Tag Archives: NYC

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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NYC mayor candidate Malliotakis wants to bring back suspensions for kindergartners

nicole malliotakis

Sounds good to me. Teach kids early on that bad actions have consequences.

From NY Post: GOP mayoral nominee Nicole Malliotakis on Thursday said she would enforce stricter disciplinary measures in schools — including making it easier to suspend kids as young as 5.

Mayor de Blasio last year called for eliminating suspensions for students in kindergarten to grade 2 and instead focus on more appropriate ways to discipline kids that young.

But, in the face of strong opposition by the teachers’ union and others, the city has instead tried to reduce those types of suspensions to all but the most extreme cases.

Malliotakis wants to set the bar lower. “If a kid is being nasty or disrespectful to another student, maybe that’s not what we’re going to [go after],” Malliotakis said at a press conference outside the Department of Education headquarters near City Hall.

“But if they are disruptive to the classroom and the learning environment, then I do believe there is a place for suspension.”

In the 2015-16 school year, there were 801 suspensions of students in grades K to 2 — down 45 percent from the previous year, when there were 1,454.

The administration’s latest policy barring most suspensions for kids in those grades was instituted only this school year.

Malliotakis presented the reforms as part of a wider policy to bolster school discipline and safety in the wake of a stabbing by a Bronx high school student last week that left one teen dead and another injured.

There were no metal detectors at the school, which the NYPD said would have found the knife used in the stabbings before it was brought into the school.

With just 6 percent of schools protected by permanent metal detectors, Malliotakis said she’d work with the NYPD to identify more schools that need the devices to protect students and teachers. “I think we need to have metal detectors at our schools that are troubled,” she said.

Last month, de Blasio announced that schools are safer than ever — citing a reduction in major crimes reported to the NYPD.

But state data, which records a much wider range of school incidents, show that schools have seen the number of incidents categorized as “violent” increase each year under the de Blasio administration.

The NYPD also said this week that weapon seizures in schools are up by 48 percent in the first quarter of the school year — from July 1 to Sept. 30 — compared to the same time period last year.

Read the rest of the story here.

DCG

Al Sharpton’s daughter arrested after attacking a NYC cabbie

ashley and al sharpton

I’d say anger management classes should be on the agenda for this “committed activist.”

From Fox News: The Rev. Al Sharpton’s daughter got an unexpected gift early Saturday at her birthday celebration — handcuffs for allegedly attacking a cab driver in New York City, according to reports.

Ashely Sharpton, 30, is accused of shoving and punching the cabbie after snatching his keys in midtown Manhattan just before 1 a.m., it was reported.

“She told me it didn’t happen the way they said it happened but I can’t speak for a 30-year-old woman,” the activist preacher told the New York Daily News. His daughter couldn’t be immediately reached for comment.

The trouble started when Sharpton and three pals hailed the cab. All jumped in and gave different destinations, confusing the cabbie who became annoyed and stopped the vehicle.

He told his passengers he wasn’t going anywhere until they figured out where they wanted to go, the paper reported. Cops said Sharpton, who was sitting next to the cabbie, then snatched the keys from the ignition and jumped out of the cab.

Things got physical when the cabbie got out and tried to grab the keys from Sharpton, telling her, “Give me my keys back,” cops told the New York Post. “I don’t have your keys,” she allegedly spat before later admitting she tossed them, the paper reported.

One of her pals might have given her an awful birthday present by filming the encounter, according to the paper. Cops said the footage shows Ashley Sharpton punching the driver in the chest.

By the time cops arrived she had vanished. Cops found her two hours later on a nearby street.

She was issued a summons to appear in court at a later date, the Post reported. She was charged with petty larceny and criminal possession of stolen property.

“Happy Birthday to my youngest, Ashley,” Sharpton tweeted Friday referring to his daughter. “A strong black woman and committed activist. So proud to be your Dad.”

Ashley Sharpton was one of 16 protesters arrested in January for blocking traffic outside Trump Tower to protest President Trump’s Supreme Court justice nominee Neil Gorsuch.

Prosecutors agreed in March to dismiss the arrest if she stayed out of trouble until Sept. 20, the New York Post reported at the time.

UPDATE (Sept. 12):

Here’s the video of Ashley Sharpton assaulting the cabbie (h/t CP):

DCG

Man vandalizes Manhattan apartment window where two Confederate flags were hanging

darren keen

No doubt inspired by antifa’s “peaceful” protests.

From Daily Mail: A man has been arrested for breaking the window of a New York apartment where two Confederate flags had been hanging.

Darren Keen, a 34-year-old DJ, had bragged on Instagram that he had punched the sixth-floor window of the East Village apartment on Friday night. He was arrested about 30 minutes later and charged with criminal mischief. 

Keen, who lives around the corner from the apartment on East 8th Street, had climbed up the fire escape before covering his hand with a shirt and punching the window.

The two Confederate flags along with an American flag and Israeli flags had hung in the windows of the top floor apartment for several months but drew further anger in the aftermath of the deadly protests by white nationalists in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Residents of the neighborhood had gathered outside the apartment block earlier in the week shouting insults and throwing rocks at the window. A tarp was draped from the roof of the building on Friday to try and conceal the flags.

Keen, who is originally from Nebraska, told DNAinfo that his wife had spotted the flag about a month ago but he became enraged when he saw how angry his fellow residents were getting.

‘It’s one thing for me, a white Nebraskan, to be annoyed by redneck culture… to actually see the anger and frustration it was causing disadvantaged people in the neighborhood, it escalated my feelings a lot,’ he said.

In the aftermath of the window breaking, Keen posted several photos on Instagram of his bleeding hand.

Yo I punched this nazi dudes Windows out in front of racist nypd I can’t take it any more. Now they knocking on door when they come to mine I’m gonna blow a massive weed rip in their face and say lets all calm down as they beat and subdue me to keep a white supremacist safe,’ he wrote.

He later shared a photo of himself being arrested saying he had wanted to draw a Wutang logo on the tarp but opted to punch the window when he couldn’t find any paint.

‘Yeah ok I was dumb for punching out the window instead of painting the wutang logo but I did scream “f**k white supremacy wutang is for the children” while getting put into the car,’ he wrote.

When the tarp was taken down on Saturday, the Confederate flag had been removed.

Keen later claimed that police had removed the flags from the man’s window, but the NYPD denied this saying it was freedom of speech.

He also bragged about his charge, saying: ‘I just got a ticket for “mischief” which is lower than vandalism. S**t worked out real good IMO.’

NYPD continue to be stationed outside the apartment.

DCG

Bill de Blasio may be running for president

de blasio

Go for it Comrade Wilhelm. You ain’t got a chance of winning.

From NY Post (by Richard Johnson): Mayor de Blasio is putting out feelers to run for president, spreading whispers that Bernie Sanders, 75, and Elizabeth Warren, 68, are too old, sources say.

De Blasio, 56, will claim he’s the rightful standard bearer for the progressive wing of the Democratic party.

“He thinks he’s going to coast to re-election victory,” one Dem told me. “His people are sending out overtures asking where he should go next and whom he should meet on a national level.”

His jockeying could turn New York into a circular firing squad with Gov. Cuomo obviously poised to run; plus Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, who has been relentlessly raising money this summer; plus State AG Eric Schneiderman, who has friends in Hollywood, where Norman Lear has hosted fund-raisers for him.

De Blasio — who goes the extra mile to please his campaign donors and is richly rewarded for his service — was recently granted $2.57 million in city matching funds for his re-election. Whatever he doesn’t spend on the mayoral race can be rolled over to the coffers for his presidential campaign.

“The rumor is, he is setting up fund-raisers across the country after the election,” a veteran political consultant told me.

“De Blasio is putting all his chips on the 2020 race,” observed one longtime pol-watcher. “That’s why, instead of staying in the city to comfort the children of assassinated police officer Miosotis Familia, he jetted to Germany to join the anti-Trump rioters who were smashing store windows.”

“He thinks he’s the inheritor of the Warren and Sanders legacy,” said a Democratic power broker, “but no one told Warren and Sanders they were dead.”

DCG

De Blasio wants to tax the rich to pay for subway repairs

de blasio

Class warfare: Demorats go-to solution to every problem.

NYC’s subway system is in bad shape. According to the LA Times, delays have doubled over the last five years and accidents are on the rise. The governor authorized a billion dollars for improvements, of which few believe will have any favorable impact on the system. Guess that means they’ll need more taxpayer money, from only the wealthy of course.

From NY Post: Mayor de Blasio wants a tax hike​ on New Yorkers​ to pay for repairs to the city’s subway system, according to a proposal released Sunday.

The tax plan, which would target the ​wealthy ​to raise nearly $800 million annually, would bankroll improvements to the subway signal system, track repairs and reduced fares for poor New Yorkers.

De Blasio press spokesman Eric Phillips released details of the proposal to fund ​the “long-term fix​.​”

​The tax would require approval in Albany, which might be tough to lockdown given Republican control of the state Senate and the ongoing feud between Hizzoner and Gov. Cuomo over how to fund repairs.

​Under the plan, the city’s tax rate on individuals making more than $500,000 a year and married couples earning above $1 million would jump .5 percent from 3.876 percent to 4.41 percent. ​​ More than $500 million of the revenue generated would go to subway and bus system upgrades, while about $250 million would subsidize half-priced MetroCards for about 800,000 living at or below the federal poverty level.

Officials at the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which runs the city’s subway and bus systems and is overseen by the state, did not learn about de Blasio’s proposal directly from City Hall, but through the ​New York Times’s website, ​which first published the tax-the-rich plan, ​according to an MTA spokesperson.

MTA Chairman Joe Lhota framed the proposal as a reversal from de Blasio, who has argued the MTA should use money the city has already allocated to ​the agency. “After saying the MTA doesn’t need money, we’re glad the mayor reversed himself,” Lhota said in​​ a statement.

Lhota then highlighted the MTA’s need for “short-term emergency financing” and pressed de Blasio to immediately match the state’s cash outlay for the system.

“The mayor should partner with us and match the state funding now so we can turn the trains around,” he said. “There’s no question we need a long-term funding stream, but emergency train repairs can’t wait on what the state legislature may or may not do next year.”

De Blasio’s proposal, which comes as he’s fighting for re-election, repeatedly emphasizes the added burden it will mean for the city’s highest earners.

The top 1 percent can afford to do a bit more—and should, because a transit system that works makes New York City’s economy strong and benefits us all,” according to a fact sheet Phillips sent.

“Rather than sending the bill to working families and subway and bus riders already feeling the pressure of rising fares and bad service, we are asking the wealthiest in our city to chip in a little extra to help move our transit system into the 21st century,” de Blasio said in a statement to The Times.

DCG

Same ol’ shtick: Michael Moore disses Trump, Hillary Clinton in new broadway show

response to Michael Moore

Must suck to be so bitter that your whole career revolves around criticism of a country and its policies that has made you filthy rich. Ain’t America grand!

From MSN: Michael Moore has Trump on the brain, and the Oscar-winning documentarian and liberal scourge unleashed his animus on the new president on Friday in the first public performance of his one-man Broadway debut, “The Terms of My Surrender.”

“I refuse to live in a country where Donald Trump is the president — and I’m not leaving,” Moore said near the end of his two-hour plus show, which was part autobiography, part counseling session to like-minded urban liberals and part political rally and call to action.

At one point, Moore teased a run for president in 2020, with a typically satirical edge. “I really will shoot someone in the middle of Fifth Avenue,” Moore said, before adding in reference to Trump’s efforts to avoid military service in Vietnam, “He got five deferments because he wouldn’t shoot anyone.”

He offered campaign pledges that mixed the silly (“free HBO for all”) with the edgy (“If elected, there will be no low-flow showerheads; I don’t want to feel like I’m being peed on by a 12-year-old in the presidential suite of the Moscow Hilton”).

He offered praise for Sen. John McCain’s return to Washington after brain surgery and voting to block the “skinny repeal” of Obamacare. “Give the other Republican senators that surgery!” he quipped.

Moore did not spare Democrats — and Hillary Clinton in particular — from his jabs. “We have to admit that Trump outsmarted us,” Moore said. “He was crazy enough to know where the state of Wisconsin is — and to go there.”

He even made a joke suggesting the former Secretary of State was a lesbian — which he quickly tried to re-contextualize. He noted that a man arrested for attempting to blow up Moore’s Michigan home had kept a diary with a kill list that started with Moore and included Janet Reno, Rosie O’Donnell and Hillary Clinton.

“How did I get on the lesbian list?” he quipped, then added, “By the way, with Hillary, that’s the way the right wing talks about her.” (For the record, Bill Clinton-era Attorney General Janet Reno, who died in 2016, also denied that she was gay or bisexual.)

Moore, who recently launched a website dubbed TrumpiLeaks intended as a clearinghouse for whistleblowers and a new nonfiction film for The Weinstein Company titled “Fahrenheit 11/9” (for the date of Trump’s election win last fall), said that he’s offered a standing invitation to Trump to attend his show — a box seat with stars-and-stripes bunting in front of it sat empty through the performance.

He also shared that he and Trump shared an agent — CAA’s Ari Emmanuel — and claimed to have overheard a phone call from Trump to Emmanuel in which the “Celebrity Apprentice” star suggested announcing a run for president as a gambit to get a better salary for the NBC reality show — or a counter-offer from another network.

“He just found out that NBC was paying the hosts of other reality shows more than him, like Gwen Stefani on ‘The Voice,'” Moore claimed. According to Moore, Trump told his agent: “I’ve been thinking about running for president. The networks would see how hugely popular I am.”

“Even when he was running, didn’t you feel, Does he want this job?” Moore asked. “Does he want to live in a majority-black city? The penthouse of the White House is the second floor.”

In one of his most provocative bits, Moore played an audio clip from 2005 in which conservative radio host Glenn Beck speculated about killing Moore: “I’m wondering if I could kill him myself, or if I would need to hire somebody to do it.”

Moore then pretended to leave a voicemail message for New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo using Beck’s scripted threat virtually word for word. “Could I just call any public person with these threats the way Glenn Beck did?” he asked. “I don’t think I would get away with it.”

The show, directed by Michael Mayer (“Spring Awakening”) and produced by IMG Original Content and Carole Shorenstein Hays, will have an official opening on August 10 and run for 12 weeks. 101 Production is exec producing.

Moore’s credits include directing “Fahrenheit 9/11,” the highest-grossing documentary of all time, as well as “Bowling for Columbine,” which earned an Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature. Other films include “Sicko,” “Roger & Me” and “Where to Invade Next.”

He also created the television series “TV Nation” and “The Awful Truth,” and has written eight books which have all made the best-seller list.

Last October, Moore dropped a film about Trump titled “Michael Moore in TrumpLand” which screened for the first time in New York City’s IFC Center that month.

DCG