It has been around forever

Friday, October 1, 2010

It's Five O'Clock: Do You Know Where Our Tax Dollars Are Going?

If you have ever wondered how much government employees earn or where our state elected officials are putting their pork then this is the site for you. Go to SeeThroughNY where you can get all of that information and more. For example, did you know that the Bronx Borough President's chief of staff earns $145,000 a year or that State Senator Pedro Espada was able to give away more than $2 million to community groups? Finally we have some idea about how our tax dollars are being spent, so take some time to figure out if you are getting real value for your hard earned tax dollars.


  1. This is great.Very interesting. Thanks.

  2. Big fuckin' deal. The Queens BP's chief of staff makes more than the BP herself. Mountains outta molehills, Anthony...

  3. the deeper you look, the more you see, so follow the money

  4. There are some good nuggets on that website, especially when you see who was hired into government by the the newly elected officials and exactly how much they are getting paid on the public buck. I''m having fun connecting the dots. Isn't Google amazing!

  5. Bellies to the trough

  6. Wow. Looking at the details for the elected officials close to home, this helps me appreciate just how much of a "banana republic" the Bronx really is.

    When you look at the identities, backgrounds and salaries of the staff appointments, you start to get a real sense of the hidden costs of cronyism. What an obscene waste of public monies.

    No wonder so many local politicians are mired in corruption allegations. Such naked graft and favoritism!

  7. So if there's really a news story here, then why isn't Grace Rauh yakking about it on NY1?

  8. I bet that the author of this blog has engaged in plenty of corruption to get his positions, but we just don't hear about it because he's better than most at covering his tracks. It's only a matter of time before the truth comes out Mr. Tony Perez Cassino.

  9. Mountains out of molehills? You should be OUTRAGED that the chief of staff makes more than the BP. Its outrageous than any senator, assemblyman or councilperson has such enormous slush funds at their disposal.

  10. I've posted this before - what political position has Tony Cassino ever held that would in any way allow him to be corrupt? Appointed position? Corruption would include some act for personal gain - like intimidating people so your family gets a sweatheart deal or turning a blind eye to corruption to protect your own position. Or steering votes for campaign cash.

    I do not know this man but I read about his devilry on a weekly basis in the Review. Yet I never read about guys like Dinowitz in that paper which is why I check out this blog.

  11. Considering that the vast majority of government staffers are both hard working and honest public servants who do more day in and day out year after year then the majority of folks who like to criticize will ever do in their life times for the public at large plus in addition some staffers definitely do much more actual work then the elected officials certainly do perhaps "outraged" is a tad bit hyperbolic.

    Also if we truly desire quality personnel at our government institutions and not simply dim witted morons running around aimlessly then perhaps salaries should be commensurate with an individual's ability to perform a job well???

    Attracting and retaining capable, qualified, and highly competent staff should be the top priority of every elected official. At the very least they owe that much to the people who elected them.

    Often the elected officials with the worst staff are themselves incompetent and not worthy of public office.

  12. There are some pretty useless NYC positions out there that have oversized budgets and do a lot of wasteful hiring.

    Five conspicuously bad examples are the borough presidents, the largely ceremonial officials who claim to be the chief executives of their respective boroughs (despite the fact they have no executive-branch agencies under their direction).


    I met Tony Cassino when he was chairman of my granddaughter’s nursery school, and I have followed his activities on the local Community Planning Board, the Van Cortlandt Park Conservancy, and, most recently, his very public role on the City Charter Revision Commission.

    The Tony Cassino I’m acquainted with has no resemblance to the false picture painted by Andrew Wolf and his underlings at the Riverdale Review. Over the years, crazy stories by reporters like Candice Giove and John DeSio always twist the facts to make it appear that anything Cassino does must be part of secret plot to destroy Riverdale. This approach is in keeping with Andrew Wolf’s technique of portraying anyone he doesn’t agree with as being evil or demented.

    If you pay some careful attention, you will quickly discover that the Riverdale Review is the ONLY newspaper writing about Cassino that way. In the Riverdale Press, New York Times, Daily News, New York Post and Wall Street Journal, Cassino is always treated like the respectable local community leader and civic activist he actually is.

    So to me, it seems like the only evil and demented ones are Andrew Wolf and his mouthpieces like Giove and DeSio. Thank goodness that these zanies who pretend to be journalists are all stuck working at a free tabloid with a miniscule readership and dwindling roster of advertisers.

  14. any idea why wolf has vendetta against cassino?

  15. One of the readers asked why Andrew Wolf has a vendetta against Tony Perez Cassino?

    Well, trying to leave out all of the vitriol, here's my take on things as a well-informed Riverdale political junkie :

    It all goes back to April 2001, when Community Board 8 member Tony Cassino joined with some other community leaders in Riverdale to found the Northwest Bronx Democratic Alliance (NBDA) as an alternative to the established Benjamin Franklin Reform Democratic Club (which most of Riverdale’s elected officials belonged to).

    For the party primaries that year, the NBDA endorsed a slate that included a mayoral candidate and a Bronx borough president candidate who happened to be the favored choices of “Bronx County” (the Bronx Democratic machine, officially known as the Bronx Democratic County Committee).

    At the time, the politicians at the Ben Franklin Club were at war with Bronx County. And since these Riverdale politicians were the ones who helped finance Andrew Wolf’s purchase of the Riverdale Review, Wolf started using his newspaper to attack Tony Cassino and the NBDA.

    Ever since 2001, through the campaigns that were good for the NBDA and those that were not, Wolf has devoted large amounts of his news coverage and editorials to denouncing Tony Cassino personally and the NBDA politically, all in the frustrated hope that they would just disappear.

  16. Sounds like Mr. Wolf thinks he's William Randolph Hearst. Based on what I'm reading, it sounds like it. Personally, I don't know Cassino.

    But to use your money and power to slander someone is nothing new in journalism. Hearst's reputation created the term "yellow journalism".

    The review is good for one thing in my life. I grab as many as I line the bottom of my birdcage. The paper turns yellow after my birds use it, then I change it when the next issue comes out a week later.

    Thank you Riverdale Review for providing residents such a kind and thoughtful public service!

  17. In his telling of ancient political history, Anonymous of Oct. 3 @ 1:13 PM left out the Riverdale Review’s baseless attacks on Laura Spalter.

    In the 2001 primaries, the NBDA slate included an endorsement of Spalter for the 11th District City Council seat being vacated by the term-limited June Eisland.

    Spalter had a long and distinguished history as a Riverdale civic leader and was the Chairperson of the Environment and Sanitation Committee at Bronx Community Board 8.

    When Assemblyman Jeffery Dinowitz convinced Community School Board 10 President G. Oliver Koppell (a former Assemblyman and State Attorney General) to enter the City Council race to prevent the NBDA-backed Spalter from winning, Wolf used his Riverdale Review to start a smear campaign against her.

    Wolf claimed that Spalter was backed by Bronx Democratic chairman Roberto Ramirez. But Wolf was forced to abandon that line of attack after Spalter endorsed City Council Speaker Peter Vallone’s candidacy for Mayor against the Ramirez-backed Bronx Borough President Fernando Ferrer, as well as Public Advocate Mark Green and NY City Comptroller Alan Hevesi [As some of us may recall, Ferrer won the first primary with 34%, but failed to get the necessary 40% to secure the Democratic nomination. Ferrer then narrowly lost the runoff primary to Mark Green, who was then ever-so-narrowly defeated in the general election by Republican Michael Bloomberg].

    I still remember how ridiculous Wolf looked when his newspaper cartoons falsely portrayed Spalter in league with Ferrer and Ramirez while her campaign ads showed Spalter and Vallone endorseing each other.

  18. I was a supporter of Luara Spalter when she ran for City Council and was appalled at the viciousness of the attacks on her. Clearly the attacks were blessed by her political opponents.

    Its why I do not believe anything he writes about Tony Cassino.

    You could find no better human being than Laura Spalter, no one who has spent so much of her time trying to make an impact in the community and for all the right reasons. What Andy Wolfe said and did to her were unforgivable.

  19. If Andy Wolf thinks he is William Randolph Hearst, he is truly delusional.

    Luckily for our neighborhood, Andy Wolf is no newspaper magnate, and therefore he’s no William Randolph Hearst. And when you consider that Hearst’s star reporter was Lady Grace Drummond-Hay, you can be sure that the reckless and irresponsible Candice Giove ain’t no Lady Drummond-Hay! Also, Hearst was twice elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, and it’s a safe bet that Andy Wolf will never even get elected dog catcher in this town.

    By the way, for those of you too young to remember, Lady Grace Marguerite Hay Drummond-Hay was an English aviator and journalist, and was known for her international travels. She represented the Hearst newspapers as the only woman on board the Graf Zeppelin on that airship’s first flight across the Atlantic in 1928, and she did so again on the historic round-the-world flight of the Zeppelin in 1929.

  20. Hey Anonymous Oct. 4, 2010 10:23 AM:

    I think that's the first time I ever heard Lady Drummond-Hay mentioned in a Bronx political blog. And I do agree that Wolf and his staff are PURE SCUM.

  21. Did anyone notice how often the RR attacked the young Principal of PS 7. I was no fan of Renee Cloutier, but had Dita Wolf not been replaced by the "teenybopper" Principal, perhaps the RR would not have viciously attacked the new Principal as often and as viciously as they did. No such thing as unbiased reporting at the Riverdale Review. Thats why most people use it to clean up after their animals.

    I'm all for Tony Cassino until I have proof that he is on the same lowlife scumbag bandwagon as the majority of Bronx pols.

  22. I just read that Clifford and Stuart Richner, publishers of The Riverdale Press have announced that Associate Editor Kate Pastor has been elevated to the position of editor, effective immediately.

    A former education and political reporter at The Press, she's a real journalist in the tradition of the Stein Family. Her promotion is fantastic news for The Riverdale Press and for the Riverdale community.

  23. Just as the Riverdale Press was teetering on the verge of its own demise, in comes Kate Pastor to save the day. What a relief.

  24. Kate Pastor had the opportunity to report the truth about Jeffrey Dinowitz.

    She avoided the truth.

    Such a shame.