Tag Archives: Bill de Blasio

Net worth of 2020 presidential candidates

Two days ago, before former New York mayor and rabid gun-controlist Michael Bloomberg tossed his hat in the Demonrat ring, Forbes published a list of the net worth of all the 2020 presidential candidates.

Below is the list. The commentary below each name is Forbes‘, as indicated by the quotation marks (“”). I added Bloomberg’s net worth, as well as the ages and current occupations of the members of the list. Needless to say, all except President Trump are Demonrats.

I was surprised by the net worths of some on this list, e.g., Bill de Blasio, Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, and Elizabeth Warren, which goes to show being a politician sure is a lucrative “profession”.

24. Pete Buttigieg

Age & occupation: 37, mayor of South Bend, Indiana (D)
Net worth: $100,000
Financial transparency score: 4/5
Money raised: $32 million

“Mayor Pete has enough money to live comfortably in the Midwest, but he’s still the poorest 2020 contender. Chalk that up to his age (at 37, he’s the youngest candidate), student loan debt and his decision to give up a lucrative McKinsey job to run for treasurer of his home state of Indiana in 2010. He lost but got a six-figure gig as mayor of South Bend two years later. Still, he and his husband, Chasten, a former teacher, disclosed between $100,000 and $230,000 in student loans.”

23. Tim Ryan

Age & occupation: 46, U.S. representative for Ohio’s 13th congressional district (D)
Net worth: $500,000
Financial transparency score: 3/5
Money raised: $900,000

“Elected to the House of Representatives at 29 years old, Ryan has been earning a congressional salary for years. After getting a law degree in 2000, he briefly served in the Ohio state senate, then won his House seat in 2002. In 2013, Ryan married a public school teacher, who is still paying off her student loans, according to his most recent financial disclosure report.”

22. Tulsi Gabbard

Age & occupation: 38, U.S. Representative for Hawaii’s 2nd congressional district (D)
Net worth: $500,000
Financial transparency score: 2/5
Money raised: $6 million

“Gabbard invested in the cryptocurrency craze in 2017, buying between $2,000 and $30,000 worth of Litecoin and Ethereum, according to documents she filed with the government. By the time she turned in her most recent financial disclosure report, in July 2019, she had gotten rid of those investments. It’s not clear if she made money on them. Most of her fortune is tied up in an $865,000 home in Washington, D.C., which has an estimated $560,000 in debt against it.”

21. Julian Castro

Age & occupation: 45, attorney. Former Obama administration Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (2014-2017); former mayor of San Antonio, Texas (2009-2014)
Net worth: $700,000
Financial transparency score: 2/5
Money raised: $4 million

“Barack Obama’s former secretary of housing and urban development has more than $100,000 in cash accounts, plus stock in a handful of mutual funds. After Obama left office, Castro joined the faculty of the University of Texas’ school of public affairs. His $40,000-per-year university pension is worth about $110,000. He also owns a modest, 2,000-square-foot home in San Antonio, where he served as mayor from 2009 to 2014.”

20. Andrew Yang

Age & occupation: 44, attorney & entrepreneur
Net worth: $1 million
Financial transparency score: 2/5
Money raised: $5 million

“The son of Taiwanese immigrants, Yang left a corporate law gig to go into the startup world. In 2000 he cofounded Stargiving.com, a website that gave charitable donors the chance to meet celebrities. After it folded he went to work for small mobile software and healthcare companies, then became CEO of test prep business Manhattan Prep in 2006. Yang helped grow the company to $11 million in revenues before industry giant Kaplan bought it in 2009 for tens of millions.”

19. Seth Moulton

Age & occupation: 41, U.S. Representative for Massachusetts’s 6th congressional district (D).
Net worth: $1 million
Financial transparency score: 2/5
Money raised: $2 million

“Moulton got a physics degree from Harvard, then joined the Marine Corps and served four tours in Iraq. Back Stateside, he used the G.I. Bill to get master’s degrees from Harvard’s public policy and business schools, before running for Congress. His $1 million fortune is largely spread among mutual funds, index funds and a 2,750-square-foot condo in Salem, Massachusetts.”

18. Kirsten Gillibrand

Age & occupation: 52, U.S. senator for New York (D).
Net worth: $1 million
Financial transparency score: 3/5
Money raised: $15 million

“Gillibrand owns a $350,000 home in Troy, New York, with her husband, Jonathan. She’s the breadwinner, earning $174,000 annually for serving in the senate. He made just $185,000 as a consultant and investor between 2007 and 2018, according to tax returns. Their most valuable asset appears to be Gillibrand’s federal pension, worth an estimated $450,000.”

17. Marianne Williamson

Age & occupation: 67, “spiritualist” and author.
Net worth: $1.5 million
Financial transparency score: 3/5
Money raised: $3 million

“Williamson made millions as a self-help guru and author (with books like the 1992 bestseller A Return To Love), but she hasn’t held onto most of the money. What she does have sits in mutual funds, money market accounts and cash accounts, along with a handful of publicly traded stocks like Apple, Home Depot and VF Corp. While Williamson is not likely to win the election, she’ll almost certainly make money off her campaign: In April, she released her latest book, A Politics of Love.”

16. Steve Bullock

Age & occupation: 53, Governor of Montana (D)
Net worth: $1.5 million
Financial transparency score: 3/5
Money raised: $2 million

“The governor of Montana is a small-time landlord. He owns 50% of a historic building in Helena, Montana, where he rents out two commercial spaces and one residential apartment. It’s in a convenient location for Bullock, just a mile down the road from his office at the state capitol. His stake is worth roughly $300,000 after debt. The rest of Bullock’s portfolio is mostly composed of retirement accounts.”

15. Cory Booker

Age & occupation: 50, U.S. senator for New Jersey (D)
Net worth: $1.5 million
Financial transparency score: 4/5
Money raised: $12 million

“When the New Jersey senator arrived in Washington in 2013, he owned stock in companies like Netflix, Facebook and Amazon. He sold all of that within a year of taking office, putting the proceeds into checking and savings accounts. Today Booker’s portfolio includes a 2,800-square-foot house in Newark, where he served as mayor from 2006 to 2013, and a New Jersey state pension. His federal tax returns show average annual giving of 11%, higher than any of the other 14 candidates who have released their filings.”

See also “Presidential candidate Cory Booker proposes national gun license for all gun owners

14. Amy Klobuchar

Age & occupation: 59, U.S. senator for Minnesota (D)
Net worth: $2 million
Financial transparency score: 4/5
Money raised: $13 million

“A prosecutor turned politician, Klobuchar holds a plain-vanilla portfolio. Her retirement holdings include a federal pension worth an estimated $560,000, the result of 12 years in the U.S. senate.”

13. Jay Inslee

Age & occupation: 68, governor of Washington (D)
Net worth: $2 million
Financial transparency score: 4/5
Money raised: $5 million

“Since 1988, Inslee has bounced back and forth between the Washington state government (serving as a legislator and now governor) and the federal government (representing Washington’s 4th district, then its 1st district). That’s made him eligible for an estimated $68,000 per year for life in state and federal pensions, an income stream worth around $750,000 in all. He owns a five-bedroom, $1 million home outside Seattle.”

See also “Washington Gov. Jay Inslee Signs Seven Anti Gun Bills in a Single Day,”

12. Bernie Sanders

Age & occupation: 78, U.S. senator for Vermont (Democratic Socialist)
Net worth: $2.5 million
Financial transparency score: 4/5
Money raised: $46 million

“Turns out, the socialist senator is a pretty successful capitalist. After running for president in 2016, Sanders inked three lucrative book deals that have brought him more than $2 million so far, catapulting him into the 1%. Since the 2016 election, he has shelled out $575,000 for a northern Vermont summer home and paid off a 30-year mortgage on his Burlington, Vermont, house—25 years early.”

See also:

11. Bill De Blasio

Age & occupation: 58, mayor of New York City (D)
Net worth: $2.5 million
Financial transparency score: 3/5
Money raised: $1 million

“Mayor Bill de Blasio has spent most of his life in public service, but like the Oval Office occupant he hopes to replace, he owes his fortune to timely investments in New York City real estate. In 2000 de Blasio, who held a handful of city and federal jobs before being elected mayor, and his wife bought a 1,200-square-foot row house on a quiet Brooklyn block. Four years later, they picked up a 1,600-square-footer just down the road. Since then, real estate values have skyrocketed. Last year de Blasio collected $108,450 by renting out the two properties while he and his family live in Gracie Mansion, the mayor’s official residence.”

See also:

10. Beto O’Rourke

Age & occupation: 47, U.S. representative for Texas’s 16th congressional district (D) from 2013 to Jan. 3, 2019.
Net worth: $4 million
Financial transparency score: 3/5
Money raised: $14 million

“The former Texas congressman married into a rich family—his wife, Amy, is the daughter of an El Paso real estate tycoon—but only a small chunk of that wealth has trickled down to the couple. Their largest asset is a note held by Amy, worth $2.5 million, according to a campaign spokesperson. O’Rourke holds a minority interest in a $2.5 million El Paso strip mall, which he got from his mother.” He suspended his presidential campaign on November 1, 2019.

9. Joe Sestak

Age & occupation: 67, president of FIRST Global non-profit.
Net worth: $6 million
Financial transparency score: 4/5
Money raised: $0

“Sestak graduated second in his class at the U.S. Naval Academy in 1974 and retired as a three-star admiral three decades later. For his service, he gets roughly $120,000 every year for the rest of his life. That pension is worth nearly $1.5 million. Sestak has funneled his salary into a diversified portfolio, which includes more than $15,000 of Apple stock and at least $100,000 in Amazon shares.”

8. Kamala Harris

Age & occupation: 55, U.S. senator for California (D)
Net worth: $6 million
Financial transparency score: 4/5
Money raised: $25 million

“Senator Harris married lawyer Douglas Emhoff in 2014, creating a California power couple. She brought the clout, and he brought the money. Since then, they have raked in $8.2 million—most of it from Emhoff’s work at law firms Venable and DLA Piper. The couple owns homes in Los Angeles, Washington, D.C. and San Francisco, worth a combined $5.8 million before debt.”

See also:

7. Joe Biden

Age & occupation: 77, U. of Pennsylvania professor of “presidential politics”
Net worth: $9 million
Financial transparency score: 4/5
Money raised: $22 million

“‘Middle-class Joe’ is now solidly upper class. The former vice president and his wife, Jill, earned more than $15 million in the two years after they left the White House, cashing in on a multi-book deal with publisher Flatiron. In 2017, they dropped $2.7 million on a 4,800-square-foot pad in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. The next year, they paid off a mortgage on their other home, in Wilmington, Delaware.”

See also:

6. Elizabeth Warren

Age & occupation: 70, U.S. senator for Massachusetts (D)
Net worth: $12 million
Financial transparency score: 4/5
Money raised: $36 million

“Teachers aren’t paid so poorly after all—at least not Harvard professors. Warren and her husband, Bruce Mann, both longtime instructors at the university, have built up a small fortune through years of teaching, writing and consulting. Their largest holdings include TIAA and CREF accounts—available to educators and nonprofit employees—worth more than $4 million. One of their best investments has been their home in Cambridge, Massachusetts, purchased in 1995 for $447,000. It’s now worth an estimated $3 million.”

See also:

5. Michael Bennet

Age & occupation: 54, U.S. senator for Colorado (D)
Net worth: $15 million
Financial transparency score: 2/5
Money raised: $4 million

“The Democratic senator got millions working for Republican megadonor Philip Anschutz. After serving in the Justice Department during the Clinton administration, Bennet left Washington in 1997 to join the Anschutz Investment Company. There, he worked on a deal to merge three movie theater chains into Regal Entertainment Group and ultimately joined its board of directors. Today his assets include hedge fund holdings and Colorado real estate.”

4. John Delaney

Age & occupation: 56, attorney & businessman; former U.S. representative for Maryland’s 6th congressional district (D) from 2013 to 2019.
Net worth: $200 million
Financial transparency score: 2/5
Money raised: $26 million

“Delaney made a fortune in the business world before serving three terms in Congress. The son of a union electrician, he launched HealthCare Financial Partners, a lender to health care businesses, in 1993. One of his major backers: Tom Steyer, whose hedge fund invested $25 million. Delaney took HealthCare Financial Partners public in 1996 and pocketed $30 million when he sold it three years later to Heller Financial (later rolled into GE Capital). He quickly founded a second company, commercial lender CapitalSource, raising $542 million to launch it—$190 million of it from Steyer’s firm.”

3. Tom Steyer

Age & occupation: 62, hedge fund manager; partner and member of the executive committee at Hellman & Friedman, a San Francisco–based $8 billion private equity firm.
Net worth: $1.6 billion
Financial transparency score: 1/5
Money raised: $0

“After years of backing other Democrats, the hedge funder is trying his own luck as a candidate. Money won’t be an issue. Steyer founded Farallon Capital in 1986 and turned it into one of the largest hedge fund firms in the country. He stepped back in 2012 to focus on politics and philanthropy, concentrating his early efforts on protecting the environment. That struck some people as odd, given that he had previously invested in the fossil-fuel industry. Oil tycoon Harold Hamm, a prominent Trump supporter, once called Steyer “the world’s biggest hypocrite.” For his part, Steyer said he had a change of heart and divested his old fossil-fuel holdings.”

See also:

2. Donald Trump

Age & occupation: 73, President of the U.S.A.
Net worth: $3.1 billion
Financial transparency score: 0/5
Money raised (as of June 2019): $124 million

“The billionaire-in-chief is rich enough to fund his entire presidential campaign by himself. Not that he will. While donors around the country have been pitching in to support his reelection effort, the richest president in American history has donated exactly $0 of his own, according to the latest filings.” Donald Trump funded his 2016 presidential campaign.

1. Michael Bloomberg

Age & occupation: 77, businessman
Net worth: $58 billion, making him the 9th richest person in the United States and the 14th richest person in the world.

“He is the co-founder, CEO, and owner of Bloomberg L.P., a global financial services, software and mass media company that bears his name. A lifelong Democrat, Bloomberg switched his party registration in 2001 to run for mayor of New York City as a Republican. He won a second term in 2005, and left the Republican Party two years later. He then campaigned to change the city’s term limits law, and was elected to his third term in 2009 as an independent on the Republican ballot line. In October 2018, Bloomberg changed his political party affiliation back to the Democrats. He announced on November 24, 2019, that he was seeking that party’s nomination in the 2020 presidential election.”

~Eowyn

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This is de Blasio’s city: NYPD vehicle trashed on Halloween

And last night protesters threatened police during a NYC subway protest in Brooklyn. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez gave them her blessing.

Get your city under control, de Blasio.

DCG

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NYC secretly exports homeless to other states; not advising recipient states

That’s not exactly solving the problem…

From NY Post: New York City generously shares its homeless crisis with every corner of America.

From the tropical shores of Honolulu and Puerto Rico, to the badlands of Utah and backwaters of Louisiana, the Big Apple has sent local homeless families to 373 cities across the country with a full year of rent in their pockets as part of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s “Special One-Time Assistance Program (SOTA).” Usually, the receiving city knows nothing about it.

City taxpayers have spent $89 million on rent alone since the program’s August 2017 inception to export 5,074 homeless families — 12,482 individuals — to places as close as Newark and as far as the South Pacific, according to Department of Homeless Services (DHS) data obtained by The Post. Families, who once lived in city shelters, decamped to 32 states and Puerto Rico.

The city also paid travel expenses, through a separate taxpayer-funded program called Project Reconnect, but would not divulge how much it spent. A Friday flight to Honolulu for four people would cost about $1,400. A bus ticket to Salt Lake City, Utah, for the same family would cost $800.

Add to the tab the cost of furnishings, which the city also did not disclose. One SOTA recipient said she received $1,000 for them.

DHS defends the stratospheric costs, saying it actually saves the city on shelter funding — which amounts to about $41,000 annually per family, as compared to the average yearly rent of $17,563 to house families elsewhere.

But critics say the “stop-gap solution” has been wrought with problems, and ultimately has failed to help curb the city’s homelessness.

Not only are officials in towns where the city’s homeless land up in arms, but hundreds of the homeless families are returning to the five boroughs — and some are even suing NYC over being abandoned in barely livable conditions. Multiple outside agencies and organizations have opened investigations into SOTA.

“We were initially seeing a lot of complaints about conditions. Now that the program has been in operation long enough that the SOTA subsidy is expiring, one of our main concerns is it might not be realistic for people to be entirely self-sufficient after that first year,” said Jacquelyn Simone, policy analyst at Coalition for the Homeless.

DHS said 224 SOTA families have ended up back in New York City shelters. The agency did not answer The Post’s repeated requests for the number of families who wind up in out-of-town shelters.

“We suggested that DHS reach out to people as their subsidy runs out to confirm they will be secure and not have to re-enter shelter, but the agency told us they have no plans to do that,” said Legal Aid lawyer Joshua Goldfein, whose firm represents SOTA families who say the city pressured them to move into New Jersey slums, then ignored calls for help.

About 56% of the families move out-of-state, costing the city an average of $15,600 in annual rent. Thirty-five percent move within city limits with an average rent of $20,500, and 9% move elsewhere in New York state, costing approximately $17,900.

Homeless individuals and families are eligible for SOTA if they can prove that they have been in a New York City shelter for at least 90 days and that their household income is no more than twice what it owes in rent. DHS would not expand on eligibility rules.

The agency’s website provides vague descriptions of the income and shelter-stay requirements.

DHS said its reps work with landlords in cities where families want to move to find housing. At least two SOTA families told The Post DHS pre-selected New Jersey apartments for them to view during a “van run,” then insisted they quickly sign leases.

Some pols in towns taking in NYC refugees were shocked by the news.

“So in other words if someone is in a shelter y’all will give them money to go somewhere else if they have been there for 90 days? And some of those people have been sent to Metairie?” said Michael Yenni, president of Jefferson Parish, Louisiana, when The Post told him the community is among the SOTA destinations.

“I’m not in Mayor Bill de Blasio’s shoes. I don’t sit behind his desk, and I never will, but it’s certainly interesting. You have shocked me down here in beautiful Southeast Louisiana.

Read the whole story here.

DCG

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Bill de Blasio supports ban on commercial helicopter flights over Manhattan

Guarantee you this won’t be one perk hizzoner gives up for his “public service.”

From NY Post: Mayor Bill de Blasio on Friday sided with a trio of New York City lawmakers seeking to ban commercial helicopters from flying in the Big Apple, saying “there should be no non-essential flights over Manhattan.”

De Blasio, during his weekly appearance on WNYC radio, said he’s yet to review the specifics of a bill that Democratic Reps. Jerrold Nadler, Carolyn Maloney and Nydia Velazquez plan to unveil Saturday to ban all tourist and ride-sharing helicopters from flying in city airspace.

But he pointedly said he has “no use” for tourist flights and that the “only helicopters that should be going over Manhattan” are “uniformed services” and other “essential” public services.

“There is too much noise in this city,” de Blasio added. “Helicopters are very disruptive and people are worried about the safety issues.”

Hizzoner also said he doesn’t think “it’s important to have ride-share helicopters” in the city.

However, he did say he believes there are some private uses of helicopters that are “appropriate.”

The proposed ban would apply to all sightseeing chopper rides as well as Uber, Blade and other flight-hailing services. Exceptions would be made for police, medical, emergency and disaster relief efforts. News-gathering outlets could also still fly.

The legislation comes after a sightseeing helicopter crashed into the East River on March 11, 2018, killing five passengers. Then in June, a helicopter made a crash landing on a Midtown skyscraper, killing the pilot, Tim McCormack.

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Carpe Donktum presents, “The Panderfest 2020” official trailer

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Union backing de Blasio 2020 bid scores major City Hall favor

From NY Post: Mayor Bill de Blasio has ordered the Department of City Planning to study mandatory permitting for all new hotels across the city, an unprecedented move that would give the politically powerful Hotel Trades Council tremendous leverage.

The move comes as de Blasio banks on that union’s support for his quixotic presidential bid, igniting a new round of criticism from good-government groups over pay-to-play behavior from a City Hall badly tarnished by a string of campaign finance scandals.

“At a minimum, it creates the appearance of impropriety and illegality,” said Susan Lerner, the head of good government group Common Cause. “The mayor keeps setting up situations that beg for a pay-to-play interpretation.”

Despite the appearances, de Blasio denied any impropriety. “That’s just inaccurate in every way,” he told NY1’s Errol Louis Monday night.

Special permitting would require any developer seeking to build a new hotel to go through an exhaustive review process, including community board recommendations and City Council approval, before they could start construction, even if the land is already zoned for commercial and hotel uses.

Only hotels opened in recently rezoned neighborhoods like Midtown East or in manufacturing areas are currently covered by such a requirement.

“This is a political decision by the mayor, not a land-use decision,” said Kenneth Fischer, a former Brooklyn councilman and land-use expert.

“That doesn’t mean that it’s a quid pro quo,” he added. “[De Blasio] believes that union membership for hotel workers is a path to the middle class and their political and ideological interests line up on this issue.”

City Planning officials confirmed Monday that the administration requested the study based on conversations that began around April — just a month before de Blasio launched his flailing presidential campaign. They added there is no firm deadline for the study to be finished.

Crain’s New York Business first reported the news.

De Blasio narrowly avoided state and federal indictment in 2017 for trading favors with donors to a nonprofit controlled by his allies, the Campaign for One New York.

And campaign finance watchdogs have filed complaints with the Federal Elections Commission over de Blasio’s use of loosely regulated political groups to help pay for his White House run.

“He keeps taking the wrong lessons from these reprimands – that he can get away with things, rather than stop doing them,” Lerner added. “It’s deeply upsetting and completely objectionable.”

City Hall offered a different spin on the turn of events. “This is not new — it’s been in discussion for years,” said de Blasio spokeswoman Jane Meyer. “There’s nothing more to it.”

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Police union president: “NYC is slowly crumbling”

The union blames the police commissioner. Yet plenty of blame to go around, starting with anti-cop mayor Bill de Blasio.

From NY Post: The fatal shooting at a Brooklyn block party overnight — just steps away from where cops were doused with water last weekend — is proof the city is “slowly crumbling,” the Sergeants Benevolent Association said Sunday.

In a scathing email sent out to union members, SBA President Ed Mullins blamed Police Commissioner James O’Neill for the state of the city and called his removal.

“None of it is funny, 12 people were shot, someone is dead, and cops were hit with water. NYC is slowly crumbling. Don’t say you weren’t warned. Restore the NYPD – REMOVE O’NEILL!” Mullins wrote.

The email included one sergeant’s account of the aftermath of the shooting at the annual “Old Timers Day” party, which they described as “nothing short of a WAR ZONE” with hundreds of people refusing to listen to police.

The sergeant said gun violence was quite common at the event attended by thousands — despite Mayor Bill DeBlasio’s Tweet calling it a “peaceful neighborhood event.”

But this year was “one of the craziest incidents” with about 40 people arrested for disorderly conduct and obstruction, according to the sergeant.

The crowd of about 500, who were hanging out drinking and smoking weed after the shooting, were “extremely agitated” police were in a courtyard at New Lots and Mother Gaston Boulevard, according to the sergeant.

“People were yelling vulgar and vile things at all the Cops, such as WE WISH YOU WOULD DIE and a litany of other HORRIFIC TERMS,” the email read.

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NYPD won’t arrest students for low-level offenses in schools

No actions for consequences under demorat utopia.

From NY Post: Police will stop arresting or summonsing Big Apple students “whenever possible” for a host of crimes — such as boozing, smoking pot and vandalism — in city schools, as part of a sweeping change to NYPD policy set to be announced Thursday, according to a report.

Rowdy pupils will also skate on spitting, harassment, trespassing and other “low-level offenses” as long as school administrators can “safely” handle the incidents, according to a copy of the proposal obtained by Chalkbeat.

“The welfare of these students should be the city’s top priority,” said Maria Henderson, a spokeswoman for City Council Education Committee Chair Mark Treyger. “We should be focused on supporting them and not punitive disciplinary measures.”

The new policy is part of a larger shift by the de Blasio administration toward looking the other way when students act out.

Hizzoner’s Department of Education issued a directive in 2018 to give students “warning cards” — rather than tickets or handcuffs — for smoking pot in schools.

That led to a precipitous decline in school marijuana summonses — but didn’t stem the tide of drug use at schools such as Forest Hills High School, where principal Ben Sherman was just ousted for letting drug-use run rampant there.

City Hall did not immediately provide a comment.

DCG

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LOL: De Blasio is no one’s choice for president in Iowa

From NY Post: Mayor de Blasio didn’t even register in a new Iowa poll that shows former Vice President Biden’s support slipping but Pete Buttigieg surging among the field of Democratic presidential hopefuls in Iowa.

De Blasio, who’s been in Iowa campaigning over the weekend, and Wayne Messam, the mayor of Miramar, Fla., were the only two candidates in the field of 23 not listed as either a first or second choice for president in the Des Moines Register/ CNN poll released late Saturday.

”There’s always been a question mark as to how many (candidates) can get any real traction,” said J. Ann Selzer, the president of Selzer & Co., which conducted the survey. ”And we gave them every opportunity to show that they have some kind of constituency here. But there’s a fair number who, their constituency just isn’t very big.”

De Blasio will attend a major Democratic Party fundraiser Sunday evening in Cedar Rapids, skipping the Puerto Rican Day Parade, the first sitting mayor to miss the celebration.

Biden is still the front-runner with 24 percent of the support of likely caucus-goers, but that’s down from December’s survey when he registered 32 percent of support, the survey said.

The race for second place is a statistical dead heat with Sen. Bernie Sanders at 16 percent, Sen. Elizabeth Warren amassing 15 percent and Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Ind., gaining 14 percent.
The survey shows both Warren and Buttigieg making strong gains after polling at just 9 percent and 1 percent, respectively, in March.

Sen. Kamala Harris of California is the only other candidate among the field with a significant level of support with 7 percent.

The poll was taken between June 2 and June 5, before Biden flip-flopped on his stand on the Hyde Amendment, which bans federal funds for most abortions. Last Thursday, he came out against the amendment.

The Iowa caucuses will be held Feb. 3, 2020.

The poll surveyed 600 likely Democratic caucus-goers. It has a plus/minus 4 percent margin of error.

DCG

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Bill de Blasio plans expansion of no-bail program for teens suspected of violent crimes

From NY Post: Mayor Bill de Blasio on Tuesday defended his plan to triple the number of teens who are freed from city jails without bail on violent charges including armed robbery and assault.

“We’re ensuring there are real alternatives to incarceration particularly for our young New Yorkers,” the mayor said at an unrelated press conference, responding to a question about The Post’s front page story revealing the no-bail expansion.

“We need to focus on getting them on the right track. We need to support them. We need to make sure they’re being redeemed — not just locked up,” he said.

New guidelines from the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice will also increase the number of adults who qualify for de Blasio’s no-bail Supervised Release Program by boosting the eligibility age from 17 to 19. The program will be broadened to include first- and second-degree robbery, assault and burglary. The changes go into effect on Saturday.

Hizzoner tried to downplay the inclusion of the more serious charges claiming, “We’re talking about folks who have done offenses, lesser offenses.”

He said accused subway saboteur Isaiah Thompson, 23, who is suspected of causing nearly 1,000 train delays by pulling the e-brake and other stunts, is a “different kind of case.”

“I don’t think we should make our laws and rules based on the real exception cases,” he said.

Thompson’s been arrested 17 times since 2017, according to police, yet remained free to pull the pranks until he was arraigned earlier this month and held on $5,000 cash bail.

The mayor said his reforms are not at odds with a recent opinion piece by his police commissioner James O’Neill who wrote that state law doesn’t allow judges to consider the “dangerousness” of a defendant when determining whether to set bail. “That’s something Albany still should do. I agree with the police commissioner on that– that needs to be done,’ he said.

The mayor also dismissed concerns that judges, who are supposed to have discretion for granting entry to the Supervised Release Program, will feel pressure to follow the guidelines to save their jobs. “Oh no, no — judges are going to make their own decisions. We’re providing them an option they’re going to decide what makes sense,” de Blasio pledged.

The Mayor’s Advisory Committee on the Judiciary reviews and recommends candidates for the bench.

DCG

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