Friday, August 31, 2012

NYS Assemblyman Richard N. Gottfried, join other elected Democratic officials asking that disgraced Assemblyman Vito Lopez resign his seat at the state assembly.

video by Rafael Martínez Alequín
Brooklyn DA calls for special prosecutor in Lopez grope case
Last Updated: 2:13 PM, August 31, 2012
Posted: 1:04 PM, August 31, 2012

The Brooklyn district attorney today called for a special prosecutor to be appointed to probe possible criminal conduct by powerhouse state Assemblyman Vito Lopez in connection with claims that he sexually harassed multiple female staffers.
In his bombshell request, District Attorney Charles Hynes the appointment of a special prosecutor was warranted to investigate possible crimes that otherwise would be probed by Hynes' own political connections to Lopez's political stature.
Lopez, like Hynes, is an elected Democratic official, and Lopez long has served as boss of the Brooklyn Democratic Party, a post he now says he will not seek to continue in because of the ongoing scandal.
Christopher Sadowski
New York State Assemblyman Vito Lopez
Lopez, 71, has been accused of harassing four female staffers. Two of them in June received a total $135,080 settlement from the state Assemblyman. The other two women's complaints last month led to his censure a week ago.
Lopez denies the claims.
Hynes said in a statement, "Press reports concerning the report of the Assembly Standing Committee on Ethics and Guidance to Speaker Sheldon Silver, regarding allegations against Assemblyman Vito Lopez, did not make clear the county where the alleged acts occurred."
"I made a request to the Standing Committee to determine if any of the conduct occurred in Kings County. On Wednesday . . . Assemblyman Daniel O’Donnell, chair of the committee advised me that some of the conduct did occur in Kings County," Hynes said.
"Later that day I asked for and received a copy of the committee’s letter to Speaker Silver. After review with my senior staff I determined that the support of the Kings County Democratic County Committee, led by Assemblyman Lopez, for my re-election campaign in 2009 and my upcoming re-election (2013) had the potential to create an appearance of impropriety requiring me to apply for the appointment of another District Attorney to conduct an investigation of the committee’s findings," the DA said.
"This morning I applied for the appointment of a Special District Attorney and am making public my affirmation supporting my application," Hynes said.
Lopez's lawyer, Gerald Lefcourt, declined to comment today when contacted by The Post and told of the stunning development.
Hynes made his request a day after it was revealed that Lopez’s victims initially demanded $1.2 million from the Assembly to buy their silence — even though one of the two women was never groped or harassed by him, according to documents and sources.
His ex-deputy chief-of-staff Rita Pasarell claimed only that she was working in a hostile environment, while co-plaintiff Leah Hebert said that, at most, he made inappropriate comments to her, a source said.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Court Blocks Texas Voter ID Law, Citing Racial Impact

A federal appeals court stopped Texas from enforcing a strict voter identification law, handing the state its second legal setback this week involving Hispanic voters.
By Juan Cole
Republican vice presidential candidate, Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., gestures during a campaign stop at Walsh University in North Canton, Ohio, Thursday, Aug. 16, 2012. (photo: Justin Merriman/AP)
his year's Republican campaign may be the most dishonest in history. A couple of weeks ago I listed 10 major falsehoods and gaffes of Republican VP candidate Paul Ryan. He repeated several of them in his Tampa speech, and added a few more. In honest political debate, when a candidate says something that is not true, he is confronted by journalists and the public, and either gives evidence that it is true, or backs off. Ryan continues to insist on repeating known falsehoods, to the extent that even Fox Cable News lamented his dishonesty.
Voters need to ask who Ryan represents. It is people who make a million dollars a year or more. Everything he says is intended to produce policy that benefits them, and which hurts working people. Millionaires don't like having to pay for government-provided infrastructure, or health care for workers, and don't like having to put up with unions. The rest of us like driving on roads without potholes, over bridges that don't fall down, and not being bankrupted when we need an operation. Since most Americans would be crazy to vote for policies that only benefit our three million wealthiest, out of 310 million, Ryan tries to appeal to workers with religion (banning abortion). He needs to put together a coalition of millionaires and some religious workers in order to win. But even that wouldn't be enough. He has to get people on his side who would be hurt by his policies. And that requires that he simply lie to them.
So here are some new lies he just retailed, along with a reiteration of my earlier refutation of points drawn from his stock speeches, which he put right back in his Convention speech.
  1. Ryan blamed the US credit rating downgrade on President Obama. But it was caused by the Republican Congress's threat not to raise the debt ceiling. That is, the fault for the credit rating downgrade from AAA to AA belongs with... Paul Ryan.

  2. Ryan continues to claim that President Obama said business owners did not build their own businesses. Obama said that business owners benefit from government infrastructure and programs, which they did not build. No small business owner has built an inter-state highway or bridge, but those are the means whereby their goods get to market. Ryan's (and the GOP's) talking point in this regard is a typical Karl Rove Big Lie, and among an informed electorate it ought to discredit them.

  3. Ryan depicted Obamacare as virtually a turn to Soviet-style totalitarianism, as incompatible with liberal freedoms for the individual. But the logical conclusion is that Ryan's running mate, Mitt Romney, turned Massachusetts into a Gulag.

  4. Ryan slammed President Obama for not implementing the deficit-cutting measures recommended by the Simpson-Bowles commission. But he himself voted against Simpson-Bowles.

  5. Ryan keeps attacking Prsident Obama's stimulus program now. But in 2002 when then President George W. Bush proposed stimulus spending, Ryan supported it. "What we're trying to accomplish today with the passage of this third stimulus package is to create jobs and help the unemployed," Ryan told MSNBC in 2002. Ryan says that the stimulus had not positive effects, while economists say it saved or created millions of jobs and pulled the US out of a near-Depression.

  6. Even more embarrassing, in 2010, Ryan asked for $20 million in stimulus money from Obama for companies in his district, then repeatedly denied requesting stimulus funds. He finally admitted he had done so, but continues to slam the stimulus program as a failure (even though the economy pulled out of a Depression as a result of it).

  7. Ryan slammed President Obama for the closure of an auto plant that closed in late 2008 under George W. Bush. Ryan's running mate, Mitt Romney, opposed Obama's actual auto bailout, which was a great success and returned Detroit to profitability.

  8. Paul Ryan charges that Barack Obama has 'stolen' $700 billion from medicare for his Obamacare. In fact, these expense reductions do not cut Medicare benefits, and, moreover, Romney and Ryan supported these reductions! The difference is that they would give the savings to the affluent, whereas Obama uses them to cover the presently uninsured.

  9. Ryan continues to push his longstanding plans for a steal-from-the-elderly-and-give-to-the-rich medicare plan, which President Obama warned would cost ordinary recipients over $6000 a year extra. Politifact checked and rated Obama's charge as correct, though they noted that the figures referred to CBO analyses of Ryan's last plan, not his 'new' one, which hasn't been subjected to similar analysis. Ryan certainly recently put forward a plan that would cost ordinary people that much extra.

  10. Ryan neglected to note that under the tax plan he favors, Gov. Mitt Romney would pay less than 1% in annual federal taxes, highlighting Romney's already low rate compared to ordinary Americans (slightly lower than Ryan's own!) and putting the spotlight back where Ryan's appointment was supposed to misdirect it.

Disgraced pol Vito Lopez's former chief-of-staff ID'd as sex-harass settler

Last Updated: 10:52 AM, August 30, 2012
Posted: 1:44 AM, August 30, 2012

Disgraced Assemblyman Vito Lopez’s alleged sexual-harassment victims include his former chief-of-staff, who was paid at least part of a secret $103,000 settlement, The Post has learned.
Leah Hebert, 29, worked for more than a year in Lopez’s Brooklyn office until she was terminated June 7 — the same day that an invoice for that settlement was submitted to the Assembly, records show.
The taxpayer-funded money was paid out six days later to a Manhattan law firm connected to LA sexual-harassment attorney Gloria Allred.
The settlement was covered by a confidentiality agreement authorized by Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, who has since apologized for the veil of secrecy and is now a target of a state ethics probe.
ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS: Leah Hebert accompanies her boss, Vito Lopez (left), for whom she was chief-of-staff until she departed in June, on a visit to see City Councilman Erik Dilan.
ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS: Leah Hebert accompanies her boss, Vito Lopez (left), for whom she was chief-of-staff until she departed in June, on a visit to see City Councilman Erik Dilan.
Gregory P. Mango
NEW LIFE: Leah Hebert, near her Brooklyn home yesterday, g ot at least part of the tax-funded $103,080 settlement.
A political source told The Post Hebert received at least a share of that payout.
Hebert refused to comment yesterday as she walked into a Brooklyn apartment building where she bought a co-op in May.
A friend earlier in the day declared, “She’s a victim here!”
Hebert was first hired by Lopez as a legislative assistant in March 2011 at a salary of nearly $45,000 a year.
She was promoted to chief-of-staff just five months later — at a salary of $75,000, records show. Her salary was slashed, for unknown reasons to $49,842 in January.
Two months later, Hebert was transferred out of Lopez’s office to an undisclosed assignment in the Assembly — although her termination wasn’t complete until June 7.
Records show that on top of her salary, Hebert was paid four times by the Lopez campaign in 2011 for “reimbursements” totaling $4,774.41.
In addition to the $103,080 paid by the Assembly to two women, Lopez also doled out $32,000, according to The New York Times. It was not clear if the money came from his personal or campaign accounts.
The scandal is a black eye for Silver, one of the state’s most powerful Democrats.
Publicly, he welcomed an investigation yesterday by the Gov. Cuomo-created Joint Commission on Public Ethics (JCOPE) — although privately, sources said he and his staff are “panicking” about the probe.
Silver defiantly stated the inquiry would “allow all the facts to come out.”
He also said the Assembly was “asking for a release from any confidentiality clauses that may exist” so it could disclose details about sex-harassment allegations against Lopez separately from the JCOPE probe. But behind closed doors Silver and his aides “are under fire,” a source said.
“They can get hit in a lot of ways on this,” the source said, noting that Silver is also concerned about attacks from women’s groups angry about the settlement.

Paul Ryan Address: Convention Speech Built On Demonstrably Misleading Assertions

Posted: Updated: 08/30/2012 8:50 am

Paul Ryan Address
Paul Ryan used misleading assertions in his address at the Republican convention Wednesday.
TAMPA, Fla. -- Paul Ryan pledged Wednesday that if he and his running mate Mitt Romney were elected president, they would usher in an ethic of responsibility. The Wisconsin congressman and GOP vice presidential candidate repeatedly chided President Barack Obama for blaming the jobs and housing crises on his predecessor, saying that his habit of "forever shifting blame to the last administration, is getting old. The man assumed office almost four years ago -– isn’t it about time he assumed responsibility?"
Ryan then noted that Obama, while campaigning for president, promised that a GM plant in Wisconsin would not shut down. "That plant didn’t last another year. It is locked up and empty to this day. And that’s how it is in so many towns today, where the recovery that was promised is nowhere in sight," Ryan said.
Except Obama didn't promise that. And the plant closed in December 2008 -- while George W. Bush was president.
It was just one of several striking and demonstrably misleading elements of Ryan's much-anticipated acceptance speech. And it comes just days after Romney pollster Neil Newhouse warned, defending the campaign's demonstrably false ads claiming Obama removed work requirements from welfare, "We're not going to let our campaign be dictated by fact-checkers."
Ryan, for his part, slammed the president for not supporting a deficit commission report without mentioning that he himself had voted against it, helping to kill it.
He also made a cornerstone of his argument the claim that Obama "funneled" $716 billion out of Medicare to pay for Obamacare. But he didn't mention that his own budget plan relies on those very same savings.
Ryan also put responsibility for Standard & Poor's downgrade of U.S. government debt at Obama's doorstep. But he didn't mention that S&P itself, in explaining its downgrade, referred to the debt ceiling standoff. That process of raising the debt ceiling was only politicized in the last Congress, driven by House Republicans, led in the charge by Paul Ryan.
The credit rater also said it worried that Republicans would never agree to tax increases. “We have changed our assumption on [revenue] because the majority of Republicans in Congress continue to resist any measure that would raise revenues,” S&P wrote.
Jodie Layton, a convention goer from Utah watching the Ryan speech, said she was blown away by the vice presidential candidate. But she said she was surprised to hear that after his speech about taking responsibility, he'd pinned a Bush-era plant closing on Obama.
"It closed in December 2008?" she asked, making sure she heard a HuffPost reporter's question right. After a long pause, she said, "It's happening a lot on both sides. It's to be expected."
Ryan has referenced the GM plant before, and his attack was debunked by the Detroit News, which called it inaccurate. "In fact, Obama made no such promise and the plant halted production in December 2008, when President George W. Bush was in office," Detroit News reporter David Sherpardson wrote earlier this month. "Obama did speak at the plant in February 2008, and suggested that a government partnership with automakers could keep the plant open, but made no promises as Ryan suggested."
After the speech, CNN's political commentators focused mostly on Ryan's misstatements, demonstrating the degree to which they were evident.
Top Obama adviser David Axelrod jumped on the GM factory claim. "Again, Ryan blames Obama for a GM plant that closed under Bush. But then, they did say they wouldn't 'let fact checkers get in the way.'"
Ryan, however, appears to have made the calculation that the misleading won't hurt him with voters. He might be right. CNN's David Gergen, while acknowledging some "misstatements" in Ryan's address, suggested that pundits focus elsewhere. "But let's not forget that this was a speech about big ideas," he told his audience.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Silver hit by ‘hu$h’ probe

Makes shocking confession on Vito deal

Last Updated: 3:26 AM, August 29, 2012
Posted: 12:50 AM, August 29, 2012

A state ethics committee created by Gov. Cuomo has launched a potentially damning probe into the six-figure Assembly payout to two of Vito Lopez’s alleged sex-harassment victims — a deal Speaker Sheldon Silver now admits he green-lighted, sources said yesterday.
With his role in the scandal facing intense scrutiny, Silver made a stunning mea culpa last night.
“I now believe it was the wrong one from the perspective of transparency,” he said in a statement, referring to the decision to keep the settlement under wraps.
“I take full responsibility in not insisting that all cases go to the ethics committee.”

Sheldon Silver
He then laid out his mistakes in authorizing the $103,080 settlement:
“The Assembly (1) should not agree to a confidential settlement, (2) should insist that the basic factual allegations of any complaint be referred to the ethics committee for a full investigation and (3) should publicly announce the existence of any settlement, while protecting the identity of the victims,” Silver said.
The rare admission by one of the state’s most powerful lawmakers comes during the opening stages of an investigation by the independent Joint Commission on Public Ethics (JCOPE), which “will focus on the process’’ that led to the taxpayer-funded settlement, a source said.
Probers are interested in what led to the deal, who did the negotiating and how the final terms were hammered out, sources said.
Cuomo — who created JCOPE last year to police the state government — yesterday said investigators should probe Lopez’s alleged sexual misconduct.
“What’s really troubling here is a person coming forward and saying they were harassed by a public official,” he said. “If there were repeated instances of it, I think he should resign everything.”
Still, the governor defended the use of public funds to settle sex-harass cases.
“This would not be the first harassment case that the state settled . . . It’s the obligation of the state to settle the claims, if you can,’’ he said.
The costly deal involved two women, The New York Times reported.
The deal also was well-known to more state officials than previously thought, The Post has learned. A lawyer in Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s office reviewed the settlement and made a recommendation on it, although neither the lawyer nor Schneiderman was involved in its approval, said a top aide to the AG. State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli’s office cut the check for it.
Lopez, 71, yesterday resigned as Brooklyn’s Democratic Party leader, but vowed to hold on to his Assembly seat, despite calls for his ouster.
He was censured and stripped of his position as head of the Assembly’s Housing Committee by Silver on Friday after the Assembly’s ethics panel charged that Lopez groped at least two young female staffers.
It was then revealed that two other women claimed he had sexually harassed them — but Assembly leaders quietly dealt with them by negotiating the settlement.
The president of the National Organization for Women of New York City, Sonia Ossorio, said Silver’s feet need to be held to the fire.
“This earlier complaint was never reported to the Assembly’s ethics committee,’’ she said.
“Sheldon Silver is now in the hot seat with Lopez, and he has a lot of explaining to do.”
A Silver spokesman previously said that the only time complaints aren’t investigated by the ethics committee is when victims insist that they not be “for reasons of personal privacy.’’
Gloria Allred, lawyer for at least one of the women in the settlement, said in a statement yesterday, “We have never requested or insisted that a legislative committee or other body not proceed with an investigation.”
Lopez denied the charges in a statement yesterday, saying, “I never sexually harassed any staff, and I hope and intend to prove in the coming months the political nature of these accusations.”
Kevin Mintzer, the lawyer for the two other women whose complaints led to Lopez’s censure, demanded that the Brooklyn kingmaker be immediately forced to give up his Assembly seat.
“The notion that Mr. Lopez will continue to be in a position to sexually harass other Assembly employees is intolerable,’’ Mintzer said.
Lopez, in resigning his local party post, said he did so because of an “onslaught of character attacks.’’
They have “put enormous emotional pressures on my family and close friends. I cannot sit by and allow that to continue,” said the pol, who has a longtime girlfriend.
But a Brooklyn party source said Lopez doesn’t want to give up his Assembly seat because he is still hoping to get rid of Lincoln Restler, a fellow district leader who could challenge Lopez’s protégé, City Councilman Steve Levin.
Former Assemblyman Frank Seddio is said to be a front-runner to replace Lopez as party leader.
Additional reporting by Sally Goldenberg, Rich Calder, Fredric U. Dicker, Dan Mangan, Kate Sheehy

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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Mitt Romney announces Paul Ryan as his VP. (photo: New York Magazine)
Mitt Romney announces Paul Ryan as his VP. (photo: New York Magazine)

Yes, Vagina, There Is No Sanity Clause

John Cory, Reader Supported News
28 August 12

Reader Supported News | Perspective

omen, don't worry your beautiful little brains about the recent brouhaha over legitimate forcible rape and pregnancy and all that lady-parts crazy health care talk or the fact that all that crazy talk is actually included in the GOP platform.
Mike Huckabee said that forcible rape can be a really good thing, and he's a compassionate conservative, right? He pointed to Ethel Waters, a child of rape who couldn't have become famous singing Taking a Chance on Love if she had been born, you know, the regular way.
Sharon Angle said that when life hands you lemons you need to make lemonade, because - well, I'm not sure but I guess lemons are the biblical fruit of rape or something. And Missouri GOP Committeewoman Sharon Barnes defended crazy Todd Akin by saying, "... at that point, if God has chosen to bless this person with a life, you don't kill it."
God might have been too busy to bless you with protection from being raped, but He loves you enough to give you a souvenir. And you damn well better keep it.
It's like that scene at the end of "Life of Brian," where everyone gets crucified on a cross and they break into song: Always Look on the Bright Side of Life.
What you need to understand is that this is all about big government and big government needs to be shrunk small enough to fit into your bedroom or better yet, shrunk to the size of a transvaginal probe that fits in your uterus because that's the only way to protect the rights of the unborn, because once the child is born, they don't have any more right to survival than the rest of us. That's what makes America great.
Now I can see the confusion in your eyes because you don't understand all this "forcible rape" and "legitimate rape" terminology being flung around like so much free monkey-poo at the zoo, but it's really nothing to worry about. All of that will be defined when the time comes - and defined by those who understand these things, which is to say, not you. So relax and learn to enjoy it.
There is no need to clutter up your beautiful mind with liberal voodoo-science or wonder how such a painful and brutal thing as rape can be warped and spun into a positive or even patriotic near-religious experience. No ma'am, when it comes to crime and lady-parts, the good Christian GOP doesn't need science, health issues, or facts - they've got God. And God's Word is good enough for government work. Know what I mean?
The horror and trauma of rape is monstrous and life-long whether it's the rape of a woman, girl, or boy. It is vile and cruel. It should not be fodder for politics or for religious-magical-myth-making fanaticism. Nor should there ever be any qualifier attached to the word RAPE. Only snake-oil opportunists would employ such bullshit tactics. Snake-oil salesmen and the right-wing GOP. Same-same.
If you really believe that God gift-wraps rape with pregnancy then I never want to meet your God let alone believe in such a cruel and immoral creature.
Our politics and religiosity have become deeply warped and absolutely insane.
Maybe Planned Parenthood and other women's health organizations should hold a fundraiser by printing and selling t-shirts that read:
Yes, Vagina, there is no sanity clause!
Just a thought.

Reader Supported News is the Publication of Origin for this work. Permission to republish is freely granted with credit and a link back to Reader Supported News.
August 28, 2012 9:07 AM ET

Considering Political Corruption and, Perhaps, a New City Motto

The Day: The roster of the indicted and the convicted among New York's political class is appallingly long, and keeps growing. What words might serve as a guide to city politics?
August 28, 2012 8:30 AM ET

Composer’s Unknown Political Oeuvre

As Lin-Manuel Miranda was writing songs for the musical “In the Heights,” he supported himself in part by creating music in local candidates’ advertisements.

State Sen. Huntley hauled off in 30G ‘scam’

Cuffed in charity cover-up

Last Updated: 1:47 AM, August 28, 2012
Posted: 1:08 AM, August 28, 2012

State Sen. Shirley Huntley desperately tried to cover up the theft of $30,000 in taxpayer money from her “sham” nonprofit as a grand-jury probe bore down on her, sources claimed and documents indicated yesterday.
The Queens Democrat last year handwrote a “false, backdated letter designed to fool investigators” into believing her Parent Workshop charity conducted seminars that never actually occurred, authorities said.
The $29,950 that was supposed to go to the workshops was instead pocketed by Huntley’s niece, Lynn Smith — the charity’s treasurer — and the group’s president, Patricia Savage, authorities said.
SHIRLEY, YOU CAN’T BE SERIOUS! Sen. Shirley Huntley is taken away in handcuffs yesterday to face corruption charges but still declared it “a great day!” The letter above is among the evidence against her.
Dennis Clark
SHIRLEY, YOU CAN’T BE SERIOUS! Sen. Shirley Huntley is taken away in handcuffs yesterday to face corruption charges but still declared it “a great day!” The letter above is among the evidence against her.
PATRICIA SAVAGE - Charity’s president.
Charity’s president.
DAVID GANTT - Consultant charged.
Consultant charged.
The taxpayer funds were delivered to the Nassau County-based charity as “member items,” which the Legislature appropriated at Huntley’s request.
State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman began building the case against Huntley, 74, after The Post exposed her do-nothing nonprofit in 2011.
“We are going to make sure every taxpayer dollar goes to the purpose [for] which it’s intended . . . and the sham nonprofits are put out of business as quickly as possible,” Schneiderman said yesterday.
Smith, Savage and David Gantt — a purported charity consultant who allegedly submitted fake invoices for the workshops never conducted — were charged in December for what authorities call the underlying scam.
Also charged in December with doctoring documents was Roger Scotland, president of the Southern Queens Park Association.
The indictments led at least one co-defendant to cooperate with investigators, sources said.
Yesterday’s indictment added Huntley, charged with conspiracy, tampering with physical evidence and falsifying business records.
Those falsified records, according to the indictment, included:
* One handwritten letter Huntley wrote to Savage allegedly from a group called the Southern Queens Park Association, which supposedly hosted the charity’s workshops.
* Four documents from Gantt and another “consultant” claiming to have received payments for their work.
* Twelve fake fliers advertising the nonexistent seminars.
* Six false testimonial letters from people who said they attended those sessions.
Huntley could face four to 12 years in prison if convicted on all charges, which would trigger her automatic removal from her $79,500-a-year job.
She joins a number of fellow Albany Democrats who are in hot water.
In the past week, three agencies announced they were investigating Assemblywoman Naomi Rivera for putting her lovers on the public payroll, and a state ethics panel charged Assemblyman Vito Lopez with sexually harassing female aides.
Earlier this year, former state Sen. Pedro Espada Jr. was convicted of looting his Bronx nonprofit, and Brooklyn state Sen. Carl Kruger got seven years in prison for bribery.
Legislative leaders yesterday stripped Huntley of her position as the ranking Democrat on the mental-health committee — she’ll lose her $9,000 stipend.
Huntley, who is being challenged in the Sept. 13 primary by Councilman James Sanders Jr. and Gian Jones, vowed to fight the charges.
“It’s a great day!” she bizarrely bizarrely exclaimed outside Nassau County Criminal Court, as she joined the ranks of several Democrats who have recently been arrested, been convicted, or come under investigation.
Additional reporting by Erik Kriss, Josh Margolin and Jennifer Bain
This note, scrawled by Huntley, was “a template for the falsified letter from the Southern Queens Park Association,” prosecutors say. The group allegedly hosted tax-funded workshops, organized by Huntley’s charity, that never happened.
The addressee is Pat Savage, the charity’s president, who allegedly delivered it to a third party on Huntley’s behalf.
The dates refer to the period when the charity was supposed to be using the association’s facilities for tax-funded sessions that prosecutors said did not happen.

Read more:

Monday, August 27, 2012

Cuomo Calls for Resignation of Brooklyn Assemblyman

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo became the most prominent official to call for the resignation of Vito J. Lopez, who was censured after allegations of sexual harassment.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Where the Mob Keeps Its Money
Illegally gained, laundered funds are polluting the legitimate financial sector.
Paul Ryan with images of Ayn Rand and the Pope in the background. (image: Salon)
Paul Ryan with images of Ayn Rand and the Pope in the background. (image: Salon)

What Ayn Rand Taught Paul Ryan

By Michael Kinsley, Bloomberg News
24 August 12

grew up reading Ayn Rand, and it taught me quite a bit about who I am and what my value systems are and what my beliefs are. It's inspired me so much that it's required reading in my office for all my interns and my staff."
U.S. Representative Paul Ryan, Republican vice presidential candidate, in a 2005 speech.
Paul Ryan laughed. He stood naked on top of the vice president's desk in the Senate chamber, scanning the crowd of sniveling politicians below him.
He flexed his muscles, the result of hours spent in the House gymnasium. Look at these pathetic specimens, he thought. Not one of them could do a one-armed pushup if his life depended on it. Not one was worthy of so much as co-sponsoring one of Ryan's bills. Every single one of them had been elected by appealing to the average citizen in his (or her - Ryan snorted at the thought) district. It occurred to him, and not for the first time, that of all the men and women in this room, only he, Paul Ryan, had been selected for his current office by the president himself.
The president. Ryan's mind wandered as he thought about the only man who stood between him and absolute power. Mitt Romney was a weakling, he thought - and not for the first time. He's a man whose views can change. The thought filled Ryan with disgust. His own views were as solid as granite. They were the views of the only clear-thinking woman he had ever met: Ayn Rand.
Pathetic Losers
Ryan thought back on the humiliating "job interview" he had allowed himself to be subjected to before being chosen as Romney's vice president. Did he have any pregnant, unmarried daughters? Could he see Russia from his living room window?
Worst of all was the probing of his attitude about federal programs such as Medicare and Social Security. His attitude? His attitude was that all of these programs were for pathetic losers. Romney had agreed with him, but said they should keep this opinion under their hats. Ryan had obliged, only long enough to make it through the election. And he despised himself for this. But he did it, and it worked, and the Romney-Ryan team was elected. And now he kept nothing under his hat.
In fact, he didn't have a hat, or any other article of clothing. Clothing was for weaklings.
It was the opening session of the Senate, Vice President Paul Ryan presiding. The House leadership also was present. Below him he could see and hear so-called leaders of his own party pleading with him to get off the desk and sit in a chair like a normal human being - or at least put on some clothes, for God's sake. He cringed inwardly at having to listen to such advice from the likes of Mitch McConnell and John Boehner.
Although, he had to admit, he couldn't despise these two men, much as he might wish to. They both seemed terribly bitter. He liked that. Actually, he had a real soft spot for Senator McConnell, who, when the occasion called for it, could be impressively nasty.
As for House Speaker Boehner, he could be nasty, too, but always with a slight cynical smirk, which said, "I know this is all just a game." This ruined it for Ryan. For Ryan, this was not a game.
Furthermore, Boehner smoked cigarettes. That marked him as a pathetic, weak character. But it also marked him as a man willing to stand up to the sickening pressures of social conformity. You could argue it both ways. There are merits on both sides of the argument. Reasonable men may differ. …
Pathetic Thinking
"Stop!" Ryan thought to himself. Was even he not immune from the poison of relativism? Had not his mistress taught him that there are not two sides to every question? There is only one side to every question. He could hear her voice in his head, saying: "No. No. No. Paul, you disappoint me. Hearing you say that something can be argued both ways makes me physically ill. Yes, yes, I want to vomit. There is one objective answer to any question, and that is the answer that derives from reason. And if you are in any doubt about what reason dictates, just come to me and I will tell you. You can take it on faith."
Ryan thought about the challenges that lay ahead. Privatizing the interstate highway system. Replacing the Pentagon with national defense vouchers. Turning the Smithsonian and the National Gallery of Art into block grants for the states. Ryan was especially excited by the defense vouchers idea. Why should national defense have to be "one-size-fits- all"?
Again, he scanned the room. It occurred to him that, if anything, the opposing party was even more pathetic than his own. What a collection of mediocrities. A perfect reflection of the people who elect them. Over there was that weasel Harry Reid. During the campaign - with no evidence at all - Senator Reid said that Romney had paid no taxes for 10 years. So what if he hadn't? Good for him. Taxation is slavery. It is the inferior majority expecting the superior minority to pay them for their very inferiority.
Paul Ryan banged the gavel and brought the Senate to order. It quieted down quickly - much faster than the House used to under the so-called leadership of that woman from California. The politicians recognized that they had entered the force field of a true, natural leader.
Yes, things were going to be very different from here on out, Ryan chuckled to himself.

Twi$ted web of political nonprofits in Bx.

Last Updated: 6:09 AM, August 26, 2012
Posted: 12:27 AM, August 26, 2012

The dating life of Assemblywoman Naomi Rivera has shed light on a web of Latino nonprofits in The Bronx — groups that benefit a close-knit network of political insiders as much as the community.
She installed a boyfriend, Vincent Pinela, as head of the Bronx Council for Economic Development, a taxpayer-funded nonprofit he admits being unqualified to run. He alleges she used the group to fund their dates and her campaign.
But the council is only one nonprofit of many organized under the Hispanic Federation, which has taken in $24 million in taxpayer money since 1998.
Liz Sullivan
PLAYERS: Roberto Ramirez (left) and Luis Miranda have ties to a nonprofit that helps run the group where Assemblywoman Naomi Rivera hired a beau.
The federation has ties to almost every Hispanic lawmaker in The Bronx, including Rivera, but primarily benefits two men: political strategist Luis Miranda, who co-founded it and once served as its president, and Roberto Ramirez, a former Bronx Democratic Party boss.
The men run a private political consulting firm, the MirRam Group. It’s paid by the Hispanic Federation and is hired by politicians who steer taxpayer money to the nonprofit.
A Post investigation has found:
* The Hispanic Federation paid MirRam and Miranda Towns, a firm registered to Miranda and his wife, $681,644 between 1999 and 2008 for “consulting,” records show.
* In 2005, the federation paid MirRam $88,000 to survey Latinos on topics including the mayor’s race. At the same time, MirRam was paid $1.37 million by Fernando Ferrer, then a mayoral candidate.
* Ramirez and Miranda gave political allies jobs at the nonprofit. Ex-Secretary of State Lorraine Cortez Vazquez, who had been Ramirez’s chief of staff, made more than $180,000 a year there.
* The federation paid MirRam $33,000 this year to lobby the City Council, records show.
* The group often pays out small amounts, from $400 to $800, to individuals without detailing why. A source in the group said these are sometimes payments for favors.
“This lady is going to bring seniors to an event. I have to pay her,” the source said as an example. “I promised to send her to the Dominican Republic with her family.”
A federation spokesman said they were for families of victims of American Airlines Flight 587, which crashed in Queens in 2001, or other people in need.
Miranda launched the federation in 1990, the year Ramirez won an Assembly seat in Fordham. Ramirez left politics in 2000 and handed the party reins to Assemblyman José Rivera, father of Naomi, in 2002.
Insiders say that if you want influence in The Bronx, you have to deal with the federation and, by extension, MirRam.
Nonprofits, for instance, pay the federation to do their bookkeeping. Pinela said his Bronx council was charged $12,000 a year for federation services.
Every year, the federation throws a fund-raising gala packed with politicians. Its bash at the Waldorf-Astoria last Apri1 brought out mayoral hopefuls City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and Bill Thompson and New York Giant Victor Cruz.
But the blurring of a nonprofit and a consultant group means there’s little accountability, said the source in the organization.
“If we were helping the Little League around the corner to get bats or gloves . . . the ends justify the means,” the source said. “But when you are giving extra money to a senior center because they delivered people to a [political] event, it’s a different story.”
A federation spokesman called the allegations “simply untrue,” saying it only provides funds for those in need of disaster relief.
As for payments to MirRam, the group noted that Miranda was no longer its president and MirRam is “arguably the top Latino lobbying and strategic consulting firm in our city.”
Additional reporting by Isabel Vincent and Melissa Klein

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Daughter of Bx. state Sen. busted for keying boyfriend's car: police
Last Updated: 10:06 AM, August 26, 2012
Posted: 12:45 AM, August 26, 2012

The trouble keeps on coming for the children of Bronx pols.
NYPD Sgt. Damaris Diaz — the daughter of state Sen. Ruben Diaz Sr. and sister of Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. — was arrested yesterday for keying her boyfriend’s car after he told her he wanted out of their relationship, cops said.
Diaz, 43, a divorced mother who has served with the Police Department since 1993, had been dating a fellow cop, Edward Vasquez.
The couple met on the job at the 41st Precinct station house in Longwood, once infamously known as “Fort Apache, The Bronx.”
FATHER AND STUN: State Sen. Ruben Diaz Sr. (above left) with Bronx Beep son Ruben Diaz Jr. Cop-daughter Damaris Diaz (below) was busted in a car-keying.
Elizabeth Lippman
FATHER AND STUN: State Sen. Ruben Diaz Sr. (above left) with Bronx Beep son Ruben Diaz Jr. Cop-daughter Damaris Diaz (below) was busted in a car-keying.
But when Vasquez told her he wanted to break up with her, Diaz allegedly went ballistic and began threatening him via text message — taunting him with her family’s political power in The Bronx and her senior rank at the Police Department.
“I will go to the 4-1 and bury your career,” Diaz texted Vasquez, referring to the precinct station where he works, according to cop sources.
“You better come back,” she wrote.
In the most ominous message, she allegedly texted, “If you don’t come back, I will kill you.”
But the texting fusillade apparently wasn’t enough retribution for the spurned lover.
At 11:30 p.m. on Friday, Diaz spotted her ex-boyfriend’s 2005 Honda Accord parked on Hone Avenue in The Bronx and scratched it up with her key, cops said.
Police charged her with criminal mischief and aggravated harassment.
“He was trying to break up with her, and she had a problem with that,” a source said.
The incident came a week after The Post revealed that Assemblywoman Naomi Rivera — daughter of Assemblyman José Rivera — had employed two boyfriends on her payroll and misused taxpayer funds.
Friends of the Diaz clan said they were shocked by the arrest yesterday.
“I can’t see Damaris doing this,” said a source close to the sergeant. “She’s such a sweet person. That’s not Damaris. It’s not in her character.”
Her brother could not be reached for comment.
“I’m sick in my house. I’m eating right now, and I can’t talk to you,” Ruben Diaz Sr. said when reached by phone at his home yesterday afternoon.
This isn’t the first black eye for the Diaz clan.
The head of two Bronx charities with ties to Diaz Sr. was charged earlier this month with pilfering more than $500,000 in taxpayer dollars.
Diaz Sr. has claimed state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman holds a personal grudge against him.
Diaz Sr. claims the indictment of one of his top aides, Clement Gardner, came as a total shock.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Sen. Shirley Huntley says she expects to be arrested following investigation into state funds

Queens pol says she isn't concerned and will turn herself in on Monday, despite wide-ranging probe into several nonprofits she's connected to.

Queens state Senator Shirley Huntley.  Huntley is presently under investigation in connection with state funds she sent to non-profits.  Arrests is reportedly imminent.

Ronzoni via Wikepedia

Queens state Senator Shirley Huntley is presently under investigation in connection with state funds she sent to non-profits.

Queens state Sen. Shirley Huntley, who is being investigated in connection with state funds she sent to nonprofits, said Saturday that she expects to be arrested.
Huntley, who represents Jamaica and Springfield Gardens, did not know what charges she would face - but insisted that she would be cleared of any wrongdoing.
“I am not concerned,” she told the Daily News Saturday. “Whatever will be, will be.”
Huntley said she would turn herself in Monday to investigators at Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s office.
A Schneiderman spokesman did not reveal what charges Huntley would face - but suggested that the state senator would soon face justice.
“The appropriate forum in which to respond to the Senator is a court of law, where the Attorney General will prove all facts according to the rules of evidence,” said spokesman James Freedland.
“Those facts will speak for themselves," Freedland said.
The Daily News was first to report on Huntley’s connection to non-profits she was directing money to, including one where the state checks went to her home address.
Schneiderman’s office has conducted a wide-ranging probe into several non-profits connected to Huntley.
Her niece and a top aide were arrested last year on charges they kept $30,000 in state money meant for a nonprofit the senator founded.
And Huntley’s daughter, Pamela Corley, is also being investigated on suspicions that the nonprofit she runs may have misused state cash. Corley has not been charged with a crime.
Huntley ripped Schneiderman, who used to be her colleague in the state senate.
“People who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones,” said Huntley, who did not elaborate.
Huntley already faced a tough fight in the Sept. 13 Democratic primary. She is being challenged by City Councilman James Sanders, whose base in Far Rockaway was redistricted into Huntley’s turf.
Despite the brewing scandal, the six-year incumbent said she was would remain in the race and was confident of winning.
“I’m running,” Huntley said. “My people know me, believe me when I tell you.”
Neither the senate Democratic or Republicans had any immediate comment about the imminent arrest.
Huntley’s indictment comes as Longtime Brooklyn Assemblyman Vito Lopez faces sexual harassment charges and Bronx Assemblywoman Naomi Rivera is at the center of an ethics probe and could face criminal charges.
“Something is very wrong in Albany and it’s not what New Yorkers should expect,” said Susan Lerner, head of the voter advocacy group Common Cause.
“Now the shameful instances are coming fast and furious,” Lerner said. “It’s a sorry spectacle right now in terms of what we’re seeing all the repeated investigation censuring and indictments of lawmakers.”
with Corinne Lestch

Bx. pol Naomi Rivera’s brother Rodney lied in bankruptcy filing, records show

Last Updated: 6:20 AM, August 25, 2012
Posted: 1:13 AM, August 25, 2012

Bronx Assemblywoman Naomi Rivera isn’t the only one in her family with questionable ethics.
Her brother Rodney told the federal government he was flat broke and jobless when he filed for bankruptcy in 2004 — even though he had a $46,000-a-year, taxpayer-funded gig with Nassau County, according to public records.
In his June 14, 2004, Chapter 7 filing, Rodney Rivera — looking to wipe out $25,398 in consumer debt — signed federal court documents stating he was “unemployed. He checked “none” on a form where debtors are required to list gross income earned for the two years prior to the filing.
In reality, Rivera, 42, had landed a job three months earlier, records show.
On March 15, 2004, he got a $48,000-a-year job as assistant to the Director of Constituent Affairs in then-County Executive Tom Suozzi’s office, according to records obtained by The Post.
Rivera — whose scandal-scarred sis is under investigation by federal, state and city authorities amid claims of misusing public funds — could be prosecuted if he deliberately made false statements or omitted crucial financial information in bankruptcy papers, lawyers said yesterday.
In his bankruptcy filing, the father of three claimed to live a stunningly economical life, with no monthly living expenses — no rent, mortgage, utility, phone, medical, dental, transportation, insurance or clothing costs.
His only monthly financial obligation, Rivera claimed, was a $350 car payment. His only asset, he declared, was $500 in clothing.
Rivera’s wife, Jessica Letterel-Rivera, filed her own individual petition the same day as her husband, to get out from under $25,841 in consumer debt.
She, too, claimed to be broke and unemployed, with no assets and no income for at least 2 1/2 years. She listed her monthly expenses as $250 for electricity and heat, $98 for her home phone, $52 for a cellphone, $1,000 for food and $630 for her car and auto insurance.
The couple’s Elmont, LI, home is owned by Rivera’s mom, Blanche, and politically powerful dad, Assemblyman José Rivera, records show.
Between the two filings, the couple listed $51,239 in debt. Both claimed to have no cash, nothing in the bank, no retirement or investment funds and no furniture, computers or other household items.
Rodney Rivera owed nearly $5,000 to Sam Ash and another music store, $14,000 on a Mitsubishi car loan and more than $6,000 to Discover and another credit card for “consumer goods.”
His wife’s debts included nearly $10,500 to Discover, $4,400 to another credit card, $7,700 to Mitsubishi, $126 to BP/Amoco and $71 to America Online.
Both bankruptcies went through in October 2004.
Rodney Rivera continued to work for the Nassau County Executive’s Office — with a salary hike to $62,400 — until the end of January 2007, records show, when he got a job with the county’s Office of Housing and Intergovernmental Affairs.
In September that year, he got a $65,000-a-year job gathering newspaper clippings for the state Senate’s Democratic Conference but was fired in April 2010.
He now works as special assistant for the state’s Department of Environmental Conservation, raking in a $74,000 salary.
Neither he nor his bankruptcy lawyer, Nancy Martorelli, returned calls.
GOP: A Party That Hates Women Missouri Congressman Todd Akin, right, a Republican currently running for the US Senate, listens to House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., before a news conference on Ryan's budget agenda, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (photo: J. Scott Applewhite/AP)
Missouri Congressman Todd Akin, right, a Republican currently running for the US Senate, listens to House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., before a news conference on Ryan's budget agenda, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (photo: J. Scott Applewhite/AP)

GOP: A Party That Hates Women

By Marshall Auerback, AlterNet
25 August 12

Romney and Ryan envision an anti-woman economy and society, but women are increasingly key to winning elections.

issouri GOP senatorial candidate Todd Akin's absurd comment that women's bodies can prevent pregnancies in cases of "legitimate rape" is disgusting. It also points to a deeper problem within the GOP.
Plainly, this is a party that hates women. And given the huge gender gap opening up in favor of President Obama over the presumptive GOP candidate, Mitt Romney, this has important implications for economic and social policy going forward. Because if they win, the Democrats are less likely to embrace the draconian fiscal austerity proposals now advocated by Romney's advisors, along with the party's regressive social agenda.
The current Republican Party is a perverse coalition of the top 1 percent and the socially conservative right. The latter are not well off for the most part. The Koch brothers (and others of that ilk) have managed to convince the have-not religious fundamentalists to vote against their own economic interests and support their internal colonialism through economically regressive policies which are exacerbating the country's mounting economic inequality.
This is untenable over the long run. Skewing income distributions by shoveling money to the top always ends in a big political upheaval. The social conservatives are older and aging and becoming less of the total electorate. Someday the GOP's infernal combination will blow apart because the top 1 percent will be rejected by the masses and the numbers of the social conservatives will dwindle too much.
Why? Largely because of today's new generation of women who, although they represent varying degrees of economic progressivism to conservatism, is largely rejecting the social conservatism of the Creationists and hardcore fundamentalists on the right. President Obama continues to outpoll Mitt Romney by substantial margins among women voters. I would guess that this will more than offset the appeal Romney holds among angry white males, increasingly alienated by a country that is becoming less white, more socially diverse, a veritable rainbow coalition of different ethnicities rather than a Caucasian-dominated nation. An older generation of women who saw no other way than to be dependent and kept and sexually repressed is dying out.
This will change the economic landscape. Why? Well, take a look at the latest bit of "economic wisdom" from the Romney campaign (I owe this observation to economist Bill Mitchell), which has just put out an economic paper, The Romney Program for Economic Recovery, Growth, and Jobs, written by Stanford's John B Taylor, Harvard's Greg Mankiew, Columbia's Glenn Hubbard, and Kevin Hassett from the American Enterprise Institute. These men make the following claims:
America took a wrong turn in economic policy in the past three years. The United States underperformed the historical norm shown in the administration's own forecasts, and its policies are to blame …These short-term stimulus packages were ineffective, leaving the nation with higher debt, which acts as a drag on long-term growth because households and businesses understand that the administration must raise taxes significantly to pay off that debt.
Romney's economic team also claims that "uncertainty over policy" (i.e. the large deficits and the private fear of large tax hikes) is preventing a sound recovery in private spending. This has been a common theme among the conservatives since the governments decided to deploy fiscal stimulus.
True, President Obama also retains an unhealthy obsession with "long-term fiscal sustainability" and "entitlement reform" (i.e. shredding the social safety net). But for the most part, he has avoided the worst of the excesses of the fiscal austerity fanatics in Europe and those of the Tea Party in the U.S. As a consequence, the U.S. economy has continued to grow. True, it is below trend, but it is still growing and generating some jobs, in marked contrast to what is occurring on the other side of the pond.
Mainstream economic theory claims that that private spending is weak because we are scared of the future tax implications of the rising budget deficits. But the overwhelming evidence shows that if you own a business, you're not going to invest while consumption is weak. And households will not spend because people are scared of becoming unemployed and are trying to reduce their bloated debt levels. Above all else, businesses need sales to encourage them to hire workers. A restaurant doesn't lay anyone off when it's full of paying customers, no matter how much the owner might hate the government, the paper work, and the health regulations; A department store doesn't lay off workers when it's full of paying customers; and an engineering firm doesn't lay anyone off when it has a backlog of orders.
And guess what? Women are not only more than half of the electorate, but they are a huge part of the overall aggregate demand for goods and services. Under the Republican agenda, women could well revert to a kind of economic serfdom, whose labor expended can be considered surplus to that required to maintain the survival of the man and his family.
In fact, if Romney's plan were to be introduced now or, worse yet, the automatic budget sequestration cuts proposed in the Budget Control Act from last fall were actually implemented, (which mandates across-the-board cuts to reduce the deficit by $1.2 trillion over 10 years), then we'd likely experience a double-dip recession in the U.S. next year. Support for this view has been expressed by no less than the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) which argued in a report the other day, that the U.S. economy would slide into recession in fiscal 2013 if Congress fails to act to maintain current tax rates and avert deep cuts to federal spending.
Austerity advocates like Romney and Ryan are obsessed with putting the squeeze on public spending, especially broad social welfare and education. Their plans mean that workers get trapped in a low-skill, low-pay circle of disadvantage. The increasingly casualized labor market is reinforcing that pathology, particularly for women.
As strange as it sounds, the worst of these effects may well be thankfully nullified by the GOP's ongoing war on women voters - the probable difference-makers in the upcoming election. Nat Silver of the FiveThirtyEight blog is the ultimate wonk pollster, and the best guestimates now are that President Obama today is only ahead by around 3 to 4 percent. I think it is a little more. I think Obama will do better as Romney's tax issues bring more revelations and the GOP war on women becomes center stage. Given the desultory state of the economy today, if the president wins by anywhere near the same margin as in 2008, the handwriting will truly be on the wall for the party of social conservatives, angry older white men and the 1 percenters themselves.
The changes that are occurring in the overall population as the next generation - particularly women - takes over will be death to the past Republican coalition. The GOP will eventually realize that its anti-choice stance and all that goes with it is a huge problem. The party will find that its viscerally anti-feminist rhetoric and policies will be even more of a killer in the future. And a byproduct of that will be that the corporate predators who comprise so much of the top 1 percenters will also realize that they can no longer govern with the support of social conservatives who vote against their own interests.
I think this election will make everyone realize that the future of the U.S. has already begun.

Mayor Bloomberg Says People Stay Homeless Because the Shelters Are So Damn Nice

Michael Bloomberg, man of the people, has an explanation for why the number of homeless people in New York City's shelters has jumped 18 percent so far this year: Hoi polloi have just never seen amenities like these. "We have made our shelter system so much better that, unfortunately, when people are in it — or fortunately, depending on what your objective is — it is a much more pleasurable experience than they ever had before," he said yesterday. "When we came into office, the shelter system was an abomination. People were driven around all night. The kids slept on benches. None of that happens again," — none! — "so there's less pressure on people to move out today." Oh, and maybe the economy a little bit, too, he noted.
More than 18,000 children, and more than 43,000 people overall, were living in shelters as of two weeks ago, numbers requiring the opening of nine new shelters in the last two months, the Times reports. All of them will presumably come with Whirlpools and complimentary eggs Benedict in bed, according to Bloomberg's billionaire logic.
But the mayor, despite his out-of-touch bumblings, likely knows full well what's going on, even beyond the glossed-over crummy economy:
One likely cause of the increase is the phasing out of a signature Bloomberg administration program called Advantage, which gave employed homeless people rent subsidies for up to two years, part of an effort to help them transition toward self-sufficiency.
The state withdrew its financial support last year, leading to the loss of federal funding, as well. The city, which had previously provided only a third of the financing, said it could not continue the program with only its own money.
"The mayor's assertion that homeless New Yorkers are staying in shelters longer because they're 'much more pleasurable' is shocking and offensive," said the executive director of the Coalition for the Homeless in the Post, which even had to laugh at Mike's ridiculousness. "Mayor Bloomberg systematically closed every single path to affordable housing once available to homeless families with vulnerable children. His failed policies are the major factor leading to the record shelter population this summer."
The Daily News, meanwhile, has photos from the Auburn Family Shelter in Fort Greene, Brooklyn, proudly referred to by one resident as "the slummiest place you can imagine." At night, she said, her kids go to the bathroom in a bucket. Maybe it's time for Bloomberg, who has homes from Bermuda to London, to come have a sleepover, just so he doesn't miss out on all of the pleasure.

Party Leader Lopez is Not Alone In Using His Position For Illegal Activities
Did Silver Get Word That the Feds Are About to Indicted Vito?
NY Daily News Says Vito Must Go Legislature is no place for a sexual predator  Brooklyn boss Vito Lopez must disprove sex charges or quit