Thursday, October 16, 2014

In spite of legal troubles, Lawrence Schwartz still at Governor Cuomo's side

Lawrence Schwartz remains at governor’s side, in spite, or perhaps because, of legal problems with AEG and Moreland

Lawrence Schwartz and Gov. Andrew Cuomo photo lawrence-schwartz-andrew-cuomo_zps99d34174.jpg

Lawrence Schwartz survived Paterson's AEG scandal ; will he survive Cuomo's Moreland scandal ?

Years before Cuomo aide Lawrence Schwartz became implicated in the waves of controversies that have engulfed the Moreland Commission, Mr. Schwartz was at the center of yet another Albany political controversy : the Aqueduct Entertainment Group bid to operate a racino at a Queens racetrack.

“Schwartz further incredulously claimed to not recall myriad meetings he organized and attended, various e-mail correspondence between himself and other individuals, and numerous conversations in which he engaged, and claimed unawareness of the Governor’s selection of AEG despite personally engaging the Governor’s press office in a colloquy about the very subject.”
-- Inspector General's report


Lawrence Schwartz remains at governor’s side, in spite, or perhaps because, of legal problems with AEG and Moreland (Progress Queens)

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Seeking to recruit disenchanted Democratic Party voters, Green Party candidates Jones and Jimenez visit to Queens

Overflow crowd greet Greens at Flynn's Garden Inn in Woodside

Green Party candidates Brian Jones and Ramon Jimenez photo 2014-10-12BrianJones-RamonJimenez-GreenPartyQueensFunction600LouisFlores_zpsed175022.jpg

Greens reach out to reform-minded voters turned off by Gov. Cuomo's neoliberal priorities

“A few months ago, there was a lot of attention around the Democratic primary,” said Brian Jones, the Green Party candidate for Lieut. Governor. “A lot of progressives were thwarted [when] top party leadership rallied around Andrew Cuomo.” Mr. Jones said that progressive voters, who want other options in the Democratic Party, have no candidate to support. “A lot of that energy is coming our way.”

Ramon Jimenez, the Green Party’s candidate for the state Attorney General, was asked about one of the leading issues in this year’s election season : government corruption. During Mr. Jimenez’s campaign, he has made prior remarks about the Cuomo administration’s mistake in bringing to a premature end the corruption-fighting work of the Moreland Commission. At the meet and greet function in Queens today, Mr. Jimenez said that he found fault with Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s handling of the Moreland Commission’s demise. Mr. Jimenez noted that the commissioners serving on the corruption-fighting panel had been deputized by Attorney General Schneiderman, giving his office a special responsibility in seeing to it that the commission’s work was handled appropriately. “It was wrong for him to remain silent as the commission was disbanded,” Mr. Jimenez said, adding, “The attorney general has to be more aggressive in prosecuting government corruption.”


In Queens, Green Party candidates Jones and Jimenez talk about issues, momentum (Progress Queens)

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Did de Blasio set back police reform by stalling meeting with city's District Attorneys ?

de Blasio finally agrees to meet with District Attorneys after seven months of stalling

The Brooklyn District Attorney won't prosecute low-level marijuana possession charges, but the other District Attorneys will, creating a conflict in the application of the law across the five boroughs

For seven months, City Hall refused to meet with New York City's five district attorneys, leaving the city's top municipal prosecutors to deal with arbitrary applications of the law. Police reform activists blame the mayor for on-going arrests for low-level marijuana possession that target Blacks 4.5 more times than Whites. Wasn't the mayor supposed to reform law enforcement by ending unfair policing tactics that specifically target minority communities ?


By ignoring requests for meetings with District Attorneys, Mayor de Blasio has hampered law enforcement reform (Progress Queens)

NYC District Attorneys Finally Get Meeting With Mayor: Sources (WNBC Channel 4 News)

Mayor de Blasio defends 'broken windows' policing strategy after Eric Garner death (The New York Daily News)

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Financial irregularities at the Corona-Elmhurst Center for Economic Development remain enshrouded in a mystery

With seemingly endless public corruption scandals in Queens, one goes overlooked

The Queens District Attorney, the State Attorney General, and the U.S. Attorney for New York's eastern district all look away as half a million dollars go unaccounted for

A shuttered Queens-based non-profit, the Corona-Elmhurst Center for Economic Development, has never publicly accounted for its use of $500,000 in funding. The news Web site Progress Queens contacted various prosecutors, finding a wall of silence from local, state, and federal investigators. Are the political ties to high-ranking elected officials the reason no prosecutor wants to investigate the missing money ?


The collapse of the Corona-Elmhurst Center for Economic Development, a nonprofit partly organized by State Senator Jose Peralta, remains a mystery (Progress Queens)