Tag Archives: Bill de Blasio

De Blasio aides pressures council members to withdrawal objections to city budget

bunny popcorn

From NY Post: Mayor Bill de Blasio likes outspoken Democrats — until they criticize him.

Top mayoral aides pressured nearly a dozen City Council members who signed a letter critical of de Blasio’s fiscal 2019 executive budget this week, in an attempt to get them to withdraw their opposition, sources said.

The mayor’s chief of staff, Emma Wolfe, and legislative affairs director, Jeff Lynch, put the squeeze on legislators both by phone and in person — even threatening to pull the mayor’s political support down the road if they persisted, council sources said.

“When you’re forced to start using pressure tactics to protect your $89 billion boondoggle, you’ve clearly abandoned the high road,” said Reginald Johnson, a spokesman for Bronx Councilman Mark Gjonaj, who crafted the anti-budget letter signed by 27 members.

It’s a budget built on the backs of struggling homeowners, renters and business owners by raising property taxes by $1.6 billion, neglecting the city’s reserves, doing little to help the neediest with access to affordable mass transit — and it comes complete with [drug] injection sites and neighborhood prisons,” he added.

“Good luck selling that to New Yorkers.”

Ironically, it was only last month that the mayor criticized Gov. Andrew Cuomo for engaging in a similar pressure tactic, when he allegedly twisted the arms of elected officials in a bid to have them skip an anti-Cuomo rally.

“You shouldn’t threaten organizations that are doing good work at the community level because they have different political views,” the mayor said in mid-April. “That’s the kind of things that happened in dictatorships, not in democracies.”

Council members, who have been on an independent streak since electing Corey Johnson as their speaker in January, said that same logic should apply to the mayor’s strong-arm tactics against them.

“An administration that professes to be progressive should have greater respect for the free conscience of council members,” said Bronx Councilman Ritchie Torres, chair of the new Oversight and Investigation Committee.

“The role of council members is to advocate for what’s best for the public, not to do the bidding of our mayor,” added Torres. “Bill de Blasio is the mayor, not the messiah. We are independent council members, not his disciples.”

With a majority of members having signed the letter, this year’s budget battle is shaping up to be more acrimonious than usual.

City Hall officials said any phone calls made to council members are part of normal budget talks. “It’s our job to lobby other elected officials for the benefit of New Yorkers,” City Hall spokeswoman Freddi Goldstein said.

DCG

Rosie O’Donnell’s campaign donations to demorats went over legal limit

rosie o'donnell

Why would one use different variations of their name to make political donations?

Bet she’ll face no consequences, unlike Dinesh D’Souza.

From NY Post: Rosie O’Donnell made illegally over-sized campaign donations to at least five Democratic federal candidates, according to a Post analysis of campaign filings.

The liberal comedian has regularly broken Federal Election Commission rules limiting the total any one person can give to an individual candidate at $2,700 per election. The limit applies separately to primaries, runoffs and general elections.

“Nothing nefarious,” the outspoken star and Donald Trump arch-nemesis wrote in an email to the Post. “I was not choosing to over donate. If 2700 is the cut off — [candidates] should refund the money,” she wrote. “I don’t look to see who I can donate most to … I just donate assuming they do not accept what is over the limit.”

O’Donnell said she donates often, and uses the online liberal fundraising platform ActBlue. “My anxiety is quelled by donating to those opposing trump [and] his agenda — especially at night — when most of these were placed.”

Alabama Sen. Doug Jones disclosed $4,700 from O’Donnell in his special general election bid last year against former GOP judge and accused child molester Roy Moore, his campaign filings show. Jones’ office didn’t return messages seeking comment.

Pennsylvania Rep. Conor Lamb reported $3,600 from O’Donnell for the special general election he won in a March upset, his filings show. He’s now running for a full two-year term in a different congressional district in November, and O’Donnell put up another $1,000 for that bid.

Lamb’s campaign manager said they will notify O’Donnell of her error and inform her that the extra $900 can be refunded or put toward the primary.

Filings show O’Donnell gave a combined $5,400 in contributions over the limit to the five candidates, and used five different New York addresses and four variations of her name.

O’Donnell donated $2,950 to California Rep. Adam Schiff, a 17-year veteran of the House, for his primary, according to his campaign filings. His campaign didn’t return messages seeking comment.

Lauren Underwood, an Illinois congressional candidate, reported $4,200 from O’Donnell for her primary, filings show. Her campaign didn’t return a message.

And Omar Vaid, a little-known congressional candidate in Staten Island and Brooklyn, reported $3,450 in primary donations from O’Donnell, filings show. Vaid’s finance director said the campaign “inadvertently designated” some of the money to the “wrong election” and would amend its filings. Asked how much she gave to Vaid, O’Donnell wrote, “I have no idea.”

She said she assumed ActBlue “limits donations to the max allowed.”

She added, “I keep donating” and that her brother Tim handles her money.

She gave more than $90,000 the 2017-2018 election cycle to 50 different federal candidates and committees, filings show.

Both donors and candidates are legally liable for contributions over the limit. But it’s unlikely O’Donnell or her benefactors will be penalized for breaking FEC rules. Contributions over the limit can be refunded or counted toward a different election, and married donors can attribute the money to a spouse.

“Donors are rarely fined for excess contributions and then only if they are hiding the donations from the recipients,” prominent D.C. campaign finance lawyer Jan Witold Baran said. “Campaigns generally are not penalized for isolated contributions over a limit. However, multiple excessive donations may lead to an investigation … Fines could result in such cases.”

O’Donnell is also a prolific local political donor, putting up at least $25,100 for city and state candidates since 2000, New York filings show. Last year she gave a maxed-out $4,950 donation to Mayor de Blasio. In 2006 O’Donnell even gave $1,000 to former Westchester County DA and then Republican state attorney general candidate Jeanine Pirro, now a Fox News host and loyal Trump defender.

“I also maxed out to Cynthia Nixon,” O’Donnell told the Post. “And I loathe Jeannine Pirro.”

DCG

Cheapskate: Tax returns show de Blasio paid more for tax preparation than he gave to charities in 2017

bill de blasio

Shocker, not.

The mayor has a net worth of $1.5 million.

From NY Post: Charity starts at home, but not if that home is Gracie Mansion.

Mayor Bill de Blasio and his wife gave a grand total of $350 to charity in 2017 on an adjusted gross income of $223,449, according to tax returns they released Tuesday.

It marked a significant drop from the first couple’s charitable giving in 2016 — when de Blasio was up for re-election — of $2,088 to charity.

Asked about the donation gap, mayoral spokesman Austin Finan responded that “the mayor is not a rich man.”

“He and the first lady help their son pay tuition to one of the most expensive schools in the country,” Finan added. The couple listed the tuition payments at Yale University for their son, Dante, as $51,400 in 2017.

They also listed their two Park Slope rental properties as generating tax losses of more than $12,000, despite collecting a combined $104,000 in rent last year.

The fee for their tax preparer was $500.

DCG

Gonna be tough on crime? De Blasio aide arrested with gun was riding in SUV that reeked of marijuana

De Blasio aide busted with gun in car

Suspended de Blasio aide, Reagan Stevens

I’m sure anti-gun advocate de Blasio will not let his aide plea bargain her way out of this gun crime, right?

From NY Post: The Mayor de Blasio aide charged with riding around with a loaded gun was nabbed in an SUV that reeked of marijuana, according to a criminal complaint.

Reagan Stevens, 42, was in the back seat of the 2002 Infiniti when she and two others were allegedly caught with the loaded 9mm Hi-Point semiautomatic pistol tucked in a green velvet bag in the glove compartment, court papers said.

Cops noticed there was a “strong odor of marijuana” wafting from the SUV, which was double parked in Jamaica, Queens, near the scene of a shooting Saturday night.

Stevens — whose mother, Deborah Stevens, is a Queens Criminal Court judge and whose stepfather is an acting Queens Supreme Court justice — works as a deputy director in the mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice.

The Bay Ridge resident manages youth and strategic initiatives, including implementing a state law that will raise the age at which kids can be prosecuted as adults for nonviolent crimes from 16 to 18.

The gun, which had its serial number scratched off, was loaded with two rounds of ammunition, and a spent round was found on the driver’s side floor.

Cops also found a paintball gun and carbon dioxide cartridges from the rear cargo area of the vehicle and a gravity knife in 25-year-old driver Caesar Forbes’ waistband.

Another man, Montel Hughes, 24, who was sitting in the passenger seat, was charged with marijuana possession after cops allegedly found five Ziploc bags of pot in his coat pocket, the complaint said. A gravity knife was also recovered from the pocket of his pants.

Stevens, Hughes and Forbes were each charged with two counts of criminal possession of a weapon. Forbes and Hughes were charged with criminal possession of a weapon related to the gravity knives and Forbes was ticketed for double parking.

Stevens was suspended without pay.

Their arrests followed a burst of five gunshots that activated an NYPD ShotSpotter gunfire-detection device at 9:42 p.m. Saturday at 174th Street and 109th Avenue, sources said.

The trio was parked near the corner of 177th Street and 106th Avenue and arrested around 10:25 p.m.

DCG

NYPD too understaffed to properly investigate sex crimes

government solve all problems

Tell me #GunControlNow crowd, why do want to make it easier for women to not be able to protect themselves when their own government won’t be there to protect them (if they can’t even properly investigate, how can they properly prevent)?

From NY Post: The NYPD’s Special Victims Division (SVD) is woefully understaffed and under-trained despite a recent surge in cases, according to a blistering new report that also blasts Police Commissioner James O’Neill for giving out inaccurate information.

In the 163-page report made public Tuesday, the Department of Investigation found that problems within SVD over the past nine years resulted in sex crime cases not being properly investigated — with some botched altogether.

SVD’s Special Victims Squad, which investigates adult sex crimes in each of the five boroughs, had only 67 detectives — just five of whom were first-grade detectives — handling 5,661 cases in 2017.

The report compared the staggering numbers to NYPD’s homicide squad, which had 101 detectives and 282 homicides in 2017.

The lack of staff has been so problematic that in 2011, NYPD leadership directed SVD to “simply not investigate all misdemeanor sexual assaults,” according to the report, which also noted that SVD detectives did not follow this edict.

The report specifically calls out statements made by O’Neill at a Dec. 4, 2017, press conference about the department’s handling of sex crimes.

Responding to a question about an increase in reported rapes, O’Neill said the chief of detectives had “put more people into Special Victims,” especially more “seasoned investigators.”

But the DOI found that SVD gained just four new investigators in 2017 — all of whom ranked as police officers serving “provisionally” as detectives and were transferred to the Staten Island squad. “In short, contrary to the clear implication of NYPD’s public statements, no new ‘seasoned’ detectives were added to investigate adult sex crimes in 2017,” the DOI report said.

O’Neill made other contradictory statements at that press conference, including that “each rape that is reported is fully investigated by the seasoned professionals in Special Victims.”

But not all rapes are treated equally, according to the DOI.

The report cites NYPD documents that prove a longstanding policy existed where “acquaintance” and “domestic” rape were not investigated post-arrest by SVD but instead kept at the local precinct level.

“The failure to treat acquaintance and domestic rape as crimes on par with stranger rape is unacceptable in modern law enforcement,” the report said.

SVD officials have long complained about the staffing issues — but the DOI found that “NYPD leadership failed to appropriately respond to these requests.”

The DOI report is the result of a year-long investigation involving interviews with current and former SVD staffers, sex crime victims and prosecutors — who’ve provided anecdotes about prosecutions that were “hindered or frustrated entirely — by simple evidentiary, interview or documentation mistakes that an experienced detective would not make.”

New SVD recruits receive little training — just five days — compared to six to eight weeks for a motorcycle patrol officer, the report said.

Prosecutions have suffered due to issues within SVD.

In one case, a service provider told DOI how a client waited at a hospital for an SVD detective for an entire night. When no one showed, the “thoroughly discouraged” victim decided not to report the crime to police and went home.

A prosecutor also told DOI investigators about how a rape prosecution was “irreparably damaged” because a new SVD recruit failed to properly document a victim interview.

The DOI makes several recommendations to overhaul SVD, including immediately increase staffing by 74 detectives, improve training and obtain a better computer data system.

It also said the NYPD should find new locations for all five SVD units — or completely renovate them. Squalid conditions exist at each of the SVD buildings, including a broken urinal filled with “stagnant urine” in Manhattan and a leaky roof and crumbling walls in Brooklyn.

The buildings also have layout issues that present problems, like only one entrance for victims and suspects, no waiting rooms for victims and cramped office spaces with multiple uses, like in Brooklyn, where a detective sergeant’s office doubled as an observation room for lineups. Some squads use a “bullpen” area to conduct interviews “in view of holding cells and within earshot of other detectives.”

The NYPD received a copy of the DOI report two weeks ago and “did not dispute the accuracy of the number of staff” “or the authenticity of documents cited in the report,” the DOI said in its report.

“NYPD, however, rejected the staffing calculations used by DOI and the proposed staffing numbers flowing from these calculations, claiming that current SVD caseloads are appropriate,” the report said.

Andrea Hagelgans, a senior advisor to Mayor Bill de Blasio, responded to the report by saying: “Rape and sexual assault need no qualifiers, and that’s why the largest and most sophisticated special victim’s unit in the country exhaustively investigates each reported incident. The department will take the report’s findings into account as it continues to sharpen its investigative efforts, already best in the nation.”

DCG

Commie bastardo: FALN terrorist, Oscar Lopez Rivera, tells mainlander Americans to get out of Puerto Rico

melissa mark and terrorist oscar

NYC council member Melissa Mark-Viverito and convicted terrorist Oscar Lopez Rivera

Along with support from a NYC council member, Bill de Blasio also embraced this terrorist. And of course, Obama was the president who commuted the terrorist’s sentence.

Via NY Post: Convicted terrorist Oscar Lopez Rivera is at it again, demanding that mainland Americans helping hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico return home.

Lopez Rivera, who just celebrated his 75th birthday, leveled the Yankee-go-home rant Sunday in remarks broadcast on the Spanish-language TV station Telemundo.

“They should go. Just go. Just go,” he said. “We don’t need anything from them. We don’t need them to govern. They need us, and they have needed us since 1898.

The year he cited is when the US invaded Puerto Rico and it became an American possession. Lopez Rivera also accused President Trump of being corrupt.

Lopez Rivera, who has received unwavering support from former City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, did not immediately respond. She infamously accompanied Lopez Rivera over the summer on a Puerto Rican Day parade float.

The Post revealed in July that a Harlem non-profit bankrolled with taxpayer funds from Mark-Viverito helped construct the float.

Lopez Rivera was a member of the Puerto Rican terrorist group FALN and spent 35 years in prison for seditious conspiracy. Many sponsors boycotted the Puerto Rican parade when they heard Lopez Rivera would march in it and be honored.

DCG

De Blasio’s 2018 salary increase not sitting well with folks

deblasio

When’s the last time you received a 15 percent raise and were authorized to gift yourself that raise? It’s good to be a public servant!

From Fox News: New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio will kick off 2018 with a roughly 15 percent salary increase. The progressive Democrat, who currently makes $225,000 per year, will be sworn in to his second term on January 1.

Under legislation authorized by the mayor in 2016, he will see a $33,750 increase to $258,750 per year.

De Blasio’s pay hike alone is more than the annual salary of a minimum-wage worker in the city, the New York Post reported. The $33,750 boost is more than the annual salary of a full-time worker making the city’s roughly $13 minimum wage.

“Oh, that’s way, way too much money for the mayor,” said David Schermerhorn of VOCAL New York, a group that works with low-income New Yorkers. “That’s corporate America money.”

De Blasio authorized his cushy new salary two years ago by signing legislation that gave city pols a retroactive raise starting January 2016.

But he refused to accept any pay hike during his first term because he convened the advisory commission that recommended higher salaries for the city’s elected officials. When he signed the City Council legislation in February 2016, he said raising the mayor’s salary “is appropriate for the next term.”

City Council members ended up going $10,185 above the recommendation for their own salaries to give themselves a whopping 32 percent raise, from $112,500 to $148,500.

De Blasio’s billionaire predecessor Mayor Bloomberg took $1 a year in pay.

“The new salary is not out of line,” said E.J. McMahon, research director at the Empire Center for Public Policy, noting $258,000 is about equal to the $130,000 Mayor Koch got his last year in office after adjusting for inflation. “Koch, in retrospect, was worth it,” McMahon said. “Whether that applies to Bill de Blasio obviously is a matter of opinion.”

Cops’ union boss Pat Lynch is of the opinion that he is not. “Mayor de Blasio has once again demonstrated the height of hypocrisy,” the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association president fumed. “While he is among the highest paid mayors in the country, his police force is near the bottom. While he takes a 15 percent raise … he has offered the women and men who keep our streets safe 42 months of no raises.

De Blasio’s office had no comment.

DCG