Saturday, August 31, 2013

Brooklyn’s Golden and Eaton Factions jockeying for position on the clubhouse turn as they move into their stretch run to the Republican Primary and Republican Convention Finish Line(s)

One wag sees it as the Brooklyn GOP organizational fights' influencing the larger scale races of the leading GOP Mayoral Candidates  —  Says it results in Johnny Cats having a better “ground game” in Brooklyn than Joe Lhota  —  On the other hand, lots of Lhota’s ads make it look like Rudy Giuliani is the real candidate for mayor 


Letter from Timothy Cochrane has many scratching their heads  —  Who’s supporting Cochrane ?  —  Who exactly does Cochrane support ?



At long last, some observers have noticed the tempest brewing in the Brooklyn GOP teacup. According to NY1 panelist, former Assemblyman Michael Benjamin, the Catsimatidis for Mayor operation has a good ground game going in Brooklyn. Mr. B thinks that it is partially as a result of the organizational fight that’s going on between Brooklyn Republican Chairman Craig Eaton and State Senator Martin Golden (See “NY1: Brooklyn GOP Has ‘Good Ground Operation’ For Catsimatidis...” [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Du3oVaHHZoM]; see also “Insiders: Brooklyn GOP's "Team Cats" Gettin' It Done!” by Brooklyn GOP Radio, 8/30/13, Brooklyn GOP Radio -Official- Show Blog [http://brooklyngopradio.blogspot.com/2013/08/insiders-brooklyn-gops-team-cats-gettin.html]).

After a long run of polls showing Catsimatidis gaining on Lhota, a couple of recent polls have shown that Lhota has opened up his lead.  That might be because for some time Rudy Giuliani has been front an center as the big man on Lhota’s campus. Catsimatidis’ supporters with the Brooklyn GOP organization are not amused (See “Who Running For Mayor, Anyways?’ by Gene Berardelli,  8/24/13, Brooklyn GOP Radio -Official- Show Blog [http://brooklyngopradio.blogspot.com/2013/08/who-running-for-mayor-anyways.html]).

Another new development in the Brooklyn GOP county-wide fight for control of the party is a personal letter, dated August 29, 2013, with a bare letterhead that reads only:  “Timothy Cochrane”; however, in the bottom line of the text is the email address: “ - -tjcochrane977@gmail.com”.  In addition to his announced personal ambition to become the next Brooklyn GOP County Leader, Mr. Cochrane seems to be on a quest to find “TRUE REPUBLICANS” of whatever shape or description.

 An oddity of the letter is that it shows absolutely no affiliation with either group vying for control of the Brooklyn GOP; and it only mentions two Republicans by name, David Storobin and Michael Grimm. One has to assume that Mr. Cochrane has the support of the group “Republicans for Change”, because that’s who appears to have paid the postage for the letter. What is very odd is that State Senator Martin Golden is still among the missing when it comes to visible or audible support for Cochrane.  It doesn’t take anybody from any of TV’s CSI labs to know that Marty Golden’s fingerprints, DNA and other identifying information are completely absent from the Cochrane letter.

Does anybody know why ?

Friday, August 30, 2013

A Retrospective on ... VERY OLD mechanical ELECTION MACHINES ... ELECTION FRAUD... SOMEBODY’S PLAN — LOOK AT THE 1996 PRIMARY MESS IN BROOKLYN... And ask yourself this: “WILL HISTORY REPEAT ON PRIMARY DAY 2013 ?”

                                  —    PART 3  IN A MULTI-PART SERIES   —


Focus  —  Going into primary day 1996, both the Brooklyn Democratic and the Brooklyn Republican Parties were poised for heavily contested primaries. The primaries that should have settled those intra-party disputes turned into complete fiascos with multiple complainants coming forward in court with their arguments and evidence of widespread fraud related to the alteration, distribution and operability of the mechanical voting machines. 


—   Federal Court was skeptical of claims that Board of Elections’ errors were inadvertent and did not benefit specific candidates in the 1996 Primary

 
—   A similar electoral atmosphere and environment to 1996 is there for the 2013 Primary


In order to attempt to steal an election on a county-wide basis in Kings County, an urban borough large enough to be referred to as “the fourth largest city in America,” you need a perfect storm among the Democratic and Republican operators at the Board of Election having concurrent interests in steering the outcome of the election or elections being conducted.

In Brooklyn, the elements of such an electoral perfect storm were present in the1996 primaries, because of the presence of at least two hotly contested primaries, one involving the bedrock base of the Brooklyn Republican Party in Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights and Bensonhurst; and the other among massive factions in the Democratic Party countywide squabbling over the selection of their candidate for Kings County Surrogate. As things moved forward, each of those contests would have a direct impact on the future course of both parties; and there was plenty of motivation for various players and groups to try to tip the scales in favor of their chosen candidates.


The biggest, most observed and reported upon, and most criticized primary in 1996 in Brooklyn was the Democratic Primary to select a new Kings County Surrogate. In April, Timesman Jonathan Hicks wrote: “Once informally called the Widows and Orphans Court, the Surrogate's Court is a mystery most familiar to those few voters dealing with estates and adoptions. But politicians know it as a last bastion of patronage, funneling hundreds of thousands of dollars a year to lawyers who serve as guardians and conservators in thousands of estate cases." The New York Times and Hicks would also opine that, “This year the race will also determine who controls the Democratic Party in Brooklyn. In fact, it is already revealing in a most unvarnished form the fractious, balkanized nature of politics in New York City's most populous borough....” (See “A Little Brooklyn Job With Lots of Influence” by Jonathan P. Hicks, 4/14/96 [http://www.nytimes.com/1996/04/14/nyregion/a-little-brooklyn-job-with-lots-of-influence.html]).  The Times piece, which loosely described several of the competing factions and quoted several of Brooklyn’s key Democratic leaders ended with this ominous and predictive quote: “ ‘This is a test of the strength of the county organization,’ [Clarence A. Norman Jr., Assemblyman from Crown Heights and the Brooklyn Democratic Party Leader] said. “That's why we have to go all out for this.” What was not discussed by Mr. Hicks in this article about the Brooklyn Surrogates' race were the obvious machinations that were ongoing at another more aptly described and entitled  “last bastion of patronage” —   the Board of Elections; the non-mention of the BOE would change with some of Hick’s reports after the 1996 primary for Surrogate and other 1996 Brooklyn primaries.

Simultaneous to the simmering brouhaha percolating among the Brooklyn Dems over their 1996 choice for Surrogate, Kings County and other NYC  Republicans were squaring off for a fight of their own on what was then considered by some Republicans to be the last remaining piece  of GOP turf in Brooklyn.  In the 23rd State Senate District including parts of Brooklyn into parts of Staten Island, Republican incumbent State Senator Robert DiCarlo had influential political enemies, including Brooklyn County GOP Chairman Arthur Bramwell and Staten Island Borough President Guy Molinari. DiCarlo had some powerful political friends of his own, including Mayor Rudolph Giuliani. Things had gotten so intense that Guy Molinari had become chairman of Dicarlo’s primary opponent John Gangemi's campaign. ( See “Republicans Fighting Over Seat in Brooklyn” by Jonathan P. Hicks, 4/26/96, NY Times [http://www.nytimes.com/1996/04/26/nyregion/republicans-fighting-over-seat-in-brooklyn.html];  also see “Intraparty Rivalries Go To Polls” by Marc Humbert, 9/8/96, Associated Press/ timesunion.com [http://alb.merlinone.net/mweb/wmsql.wm.request?oneimage&imageid=5780455]). All of this was intended to deny incumbent State Senator Robert DiCarlo the GOP line for State Senate in the 1996 General Election and ultimately to try to run him out of Brooklyn GOP politics completely. Bramwell had taken over the Brooklyn GOP after defeating the DiCarlo faction in 1993; and by the time of the 1996 primary, The Bramwell faction had virtual control of all the key Republican operatives at the BOE. For many in the Brooklyn GOP those were indeed desperate times and some said they called for desperate measures.

On Primary Day, September 10, 1996, it didn’t take long for it to become obvious what form those desperate measure might have taken.  “A colossal snafu delayed poll openings across much of Brooklyn for [the 1996] primary election, triggering a voter hue-and-cry and demands for an investigation and new elections. Blamed on a last-minute court-imposed ballot change in the race for Brooklyn surrogate, the voting chaos overshadowed the few hotly contested races in which several incumbents were in trouble. In Brooklyn, Republican State Sen. Robert DiCarlo narrowly trailed challenger John Gangemi, who declared victory although he led by fewer than 200 votes.... DiCarlo decried the Election Day chaos and called for a federal probe. Court action is likely over the outcome.... In the race for Brooklyn surrogate, which sparked the Election Day chaos, favorite Michael Feinberg led with 45% of the incomplete vote tally. Lila Gold had 39% and Howard Lasher had 15%. This is the race most likely to face a rerun. Late arrival of hundreds of voting machines kept scores of Brooklyn voting sites closed for hours after the 6 a.m. official start. At some polls, voters were given paper ballots or asked to return later. Others were simply locked out. ‘It was the worst ever in the 30 years I've been here,’ said Daniel DeFrancesco, executive director of the city Board of Elections. ‘I apologize. I understand voters' screaming, but this was like a Murphy's Law election everything that could go wrong did.’ At least 400 of 1,900 Brooklyn voting machines were delivered up to eight hours late, officials said.” (See “Late Vote A Primary Concern in B’klyn” by Tara George, Bill Farrell, and Frank Lombardi, 9/11/96, NY Daily News
[http://www.nydailynews.com/archives/news/late-vote-primary-concern-b-klyn-article-1.733721]).

“Officials said polling places across a wide swath of Brooklyn, including Fort Greene, Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn Heights and Coney Island, had no voting machines when the polls officially opened at 6 A.M. yesterday, and some sites were still closed as late as 3 P.M., frustrating voters who turned up to cast their ballots. ***  While the election focused primarily on a relatively obscure race, the Democratic primary for the county surrogate's job, the ballot problems potentially affected dozens of other races, and gave the losers possible grounds for contesting the results. In addition, the delays exposed the complications of the electoral process in New York City.... Councilman Kenneth K. Fisher said the late [changes to the ballot] was no excuse for depriving many New Yorkers of their chance to vote, and he asked the United States Attorney General to open a Federal civil rights investigation under the auspices of the Voting Rights Act. *** ‘This is not the first time it's gone down to the wire,’ said Mr. Fisher, who was turned away from his polling place at Public School 8 in Brooklyn Heights when machines had not arrived by 11:30 A.M. ‘Normally, they'd send machines out and you'd just pull the names off,  he said. ‘Clearly, they did something different today than they've done in the past’.”  (See “Primary Voting in Brooklyn Disrupted by Lack of Machines” by Charisse Jones, 9/11/96, NY Times
[http://www.nytimes.com/1996/09/11/nyregion/primary-voting-in-brooklyn-disrupted-by-lack-of-machines.html?n=Top%2fReference%2fTimes%20Topics%2fSubjects%2fP%2fPrimaries]).

Soon several candidates were marching into court. “Charging they were robbed by a mammoth Primary Day snafu in Brooklyn, two defeated candidates said yesterday they will go to court to force a new election. Republican State Sen. Robert DiCarlo lost by 149 votes, while Brooklyn Surrogate's Court candidate Lila Gold, a Democrat, was swamped by more than 6,000 votes. ‘I believe there was massive fraud going on here involving up to the highest level of the Board of Elections,’ said DiCarlo. ‘I can prove that I had more than enough votes to win based on the people who said they couldn't vote for me because machines weren't there.’  Hundreds of voting machines weren't delivered to Brooklyn sites for up to eight hours after the polls opened at 6 a.m. Tuesday. Many voters were turned away. Aides to Brooklyn U.S. Attorney Zachary Carter and Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes said any complaints will be examined. Neither indicated plans were under way to launch probes. However, Public Advocate Mark Green announced he would conduct an administrative investigation to determine why so many machines were delivered late, hoping to prevent repeats of the ‘disenfranchisement of thousands’....” (See “B’klyn Losers Cry Foul Say They’ll Go To Court In Vote Machine Snafu” by Frank Lombardi, 9/12/96, NY Daily News [http://www.nydailynews.com/archives/news/b-klyn-losers-cry-foul-court-vote-machine-snafu-article-1.741632]).

The failure to timely deliver the mechanical voting machines was not the only irregularity that plagued the voting machines on September 10, 1996. I have interviewed several witnesses that remembered details of the 1996 primary. Among the problems that were recalled: several of the small voting levers next to certain candidates’ names were jammed throughout Brooklyn with several machines reported with jammed candidate levers in polling places in Windsor Terrace from early in the day; name rotations on the machines were not observed in whole neighborhoods: and  maintenance crews went through polling places and made changes to the face cards on the voting machines (possibly reversing the names of candidates mid-vote).

A Federal District Judge, Hon. David Trager, EDNY,  who conducted several days of hearings about the 1996 primaries, said early in the proceedings that the widespread foul-ups in the 1996 primary elections in Brooklyn had interfered with many people's right to vote, and he assailed the system that led to those failures. He also said to one of the trial lawyers on the case that he thought that it was entirely “possible that the ‘procedures used by the Board of Elections were designed to end up with this result,’ although he did not elaborate on how delays in delivering voting machines might have benefitted a particular candidate.” (See “Judge Attacks Ballot System's Failures” by Joseph P. Fried, 9/21/96, NY Times [http://www.nytimes.com/1996/09/21/nyregion/judge-attacks-ballot-system-s-failures.html?n=Top%2fReference%2fTimes%20Topics%2fSubjects%2fP%2fPrimarie]).

The New York Times and its reporter Joseph Fried did almost daily reports on the 1996 Primary cases before Judge Trager. What was obvious throughout the proceedings is that the witnesses from the Board of Elections were giving inconsistent and unreliable testimony on various aspects of the failure of the BOE to have voting machines at all polling places in proper working condition for Primary Day, September 10, 1996.

On September 27th, 1996, Mr. Fried’s report in the Times indicated that Judge Trager, who had been asked to order new primary elections in about ten different cases because of ballot problems that kept many voters away from the polls in Brooklyn, said that in at least one race, he might instead reopen the polls so that people who did not vote would have an opportunity to do so. Specifically referring to the case involving a Democratic Primary race for the Assembly seat held by incumbent  Felix Ortiz, whose opponent was candidate- plaintiff  John Kennedy O’Hara,  Judge Trager announced that  “The October balloting would not be a new primary election or a special election, the judge said, but a ‘continuation’ of the election ‘for those whose right to vote was denied’ because of the mix-ups.” (See “U.S. Judge May Reopen Primary Polls” by Joseph J. Fried, 9/27/96, NY Times [http://www.nytimes.com/1996/09/27/nyregion/us-judge-may-reopen-primary-polls.html]). Since that remedy appeared to satisfy none of the parties in his court, an appeal to the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals was virtually guaranteed; and as Fried of the Times reported on September 27th,  “...as [Democratic Assembly Candidate John Kennedy] O'Hara put it, the Sept. 10 balloting was too ''tainted'' to be retained. He vowed to appeal if [Judge Trager] did not order a completely new election in his race.”

On the following day, after assessing some of the worst polling-place foul-ups in New York City history, Judge Trager declared  that ''incompetence'' by the Board of Elections had prevented many voters in Brooklyn from casting ballots during the recent primary election in nearly a dozen legislative and judicial races in Brooklyn. Judge Trager said that the whole primary had been a ''massive snafu'' by the Board of Elections, as a result of its ''failure to supervise what was going on.'' He also said some kind of  remedy was in order, but that it would be the ''limited relief'' of  reopening the polls, but only for those who had been unable to vote (See “Judge Blames Board of Elections for Problems During a Primary in Brooklyn” by Joseph P. Fried
9/28/96, NY Times [http://www.nytimes.com/1996/09/28/nyregion/judge-blames-board-of-elections-for-problems-during-a-primary-in-brooklyn.html]). The major failure in the 1996 Primary was the late delivery of hundreds of voting machines at scores of polling places across the Borough of  Brooklyn, with some machines not arriving until late afternoon for balloting that was supposed to have begun at 6 AM that morning.

According to his September 28th report, Joseph Fried noted that: “The judge made his remarks on a day when testimony by the supervisor of the Board of Elections warehouse in Brooklyn painted a picture of confusion and uncertainty at the warehouse on the night before the primary as attempts were made to ship hundreds of machines to polling sites in time for the 6 A.M. opening. ***  The supervisor, John Barrile -- whose father, Leo Barrile, is chief clerk of the Brooklyn office of the Board of Elections -- also told of a decision around midnight to stop the shipments after truckers making the deliveries reported, he said, that schools where many of the polling places were located were closed. ***  School officials have denied that voting-machine deliveries were thwarted by closed school buildings. ***  The absence of the machines after the polls opened at 6 A.M. caused a large but undetermined number of voters to be turned away when they arrived, and the losing candidates hold that the delays in delivering the voting machines, and in some cases problems with machines that had been delivered on time, could have cost them the election while depriving people of their right to vote.”  The very same Times report also specifically stated that “In a year in which there were no statewide or citywide contests to draw voters, the most prominent races in the borough were the surrogate race and the Republican primary in the 23d Senate District.”

On October 1, 1996,  Judge Trager of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York  entered an order that granted a preliminary injunction directing the continuation of the September 10, 1996 Democratic primary election for Surrogate of Kings County and certain other offices in Kings County in a number of specified election districts, with the “continuation” of the primary election to be held on October 10, 1996.

However, Judge Trager’s Decision and Order didn’t stand for very long, on October 8, 1996, a panel of the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals issued a terse “Per Curiam” order reversing the Trager decision and countermanding his order ( See Gold v. Feinberg, 97 F.3d 680 [2d Cir.1996]). The NYC BOE immediately cancelled the continued primary in Brooklyn. According to the last in Joseph Fried’s series of reports in the NY Times about the federal cases that had been made of the 1996 primaries in Brooklyn, “after new court rulings, officials canceled plans to reopen balloting at more than 100 polling places in Brooklyn. ***  The cancellation means that the results of the Sept. 10 primary balloting -- in which many voters were turned away from the polls because hundreds of voting machines were not delivered on time -- will stand as final, unless further court action dictates otherwise.” (See “Renewed Primary Voting Is Canceled in Brooklyn” by Joseph P. Fried, 10/9/96, NY Times
[http://www.nytimes.com/1996/10/09/nyregion/renewed-primary-voting-is-canceled-in-brooklyn.html]).

When the formal decision was filed by the Second Circuit on October 28,1996, the court indicated that the Judge Trager had abused his discretion in issuing the preliminary injunction ordering a continuation of the state senate primary, because it did not understand and/or follow controlling precedent from a 1970 case that continued to be the governing law in the circuit with jurisdiction over Kings County, New York. Without mentioning  any of Judge Trager’s observations about the September 10th Primary, the Circuit Court of Appeals said that there was no evidence of any specific intentional or willful conduct by any state officials necessary to establish a federal claim for deprivation of the right to vote, thus none of  the plaintiffs established a likelihood of success on the merits or a sufficiently serious question going to the merits of the appeal. Consequently, the district court's preliminary injunction had to be vacated in its entirety (See Gold v. Feinberg, 101 F.3d 796 [2d Cir. 1996]; see also Coto v. New York City Bd. of Elections, 101 F.3d 803 [2d Cir. 1996]).

There was little left for the losing parties to do except petition the U.S. Supreme Court for emergency relief. One of those was  John Kennedy O’Hara, who according to Judge Trager had one of the strongest cases that Board of Elections wrongdoing had disrupted and distorted the result in his primary election in the 51st AD. O’hara had prepared to go to Washington, D.C. early in the morning of October 21,1996 and, if necessary,  to appear before Justice Ruth Bader Ginzberg and present his emergency petition. But that didn’t happen; late on the night of October 20, 1996, O’Hara’s election lawyer, Rob Meyers, was called by the Brooklyn DA’s office and told that John Kennedy O’hara had been charged with multiple counts of “Election Fraud” in connection with various elections from 1992 onward, and that if O’Hara didn’t turn himself in, he’d be arrested. O’Hara turned himself in and was booked on “Election Fraud” charges on October 21, 1996 instead of going to Washington to help pitch his case to Justice Ginzberg.

Interestingly, until early 1996, Harvey Greenberg was the former Chief of Staff of the Brooklyn DA whose office had called and said it was charging  Mr. O’Hara with the multiple counts of “Election Fraud” the night before O’Hara had announced and was scheduled to go to the Supreme Court for emergency relief. What’s more, Greenberg had recently resigned from his duties at the Brooklyn DA’s Office in order to help run the campaign of Michael Feinberg in his run for Surrogate in the 1996 primary and election. Greenberg served Feinberg  in a plenipotentiary capacity that was similar to what he had done for the election of the Brooklyn DA. Greenberg's  post for Michael Feinberg was more significant than chief counsel, campaign manager and/or chairman. Needless to say, the legal positions Greenberg had taken on behalf of candidate Feinberg on all of the issues connected to the disruption of the voting in the 1996 primary caused by problems with the delivery and use of the lever voting machines were completely adverse to those that would have been advanced by John Kennedy O’Hara. Also, none of the charges that the DA had brought against O’Hara involved the 1996 campaign, primary or election; to have brought such charges might well have given rise to the issues of a direct conflict of interest and/or the appearance of impropriety involving the Brooklyn DA and his former top executive employee, Mr. Greenberg.

In the 1996 General Elections, Michael Feinberg easily won his election for Kings County Surrogate. However in the 23rd Senate District, the nasty Republican primary fight left a three-way split that let Democrat Vincent Gentile literally sneak in with 50.9 % if the vote. Incumbent Sen. Robert DiCarlo, after losing the primary and challenging the results in court, had campaigned vigorously on the Conservative Party line, making life miserable for GOP nominee John Gangemi; but in the end, Gangemi finished second and DiCarlo came in last.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

... VERY OLD mechanical ELECTION MACHINES ... ELECTION FRAUD ? ... SOMEBODY’S PLAN all along ?

                                  —    PART  2  IN A MULTI-PART SERIES   —

Focus  —  Early timeline of State Senator Martin Golden’s push in the NYS Senate and at NYC Board of Elections for using the Old Election Machines in the 2013 Primary  —  What made Golden’s position shift from completely uncaring to extremely active ?



The “need” to take the ancient mechanical voting machines out of moth balls and to use them for the 2013 NYC primaries was directly attributable to foot dragging by the NYS legislature in setting a 2013 election calendar that would allow the BOE sufficient time to turn around the current optical scanning machines between primary day and a possible run-off primary. In particular, it was foot dragging in the Republican controlled state senate that made better alternative options pending in the assembly impossible.


Even before the 2012 presidential election, many people having knowledge of the special needs in play with the candidacies for mayor and other municipal offices involved in the 2013 primary were calling for a primary day significantly earlier than September 10, 2013. On October 4, 2012, an article in Crain’s New York had reported that, “The state Legislature is considering a proposal to move the city's 2013 primary day to June from September....  The city's Board of Elections is requesting the date switch to consolidate the primaries for state and local races, and to allow election officials to prepare and test new electronic voting machines. ***  The current September date for the citywide primary is a "legal impossibility," said J.C. Polanco, the Bronx commissioner for the Board of Elections. Moving the date to June would save taxpayer dollars and avoid the potentially dangerous situation of voters and schoolchildren intermingling at polling locations, he said.” ( See “Primary date switch could upend 2013 race” 10/4/13, Crain’s New York
[www.crainsnewyork.com/article/20121004/INS/121009956?]).  That article also gave an early indication that the Republicans in the NYS senate were not on board with that simple fix for the problem —   “A spokesman for Assembly Speaker Shelly Silver expressed support for an earlier primary. ‘What that date would be going forward is uncertain,’ he said. ‘We would want to consult with local officials and our members to determine what would work best.’ A spokesman for the Senate Republicans did not respond.”

By early December 2012 the need to set a new NYC primary date for 2013 had become urgent and it had become clear that certain Republicans in the State Senate were dragging their feet on the easiest and most reasonable way of solving the City’s primary scheduling problems. At that time, it was reported that, “[Officials] warned Wednesday that the city is headed toward ‘potential catastrophe’ unless lawmakers in Albany vote to move up the city’s primary day in 2013. *** [ Douglas Kellner, co-chairman of the New York State Board of Elections] said ‘it is absolutely urgent’ that state lawmakers act to move the city’s 2013 primary — when New Yorkers will vote for candidates for the mayoral election — from September to June. The date change would give officials enough time to stage a run-off election in case any citywide candidate fails to garner more than 40 percent of the vote, he said. ***  ‘The time between the primary election and the runoff election is inadequate,’ he said, warning that ‘there is a potential for a meltdown if there is a close primary election.’ *** ‘That’s an urgent priority,’ he said of the move, which has already been approved by the Assembly, but still must clear the Senate.”
(See “Board of Elections Seeks Raise for Poll Workers Despite Voters' Complaints” by Jill Colvin 12/6/12, updated on 12/6/12
[http://www.dnainfo.com/new-york/20121206/new-york-city/board-of-elections-seeks-raise-for-poll-workers-despite-voters-complaints]).

Sources close to State Senator Martin Golden have specifically stated that very early in this process, the general attitude of the leadership of NYS Senate Republicans, who at that time still held a clear majority in the NYS State Senate, was that any 2013 Municipal Primary problems were problems that the Democrats had a real interest in solving; and why should Republicans do anything to help the Democrats solve any of their problems.

On January 8, 2013 the New York City Board of Elections issued a formal report that
said it had repeatedly stated that it couldn’t run a primary election on September 10, 2013  and then turn around its machinery and hold a run-off primary two weeks later using the current computerized electronic voting machines. That’s because it would take too much time to tally the votes, finally determine the top candidates for the run-off, and then print ballots and test the system prior to the runoff. As a result the Board said that if the dates didn’t get changed, the the BOE indicated it was exploring various contingency plans.(See “City Board of Elections Mulls Lever Machines for Upcoming Vote” by Brigid Bergin 2/19/13:, WNYC News
[http://www.wnyc.org/articles/wnyc-news/2013/feb/19/nyc-board-elections-contemplates-lever-machines-again/]). After publishing the formal report, BOE president Fred Umane said that bringing back those lever machines was a remote possibility –  "We have them. We’ve kept them just for emergencies so it might be something that ultimately could happen, but it’s unlikely."

Ms. Bergin who has reported on this matter from the beginning was also the first to connect the possible use of the older lever-operated election machines with the coup involving the GOP commissioners when she ominously made he following observation at the end of  her article cited above: “The BOE is also experiencing a shake up of its membership after Republican City Council members decided to take advantage of a section of election law that allows them to replace county commissioners if the party leader does not submit their name for Council approval within a certain number of days at the start of the year. There is a total of 10 commissioners - two from each borough by party. So far, the Republican commissioners from Brooklyn and Queens have been replaced; the status of the commissioners from Manhattan and the Bronx is unclear.”

One of the things that changed was control of the Board of Elections, another was with the administration of the BOE, and another was a change of the Board’s position on the use of the old voting machines to expedite the scheduling of the 2013 primary and any possible run-offs. State Senator Golden and/or his hand-picked Commissioner on the NYC BOE, Simon Shamoun was central to all of this.

Another thing that changed was the position of the Republicans in the  NYS Senate, most notably  — Marty Golden.  What is very odd in this “timeline” is that, in the space of about six months, senate Republicans in general, and State Senator Golden in particular, go from a position of “Why should we help the Democrats solving their problems [with the scheduling of the 2013 primaries] ?” to taking the lead in passing the legislation that enabled the NYC BOE to employ what it once indicated was its least-favored option in dealing with that problem.

Why did Golden take the lead in all of this starting early in 2013; when in mid- to late-2012, Golden and key players on his staff, who are also deeply involved in his political operation, were openly expressing their attitude  —   “Why should we help the Democrats solving their problems [with the scheduling of the 2013 primaries] ....” ?

Monday, August 26, 2013

“Airwaves Heat Up in Republican Mayoral Contest” – Politicker NY

But when will the GOP primary campaign heat up ?


“Is there anybody there ?  Does anybody care...”  –   “1776”



According to a Colin Campbell report in today’s Politicker, “With just over two weeks to go before they face off in the September 10 Republican primary, John Catsimatidis and Joe Lhota have taken their battle to the air.” (See  “Airwaves Heat Up in Republican Mayoral Contest” by Colin Campbell, 8/26/13, NY Observer/Politicker [http://politicker.com/2013/08/airwaves-heat-up-in-republican-mayoral-contest/]).

Unfortunately, neither the campaign of John “Cats” Catsimatidis nor the one of his opponent Joseph Lhota has heated up the GOP electorate. The adds of both campaigns don’t reflect any real theme and the mail isn’t any better.

Does anybody have a solid notion who is ahead ?  Does anybody whose name is not Lhota or Catsimatidis really care ?

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Is the use of the VERY OLD mechanical ELECTION MACHINES an invitation to ELECTION FRAUD ? Has that been the plan all along ?

                          —    PART 1 IN A MULTI-PART SERIES   —   


HIDING IN PLAIN SIGHT  —  State Senator Martin Golden openly boasted about the legislation he sponsored to allow the use of the NYC BOE’s archaic lever-operated voting machines in the upcoming primary elections 


What if the real purpose of  Golden’s voting machine legislation  —  AND his part in the City Council-BOE coup to change GOP Commissioners  —  AND his support for the “Republicans for Change” effort to take over the Brooklyn GOP were really part and parcel of somebody's attempt to steal the 2013 primary election and change the course of city politics for all the parties and the people of New York City?


Already there has been a dispute about when candidates would be given necessary information about reviewing the setup of the lever voting machines significantly ahead of their deployment for the September 10th  primary (See “NYC Board Of Elections Moving Closer To Deploying Old Lever Machines For Primary” by Celeste Katz, 8/20/13, Daily News/Daily Politics [http://www.nydailynews.com/blogs/dailypolitics/2013/08/nyc-board-of-elections-moving-closer-to-deploying-old-lever-machines-for-prima]). The old lever machines -- which will sub for the recently used ballot scanners only for this year’s NYC  primaries and a likely runoff to follow -- will be distributed  to the polling sites on September 3rd and 4th,  about a week before the primary on September 10th .

The New York City Board of Elections, is getting thousands of voting machines out of storage and ready for primary day.  Each of these 50 years old monsters weighs about 850 pounds and should have about 28,000 parts, with 20,000 of them moving parts, to work properly. A six-story warehouse in Brooklyn is the storage space for rows and rows of the infernal lever voting machines  ( it should be noted, however, that a least one article about the old machines says that they are stored in two (2) warehouses in Brooklyn). Each machine had been wrapped in what looks like a huge condom, safe and secure, and  ready to go for whatever might pop up ( See “New York Turns To Old Voting Machines For Upcoming Primary” by Brigid Bergin, July 14, 2013, NPR/WNYC
[http://www.npr.org/2013/07/14/202124768/new-york-turns-to-old-voting-machines-for-upcoming-primary]).

>>>>  AS IF  —  that is what EVERYBODY wants  —  ie., that these machines would  work properly on primary day. <<<<    Stored silently in their Brooklyn warehouse, these mechanical monoliths appear somewhat less than ready to f__k the unsuspecting voting public, but that is about to change quickly.  ( I have suspected all along that there is a nefarious  purpose in this exercise of electoral  nostalgia that has been championed by Republican State Senator Martin Golden).

Shortly after Golden’s law was reluctantly signed by Governor Cuomo, after very strong opposition by "good-government" groups, State Senator Golden’s personal choice to serve on the NYC Board of Election felt obliged to make a public statement about the Board’s action in authorizing the use of the very old voting machines pursuant to Golden’s newly passed law. According to the New York Times, Simon Shamoun, the Republican elections commissioner from Brooklyn, somewhat cryptically said, “Obviously this process has been a wake-up call for us.” Then Shamoun added that the optical scanning machines “are not going anywhere.... We have four years to figure it out, and hopefully we’re not in this position next time around.” ( See “Lever Voting Machines and New Runoff Date Are Approved by Cuomo" by Thomas Kaplan, 7/9/13, NY Times [http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/10/nyregion/cuomo-approves-the-use-of-lever-voting-machines.html?_r=0]).  "...four years to figure it out...." !  Really,   FOUR  YEARS  ! ! !  What's up with that ?

Interestingly,  Shamoun had been selected to be the Brooklyn Republican Election Commissioner by Golden as the result of a process in which Golden had no legal standing to participate. Since,and as a result of Shamoun's becoming a Board of Elections Commissioner, there have been several changes at the BOE, from executive appointees down to low level clerks. There have also been changes in what and how things are done at the Board, and by whom. The oft-repeated phrase, "There's a new sheriff in town..." has become a hallmark at the Brooklyn Board since Shamoun has been piped aboard.

Several candidates and other observers have already warned about the general unreliability of the archaic voting machines with dire prophecies concerning the 2013 primary . They have specifically  predicted widespread problems with machine breakdowns, especially in minority areas (See “This September May Be New York City’s Voting Apocalypse” by Hunter Walker, 8/15/13, Talking Points Memo [http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2013/08/nyc-voting-apocalypse.php]).

Of particular interest in the TPM article was the significant mention of a shortage of parts and the odd observation that “preventive maintenance” was being performed on the old machines some time before the legislation had passed to authorize their use for the 2013 primary ( See comments of Councilman Jumaane Williams in the article cited above). This is very important, because one of the ways to steal votes on the old machines is by specific fixes to some parts of  the machines by the technicians who maintain them up to and including on the day of voting. These are Board of Elections employees, ALL of whom are now under the executive and administrative control of another unexpected new sheriff in town —  who, incidently was put in place by a cabal subject to Golden’s influence.

>>>>  BTW:  Let’s not forget the episode earlier this summer about the petition that had been filed by Golden’s adversaries inside the Brooklyn GOP, which was shredded after filing by the BOE employee   because of a "mis-communication." <<<<

This post was a shorthand teaser of what I intend to cover about the events leading up to the current re-introduction of the old lever operated voting machines, as well as their use and abuse in past elections. This will take a few or perhaps several posts over the coming days and weeks. Several of my Baker Street Irregulars are digging up technical details and others have promised specific anecdotes. If you have something to contribute, there are many ways to do so.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

State Senator Martin Golden used to pay lip service to the Constitutional Right to Bear Arms — That’s all gone since his vote in favor of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s and Shelley Silver’s Anti-gun S.A.F.E. Act — Now watch as the gun industry abandons New York State along with what Golden laughingly refers to as “Jobs, baby, jobs...”

Remington is looking to move to a gun-friendly environment and is exploring Tennessee for an expansion of production capability, probably at the expense of its facility at Ilion, New York.

“Remington’s roughly 1,200-employee plant in Ilion makes rifles such as the Bushmaster semiautomatic weapon, which is now banned under New York’s Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act, the first law passed by any state post-Newtown.”  


According to a report in the Tennessean, “One of the nation’s largest gun manufacturers, Remington Arms, has looked at sites around Nashville for a potential corporate relocation or expansion that would likely include hundreds of manufacturing jobs  [thousands if it decides to close its plant in New York State] . ***  The Madison, N.C.-based company, which is part of the nation’s largest firearms company and has its largest plant in Ilion, N.Y., has scouted sites near Nashville’s airport, Lebanon and in Clarksville, Tenn.  Remington’s roughly 1,200-employee plant in Ilion makes rifles such as the Bushmaster semiautomatic weapon, which is now banned under New York’s Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act, the first law passed by any state post-Newtown.” (See “Remington Arms scouts Middle TN after N.Y. bans its rifle...” by Getahn Ward, 8/20/13, The Tennessean [http://www.tennessean.com/article/20130820/BUSINESS01/308200019/Remington-Arms-scouts-Middle-TN-after-N-Y-bans-its-rifle?gcheck=1&nclick_check=1]).


The new gun law, supported by State Senator Martin Golden, made the whole of the State of New York hostile territory for those who care about gun rights and the gun industry. The New York law now includes a ban on rifles with detachable magazine capability and one military-style feature; semiautomatic pistols are limited to seven shot magazines and it also bans magazines that contain more than seven rounds; it requires instant background checks on all ammunition purchases at the time of the sale; furthermore, it requires mental health professionals to report concerns about a gun-owning patient who posed a risk of harming himself or others; in addition the law contains a much stricter definition of assault weapons than the previous law in new York State that would ban most assaly-style weapons on the market when the law passed.

The 11th hour passage of the S.A.F.E. Act by a majority of NY Senate Republicans, including Golden, upset not only the state’s gun manufacturers, but also business people and other residents of  upstate New York. Erin Crowe, office coordinator for the Mohawk Valley Chamber of Commerce in Utica, N.Y. said,  “Ilion, New York, is Remington — if it wasn’t for Remington, Ilion wouldn’t exist.” She went on, “There’s not a lot of new industries coming to central New York, so if you take a huge company like [Remington] and they leave, our unemployment rate is going to skyrocket.”

Not long ago, lawmakers from several states including Michigan, South Carolina, Arizona, Oklahoma and Texas also made pitches to woo Remington. However, Remington is not the only gun maker that looking to vacate New York in the aftermath of the enactment of the S.A.F.E. Act.

Earlier this year, Kahr Firearms Group was reported to have been in talks to relocate its corporate headquarters, and its research and development department from Pearl River, N.Y., to Pike County, Pennsylvania, where Kahr has purchased 620 acres of land. The firearms maker also indicated that it planned to open a new factory there within five years — with additional employment of up to 100 manufacturing jobs. It’s especially notable that before New York passed its  tougher gun control law, Kahr had been close to finalizing an agreement for land in Orange County, N.Y., seeking room for growth there.

Next time you see State Senator Golden, ask him if he thought about any of this before he decided to vote for the S.A.F.E. Act

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

NY Post Report about FBI Recordings leads to an inescapable conclusion that Craig Eaton is NOT the GOP “Chairman #1 ” mentioned in the Federal Indictments concerning the Malcolm Smith Scandal --- and that Manhattan's GOP Chairman Dan Isaacs is the unamed co-conspirator described as " Chairman #1 "

One of  “Republicans for Change” key reasons to DUMP CRAIG  EATON as the Brooklyn GOP  Chairman is now out the window  —  What will Golden’s RFC operators come up with next to replace that high quality slime ?


According to an “EXCLUSIVE” report in the New York Post, “Manhattan Republican Party Chairman Dan Isaacs entertained a thinly disguised bribe offer from an undercover FBI agent posing as an associate of Democratic state Sen. Malcolm Smith, according to a transcript of taped conversations obtained by The Post. ***  The explosive exchange between Isaacs and the federal undercover — posing as a crooked real-estate developer — took place at a Feb. 14 luncheon in Midtown’s Sparks Steak House. ***  Isaacs has not been charged in the case....” (See “Manhattan GOP leader Isaacs caught on FBI tape entertaining $30G bribe from agent - pol whines 'I have never been charged' ” by Carl Campanile, 8/20/13, New York Post [http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/city_gop_big_shady_lunch_thkKOF1lrImWJVmn51AFSJ]). Also present at the shady luncheon was the Queens GOP Councilman Dan Halloran who had been indicted in connection with the Malcolm Smith matter.

Since it is now clear that "County Chairman #1" is Dan Isaacs, all speculation on that score concerning Brooklyn GOP Chairman Craig Eaton needs to cease. (It should be noted that when this story broke, and for some time thereafter, this blog openly speculated that the infamous "Chairman #1" had been Craig Eaton – and that it was logical to presume that he was.)  Eaton has consistently and repeatedly denied any involvement with any of the unlawful scheming to obtain a Wilson-Pakula authorization for Malcolm Smith to run on the GOP line for mayor.

Nonetheless, not very long ago, I had heard a couple of Marty Golden’s operatives, who now are active in “Republicans for Change,” mention that one of the reasons that Eaton had to go as the Brooklyn GOP leader was the likelihood that he was “Chairman #1 ”; with that now off the table, one awaits their next statement(s) about it and any  of the other reasons they had advanced to change the Republican county leadership.

Obama’s NSA scandal goes more international than ever --- British GCHQ operatives detain Glenn Greenwald’s partner at Heathrow, and they seize and destroy some computer gear belonging to the Guardian --- Greenwald & Co. promise retaliatory publication of more secrets

Was the detention of a Brazilian citizen at Heathrow done at the behest of the Obama Administration ? Is journalism now viewed as a terrorist occupation?  Are news organizations now to be viewed as integral parts of terrorist organizations ?  Does  the ”War on Terror” mean that consorting with a journalist who interviewed NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden is reason enough to be treated like a terrorist while traveling as a commercial airline passenger through an international airport ?


While in transit from Germany to Brazil,  David Miranda, a Brazilian citizen and a close associate or “partner” of Glenn Greenwald, was detained at Heathrow for nine hours under the British Terrorism Act by operatives of the British GCHQ (the British equivalent of the NSA). Greenwald was the reporter who interviewed Edward Snowden, the former contractor for the National Security Agency who exposed NSA programs of large scale surveillance of Americans (See “Guardian newspaper ordered to destroy files, claims editor” by Hannah Kuchler, Helen Warrell & news agencies, updated 8/20/13, Financial Times [http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/a3e35152-08a6-11e3-ad07-00144feabdc0.html#axzz2cUN1XuOG]).

Here’s how the event was reported in the Guardian: “On Sunday morning David Miranda, the partner of Guardian columnist Glenn Greenwald, was detained as he was passing through Heathrow airport on his way back to Rio de Janeiro, where the couple live. Greenwald is the reporter who has broken most of the stories about state surveillance based on the leaks from the former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. Greenwald's work has undoubtedly been troublesome and embarrassing for western governments. But, as the debate in America and Europe has shown, there is considerable public interest in what his stories have revealed about the right balance between security, civil liberties, freedom of speech and privacy. He has raised acutely disturbing questions about the oversight of intelligence; about the use of closed courts; about the cosy and secret relationship between government and vast corporations; and about the extent to which millions of citizens now routinely have their communications intercepted, collected, analysed and stored” (See “David Miranda, schedule 7 and the danger that all reporters now face —  As the events in a Heathrow transit lounge – and the Guardian offices – have shown, the threat to journalism is real and growing” by Alan Rusbridger, 8/19/13, The Guardian [ww.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/aug/19/david-miranda-schedule7-danger-reporters]).

Government officials both in London and Brazil quickly became involved.

On Sunday, a representative of the Brazilian government said that Brazil  had “grave concerns” about the detention of one of its citizens under the British Terrorism Act, while that Brazilian national was in transit from Germany to Brazil.

Keith Vaz, a Labor Member of the British Parliament and chairman of the House of Commons Home Affairs Committee, wrote to Scotland Yard asking for a “clarification” of its use of the Terrorism Act and also whether the Act had been used “at the behest of another government”.  In reply, the London Metropolitan Police Department indicated that a 28-year-old man had been detained at Heathrow at 8.05am on Sunday under Schedule 7 of the 2000 Terrorism Act. According to the Met, he was not arrested and was released at 5pm the same day. Yvette Cooper, “Shadow Home Secretary,” said that any suggestion that the government’s terror powers were being misused had to be investigated.

The Guardian made these conclusory observations, “We are not there yet, but it may not be long before it will be impossible for journalists to have confidential sources. Most reporting – indeed, most human life in 2013 – leaves too much of a digital fingerprint. Those colleagues who denigrate Snowden or say reporters should trust the state to know best ...may one day have a cruel awakening. One day it will be their reporting, their cause, under attack. But at least reporters now know to stay away from Heathrow transit lounges."

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Was Gunga Din Golden carrying water for the Assembly Speaker, Manhattan Democrat Sheldon Silver, with the addition of special targeted tax abatements for five luxury projects in MANHATTAN that were stitched into Golden's senate version of the Housing Bill at the last minute ?

State Senator Martin Golden’s Luxury Condos and Apartments Tax Abatement for Billionaires and Multi-Millionaires Bill (long-since passed and signed into law) is still making news  —  mostly, the New York Daily News  —   Today's report indicates that the legislative heavy lifting for Golden’s last minute NYS Senate bill came from the Democratic Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver 


According to a report that appears in today’s Sunday News, “The anonymous benefactor who tucked lucrative tax breaks for five major city developers into a housing bill was Asssembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, the Daily News has learned. ***  Several sources involved in the process identified Silver as the source of the quintet’s gold. ***  Bill sponsors and legislative officials speculated and pointed fingers for weeks when asked about the origin of the controversial abatements....” (See “Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver behind tax breaks to five luxury developers: sources” by Kenneth Lovett, 8/18/13, NY Daily News [http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/sheldon-silver-behind-wealthy-developer-tax-breaks-article-1.1429983#ixzz2cKtXzOnp]).

Even though State Senator Martin Golden’s name is not mentioned in Ken Lovett’s article in the Sunday News, those who have followed this story know that, as this bill’s sponsor in the NYS Senate, Brooklyn’s only Republican State Senator, Martin Golden has been one of the key “...[b]ill sponsors and legislative officials...” that has speculated and pointed fingers for weeks whenever he has been asked about the origin of the controversial abatements. In fact, even  Jackie Gleason, doing his iconic turns as “Ralph Kramden” never did a better “...Hubbadah-hubbadah-hubbadah !” than Marty Golden has done about this whole issue and in explaining how the five specific tax abatements got into his bill that passed the NYS Senate at the 11th hour of its session earlier this year.

Does anybody think for a second that nobody mentioned to State Senator Golden that “... Speaker Shelley Silver really wants this...” ?   Specifically, does anybody believe that State Senator Martin Golden and GOP Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos never had even the slightest conversation about the proposed legislation without Silver’s interest ever being mentioned ?  

Remember, Golden once mentioned that the addition of the abatements had been supported by the GOP conference.  If that’s where it really came from, why are sources from two of the developers saying that it all came from Democrat Honcho Sheldon Silver ?  Once they talk about it at all, usually the beneficiaries of legislative largesse make sure to give credit where it is due so nobody’s nose gets out of joint.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Brooklyn’s Republican Factions Clear the Gate and Head into the First Turn of Race to Control the Brooklyn GOP from the 2013 County Convention through the 2015 Primaries

Unchallenged County Committee Members Insure All Factions Will Be Present at the Convention — Primaries and Jockeying Will Determine  —   >>>WIN <<<   —  >>PLACE <<   — or  >SHOW<


GOP Mayoral Candidates and Primary Might Overshadow and Influence the result of the Brooklyn GOP organizational fight(s)



Many wags had predicted that the “Republicans for Change” faction supported by State Senator Martin Golden would have surged to a clear and insurmountable lead in County Committee designees by this stage of the 2013 election cycle. After all, Golden’s early maneuvers at the Board of Elections had resulted in his man Simon Shamoun’s installation as Commissioner, and several of the higher GOP appointees at the BOE quickly had swung over to the Golden camp. Nonetheless, so far it hasn’t worked out the way some of the wagging class would have you believe it woulda, shoulda or coulda happened.

After petitioning for and filing their signatures, and making all their BOE and court challenges, the two major factions — the “Republicans for Change” and the Kings County Republican Party organization headed by Chairman Craig Eaton — all start with about an equal number of unchallenged County Committee designees ( A technical blunder having cost the Eaton side an almost sixty delegate advantage); with almost 10% of the County Committee delegates still up for grabs in contested primaries.

As I noted above, thanks to BOE employees, the Golden camp and its camp followers looks bigger on paper. But this isn’t about the size of camps and who has a bigger roster of campers. This will all wind up being about running slates of candidates in a bunch of very local races. Therefore having a big bunch of campers who don’t do very much racing,  running or even walking doesn’t really help winning several of the most important races leading up to the convention. What’s more, in most of the contested districts, there are no unified top-to-bottom slates of State Committee and County Committee delegates.  I am not privy to all of the strategies, tactics and techniques that the competing sides will employee to elect their chosen delegates, but it will be more that Republican prime voters have seen for a very long time.


I’ve saved the biggest and the best contested district  for last. In  the 46th AD,   Lucretia Regina-Potter and Marcus A. Nussbaum are running against Clorinda Annarummo and Dominic Sarta for the State Committee, along with a large slate of County Committee candidates still running head-to-head in several EDs.  The 46th AD has the largest part of  “Republican Bay Ridge and Dyker Heights” within its boundaries, however there are huge reserves of untapped Republicans in the southern Coney Island and Brighton Beach end of the district.

Based on petitioning efforts, the Potter-Nussbaum slate appears slightly ahead with a better quality and more organized operation that appears to be built from the bottom up. Whereas a look at the Sarta-Annarummo submissions indicates a very large bulk of signatures gathered by “Outsiders” (non-Republicans, and Republicans from outside the 46th AD), with an especially weak operation in the South part of the 46th AD.

Another factor in this 2013 race is that Lucretia Regina-Potter campaigned alone in the 46th AD in 2012; and one of the factions who had opposed her last year have promised assistance in this leadership race. To counter that, Clorinda Annarummo will rely on her “expected endorsements” from Golden and Grimm — what needs to be noted, however, is that after those two elected officials heavily opposed Potter in 2012, she still garnered a significant vote on her own, and that after involving themselves in that bitter primary, neither Grimm nor Golden carried the whole area in the 2012 General Election, including large swaths of the 46th AD. Since that time both State Senator Golden and Congressman Grimm have had several scandals muddy their local and city-wide press coverage and the public’s view of them. Equally important, pro-gun rights and Tea Party Republicans have no real affection or practical use for either of them.

The same cannot be said about the GOP Mayoral candidates who are also running their own campaigns aimed at the 2013 GOP Primary. Part of the Lhota campaign worked in coordination with Golden’s “Republicans for Change” during petitioning; a similar economy of effort and scale was accomplished by Catsimatidis and the GOP County Organization lined up behind Craig Eaton. Conversely, the McDonald Campaign received signatures from the Fiorello LaGuardia Club in the 46th AD, but did not contribute significantly to the Potter-Nussbaum effort. It is expected that, if the mayoral campaigns continue to coordinate with the factions in the local GOP contests, the advantage will be to/for the Catsimatidis-backed County Organization of Eaton, because of greater resources.  That does remain to be seen in practice, however.

COMING SOON:  an analysis of State Senator Martin Golden’s effectiveness in challenging Kings County GOP Chairman Eaton; Golden's part in launching and publicizing the “Republicans for Change” effort; and Golden's mixed signals in designating and supporting (a) proposed candidate(s) for GOP Chairman leading up to the 2013 Convention and going forward.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

What’s up with these “Contributions” by top Golden contributors — Totaling $35,725.00 — That Friends of Martin Golden listed as “Contributions Refunded”

$35,725.00 of Campaign Funds for State Senator Martin Golden's committee collected between April 12th,  2012 and November 6th, 2012 were listed as returned on June 18th, 2013, June 25, 2013 and July 3, 2013


According to the Board of Elections Campaign Finance filings for the following: “Filer ID: A13015 2013 K SCHEDULE: M –  FRIENDS OF MARTIN GOLDEN  –  10  $35,725.00
... SCHEDULE: M CONTRIBUTIONS REFUNDED” (See http://www.elections.ny.gov:8080/reports/rwservlet?cmdkey=efs_sch_report+p_filer_id=A13015+p_e_year=2013+p_freport_id=K+p_transaction_code=M) the following contributions were refunded by “Friends if Martin Golden” to the individuals and entities listed below:

Name of Donor–       Amount Donation–        Date of Donation–    Date of Refund–   Date of Filing
GMD SHIPYARD CORPORATON --  $1,500.00– 15-SEP-12–     06/14/13–      JUN-18-13
D'ONOFRIO GEN  CONTRS CORP–   $2,500.00–  17-OCT-12 –  06/17/13 –    JUN-18-13
ASM MECHANICAL SYSTEMS –  $3,500.00–   06-NOV-12–    06/17/13 –    JUN-18-13
ASM MECHANICAL SYSTEMS –  $1,500.00–   06-NOV-12–    06/25/13–     JUN-25-13
NYS ASSOC OF WHOLESALE
   MARKETERS AND DISTRIB–  $7,200.00–    12-APR-12–    07/03/13–     JUL-03-13
NYS COURT OFFICERS ASSOC–   $625.00–    19-JUN-12–    07/03/13–     JUL-03-13
DEWEY GOLKIN–                       $9,200.00–       06-OCT-12 –   07/03/13 –   JUL-03-13
LEONARD SCHWARTZ–            $7,200.00 –      07-OCT-12–    07/03/13–    JUL-03-13
CENTURY 21 DEPT STRS LLC–   $2,200.00–     17-OCT-12–    07/03/13–   JUL-03-13
MARGUERITE MORAN–              $300.00 –        17-OCT-12–   07/03/13–    JUL-03-13
______________________________

There is nothing in the filing to indicate whether there was any problem with the donation or any other explanation why the contribution was being returned. Nor is there any reason or explanation why it took between seven (7) months and fourteen-plus (14+) months for Golden and/or his Committee Treasurer to determine that these refunds to these donors was necessary or advisable.

However, it is interesting that all of the donors who received refunds were also listed as top donors to State Senator Martin Golden by Project Vote Smart (See “Senator Martin 'Marty' J. Golden's Campaign Finances” by  Project Vote Smart [http://votesmart.org/candidate/campaign-finance/44377/martin-golden#.UgxdJ9Koqik]).  What follows is the total donation amount by the donors to the Golden’s campaign committee that were also listed as receiving refunds according to the Friends of Martin Golden filings:

CENTURY 21 DEPARTMENT STORES–  $20,000.00 [top of listed donors]
GOLKIN, DEWEY–  $19,500.00 [second among listed donors]
NEW YORK STATE ASSOC OF WHOLESALE
MARKETERS & DISTRIBUTORS–  $17,500.00 [third among listed donors]
SCHWARTZ, LEONARD–   $17,500.00 [fourth among listed donors]
NEW YORK STATE CT OFFICERS ASSOC–  $12,675.00 [fifth among listed donors]
GMD SHIPYARD–  $10,150.00 [twelfth among listed donors]
MORAN, MARGUERITE–   $8,500.00 [not in top twenty among listed donors]
DONOFRIO GEN CONTRS CORP–  $7,000.00 [not in top twenty among listed donors]
ASM MECHANICAL SYSTEMS–  $5,000.00 [not in top twenty among listed donors]

This series of ten (10) refunds, totaling  $35,725.00, by State Senator Golden’s committee represents something that wasn’t done before. If anybody has an insight or explanation for any of this, please, let me know what that is by commenting below.

(Note if you visit the sites mentioned above, you will find additional tabular information that space and layout would not allow in this post.)

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Filings show John Catsimatidis gave Brooklyn GOP County Organization $55,000

Finance records show that one of the Catsimatidis' businesses has continued to cut checks to the three Republican county organizations that back his candidacy  —  Also, recent polling shows that “CATS” continues to gain on Lhota  —   Q-poll now shows that with a month until the primary, “CATS” is only 6% behind [43% - 37%] with 11% still undecided.


According to a report on Crain’s Insider blog, citing Board of Elections records,  “...[F]rom this January through July, Mr. Catsimatidis' company, Red Apple Group, has poured $115,000 into the housekeeping or party accounts of the three GOP county organizations supporting him. Brooklyn—which was the last to endorse him in April—has gotten $55,000, while an early supporter, Queens County, has gotten $25,000. Manhattan has received $45,000 from Red Apple....” (See “Catsimatidis keeps giving to GOP backers” by Chris Bragg, 8/13/13, Crain’s NY/Insider [http://www.crainsnewyork.com/article/20130813/BLOGS04/130819961]).

In the same article by Chris Bragg was the following quote by Catsimatidis’ campaign spokesman Robert Ryan: "The Catsimatidis campaign is laying the groundwork to win the Republican primary and to have the support to win [the general election] in November." Mr. Ryan also released a statement on Tuesday about the recent  polling swing toward his boss  —  "John Catsimatidis' message of supporting the NYPD, fighting for good schools and standing up for small business and New York's beleaguered middle class is resonating with the voters in all five boroughs. New Yorkers realize he has the vision and leadership skills this city needs and though he's tough, he also has a heart."

Terrorist Gamechanger ? --- 400 Missiles lost in Benghazi

Another cover-up and fiasco exposed: by attorney for whistleblower with close knowledge of  Benghazi attack of 9/11/12  ---  Lawyer says 400 surface-to-air missiles "diverted to Libya" fell into the wrong hands during the attack on Benghazi



Newsmax and Breitbart are reporting that, "In an interview with Washington, D.C., radio station WMAL on Monday, Beltway lawyer Joe diGenova said he 'does not know whether [the missiles] were at the annex, but it is clear the annex was somehow involved in the distribution of those missiles'..."  (See "Report: 400 US Surface-to-Air Missiles Went Missing in Benghazi" by Cathy Burke, 8/12/13, Newmax [http://www.newsmax.com/Newsfront/surface-air-missing-missiles/2013/08/12/id/520026#ixzz2bpmuO6cX]; also "Attorney for Whistleblower: 400 U.S. Missiles Stolen in Benghazi", by Awr Hawkins, 8/12/13, Breitbart/Big Peace [http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Peace/2013/08/12/Attorney-For-Benghazi-Whistleblower-400-U-S-Missiles-Stolen-In-Benghazi-Annex-Involved]).


The attorney for whisleblower, Mark Thompson, said the biggest concern right now is finding those missiles before they can be put to use.  DiGenova said, "They are worried, specifically according to these sources, about an attempt to shoot down an airliner...." and  in addition the intelligence community's concerns over the missing missiles fueled the fears leading to the closings of several embassies throughout the Middle East last week. "That's what this was all about," diGenova insisted. "... That's why they have lied repeatedly about what happened in Benghazi, because they are now responsible for all of the [ ] violence that happens as a result of this. This is a very serious matter."



Monday, August 12, 2013

Heard at City Board of Elections Field: “...Batting lead-off for the Marty Golden ‘Republicans for Change’ team ... from out of left field ... Henry Lallave... Number 51...”

Daily News feature exposes a small piece of the kind of CORRUPT “change” that State Senator Martin Golden’s “Republicans for Change” are really all about, starting at the Board of Elections


A Daily News opinion piece that is very important for Brooklyn Republicans opened in a deceptively “matter of fact” fashion, as follows: “With primary elections for mayor and other offices less than a month away, the Board of Elections has been training 30,000 poll workers , a mission complicated by the return of the old lever voting machines. Uh, oh. ***  Herewith are two reports from the field, submitted by people who underwent poll-worker training last week in Brooklyn....” ( See “Board of incompetence  —  It's uh-oh season again for the Board of Elections,” NY Daily News Opinion, 8/12/13 [http://www.nydailynews.com/opinion/board-incompetence-article-1.1422987#ixzz2blluCm3l]). This article is just like one piece of a much larger puzzle involving the Brooklyn Republican Party and the emergent scandal or series of scandals at the Board of Elections.

My focus for now is on only one person that was mentioned in the Daily News Article – Henry Lallave, the GOP State Committee member from the 51st AD.  Lallave is now one of the few operators for Golden’s “Republicans for Change” functioning outside the boundaries of Golden’s State Senate District.  Henry Lallave had been a loyalist of Republican County Chairman Craig Eaton until State Senator Golden had pulled the rug on his man Eaton and pushed the Simon Shamoun coup at the BOE, all of which had been engineered earlier this year.  Until his “rice bowl” was effected by the top down GOP changes at the BOE, Lallave was not just a routine Republican District Leader from an overwhelmingly Democratic district, he was a reliable backer of the Republican county organization, as well as the former semi-regular on the Brooklyn GOP Blog Radio program, describing Henry Lallave as being from “Area 51” and with the recognizable “X Files” theme music playing in the background.

Making sure that everybody knows that its reporters are giving the stories of flesh and blood malefactors, and not some made up tragi-comical composites, the Daily News gave out the name and number of certain BOE employees, like this:  “Meanwhile, our correspondent from a training session for poll site coordinators, who are in charge at each voting location, described the instruction imparted by trainer Henry Lallave, a Brooklyn Republican state committeeman.”

Here is the verbatim account that appeared in the Daily News with respect to the "Republicans for Change" operator, Henry Lallave:

“The class was due to start at 9:00 a.m. It began at 9:25 a.m., at which point Lallave opened with a long introduction on how easy the class would be. He advised the 16 trainees they “didn’t have to turn off their phones.” By then it was 10:00 a.m. ***  Then he got to the important stuff: apparel, warning men not to wear muscle shirts and women not to wear midriff-revealing garments as it could ‘distract men, who might walk into walls.’ ***  No shorts should be worn, which led to a discussion about blue jeans, which are okay if “clean and pressed.” No hats are allowed, except for religious reasons. ***  According to our correspondent, Lallave offered not a word about managing poll workers. To prep for the test, Lallave went over some of the test questions and answers, leading one of trainees to complain that he was wasn’t going in order. ***  Then it was test time, with one coordinator cribbing answers from another. And those are the people who plan to be charge....”

Sociologists or Social Psychologists would look at the Daily News description of the behavior of the Board of Elections instructor, Republican District Leader, Henry Lallave  as one item of data to be placed in a much larger mosaic. A phenomenologist might call it an epiphenomenon, and demonstrate that it is something not unlike the behavior of birds and other animals in advance of an earthquake.

So far this year, State Senator Golden led the march for the return of the antiquated multiple levered voting machines  —  the very same mechanical machines that had a notorious breakdown rate prior to their replacement by the electronic reader-counter machines  —  that push by Golden was against the almost unanimous  recommendation of the NYC Board of Elections. Golden then participated in the coup by a hand full of GOP City Councilmen to replace most of the GOP Commissioners on the NYC BOE. As a result, Simon Shamoun, who was supported by Golden’s “Republicans for Change” was named as the Brooklyn GOP Commissioner on the NYC BOE. Since that time, there have been a series of rump meetings at the various offices and facilities of the BOE, at which Brooklyn Republican employees have been harangued that there has been a regime change and that certain Golden designees were representatives of that change and now ran the show for Brooklyn Republicans at the Board. Also since the Republican regime change at the BOE there have been a series of scandalous blips into the city-wide press such as:  the Manhattan derelict property scandal involving the Brooklyn BOE’s Chief Clerk, Republican District Leader and “Republican for Change” member Diane Rudiano; the shredding of a key volume of the Eaton-side petitions for Republican County Committee in 2013 involving both Simon Shamoun and Diane Rudiano; and now the Daily News report about the clearly corrupted instruction session conducted by Mr. Lallave.

As the pieces fall into the puzzle, we get to see a clearer picture of what Golden & Co., a/k/a “Republicans for Change” are up to  —  just at the BOE.

More interesting things are coming soon about over $35,000 in Golden’s campaign finances....

Let’s see what happens next.



Sunday, August 11, 2013

Lhota endorsed by the Brooklyn Young Republican Club with 75% in a “YES – NO” vote for Mayor — Burnett gets unanimous vote for NYC Comptroller — Complaints that Conservative Party Chairman Kassar tries to trash talk Republican candidate and YR Club member Joseph Hayon

Some report "Fireworks" After The Brooklyn Young Republican Club Endorsement of Joe Lhota for GOP Candidate for Mayor  —  Conservative Party Chairman Gerard Kassar's attempted verbal mugging of a Republican Candidate was at an open meeting of a "Republican Club"  — Republican-Conservative Candidates Joseph Lhota and Wave Chan, Republican Assemblyman Steve McLaughlin were also present during attack by the Conservative Chairman on their fellow Republican  ---  Also there were Timothy Cochrane, the person being pushed for Republican Kings County Leader by Marty Golden’s “Republicans for Change” and Clorinda Annarummo, longtime leader in the 46th AD and key operative of “Republicans for Change” who is trying to hold onto her seat in a very different 46th AD 


YR Club President Glenn Nocera says everything was orderly, calm and everybody got along. The Kassar-Hayon back and forth  was very brief and hardly noticed by most of those in attendance. 


As a couple of YRs who were there might tell it, Young Republican Club President Glenn Nocera, newly designated as a  Member of the Republican State Committee and GOP leader from the 44th AD, is getting a notorious reputation for throwing meetings that pack a punch, and today's was no exception. The way things are going, it won't be long before there might actually be a punch or three flying this way or that at one of Nocera’s flashy gatherings.

Following an up-or-down vote that endorsed Republican Joseph Lhota, Kings County Conservative Party Chairman Gerard Kassar, dressed in a casual checked shirt, got up in front of the Young Republicans meeting at Ceol in Downtown Brooklyn; and the Conservative party leader breached proper inter-party etiquette and protocol by delivering a strange speech attacking a Republican Party Candidate for City Council who is running against a Democrat supported by the Kassar and his Conservative Party.

Frankly, the gauntlet was hurled down earlier in the week by Kassar in two separate sets of testy texts from Jerry Kassar to Joseph Hayon who is running against Kassar's chosen candidate in the 44th Council District, Democratic Councilman David Greenfield. Kassar either was trying to warn Hayon not to come to the YR Club meeting, where it was widely expected that Hayon intended to oppose the Lhota endorsement, or Kassar was trying to goad Hayon into some kind of confrontation. Whatever Kassar's intent, Hayon did show up, openly opposed the Lhota endorsement and was actively engaged in a confrontation with Kassar. Whatever else he might have been trying to do, Kassar failed in his attempt to take Republican Candidate Joseph Hayon to the woodshed for a verbal tanning in front of the full house meeting of the Brooklyn YR Club.

Jerry Kassar got up in front of the crowd after a brief introduction by the YR Club President Nocera. Before long he was lambasting Hayon for things completely unrelated to the Lhota vote. Interestingly, Joseph Hayon, an Orthodox Jewish social conservative and registered Republican, had been quite comfortable and conversational discussing various social conservative issues with guest speakers McLaughlin and Chan before his measured defenses to the post-vote attacks by Kassar . Once Kassar had started with a face to face version of his earlier trash-texting, Hayon just swatted the Kassar barbs aside, one by one as they were launched.

The most interesting remark made by Kassar was what seemed to several there like a clear threat by the Conservative Party Chairman to continue to try to remove Republican candidate Hayon from the ballot, and deprive the Republican Party its rightful candidate in the 44th Council race by pursuing an appeal of the recent court decision restoring Hayon to the ballot after the Board of Elections removed Hayon for very technical reasons unrelated to the validity of Hayon’s Republican signatures. Hayon firmly pushed back that he’d defeated the Conservative Party the year before on a similar appeal.

With little left to say, Kassar finished by sarcastically saying, “Well, Good luck !”  To which Hayon promptly responded, “Why, thank you.”

Afterwards two Republicans who had participated in the vote at the meeting expressed shock that Kassar would openly attack a Republican candidate a their club's meeting in that way. One of them took special exception to the notion expressed by Kassar that The Brooklyn Young Republican Club is also a "Conservative" club, since he thought there were many libertarians in the group.

When asked about these complaints, Club President Glenn Nocera said that he thought the meeting went very smoothly. The Kassar-Hayon bit was very brief and hardly noticed by most of the 40 + people who were there to vote on the endorsement and hear the speakers McLaughlin and Chan. He pointed out that Lhota easily exceeded the 2/3 vote needed; and the two other items voted on were passed unanimously -- those being an endorsement of John Burnett for Comptroller and a vote for the Brooklyn Young Republican Club to endorse and support whatever Republican wins the GOP primary, be it Lhota, Catsimitidis or McDonald. When asked about Kassar's specific remarks, Nocera said that he was only one speaker and that he was just there to give a pep-talk. Glenn said he thought that most of what Kassar said had been well received by most of the attendees. When asked about the threatened appeal by Kassar, Nocera said that all he heard was that it was something Kassar said might be done.

Friday, August 9, 2013

COURT RULES HAYON ON BALLOT FOR 44th COUNCIL SEAT

Court did not address issue of possible alteration of Notice Letter from BOE to GOP Candidate Hayon prior to his filing an Amended Cover Sheet --- Justice Schmidt simply found that Hayon amended his cover sheet in reliance upon certain BOE records and files, and that as amended his petition was in substantial compliance with the BOE requirements 


By his Decision and Order of August 9, 2013, Justice David Schmidt directed the Board of Elections to place Joseph Hayon on the Republican Primary Election Ballot for the primary election to be held on September 10, 2013; he denied Hayon’s invalidating petition directed at David Greenfield’s Independence Party signatures and ordered that Greenfield’s name appear on the Independence Party Primary Election Ballot for the primary election to be held on September 10, 2013.

On the key points raised in Hayon’s validating petition, the Court credited both the BOE witness and Mr. Hayon. Although the Court acknowledged that the BOE practices and procedures were followed to mail out a letter concerning an error in the number of volumes and description of volumes, Mr. Hayon did attempt to correct his cover sheet and he did so in reliance upon various BOE documents and records to the extent that he had reasonably seen and understood them. Furthermore, any defect on the amended cover sheet was excusable, because it did not cause any confusion at the BOE, which never credited Hayon with the extra volumes. Since the liberalized standard is to validate petitions that contain a sufficient number of signatures, Hayon’s Republican petition should be validated because it was in substantial compliance and contained the requisite number of signatures.

Bring It On in the 46th AD --- After early setbacks in petitioning and in the courts, Annarummo and Sarta need a big rally for a comeback

Both sides are in and out of court and there is going to be a full-on body-slammin' MMA cage bout between the LaGuardias and the Seergies for the GOP leadership in the 46th AD  ---  Right now the Nussbaum and Potter team are on top and about to launch their GROUND AND POUND campaign


The State Committee candidates Marcus A. Nussbum and Lucretia Regina-Potter came through the court battle on top with about a 40 member advantage of uncontested Republican County Committee candidates, who are now designated members of the 2013-2014 GOP County Committee. This was the result of a superior petitioning effort to the one put forward by a combined crew from the Seergy Club and its candidates for the GOP district leadership spots, Dominic Sarta and Clorinda Annarummo, with a significant assist from State Senator Martin Golden's  so-called "Republicans for Change" and the Lhota campaign.

Although the total number of signatures of the two campaigns were about equal, the LaGuardias showed far better strategy and organization fielding a virtually complete slate of County Committee candidates, compared to the Seergies that put up a much smaller slate. In addition, the quality of the collective petition submitted by the La Guardia Club was far superior. As a result, almost fifty (50) of the Seergy Club's candidates were removed by the Board of Election (where Seergy Club leader Simon Shamoun was rendered powerless because of the mini-scandal over the shredded petition from the Eaton County Organization ) and/or by the Court. No doubt, additional Seergy Club candidates would have bitten the dust if the Court had been allowed to follow older precedents involving candidate and/or petitioner fraud, but changes in the Election Law have limited that remedy in recent years.

Now everybody is aiming toward the primaries --- for the two GOP State Committee positions and for the contested County Committee slots. In spite of their early victories with the County Committee candidiates, the Fiorello LaGuardia Republican Club expects a very tough primary campaign going forward, especially in Annarummo's and Sarta's Dyker Heights and upper Bay Ridge strongholds. The campaign is likely to be complicated by State Senator Golden's attempt to take over the GOP county organization, since Clorinda Annarummo and her Seergy Club County Committee candidates are a key cog in that operation. Any disappointment by Golden's "Republicans for Change" operatives at Annarummo's early efforts is being kept tightly under raps, but the strain is showing more every day. Whether this pops out into the open before  the primary and then the County Convention remains to be seen.

I've spoken to Lucretia Regina-Potter several times during the petitioning and the objection process. She has said that as far a she's concerned, this whole process is all about showing everybody who has the best Republican leadership team inside the current boundaries of the 46th AD in 2013 and going forward. "We've shown what we can do, and as soon as all the Republican voters see that, they'll be with us. Whatever anybody outside the 46th leadership race thinks is their business, but everybody's going to do what they're going to do. Then we'll do what we've got to do. We ain't going anywhere...." Right now the military-minded Mr. Nussbaum is checking fire on any elected Republicans, GOP candidates from outside the 46th AD and various other "interested"  activists, some Republican, some not --- but the second ANYBODY gets involved in the leadership fight in the 46th AD, they'll find out what it is like to be in a free-fire zone.


Wednesday, August 7, 2013

One Picture of State Senator Martin Golden Is Worth a Thousand Words — or At Least Three — “SUBPOENAS” “MORELAND” and “COMMISSION”

The Sheepshead Bay Bites and Bensonhurst Bean’s coverage of the first case being investigated by Governor Cuomo’s recently revived Moreland Commission is entitled “Subpoenas Sent To Real Estate Developers Who Were Given Tax Breaks By Golden & Co.” and featured a brilliant portrait of “State Senator Marty Golden (Source: Senator Golden’s offices)” doing his thing as a New York State Senator in action



Along with Golden’s big picture, Willie Simpson’s report, appearing in both “Sheepshead Bay’s Only Independent News Blog” and in “Bensonhurst’s Premier News Blog” opens, as follows: “Subpoenas were issued to huge real estate firms that scored a windfall in tax breaks in legislation crafted by Republican State Senator Marty Golden and signed by Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo. The Wall Street Journal is reporting that the Moreland Commission, a group set up by Cuomo to investigate public corruption, is looking into how developers of ultra-rich hotel-condo towers gained the valuable breaks.”  (See “Subpoenas Sent To Real Estate Developers Who Were Given Tax Breaks By Golden & Co.” by Willie Simpson, 8/7/13, Sheepshead Bay Bites [http://www.sheepsheadbites.com/2013/08/marty-golden-extell-scandal/]; virtually the same article appeared in “The Bensonhurst Bean” [http://www.bensonhurstbean.com/2013/08/subpoenas-sent-to-real-estate-developers-who-were-given-tax-breaks-by-golden-co/] ). Also mentioned in the Sheepshead Bay Bites’ post was this: “Golden and Assemblyman Keith Wright, the Democrat who sponsored the bill in the Assembly, may also be questioned during the investigation.”

In an article that did not mention any government officials by name, Crain’s Business gave the following background and observations about the current state of the new investigation, “Subpoenas issued by a recently formed state anti-corruption committee were sent to several high-profile Manhattan landlords to see if there are any link between their campaign donations and huge tax breaks they were granted on luxury apartment towers they are building....  The Moreland Commission... plans to examine whether campaign donations to lawmakers in the state assembly and senate could have swayed them to make the exception for the five buildings, where apartment units will sell for millions of dollars each.”  (See “Big NYC developers seen getting subpoenas” by Daniel Geiger, 8/7/13, Crain’s New York/Business [http://www.crainsnewyork.com/article/20130807/REAL_ESTATE/130809907]).

The story about the subpoenas broke in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal, which is cited in almost all of the other reports of the first reported subpoenas by Moreland Commission investigators since the commission was re-established by Governor Cuomo (See “Subpoenas Sent to City's Big Landlords –  New York State Corruption Commission Examines Tax Breaks” by Eliot Brown & Erica Orden, 8/6/13, WSJ/Online [http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323514404578652591729608454.html?mod=WSJ_NY_News_LEADNewsCollection]).

According to the WSJ coverage of the Moreland Commission’s recent actions, “Kathleen Rice, Nassau County District Attorney and co-chairwoman of the commission, said the commission has begun issuing subpoenas, but she declined to say who received them or the topic of the inquiries. ‘We have not prejudged anyone or anything—we are going to follow whatever evidence we have, wherever it goes,’ she said.”

The Wall Street Journal’s reporters gave this background in their report : “The Moreland Commission was convened by executive order in July after lawmakers didn't enact anticorruption measures sought by Gov. Andrew Cuomo amid a stretch of high-profile arrests of state legislators. The 25-person commission has the power to subpoena records, question witnesses under oath and, if necessary, refer cases for prosecution. ***  In an executive order, Mr. Cuomo directed the commission to examine the areas of state government most likely to intersect with lawmakers: the state Board of Elections, lobbying laws and practices, campaign-finance matters, including disclosure of third-party contributions, and expenditures and bribery laws.”

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Why did five GOP Board of Elections Commissioners twice vote for a Democrat ? Michael J Ryan elected to be the NYC BOE Executive Director in an unscheduled vote without all BOE Commissioners present

Final shoe hasn’t dropped in naming Staten Island’s Michael J. Ryan as the NYC BOE Executive Director  —  Is Marty Golden deep in the City Board of Elections intrigue ?  Golden aide refuses to comment on who might be selected as BOE Deputy Director


Celeste Katz’ report on the selection of Mike Ryan as the NYC BOE’s Executive Director buried the lead of her story — at least as far as those of us involved in Brooklyn GOP politics are concerned ( See “Brooklyn Democratic Chair Frank Seddio: Erik Dilan Deserved Board Of Elections Top Job” by Celeste Katz, 8/6/13, Daily News/Daily Politics [http://www.nydailynews.com/blogs/dailypolitics/2013/08/brooklyn-democratic-chair-frank-seddio-erik-dilan-deserved-board-of-elections-]).  She opened her piece with “The head of Brooklyn's Democratic Party wished new Board of Elections Executive Director Michael Ryan luck Tuesday -- but said City Councilman Erik Dilan should've gotten the job.”  However, the real news was buried deep down in the article — in the electronic equivalent of the “continued on page” often used to bury information in the NY Times.

In an almost by the way manner that was only missing the tag “btw,”  Katz slipped in this very provocative item,  ”A rep for Golden -- whose former aide, Simon Shamoun, now represents his borough's party on the Board -- did not provide comment about lingering suggestions that another of his allies might be in position to get the deputy job.” The line is intriguing enough, but the intrigue that lies behind it is probably worth more than a few lines and certainly worthy of comment by Golden’s principal intriguer, whoever that is.

NEW REPUBLICAN COMMISSIONERS KEY TO VOTE FOR STATEN ISLAND DEMOCRAT RYAN

The mechanics of whole story was summed up in just a few lines out of Katz lengthy article, as follows: “...the Board has seen a dramatic power play by Republican City Councilmen that ended in the ouster and replacement of three of the bipartisan Board's five GOP commissioners. ***  All five Republicans supported Ryan in last Tuesday's vote and today's. Both [votes] were added to the BOE agenda with no prior notice. *** [the nomination fell short on the earlier vote]  Only Staten Island Democrat Maria Guastella supported Ryan this time.”

According to BOE regulations, the Board must select a Republican to serve as Democrat Ryan's deputy to maintain an apparent political balance to the BOE’s administration. That position is currently held by Bronx Republican Dawn Sandow, who has been filling in as Acting Executive Director since the removal of the former Executive Director, George Gonzalez. Let’s see if this plum now goes to one of State Senator Martin Golden’s favorites.

Republican Joseph Hayon’s “Aggrieved Candidate” case against David Greenfield proceeding to trial

Even though Hayon had been ruled “Off” at the Board of Elections and the Court has not ruled on Hayon's Petition to Validate his Republican signatures, doesn't the fact that the Court is allowing Hayon’s “Aggrieved Candidate” Petition to Invalidate David Greenfield’s Independence Party signatures to be tried show that the Court sees Hayon as a "CANDIDATE"


Generally, it had been assumed that Joseph Hayon was spinning his wheels in his joint attempts to have his name restored to the ballot as the Republican candidate for City Council in the 44th Council District, as well as his trying to remove from the Independence line the name of his opponent David Greenfield, the Democrat-Conservative candidate for re-election to the Council from the 44th.  Well, both cases are still before Hon. David Schmidt; and they are both going forward to a trial.

On the  Validating Petition, the Judge will be conducting the trial to determine certain facts in Hayon’s attempt to validate his Republican signatures and his petition as a whole. That petition  had been ruled invalid at the Board of Elections because of a cover sheet error. Even though that error has been acknowledged by Hayon, he claimed that it was “caused” by a faulty notice letter sent to him by the BOE. The trial will focus on whether the letter sent to Hayon did or did not contain a faulty “page two” containing the inaccurate information, which Hayon then carried over to his cover sheet.

Meanwhile, a court referee has completed a line-by-line on Hayon’s “Aggrieved Candidate” Invalidating Petition against David  Greenfield’s  Independence Party signatures. At this stage, Greenfield looks like he has 55 signatures, plus or minus a few still in dispute from the line-by-line. Even though that would seem to be well above the 46-47 signatures needed to qualify, there are two specific disputed sheets containing more than 10 signatures from a petition gatherer who witnessed a false signature and whose sheets contain several un-initialed alterations in an obviously different handwriting from anything else on the sheets.

It would seem odd that Justice Schmidt would allow Hayon’s  “aggrieved candidate” case to proceed to trial without a plaintiff who had standing, unless the judge intended to restore Hayon to candidate status. Let’s see what happens tomorrow.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

SUNDAY ROUNDUP: Those interested in the Brooklyn GOP leadership fight are waiting on the Court for Decisions in what’s left of the Election Cases; the Brooklyn Young Republican Club announces an endorsement vote for mayor and comptroller at its next meeting — Sunday, August 11th.

AT LAST,  ELECTION CASE DECISIONS THIS WEEK


With all of the line-by-line and other evidence presented and the arguments made, Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice David Schmidt must render several decisions after having “reserved” on several unresolved matters submitted for his decision(s) by the parties.  Except for the very unlikely scenario of (an) appeal(s), all sides in the Brooklyn Republican leadership fight are waiting on the Court and the BOE for a final roster of prospective GOP committee members, both state and county, and candidates for committee membership running in the September Republican Primary. The court is expected to hand down its decisions early this week for of the handful of undecided cases still pending before it.  —  Some or all of those decisions might be handed down by the end of business on Monday.

The complete list or roster of prospective unopposed GOP State and/or County Committee members, and GOP State and/or County Committee candidates appearing on the GOP primary ballot will probably not emanate from the Board of Elections until later this week, after the BOE has been served with all of the court’s decisions.

BROOKLYN YOUNG REPUBLICAN CLUB gathering to vote “Yea” or “Nay”....


Meanwhile, the Brooklyn Young Republican Club (the one that looks like it has the brand new State Committeeman for the 44th AD, Glenn Nocera, as its President) has put out a notice of a meeting on August 11th, which is a very short turn around from that club’s July meeting that was held only last Sunday.  The main order of Young Republican Club business is an endorsement vote for mayor and comptroller. According to the club’s notice, “At this meeting we will be holding a yes or no endorsement vote for Joe Lhota for mayor and John Burnett for Comptroller. The Board of Directors have [sic] recommended these candidates for our club’s endorsement. Eligible voters for this vote are paid dues members for 2013 under 40 years old.”  (Just how much are these very young “paid dues members” getting for their votes “yea” or “nay”?  ---  Jes' Jaeckin' !)

In addition to the endorsement vote, there is a scheduled guest speaker  —  Republican Assemblyman Steve McLaughlin.

When: Sunday, August 11, 2013,  2-4 pm

Where: Ceol Pub [Back room]
           191 Smith Street
           Brooklyn, NY
.