Morning Read: Millions Misspent, Storm Hits Upstate

3  Morning Read: Millions Misspent, Storm Hits Upstate
Observer-Dispatch, Friday, April 29, 2011

Cuomo and Obama: Not in the spotlight together. [Ken Lovett]

Hope Reichbach: Daughter of prominent Brooklyn judge. [NY Post]

Hope Reichbach: Wrote about “wanting to unite her generation and help build a stronger Democratic party in Brooklyn.” [Shimon Prokupecz and Jonathan Dienst]

Hope Reichbach: In her own words. [BrooklynHeightsblog.com]

Hope Reichbach: “wonderful, vivacious, and tough young woman and a beautiful soul” said Councilman Levin. [Bill Hutchinson]

Hope Reichbach: As a candidate, she charmed a critic. [Gatemouth]

Same-Sex Marriage: Some Yes votes in Assembly have departed. [Stephanie Lee]

Same-Sex Marriage: Business leaders to release letter in support. [Nick Confessore]

Spying Judges: $600,000 settlement reached days before trail; top administrative judge allegedly ordered  clerk to spy on colleagues. [John O’Brien]

Town Hall: Rep. Grimm chided for supporting Paul Ryan budget. [Judy Randall]

Stolen Money: $3.6 million taken from NYC Dept. of Ed; “second time in less than a year that federal prosecutors accused consultants hired by the city of multimillion dollar thefts.” [Tamer el-Ghobshy]

Stolen Money: “Lanham Enterprises allegedly was paid $5.3 million for consulting work that cost his company only $1.7 million.” [NY Daily News]

Stolen Money: “investigation revealed another embarrassing lack of supervision in one of the city’s technology projects.” [Fernanda Santos]

State Audit: Millions wasted. [Fred Dicker and Brendan Scott]

State Audit: Paying for 850 toll-free numbers, many unused. [Nick Confessore]

Ticket Fixing: Assistant DA in Bronx had a DWI arrest erased; the ADA not part of unit probing ticket scandal.[Kevin Deutsch and Rocco Parascandola]

Ticket Fixing: Criminal cases could be compromised. [Bob Kappstatter and Rocco Parascandola]

Last In, First Out: UFT boss rejects effort to survey members. [Carl Campanile]

Storm: “Waist-high on some city streets.” [Observer-Dispatch]

Power Authority: LIPA Chairman wants to private the organization. [Mark Harrington]

Trump: Records contradict his comments about military draft. [Bill Hutchinson]

Trump: “Thursday night’s event oozed with Trumpian excess.” [Michael Barbaro]

Report: Council Aide Hope Reichbach, 22, Dead

hope222  Report: Council Aide Hope Reichbach, 22, DeadGersh Kuntzman and Thomas Tracy:

Hope Reichbach, a rising star 22-year-old in city politics and a key aide to Councilman Steve Levin, was discovered dead inside her Schermerhorn Street apartment on Thursday.

Police were called to the apartment near Hoyt Street at 2:35 pm and found Reichbach, the daughter of prominent Judge Gustin Reichbach who was just starting her own political career, lying on a bed. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

The cause of death was not immediately released, but a source said Reichbach died of an overdose of prescription drugs. An autopsy was scheduled to take place on Friday.

Schumer Plans More China Legislation Soon

schumer china 0  Schumer Plans More China Legislation SoonAfter a press conference on E-Z Pass fees this afternoon, Senator Chuck Schumer talked a little bit about his recent trip to China, where he met with some of the top American business leaders in the region to talk trade policy.

“We talked about currency, we met with the American Chamber of Commerce,” said the senator, offering one example. “They’re afraid to speak out publicly, but when they met with us privately, every one of them had a complaint.”

Schumer has been an outspoken critic of several Chinese policies, which he believes gives the country an unfair advantage in the international market. During his trip, which included nine of his fellow senators, Schumer criticized China’s financial leaders for refusing to accelerate the appreciation of the yuan. The senator also said today that the country’s current economic arrangement with the United States is unfair.

“Major, major [U.S.] companies are not allowed to sell goods in China. We allow China to sell goods here,” he said. “They do not reciprocate.”

Schumer said that he plans to take steps to deal with the situation through legislative action, following similar recent comments by Harry Reid.

“I have a whole bunch of legislation that I will be announcing on currency and other issues to deal with the fact that China doesn’t treat us fairly,” he said.

Roundup: ‘Passion Deficit’

2  Roundup: Passion Deficit
Council Member Barron Holds Press Conference on 7 Year Old Handcuffed at School. (Photo credit: William Alatriste)

2012: How to use Obama’s new site. [Youtube]

Birther Responsibility: The media. [Brian Stelter]

Trump Reaction: “And that show is merely a showcase for the dishonor you have brought among anyone who would call themselves an American.” [Baratunde Thurston]

Trump: “Aspiring to be the new Joe McCarthy…Trump has no evidence.” [Bob Woodward]

Trump: Contradictory explanations about getting out of military service. [Ben Smith]

Trump: “The issue has clearly propelled his potential candidacy.” [Roger Stone]

Trump: “Clinton was made into a racist by Obama” and “There is nobody who’s less of a racist than me,” he tells a NH journo. [John Distaso]

Trump: Maggie Haberman says GOP insiders in NH not won over. [Fred Dicker]

Headline: “Trump to Back Journalist: I Know You’re A Big Obama Fan.” [Think Progress]

Birth Certificate: Obama losing the “passion deficit” to Trump, says a local Fox host. [Dick Brennan]

Handcuffing Students: The Barrons oppose it. [Annmarie Hordern]

Tumblr: How to, for news organizations. [Sarah Marshall]

Schumer Refuses to Trash-Talk Trump

schumer jan 0  Schumer Refuses to Trash Talk TrumpChuck Schumer commented — or rather, declined to comment — today on Donald Trump’s possible presidential bid. Evidently, the senator believes in solidarity between New Yorkers.

“Donald’s from Brooklyn,” Schumer explained. (But wait, isn’t he from Queens?)

“I used to see his father driving the Cadillac that said ‘FT’ down Ocean Parkway when I was playing on the street,” Schumer reminisced. (Trump’s father was named Fred Christ Trump.) “So I’m not going to be critical of Donald Trump. All I say is, as a Democrat, the more Republicans in the primary, the merrier.”

Of course, Trump has also donated money to Schumer’s campaigns over the years. When asked if he thought that Trump would run, the senator kept mum.

“You’ll have to ask him,” he said.

Stringer, De Blasio, Anti-Gun Advocates Call on Bloomberg to Reject Walmart [Updated]

walmart 1  Stringer, De Blasio, Anti Gun Advocates Call on Bloomberg to Reject Walmart [Updated]A coalition of anti-gun advocates are calling on Mayor Bloomberg this morning to join them in rejecting Walmart’s plans to expand to New York City in light of a report that the big box retailer is trying to increase its sales of guns and ammunition as a way to boost its bottom line.

“The mayor needs to step up and renounce Walmart’s awful decision,” said Jackie Rowe Adams of Harlem Mothers Saved. “We have seen what guns have done to our communities, and bringing in a Walmart to our communities would send the wrong message- that we condone their gun sale policies which put people’s lives in danger.”

Walmart has indicated that they would like to build their first retail outlet in the five boroughs, but so far a number of elected officials have tried to block them. Mayor Bloomberg has said that the government should not interfere with a private company’s rights to do business whereever they see fit.

“As the largest seller of firearms and ammunition in America, Wal-Mart does not belong in New York City,” said Public Advocate Bill de Blasio. “I urge Mayor Bloomberg to continue his leadership on gun control by joining the fight against Wal-Mart coming to our City.”

The advocates note that Walmart decision to expand its gun sales and expand into New York City come as the retailer has faced 7 consecutive quarters of same store sales decline. Five years ago, the store agreed to stop selling hunting rifles and bullets at all but a third of its stores.

“The Walmart charm offensive ends today with news that the conglomerate plans to expand considerably the sale of weapons and ammunition,” said Manhattan borough president Scott Stringer. “If the city wants to remain a leader on gun control, we need to take a hard stand against Walmart’s decision and make it clear that any corporation that looks for new markets to sell guns and fosters a culture of violence is not welcome in New York.”

UPDATE:

The Bloomberg administration passes along a statement pointing out that Walmart is actually a responsible gun seller since they go beyond the federal guidelines in order to insure that guns stay out of the hands of criminals and the mentally ill.

“With Congress and the Administration unable to put in place common-sense rules to keep guns out of the hands of criminals, drug addicts and the mentally ill, our coalition of Mayors Against Illegal Guns reached out to Wal-Mart, and the company voluntarily agreed to go above and beyond what federal law requires to prevent guns from falling into the wrong hands,” said John Feinblatt, Bloomberg’s chief policy advisor. “If every gun dealer in the country adopted Wal-Mart’s approach, or if Congress required it, thousands of lives would be saved every year.”

And Steve Restivo, the director of community affaris for the big box retailer, points out that Walmart will not sell any guns or ammunition should they open a store in the five boroughs.

“Walmart will not sell firearms in any future New York City store.  We’re proud of our participation in ‘Mayors Against Illegal Guns’ and will remain committed to the safe and responsible sale of firearms in areas of the country where they are sold.”

Paterson to Warn Grads of the Crushing Disappointment Ahead

paterson 0  Paterson to Warn Grads of the Crushing Disappointment AheadGov. David Paterson is slated to deliver the commencement address at Paul Smith’s College in the Adirondacks next month, and he told The Politicker that he hopes to warn the grads not to get discouraged in the unforgiving real world they are about to enter.

“What I want to convey to them is, unfortunately, some of the realities of life are such that you will be discouraged sooner or later.  And in this case it will be sooner,” he said.

Paterson said that he intends to cite his political career as an example, when he longed for over two decades to have the kind of decision-making ability that he inherited when he became governor in 2007, only to find once he got there that his abilities were extremely limited by the dire fiscal shape the state found itself in.

I kind of knew by October or November, by six months into office, that it was not likely that I would be coming back. It wasn’t a foregone conclusion, but I could see that you upset people, that you cut health care, you cut education, doing layoffs, taxing the rich, I did it all. At least I was an equal opportunity offender. I pissed off everybody. And sometimes as difficult of times many of these students are going to face, there are always opportunities. So if there is no job there is still education. There are still libraries. They are free. There are still ways to make oneself relevant. So I want to be encouraging.

Paterson also said that after his experience as governor it was unlikely that he would seek another office.

“It’s not a burning desire. What would I run for?”