The New York State Attorney General has sued the Trump Foundation accusing the Trump family of essentially using the non-profit as their personal piggy bank. The New York State attorney general’s office filed a scathingly worded lawsuit on Thursday taking aim at the Donald J. Trump Foundation, accusing the charity and the Trump family of …
Tag: New York State
Aug 17 2016
One of the many problems faced by the federal and state prison system is a fast growing elderly population that is ill requiring special medical attention and facilities. Some of these people, men and women, are serving sentences for violent crimes, others for low level drug possessions and have been sentenced due to mandatory minimums, …
Aug 26 2014
New York State’s Primary is September 9. New York registered Democratic voter’s will have an option for governor and lieutenant governor, despite incumbent Governor Andrew Cuomo’s best efforts to keep his challenger, Fordham University law professor Zephyr Teachout, off the ballot. Prof. Teachout and her running mate , Columbia Law professor, Tim Wu are gaining name recognition are gaining recognition and important endorsements from labor unions, environmental groups to the National Organization for Women (NOW). The campaign’s platform is clear in it’s support of a Democratic liberal agenda that opposes corruption and fracking; calling for support and funding of free public education; increase of the minimum wage; fair taxation; rebuilding infrastructure and real campaign finance reform.
The campaign has focused attention on Gov. Cuom’s failures to live up to his 2010 campaign promises and has criticized his selection of conservative Democrat, Kathy Hochul, the former Democratic representative to the federal House, as a running mate.
Teachout and her running mate Tim Wu unveiled the first installment of what they called the “Hochul Dossier” detailing the Erie County Democrat’s conservative leanings. The first segment dealt with Hochul’s stint in Congress and several votes she took siding with House GOP leaders against the Obama administration. [..]
Teachout said Cuomo’s choice of Hochul is part of a pattern of behavior that shows the governor is at odds with Democratic primary voters. She also noted his failure to support more ardent redistricting reforms and his lack of support for a Democratic takeover of the state Senate. [..]
Democrat Zephyr Teachout says Gov. Cuomo’s choice for lieutenant governor is too conservative Christie M Farriella/for New York Daily News Democrat Zephyr Teachout says Gov. Cuomo’s choice for lieutenant governor is too conservative
With barely two weeks to go until the Democratic primary, gubernatorial hopeful Zephyr Teachout’s campaign launched a new broadside against Gov. Cuomo’s pick for lieutenant governor, Kathy Hochul.
Teachout and her running mate Tim Wu unveiled the first installment of what they called the “Hochul Dossier” detailing the Erie County Democrat’s conservative leanings. The first segment dealt with Hochul’s stint in Congress and several votes she took siding with House GOP leaders against the Obama administration.
“Kathy Hochul is a choice that Andrew Cuomo made that reflects his own Republican values as opposed to Democratic values,” Teachout said on a conference call with reporters to announce the dossier. The campaign plans to release three other segments of the dossier over the next 10 days.
Teachout said Cuomo’s choice of Hochul is part of a pattern of behavior that shows the governor is at odds with Democratic primary voters. She also noted his failure to support more ardent redistricting reforms and his lack of support for a Democratic takeover of the state Senate.[..]
Among the votes cited by Teachout and Wu were instances where Hochul supported GOP-led efforts to strip away portions of Obamacare, block funding for groups affiliated with the scandal-plagued community group ACORN and hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress for failing to produce documents related to the “Fast and Furious investigation.”
The campaign also released this video of Ms. Hochul’s conservative leanings.
Professors Teachout and Wu may be underdogs but they are giving disgruntled Democrats in New York a clear choice on the issues and the kind of government most New Yorkers really want. The choice on Speedometer 9th is a choice between real Democrats or Republicans cloaked in a Democratic facade.
Jul 27 2014
Last year, after the New York State legislature failed to pass campaign finance and a year riddled with corruption scandals, New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo empaneled an “independent” commission to pursue misconduct among public officials and make recommendations to changes to the state’s election and campaign fund-raising laws. The 25 member Moreland Commission was created last July to restore public trust in government. But nine months later, Gov. Cuomo shut it down. The governor claimed that with “the passage of new tougher laws on bribery and corruption, and improved enforcement of election law”, the commission was no longer needed.
That didn’t satisfy government watch dogs or some lawmakers. Nor did it satisfy Preet Bharara, US Attorney for the Southern District of New York, whose investigations had led to the commissions formation. According to the New York Times, Mr. Bharara contacted two of the commission’s three chairs, William J. Fitzpatrick and Milton L. Williams Jr. His suspicion was that Gov. Cuomo had shut down the commission for political expediency and because the commission’s investigation was getting to close to his office. It now appears that Mr. Bharara has really good instincts.
This week the New York Times broke with this extensive report:
With Albany rocked by a seemingly endless barrage of scandals and arrests, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo set up a high-powered commission last summer to root out corruption in state politics. It was barely two months old when its investigators, hunting for violations of campaign-finance laws, issued a subpoena to a media-buying firm that had placed millions of dollars’ worth of advertisements for the New York State Democratic Party.
The investigators did not realize that the firm, Buying Time, also counted Mr. Cuomo among its clients, having bought the airtime for his campaign when he ran for governor in 2010.
Word that the subpoena had been served quickly reached Mr. Cuomo’s most senior aide, Lawrence S. Schwartz. He called one of the commission’s three co-chairs, William J. Fitzpatrick, the district attorney in Syracuse.
“This is wrong,” Mr. Schwartz said, according to Mr. Fitzpatrick, whose account was corroborated by three other people told about the call at the time. He said the firm worked for the governor, and issued a simple directive:
“Pull it back.”
The subpoena was swiftly withdrawn. The panel’s chief investigator explained why in an email to the two other co-chairs later that afternoon.
“They apparently produced ads for the governor,” she wrote.
The pulled-back subpoena was the most flagrant example of how the commission, established with great ceremony by Mr. Cuomo in July 2013, was hobbled almost from the outset by demands from the governor’s office.
Despite Gov, Cuomo’s denial and protestations that it was his commission to dismiss, Mr Bharara is taking over where the commission’s investigations. The lengthy article is a must read.
MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow roasted Gov. Cuomo in an extended segment that included an interview with Thomas Kaplan one of the three authors who wrote the NYT’s article.
The governor’s travails also caught the attention of The Daily Show‘s Jon Stewart
Gov. Cuomo’s Democratic Primary opponent Fordham University law professor Zephyr Teachout has called for the governor to resign should these allegations prove true.
Also complicating his headaches, Gov. Cuomo had some of the commission members sworn in as deputy state attorneys general by State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman that calls into question his assertions that he had a right to interfere with the commission. Quite similar to late President Richard M. Nixon’s Saturday Night Massacre when he ordered the independent special prosecutor Archibald Cox fired after Mr. Cox issued subpoenas asking for copies of taped conversations recorded in the Oval Office and authorized by Nixon as evidence.
Gov. Cuomo does have a lot of questions to answer and so far his answers have fallen very short.
Feb 25 2012
In October of 2010, New York State’s Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman became deeply concerned about the big banks lax handling of mortgage documents and several lenders and servicers who had hired staff who did not properly review files or submitted false statements to evict delinquent borrowers. Consequently to curb the illegal practice and preserve the integrity of the court foreclosure laws, Judge Lippman ordered that lawyers handling the foreclosures be held accountable for the paperwork:
Chief Judge Lippman said, “We cannot allow the courts in New York State to stand by idly and be party to what we now know is a deeply flawed process, especially when that process involves basic human needs – such as a family home – during this period of economic crisis. This new filing requirement will play a vital role in ensuring that the documents judges rely on will be thoroughly examined, accurate, and error-free before any judge is asked to take the drastic step of foreclosure.”
Under the new requirement, plaintiff’s counsel in foreclosure matters must submit the affirmation at one of several stages. In new cases, the affirmation must accompany the Request for Judicial Intervention. In pending cases, the affirmation must be submitted with either the proposed order of reference or the proposed judgment of foreclosure. In cases where a foreclosure judgment has been entered but the property has not yet been sold at auction, the affirmation must be submitted to the court referee, and a copy filed with the court, five business days before the scheduled auction. Counsel is also obligated to file an amended version of the affidavit if new facts emerge after the initial filing.
Since the announcement of the Foreclosure Fraud “Settlement”, Judge Lippman has once again ordered a solution that may well reduce the number of fraudulent foreclosures, at least in New York State, by setting up a series special courts to handle the cases:
The new program is to start in Queens this spring and then expand around the city and to nearby suburbs, court officials said. The officials said that under the program, judges would take over the running of some settlement conferences from court attorneys, who lack the power to impose punishments. State law requires that bank representatives “be fully authorized to dispose of the case,” but enforcement of that requirement has been sporadic.
The officials said the plan would include court supervision of the collection of required documents to try to avoid delays and would seek to shorten the time some foreclosure cases linger in the courts to several months from up to two years.
Courts would also work to assure that homeowners who cannot afford lawyers are represented, though some lawyers who handle such cases questioned whether that goal was realistic.
There are still some hurdles, such as immediate funding for lawyers to represent homeowners until the funds from the settlement are release. A spokesperson for Gov. Andrew Cuomo said “negotiations with the Legislature were likely to find money for the legal agencies in the meantime.”
It good to see that judiciary is stepping in when prosecutors drop the ball, thanks to commonsense jurist like Jonathan Lippman.