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Gotham Gazette

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Tom DiNapoli

Tom DiNapoli

  • Vance Fallout Echoes Other Controversies that Led to Reforms

    comptroller dinapoli with check nyscomptroller

    Comptroller Tom DiNapoli (@NYSComptroller)


    As the office and campaign of Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance reexamine internal policies regarding the acceptance of campaign contributions, they may want to reference the guidebook of the office of the State Comptroller or Attorney General, both of which have implemented their own donor-vetting systems and guidelines in the wake of controversies involving fundraising practices. These checks far exceed what is required by ...

  • Even Without Federal Cuts, Signs of Trouble for State Finances

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    State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli, right (photo: @NYSComptroller)


    State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli is calmly ringing alarm bells about the New York economy and budget outlook. DiNapoli, the state’s chief fiscal officer, recently announced that overall tax collections for the first quarter of Fiscal Year 2018 -- April through July -- fell by $1.2 billion from the same period last year, a decrease of 6.1% in revenue.

    Not only did tax revenues decrease by $1.2 billion from the prior year, but they were also $1.7 billion below a projection made by the Comptroller’s

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  • With Session Ending and Trial Looming, No Legislative Response to Bid-rigging Scandal

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    Flanagan, Cuomo, Heastie (photo: The Governor's Office)


    With just three scheduled days left in the legislative session and the corruption trial of several close associates of Governor Andrew Cuomo for their roles in a bid-rigging scandal scheduled to commence in October, the Legislature has yet to pass any meaningful legislation to prevent such abuses of the procurement process.

    State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli has introduced a comprehensive bill to address the issue, which is the basis for a Senate bill sponsored by Senator John DeFrancisco, a

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  • Reviews Are In: What Watchdogs Say About The New State Budget

    Cuomo budget presentation

    (photo: The Governor's Office)


    A new state budget was passed in April in typical Albany fashion: with almost no time for public scrutiny of the bills or proper review by the legislators who quickly voted them through. Since the $153.1 billion budget was passed, watchdogs both in and out of government have released analyses, helping to better inform citizens and increase accountability.

    The budget was adopted a

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  • Whose Job Is It To Investigate The Legislature’s Lulu System?

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    IDC Leader Jeff Klein (via nysenate.gov)


    Reports that state senators have been receiving stipends for committee chair positions that they do not actually hold has drawn scrutiny to the Legislature’s stipend system and raised questions about the legality of the ways in which Senate leadership has arranged such payouts, often called lulus. Those questions have led to others, specifically whose job it is to investigate the potential wrongdoing involved and whether any legal or ethics enforcement entities will take action.

    Four Republican senators and three members of the

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  • Government Watchdogs Push 'Clean Contracting' Reform in Albany

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    Alain Kaloyeros in 2016 (photo: The Governor's Office)


    A coalition of budget and transparency watchdog groups are calling on the Legislature to pass, and for Governor Cuomo to sign, comprehensive “clean contracting” legislation in response to the bid-rigging scandal that rocked the state Capitol last year and continues to reverberate.

    Specifically, at a Wednesday press conference the groups called for restoration of reviewing powers to State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli for all state contracts exceeding $250,000, an end to non-academic

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  • Public Health Week: Get the Lead Out

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    (Photo by Dineshraj Goomany)


    After nearly three years of grappling with contaminated drinking water, the citizens of Flint, Michigan finally obtained some relief as a federal court approved a settlement mandating replacement of lead pipes. 

    As we mark Public Health Week in New York, we must confront the sobering need to “get the lead out” here as well.

    Lead is a potent neurotoxin. It is particularly damaging to children, who absorb as much as 90 percent more lead into their bodies than adults.

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  • 'External Risks Threaten NYC Budget,’ State Comptroller Says

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    State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli (photo: @NYSComptroller)


    As City Council hearings on Mayor Bill de Blasio’s preliminary budget plan began Thursday morning at City Hall, state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli released a new report on the city’s finances. “External risks threaten NYC budget,” the report blares, raising additional red flags to those already in the air courtesy of de Blasio’s own budget office, city Comptroller Scott Stringer, and others.

    DiNapoli’s report, “Review of the Financial Plan of the City of New York,” is part of his job

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  • DiNapoli, Seeking Restored Power, Points Finger at Only the System

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    Comptroller DiNapoli (photo: @NYSComptroller)


    Comptroller Tom Dinapoli is not interested in pointing fingers at any of his fellow elected officials when it comes to the massive scheme alleged to have corrupted major state economic development programs under the noses of Governor Andrew Cuomo and state legislators.

    In the wake of corruption charges brought against nine individuals by U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, DiNapoli was given multiple opportunities Friday during a radio interview, but he declined to criticize either Cuomo or the

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  • Cuomo Seeks to Undermine Comptroller’s Check on His Power

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    Cuomo, left, and DiNapoli, middle, in 2012 (photo: The Governor's Office)


    Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s recent assertion that Comptroller Tom DiNapoli should “educate himself” and that the comptroller’s audits on state economic development projects are “dead wrong” and “opinion” drew a lot of attention. Many Albany observers took it as a sign of Cuomo’s growing sensitivity to criticism about his signature projects.

    Those projects, like the Buffalo Billion, are the subject of a

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  • Reevaluating New York Economic Development Programs

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    Gov. Cuomo at a jobs announcement (photo: Philip Kamrass, Governor's Office)


    Over the last few weeks, several reports and legislative hearings have once again cast an unflattering light on New York’s economic development policies. Unfortunately, this is nothing new. In my 14 years serving in the State Senate, I’ve seen the names of the programs change, but the results remain the same – huge giveaways to a select group of companies that don’t live up to their job creation promises.

    On the Friday before the

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  • Two Months On, Buffalo Billion Investigator’s Contract Remains a Mystery

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    Gov. Cuomo (photo: The Governor's Office)


    It has been two months since Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that Bartz Schwartz would conduct an “independent review” of the state’s signature Buffalo Billion economic development program and yet Schwartz’s contract with the state remains either unfinished or under wraps. On April 29, following the news that U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara had subpoenaed some of Cuomo’s closest allies in conjunction with an investigation into bid-rigging and other possible improprieties, Cuomo and

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  • For Review, Cuomo Chooses Outside Agent Over Existing State Investigators

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    Scheiderman, left, & Cuomo, center (photo via The Governor's Office on Flickr)


    More than a month after Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that Bart Schwartz, a former federal prosecutor, would head an “independent investigation” into the Buffalo Billion economic development program, it remains unclear whether Schwartz has begun his

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  • Role of Cuomo’s ‘Independent Investigator’ Remains Unclear

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    Gov. Cuomo (photo: Kevin P. Coughlin, Governor's Office)


    In trying to stifle the blaze that has become U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara’s investigation into the Buffalo Billion economic development program, Governor Andrew Cuomo has repeatedly invoked the name of Bart Schwartz, a former federal prosecutor the administration has retained (or is in the process of retaining) to carry out an “independent” review of the project.

    In acknowledging that people close to him were being investigated in relation to the Buffalo Billion, Cuomo announced Schwartz’s hire on

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  • Buffalo Billion Probe: Bad Apples or Broken System?

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    Gov. Cuomo in Buffalo (photo via The Governor's Office)


    As U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara’s office issues a storm of subpoenas to the administration of Governor Andrew Cuomo and his close associates in relation to the state’s Buffalo Billion economic development program, the governor and his aides have delivered a consistent message: the investigation targets the dealings of a few bad apples, the governor wasn’t aware of any wrongdoing and he wants to get to the bottom of the situation as quickly as possible.

    “I’ve said to all my people, and I’ve said to

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  • Comptroller Calls for State Budget Transparency, 'Fiscal Reform'

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    Comptroller DiNapoli (photo via The Comptroller's Office)


    “With all the other storylines coming out of Albany these days, it’s not surprising that fiscal reform doesn’t crack the top ten list of priority issues to address, but it should,” said New York State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli at a Wednesday morning event held by Crain’s New York Business, striking a serious tone as he outlined proposals for fiscal reform just released by his office.

    DiNapoli’s plan calls on

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  • The Week Ahead in New York Politics, September 8

    New York City Hall

    New York City Hall


    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    From the governor's office: "Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today [Monday] departed for Puerto Rico with a New York delegation that will discuss the Puerto Rican government's ongoing healthcare crisis and economic challenges. The Governor and the delegation will be meeting with Puerto Rican officials and will also be discussing the need for Washington to take action to help Puerto Rico." ...

  • Mostly Questions and Criticism Ahead of Cuomo Email Summit

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    Gov. Cuomo (photo: Kevin P. Coughlin/Governor's Office)


    On Friday - the Friday of Memorial Day weekend - Gov. Andrew Cuomo will host a summit on email retention policy. It is a much-anticipated meeting that a large number of key stakeholders don't see a need for, and it's unclear what attendance will look like in terms of representation from the major entities in state government being called together to agree on a uniform approach to keeping and deleting official emails.

  • With Another LLC Loophole Vote Coming, Dwindling Optimism About Any Campaign Finance Reform

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    Republican Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos (photo: Governor's Office via flickr)


    The State Senate Elections Committee is expected to vote Monday whether to advance a bill that would close a controversial loophole in state election law that allows wealthy donors to pour unlimited cash into campaign coffers through the use of multiple limited liability corporations, or LLCs.

    Sen. Daniel Squadron, a New York City Democrat and the bill's sponsor, has maneuvered the bill to a committee vote despite major

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