The Week That Was – TW2 Minority Review, August 5 – Update


We begin this week’s review with a three stories about Assemblyman William Boyland‘s latest media woes. And we end with a report that despite the economic hardships African Americans still support “our dear brother” President Barack Obama.

Capitol News told an amazing tale of Assemblyman William Boyland Jr.‘s online habits.

Following revelations about his questionable Facebook habits – first reported in The Capitol – the Daily News says indicted Assemblyman William Boyland Jr. should “drop the charade” and resign:

Assemblyman Boyland’s bad news week continued with him catching heat for what Brooklyn residents say is a flippant attitude displayed toward a little girl mowed down by an out-of-control SUV Sunday.

The Daily News reports that former Senate Democratic Majority Leader Pedro Espada spent more on staff in the final three months of last year than any senator did during those same months and the following three combined, new records show. The federally-indicted Espada, who is no longer a senator, spent $749,803 on staff in October, November and December, according to the latest Senate expenditure report.

The DN’s Bob Kappstatter reported that former State Senator Pedro Espada’s Bronx co-op is up for sale.

The Brooklyn Daily Eagle reports on the three candidates vying to succeed former Assemblyman Darryl Towns in the 54th AD, now the state’s housing department chief.

City Hall News reported that city Comptroller John Liu and Mayor Michael Bloomberg had a showdown at city banking commission, when Liu’s office attempted to force banks with city business to do more for New Yorkers facing foreclosure.

 According to PolitickerNY, State Senator Kevin Parker is quietly laying the groundwork for a run for Brooklyn borough president, according to a source close to the lawmaker.

Staten Island Democrats have chosen an attorney named Maria Guastella as their new Board of Elections commissioner, potentially providing the sixth vote needed to break the long stalemate in appointing a new BOE executive director. Board sources say once Guastella takes her seat on the board, the five Democratic commissioners plus the Bronx Republican commissioner J.C. Polanco will likely vote for an executive director appointed by Bronx Democratic chair Carl Heastie. (No link)

Councilman Erik Martin Dilan gave more than $200,000 in member items this year to the Ridgewood Bushwick Senior Citizens Council, which is expected to help his chief of staff, Rafael Espinal, as he runs in an Assembly special election. But Dilan also doled out $10,000 to Make the Road New York, whose staffers are volunteering in large numbers for the rival campaign of Jesus Gonzalez. Even stranger, Dilan’s father, State Sen. Martin Dilan, apparently once feuded with Make the Road and a then-13-year-old Gonzalez over a vacant lot in Sen. Dilan’s district. “These are not the type of people that I like to work with,” the senior Dilan recalled on the radio program the Perez Notes.

Queens Democrats came away from a meeting with Korean and Chinese livery and taxi drivers last Friday with concerns about how Bloomberg‘s outer-borough taxi plan will affect those drivers. Assemblywoman Grace Meng said she felt drivers of Asian descent were left out of the negotiating process. “It’s important that this group, working all over the city but particularly in Flushing, Chinatown, Midwood and Sunset Park, have a voice in the making of policies that impact their businesses,” Meng said. The bill, which Gov. Andrew Cuomo has not said whether he will sign, would allow outer-borough New Yorkers to hail livery cabs on the street. (Capitol News)

Staying in Queens, the Queens Campaigner reports that City Council Member Julissa Ferreras (D-East Elmhurst) has given Member item cash to groups outside of her council district. The website reports that the recipient of the largest single grant from Councilwoman Ferreras’ discretionary funds is not located in her district. Ferreras says those funds will help those she represents.

Councilmen Larry Seabrook of the Bronx and Charles Barron of Brooklyn have the worst attendance records in the City Council, missing more than a quarter of the sessions required in their $112,500 jobs, the Daily News reports.

State Sen. Ruben Diaz, D-Bronx, attacked US Senator Kirsten Gillibrand for what he says is a “janus-nature” when it comes to taxing the rich. Diaz blasted Gillibrand for failing to speak up earlier on New York’s budget cuts. Gillibrand voted in the Senate against the debt bill because it did not include tax increases. Gillibrand, who is running for re-election in 2012, has emerged as a major advocate of LGBT causes, while Diaz is a staunch opponent of same-sex marriage. (SOP)

The Bronx News Network posted that the three Bronx representatives, all Democrats, in the House — Jose Serrano, Eliot Engel and Joe Crowley (who’s more of a Queens guy than a Bronx guy, but he still counts) — all voted against the deal.

The Hill reported on Friday that House ethics panel found that Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-N.Y.) was not guilty of accepting an improper loan in 2010. But it announced a separate investigation into an allegation that Meeks failed to disclose a payment he had received in 2007.

Sen. Shirley Huntley’s office noted in the wake of Cuomo’s task force announcement yesterday that the Queens Democrat introduced a bill this past session that would direct OPWDD, OMH and OASAS to establish minimum training requirements for all board members and trustees of nonprofits and facilities subject to the jurisdiction of their offices. (SOP)

Liz Benjamin writes that “it’s a bit ironic that Huntley, who is reportedly being investigated by the AG’s office for her ties to non-profits to which she has directed thousands of dollars worth of taxpayer-funded member items, has introduced a bill intended to tighten up practices at non-profits.”

The state is paying $2 million to fix crumbling bricks at the decade-old “Taj McCall,” the state office building constructed at the urging of former comptroller H. Carl McCall. (Times Union)

The largely minority listeners to Mark Riley’s WWRL radio show flooded his phones with rants about Bloomberg’s latest project, surprising the host.

State housing commissioner Darryl Towns is expected to plead guilty later this month to a misdemeanor rap for drunkenly crashing his car over July 4th weekend, sources told the Daily News on Tuesday.

Finally, a Washington Post columnist says although black America is facing its greatest economic challenge since Reconstruction, they still celebrate President Obama.

IN BLACK & WHITE

White firefighter candidates with criminal records got hired at the FDNY when agency brass lobbied on their behalf by calling their crimes “boys being boys,” a former personnel official swore in a deposition obtained by the Daily News.

Compared with census figures from the 1990s, the numbers of Hispanic and Asian New Yorkers grew more slowly; blacks recorded their first population loss since the Civil War; and non-Hispanic whites, who registered their smallest population loss in decades, also logged the biggest gains of any group among young children. (NYT)

Bedford-Stuyvesant is now 60 percent black, down from 75 percent a decade ago, as white residents move into the gentrifying section of Brooklyn, a change the Times calls even more striking than in Harlem.

Meanwhile, the Chinese population in Manhattan’s Chinatown has dropped 17 percent in a decade, making it the city’s third-largest Chinese neighborhood behind Sunset Park in Brooklyn and Flushing in Queens. (DN)

The Bloomberg administration’s plan to give more city contracts to firms owned by women and minorities resulted in just 7 percent of revenue going to black-owned companies, the Wall Street Journal reports, while the bulk went to companies owned by Asian-Americans or white women.

The Daily News uses the case of Faye Dunaway’s $1,048-a-month one-bedroom apartment on the Upper East Side to “highlight the absurdities” of city rent regulations:

MOVERS & SHAKERS

Jesse Mojica, director of education and youth services for Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., will become executive director for family and community engagement at the city Education Department, replacing Ojeda Hall. (C&S)

Paul Thomas, formerly assistant director of intergovernmental and community affairs under Cuomo in the attorney general’s office, is now a vice president with The Parkside Group.

Democratic strategist Kevin Wardally has left his position as vice president for political and government affairs at Bill Lynch Associates. (CHN)

 

About SquarePegDem

A former state legislator turned NY Post editorial board member, thought-leader, public affairs consultant and commentator, columnist and blogger. Michael has appeared on Al Jazeera America Tonight, NY1/Inside City Hall, FoxNews.com LIVE, YNN/Capital Tonight, The Brian Lehrer Show, The Fred Dicker Show, The Capitol Press Room, and The Daily Show. His op-eds have appeared in the NY Post, City and State, The Legislative Gazette, Bronx Times, The Troy Record, Buffalo News, and the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle. To schedule speaking engagements, email MBenjamin9@optimum.net.
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