Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Haggerty Lawyers Accuse Bloomberg of Suppressing Vote

Defense Lawyers for John F. Haggerty, Jr., attack Mayor Michael Bloomberg over Campaign Finance Scandal.

In shocking opening statements by John Haggerty's defense attorney, Raymond R. Castello, it was said that Mayor Michael Bloomberg hired Mr. Hatterty to conduct a voter suppression campaign, in order to ensure that Mayor Bloomberg would win a previously illegal third term in office.

Mr. Haggerty, a GOP operative, is accused of stealing over $1 million of secret campaign-related payments made by Mayor Bloomberg from one of his private banking accounts. By making the campaign-related payments from his private, personal monies, Mayor Bloomberg was able to funnel the payments to Mr. Haggerty via the Independence Party, thereby circumventing and violating the spirit of campaign finance disclosure requirements. For his part, Mr. Haggerty used a majority of the secret campaign-related payments to buy out his brother's interest in a house.

“The story here is not about theft,” Mr. Castello said. “There was none. This case is about winning at all costs. That’s what Michael Bloomberg is all about, and that certainly is what he was all about in 2009.”

Mayor Bloomberg -- this is all according to The New York Times' article about the opening day of Haggerty Trial -- is expected to testify against Mr. Haggerty.

Meanwhile, even though Mayor Bloomberg has accused Mr. Haggerty of saying anything to avoid prison, Mr. Haggerty has nonetheless found prominent political consultancy work after the accusations of the Bloomberg campaign finance scandal, including serving as an advisor to failed 2010 GOP gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino. Stay tuned.

Carl Paladino, John Haggerty. Mr. Haggerty, right, escorts Mr. Paladino during the Columbus Day Parade in New York City on October 11, 2010. Photo by Anonymous.Mr. Haggerty, right, escorts 2010 GOP gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino during the Columbus Day Parade in New York City on October 11, 2010. Photo by Anonymous.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Women Pepper-Sprayed by NYPD

Peaceful Female Protesters Penned on the Sidewalk and Pepper-sprayed by the NYPD in a Show of Excessive Force.

Is Mayor Michael Bloomberg going to denounce the NYPD for their use of excessive force against unarmed women ?

Troy Davis NYPD Excessive Force

Video of the flashmob protest last Thursday night -- one day after the execution of Troy Davis, a man believed to be innocent of the crimes charged against him. Protesters were harassed by NYPD, pushed and shoved, and one protester was peeled away from the crowd, shoved the floor, and arrested.

Is Mayor Michael Bloomberg sanctioning this kind of behaviour by the NYPD ? What is City Council Speaker Christine Quinn's opinion about the NYPD's use of weapons and vehicles against passionate citizen assembly in protest of the death penalty ? Activists worry that Mayor Bloomberg will again resort to mass arrests, the same way he wholesale violated due process and civil liberties during the 2004 Republican National Convention.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Mayor Bloomberg Endorses Quinn ; That's Enough to Vote Quinn Out !

The Day Democracy Died : On Oct. 23, 2008, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn strong-armed an extension of term limits through the City Council in exchange for Mayor Bloomberg's endorsement. Join us for a protest to mark the third anniversary of this egregious act -- help us to register new voters.2011-10-23 Third Anniversary Term Limits Extension Protest - City Hall Park

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Jeffrey Kraut North Shore-LIJ

After William Rudin's giant scheme to take over St. Vincent's Hospital real estate properties has triggered an investigation by prosecutors, the Rudin Family went to great lengths to make sure that its luxury condominium conversion plan would be fast-tracked, pulling out all the stops.

But new information came to light this week : one top official of the North Shore-LIJ hospital system, Jeffrey Kraut, is chair of the committee, which will recommend or deny North Shore-LIJ's application for a Department of Health license to operate a controversial stand-alone Emergency Department.

The so-called ''Emergency Department'' is a consolation prize to the community of the Lower West Side of Manhattan after the loss of a full-service hospital and Level 1 trauma center when St. Vincent's Hospital closed on April 30, 2010. Thus far, Mr. Kraut's actions has not been referred to the Attorney General's office, which oversees the ethics of the State's executive agencies, such as the Department of Health.

Mr. Kraut's conflict of interest in having influence over his own company's financial contracts and government licenses provide fresh evidence about the lack of integrity in the Rudin condo version plan.

In order to build its luxury condos, the Rudin Family encouraged North Shore-LIJ's application for the stand-alone Emergency Department. Because the Rudin condo conversion plan depends on the approval of North Shore-LIJ's application before the Department of Health, community members question Mr. Kraut's influence on other members of the Committee on Establishment and Project Review Meeting and Public Hearing, which will determine the outcome of North Shore-LIJ's permit application.

The information about Mr. Kraut's conflict of interest is another negative blight on the Rudin Family, who have also tried astroturfing, lobbying, and distribution of propaganda by mail. The Rudin Family has also been criticised for opposing freedom of information requests that might be useful in investigations.

Separately, the Department of Health has been criticised for its inaction in saving other hospitals from closure, and for the absence of any investigation or prosecution of individuals, who were involved in the hospital closure crisis. In the time that Christine Quinn has been Speaker of the New York City Council, at least eight city hospitals have closed. In 2010, North General Hospital in Harlem declared bankruptcy and St. Vincent's Hospital in the West Village shut down after shady backroom meetings. In 2009, two hospitals in Queens – St. John's Queens Hospital in Elmhurst and Mary Immaculate Hospital in Jamaica – went bankrupt. In 2008, Cabrini Medical Center in Manhattan, Parkway Hospital in Queens, and Victory Memorial Hospital in Bay Ridge closed. And in 2007, St. Vincent's Midtown in Manhattan was closed. Separately, one other hospital in Brooklyn, Long Island College Hospital, was recently saved : it had been on the brink of closing, and the only way the hospital was saved was by merging it with SUNY Downstate. (And all this is not counting the bankruptcy filing made by Peninsula Hospital Center of Queens.)

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Campaign Slush Fund Scandal

The New York Times Editorial to Christine Quinn : Shut Down Your Slush Fund !

Last week, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg was hand-picking Christine Quinn to be his heir to the mayoralty of New York City, because Quinn's use of a taxpayer slush fund for political corruption reminded him so much of Bloomberg's three-tiered campaign finance scheme.

Quinn, who is the Speaker of the City Council, is the openly-lesbian politician, around whom many LGBT New Yorkers are rallying around, even though Quinn has had one of her friends diagnose LGBT civil rights activists with ''confusion,'' and this on top of the fact that Quinn has done nothing to investigate the illegal NYPD raid on the Eagle Bar, just some of the many examples of how Quinn has thrown valid LGBT issues under the bus.

Is Christine Quinn going to hold the NYPD accountable for raiding the Eagle on the very night when marriage equality became law ? What kind of an LGBT leader is she, if she does not fight for our LGBT civil rights ? Join our Facebook page : Gays Against Christine Quinn.