetry by Juan Duch and Alfonso Simone and recently an audiovisual production by Neil Goldberg in New York.

Pilar has performed in the United States, México, Latin America, Spain, Austria, Bulgaria and throughout the former Soviet Union. In 1996, she performed in England with the BBC Proms Orchestra. 1997 marked Pilar Rioja's 25th Anniversary season with Repertorio Español. She began this landmark year with an invitation to perform with the Brooklyn Philharmonic in March of 1997. She then began her season at Repertorio Español followed by special guest performances with the Oregon Symphony Orchestra in Portland, and the San Antonio Symphony in Texas. In July of 1997 she participated in the prestigious Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival in Massachusetts (her second invitation to participate).

Pilar first came to the attention of Gilberto Zaldívar, Founding President and Producer Emeritus of Repertorio Español, when he went to see her perform at Carnegie Recital Hall. "When I first saw her, I knew she was a talented and magical performer; her talent shined on that stage, so I invited her to come see our theater. It was an instant love affair, and she has had a season with us ever since."

A Conversation with Pilar Rioja

video Rafael Martínez Alequín

video by Rafael Martínez Alequín

Friday, October 22, 2010

The Queen of Flamenco & Spanish Dance Pilar Rioja is known worldwide as the Queen of Spanish Dance. She was born in Torreón, México to Spanish parent


Repertorio Español
138 East 27th Street
New York, NY 10016
Between Lexington and Third Avenues
Phone: 212-225-9999
Fax: 212-225-9085

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Hiram Monserrate Indicted For Dragooning Employees Of Nonprofit He Enriched For His Own Political Gain

By Henry J. Stern

October 21, 2010

The other shoe dropped Tuesday for Hiram Monserrate. The first State Senator to be expelled from that body since 1781, Monserrate was indicted by a Federal grand jury for using employees of a non-profit group he sponsored while a City Councilmember to labor on behalf of his unsuccessful campaign for the State Senate in 2006.

The sixteen-page indictment, which you can read here, is summarized on p21 of Wednesday's New York Times by William K. Rashbaum and Fernanda Santos. The two federal charges against Monserrate stem from his relationship with the Latino Initiative for Better Resources and Empowerment Inc., known by its acronym LIBRE, a now defunct social services agency to which Monserrate was closely linked. He secured City funding for LIBRE to operate.

The indictment alleges that Monserrate used employees of the tax-exempt organization to register voters and collect signatures to get him on the ballot in his failed bid for Senate against John Sabini in 2006.

In 2008, the Queens County Democratic organization switched its support from Sabini to Monserrate in the predominantly Latino district, Sabini was accommodated with a six-year term as chairman of the State Racing and Wagering Board, and Monserrate was elected Senator.

However, he was unable to complete his term, having been expelled in February 2010, ostensibly for slashing his girlfriend with a broken glass, although the court found that allegation unproven. His greater sin was joining renegade Senator and hospitalier Pedro Espada in an attempted coup that tied up the State Senate for over a month. Although the standoff led to the appointment of Lieutenant Governor Richard Ravitch, it left the Senate, and the two plotters, lower in public esteem. Espada returned to the fold when rewarded by the Democrats with the position, lulu and staff of the majority leader, but all his power and influence went to Senator John Sampson of Brooklyn, the new Democratic conference leader.

LIBRE is the latest nonprofit to come under scrutiny for its subordination to the elected official who secured its funding. It joins the Ridgewood Bushwick Senior Citizens Council, founded by Vito Lopez, and Espada's Soundview Health Center in the Bronx. Monserrate's relationship with LIBRE was intimate. Over his seven years in the Council (2002-2008), Monserrate steered more than $2.7 million in City discretionary and capital funds to LIBRE, including more than $2 million for a community center, which was never built.

Monserrate's connection with LIBRE ran deeper than money. According to the indictment, Monserrate "played an important role in selecting LIBRE's staff and the members of its board of directors", including the chair of LIBRE's board of directors from 2005 through 2007, its interim executive director in 2005, and its executive director from late 2005 through early 2007. According to a 2008 article in the Times by Russ Buettner and Serge Kovaleski "Dysfunction at a Charity That Relies on Council Largesse", Monserrate also negotiated the lease for LIBRE's former office.

The chair of LIBRE's board of directors alluded to in the indictment is current Councilmember Julissa Ferreras, Monserrate's former chief of staff and his hand-picked successor for his former Council seat which he resigned when he was elected to the Senate. For those who have not followed Queens politics, it would be understandable to overlook the connection between Ferreras and Monserrate. Ferreras carefully distanced herself from Monserrate during her February 2009 campaign to replace him on the Council, presumably because at the time he was under investigation for slashing his girlfriend's face.

Currently, Ferreras lists no mention of her association with Monserrate or LIBRE in her bio on the City Council's website, despite the fact that they were her principal qualifications for election. Leaving Monserrate off her resume, for whom she began working in 2001 as his campaign manager and then, following his election, as his chief of staff, makes for a gaping lacuna in Councilmember Ferrerass resume.

Chronologically, the most recent accomplishment she claims on her Council bio prior to her term in office is her appointment by former Assemblyman Ivan Lafayette and Congressman Joseph Crowley to serve as a New York State delegate to the 2000 Democratic National Convention, a decade ago.

Monserrate's relationship with Ferreras has soured along with his political and personal fortunes since he appeared at her 2009 victory party. Last month, Ferreras claimed that Monserrate was responsible for the slashing of her tires, several vulgar notes left on her car, and an assortment of other allegations of harassment.

It does not appear from published reports that Ferreras ever filed formal charges against Monserrate. Councilmember Ferreras failed to return several phone calls seeking comment and clarifications for this column, but she did issue a statement to the media saying that she has "been cooperating with authorities from the very beginning."

The newly unsealed indictment implicates not only Monserrate, who surrendered to authorities Tuesday morning, it alleges a conspiracy where others colluded with Monserrate to skirt the campaign finance laws by illegally using LIBRE resources and employees to fund and support his State Senate runs in 2005 and 2006. The co-conspirators are unnamed in the indictment, but presumably one of the people involved is former LIBRE executive director Javier Cardenas, who Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara announced yesterday had pleaded guilty to conspiracy and mail-fraud charges and is cooperating against Monserrate.

Celeste Katz reported in the Daily News that "federal prosecutors subpoenaed and questioned several former members of [Monserrate's] Senate staff, including Wayne Mahlke and Luis Castro, about Monserrate's dealings with LIBRE."
Mahlke, who is Monserrate's former chief of staff, was arrested in May of this year in an incident unrelated to the indictment for "possessing a forged police placard and for failing to obey a police officer after hurling an insult at the officer." Castro has been identified in news reports as a former campaign consultant to Monserrate.

According to the indictment, around May 2006, Monserrate sent an email from a personal email account to an unnamed member of his Council staff requesting a database of voters LIBRE had newly registered, apparently at Monserrate's request. A month or two later, "Monserrate stamped numerous LIBRE checks that were thereafter issued to individuals who had participated in LIBRE's voter-registration and petition-gathering activities with a signature stamp of the person who was then the chair of LIBRE's board of directors." In an article on The Queens Courier's website, reporter Steve Mosco identifies the chair of LIBRE's board of directors at the time as Councilmember Ferreras.

The check stamping allegation, which is detailed in the indictment, raises the question of who really was in charge of LIBRE's finances. In an October 18, 2008 Times article by Ray Rivera about Libre's suspiciously slipshod accounting practices, entitled "Group Spent City's Money, but Has Not Shown How", Monserrate referred all questions about LIBRE's accounting practices to Ferreras, saying, "She's the person to have the conversation with," he said. "I wasn't the director. I don't know what paperwork was there, what books were there."

Contacted at the time by Rivera for comment, Ferreras said LIBRE's records were in the organization's offices. "I personally don't keep the records," Ferreras told the Times.

As Monserrate's case advances it is likely that we will learn more about LIBRE and what, if anything, Councilmember Ferreras knew about his former boss's alleged manipulation of the nonprofit. What is for certain is that no matter how hard Speaker Christine Quinn tries to leave the slush fund scandal in the Council's past, the investigation is still very much ongoing and just how many of her members were involved is still yet to be determined. Another Councilman who was elevated to chair the Civil Rights Committee, Larry Seabrook of the Bronx, is currently under a 13-count indictment for a litany of corruption charges, and former Councilmember Miguel Martinez of Manhattan is already serving time in Federal prison.

It gives us no satisfaction to watch one elected official after another done in by their greed and contempt for the law. This parade of corrupt politicians denigrates New Yorkers' faith in local government, and further degrades the reputation of the City Council and its leader, who is supposed to look out for this sort of thievery.

We continue to encourage our prosecutors, Federal, State and Local, to pursue every elected official who has abused the public trust until all of them are rooted out. Regrettably, the only way to keep some of our legislators' hands out of our pockets is with handcuffs.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Monserrate Gone Who is Next? Why is the Council Slush Fund Investigation Taking Over Two Years ?

Monserrate Gone
Who is Next?

The Daily News said after yesterday indictment of Monserrate for using the 300,000 member items he funded to the non profit called LIBRE. The feds say that operation became an arm of Monserrate political campaign machine. The NYP said this past summer, for example, council Speaker Christine Quinn and her colleagues passed a budget that boosted member-item spending by 9 percent -- to nearly $8 million per member. Quinn uses that pork pot to enforce member discipline. No surprise, then, that the members use the cash to buy support in their districts.The Daily News said New Yorkers cannot tolerate one more ooze of muck and mire. Quinn must take definitive action. She must stop member items.

True News What Ever Happen to the City Council Slush Fund Investigation? Council Slush Fund (True News)

Quinn: Why the Cover Up of the Slush Fund Investigation?

City Hall Crime Wave

What the Daily News and the NYP did not include in their editorials today is a demand that the council slush fund investigation be finished. We know that Quinn know about Councilwoman Ferraras involvement in Monserrate member item rip offs. She was the director of LIBRE which the feds say was put together to help Monserrate to win elections. The editorial boards should ask why a pol who wants to run for mayor is not working to get to the bottom of the council slush fund.

What about these Charges Quinn?

Monserrate's LIBRE Member Item Campaign Slush Fund LIBRE essentially became a taxpayer-funded arm of Monserrate's various politicacampaigns, according to the indictment Hiram in handcuffs (NYP) * Monserrate Is Indicted on Federal Corruption Charges (NYT) *Montserrate Indicted on Fraud Charges (WSJ) * Indictment just more material for my book: Hiram * Let Hiram bat cleanup: Monserrate case proves sleazy Council member items must go (DN Ed) * Federal corruption charges lodged yesterday against former Councilman Hiram Monserrate - yes, the one and only - must end the Council's practice of letting members tap into a slush fund for so-called member items. So great are the temptations to steal, the money's availability unleashed a City Hall crime wave. * Monserrate's Alleged Registration Drive(Room8)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

NY1 No Journalistic Ethics

Last night NY1 had Jeff Plaut from Global Strategy who paid the AG $2 million to New York State for illegally receiving $1.3 million for facilitating public pension fund investments in private equity funds. NY1 allowed Plaut to analysis the debate.

Quadrangle Settles with Cuomo, Trashes Rattner; Global Fined Too ...

Hiram Monserrate, disgraced state Senator, surrenders over possible charity-election conflict

Hiram Monserrate won the Senate seat in 2008, but was kicked out earlier this year.
Pace for News
Hiram Monserrate won the Senate seat in 2008, but was kicked out earlier this year.

Disgraced state Senator Hiram Monserrate has surrendered to face charges that he used the resources of a charity he controlled to campaign for the state Senate, the Daily News has learned.

Prosecutors charge that Monserrate used a non-profit called LIBRE (Latino Initiative for Better Resources & Empowerment) to run for office.

Monserrate steered hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars into Libre when he was still a Queens City Councilman.

Monserrate won the Senate seat in 2008, but was kicked out earlier this year after being convicted of a misdemeanor charge of assaulting his girlfriend.

He tried to regain his seat in March, but lost to Jose Peralta.

After his defeat, Manhattan federal prosecutors subpoenaed and questioned several former members of his Senate staff, including Wayne Mahlke and Luis Castro, about Monserrate's dealings with LIBRE, a source said.

Another source said LIBRE checks paid for some of Monserrate's campaign expenses.

Several members of Monserrate's legislative staff have also worked for LIBRE, including City Councilwoman Julissa Ferreras, who was once his Council chief of staff.

Ferreras was LIBRE's chairwoman for a time, when it handled a program to register 1,000 voters. A source familiar with the probe said LIBRE workers turned over registration cards at the last minute to keep his competitors in the dark.

Ferreras declined to comment, as did the city Department of Investigation, the Manhattan U.S. attorney's office and Monserrate's lawyer, Joseph Tacopina.

One source said Javier Cardenas, a former LIBRE executive director, last year gave Queens prosecutors copies of emails between him and Monserrate detailing the use of the nonprofit for political purposes.

Cardenas could not be reached for comment.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Steve Rattner Walks

Steve Rattner Walks: The Rich and Connected Never Face Justice

Steve Rattner Walks
The Rich and Connected Never Face Justice

The NYT had it right just the story and players were wrong. For the Rich, It’s Always Special Arrangements That NYT story was about designing flower bouquets for those who can afford anything.It should have been about the SEC deal with Steve Rattner. We understand that the publisher of the NYT Arthur Sulzberger Jr.,would never allow his friends to be written about in that way. He would not even allow his writer to talk about the connections of Steve Rattner and the NYT. How Ratter worked as financial advisor to the NYT and was very involved in the finance of the new building which those insiders know almost put the paper and company out of business. Rattner is also a financial advisor to Mort Zuckerman owner of the Daily News. Financier Is Said to Accept a Ban in Pension Case (NYT)

What the NYT story did not say was that Mr. Rattner along with Hank Morris were at the center of a nation wide pay-to-play probe, which has focused on allegations that state officials and others traded access to the billion dollar pension funds in exchange for kickbacks, political favors and personal benefits. NY PensionGate Explodes in New Mexico (True News)

Perhaps the NYT should have sent a reporter to asked those questions of Sulzberger last night when he hosted a book party for Rattner at the Four Seasons restaurant. That same reporter could have asked Bloomberg who co-hosted the book party what does he feel about his financier Rattner being bared from the financial industry. The mayor who suggested at Four Seasons that Rattner book should be made into a movie could have been asked by the same reporter when and if he will fire Ratter. We might have gotten a cryptic answer to Rattner staying on with Bloomberg in the NYT when they wrote this line in today story about Rattner, "Mr. Rattner may still be able to perform some roles in finance, even with that ban." Mike Bloomberg thinks that Matthew Broderick should play Rattner in the movie

NPR's Melissa Block talks to Times reporter Peter Lattman. (NPR)

Appears Rattner Trip Up By His Own Court Testimony

What the NYT says:
"Rattner was pulled into the movie financing business" They did not provide the name of the movie Chooch but described it in a private school high brow way, " A movie about Italian-Americans and their mishaps on a trip to Mexico." The movie poster which features a donkey describes the movie the following way, "There is more than one way to spell Jack Ass."Financier Is Said to Accept a Ban in Pension Case

The NYT says today: Mr. Rattner arranged for one of Quadrangle’s company’s to distribute the film, and notified Mr. Morris by e-mail that he had done so.The LA Times wrote on April 18, 2009 Pay-to-play inquiry snags Obama advisor A scandal links the New York state pension fund, a low-budget film called 'Chooch' and the financier's former private equity firm, Quadrangle Group. Rattners's Quadrangel Group acquired the DVD rights of Chooch for $88,841. A movie made by the brother of David Loglisci the chief budget director for Hevesi.

One of Loglisci's brothers put Rattner in touch with potential investors on the West Coast. These included Elliott Broidy, who sat on the board of the Los Angeles Fire & Police Pension Fund. LAFPPF committed $10 million to Quadrangle, and Broidy has since pled guilty to felony charges of rewarding official misconduct. Broidy payoff to Hevesi for trip overseas is what made the former comptroller plea guilty to Cuomo.

The 2004 movie grossed $31,015, according to

How Even the Connected Rattner Got Snagged
Mr. Rattner, was awarded some immunity from Mr. Cuomo’s office for his role in the pension kickbacks because information supplied indicated that he had not been involved with the movie Chooch.The NYT says "Mr. Rattner arranged for one of Quadrangle’s company’s to distribute the film, and notified Mr. Morris by e-mail that he had done so." Mr. Rattner could face a perjury charge because of that discrepancy, according to the people with knowledge of negotiations. His settlements with the S.E.C. and Mr. Cuomo’s office could reduce the chances of prosecution.

Democratic donor and former Obama “car czar” Steven Rattner is reportedly near a deal with the SEC that would temporarily ban him from the securities industry, but remains under investigation by AG Andrew Cuomo’s office. * Rattner wreck Ex-car czar near deal that ousts him from Wall St.(NYP) The settlement with the SEC calls for Rattner to pay a $6 million fine and agree to a multiyear ban from the securities industry. Such settlements usually block any future moves to refer a case to the Justice Department for criminal prosecution. (NYP) * Rattner Near Deal to Settle SEC Case (WSJ) * Steven Rattner Settles with S.E.C., Banned from Industry for Years, Fined Millions * President Obama's ex-car czar Steve Rattner to pay feds $5M in New York pension flapQuadrangle settled its role in the case in April, agreeing to pay the state a $7 million fine and the SEC another $5 million. The firm, which once handled Mayor Bloomberg's money, put the blame squarely on Rattner.(DN) * Rattner, Auto Czar and Hedge Funder, to Settle Pay-to-Play Claim (Bloomberg News) * Rattner settles Politico * NYT: Quadrangle Cofounder Steve Rattner Agrees To SEC Plea In Kickback Case

Why Does Rattner Hire Morris?
Quadrangle said Rattner hired Morris, who collected $1 million in kickbacks, but did little work.
Comptroller Thompson top aide Josh Wolf-Powers’ advisement that Steven Rattner’s private investment firm Quadrangle Group hired the now-indicted Hank Morris as its placement agent. Rattner badly wanted to gain access to investment from the State’s pension fund and according to the Times, “Wolf-Powers told Mr. Rattner that he could not think of any investment firm that had persuaded the city’s pension fund to invest without using a placement agent.”The Wolf at Thompson's Door

How Much Will Politically Connected Pension Fund Money Managers Cost the Tax Payer?

Members of Wall Street's elite toasted Mr. Rattner at a party at the Four Seasons restaurant. Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin who helped Clinton appeal Glass Steagall which many believe lead to the criminal activity on Wall Street with the derivatives market. We know that Fanny Mae and Freddie Mac are full of worthless subprime mortgages derivatives. What has not been discussed is how much of those worthless investments which Wall Street firms like Goldman Sacks called "Dead Presidents wound up in the pension funds, put there by Rattner and other politically connected money managers.

We already know that New York tax payers are having to pump billions into the pension funds because they were not fully funded and they lost billions in the 2008 Wall Street cash caused by Rubin and his friends. Cops will be cut, firehouses closed and class size increased because of what money managers like Morris and Rattner did to our pension funds. What has not been fully disclosed was how much of the investments sitting in New York pension funds are worthless and will also need to be bailed out by the tax payer. Perhaps we should learn more about the investments before the SEC finishes the fines Rattner much pay. The anticipated fine for Mr. Rattner is more than $5 million. His net worth is in the hundreds of millions of dollars, according to government disclosure forms.

Old Media Blind Side
Rattner Shows Cuomo, SEC Justice Is Corrupt, Not Blind (Forbes)
"Wall Street and Washington power broker Steven Rattner appears on the verge of walking away from a multi-million bribery scandal with a wrist-slap. Former Obama Administration car czar Rattner’s apparent crimes: defrauding the people and public servants of New York State by bribing their admittedly easy-to-bribe pension officials and then perjuring himself to downplay his involvement." * Muck tracker - Rattner settles with SEC Muckety * Mr. Rattner, the bell tolls for thee (Fortune)

True News on Rattner

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


By Rafael Martínez Alequín

At the steps of NYC City Hall, NYc Council Members, community leaders, health educators, advocates and people living with HIV/AIDS called on the importance of HIV testing in the Latino/Hispanic communities in response to the growing HIV/AIDS epidemic among communities of color.

On October 15th, communities across the nation will recognize National Latinos AIDS Awareness Day, NLAAD, which is held each year in commemoration of the last day of Hispanic Heritage Month.

Video by Rafael Martínez Alequín for YFP

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Check this link


This bill follows a NARAL Pro-Choice New York investigation into crisis pregnancy centers throughout the city. The results of the investigation—"She Said abortion Could Cause Breast Cancer. A Report on the Lies, Manipulations and Privacy Violations of Crisis Pregnancy Centers"—document a variety of disturbing tactics designed to mislead or misinform women seeking pregnancy related services. The full report is available at:

Christopher Slattery, Founder and President and former Operation Rescue leader spoke to the press after NARAL news-conference.

Council Woman Diana Reyna

video by Rafael Martínez Alequín for YFP

Slattery Operation Rescue Leader and founder of EMC
video by Rafael Martínez Alequín for YFP

Monday, October 11, 2010

The Tale of Two Parades

By Rafael Martínez Alequín

On Sunday, October 10th, the Hispanic Heritage Parade on Fifth Avenue was held. There, the 21 Latin American Nations proudly displayed their culture along Fifth Avenue. However, one ingredient was missing. There are many parades in this multicultural city where the different ethnic groups display their traditions and their history. During these parades, politicians swarm like a fly to piece of human waste.

The only public official who marched in the Hispanic Heritage Parade on Sunday was New York Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly. Mr. Kelly, once again by his presence, showed the Hispanic citizens of New York that he is a uniter who cares about everyone in the city.

Meanwhile, let's get back to today's parade. Every politician was on display to be seen by the whole city. Mayor Michael Bllomberg was at the Coloumbus Day Parade—he was not at the Hispanic Heritage. Both candidates for New York State governor were there—neither of them were at the Hispanic Heritage Parade. Are they telling the Latino voters that they do not count. Are they telling the Latinos of this city and state that the Italians are more important than them. Obviously, one has to be blind as to what are the preferences of our political leaders.

Would the candidates prefer that Latinos chose coming November 2nd to cast their vote for the FREEDOM PARTY?

Please see and listen to the following videos of the Colombo Day Parade.
video by Rafael Martínez Alequín for YFP

video by Rafael Martínez Alequín for YFP

video by Rafael Martínez Alequín for YFP

video by Rafael Martínez Alequín for YFP

Video: Carl Paladino's Anti Gay Speech To Orthodox Jewish Leaders

Video By Azi Paybarah of WNYC

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Tea Party darling Christine O'Donnell in first ad: 'I'm not a witch'

Tuesday, October 5th 2010, 7:44 AM

Senate hopeful Christine O'Donnell could face more ridicule over her first campaign ad.

Tea Party darling Christine O'Donnell may be brewing more ridicule for her fledgling Senate campaign after releasing her first TV ad.

"I'm not a witch," O'Donnell deadpans into the camera at the start of the 30-second ad released Monday.

Christian conservative O'Donnell, however, could use a magic spell to help close the near double-digit gap in the polls she faces against her opponent, Democrat Chris Coons, in the Delaware contest.

"I'm nothing you've heard. I'm you," the GOP nominee says in the ad. O'Donnell goes on to slam the Washington establishment for "trading favors" and "backroom deals."

"I'll go to Washington and do what you'd do," she says.

O'Donnell's ad puts her in the hallowed hall of political denials, which include President Richard Nixon's "I am not a crook," and President Bill Clinton's "I did not have sexual relations with that woman."

The witch controversy stems from comedian Bill Maher, who has been releasing embarrassing clips of the wannabe senator from his 1990s show "Politically Incorrect" since her primary win last month, including one where she admits she dabbled in witchcraft.

"One of my first dates with a witch was on a satanic altar, and I didn't know it. I mean, there's little blood there and stuff like that," O'Donnell said. "We went to a movie and then had a little midnight picnic on a satanic altar."

Other clips show O'Donnell referring to evolution as a myth and saying her love of meatballs kept her from becoming a Hare Krishna.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Robert Abrams Endorses Schneiderman For NY State AG: Focus On Abortion

video by Rafael Martínez Alequí

Mr. Schneiderman, has repeatedly highlighted his stance as a supporter of abortion rights as he runs against Daniel M. Donovan Jr., the Republican candidate and the Staten Island district attorney. Mr. Donovan has said that while he is opposed to abortion except in cases of rape or incest, he will uphold New York law. Monday’s announcement was no different.

video by Rafael Martínez Alequín

GOP bigs want loudmouth Carl Paladino to say sorry to Andrew Cuomo over adultery zinger

Elizabeth Benjamin

Monday, October 4th 2010, 4:00 AM

Carl Paladino said that Andrew Cuomo had stepped out on his ex-wife, Kerry Kennedy. Paladino later backed down from the comment.
Carl Paladino said that Andrew Cuomo had stepped out on his ex-wife, Kerry Kennedy. Paladino later backed down from the comment.

Loose-lipped gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino is coming under intense internal pressure from the Republican Party to apologize for accusing his Democratic opponent, Andrew Cuomo, of extramarital affairs.

Nervous GOP leaders and elected officials are anxious to move on.

Some think a public apology might be the best way to demonstrate the mad-as-hell Buffalo businessman is capable of maturity, a source close to the Paladino campaign said.

It's unclear whether Paladino, who has been lobbing verbal bombs at Cuomo for weeks, is willing. His campaign spokesman did not return calls Sunday.

There's considerable debate in Paladino's campaign over the explosive charge he made last week that Cuomo had stepped out on his ex-wife, Kerry Kennedy.

Paladino first insisted he had proof of his claims that he would release "at the appropriate time." He then backed down, saying hemerely wanted Cuomo to receive the same media scrutiny about his personal life that he had weathered regarding the daughter he fathered out of wedlock.

Last Friday, however, Paladino flip-flopped again, reiterating during a Fox News interview that his campaign would "say whatever we have in our box at the appropriate time, yes."

The person close to the Paladino campaign called the candidate "uncontrollable" and said he's having trouble turning himself from an uber-angry primary contender to a more sedate general election candidate.

Two of Paladino's GOP ticket mates - controller hopeful Harry Wilson and Staten Island District Attorney Daniel Donovan, the attorney general contender - won't endorse him.

"Everybody's waiting to see if he can keep his s--t together," a GOP operative not connected to the campaign said. "It would be nice if he could just keep his s--t together for a week."


State Senate Democrats have made a fund-raising comeback, outpacing the GOP by nearly 3 to 1 in the latest reporting cycle. This amounts to a $1 million edge heading into the Nov. 2 battle for control of the chamber.

According to the Dem's 32-day pregeneral filing, the Democratic majority raised $450,955 compared with the GOP's $163,525. The Dems also transferred in an additional $1.2 million from candidates who don't have contested elections.

The Democrats reported raising just $61,250 in the 10 days immediately following the Sept. 14 primary, compared with the Republicans' $179,640. The Democrats now have just over $3 million on hand, while the Republicans have about $2.1 million.

Austin Shafran, spokesman for the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee, said the numbers show "momentum is on our side." A Senate Republican insisted "money won't be an issue" in November, noting polls show the GOP leading or tied in four key races.


An election has again divided Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. and his father, state Sen. Ruben Diaz Sr.

Diaz Jr. endorsed Cuomo over the weekend and called Paladino "a straight and utter nut job" - even though his father has hosted the GOP/Conservative contender and said he's "open" to crossing party lines to endorse him.

Diaz Sr. is angry Cuomo has ignored invitations to meet with his New York Hispanic Clergy Organization, which Paladino addressed in August. The senator said he wasn't invited to an event over the weekend at which Latino leaders - including his son - backed Cuomo.

"What do you want me to do, say, 'Oh, yes, we're Democrats. Yes, master?' There's no master here," Diaz Sr. said.