Tag Archives: New York city

De Blasio “doesn’t recall” $100,000 donation in alleged pay-to-play scheme

deblasio

How convenient…

From NY Post: Mayor de Blasio claimed Sunday that he can’t remember calling donor-turned-felon Jona Rechnitz to beg him for a $100,000 donation — contradicting sworn testimony the deep-pocketed pal gave in court last week.

“I don’t recall if I talked to him directly about that,” de Blasio said during an unrelated press event Sunday.

Asked how he could forget making a personal appeal for such a large sum of money, de Blasio said he has his hands out so often that he can’t remember each time he asks for cash.

“I for years was raising money for different causes — the mayor’s fund, when we were trying to get the DNC to come to New York City — the convention, the effort to win back the state senate, all sorts of different things,” he said. “I don’t remember when i asked someone specifically, what I asked them — just way too much has happened.”

Rechnitz is a witness in the bribery trial of former New York City Correction Officers’ Benevolent Association President Norman Seabrook, who Rechnitz allegedly convinced to invest $20 million in union pension money in an associate’s failing hedge fund.

Hizzoner’s denial comes after Rechnitz testified that de Blasio pursued him relentlessly for cash to help flip upstate Senate seats for Democrats in 2013.

De Blasio underlings first hit him up for cash, but Rechnitz balked at dishing out the dough because he felt the city wasn’t responding fast enough to his requests for personal favors — that is, until de Blasio called him personally, he said.

“Once the mayor called me, I felt it was a personal favor to him,” Rechnitz said Friday of the donation.

The mayor’s “I know nothing” comments also come the day after he copped to not remembering an e-mail from Rechnitz about de Blasio’s troubles with Seabrook.

Seabrook was feuding with de Blasio’s jail commish, Jospeh Ponte, at the time, and Rechnitz has said he offered to broker peace between the men to help his buddy the mayor. Rechnitz said he intervened and then wrote an e-mail to Hizzoner that said, “Norman under control.’’

De Blasio said Saturday that he had no recollection of the e-mail.

The e-mail was also left out of the trove that City Hall released earlier this year between the mayor and Rechnitz.

DCG

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Hillary Clinton in talks to become a professor at Columbia University

hillary clinton nasty woman

I’d rather poke a pencil in my eye than listen to an hour-long lecture from this serial liar.

From Daily Mail: Hillary Clinton is ‘in talks’ to become a professor at Columbia University in New York City. Sources speaking with the New York Daily News said the school is considering multiple options with her. These include giving her the role of ‘University Professor’ and housing her archives there.

The former Secretary of State could teach in one school – such as Columbia Law School or the School of International and Public Affairs – or across many different schools.

‘No decisions have been made, but there are talks,’ one source told the New York Daily News. Columbia University declined to comment on the matter.

The former First Lady and 2016 Democratic presidential candidate would join her daughter, Chelsea, at the Ivy League school.

Chelsea has served as an adjunct professor in the Mailman School of Public Health since 2012. The former First Daughter and Clinton Foundation board member received an undergraduate degree from Stanford, master’s degrees from Oxford and Columbia and a doctorate from Oxford.

Hillary Clinton received her undergraduate degree in 1969 from Wellesley College, where she wrote her senior thesis on the organizing tactics of activist Saul Alinsky. She later attended and received a Juris Doctor in 1973 from Yale Law School, where she met her husband, Bill Clinton, the 42nd President of the United States.

She wrote in her memoir, ‘What Happened’ that she declined to attend Harvard because a professor there told her: ‘We don’t need any more women at Harvard.’

Read the rest of the story here.

DCG

Man kills girlfriend hours after being released from Rikers

jerome rivers nyc police dept photo

Jerome Rivers/NYC Police Dept. Photo

Some animals are not meant to roam free.

From NY Post: A Brooklyn sex offender, ​locked up on Rikers Island for beating his estranged girlfriend, took revenge on her less than 24 hours after being let out of jail — strangling the terrified woman in her own home, authorities said.

Jerome Rivers called Gia Pender on Thursday to ask if he could stay with her​. The call sent Pender, who had an order of protection against Rivers, scrambling to a neighbor. “Jerome is coming over​,​” ​she told the neighbor.

“​I​f anything happens to me, give this to my mother​,​”​ she added presciently.

Pender, 49, ​feared the 52-year-old​ Rivers​, who had been jailed for ​two months ​because he violated the terms of his release as a sex offender by attacking her. Rivers did time in 2013 on third-degree sex abuse charges, according to official records.

Rivers arrived at the woman’s Queens home, and then called cops around 6 a.m. the next day, saying he awoke to a “thump” and found Pender on the bedroom floor​, the Queens district attorney said.​

He later told cops he didn’t “have a reason to kill her,” according to the ​DA’s office, but​ he made a point of telling them she’d stolen his checks, “disrespected his mother, and had him locked up on trumped-up domestic abuse charges.”

Officials determined Pender had been strangled.

Rivers was arraigned Sunday on charges of second-degree murder and criminal contempt, and held without bail. If convicted, he faces 25 years to life in prison.

Queens District Attorney Richard Brown called the killing “senseless,” adding​,​ “Domestic violence is a plague in our society and must end.”

DCG

Bitter de Blasio thinks there should be a parade in his honor

bill de blasio

The good mayor would be way more popular if it wasn’t for you-know-who.

From NY Post: Mayor Bill de Blasio claims he’s running the city so well, “you’d assume they’d be having parades out in the streets” — and insisted he’d be more popular if it weren’t for “the time in history.”

“When I think about how crime’s gone down for four years, graduation rates up, test scores are up, more jobs than ever in our history — I think, ‘Wow, just that quick profile, any candidate anywhere would want it,’ ” he boasted to New York magazine.

“You’d assume they’d be having parades out in the streets. But that’s not the time in history we’re living in,” he added.

De Blasio’s job approval rating plummeted over the summer to a 50 to 42 percent margin, according to a Quinnipiac University survey released in late July.

New Yorkers are split — 46 percent to 46 percent — on whether he deserves a second term, the poll found.

The mayor admitted he had made “missteps” and had “insufficiencies as a communicator” — but said New Yorkers were simply taking out their frustrations with the current economic climate on their leaders.

“The Great Recession, specifically, but really the decades of people being economically stagnant, deeply affected people’s views, understandably,” de Blasio said. “And the increased cost of living around here.”

Seemingly responding to a Post report about him being a bully of a boss, the mayor took issue with criticisms of his “management approach.”

“You don’t achieve all those things without managing the hell out of the situation,” de Blasio said.

As for the investigations into his campaign fundraising, Hizzoner said “everyday New Yorkers” are far more concerned with the issues that affect their lives.

“Some political insiders, maybe they’ve come to certain conclusions,” he said. “But for everyday New Yorkers? They didn’t see anything wrong, and they’re right, because there wasn’t anything wrong.

But the vast majority of New Yorker voters — 78 percent — believe he should raise his own money to pay for the lawyers who represented him during the probes — and not take the funds from taxpayers, the Quinnipiac survey found.

De Blasio initially said he would raise the $2 million to cover his legal bills, then announced in June he would have the city taxpayers pay for it.

Asked whether the New York Times was determined to prove he was corrupt, de Blasio declared, “I think there are some in the media who are having trouble letting go.”

He pushed back against media reports about his regular jaunts to his old gym in Brooklyn — again saying regular New Yorkers just don’t care. The trips from Gracie Mansion to the Park Slope YMCA require two gas-guzzling SUVs.

“Everyday people do not raise that concern to me, ever,” de Blasio said. “If the worst you can say about someone is he goes to the gym, that’s a pretty good situation in today’s world.”

The mayor directed some of his media ire squarely at The Post, saying it is primarily to blame for the “tabloid culture” that got Donald Trump elected president.

He said The Post and its parent company, News Corp., “provided Trump not only the platform but the language and the approach.”

“He riffs off them, they riff off him,” de Blasio said.

The mayor predicted that the backlash against Trump, whom he called “spoiled” and “profoundly racist,” would be the “death knell for tabloid journalism.”

“They’re not going to be around too much longer, in my opinion, but for a brief and sad moment, that negative, hateful, divisive tabloid culture, the same culture that vilified the word liberal, effectively, became too ascendant. It’s now crashing on the rocks,” he said.

De Blasio also addressed his ongoing feud with Gov. Andrew Cuomo, conceding that some of their beef was personal. “I’m saying some of this is structural, some of this is ideological, some of this is just naturally what happens when people disagree on an issue,” the mayor explained.

“Yeah, we do have a long personal relationship, and that’s a component.”

The mayor declined to discuss whether he would endorse Cuomo for re-election.

“I’m talking about this year. I’m in a mayoral election this year,” he said. “That’s what we’re talking about.”

DCG

De Blasio negotiates for tax payer monies then goes on vacation

de blasio

Take the money and run.

From NY Post: Just days after convincing the Campaign Finance Board to award him an extra $1.6 million in public matching funds for what he called a tough re-election race, Mayor de Blasio headed to Rhode Island Monday for a family vacation.

“It’s unfortunate that the mayor made a strong case for additional matching funds by saying he had a competitive race and then took off on vacation,” said Dick Dadey, director of the government watchdog Citizens Union.

“The argument that he needed it for a competitive election doesn’t hold together very well.”

The Democratic primary will be held on Sept. 12, a little more than three weeks after de Blasio’s return on Friday. It’s rare for candidates to take vacations so close to an election — unless, of course, they think they can’t lose.

Although de Blasio qualified on Aug. 3 for matching funds under the generous regulations of the Campaign Finance Board, he was under no obligation to take the money.

Other heavy favorites in the past have declined, including former City Council Speaker Christine Quinn in 2009.

CFB rules stipulate that matching funds will be capped at 25 percent if a candidate faces minimal opposition, but de Blasio argued that his chief Democratic rival, former Councilman Sal Albanese, posed a serious threat. The board agreed.

As a result, the mayor received about $1.6 million more in taxpayers matching funds than the $958,000 he would have gotten. In financial terms, the Democratic primary is about as level as a seesaw.

Records show that the mayor had $4.9 million in his campaign account as of last week after receiving the matching funds. Albanese, who has yet to qualify for matching monies, had just $5,397.

“He has more than enough money to get his message out,” Albanese said, charging that de Blasio is taking taxpayers for a ride. “His [public funds] could have gone towards improving city services.”

When asked to respond to the critics, de Blasio campaign spokesman Dan Levitan said, “They can’t challenge his record on the issues, so the silly season has begun.”

CFB spokesman Matthew Sollars said, “Public-funds payment determinations by the board are based on . . . objective criteria and nothing else.”

DCG

This is New York: de Blasio’s terrible approval rating not hurting re-election odds

de blasio

It just amazes me how some people are so complacent when it comes to researching who is running for office. Last year when I voted in local primaries, I heard a woman (who was voting demorat, I could tell by the color of her ballot) ask how come she didn’t see a certain person’s name on the ballot. It’s because there was no demorat challenging him. She hadn’t even bothered to see who was running in the primaries. Appears many New Yorkers lack the same initiative.

From NY Post: Mayor de Blasio’s poll numbers have tumbled — but the lower favorability ratings haven’t come close to derailing his bid for re-election in November, according to a poll released Monday.

Voters approve of the mayor’s job performance by a 50 to 42 percent margin — down from a 60 to 34 percent showing on May 17, according to the Quinnipiac University survey. They are also split on whether he deserves a second term — 46 to 46 percent — even though 57 percent had supported his re-election bid in May, while 35 percent did not.

But when it comes to a general election match-up against Nicole Malliotakis, a Staten Island Assembly member, de Blasio is still up 57 percent to 22 percent. His lead in May was 64 to 21 percent.

“Leave out the one big question – the re-election matchup – and this is a pretty bad poll for Mayor Bill de Blasio,” said pollster Maurice Carroll. “But on the one question that matters in this election year — de Blasio versus Assembly member Nicole Malliotakis — Hizzoner is a better than a 2-1 winner.”

When independent candidate Bo Dietl is factored in, de Blasio’s margin of victory gets even larger — 52 percent for the mayor, 15 percent for Malliotakis and 11 percent for Dietl.

The issue for Malliotakis and Dietl appears to be largely name recognition. When it came to favorability ratings, 78 percent of voters said they didn’t know enough about Malliotakis to form an opinion — while 74 percent said the same of Dietl.

One of the highest numbers registered in the poll came when voters were asked who should pay the mayor’s legal bills for state and federal investigations of his administration. Seventy-eight percent said he should cover the $2 million, while just 13 percent say taxpayers should pick up the tab. De Blasio initially said he’d raise the money in a legal defense fund — then changed his mind and said he’d stick taxpayers with the bill.

The poll surveyed 877 city voters between July 20 and July 26, and has a plus or minus 4.1 percentage point margin of error.

DCG

Connecticut spiraling into financial despair

dannel malloy

Gov. Dannel Malloy (Demorat)

Odd how high taxes can lead to a financial crisis…

From Fox News: While Illinois Opens a New Window. Connecticut has been under the microscope for its $15 billion backlog of unpaid bills, multi-billion dollar pension crisis and paralyzing political polarization, it is not the only state facing pressure to pass a spending deal by June 30.

The nation’s wealthiest state, Connecticut, is also facing a series of challenges as it remains unable to strike a budget deal with the new fiscal year approaching on Saturday. It is likely the state will enter the new month without an approved two-year budget, but a so-called provisional “mini budget” is still on the table. This last-ditch option includes $300 million to balance out spending cuts the state would be prompted to make in order to keep up with the deepening deficit.

Revenue shortfalls in the state register around $450 million for the current fiscal year alone, while estimated deficit totals are projected to clock in near $5 billion for the 2018 and 2019 fiscal years combined, according to The Connecticut Business & Industry Association. Debt outstanding levels and unfunded pension liabilities relative to revenues are among the highest of any state in the country, Moody’s Investors Service said in May.

As previously reported by FOX Business, income-tax collections are projected to fall Opens a New Window. in fiscal year 2017 for the first time since the recession.

Connecticut’s financial despair comes despite the state government’s approval of one of its largest tax rate increases ever in 2015.

The three major rating firms have downgraded the state’s credit rating in response to the ongoing budget crisis. In its most recent downgrade, which landed Connecticut with the third-lowest rating out of every state behind only New Jersey and Illinois, Moody’s said “the downgrades reflect continuing erosion of Connecticut’s finances, evidenced by the pending elimination of its rainy day fund, growing budget gaps and rising debt levels.”

However, the situation could get worse still.

On Thursday, health insurance giant Aetna announced it would move its Hartford, Connecticut-based headquarters — after more than 150 years in the state — to New York City in late 2018. The company cited a lack of access to talent as one reason it was leaving its Connecticut base, and said Thursday its long-term commitment there will depend on the state’s “economic health.”

Earlier this year, General Electric (GE) announced a similar move, shipping its headquarters from Fairfield, Connecticut to Boston, Massachusetts.

DCG