Reblog: Geoff Davis Emerges As Frontrunner To Replace Camara | Kings County Politics

Geoffrey Davis, the 43rd Assembly Democratic District leader and brother of slain City Councilmember James Davis, is looking like the person to beat in replacing Crown Heights Assemblymember Karim Camara, who is stepping down to join the Cuomo administration.

The Davis family is long known in African-American Brooklyn Democratic Party politics as being fiercely independent dating back to when James Davis successfully challenged former Kings County Democratic Party boss Clarence Norman for his district leadership position, and went on to upset the than machine’s preferred candidate, Letitia James, for the city council seat.

Interestingly, Camara comes through the politically influential First Baptist Church of Crown Heights, in which Clarence Norman Sr. is the head pastor.

“Geoffrey represents the little people just like his brother did,” said James Caldwell, president of the 77th Precinct Community Council and a longtime neighborhood political activist, who is supporting Davis.

“A lot of times people forget where they came from and go out and get new friends once they get elected and Geoffrey isn’t that way. Also his mother, Thelma, is very active working with seniors,” he added.

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Breaking: Sen. Tom Libous guilty of felony, ejected from Senate – Politics on the Hudson

Sen. Thomas Libous, the state Senate’s second-ranking Republican and a Southern Tier political institution for more than two decades, was convicted Wednesday of lying to the FBI, a felony that will force his removal from office.

His expulsion from the Legislature’s upper chamber leaves Republicans with 31 seats in the 63-seat chamber, one seat short of a majority. But Sen. Simcha Felder, D-Brooklyn, sits with the GOP, which maintains the party’s last grasp on power at the state level.
The case was brought by U.S. Attorney for the Southern District Preet Bharara said, who released a statement:

“Public corruption is a scourge. Every New Yorker wants us to work as hard as possible to end it. But lies to law enforcement make the job of fighting corruption doubly difficult. Today, a jury unanimously found that Tom Libous, the second highest ranking New York Senator, told lie after lie to hide the truth from federal agents investigating corruption in Albany. Libous’s lies have been exposed, his crime has been proven, and Albany will be the better for it.”

The decision comes six months after Libous’ son, Matthew,was convicted of under-reporting his income on his federal tax returns from 2007 to 2009.

Senator Libous faces up to five years in federal prison.

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Disgraced Brooklyn politician can’t get character reference – NY Daily News


He’s gone from political scion to disgraced outcast.

Facing 19 years in prison for his corruption conviction, ex-Brooklyn Assemblyman William Boyland Jr. can’t muster a single character letter from a current or former politician.

Boyland submitted to Federal Judge Sandra Townes over the weekend a pack of letters from mostly acquaintances and clergyman from the Brownsville district he betrayed.

Prior to his trial, Boyland turned down a plea deal worked out between prosecutors and his previous lawyers that called for nine years in prison.

Grossman listed the sentences of 10 New York elected officials convicted of corruption charges who received a range of one to three and 10 years in prison, and he posed the question to the judge: “Is William’s conduct more egregious?”

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City and State NY: Bound By Laws Forged in Corruption


I recently penned an opinion piece questioning whether or not New Yorkers should be bound by laws forged in corruption. Some in government and law think my proposal is heretical. What say you?

Bound By Laws Forged in Corruption

by Michael Benjamin

“In the Olympics and pro cycling, athletes suspected of cheating, i.e., using performance-enhancing drugs, are investigated and, if found guilty, are stripped of their medals and championship titles. In New York, however, convicted corrupt lawmakers keep their pensions and the residents are left living with the laws they enacted.

This year’s stunning arrests of former top legislative leaders Sheldon Silver and Dean Skelos seem to indicate something insidious and corrosive was afoot. The scope of the indictments have caused me to seriously question allowing the laws they championed, negotiated and steered into enactment to remain legally binding on the people of New York.” [Read more here]

Bound By Laws Forged In Corruption

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Bound By Laws Forged In Corruption-3

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Michael A. Benjamin has sent you – Spring Valley: Desmaret gets 3 years for corruption – from

Message from:

Spring Valley: Desmaret gets 3 years for corruption

Former Spring Valley Deputy Mayor Joseph Desmaret was sentenced Thursday to three years in federal prison for his part in a corruption scheme involving a proposal to build a village-owned catering hall on Route 45.

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BN: Heastie’s serious ethical lapses show he is not fit to lead the Assembly

In the heels of NY Times muckraking, the Buffalo News castigates State Assembly Democrats for making Carl Heastie Speaker.

"This is who members of the State Assembly wanted as their leader? A member who plays fast and loose with his campaign account, who cheats a not-for-profit agency out of money his family swindled from it, who makes himself a flashing red target for U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara? Are they kidding?"

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De Blasio’s door is open to lobbyists | New York Post

According to the NY Post, Mayor de Blasio has met personally with a dozen lobbyists so far this year — most of them campaign supporters and just two shy of the 14 he huddled with in all of 2014, records show.

Leading the pack was last year’s highest-earning city lobbyist, James Capalino, who met with Hizzoner three times in the last three months.

Other lobbyists/campaign supporters who met Hizzoner privately included Michael Woloz, who bundled nearly $237,000 for his campaign on behalf of the yellow-cab industry but who met with him on a doctors-union labor issue on Feb. 2.

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State reimburses mileage for senators’ campaign-funded cars – Newsday

Newsday’s Michael Gormley finds that LI state senators may have double-dipped in using campaign-funded cars to commute to Albany while collecting thousands of dollars in state-funded mileage reimbursements.

Gormley writes:

"The campaign committees of at least 12 Republican senators statewide, including four from Long Island, pay to lease or purchase automobiles for the legislators while the senators collect state mileage reimbursement under a legally murky practice.

This nexus of campaign-paid vehicles and taxpayer-paid travel reimbursements for trips to and from Albany for legislative work has prompted an investigation within Nassau County by the acting district attorney and drawn criticism from good-government groups and a state corruption commission.

The practice appears largely confined to the State Senate’s Republican majority. State records didn’t show similar spending by Senate Democrats, and Assembly members aren’t allowed to collect reimbursement for vehicles funded by their campaigns."

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Harlem Assemblyman Wright To Announce For Congress Today

Joined by family, friends and respected clergy, New York State Assemblyman Keith L.T. Wright will announce his candidacy for New York’s 13thCongressional seat.

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Physicians Reciprocal Insurers, linked to Dean Skelos probe, benefitted from state budget move – Newsday

Newsday is reporting that "state lawmakers tucked into this year’s state budget an extension of a law that grants a significant benefit to medical malpractice insurance companies operating in the red, such as Roslyn-based Physicians Reciprocal Insurers, a company linked to the federal probe of Sen. Dean Skelos.

The provision prevents the state Department of Financial Services from liquidating medical malpractice insurers that have a negative balance. It has been in place for more than a decade, renewed every few years and was set to expire in 2016, according to several sources and state documents. But in March, lawmakers took the unusual step of inserting the renewal in the state budget, a year before its slated expiration.

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo didn’t include the malpractice provision in his original budget proposal, but the Republican-led Senate and the Democrat-controlled Assembly both did."

"Physicians Reciprocal, like other large companies in New York, contracts with a number of heavy-hitting lobby firms, including two that are tied to the environmental firm in the Skelos probe.

State lobby records show Bonomo’s company hired The Capitol Group and Brian Meara, companies that also represented an affiliate of AbTech, the Arizona-based environmental firm linked to the Skelos investigation. Physicians Reciprocal also hired Park Strategies, a firm led by former U.S. Sen. Alfonse D’Amato."

Should legislation involving lawmakers accused of wrongdoing be subject to review and if found to be the fruit of corrupt practices be declared null and void, ie, repealed?

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