It has been around forever

Thursday, December 22, 2011

One Lonely Amigo

Juan Gonzalez at the Daily News reminisces about the Four Amigos of the State Senate. As you may recall the Four Amigos managed to shut down the State Senate by threatening to vote with the Republicans or Democrats if they did not get their demands met. Three of the Amigos are gone but they did not leave for a vacation -- Pedro Espada, Hiriam Moserrate and Carl Kruger -- were all indicted. The lone remaining member is Ruben Diaz, Sr. But remarkably, their extortion brought Pedro Espada to the leadership of the State Senate, and eventually cost the Democrats the leadership.

Diaz Considering Mayoral Bid

Here is Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr. saying he is considering running for Mayor in 2013. He cites as his resume for the job these list of accomplishments: pushing for a living wage bill; his work on job creation; and his effort to build a hotel across from Yankee Stadium. It should be noted that none of these list of "accomplishments" are a reality--yet. The watered-down living wage bill is stuck in the City Council, we are no where close to getting a hotel at Yankee Stadium and the Bronx has the highest unemployment rate in the City. What do you think?

Liu Looks At Klein Law Firm Deal with City

The New York Post reports that City Comptroller John Liu is looking at a deal the City has with a law firm affiliated with State Senator Jeff Klein that is worth millions. The story reports that
"since 2006, the firm of Klein Calderoni & Santucci has received three contracts worth $2.25 million from the Comptroller’s Office to conduct so-called 50-h hearings — preliminary reviews of suits that help the city decide whether it should settle or fight. Until a few months ago, Klein was also “of counsel” with the law office of William Gallina, a small firm located in the same Bronx building as his Senate district office. Since 2007, Gallina and his associates filed at least 114 lawsuits against various city agencies, according to court records."

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Klein's Independence Group Celebrates a Year

Here is a story from the Norwood News discussing the first year anniversary of the Independent Democratic Conference in the State Senate that was formed by Bronx State Senator Jeff Klein. The article reports that "To be sure, the IDC had a productive year. The four-person caucus—its other members are Rockland County Senator David Carlucci, David Valesky of Syracuse, and Klein’s girlfriend, Diane Savino, of Staten Island—managed to, collectively, pass 68 bills during the 2010 session. The 26-member Senate Democrats passed 103. IDC members introduced and passed legislation dealing with crackdowns on car insurance fraud, efforts to boost the state’s organ donor pool and banning caffeinated malt liquors like Four Loko from stores. The group also advocated for the successful passage of a number of high-profile bills, like marriage equality and the long-awaited ethics reform."

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Seabrook Corruption Case Ends in Mistrial

Bronx City Councilman Larry Seabrook's Federal trial on corruption charges ended in a hung jury. Despite what seemed to be a very strong case that included evidence of kickbacks by contractors and not for profits and the doctoring of reimbursement forms, the jury could not come to a decision on the charges. As the New York Post reports, the U.S. Attorney's office intends to retry the Councilman.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Deadlock Possible in Seabrook Trial

It looks like the guy that some refer to as Cash and Carry Larry may pull another rabbit out of a hat. The NY Post reports that the trial of Bronx Councilman Larry Seabrook may be headed towards a deadlock. The panel told the judge on Friday that they can't come to agreement on the first charge. Late today that same jury indicated that it could not come to a decision on some of the other charges. Seabrook is on trial for corruption and misuse of public funds. I guess some jurors are not bothered by a $177 bagel.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

NY Post Writer Says Living Wage Destroys Jobs -- Cites Empty Armory

Kyle Smith at the NY Post argues in an article that the living wage bill that is being debated in the Council would kill jobs at a time when jobs are scarce, especially in places like the Bronx. As evidence, he references the Kingsbridge Armory, which all but died when local politicians and some community groups insisted the deal include a living wage for all future employees at the site. That cost the borough over $300 million in investments and thousands of jobs both during the construction and for years after. One very telling quote he includes is from Councilman Lew Fidler, a liberal Democrat from Brooklyn. He said, “I think the problem that many of us have with the [living wage] bill is that we all like it in principle [but] the fact remains that that same principle guided our decision on the Kingsbridge Armory, and it’s still empty. Who am I to tell someone that no job is better than a job that doesn’t pay a quote-un-quote living wage?”

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Former Bronx BP Carrion Pays 10K Fine

David Seifman of the NY Post reports that former Bronx Borough President and current HUD official Adolfo Carrion, Jr. has agreed to pay a $10,000 fine to the conflicts of interest board for failing to pay an architect, who did work on his house, while he also had a proposal to build a project in the Bronx. The architect did the work in 2007, but Carrion did not pay for the services until 2009 after questions were raised by the media. Carrion claims he was not given a bill for $4200 until after the work was done.