Archive for March, 2006

Coyote Update
March 22nd, 2006

The Central Park coyote, apparently not wiley enough for life in Manhattan, was captured by city employees earlier today, the parks department has announced. The young male was pronounced healthy and will be taken upstate to a wildlife rehabilitator, which to us urban types sounds like a kind of halfway house for canines.

By on March 22, 2006, 2:25 pm
In category: Environment,Gotham City,Parks | 1 Comment »

| More

RSS Feed RSS Feed


Everybody Wants Delay At Ground Zero
March 22nd, 2006

In an editorial entitled Pataki’s Permanent Pit, the New York Post notes that “a week has passed since the expiration of Governor Pataki’s drop-dead deadline for developer Larry Silverstein to get with the Port Authority’s program on Ground Zero – or face the consequences. So far, no consequences. So far, no progress. So far, no news whatsoever.”

Nobody should be surprised, the Post says, not even the governor: “Every mistake, every delay, every lapse in Ground Zero’s pathetic 4 1/2-year history of stagnation can be traced to him.” But, the editorial says, it’s also the fault of Mayor Bloomberg, developer Larry Silverstein and the Port Authority who “all have [as] their real goal to delay a deal as long as possible.”

By on March 22, 2006, 12:42 pm
In category: Gotham City,Land Use | Comments Off on Everybody Wants Delay At Ground Zero

| More

RSS Feed RSS Feed


The Times and Abortion
March 22nd, 2006

When reading the Times op-ed page, abortion rights advocates may ask, With friends like this who needs enemies? Surveying the purportedly pro-choice papers op-ed pages over the past two years, American Prospects Garance Franke-Ruta finds that articles on abortion consisted almost entirely of the views of pro-life or abortion-ambivalent men, male scholars of the right, and men with strong, usually Catholic, religious affiliations. Not a single one, she finds, was written by a reproductive-rights advocate, a pro-choice service-provider, or a representative of a women’s group. And underscoring the frequent argument that the Times tends to ignore the views of women on its commentary page, a stunning 83 percent of the pieces appearing on the page that discussed abortion were written by men.

While not excusing the Times, some observers see the supposedly liberal paper as part of a larger problem. Perhaps the newly skewed Times explains why we’ve seen the rise of the ‘thoughtful’ male liberal ready to compromise on abortion if it will help the Democratic Party,” writes Bradford Plummer on Mother Jones magazines Mojo Blog.

My Amusement Park agrees. While praising Franke-Ruta, the blog says the American Propsect article does not mention how NYT is part of a larger trend of…abortion-ambivalence among pro-choice papers, politicians, and pundits….Rather than blah-de-de-blahing about moral complexity, when asked if we’re pro-choice, all of us pro-choicers should say, ever-so-matter-of-factly, Of course I’m pro-choice.”

By on March 22, 2006, 11:10 am
In category: Civil Rights,Gotham City,Health | 1 Comment »

| More

RSS Feed RSS Feed


Canines -- Wild and Tame
March 22nd, 2006

Guard your chickens. A coyote is on the loose in Manhattan, having been spotted near the Central Park zoo yesterday. And its not an escapee from the cages but an immigrant from Westchester. ”It didn’t look the least bit worried,” parks commissioner Adrian Benepe, who spotted the coyote along with the remains of a duck or pigeon, told the New York Times. “People shouldn’t feel threatened.”

Far from being alarmed many bloggers seemed delighted. I love when stuff like this happens, it shows the environment is not totally lost. Coyotes are making a big comeback upstate, and so is a lot of other wildlife. writes spelling witch. And favorite-child hails the beast for leaving the posh confines of Westchester. Tired of the suburbs. Willing to risk all to live the coyote dream….life in the big city, the blogger writes. I say live and let live.

In other canine news, the Post reports that the Juniper Park Civic Association in Middle Village, Queens plans to take the city to court over its informal policy of allowing dogs in parks to be let off their leashes between 9 p.m. and 9 a.m. The group says several people have been bitten as a result. The city has not yet announced a policy — informal or otherwise — on coyotes. Benepe advises, though, “Treat it like a strange dog.” And he adds, Never pet a strange dog.”

By on March 22, 2006, 10:38 am
In category: Environment,Gotham City,Parks | Comments Off on Canines -- Wild and Tame

| More

RSS Feed RSS Feed


More Police
March 22nd, 2006

The Daily News lauds Mayor Michael Bloomberg for announcing the city will hire more police. Even though crime continues to decline, the papers editorial sees some troubling signs — a rise in crime in 34 of 76 precincts and increases in crime in other large cities. New York needs more cops if we are to continue to live in the safest large city in America, the News says. The NYPD showed urban America how to win the war on crime, and it must continue to do so.

Gothamist is pleased about the new cops too — if we really get them. Filling these jobs isnt going to be easy, it says, noting that rookies get a base salary of $25,100. According to the blog, Some union officials say that the salary is so low that “several new recruits have been forced to rely on food stamps”

By on March 22, 2006, 8:49 am
In category: Crime & Safety,Gotham City | Comments Off on More Police

| More

RSS Feed RSS Feed


Pitching Sudan
March 21st, 2006

While human rights activists and others applaud New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof for his coverage (by subscription) of Sudan, some are appalled at the papers business side for accepting an eight-page advertising insert singing the praises of the government of the African nation, which is widely considered responsible for genocide against its own citizens. The supplement lauds Sudan for facing a peaceful, prosperous and democratic future,” and, according to felixsalmon.com criticizes the media for being “focused almost exclusively on the fighting between rebels and Arab militias.”

Human Rights Watch program director Iain Levine tells Daily News columnist Lloyd Grove that when he saw the ad “I practically fell off my seat on the subway . I could not believe it.

Would the New York Times run an advertorial extolling the charitable works of Osama bin Laden? asks felixsalmon. Would it run advertisements from Nambla, or from the Ku Klux Klan?

Apparently it would. Grove quotes a Time spokesperson as saying the paper took the ad because of our strong belief that all pages of the paper news, editorial and advertising must remain open to the free flow of ideas. But Mickey MacLean at World Views speculates that “it also didn’t hurt that an estimated $929,000 freely flowed into the newspaper’s coffers as a result of the section.”

By on March 21, 2006, 2:24 pm
In category: Civil Rights,Gotham City | 3 Comments »

| More

RSS Feed RSS Feed


Police Strategy At Political Demonstrations
March 21st, 2006

Responses are continuing to a report in the New York Times last week about internal police memos that indicate how the New York Police Department has used undercover officers at political demonstrations, “proactive arrests,” covert surveillance and similar strategies to avoid chaos during such events as the World Economic Forum in 2002.

The view of the editorial in the Daily News today (scroll down to the second one) can be summed up by its headline: Memo to NYPD: Bravo! Those suing the department, who caused the internal memos to be made public, may have hoped the documents would shock the public into outrage, the News writes. But they were wrong. The memos have the opposite effect. They present a picture of a police department that was keen to maintain order in a way that respected both the law-abiding public and the rights of those who got busted[Q]uick arrests of likely rioters – individuals wearing masks and wielding pipes – headed off trouble.

Writing from a different perspective in the blog
Left Behinds, Jackie Vimo, described as a longtime New York activist, and one of the first five people arrested as part of the demonstrations against the World Economic Forum” agrees that the police methods were effective: “After years of being followed, surveilled and falsely arrested, I feel somewhat vindicated at seeing the Times articles detailing the fact that the NYPD officially admits to bypassing legal procedures and severely curtailing our First Amendment rights. But the truth is that these police tactics work. After constant surveillance and arrests I was left feeling demoralized and defeated. As a result, I have been much less active in recent years. I only hope that it isn’t too late for all of us to be outraged enough to feel inspired to continue to fight back.

By on March 21, 2006, 8:01 am
In category: Civil Rights,Crime & Safety,Gotham City | Comments Off on Police Strategy At Political Demonstrations

| More

RSS Feed RSS Feed


Limiting Lobbyists — But Allowing Campaign $ To Pay For Officials’ Swimming Pools And Cellphones!
March 20th, 2006

Government ethics in New York took one step forward in March. The New York Lobbying Commission ruled that lobbyists are restricted to giving no more than $75 total in gifts per policymaker, per year. This is a big step forward from the interpretation that allowed lobbyists to give no more than $75 per incident, even if such incidents occurred on the same day.

Despite overwhelming public support for a gift ban (a recent poll showed New York voters in support by a more than 4 to 1 margin), lawmakers refused to act. Into that void stepped the Lobbying Commission, which took upon itself strengthening the states ethics within the powers granted to it under the lobbying law. The Lobbying Commission deserves credit for taking this bold move.

The new rule not only covers state lawmakers and Albanys lobbyists, it applies to officials and lobbyists at the local governmental level as well.

Can reformers now declare victory and go home? Unfortunately, no. Lobbyists will be tempted to have “campaign fundraising dinners” in an effort to circumvent the Commission’s restriction. And with a loophole-riddled campaign finance law coupled with lax enforcement by the Board of Elections, such dinners will be a tempting target.

It is here that New York has taken one step back. It turns out that the campaign finance loophole that could allow campaign fundraising dinners is huge and has animpact onspending far beyond meals. For example, it was recently reported that current Insurance Superintendent Howard Mills is raising — and spending — campaign contributions even though he’s not a candidate for office!

Superintendent Mills, a former Assemblyman and US Senator Schumers opponent in 2004, continues to use his old Assembly campaign account to pay for meals, cellphone bills, and monthly car payments.

New Yorks election law does not allow campaign funds to be spent on personal uses “unrelated to a political campaign or the holding of a public office.” Lawmakers have spent campaign funds on everything from trips to faraway vacations, country club memberships, box seats at sporting events, even a swimming pool cover and criminal defense lawyers. Lawmakers argue that such spending is OK as long as it is remotely connected to their roles as public officials.

How can the states Insurance Superintendent raise and spend campaign contributions when he is not a candidate for office? Only if the state law is a joke and the governor doesnt seem to care.

New York should not allow campaign funds to be used to subsidize lawmakers lifestyles. If you’re not running for office, you should not be able to use your public office to raise and spend campaign contributions. If you’re a lawmaker, you shouldn’t be allowed to spend your campaign contributions on events with lobbyists. If you’re raising campaign contributions, you should spend it on campaigning — not personal expenses.

But until the law is changed, Governor George Pataki must raise the ethical bar. He should order all of his Cabinet-level officials to close all campaign accounts and donate any proceeds. He should then introduce legislation to shut down the personal use campaign finance loophole..

New Yorkers deserve a state government that continues to march toward openness and stronger ethics, not one that shuffles back and forth. Only Governor Pataki has the power to lead that march. He should take the lead.

By on March 20, 2006, 10:20 am
In category: Eye on Albany | Comments Off on Limiting Lobbyists — But Allowing Campaign $ To Pay For Officials’ Swimming Pools And Cellphones!

| More

RSS Feed RSS Feed


When Should Kids Learn About AIDS?
March 20th, 2006

Five year olds in New York City will be taught about AIDS and HIV in their kindergarten classes under a new curriculum which begins on Monday. Parents can remove their children from the lessons, and officials say that students will not be taught that HIV is a sexually transmitted disease, but some parents object, arguing that the subject is not age-appropriate.

New York Post columnist Andrea Peyser, whose daughter attends private school, says the policy is just one more reason to keep her kid out of the public school system.

“Childless eggheads who dictate educational policy think it’s high time kids her age were indoctrinated in the ways of AIDS,” she writes. “Like hell.”

By on March 20, 2006, 7:34 am
In category: Education,Gotham City,Health | 1 Comment »

| More

RSS Feed RSS Feed


The Times On The Imam, Bloomberg And Free Speech
March 20th, 2006

Though others disagree,the Times editorial board supports Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s decision to suspend but not fire Imam Umar Abdul-Jalil, chief chaplain for the New York City Corrections Department, for his political statements, calling the mayor’s decision “Solomonic.” The Times feels the words of the imam “were poorly chosen at the least”, but constitute nothing but a small blemish on an otherwise exemplary career. The mayor chose to defend freedom of speech, the Times says, in contrast to some of his first-term decisions, such as the administration’s record of handling of protesters.

When the Times endorsed him for re-election, they said they wanted him to make up for past faults, and make free speech a major issue. “His decision on the imam can be an excellent beginning.”

By on March 20, 2006, 12:22 am
In category: Civil Rights,Crime & Safety | Comments Off on The Times On The Imam, Bloomberg And Free Speech

| More

RSS Feed RSS Feed


Zoning for Dummies
March 19th, 2006

The City Planning Commission has just published its first Zoning Handbook in over a decade. The handbook delineates the confusing variety of technical zoning definitions with easy to read explanations and colorful pictures.

The New York Observer blog, The Real Estate, issues a “Neighborhood Nerd Alert” before jumping into their post on the handbook. They call it, along with The Works, a book by Kate Ascher, an official at the city’s Economic Development Corporation, as essential in their effort to balance their readers interest in urban planning and ” the unbelievably impenetrable jargon of the field”.

By on March 19, 2006, 11:40 pm
In category: Community Development,Land Use | 1 Comment »

| More

RSS Feed RSS Feed


The NY Public Library And The Homeless
March 19th, 2006

City Limits covers homeless advocates’ concerns with a new library policy that will truncate the only way to utilize the internet that the homeless have:

The New York Public Library now requires users to have a library card to log on to the internet, and an address is required to obtain the card. According to the city, about 4,400 homeless do not stay in the shelter system, where they could obtain an address. The National Coalition for the Homeless estimates that ten to twenty percent of the homeless regularly use libraries.

Homeless people depend on free access to internet in libraries to find out about job listings, keep themselves informed and email rsums to potential employers, said Rogers, who regularly searches craigslist.com for weekend jobs or part-time work. Rogers, a member of the advocacy group Picture the Homeless, has been homeless himself for three years.

But the blog Baby Boomer Librarian says City Limits is looking for sensationalism.They post what they claim is an email from Susan Kent, Director of Branch Libraries, which states that, “Anyone without a library card may ask for a ‘guest pass’ which will provide access to the Internet under the same terms as library card holders.”

By on March 19, 2006, 11:36 pm
In category: Civil Rights,Demographics,Social Services,Tech | 4 Comments »

| More

RSS Feed RSS Feed


Is Good Co-op Board an Oxymoron?
March 19th, 2006

The message board of the real estate blog Curbed is home to a spirited debate over New York City co-op boards: Are they necessary? Can they be improved?

It often amazes me that in perhaps the most progressive city in the world, most New York apartment owners are forced to contend with a highly outdated and restrictive mode of building government,” writes one reader. “Shouldn’t there be some sort of revolt against these co-op board dictatorships?

Co-ops are more owner-occupied and therefore the buildings have more caring and active shareholders, another person responds. People can hate coops because of their rules but in the end it is the rules that protect those that live in [them].”

A co-op board is only as good as the people on it writes another. When these good board members move, retire, die (hopefully not in the lobby — that’s against the rules), you could easily end up with a new board that doesn’t know what it’s doing.”

By on March 19, 2006, 11:16 am
In category: Gotham City,Housing | Comments Off on Is Good Co-op Board an Oxymoron?

| More

RSS Feed RSS Feed


H&R Block: Serving Customers or Stealing?
March 17th, 2006

Eliot Spitzer is gearing up for another large lawsuit against a financial company. This one is against H&R Block, Inc., a tax preparation service that Spitzer says convinced 500,000 customers to invest in its own retirement accounts even though it knew that they would lose money doing so.

As is par for the course with Spitzer lawsuits (and, it seems, with anything else he does), the attorney general was quickly attacked for being a demagogue.

So while Spitzer says he is defending poor people against fraud, the New York Sun claims he is attacking accepted business practices for political reasons.

Once you get through the tax numbers and the obligatory outrage (the Sun calls Spitzer the “Lord High Executioner of Wall Street” and says that “for an example of leftist ideology run amok, this lawsuit sets a new standard of cynicism”), the newspaper’s argument is that H&R provides a service by offering retirement accounts to low income New Yorkers. If those accounts do not pay particularly well, then that is a function of the market — when you have more money to invest, you have more options — and allowing low-income people into the market is a service, it argues.

And even if these accounts aren’t great deals, says the Sun, they certainly aren’t a crime.

By on March 17, 2006, 8:32 am
In category: Gotham City,Public Finance | 2 Comments »

| More

RSS Feed RSS Feed


Rebuilding Standoff
March 16th, 2006

Talks between the Port Authority and developer Larry Silverstein over how to rebuild the World Trade Center site have collapsed. The Port Authority, which owns the 16-acre site, charges that Silverstein, who holds a 99-year lease to build on the site, is fueld by “greed.” Silverstein says the bi-state agency should resume talks to avoid additional delays.

So what should New Yorker’s think of this latest standoff?

A Daily News editorial is somewhat sympathetic to Silverstein who the paper calls “the key figure in a building scheme that’s doomed to fail.”

“Silverstein doesn’t have the financial capability to build the iconic Freedom Tower and four additional skyscrapers in a reasonable time frame,” the Daily News writes. “In fact, there is general agreement he’d go broke if he began construction, leaving most of the site a wasteland.”

The New York Sun also pleads Silverstein’s case.

“It’s hard to have anything other than sympathy for Mr. Silverstein in this instance,” the editorial page states. “He had to endure efforts by various politicians to boot him off the site entirely, or to effectively confiscate the most commercially desirable sites. And all along, he’s been writing a $10 million rent check to the Port Authority every month.”

New York Post columnist Steve Cuozzo calls everyone involved a bunch of “squabbling dolts” who deserve each other.

“If Silverstein really doesn’t have the dough to build all five office towers, as his foes claim, and if he’s going to default and leave us in the lurch, why did it take until now to figure that out?” writes Cuozzo. “Maybe because everyone’s been out to lunch since Sept. 12, 2001.”

By on March 16, 2006, 8:17 am
In category: Gotham City,Land Use | 1 Comment »

| More

RSS Feed RSS Feed


Want to know what your State Legislators thinks about middle class issues? Google them!
March 15th, 2006

Today, the Drum Major Institute (DMI) released a comprehensive scorecard, ranking state legislators on issues such as increasing the minimum wage, funding for higher education, predatory lending for homebuyers and other issues that are central to those in the middle class. Individual Assembly members and State Senators were graded on their performance based on a slew of legislation introduced from 2001 to 2005, and collectively based on majority/minority performance in the Assembly and Senate.

Overall, the Drum Major Institute, which is non-partisan but comes from a particular political perspective,gave the Assembly Democrats excellent marks (an A-) for their support of the middle classwhile both the Assembly Republicansand the Senate Democrats were given a B. The Senate Republicans earned the worst marks, averaging a C, with half of its members receiving failing grades.

At the head of the class were ten legislators who earned perfect marks, including current Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer (formerly of the Assembly) who also spoke at the press conference earlier today.

A particularly innovative feature of this scorecard is the ability for anyone to access the grades of their respective state legislator by simply typing the members name into a Google search. The search results also provide a link to the full report and an opportunity to view the individual votes on the specific legislations.

By pioneering such a feature, DMI not only took what could have been an obscure report mainstream, but also provides access to more New Yorkers and sheds light on important decisions made in Albany.

By on March 15, 2006, 6:03 pm
In category: Eye on Albany | Comments Off on Want to know what your State Legislators thinks about middle class issues? Google them!

| More

RSS Feed RSS Feed


Immigration Reform: Irish Perspective
March 15th, 2006

A Daily News guest columnist argued that a cruel and discriminatory American immigration law has reduced the flow of Irish legal immigration to the United States and left thousands of Irish in New York City without proper documents.

Prior to 1965, virtually any qualified Irish citizen who wished to immigrate to the U.S. was allowed to do so, wrote Brian O’Dwyer, an immigration attorney who heads up the Emerald Isle Immigration Center. In 1965, the quota system gave way to a new rule, which gave preferences only to those immigrants who were able to be sponsored by members of their immediate family.

Irish immigrants are not alone in this struggle, there are at least 400,000 undocumented immigrants in the city. He went on to say that the proposed McCain-Kennedy bill will put an end to the problem. “[The bill] – which would allow immigrants to work here legally for either three or six years – will once and for all restore equity to our fractured immigration policy, he said. Until then, Irish eyes will be weeping, not smiling.

By on March 15, 2006, 3:26 pm
In category: Immigrants | 1 Comment »

| More

RSS Feed RSS Feed


Compromising on Free Speech
March 15th, 2006

When he announced the two-week suspension of the Department of Corrections chief Muslim chaplain Tuesday, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said, ”I know that this decision will not satisfy extremists on either side of the political spectrum.” In a speech in Arizona last year the chaplain, UmarAbdul-Jalil, referred to “the Zionists of the media” and said “”the greatest terrorists in the world occupy the White House.”

Sure enough, like many compromisers, the mayor succeeded in irritating people on both sides of the issue — including the New York Post. Abdul-Jalil traveled across America to tell socially corrosive lies in a conscious effort to undermine the legitimacy of the War on Terror, and he did so under the aegis of New York City, it said in an editorial. And he gets away with it For shame, Mike.

Steve Emerson of the Investigative Project, which released the imams speech, told the Sun: “The issue is not about freedom of speech. I don’t think anyone disagrees that Jalil has the right to make these comments. The question is does he have the right to make them in his capacity as the head correctional chaplain?”

On the other side, the imam is planning to appeal. Zachariah Azar, a University of Arizona student and member of the Muslim Student Association, which sponsored Abdul-Jalils speech, called the suspension “another example of how our civil liberties are being trampled on in this era of witch hunts for the Muslims.” Gothamist indicated it thought the punishment may have been too harsh: We hear worse vitriol – from all sides – on cable news and talk radio, but when the offenders are black, Muslim men who work for the city – it is a perfect political hot potato.

By on March 15, 2006, 1:42 pm
In category: Civil Rights,Gotham City | 1 Comment »

| More

RSS Feed RSS Feed


The Contradictions Of Housing In New York City
March 14th, 2006

An editorial in El Diario La Prensa praises an organization called Project Remain, which seeks to promote safe and affordable housing in Washington Heights and Inwood, and plans a tenants march through the neighborhoods this summer. It also characterizes housing in New York City as “a contradictory thing. Two-bedroom apartments sell for more than a million dollars, while more people than ever are homeless. Mayor Michael Bloomberg announces plans to build 165,000 units of affordable housing, but the New York City Housing Authority announces plans to start charging its poor tenants higher fees for services.”

By on March 14, 2006, 11:35 pm
In category: Housing | 2 Comments »

| More

RSS Feed RSS Feed


On Kickbacks and Sunshine Week
March 14th, 2006

When the late Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis stated, Sunlight is the best disinfectant, he was of course referring to the development of public polices, not opining on health practices. This week celebrates Sunshine Week the national effort to ensure that American democracy conducts its business openly. Brandeiss sentiments are the cornerstone of the federal governments Freedom of Information Act as well as versions of it at the state level. Simply put, it was Brandeiss view that an open government is a more accountable, and less easily corrupted, government.

Americans support open government, but their enthusiasm is often eroded by politicians claims that openness can help the nations enemies. Clearly one good example is the effort by the Bush Administration to conduct its activities in secret and then justifying such secrecy as due to the threat posed by terrorists. While there can be no doubt that the nation should debate just how open society should be, there can also be no doubt that there is simply no way to be an informed citizen unless you have access to important governmental information.

An ignorant citizenry is easily manipulated by powerful special interests that seek to manipulate public opinion based on emotional, poll-tested, reactions, since there is no real way for voters to check the facts.

Secrecy also creates a breeding ground for corruption; openness is an important part of ensuring that governmental officials are acting in the best interests of the public.

But openness is not enough either. Someone must be empowered to take a stand against wrongdoers.

A good example of the need for this combination is the latest political corruption scandal in New York State.

Last week one of the states leading Republicans, Peter McGowan the Supervisor of the Town of Islip on Long Island, pled guilty to charges of political corruption. As part of his plea, McGowan admitted to taking kickbacks on five separate occasions from 2000 through 2004.

Boiled down to its essential elements, McGowan was falsely inflating his campaign bills and then deposited the excess money in his own personal bank account. Those kickbacks included big money one check was for $20,000, another for $10,000 and other amounts totaling $52,000 in all.

According to the Suffolk County District Attorney, McGowan was demanding that vendors pay the higher amount or they wouldnt get any more campaign work.

In addition, McGowan was convicted of misspending campaign funds including $30,000 on a vacation to Ireland and numerous vacations to Florida. In addition, the Long Island newspaper Newsday found that McGowan had spent campaign money on other personal items such as a lease for a Mercedes Benz. As part of the plea, McGowan will return nearly $1.2 million in contributions to his donors.

Why would such a powerful, and wealthy, politician do such a thing? Clearly, he did not think that the kickbacks would ever be discovered, but his misuse of campaign finance funds was hidden in plain sight in his campaign finance disclosures. Yet, McGowan had no fear of the enforcer, the State Board of Elections. According to the Suffolk County DA, The way the law is written now, if an expense in any way, by any stretch of the imagination can be related to a campaign, the Board of Elections allows it.

It took investigations by Newsday and the Suffolk County DAs office to bring McGowan to justice. There was no enforcement effort by the Board of Elections.

In keeping with Sunshine Week, New Yorkers should demand that state government operate in the open, that its records be easily accessible, and that tough ethical standards be enforced.

One good place to start would be for the governor to react to the Long Island scandal by offering legislation that cracks down on the misuse of campaign finance funds both illegally and legally and creates a new entity to enforce those standards.

Let the sunshine in and make sure that someone is watching.

By on March 14, 2006, 4:39 pm
In category: Eye on Albany | Comments Off on On Kickbacks and Sunshine Week

| More

RSS Feed RSS Feed


Gotham Gazette the Place for Politics and Policy

Gotham Gazette is published by Citizens Union Foundation and is made possible by support from the Robert Sterling Clark Foundation, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Altman Foundation,the Fund for the City of New York and donors to Citizens Union Foundation. Please consider supporting Citizens Union Foundation's public education programs. Critical early support to Gotham Gazette was provided by the Charles H. Revson Foundation, Rockefeller Brothers Fund and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

RSS Feed