Sampson unfit for office because of corruption charges: rivals | New York Post

Rivals seeking to oust indicted Brooklyn state Sen. John Sampson in the Sept. 9 Democratic primary slammed him as unfit for public office during a feisty debate Thursday night. In an NY1 cable-TV face-off, union coordinator Dell Smitherman confronted Sampson with details of the corruption …

http://nypost.com/2014/08/29/sampson-unfit-for-office-because-of-corruption-charges-rivals/

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Peace Comes To Ed Reform Land

This post has been edited.

Since my post, “Trouble In Ed Reforn Land,” appeared online yesterday hinting that AG Eric Schneiderman’s consolidation motion in the teacher tenure cases wasn’t sitting well with Campbell Brown and the heavy hitters behind her Partnership for Education Justice (PEJ), I was informed late Wednesday afternoon that attorneys representing plaintiffs in Wright v State of New York had filed a letter advising the Court that they did not oppose the consolidation motion.

The Davids plaintiffs are declaring victory. But that letter was filed with the court back on August 22. So, why all the drama if the letter was filed last week Friday afternoon?

Perhaps, this Mona Davids statement in today’s Washington Post might explain PEJ’s discomfort.

“We have very different reasons for filing this lawsuit,” Davids said. “We want to improve [educational] outcomes for all our children. We don’t need to get rid of tenure. We also want to work on improving our neighborhoods.”

As I wrote in my previous post, it appears that the teacher tenure reform stage isn’t big enough for two. The pesky Mona Davids and her independent NYC Parents Union have irritated charter school supporters with their lawsuit to force co-located charter schools to pay rent. Until Governor Cuomo’s intervention last winter, a successful outcome would have cost charter schools thousands of dollars. Many of those charter school players are now backing Brown’s PEJ. The notion of having to work with Ms. Davids probably causes many of them to grind their teeth. Just ask Randi Weingarten, the UFT and the city Department of Education.

Sometimes the righteous are blinded by their own light. I’d recommend that Ms. Brown and Ms. Davids don pairs of Blu-Ray HD glasses and work out a deal.

The stakes are too high.

PEJ Consolidation Letter – on behalf of Wright v State of New York plaintiffs

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

Follow him at http://CorruptionCrusher.com/;Twitter:@SquarePegDem;andwww.Facebook.com/SquarePegDem;www.YouTube.com/SquarePegDem; on Skype:SquarePegDem

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The Fat Lady Has Sung. Election Cases Over. Maybe…

NYC BOE Poll Site App

NYC BOE Poll Site App

Yes, the election law calendar is closed. The Mack v Joyner and Jones v Blake election cases are over.

The fat lady, i.e., the NYS Court of Appeals did not grant any motions to reargue. The cases are closed according to insurgent sources.

The Eliezer Eliot Quiñones case, however, is now in Federal Court because three 32nd SD (BX) voters allege that their voting rights were infringed upon by harmful administrative actions taken by the Commissioners of the NYC Board of Elections. Mr. Quiñones, a Bronx Democrat, filed sufficient signatures to run against incumbent firebrand Senator Ruben Diaz, Sr., was first ruled on the ballot then iff a few days later. When his legal team went to serve the objector to his petition signatures, they discovered that the objector had given a false address. His inability to serve the objector properly led the BOE to invalidate Quiñones motion to validate his petitions.

State Supreme Justice John Carter affirmed that referee’s report that ruled Quiñones off the September Primary ballot. Last week, the Appellate Division, First Department denied Quiñones’ appeal.

The Board filed its reply to Donald Dunn’s memorandum of law this morning. Dunn, now in his sophomore season as an election lawyer, represents the aggrieved voters. Dunn has won praise for his tenacity and quick grasp of the arcana of the election law. Mr. Dunn says he has not yet had a chance to review the BOE’s response.

062112_1932_NewYorkPrim1.jpgThe window for a federal court mandated reversal (ie, restoring Quiñones to the ballot) is closing quickly as ballots are being finalized for printing and distribution to absentee, military and overseas voters.

 

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

Follow him at http://CorruptionCrusher.com/;Twitter:@SquarePegDem;andwww.Facebook.com/SquarePegDem;www.YouTube.com/SquarePegDem; on Skype:SquarePegDem

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Trouble In Ed Reform Land

[NOTE: I was informed late Wednesday afternoon that attorneys for plaintiffs in Wright v State of New York had filed a letter advising the Court that they did not oppose the consolidation motion back on Friday, August 22. Click here.]

Since my initial report about NYS Attorney General Eric Schneiderman quietly filing a motion asking the court of original jurisdiction (in Staten Island) to consolidate the two teacher tenure lawsuits, Davids v State of NY and Wright v SONY, into one case, i.e., Davids. It appears that AG Schneiderman’s motion isn’t sitting well with journalist-turned-ed reformer, Campbell Brown and the heavy hitters behind her Partnership for Education Justice (PEJ).

Word is slowly leaking that efforts are underway to muscle the Davids plaintiffs (led by the pesky Mona Davids and the NYC Parents Union) and their Staten Island attorney off the teacher tenure stage. Apparently, Uber CEO Travis Kalanick has nothing over Ms. Brown and PEJ when it comes to crushing the competition..

I’ll be writing a fuller account as more information becomes available (ie, unintimidated witnesses come forward).

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

Follow him at http://CorruptionCrusher.com/;Twitter:@SquarePegDem;andwww.Facebook.com/SquarePegDem;www.YouTube.com/SquarePegDem; on Skype:SquarePegDem

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Food Bank Hosts Series of Candidate Forums on Neighborhood Issues – Claremont – DNAinfo.com New York

NEW YORK CITY — With primary season just around the corner, the Food Bank For New York City is hosting a series of nonpartisan candidate forums to focus on hunger and other issues affecting New York’s neighborhoods.

The seven forums, moderated by DNAinfo New York, begin Tues., Aug. 26, with candidates for Bronx’s Assembly District 77, which has had an open seat since November when former Assemblywoman Vanessa Gibson left after winning a seat in the City Council.

Each forum will be held in a district where there’s a competitive race and where hunger is an issue, according to the Food Bank. [Note: The 77AD debate tonight is being held in Norwood (3021 Webster Av/204th St) which is outside the district.] They start at 6:30 p.m. and end at 8 p.m. 

For full schedule of debates, click on the link below.
http://www.dnainfo.com/new-york/20140825/claremont/food-bank-hosts-series-of-candidate-forums-on-neighborhood-issues

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Rally For Justice Marchers Arrive SI Ferry Terminal, “Hands Up! Don’t Shoot!”

#EricGarner Rally for Justice supporters debark at the Staten Island Ferry Terminal in Stapleton and march through terminal chanting, “Hands Up! Don’t Shoot!”

The NYPD uniform presence at the ferry terminal was minimal.  Many NYPD community affairs officers in their blue polo shirts were present to offer assistance and direction. MTA transit workers were present telling commuters that bus service was suspended and to use the Staten Island subway, if possible. 

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UAC/African Leadership Project ‘Meet The Candidates 77AD Forum’ | African Immigrant Issues

 
Last Thursday (08/21/2014) night’s forum in the 77th Assembly District (West Bronx) was billed as an effort for the candidates to address the needs, concerns and issues of the African and Muslim immigrant community. The forum was co-sponsored by the United African Coalition (Sheikh Moussa Dremmeh) and the African Leadership Project (Ms. Stephanie Arthur). 
 
At conclusion of the forum, Sheikh Moussa Dremmeh, chairman of the United African Coalition (UAC), praised and thanked the three Assembly candidates (Sherrise Palomino, Carlton Curry, Rev. Verdell Mack) for their participation. Sheikh Dremmeh also thanked Ms. Arthur for organizing and moderating the forum.
 
I will post excerpts from the forum throughout this weekend.   
 
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Ex-Sampson aide admits to swiping $100K from officials | NY Post

Reblog: I don’t know how I missed this article. I’m grateful for the heads up from a political insider friend.

Indicted state Sen. John Sampson has been thrown under the bus to the feds by a former top aide who is also in big trouble with the law, new court papers reveal.

Melvin Lowe admitted during confidential meetings with prosecutors that he defrauded the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee out of $100,000 – and gave $75,000 of the money to “Senator #1,” the filing says. A source said “Senator #1” is Lowe’s ex-boss, Sampson (D-Brooklyn), who is fighting charges that he, himself, also committed fraud and tax crimes.

Assistant US Attorneys James McMahon and Perry Carbone have asked a judge to allow testimony from the May and June “proffer sessions” to be made admissible at Lowe’s trial, especially if Lowe tries to take the stand and contradict what he previously confessed to them.

Prosecutors also said they have a witness who’ll testify hearing Lowe and Sampson discuss the cash exchange.

Prosecutors wrote White Plains federal Judge Vincent Briccetti this week saying Lowe, 53, also confided to them that he under-reported his income on his 2007 to 2009 tax returns and never filed returns for 2010 to 2012 while earning $923,000.

Lowe was indicted in December on tax violations and for allegedly scamming the cash out of the DSCC in 2010.

“His admission during his proffer sessions regarding the tax returns should be admitted to rebut arguments made by the defense at trial and to impeach the defendant’s testimony if he testifies,” the prosecutors said.

Lowe is set to go to trial Sept. 2 and faces up to 80 years in jail if convicted.

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

Follow him at http://CorruptionCrusher.com/;Twitter:@SquarePegDem;andwww.Facebook.com/SquarePegDem;www.YouTube.com/SquarePegDem; on Skype:SquarePegDem

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IT’S ON LIKE DONKEY KONG IN THE 79AD — BLAKE, MICHAEL & ALVAREZ BATTLE

Well, it looks like the Bronx County Democratic organization has a major battle on its hands in the 79 Assembly District. This morning, the Appellate Division, First Department found no reason to disturb [Justice Carter's] adoption of the referee’s report and recommendation” to dismiss the petition against Blake. The Appellate Court found that there was no clear and convincing proof that Michael Blake’s claimed residence was a sham. His testimony was adduced to be truthful.

Given Blake’s clear fundraising advantage (in excess of $200,000) and promise to run an Obama-like ground operation, attorney Marsha Michael will have to work overtime to bring our her local supporters. Michael has reportedly been reminding voters that she has always remained in and involved in the Bronx. Clearly, a shot at Blake. Sources say that both campaigns have targeted Concourse Village, a voter rich middle income co-op community, as their main battleground. Michael and Blake have been canvassing the six building co-op regularly.

George Alvarez, a well-funded insurgent, recently launched a new online Spanish-language campaign ad. The one-minute ad is slated for Spanish-language television. 

In other news, the First Department affirmed Justice Carter’s decision in Mack v Joyner (77AD). The Court “did not find as a matter of law, that the entire [Joyner] designating petition is permeated with fraud.” LaToya Joyner, the choice of the Council Member Vanessa Gibson and the Bronx Democratic organization, will be on the September ballot with Rev. Verdell Mack, Sherrise Palomino, and Carlton Curry. None of the candidates are well-funded but the insurgent (anti-County) candidates reported having more than $1500 cash-on-hand (as of 8/4). Combined!

Remember polls are open 6 AM to 9 PM on Primary Day, September 9.

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

Follow him at http://CorruptionCrusher.com/; Twitter:@SquarePegDem;andwww.Facebook.com/SquarePegDem;www.YouTube.com/SquarePegDem; on Skype:SquarePegDem

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GAME ON! Bronx Insurgent Michael Blake Makes the September Primary Ballot

SCAN0002As expected, Judge W. Carter affirmed the referee’s report in Jones v Blake. Michael Blake is on the ballot along with four other candidates. The judge adopted the report in whole, except for the oral argument portion of the written decision.

Judge Carter wrote that he disagreed with the argument that the referee implied that “being born and raised in the Bronx grants a special presumption” nor found that it formed the basis of his recommendation.

20140815_Judge John W Carter-decisionCarter also found Blake’s testimony regarding his intentions, his physical presence in NY and his family involvement to be “credible and worthy of belief.” Judge Carter found the tax filings in question did not adequately meet the Petitioner’s weighty burden of proof. On that basis Judge Carter had no reason but dismiss the Petitioner’s challenge.

It’s game in the Bronx!

Meet_Marsha_resizedThe candidates running in the 70th Assembly District each have their Individual qualities but the fact is only Blake, Marsha Michael (right) and George Alvarez (bottom right) are serious contenders. Lanita Jones, however, is clearly in over her head.

Michael Blake and Marsha Michael bring considerable talent and experience to the table. Mr. Blake will have to explain why he thinks amassing nearly a quarter million dollars is needed to win a district in his “hometown.” Ms. Michael will have to demonstrate that she is more than just a party functionary.

20140626_211032-1

Blake, Rodriguez, Ricks

61f85-1460020_1396949367209906_1011834114_nVoters in the 79AD will have to decide from among some sincere, talented and honest professionals who are vying for their vote. Over the next three weeks, all manner of campaign materials will be flooding local mailboxes. And those with landlines and listed cellphones will be getting robocalls on behalf of one candidate or another.

It will be a frenetic pace.

On September 4, the Southeast Bronx Neighborhood Center will hold a candidate forum at the McKinley Houses Community Center located at 751 East 161st Street. The forum begins at 7:30 pm. Journalist Dominic Carter will moderate the forum. 

The Democratic Primary is Tuesday, September 9. The polls open at 6AM and close at 9PM.

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

Follow him at http://CorruptionCrusher.com/; Twitter:@SquarePegDem; andwww.Facebook.com/SquarePegDem;www.YouTube.com/SquarePegDem; on Skype:SquarePegDem

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