Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Married to a sleazy political consultant, Errol Louis uses NY1 to protect all political consultants

Errol Louis had a titty attack last night after Brooklyn 52nd Assembly District candidate Doug Biviano exposed BerlinRosen as corrupt

Luckily, there is no rotunda in the NY1 studio, so Errol Louis stopped short of threatening to throw Doug Biviano over the railing

NEW YORK CITY VOTERS were treated to a rare display last night on NY1's Inside City Hall.

Reminiscent of a scene from The Wizard of Oz, Brooklyn 52nd Assembly District candidate Doug Biviano pulled back the curtain on the corrupting roles of lobbyists and big money in our broken election system. The counterfeit wizard, who was pushing the buttons and flipping the switches, turned out to be none other than Inside City Hall host, Errol Louis !

First of all, Mr. Biviano had to overcome a biased objection from Mr. Louis to earn a spot on the Brooklyn 52nd Assembly District debate. Having done that, it was plainly apparent to anyone viewing last night's Inside City Hall that Mr. Louis was out to put Mr. Biviano's head on a stick. Mr. Louis opened the debate by grilling Mr. Biviano about no activity filings with the state campaign finance regulatory authority, the Board of Elections. Mr. Biviano explained that he had about $1,000 in expenses in his outsider campaign, and that he began his campaign during the petitioning process, which had to be obvious to Mr. Louis. Mr. Biviano then began to explain why it was important to him to be on Inside City Hall : to expose the corruption that is at the root cause of voters' loss of power in their own government.

At this point, Mr. Biviano appeared to be reading from prepared remarks, and Mr. Louis threw a hissy fit right out in the news studio. It was only about 90 seconds into the debate segment when Mr. Louis screeched to Mr. Biviano : "I'll turn off the mic, and I'll send you home." Mr. Louis, who reads from a teleprompter on his news program, objected to Mr. Biviano reading from prepared remarks. How ridiculous is that ?! As the host of the most-watched local politics roundtable program, Mr. Louis is supposed to be an impartial host. It is unknown why Mr. Louis was set out to intimidate Mr. Biviano. Some political bloggers speculated last night that the climate of hostility created by Mr. Louis was intended to silence Mr. Biviano's criticisms of the duplicitous role of campaign consultants, who double as lobbyists.

Mr. Louis' wife, Juanita Scarlett, is a political consultant for Park Strategies, LLC, the lobbying and consulting firm of former Republican Senator Alfonse D'Amato. Prior to that, Ms. Scarlett was a pro-gentrification hack for the Empire State Development Corporation, who pushed the community-crushing Atlantic Yards project like a drug dealer pushes crack. Shamelessly, Mr. Louis regularly books Mr. D'Amato as a political commentator in a reoccurring segment on Inside City Hall called, "The Consultants' Corner," where corrupt political consultants get to spiel talking points for their paid political clients disguised as news.

Mr. Biviano is a political outsider, running for office, some say, to expose the corrupt network of lobbyists who double as campaign consultants. This double-dipping wrecks havoc on communities, and Mr. Biviano points to what happened at Long Island College Hospital as a prime example.

LICH, as the hospital is known, was the centerpiece of a public relations stunt by one of Mr. Biviano's opponents in the primary race for the 52nd Assembly District seat, Peter Sikora. Mr. Sikora masterminded the public arrest of then-Public Advocate Bill de Blasio last year in the lead up to the mayoral election. Mr. Sikora was also reportedly arrested in another demonstration to save LICH. Those publicity stunts, which Mr. Biviano claims were staged with the help of the lobbying firm BerlinRosen, were intended to fabricate an illusion that Mr. de Blasio and Mr. Sikora were fighting for the community, when, in reality, the arrests were just election-year machinations to score points with important voting blocks. Less than a year after the spate of civil disobedience arrests, all of these politicians did nothing as LICH closed under Mayor de Blasio's watch, triggering a wave of anger in Brooklyn.

On Inside City Hall last night, after Mr. Louis prevented Mr. Biviano from reading his remarks about the corrupt role of BerlinRosen to exploit LICH as vehicle to win votes from communities across New York City impacted by a wave of hospital closings, the issue could not be ignored. The other candidate in the race, Jo Anne Simon, raised the issue of undeclared expenditures by outside groups that are being made in support of Mr. Sikora's campaign. Mr. Biviano later was able to raise the issue of a controversial mailer orchestrated by each of BerlinRosen, who are doubling as Mr. Sikora's campaign consultants, and Mayor de Blasio's nonprofit astroturf political arm, the duplicitous Campaign for One New York, to soften the blow of the LICH closing. These stealth activities, plus the controversial role of the scandal-plagued Working Families Party, are deceiving voters into wrongly supporting Mr. Sikora.

Near the end of the debate on Inside City Hall, Mr. Biviano again raised the issue of the corrupt role of BerlinRosen in the campaign and in Brooklyn politics, but by that time, Mr. Louis had had enough, and he began speaking over Mr. Biviano. Mr. Louis then cued a commercial break, announcing the end of the debate. Ironically, the debate was followed by Mr. Louis' usual gathering of corrupt political lobbyists in the segment known as, "The Consultants' Corner."

Advocates for government reform commented on Twitter last night that unless voters see the true double-dealing connection between each of unethical lobbyists and exploitable campaign finance loopholes as the root cause of government dysfunction, elected officials and their political operatives, Mr. Louis and his wife included, will always keep defending the corrupt status quo.

A partisan, pro-Simon post on last night's debate was published on the McBrooklyn blog. With the Democratic primary election set to take place on Tuesday, September 9, the next debate in the Brooklyn 52nd Assembly District race will take place Wednesday evening at 7:30 p.m. at Duryea Presbyterian Church.


NY1 Online : Democratic Candidates in Brooklyn Assembly District Debate on NY1 (Inside City Hall)

Working Families Party has yet to disclose spending on campaign for Brooklyn state Assembly seat (The New York Daily News)

Peter Sikora credited with coming up with election year stunt to get arrested to save LICH (The Brooklyn Daily Eagle)

Alarm raised about ‘dark money’ in de Blasio’s LICH - Fortis letter (The Brooklyn Daily Eagle)

Bill de Blasio Used LICH as a Political Prop, Angry Ex-Supporters Say (DNAinfo)

de Blasio-allied group defends LICH luxury condo conversion deal to brownstone Brooklyn (Capital New York)

Using political entities, operatives close to mayor exploit campaign finance regulations through ''pattern'' of activities (NYC : News & Analysis)

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