Capitol Confidential » Espada crosses line, does not pass go

Rick Larking of the Albany Times Union reports,

"Disgraced former state Senator Pedro Espada Jr. is back in New York State, after he reportedly stepped over the line in the minimum security prison where he had been residing in Pennsylvania.

Literally stepped over the line.

The one-time Democratic Senate Majority Leader had until nine months ago been in the Schuylkill Federal Correctional Institute in Pennsylvania.

That’s where he was serving a five-year sentence for embezzling money from the Soundview health care network he had set up in the Bronx.

But he is now in the federal Bureau of Prison’s Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn.

Federal prison officials don’t comment on inmates or their disciplinary status.

Espada couldn’t immediately be reached in the prison.

But according to a person familiar with the case, Espada was caught walking beyond the boundary of the fenceless minimum security unit in Pennsylvania.
Whether or not it was an outright escape attempt or not remained unclear but it resulted in his being sent to the Brooklyn facility."


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Bronx Chronicle: Bx DA Indicts Former Assembly Candidate

On Tuesday, Bronx District Attorney Robert Johnson arrested former Assembly candidate Hector Ramirez along with another individual, Ana Cuevas. They were arraigned, entered pleas of not guilty, and were released on personal recognizance bonds of $25,000 and $10,000, respectively, on Tuesday afternoon. Mr. Ramirez was represented by attorney Angel Cruz and Ms. Cuevas was represented by Larry Sheehan.

The charges are related to the 2014 race in the 86th AD where Ramirez was accused of election fraud involving absentee ballots. Ramirez was narrowly defeated by the incumbent Assemblyman Victor Pichard. Pichardo won 86th Assembly District Democratic primary in a Bronx Board of Elections supervised manual recount by TWO votes over two-time challenger Hector Ramirez.

Hector Ramirez​ and Ana Cuevas (Ramirez’s campaign manager in 2014), were indicted on seven counts for each allegedly false instrument submitted to The Board of Elections in the City of New York​ totaling 242 counts involving absentee ballots and applications for some 32-35 persons, some of whom were not eligible to vote.

The counts are forgery in the second degree, criminal possession of forged instruments in the second degree, falsifying business records in the first degree, offering a false instrument for filing in the first degree,tampering with public records in the first degree, and two separate counts of illegal voting. The duo are accused of acting in concert in falsifying and submitting fraudulent absentee ballot applications and ballots bearing the names of voters between August 14 and primary day, September 9, 2014 and inducing ineligible persons to vote in that primary.

[Read the complete story here]

The indictment is here:

Michael Benjamin is a columnist and blogger as well as a former state legislator who represented the 79 AD, 2003-2010.

Follow him at;Twitter:@SquarePegDem;;; on Skype:SquarePegDem

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Matt Libous Sentenced to Six Months In Prison

Matthew Libous, son of powerful state Sen. Thomas Libous, was sentenced to six months in prison, $25k fine, 100 hrs community service on federal tax-fraud charges after being found guilty in January, Gannett Albany reports:

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Scarborough facing prison under plea agreements – Times Union

Assemblyman William Scarborough will face a one-year prison sentence under two plea agreements he has reached with state and federal prosecutors.

Scarborough, a Queens Democrat and 20-year Assembly member, is scheduled to plead guilty to felony charges Thursday morning in U.S. District Court in Albany. The federal charges accuse Scarborough of submitting $40,000 in fraudulent legislative travel vouchers over a four-year period.

Read full story here =>

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CCTV-America Global Business: Democratic and Republican strategists share opposing takes on Hillary’s donation s

For both sides of the Clinton debate, CCTV America interviewed Democratic strategist Michael Benjamin (@SquarePegDem) and Republican strategist Jack Burkman. Hosted by Shraysi Tandon.

Watch us live anywhere at

Follow us: @cctv_america on Twitter | CCTVAmerica on Facebook

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This transmission is intended only for the use of the addressee and may contain information that is confidential, privileged and/or exempt from disclosure under applicable law. If you are not the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any dissemination, distribution or copying of the information contained herein is strictly unauthorized and prohibited. If you have received this communication in error, please notify the sender immediately and delete this message. Thank you.

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2015 Urban Environmental Challenge (Bronx Event)

2015 Urban Environmental Challenge

Calling all runners!

Date: 04/12/2015    
Time: 10:00 AM-12:00 AM 
Location: Race starts at Van Cortlandt Park, opposite the Tortoise & Hare Statue on Broadway.

A 10k race of true cross country trails including stream crossings (with optional bridge) suitable for all standards of runner with a love of running and a sense of fun and adventure.

Click on link below to register for the run:

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Bronx Walk of Fame Inductees

The Bronx Walk of Fame Inductees

All 101 inductees onto the Bronx Walk of Fame, 1997-2014. walk of fame inductees-1.pdf

The Bronx Walk of Fame Inductees - 2006-2014


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Before Book Deal, Andrew Cuomo Backed Bills That Helped News Corporation

In the last few weeks, NY Governor Andrew Cuomo has mounted his “anti-corruption” hobby horse in a charge In favor of stronger ethics laws and against state lawmakers earning outside income. But the International Business Times (IBT) has found that Cuomo doesn’t “walk the talk.”

Cuomo asserted to reporters that he should be exempt from outside income restrictions because his lucrative book deal didn’t impact (trade on) state policies. But IBT found differently.

“…[T]he Democratic governor’s strong words don’t quite square with his own personal appetite for cash earned outside the confines of his state work. Cuomo has so far raked in more than $188,000 from HarperCollins, a News Corporation subsidiary. That is part of a book deal that could ultimately net him more than $700,000. With Albany’s transactional politics now the subject of a federal probe, the context of that April 2013 book deal is particularly significant.

An International Business Times review of New York state documents reveals that News Corporation gave Cuomo a book contract after Cuomo’s administration backed a series of state initiatives that benefited the media giant.”

Governor Cuomo is an adept practitioner of telling state legislators, “do as I say, not as I do” because apparently he’s above reproach. Cuomo thinks closing the barn door (on lawmakers) after he has benefited from the porkfest exempts him from “pay to play” criticism.

Props to IBT for holding Cuomo’s feet to the proverbial fire.

Posted in Government, Politics, Public Corruption, Public Policy | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Worked Up


How did I miss this bit of insight from NT2? Yes, Sen. Schumer is the KING of political fundraising from Wall Street, deconstructor of Glass-Steagal & architect of the 2008 financial meltdown. Yet, my hero, Preet Bharara hasn’t turned his proctoscope on his political rabbi and mentor. NT2 raises an uncomfortable question that no one else has had the temerity to ask out loud.

Originally posted on NT2: Nec Temere, Nec Timide:

Daily, if not hourly, we lurch back and forth between thinking that Preet is doing God’s work and he’s full of crap.

Our latest conclusion is the later. Why? It’s because he gave this comment to the Buffalo News edit board on Friday: “If I could put 50 prosecutors on public corruption in Albany, they certainly wouldn’t be lacking for work.”

With all due respect to the US Attorney’s office in New York City, that’s excrement.

Fifty prosecutors were on the case already. It was called Moreland. And they found what? A bunch of foot faults. Lawmakers could have been better at itemizing their expenses. George Maziarz gave an inexplicable contribution to a girl’s softball team in Binghamton.

Think about this: There were 13 DA’s on the Moreland panel. They saw all the evidence. Were they all incompetent? Were they all stupid? Were they all corrupt?

Well, that’s what…

View original 679 more words

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Almosy Fifty Years Since Ocean Hill-Brownsville Ed Reform


This year marks almost 50 years since the Ocean Hill-Brownsville (OHB) education reform. Five decades later minority kids are still stuck in FAILING NYC schools.
h/t @NYCParentsUnion & WNYC-TV

OHB was an experiment in community control and parent empowerment that was vehemently opposed by the UFT led by Al Shanker who called an illegal strike in order to kill the OHB experiment.

The OHB parents empowerment experiment was vehemently opposed by the UFT & led to illegal strikes. .

Ocean Hill-Brownsville was an education experiment empowering parents. At the time, it undermined by the UFT. And later, the UFT and their Community School Board lackeys whose elections they engineered, worked to prevent parent empowerment and to co-op independent voices.

Mona Davids, one of today’s independent voices and founder of the NYC Parents Union says, “[The UFT) is] still undermining parent empowerment but with paid, salaried lackeys and front groups.” Davids believes that such actions continue to protect ineffective teachers and “condemn millions of kids” to low performing schools.

Watch the WNYC-TV look back on the origins of the community control movement and education reform. Make your comparisons and see that the passage of time has done little to ameliorate education and learning in black and brown communities in New York City.

[Video] Archival footage from the WNYC-TV Moving Image Collection, Municipal Archives, City of New York.

In his first term, John Lindsay began an experiment in school decentralization that quickly mushroomed into a major racial, ideological, and political battle that led to a contentious series of teachers’ strikes and further fragmented his already fragile coalition. By the time Lindsay took office, many black activists and parents, frustrated by the failure of their drive to integrate the schools, were pressing instead for community control of “inner city” schools. In 1967,Lindsay appointed a panel on school reform, headed by McGeorge Bundy of the Ford Foundation and with no representatives from the teachers’ union or the school board. The Bundy report recommended a new “community control system” of largely autonomous local districts, and in 1967 – 68, the Board of Education permitted three experimental districts to be run by locally elected boards in East Harlem, the Lower East Side, and Ocean Hill-Brownsville in Brooklyn.

In May 1968, the Ocean Hill-Brownsville board transferred 17 white teachers and administrators, one Latino teacher, and one black teacher out of the district, citing their “inability to work with people in this community.” In protest, the United Federation of Teachers (UFT) launched a series of three strikes in the fall of 1968 that shut down the public school system for over seven weeks. The issue split Lindsay’s liberal constituents into warring camps and kept a million children out of school. A strike settlement on November 17, largely conforming to UFT demands, ended community control. Lindsay later called the second half of 1968 “the worst of my public life.”

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