Streams

 

 

Michael Bloomberg

The Empire

Destroying the Electoral College System

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Tom Golisano aims at the electoral college, something people like Hillary Clinton once embraced.

The electoral college system came under fire after the 2000 presidential vote - Gore won the popular vote; Bush won the electoral college, and thus, the presidency.

"We are already at 25% at the votes we need to aprove this bill," Golisano says. "If a majority of states adopt this policy, the candidate with the most votes will always win."

In 2008, the electoral college system was also one of the major hurdles facing Michael Bloomberg's almost-official third party run for the White House.

[h/t Celeste]

Read More

Comments [9]

WNYC News

Combined Impacts: Potential Federal, State and City Cuts to Anti-Poverty Programs

Friday, February 18, 2011

It was a tough week for folks at the Community Service Society of New York, which has been serving New York City's poor since 1848. President Obama rolled out his budget proposal, which included significant cuts to Community Block grants and other poverty fighting programs. That was on top of bleak news from Albany. Then, Mayor Bloomberg released his budget. It included the elimination of 17,000 child care slots that the working poor and near poor rely on and cut a voucher program that helps the homeless get into housing.  

David Jones is the CEO of the Community Service Society of New York that has been serving the city for 160 years. He worries that President Obama's budget is the best it might get this year, since Republicans control the House of Representatives in Washington.

Comment

WNYC News

Immigration Rules Keep Models Out of New York, Says Bloomberg

Friday, February 18, 2011

Mayor Michael Bloomberg has joined with leaders of the fashion industry to push for immigration reform, saying rules in place now are preventing many fashion models from strutting down runways in the U.S.

Comments [4]

The Empire

Bloomberg, money and teacher layoffs

Friday, February 18, 2011

Michael Bloomberg is asking Albany for $600 million in support, saying if the city doesn't get it, he'd be forced to do more than shrink the teacher workforce by 6,000.

But during his radio show this morning, Bloomberg said getting that $600 million from Albany won't necessarily save those teacher jobs.

The $600 million from Albany "has nothing to do with the 6,000" teacher jobs, Bloomberg said. He went to say, "if we get more money, we have to step back [and ask] do you want more cops or more teachers?"

Read More

Comment

WNYC News

Budget Cuts to Child Care Biggest in Decades, Advocates Say

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Mayor Michael Bloomberg's budget proposal includes cutting close to 17,000 child care subsidies for kids in low-income families in what child advocates call the single biggest cut to child care since the 1970s. 

Comments [3]

WNYC News

In Budget Address, Bloomberg Says Cuts Loom for Teachers, Services

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Mayor Michael Bloomberg, outlining his budget plan, said on Thursday that the city will eliminate more than 6,100 teaching positions.

Comments [6]

The Empire

If principals have a surplus, Bloomberg wants half

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Beth Fertig spots Bloomberg's hand reaching into classrooms:

[T]he city sent a memo to principals on Wednesday telling them they’d have to give back half of whatever extra money they were planning to roll over into the next school year. Principals often stockpile unused funds to cushion against budget cuts in the year ahead. A spokeswoman for the Department of Education, Barbara Morgan, said allowing principals to rollover all of their funds for the year ahead is no longer “a prudent option” because of the current budget climate.

Randi Herman, first vice president of the Council of School Supervisors and Administrators, which represents city principals, the city has never before asked them to give back half of their rollover funds.

“Membership is already expressing outrage at what we're calling a budgetary manipulation because it's in direct conflict with what [the Department of Education] expressed, which is to keep the budget cuts from the children in the classrooms,” she said.

Herman says principals will probably buy as many supplies as possible now so they don't have to give back half of their extra funds later.

Read More

Comment

WNYC News

Bloomberg Budget Proposes Teacher Layoffs

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

WNYC

Although $2 billion more than expected was collected in taxes, Bloomberg administration officials said the mayor will propose shrinking the size of the teacher workforce by more then 6,000 in his budget released Thursday, cuts due largely to slashes in state education funding.

LISTEN LIVE: Bloomberg reveals budget plan

Comments [3]

Features

Bloomberg Philanthropies Offers Funding to NYC Cultural Groups

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

On Tuesday, the Mayor's charitable organization, Bloomberg Philanthropies, announced that it will invite 250 arts organizations to apply for $32 million in funding as part of an "Arts Advancement Initiative."

Comments [3]

WNYC News

Speaker Quinn's New York City: More Communication, Less Red Tape

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Contradictory regulations, Kafka-esque bureaucratic mazes, and a financial cliff crumbling the foundation of where we stand. 

The New York City as described in City Council Speaker Christine Quinn's State of the City Speech is one in need of changes — big, small, and at times, absurdly obvious.

Comments [1]

The Empire

Aide throws cold water on Bloomberg message

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Crain's notes a Deputy Mayor goes off message:

Mayor Mike Bloomberg touted New York's job growth as a model for the nation in a December speech. But Deputy Mayor for Economic Development Bob Steel painted a bleaker picture at Columbia University last week. “Unemployment is worse than [the official rate of] 9%,” he told students, because many people have been out of a job so long that they have stopped looking for work—which brings the unemployment rate down. But they are nonetheless unable to pay their bills. “This is not a situation that is getting better quickly,” Steel said. He pledged to make job creation his top priority.

Read More

Comment

The Empire

When a mayor leaves town

Monday, February 14, 2011

Who's in charge?

Bloomberg says no matter which deputy mayor he delegates authority to, "the public expects the mayor to be the mayor."

City Councilman Peter Vallone Jr. says clarifying the chain of command is only part of what he wants to accomplish with his new legislation.

The other part is telling people who's in charge when the mayor is out of town, which is something Bloomberg and his aides have resisted. But Vallone says the notification is key.

"If there is a way that they can clearly delineate who is in charge for all without some sort of notification," Vallone said in an interview "that may be acceptable. I'm not exactly sure how because a component of this is whether or not the people who make up the city know who's in charge also and know who they have to obey orders from."

Read More

Comments [1]

The Empire

Bloomberg LP floods the zone for Bloomberg LP ?

Friday, February 11, 2011

Aram Roston tries connecting the dots between Bloomberg LP's legislative agenda in Washington, Michael Bloomberg's political operatives and a Bloomberg BusinessWeek story. Howard Wolfson figures prominently:

Roston:

Bloomberg’s lobbyists quickly told the coalition members that it intended “to capitalize on the great Business Week/Bloomberg story this morning,” according to an e-mail obtained by The Nation from a member of the coalition. The lobbyists wrote, “We’d like to flag it for reporters with a quick quote and topper.” The coalition’s press statement said of the article, “These donations…are part of a calculated attempt to buy approval for a merger that offers too many dangers for consumers and media organizations.”

There is no evidence that the Bloomberg reporters wrote the story as part of a companywide strategy or were assigned the story because of corporate influence. A Bloomberg spokeswoman says there is an “impenetrable firewall” between editorial decisions and the other parts of the company. Still, it was a captivating confluence of forces: Glover Park Group, paid by Bloomberg LP, and acting with the coalition it had created on Bloomberg’s behalf, was on the warpath to distribute a news story Bloomberg Businessweek had written about the issue that was the most important pending matter in Washington for the Bloomberg brand.

Glover Park Group, for its part, readily concedes that it organized the coalition and that Bloomberg was its paying client but insists that the coalition was not technically a lobbying operation. “Any lobbying work that’s done is registered and fully disclosed,” a spokesman wrote in an e-mail to The Nation. “The Coalition never did any lobbying.” Here is the way to parse that: Senate lobbying definitions make it clear that lobbying includes “any oral or written communication” with White House or Congressional officials. But material “that is distributed and made available to the public” gets an exemption.

In a subsequent statement to The Nation after a request for clarification, a Glover Park spokesman said the coalition letters and other releases “are simply public communications.”

Another highlight from the story: "One oddity of the Bloomberg news empire is that without exception, all of its journalistic operations lose money, and they always have, according to sources with knowledge of the company."

Read More

Comment

It's A Free Blog

New York City's Wishful Declaration of Independence

Friday, February 11, 2011

If Michael Bloomberg wasn’t such a practical man, he could be forgiven for preaching secession by now. Yes, independence for New York City — the centerpiece of Norman Mailer’s quirky platform in 1969 when, with Jimmy Breslin as his running mate, he campaigned for mayor. They did not, you may recall, win.

Read More

Comment

The Empire

Stringer calls Bloomberg's comments 'outrageous'

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Scott Stringer - the Manhattan borough president and prospective 2013 mayoral candidate - is out with a statement slamming Bloomberg for "outrageous" comments about pension payments he'd like the city to stop paying.

It's a milder criticism than Bloomberg got from police and fire union leaders yesterday, who called him a "liar" and other unflattering things.

At issue are $12,000 annual payments the city makes to uniformed retirees from what's known as the Variable Supplement Fund. Officers with more than 20 years on the force receive them. Bloomberg has called the payments a "Christmas bonus," and therefore, a perk that can be taken away in a budget crunch. Union members say it's part of their pension, and therefore, can't.

Having to takes sides on the issue is problematic for most officials, particularly those expected to run for mayor: angry unions on one side, angry taxpayers on the other.

City Council Speaker Christine Quinn - who has strong ties to unions and the mayor - hasn't publicly stated her position, saying she needs to speak with her colleagues on the Council. A spokesman for City Comptroller John Liu - whose work looking over the city's finances will play a large role in any future campaign - said he's "extremely concerned with any proposal that breaks a promise" made to these retirees.

In a statement, sent to me by a spokeswoman, Stringer takes a shot at Bloomberg, but doesn't come out definitely on whether the city should keep the payment plan in place, which city officials say cost NYC about $1 billion a year. (Unions say the city got cash and concessions decades ago that more than make up for it.)

Here's Stringer:

“I am becoming increasingly concerned about the tone and direction the Mayor is taking as it relates to union negotiations and a discussion around pensions. To characterize the Variable Supplement Fund benefit as it relates to the men and women of our police and fire departments as a “Christmas bonus” is simply outrageous. When you throw mud, it splatters. We need a serious conversation between City Hall, our labor leaders and Albany about pension reform. In a time of serious fiscal crisis, we’re going to need collective sacrifice. Grandstanding, bomb throwing and divisive accusations by City Hall will undermine the fiscal soundness of this city.”

Read More

Comments [2]

WNYC News

Major Affordable Housing Project Planned for Queens Waterfront

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

WNYC

New York City has chosen a team of real estate developers to bring a 5,000-unit housing complex to Hunters Point South along the Queens waterfront — a project that officials said will be the largest affordable housing development since the 1970s when Co-op City in the Bronx and Starrett City in Brooklyn were completed.

Comments [36]

WNYC News

Union Leaders say Bloomberg 'Lying' about Pensions

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

WNYC

Mayor Michael Bloomerg is being called a "liar" who is trying "steal" pension benefits by the leaders of the police and firemen's union, who rallied on the steps of City Hall Wednesday morning.

"He's unhappy with the deal that was struck 23 years ago. Too bad. That was the deal," said Steve Cassidy, president of the Uniformed Firefighter's Association. "A deal was struck. It's a defined benefit. It goes on forever…if he doesn't like it, too bad. He cannot lie about it and pretend it's not a deal."

Bloomberg, for his part, told reporters earlier in the day "We certainly didn’t put out anything that is to the best of my knowledge not accurate and true." He added, "Nobody wants to get cut back, I understand that, we have to make a decision. Do we want to send out Christmas bonuses or have more teachers?"

Comments [8]

It's A Free Blog

Scott Stringer's People-Centered Politics

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

The crowd for Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer’s State of the Borough Address Tuesday night was so large that it filled the auditorium at the CUNY Graduate Center in Midtown and three overflow rooms across the hall. It’s not common to command such a turnout when you hold an office most New Yorkers don’t know much about. But this audience didn’t just come to hear about Manhattan; attendees were looking forward to hearing Stringer’s vision for the city in what many assumed would resemble an opening pitch for the 2013 mayor’s race.

Read More

Comments [2]

The Empire

Bloomberg testifies about stolen campaign money

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Mayor Bloomberg delivers testimony before the Joint Session of the Assembly Ways and Means and the Senate Finance Committees about impact of proposed state budget on New York City. February 07, 2011 (edward reed / nyc.gov)

Senior Advisor Howard Wolfson offers this comment when asked about Mayor Bloomberg testifying before a grand jury about campaign operative John Haggerty illegally obtaining nearly $1 million of the mayor's money during the 2009 campaign.

"The Mayor was asked to testify regarding the DA’s allegations that money was stolen from him and he did."

More on that from Liz Benjamin and Grace Rauh.

Read More

Comments [1]

The Empire

NYC Comptroller says NYC missed $3.3 in taxes

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

As NYC is seeking many millions from Albany, it's ignoring some millions from its tax base.

City Comptroller John Liu said $2,569,740 in uncollected taxes were missed by the city's Department of Finance, due to "flaws in recording payments."

The money is "sorely needed in the fact of looming budget cuts," says Liu. He also noted the Department of Finance wasn't entirely helpful during this audit.They "handed over limited information" and spent $575,000 "to hire an outside consultant" to do a "similar" review as Liu was conducted of the agency.

An additional $785,730 went uncollected because the city did not return to the tax rolls 19 businesses that participated in the Payment in Lieu of Taxes program.

While it's true the city is looking in every corner for money - the $3.3 million Liu found palls in comparison to the more than $2 billion Mayor Bloomberg says the city needs to make up for cuts heading their way from Albany.

Read More

Comments [2]