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The Bobster
10-30-2015, 09:48 AM

So now de Blasio endorses Hillary
By Geoff Earle
October 30, 2015 | 10:15am

A newly sworn in New York City Mayor de Blasio hugs Hillary Clinton on the steps of City Hall Jan. 1, 2014. Photo: Getty Images

WASHINGTON – Having overestimated his influence as a would-be kingmaker, Mayor de Blasio did what he was always going to do and endorsed Hillary Clinton Friday.

The former Clinton aide who sees himself as a leader of the national progressive movement announced his decision on MSNBC at 7:20 a.m.

Clinton showed how much she appreciated the endorsement by releasing a long list of mayors backing her.

De Blasio was quoted fourth on an official campaign release — after the mayors of Chicago, Philadelphia, and Houston.

“I’m honored to receive the support of more than 85 mayors across the country today—because mayors know how to get things done,” Clinton said in a statement that gave no special acknowledgment to DeBlasio.

DeBlasio said Clinton would be the most progressive nominee in “my adult life.” :rolleyes:

“The candidate who I believe can fundamentally address income inequality effectively :mad:, the candidate who has the right vision and the right experience to get the job done is Hillary Clinton,” DeBlasio said.

He didn’t explain why Clinton was more progressive than socialist Bernie Sanders, her chief rival.

DeBlasio’s long-delayed endorsement was unexpected, given his longstanding ties to the Clintons.

He worked in Bill Clinton’s Department of Housing and Urban Development and ran Clinton’s 2000 New York Senate campaign. Both Clintons appeared at his inauguration in January 2014.

But de Blasio took his time in his his endorsement, declaring the day of her announcement in April on NBC, “I think she’s one of the most qualified people to ever run for this office and, by the way, thoroughly vetted. But we need to see the substance.”

The mayor made his announcement after Clinton had one of the strongest months of the campaign, at a time when many analysts have concluded that things are breaking her way.

In December, DeBlasio is supposed to host a forum for presidential candidates in Iowa.

Clinton never committed to attending and it’s not clear if the forum will be held.

The Bobster
10-30-2015, 03:57 PM

Voters disapprove of de Blasio’s handling of just about everything
By Carl Campanile
October 30, 2015 | 4:05pm

A blistering poll released Friday found voters disapprove of just about everything Mayor de Blasio is doing to improve the quality of life in New York City.

In question after question on the Quinnipiac University survey, the mayor’s constituents said he isn’t getting the job done on reducing homelessness, tackling poverty and overseeing the NYPD.

To underscore their dissatisfaction with his administration, voters also said they also disagreed with how the mayor has handled charter schools and carriage horses.

A majority — 53 percent — said the quality of life here is getting worse. Only 14 percent said it’s getting better.

Sixty-one percent of voters gave Hizzoner a thumbs down on his handling of poverty and homelessness, while 28 percent approved.

By a 59-to-32 percent margin, they objected to how he’s battling crime.

Voters made it clear it was the mayor who was the target of their ire, not the cops or the man who leads them.

In contrast to de Blasio, Police Commissioner Bratton received a positive grade. Fifty-seven percent of voters said they approved of his job performance and only 35 percent disapproved.

On some issues, even black voters who form the mayor’s political base said things are getting worse.

Sixty percent of New Yorkers overall said they’re seeing more homeless people on the streets, in the parks and in the subways. A majority of black voters were in that group.

Sixty-one percent of all voters supported the NYPD’s “broken windows” policy of giving summonses for low-level crimes such as drinking in public. So did 49 percent of blacks voters and 58 percent of Hispanic voters.

“From the beginning, Mayor Bill de Blasio has promised to reduce homelessness. His comments about income inequality have been eloquent,” said pollster Maurice Carroll. “But on deeds — not words — New Yorkers give him negative marks.”

Voters of every racial and ethnic group by a better than 2-to-1 margin called on the mayor to lay off Central Park’s carriage horses.

And 43 percent said the number of charter schools — which have had to fight de Blasio for space — should be increased, while 30% suggested keeping the number flat and 19 percent urged a fewer number.

The sobering figures were released a day after de Blasio kicked off his 2017 re-election campaign with a fund-raiser at the Sheraton Times Square that aides said pulled in $1 million.

The Bobster
10-30-2015, 03:59 PM

Bratton hails diversity of newly promoted NYPD captains
By Aaron Feis
October 30, 2015 | 3:29pm

Police Commissioner Bill Bratton
Photo: David McGlynn

Commissioner Bratton hailed a batch of newly promoted NYPD captains on Friday as chosen “from the most diverse group probably in the modern history of the department,” part of an ongoing effort to increase racial and gender representation in the upper ranks of the department. :mad:

“The importance of the captains promotions, and captains being a diverse group, is leadership :rolleyes:,” Bratton said. “Deputy inspectors, inspectors, [and] chiefs all come from that rank.”

The class of 17 newly minted captains featured particularly high numbers of women and African-Americans, Bratton said.

Officials couldn’t immediately provide an exact statistical breakdown of the group.

The class is a response to continuing calls by officers’ organizations and politicians to diversify the department, Bratton said.

“We have been advocating with our fraternal groups, all those calling for more representation in the leadership of the department: you have to work with us, you have to take those [promotion] exams, you have to study,” Bratton said. “So I think what you’re seeing today is reflective of that push to get more people into a promotion track.”

The increased focus on minority leadership comes amid the NYPD’s ongoing struggle to boost racial representation among its incoming academy classes.

Of a class of 678 new recruits sworn in earlier this month, just 12.5 percent were African-American — far short of the 23 percent Mayor de Blasio demanded earlier this year to match the city’s demographics.

De Blasio did note, however, that a department record 32 percent of the class is Hispanic. :mad:

The Bobster
10-31-2015, 07:44 AM

Politicians stay away from de Blasio’s re-election fund-raiser
By Carl Campanile
October 30, 2015 | 11:18pm

Mayor de Blasio’s first re-election fund-raiser was said to have hauled in $1 million, but many contributors were no-shows and elected officials were scarce, people at the event said.

Among those notably absent at the Sheraton Times Square Thursday night were city Comptroller Scott Stringer and Public Advocate Letitia James, potential de Blasio rivals in 2017.

Both instead attended the Queens Democratic Party’s annual dinner at Antun’s banquet hall in Queens Village.

Sources at de Blasio’s fund-raiser said it was attended by no more than 150 people — most of them lobbyists. The de Blasio campaign put the count at 300 and said it raised $1 million.

“There were a lot of lobbyists,” said one person who was there. “I didn’t see one elected official.”

The Bobster
11-01-2015, 06:07 AM

Fed-up deputy mayor quits after being ‘ignored’ by de Blasio
By Aaron Short
November 1, 2015 | 6:01am

Deputy Mayor Lilliam Barrios-Paoli (right) resigned after being unable to get meetings with Mayor Bill de Blasio (left). Photo: Paul Martinka (2)

The city’s top official on health and homelessness quit because she was tired of being ignored by a mayor more interested in boosting his national profile than attending to the city’s day-to-day concerns, sources said.

Deputy Mayor Lilliam Barrios-Paoli worked for five mayors and oversaw seven city agencies under Mayor de Blasio — but she couldn’t get meetings with him, sources said.

Frustrated by her declining *access and inability to get initiatives green-lighted, the 70-year-old former nun announced her resignation on Aug. 31, shocking the advocacy community.

“She was fed up,” a City Hall source said. “She wasn’t able to do her job.”

As the exploding homeless problem began capturing headlines over the summer, Barrios-Paoli said, “I told you so. If you’re not going to listen to anything I say, I’m out,” according to the source.

The source added, “The mayor is so focused on national issues, he has not taken time to focus on *local issues.”

It’s a complaint that is growing louder, even among de Blasio’s fellow Democrats, who uncharacteristically and publicly ripped the administration recently for its *absentee governing.

Bronx Assemblywoman Carmen Arroyo lambasted Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña for being disrespectful and unresponsive.

“I cannot work with you,” the lawmaker fumed during an Albany hearing on Oct. 14. “I make a call to your office and nobody answers me.”

Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams slammed Hizzoner the next day for failing to send reps to the BP’s charter-mandated meetings.

“I will be calling the mayor. I will be speaking to City Hall about those people who are not here,” Adams said. “Reps should be here . . . to report on what their agency is doing in the borough of Brooklyn.”

Barrios-Paoli oversaw the departments of Health and Homeless Services but had far fewer meetings with the mayor than other top officials, according to 17 months of private mayoral schedules examined by The Post.

She sat in on meetings with the mayor and senior staff 23 times in the first five months of 2015. By comparison, Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen, in charge of housing and economic development, convened with de Blasio 98 times, and Budget Director Dean Fuleihan met with Hizzoner 109 times.

The schedules also show that Barrios-Paoli’s face time with de Blasio sharply declined over time. In the first five months of 2014, she attended 76 group meetings with the mayor — 70 percent more than in the same period this year.

And Barrios-Paoli had only two one-on-one meetings with de Blasio between January and May 2015 — lasting a total of 55 minutes.

First Deputy Mayor Anthony Shorris was “calling more of those shots than Barrios on health and social services,” a political source said. “It’s very insular. They only let so many people be involved in planning and decision making.”

Barrios-Paoli and Glen clashed over how to curb homelessness as the population surged 10 percent during the mayor’s first year in *office. Barrios-Paoli wanted more space in public housing reserved for homeless people; Glen didn’t.

“She didn’t have face time with the mayor because homelessness wasn’t a priority for him even though it has become more and more important to the city,” said the City Hall source. “It’s bizarre.”

Barrios-Paoli is now serving as the Health and Hospitals Corp. board chairwoman, an unpaid, part-time position.

She told The Post she left City Hall to “pursue other interests.”

“Any other theories are only speculation,” she added.

City Hall has not filled Barrios-Paoli’s position.

“Shorris is pissed,” one political source said. “He’s getting all the health work she had. He’s annoyed she left, and he’s drowning in it.”

“Mayor de Blasio is extremely grateful to Deputy Mayor Barrios-Paoli for her service,” said mayoral spokeswoman Karen Hinton.

“When she decided to resign, the Mayor described her as an extraordinary public servant who will be sorely missed. Her work improved the lives of thousands of New Yorkers, and the Mayor looks forward to a continued collaboration with her at HHC.”

The Bobster
11-02-2015, 08:27 AM

MIA Mayor de Blasio has blown 33 weekdays on personal travel
By Rich Calder
November 2, 2015 | 1:33am

Mayor Bill de Blasio has criss-crossed the globe since taking office last year. Here, de Blasio tours Puerto Rico (top left), Israel (top right), Italy (bottom left) and France (bottom right). Photo: William Farrington (top left); Reuters (top right); EPA (bottom left)

Bill de Blasio isn’t just mayor of New York, he’s also King of the Road — spending nearly twice as much time as his predecessor on personal weekday travels outside the city, The Post has learned.

During his 22 months in office, de Blasio has spent 33 weekdays taking nonofficial trips as far away as Italy and California, according to a Post analysis of his mayoral schedules and other records.

By contrast, Mayor Mike Bloomberg spent just 19 weekdays on the road for anything other than official city business during a comparable time in office, from January 2002 through October 2003.

De Blasio’s travels — many paid for with tax dollars — have taken him to Europe four times and to Puerto Rico twice. He has also made multiple treks to both Boston and Chicago.

One getaway last year saw Hizzoner tour Italy with his family for nine days — five of them weekdays — marking the first time in more than two decades that a New York City mayor skipped work for longer than a week straight.

De Blasio’s six-plus workweeks’ worth of travel don’t even include jaunts to Albany or Washington, DC, where he was presumably conducting city business, The Post’s analysis found.

“Instead of going globe-trotting, Mayor de Blasio should be concentrating on the people who actually elected him,” said Joseph Puleo, president of Local 983 of District Council 37, the city’s largest blue-collar municipal workers union.

“When you also count that he’s regularly late to events, it would be inconceivable for any other city employee to have this many leave issues and still be able to retain his job.”

Bill de Blasio with his mongrel children, Dante and Chiara, and wife, Chirlane McCray, in Naples, Italy.
Photo: EPA

De Blasio’s trips were often for his pet left-wing causes, such as a September 2014 trip to Manchester, England, during which he told members of the British Labor Party that their country was ready for “bold, progressive change.”

Bloomberg’s weekday time outside the city included trips to Greece and Colorado in 2002 to push his bid for the city to host the 2004 Olympics.

In 2003, Bloomberg attended several out-of-state ceremonies, including the launch of a Staten Island ferryboat from a Wisconsin shipyard.

Unlike de Blasio, Bloomberg didn’t take any weekday vacation time — although the billionaire media mogul frequently spent weekends in Bermuda, where he owns an oceanfront estate.

Much of de Blasio’s travel expenses have been picked up by taxpayers, including his July trip to the Vatican for a meeting on climate change that cost more than $16,000, multiple reports say.

His nonprofit fundraising arm, the Campaign for One New York, has also paid for some of his travel expenses, including trips to Iowa and Nebraska.

And while de Blasio has picked up the tab for his and his family’s vacations, taxpayers have had to shell out for related expenses, including more than $10,000 so three staffers could reportedly tag along on the Italy vacation last year.

A recent Quinnipiac University poll found a majority were turned off by his travels. Fifty percent said they believed de Blasio’s involvement with national issues was distracting him from his job, while 37 percent didn’t believe so.

De Blasio’s plan to host a presidential candidates forum in Iowa this year also got a thumbs-down, with 56 percent disapproving and just 26 percent approving.

Real estate mogul Don Peebles, who was a big donor to de Blasio’s 2013 mayoral campaign but is now mulling a run against him in 2017, took a swipe at the mayor.

“The real problem is how poorly he performs when he is in New York City,” he quipped.

De Blasio spokeswoman Karen Hinton defended the travels.

“The mayor is working to help end income inequality in NYC with initiatives that balance the playing field for all New Yorkers, such as free, universal pre-K, paid sick leave, and affordable housing,” she said in an email. :mad:

“He has traveled outside the city to help build a coalition of community leaders and other elected officials who will tell Congress that action on these issues and others are sorely needed. It’s time well spent.”

She said it was “unfair” to include vacation time in the Post analysis.

A list of de Blasio’s nonofficial travels since entering office, including vacations and his trips to promote his “progressive agenda”:

March 6, 2014: Chicago

Discussed income inequality and his pre-K plan at a seminar on “Leading America’s Big Cities in the 21st Century.” Also met with David Axelrod, former political strategist for President Obama.

May 13, 2014: Atlantic City

Celebrated opening of a health clinic by the UNITE HERE union, which aided his mayoral campaign and was formerly run by cousin John Wilhelm.

June 26, 2014: Boston

Promoted unions during his speech at the UNITE HERE convention.

July 19-27, 2014: Italy

Vacationed with family on a tour that included stops in Rome, Naples and Venice.

Sept. 24, 2014: Manchester, England

Hyped his “Tale of Two Cities” campaign strategy while telling the UK’s Labor Party that Brits were ready for “bold, progressive change.” :mad:

Nov. 6-8, 2014: Puerto Rico

Touted his administration’s diversity at the Somos el Futuro conference on Hispanic issues. :mad:

Jan. 20, 2015: Paris

Offered condolences over deadly terror attacks on the Charlie Hebdo magazine office and at a kosher supermarket.

March 23, 2015: Boston

Blasted income inequality at a meeting of the US Conference of Mayors. :rolleyes:

April 3-6, 2015: Puerto Rico

Vacationed with first sheboon Chirlane McCray.

April 15, 2015: Omaha, Nebraska

Urged higher taxes on the rich and an increased minimum wage during a speech at the University of Nebraska.

April 16, 2015: Des Moines, Iowa

Called on Hillary Rodham Clinton and other presidential candidates to focus on the income gap in a speech at Drake University.

May 14-15, 2015: California

Hosted San Francisco fundraiser for his Campaign for One New York foundation. Also gave speeches at University of California, Berkeley, and Santa Clara University, where daughter Chiara is a student.

July 1-8, 2015: Southwest and Western US

Vacationed with family at spots including the Grand Canyon, Santa Fe, New Mexico, and Los Angeles.

July 20-22, 2015: Italy

Warned about climate change during a Vatican City speech attended by Pope Francis.

Aug. 17, 2015: Rhode Island

Day trip with fambly.

Aug. 27-28, 2015: New Haven, Connecticut

Helped son Dante settle in as a freshman at Yale University.

Sept. 4, 2015: Connecticut

Day trip with fambly.

Oct. 16-18, 2015: Israel

Met with Palestinian students at a school near Jerusalem that serves both Arabs and Israelis.

The Bobster
11-02-2015, 08:29 AM

Campaign contributions behind de Blasio move to cap Uber, New Yorkers say
By Danielle Furfaro
November 2, 2015 | 7:49am

Most New Yorkers think that the Mayor de Blasio’s move to cap Uber was influenced by hefty campaign contributions from the yellow cab industry, according to a new poll.

The Quinnipiac University survey found that 58 percent of city residents believe that the move this summer to limit the growth of the app-based for-hire car service in the city was strictly based on campaign dollars.

Most do not think that the city setting rules against Uber growth would help the city’s growing traffic congestion problem, and less than half think Uber should be limited at all, the survey found.

In all, only 21 percent of city residents have used the ride-sharing app service at all, but nearly half of the city thinks the service is okay.
A bill to limit Uber was tabled by the City Council over the summer.

The survey also looked at Taxi TVs and found that 45 percent of New Yorkers don’t mind the screens and think of them as a “pleasant diversion.” Forty percent want the TV’s tossed, the poll found.

The Taxi and Limousine Commission voted last month to get rid of the screens and replace them with a less intrusive interface.

The Bobster
11-03-2015, 06:14 AM

De Blasio’s approval numbers hit all-time low
By Natalie Musumeci
November 3, 2015 | 1:39am

Mayor de Blasio’s approval ratings have plummeted to a new low, with relatively few voters approving of his performance — and half saying he doesn’t deserve a second term, according to a poll released Monday.

The poll — conducted by The Wall Street Journal, NBC4 and Marist — found a paltry 38 percent of New Yorkers approve of the job Hizzoner is doing, the lowest approval rating of his mayoral career.

His ratings dropped from 44 percent in May.

De Blasio was also unpopular for his gallivanting outside of town, and lost major points among those surveyed for his handling of crime, with 51 percent disapproving of his methods.

Some 55 percent of New Yorkers said they thought the city was headed in the wrong direction, which is the highest number since 2004, according to Marist. Only 38 percent of voters said they thought the city was moving in the right direction.

Forty-one percent said they thought quality of life overall had gotten worse, compared to 16 percent who said it was better.

About 54 percent of voters disapproved of Hizzoner’s out-of-town travel, saying it has hindered his work in the Big Apple.

That statistic came one day after The Post exclusively reported that de Blasio spent nearly twice as much time as his predecessor, Michael Bloomberg, on personal weekday travel outside the city.

However, 60 percent of voters deemed de Blasio a hard worker and 59 percent said he has a grasp on understanding city issues — while 49 percent said that de Blasio doesn’t deserve to have another term in office, while 42 percent said he does.

“Clearly, we see some of that enthusiasm which was there when he racked up a huge victory has faded,” Lee Miringoff, the director of the Marist College Institute for Public Opinion, told NBC.

De Blasio spokeswoman Karen Hinton blew off the ratings.

“Polls are a lot like cotton candy,” Hinton told The Wall Street Journal. “They evaporate fairly quickly after consumption. :rolleyes:

“The truth is, quality of life has rarely been better in NYC. Crime is near historic lows. :rolleyes: Jobs are up. The tourist economy is booming. We are building more and more affordable housing. Over 65,000 children are enrolled in pre-K. All on Mayor de Blasio’s watch.”

Black and Latino voters continue to favor de Blasio over white New Yorkers, but his approval ratings among African-Americans fell from 59 percent to 50 percent.

The Bobster
11-03-2015, 06:16 AM

City going easy on restaurants that mistakenly place discriminatory ads
By Danika Fears
November 3, 2015 | 1:20am

Restaurant owners who unwittingly violate gender-equality laws by posting want ads for waitresses will be given warnings instead of fines on the first offense, the city’s Human Rights Commission announced Monday.

“The commission’s current Law Enforcement Bureau is not filing complaints against first-time offenders unaware of the law for ads soliciting ‘waitresses’ or ‘hostesses’ without additional violations of the law,” the commission said in a statement.

Cases that are still pending will be resolved without penalties — but employers will have to “attend a free training on the law and post a notice of rights in the workplace,” the statement added.

One eatery that recently was spared a fine is CU 29 Copper Restaurant in Brooklyn, which placed a Craigslist ad for a “female bartender” and a “pizza man” in April 2013.

The commission found that a fine was unjustified since it might force “the closure of a small business, leaving its employees without jobs, and discouraging potential small-business owners.”

The decision comes after The Post revealed how a Midtown Indian restaurant faced a $5,000 penalty for trying to hire an Indian waiter, because the law doesn’t permit ads that discriminate “based on origin” either.

The Bobster
11-03-2015, 06:19 AM

De Blasio’s ‘deeply personal’ Mets tweets were written by a staffer
By Natalie Musumeci
November 3, 2015 | 2:49am

Bill de Blasio and Chirlane McCray dressed up as Mets players for Halloween this year. Photo: AP

A series of deeply personal, pro-Mets tweets supposedly sent out by Mayor de Blasio during Sunday night’s World Series Game 5 weren’t as personal as they were cracked up to be — since they were actually sent out by a lowly staffer, according to a report.

The oft-retweeted messages appeared to come straight from the mayor’s Red Sox-loving, Mets-sympathizing heart, as they liberally used the pronoun “I.”

“It’s been a privilege to watch this team. I’m a born and bred Red Sox fan,” the account tweeted, giving no hint it was not de Blasio’s personal game-time musings, the New York Times reported.

“Something happens when you’re a Sox fan living here for a few decades,” he added as the Amazin’s went down to defeat. “You slowly fall in love with the Mets.”

One tweet even took a poke at Yankee fans, as the writer recalled the Red Sox’s come-from-behind ALCS victory in 2004, when Boston pitcher Curt Schilling beat the Bombers with an injured ankle that bled though his sock.

“And of course that bloody sock,” the pseudo mayor tweeted. “I’ve seen magic in this world. Real, honest to god magic . . .”

The bogus mayor using the authentic account then tweeted, in an apparent effort to rally Mets fans, “This is all to say . . . I’ve seen it happen. I’ve been witness. I’ve been here.”

Despite those very personal-sounding tweets, the messages were written and sent out by a City Hall aide, de Blasio’s staff admitted Monday.

“While [the mayor] has written some of his own tweets, an aide wrote the Sunday-night tweets,” spokeswoman Karen Hinton told the Times. “The mayor indicated he might have written them differently, but they essentially captured his views on the New York Mets, the Red Sox and all things baseball.”

While it is common for politicians to have a staffer put out offical tweets, it’s unusual to post personal messages without giving notice of who is writing them.

The tweets had many Twitter users believing they were reading de Blasio’s inner monologue, and many did not like it.

“Just when I thought I couldn’t like @BilldeBlasio less. . .” said Adam Goodkind.

“@BilldeBlasio you don’t have to do this,” added user Jason Sparks.

While tweeter Tyler Durden simply said: “Shut up Bill.” :p

The Bobster
11-04-2015, 08:47 AM

Fans blast ‘disingenuous’ de Blasio’s ‘fake’ Mets tweets
By Rich Calder and Madison Iszler
November 4, 2015 | 1:11am

Mets fans came out swinging at Mayor de Blasio on Tuesday after learning the Red Sox rooter had a staffer post a series of personal tweets about the Amazin’s as they battled Kansas City in the World Series.

“[The tweets] made him seem more relatable to Mets fans,” said Aaliyah Dominguez, 20, of Manhattan. “It’s hard enough to trust him as my mayor. Now I have to unfollow him on Twitter.”

George McDonald, founder of the DOE Fund, said he’s not surprised the mayor is being “disingenuous” through his use of Twitter, because he “definitely shaded the truth” during his mayoral run.

The faux tweets were exposed as de Blasio’s ratings hit an all-time low. A poll issued Monday night showed only 38 percent of New Yorkers approving of the job he’s doing.

The Bobster
11-05-2015, 06:23 AM

De Blasio staffer, TV reporter clash over homeless question
By Michael Gartland
November 5, 2015 | 12:35am

Mayor de Blasio’s spokeswoman got into a heated confrontation with a TV reporter Wednesday after the mayor refused to answer questions about a homeless encampment in Soho.

The showdown between Karen Hinton and WCBS/Channel 2 reporter Marcia Kramer came in the Blue Room of City Hall, once the mayor rushed out following a bill-signing ceremony and ignored questions Kramer directed at him.

She then approached Hinton to ask why she had been told the homeless encampment had been removed when it was still there.

“It was not true information, was it?” Kramer demanded.

“It was inaccurate information,” Hinton responded. “There’s a difference between inaccurate information and a lie.” :rolleyes:

The Bobster
11-07-2015, 06:39 AM

De Blasio spends an hour talking to reporters, vows not to do it again
By Yoav Gonen
November 7, 2015 | 12:17am

Bill de Blasio fields questions from the press on Friday. Photo: William Farrington

Accused of ducking the press, Mayor de Blasio opened himself to an unprecedented 54 minutes of grilling from reporters on Friday — but warned not to expect a repeat.

Instead, the mayor said he’d continue with a recent shift from fielding questions from reporters on any topic toward more radio, TV and town-hall appearances where he can speak directly to the public.

“I know you know this: I have a job to do. Much more important than giving the answers to questions is actually doing the work,” the mayor said at City Hall when asked to explain the new strategy. “I’m paid to get the job done, and that’s where I’m going to put my time and energy.”

Friday’s unusual exchange with dozens of reporters came after the mayor reduced his availability to the media — when he’s forced to publicly explain the administration’s actions, beliefs and agenda — from an average of twice to once a week.

The issue burst into the public eye on Wednesday with an on-air confrontation between veteran WCBS TV reporter Marcia Kramer and Hizzoner’s press secretary over a perceived lack of transparency from City Hall.

Since August, the mayor has taken an average of five to eight questions a week where the topics aren’t limited to issues he’s trying to promote.

On Friday, he took roughly 40 on matters ranging from homelessness to the police-union contract to affordable housing and the small black brace on his left wrist, which he said he injured playing softball.

The mayor also defended the work of his political nonprofit, the Campaign for One New York.

The group, which boosts his administration’s agenda, has accepted donations as large as $500,000 from individuals, corporations and unions that have business matters before the city.

Critics say the nonprofit serves as a slush fund and is at odds with de Blasio’s condemnation of the US Supreme Court decision on Citizens United in 2010, which effectively opened the floodgates to unlimited corporate contributions into politics.

“I would like to see a very, very different world, but we’re not in that world, yet,” the mayor said when asked about the apparent contradiction between his beliefs and his behavior.

“In a dynamic where millions and millions of dollars multiple times have been spent to attack things that I’m trying to do, it makes sense that there’s going to be other people who try and push back and say this agenda’s important.”

The Bobster
11-09-2015, 08:00 AM

De Blasio-Cuomo feud is Republican ammo for 2016
By Fredric U. Dicker
November 9, 2015 | 12:04am

Mayor de Blasio is so reviled across the state that Senate Republicans are planning to use criticism against Hizzoner to boost their candidates in next year’s campaigns — and they’ll use critiques leveled by Gov. Cuomo to help demonize him, The Post has learned.

Some GOPers have started describing Cuomo — involved in a bitter feud with de Blasio — as “our secret weapon’’ to offset the feared larger-than-normal Democratic turnout likely to occur from having Hillary Rodham Clinton at the top of the Democratic ticket.

“De Blasio is probably the most unpopular political figure in the state and Governor Cuomo is helping us by reinforcing that with his attacks on the mayor,’’ one of the state’s best-known Republicans told The Post.

De Blasio will be the target for Republicans in districts throughout the state — and especially on Long Island, where the GOP is expecting problems maintaining control of the Senate.

“We’ll be saying, ‘Given all the decay and crime going on in the city, do you want to turn the state over to Bill de Blasio?’ And if you don’t, if you agree with us and with Cuomo, elect a Republican,’’’ the well-known figure continued.

Republican state senators on Long Island, where Cuomo is relatively popular — as opposed to upstate, where he is not — are planning to use the governor’s image in campaign materials attacking de Blasio.

“Where Cuomo is popular, he’ll be able to help us with our anti-*de Blasio theme, since he’s already given us so much material to use,’’ said a Republican strategist.

State GOP Chairman Ed Cox has been regularly “praising’’ de Blasio in recent speeches as “the one person in New York City who is really working harder for us than anyone else, doing the best he can to help us.’’

“I tell the audiences that it’s Mayor de Blasio, and they really get it because they know what his policies are doing to the city,’’ Cox said.

Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino, the GOP candidate for governor last year, said he expected de Blasio’s handling of city affairs would even bring Democrats to the Republican ticket.

“One look at what’s happening in New York City should convince a lot of voters, of all parties, to vote Republican next November,’’ Astorino told The Post.

Cuomo, much to the chagrin of other Democratic leaders, including de Blasio, has worked for years to keep the Senate in GOP hands in order to prevent the high-tax and anti-business, left-wing, “progressive’’ policies of the Democrats who control the Assembly from dominating the state.

Just last week, Cuomo’s “hand-picked” candidate was crushed in a special Senate election in the Southern Tier after the governor failed to mobilize support for her campaign.

Furious Republicans are pointing fingers of blame at state Sen. Andrew Lanza (R-SI) and, indirectly, at Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan (R-Suffolk) for last week’s lopsided loss by Joan Illuzzi in the closely watched race for Staten Island district attorney.

“Lanza really hurt Joan in the state,’’ said a GOP activist involved in the campaign.

“He hemmed and hawed until the very last minute on whether he was going to run himself, and then he didn’t endorse Joan until the very end.

“His sitting out the race sent a signal to many potential donors who might have otherwise helped Joan,’’ the source continued.

Flanagan, who took over the top Senate post from the indicted Dean Skelos in the spring and began worrying that an “open’’ Staten Island seat would be won by Democrats, convinced the popular Lanza to stay out of the DA’s race with promises of added power and influence, undermining the GOP’s chance of recapturing the seat that had been held by Republican Daniel Donovan Jr., elected to Congress in May, a GOP insider said.

“Staten Island is the only pro-Republican borough in the city and the GOP, including the Senate GOP, should have gone all out to make sure we had at least one DA in the city on our side,’’ the insider continued.

Republican Borough President James Oddo was also blamed for contributing to Illuzzi’s loss, since, caught up in a typical Staten Island intra-party feud, he refused to endorse his party’s candidate.

The Bobster
11-09-2015, 08:08 AM

De Blasio’s pre-school-for-all initiative takes toll on private schools
By Melkorka Licea
November 9, 2015 | 4:09am

Mayor de Blasio’s pre-school-for-all push has been so successful it is putting a financial crunch on pricey private schools, according to a new report.

Some 65,000 4-year-olds have been signed up for de Blasio’s program in its second year, causing schools such as Mozarts :rolleyes: and Einsteins :rolleyes: Preschool in Park Slope to re-evaluate their strategies in order to stay afloat, Crain’s New York Business reported.

“This is our lowest enrollment, and we lost about 50 percent of last year’s class,” the school’s co-director, Dylan Glanzer, told Crain’s, adding that the drop cost her school close to $100,000.

Tracey Mina, founder and headmistress of Stuyvesant Heights Montessori School, said it had lost 30 percent of its students this year — and other institutions are losing even more. She blames City Hall for overlooking the benefits of private schools.

“There was no thought about businesses doing well or those that have supported the community for decades when there were no other options,” Mina said.

Though private schools are given the choice to become contractors for the Department of Education’s program, Glanzer said the agency only offered $7,000 per child.

“That wouldn’t cover cleaning costs :rolleyes:,” Glanzer said.

The average annual cost for a 4-year-old enrolled in a private pre-K program in New York City is about $12,280. :eek:

The Bobster
11-10-2015, 04:42 PM

De Blasio cancels Iowa forum after candidates snub invite
By Michael Gartland and Yoav Gonen
November 10, 2015 | 5:13pm

Mayor de Blasio’s attempt to play kingmaker in the Democratic presidential race fizzled Tuesday, when a forum he planned in Iowa next month was abruptly canceled. :D

The event — touted as a bipartisan forum to discuss income inequality :rolleyes: — generated no interest, with not one presidential candidate from either party committing to attend. :p

The cancellation by the mayor’s Progressive Agenda Committee comes just 11 days after de Blasio endorsed Hillary Clinton, a move that came after she jumped in the polls and no longer needed his help.

De Blasio formed committee to much fanfare at an April press conference where he proclaimed that it would tackle major national issues.

The committee’s executive director Geri Prado said Tuesday that instead of holding the forum, it will “refocus its action on new plans that channel the voices of everyday people to impact candidates, leaders, and elected officials at every level of government.”

Immediately before the announcement, de Blasio wouldn’t say whether he’d attending his own long-planned event.

“That situation we’ll have more to say on soon,” he said when asked twice about whether he’ll travel to Iowa next month.

Formal invitations to the forum went out last week, but no RSVPs were returned.

The Bobster
11-11-2015, 08:36 AM

De Blasio holds secret meeting to boost minority real estate developers
By Carl Campanile
November 11, 2015 | 3:44am

Mayor de Blasio had a secret meeting Tuesday with minority real-estate developers and told them he’s considering rewriting city contracts to give an advantage to projects that use minority firms. :mad:

De Blasio also discussed setting aside six development projects, valued at $200 million, for minority developers, sources said. :mad:

During the City Hall meeting, which was kept secret from the press :mad:, the mayor also agreed to create $10 million to $20 million in revolving loan funds that minority developers can tap into to cover start-up costs.

The powwow comes as de Blasio faces criticism for failing to significantly boost minority participation in city contracting. :rolleyes:

Allies last month even accused City Hall of fudging figures in a recent report on minority contracting.

During the meeting, the business representatives complained that banks were too stingy in lending money to minority developers :rolleyes:, and urged de Blasio to use his leverage to pressure them to do more.

De Blasio said he’d talk to bank CEOs about lending.

One business representative said he was pleased by the mayor’s commitment to reworking the rules to give a leg up to minority contractors. Under current rules, the city must select the lowest qualified bidder.

But he complained the money set aside to aid minority firms was a pittance in New York’s expensive construction market.

“This is good for maybe Charlotte, North Carolina,” the participant said.

Prominent black real-estate developer Don Peebles, who is considering running against de Blasio in 2017, slammed the mayor’s program as puny.

“The $10 million fund offer is consistent with the crumb approach this administration has towards minority- and women- owned businesses. This time, he is offering less of a crumb,” said Peebles, who had a rep at the meeting.

Another attendee, Bertha Lewis of The Black Institute, confirmed the mayor discussed ways to “level the playing field,” but added, “The devil is in the details.”

The Bobster
11-12-2015, 08:47 AM

De Blasio: Iowa fail won’t keep progressive agenda down
By Yoav Gonen
November 12, 2015 | 2:49am

Undaunted by the crash of his presidential forum in Iowa :p, which not a single Democrat wanted to attend :p, Mayor Bill de Blasio vowed on Wednesday to plow ahead with his national progressive agenda. :mad:

Even with the embarrassing setback and criticism for his out-of-state travels back home, the mayor said his Progressive Agenda Committee will continue to beat the drum on income inequality across the nation.

“Something is changing in this country. This is Round One of many rounds to come,” de Blasio said at a press gaggle following the Veterans Day parade in Midtown.

“Get ready for the long haul,” he said of the coalition’s pending efforts.

“We’re going to be working in every corner of this country to change this nation to address income inequality.”

This week, the committee cancelled the Iowa forum, which would have given de Blasio the national spotlight. The mayor acknowledged that not one candidate had RSVP’d to the planned December event.

“The forum was one of many ideas . . . It didn’t work, because we reached out to the candidates and they weren’t willing to participate,” he said. “But we have a lot of other approaches that we’re going to use that we think will work.”

The Bobster
11-17-2015, 06:02 AM

De Blasio’s affordable-housing plan doesn’t have many backers
By Michael Gartland and Yoav Gonen
November 17, 2015 | 2:58am

Community boards are revolting against Mayor de Blasio’s plan to rezone their neighborhoods to build taller skyscrapers and increase affordable-housing units.

Of the city’s 59 community boards, at least 22 have voted against de Blasio’s affordable-housing zoning plan, sources revealed Monday.

A large majority of the community boards in Queens and The Bronx have given it a thumbs-down — 12 of 14 in Queens and eight of 12 in The Bronx.

The board votes won’t legally prevent de Blasio’s plan from going through because they’re only advisory, but they could give City Council members serious pause when they vote on it, probably in February.

“I share the mayor’s goal for affordability, but have concerns about the lack of mixed-income developments proposed in the plan,” said Councilman Ben Kallos (D-Manhattan).

“A middle-income family should still have somewhere to live in this city. They’re not provided for in the mayor’s plan.”

Community boards throughout the city have the option to vote on whether they support the plan, which would require affordable housing be created along with new developments that need rezoning.

“The committee voted it down for a number of reasons,” Bronx CB 7 Chairwoman Adaline Walker Santiago said, referring to her board’s housing and land-use committee.

“We want a mixed-income population. We want to keep the character of the community. We want parking for the seniors and for any new buildings coming in.”

Borough presidents have also begun to voice their displeasure with the plan.

Queens Borough President Melinda Katz opposed de Blasio’s zoning initiatives Monday night following overwhelming disapproval from her 14 community boards.

“There are concerns that the proposed new mandatory inclusionary [plan] may replace existing affordable housing with housing deemed affordable that is not within reach to the current residents,” Katz said.

Katz also noted many Queens neighborhoods have been rezoned over the past decade to prevent “overdevelopment.”

De Blasio defended the plan Monday, saying it is essential for lower-income New Yorkers who wish to remain in the city.

“They’re always going to raise concerns and critiques and will often help us get to a better outcome,” he said of the community-board pushback. “But we’re going to keep moving full speed ahead to make these reforms.”

But political insiders say the mayor’s plan may be in trouble.

“The administration is clearly losing,” a Brooklyn board source said. “This is a big deal. This is the mayor’s marquee housing plan.”

Other council members said community resistance will likely force the council to change the mayor’s plan.

Councilman Jumaane Williams (D-Brooklyn) said he’s happy the mayor is pushing the conversation, but he added that he’s concerned the current plan won’t create enough affordable units for those at the lowest income levels.

“There’s some definite issues with the [mandatory inclusionary housing] that need to be fixed before I support it fully,” he said.

The Bobster
11-17-2015, 06:09 AM

De Blasio accused of packing Flushing board with ‘cronies’
By Michael Gartland
November 17, 2015 | 2:22am

Mayor de Blasio walked into a buzz saw of criticism Monday after announcing the creation of a privately funded group to spruce up Flushing Meadows-Corona Park.

Parks advocates slammed the leadership structure of the Flushing Meadows-Corona Park Alliance as City Hall cronyism.

The alliance is set to receive $10 million over 20 years from the United State Tennis Association in a deal to expand that organization’s facilities inside the 900-acre park, whose symbol is the iconic Unisphere.

The alliance’s 15-member board of directors includes six appointments by de Blasio, one by Councilwoman Julissa Ferreras-Copeland, one who’s elected by a community advisory board and two from the USTA.

But Councilman Rory Lancman, who represents the southern portion of the park, said his area was denied representation on the board.

“That breaks down clearly along who the mayor’s friends are and those who are more independent,” he said.

De Blasio defended the make-up of the board, noting that Ferreras-Copeland’s district covers the “vast majority of this park” and adding, “Obviously, the board will work closely with all the other council members from the surrounding area.”

The Bobster
11-18-2015, 07:17 AM

Most NYers think de Blasio is clueless on homeless crisis
By Rich Calder
November 18, 2015 | 4:09am

More than three out of five New Yorkers give Mayor de Blasio a big thumbs-down for his handling of the city’s homeless crisis and lack of affordable housing, a poll shows.

The citywide survey, conducted by Siena College and The New York Times, was the latest in a series of polls released over the past year in which Hizzoner scored lousy grades from voters.

“When it comes to both addressing the ability to obtain affordable housing and combating the problem of homelessness, New Yorkers strongly disapprove of the job de Blasio is doing,” Siena pollster Steven Greenberg said.

Despite making homelessness and affordable housing key issues of his administration, 62 percent of New Yorkers disapprove of how the mayor is tackling both problems.

And, despite de Blasio crowing the past year about how citywide crime is dropping, that message is apparently also falling on deaf ears. Thirty-three percent believe the city is less safe than when he became mayor, and 52 percent believe there has been no change.

The poll also showed that de Blasio’s overall approval rating has plummeted. It found that 44 percent of New Yorkers approve of his performance, compared with 38 who disapprove. That’s down from the 52 percent to 32 percent approval/disapproval rating he scored on the same poll last December.

De Blasio’s biggest critics are white voters, with just 28 percent approving of his performance.

Responding to the poll, de Blasio spokesman Phil Walzak said in an e-mail that the mayor is “absolutely focused on strengthening the quality of life for every New Yorker.”

“He’s putting 1,300 more cops on the streets, he’s pursuing the most ambitious affordable-housing plan in history, and he’s implementing bold new reforms to turn around struggling schools and provide more lessons for our kids,” Walzak said.

Meanwhile, support for Police Commissioner Bill Bratton and the NYPD is up significantly from last year’s poll, which was released in the aftermath of the Eric Garner grand-jury decision.

Bratton had a 52 percent to 31 percent approval/disapproval rating, compared with 43 percent to 40 percent last December.

New Yorkers also approve of the job city cops are doing, 54 percent to 46 percent. Last year, the poll showed 55 percent disapproved of cops, compared to 44 percent who approved.

“Democrats and independents who gave Bratton break-even marks last year now give him strong job-approval marks, as do Latinos, a plurality of whom disapproved of his job last year. And black New Yorkers, who disapproved of his job by a 23-point margin last December, are now evenly divided,” Greenberg said.

The poll of 1,961 New Yorkers was conducted from Oct. 29 to Nov. 11 and has a 2.5 percentage point margin of error.

An October Quinnipiac poll also battered the mayor. It found that 48 percent of voters gave a thumbs-down to a de Blasio second term, compared with 42 percent who want him to return for another four years.

The Bobster
11-18-2015, 07:23 AM

Michael Jordan’s Steakhouse: We’re overrun by bums!
By Julia Marsh and Reuven Fenton
November 18, 2015 | 3:23am

The city’s homeless plague is so rampant that it’s threatening to put Michael Jordan’s Steakhouse out of business, according to a new lawsuit.

The entryway to the Grand Central Terminal eatery is being overrun by bums, thanks to a long-term construction project on Vanderbilt Avenue that has created a festering enclave of vagrants, restaurant owner Matthew Glazier says in court papers.

And business is so bad as a result that revenue has dropped 24 percent, according to the suit against his landlord, the MTA.

“The homeless situation? Forget about it,” said waiter Tudor Vanciuda.

Vagrants not only hang out in the enclosed area outside the terminal created by barriers and a chain-link fence, they also pass by the steakhouse tables just inside the terminal area, stinking things up for well-heeled diners.

“The customers ask, ‘What is that smell?’ and I tell them, ‘It’s that guy right there,’ ” Vanciuda said.

“I have to take out the bathroom spray and spray down the whole place.”

The “restaurant has become plagued by filth, garbage and urine” left by homeless people — yet the MTA has ignored the problem, court papers say.

An MTA spokesman declined to comment on the suit, but said the agency has been working on waterproofing the station for the past year. The MTA will reopen the Vanderbilt Avenue entrance between 42nd and 43rd streets by this Sunday, spokesman Aaron Donovan said.

But the suit notes that the MTA is also working with the developer of a 1,400-foot tower, One Vanderbilt, on changes to the transit hub.

The MTA “will continue to work in the area in front of the restaurant for the foreseeable future,” the suit says.

Another steakhouse employee said the area has returned to the bad old days.

“It looks like ‘Gotham’ out there,” griped general manager Stephan Dorian.

“It’s the crazies, people talking to themselves, pissing on walls. I grew up in the city, and recently it’s been taking me back to the ’80s. We’ll call the police and they’ll do something, but it’s not like they’re patrolling out there. The same people are out there every single day,” Dorian said.

The suit, for unspecified damages, pleads with the court to “save this great New York restaurant — a beacon of Grand Central’s revival — from . . . the landlord’s unconscionable conduct” before the restaurant is driven out of business.

The Bobster
11-18-2015, 02:27 PM

De Blasio Blasts Christie Over Syrian Refugees
November 18, 2015 3:33 PM

NEW YORK (AP) — New York City idiotic commie nigger-f*cking Mayor Bill de Blasio is attacking New Jersey Governor Chris Christie over the fate of Syrian refugees. :rolleyes:

Christie has said that refugees fleeing war-torn Syria should not be admitted to the United States because they can’t be properly vetted.

De Blasio has said the refugees would be welcome in New York.

He has sharply criticized Christie’s stance and at a Wednesday news conference held up a well-known photo of a 3-year-old boy who drowned trying to escape Syria. :crazy:

The mayor then asked if “that is what the governor wants to see happen?”

A Christie spokesman responded by saying that de Blasio “was more interested in making headlines than protecting the people.”

The refugees have become a major political flashpoint in the wake of the Paris terror attacks.

The Bobster
11-19-2015, 02:41 PM

The Bronx really doesn’t like de Blasio’s affordable-housing plan
By Kevin Fasick and Michael Gartland
November 19, 2015 | 12:07pm

In another blow to Mayor Bill de Blasio, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. and each of the borough’s 12 community boards voted to oppose his affordable-housing rezoning plan Thursday morning.

“So many different groups, organizations, and other concerned citizens came before our boards and my office to voice their concerns about these proposals,” said Diaz Jr., who’s considered a 2017 mayoral contender. “So many different communities have different reasons to be opposed to this ‘one size fits all’ approach to the future development of our borough and our city.”

De Blasio’s plan consists of two proposals — one would eliminate the requirement that developers provide parking in some areas and the other would permit developers to build higher in exchange for offering more apartments with lower or affordable rents.

Thursday’s Borough Board vote is nonbinding, but is sure to influence an upcoming City Council vote, which is expected to take place in early 2016.

Diaz argued that a “neighborhood by neighborhood” approach to zoning has been successful since 2009 and that de Blasio’s plan would threaten to undo that.

“These proposed text amendments go against the grain of this successful approach to community-based planning, and must be rejected. One size does not fit all,” he said.

The plan fails to answer several key questions including how many new school seats and transit options would be necessary to accommodate the plan, he added.

Along with all of the community boards, some council members also voted against the plan as part of the Borough Board vote Thursday, including Maria del Carmen Arroyo, Andrew Cohen, Vanessa Gibson, Andy King, Annabel Palma and Ritchie Torres. Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, who represents portions of the South Bronx, abstained.

The Bobster
11-20-2015, 05:26 AM

De Blasio seeking new speech writer after media snafus
By Michael Gartland
November 19, 2015 | 11:26pm

Mayor de Blasio is looking for a progressive speech writer as he retools his media strategy.

A job listing posted Thursday on idealist.org revealed that Hizzoner wants to hire a “senior speech writer” who will serve as a “key member of the team responsible for communicating the administration’s vision, mission and policies to New Yorkers.”

The ideal candidate will also be expected to “refine facts and messaging” and finalize “event remarks, policy speeches, op-eds, press statements‎ [and] social media copy.”

The mayor’s revamped plans follow the New York Press Club accusing him of being “retrogressive” to reporters.

11-20-2015, 03:13 PM

"Comrade" De Blasio - in the news (https://www.google.com/search?hl=en&gl=us&tbm=nws&authuser=0&q=de+blasio&oq=de+blasio&gs_l=news-cc.3..43j0l9j43i53.6449.8596.0.9050. 3.666.2j2j1.5.0...0.0...1ac.1.Y3N147TgLtU&gws_rd=ssl#q=de+blasio&hl=en&gl=us&authuser=0&tbm=nws&tbs=sbd:1)
Donald Trump bashes de Blasio on Twitter, calls him ‘worst Mayor in the history of NYC’ (http://www.***********.com/news/politics/donald-trump-bashes-de-blasio-calls-worst-mayor-u-s-article-1.2441970)
De Blasio Blasts Trump as Mayor's Refugee Feud Expands (http://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2015-11-20/de-blasio-blasts-trump-as-refugee-feud-with-republicans-expands)
De Blasio: I was wrong about homeless epidemic (http://nypost.com/2015/11/20/de-blasio-i-was-wrong-about-homeless-epidemic/)
Mayor de Blasio’s Declining Support (http://www.newnation.org/Mayor%20de%20Blasio%E2%80%99s%20Declining%20Suppor t)
De Blasio won’t put informants back in mosques (http://nypost.com/2015/11/20/de-blasio-wont-put-informants-back-in-mosques/)
Mayor de Blasio's (bi-racial) daughter Chiara sporting new buzz cut (http://www.***********.com/life-style/fashion/mayor-de-blasio-daughter-chiara-sporting-new-buzz-cut-article-1.2442129)

The Bobster
11-20-2015, 03:16 PM

De Blasio won’t put informants back in mosques
By Rich Cald
November 20, 2015 | 1:39am

Mayor de Blasio said Thursday that he would not plant police informants in local mosques, as the city once did.

He rejected former Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s call to return to the policy, which Giuliani started in the ’90s and which remained in place until de Blasio ended it last year.

“We have exceptional intelligence-gathering capacity and an ability to prevent attacks without violating . . . constitutional rights,” the mayor told MSNBC.

The Bobster
11-22-2015, 06:57 AM

Al Sharpton gives himself 71% raise thanks to de Blasio, Obama
By Isabel Vincent and Melissa Klein
November 22, 2015 | 6:38am

It pays to have friends in high places.

Al Sharpton gave himself a 71 percent raise last year after his National Action Network group drew a record $6.9 million in donations — as the controversial cleric’s association with Mayor de Blasio and President Obama lent him a newfound air of legitimacy.

De Blasio’s election gave Sharpton a seat at City Hall :mad:, as the mayor treated him as an adviser and presented him at a press event next to Police Commissioner Bill Bratton after the death of Eric Garner.

Also in 2014, Obama addressed NAN’s annual convention, bringing along five of his Cabinet members.

The Harlem-based nonprofit collected $2 million more in 2014 than the year before, according to the latest financial records available.

Sharpton’s pay increased from $241,545 in 2013 to $412,644, including a bonus of $64,400, tax filings obtained by The Post show.

In April, four months after his pal de Blasio took office, some 5,000 people attended NAN’s 2014 conference headlined by Obama and attended by the mayor, Gov. Cuomo and then-US Attorney General Eric Holder. It was NAN’s biggest fund-raiser of the year.

In October, a few months after Sharpton’s summer of police protests, he pulled in a reported $1 million at his 60th-birthday bash. Pols and dignitaries rushed from the annual Al Smith Dinner hosted by Timothy Cardinal Dolan that same night to the NAN fund-raiser at the Four Seasons restaurant.

NAN does not need to disclose its donors, but a program distributed at his birthday parties had full-page ads from companies that gave money. AT&T, real-estate developer Forest City Ratner, Walmart, McDonald’s, Verizon and GE Asset Management were all included.

Although Sony’s then-co-chairwoman, Amy Pascal, met with Sharpton in 2014 after a hacker revealed racially insensitive e-mails, the reverend told The Post that Sony did not give NAN money.

The windfall allowed the organization to finish 2014 in the black. Yet NAN, and Sharpton, continued their deadbeat ways.

NAN didn’t pony up its last installment on the $780,145 it owed the IRS for unpaid payroll taxes until this Oct. 22, the organization’s financial statements show. The nonprofit had racked up unpaid payroll taxes since at least 2003, according to public records.

Sharpton, meanwhile, still has outstanding tax liens of $3.4 million, including money he owes personally to both New York state and the IRS, and taxes owed by his businesses, according to public records. He paid off one federal lien, for $931,398, in April.

Sharpton has maintained that he owes much less money than records reflect and that he has been chipping away at the bills through payment plans.

He also insists he didn’t really get a raise last year.

“I’m glad that NAN has resolved all of our past tax debts three years earlier than our agreement with the IRS and paid part of the compensation owed to me for several years I did not receive a salary,” Sharpton said in a statement.

Tax records show NAN paid him $4,860 in 2006 and nothing in 2007 and 2008.

But a spokesman for the organization offered a different explanation, saying the salary hike was repayment of loans Sharpton previously made to NAN.

Former IRS official Marcus Owens, an expert on nonprofit law, said the explanation seemed odd.

“To structure the payoff of a loan through a salary transfer doesn’t seem really plausible because no one would want to pay income tax on their own money coming back to them,” Owens said. “It seems like that characterization was developed after the fact for some other purpose.”

The Bobster
11-22-2015, 07:00 AM

Even Bill Bratton is sick of de Blasio’s schtick
By Bob McManus
November 22, 2015 | 6:01am

Add Police Commissioner Bill Bratton to the list of those disenchanted with Mayor de Blasio’s handling of the city’s vagrant invasion.

And, obviously, with the mayor himself.

Bratton last week made clear his unwillingness to live in Bill de Blasio’s fantasy universe, at least as it relates to vagrancy: “I think a mistake that the administration made early on was not validating what we all were seeing” — that is to say, New York’s streets filling up with bums, beggars and mumbling lunatics.

Wow. Bratton is only the most prominent member of the administration who is not the mayor himself, and his gibe has to sting.

Still, if it’s not the police commissioner’s job to identify and deal with street disorder, then whose job is it? Instead, Bratton admits, he took a two-year nap.

“The problem was increasing and [they were] not admitting what everybody was seeing and feeling, including myself,” he said.

It remains to be seen whether the commissioner’s confession signifies a serious rift in de Blasioland — or whether Bratton is still torqued by the mayor’s uncharacteristically kind words last Saturday for archrival Ray Kelly’s anti-terrorism policies.

Probably it’s a little of both.

But one thing seems clear: Bratton appears very much to be among the legion of New Yorkers who’ve had a bellyful of Bill de Blasio.

De Blasio hit a new low in yet another public-opinion poll last week; then he set to digging that hole a little deeper. He’s like that.

With the poll barely published, the mayor directed a hyper-partisan, totally gratuitous gibe at New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who’s demanding restrictions on Syrian immigration, post-Paris massacre.

Christie is “an embarrassment to this country,” said de Blasio — who then welded on some more boilerplate: “This is a nation of immigrants :rolleyes:, and we are sitting here in the city that has the Statue of Liberty in it, that has been the epitome of welcoming immigrants over generations.”

True enough. It’s also pretty much off the point — which is that unrestricted importation of Syrian refugees under the present circumstance is an invitation to catastrophe.

Idiots and ideologues may deny that. But ordinary New Yorkers understand the dangers.

“I believe the terrorists from Syria have been coming into the United States, not only in the past few years, but way before that,” says Aarafat Succar of Bay Ridge, where most of the city’s Syrian immigrants have settled. “I think they’re already at work.”

So, who you gonna believe — the mayor, who’s been blowing self-serving smoke for 23 months now, or the Syrian-American from Bay Ridge who actually knows what he’s talking about?

Do you trust de Blasio, the fabulist? Or your own common sense?

No wonder Bratton seems to be glancing about for a way out. The mayor forces that sort of choice all the time — which helps explain his cratering poll numbers.

Last week’s survey, sponsored by The New York Times, put the mayor’s overall approval rating at 44%, down eight full points over the last 10 months; his support has dropped dramatically among all groups polled — and it has fallen so low among white voters that it scarcely can be measured.

Most significantly, clear majorities of New Yorkers think the city — and its mayor — are on the wrong track. Plus the Times poll is no outlier — it precisely mirrors recent findings by both Marist College and Quinnipiac University.

That’s some fall from grace for a fellow who was elected with more than 70% of the vote just two years ago.

Actually the high-water moment of the de Blasio administration came when he cleared his throat for his inaugural speech — right before he told the world he was more interested in social justice than he was with social order.

“Today, we commit to a new progressive direction in New York,” he said. And then the slow-motion slide began.

The vagrancy “explosion” — Bratton’s word — began. Then there was a full round of cop-baiting — culminating in a near-mutiny by the NYPD after the assassination of two cops as those increasingly violent Eric Garner protests came to a head with no pushback at all from City Hall.

The delusional flirtation with national politics followed — along with one high-profile out-of-town excursion after another and a stunning inability to maintain a working relationship with Albany — always a challenge, but one successful mayors must manage.

The fact is, Bill de Blasio has consistently overpromised, then underperformed, and he rarely has had the grace to admit it. Or maybe it’s his natural lack of humility.

Still, bad polls two years out from a re-election campaign aren’t necessarily fatal — and they certainly are not unique.

Bill Bratton’s obvious unhappiness, however, is an entirely different matter. Whatever credibility the de Blasio administration enjoys traces to its police commissioner — a prickly sort, but a proven professional.

Now he seems restive. Maybe he’s concerned for his reputation. Maybe he has ambitions of his own. Maybe he’s just tired of being the ringmaster at a clown college.


But if Bill de Blasio can’t make it right, imagine the next round of polls. His mayoralty, such as it has become, is at stake.

The Bobster
11-22-2015, 07:19 AM

Rich NYC donors don’t want to write checks to de Blasio
By Post Staff Report
November 21, 2015 | 10:29pm

After Mayor de Blasio’s first fund-raiser for his 2017 re-election campaign was deemed a dud, multiple Democratic sources tell Page Six that society donors are relishing dissing de Blasio in his bid for funds. :D

“He is getting strong resistance from [society types] on the Upper East Side and Wall Street,” said one source. “They don’t want to write him checks. Only developers are taking his calls. He’s alienated so many others.”

At Hizzoner’s fund-raiser at the Sheraton Times Square were “no more than 150 people, most of them lobbyists,” The Post previously reported, though organizers said it raised $1 million.

Noticeably absent were city Comptroller Scott Stringer and Public Advocate Letitia James.

De Blasio’s recent search for campaign dough has had trouble finding traction because “he snubbed the Democratic establishment before and now it’s being reciprocated,” said one party donor.

“He’s been asking people to meet with him, to talk to him, and now they’re not returning his phone calls. It’s not just his failure to stand up for Hillary [Clinton] — he’s gone out of his way to snub and avoid the business leadership of this city, really bragging about it.”

Many on the city’s philanthropy circuit also feel snubbed by de Blasio and his wife, Chirlane, who skipped the Met Gala and were cited as having “made themselves socially irrelevant” earlier this year in the Wall Street Journal.

These days, a source added, “The Democratic donor community is thinking, ‘You think payback’s a bitch? Well, it’s actually a lot of fun.’ There is a lot waiting for another candidate . . . He’s acting like this national politician in New York, but he’s a joke. He’s irrelevant.” Another source said he’s having better luck with “real-estate developers and construction people.”

At the Sheraton fund-raiser, protesters also picketed the mayor as a “sellout” over his plan to privatize public-housing land.

A campaign spokesperson said: “The Mayor’s campaign raised more than $1 million at our first fundraiser last month. We are seeing lots of energy and excitement, and we have more than exceeded our early fundraising goals.”

The Bobster
11-22-2015, 07:44 AM

Marijuana arrests drop 40% this year as NYPD mellows out
By Aaron Short
November 22, 2015 | 2:40am

Cops are following through on Mayor de Blasio’s pledge to stop locking people up for carrying small amounts of pot.

Police cuffed 18,120 stoners through Oct. 20 — a 40 percent plummet from the 29,906 pot busts in the same period last year, state Division of Criminal Justice records show.

At the same time, tickets for pot violations have surged. Cops handed out 13,081 low-level pot summonses through the end of September — and are on pace for more than 16,000 tickets. The NYPD issued 13,378 pot tickets for all of last year, and 13,316 tickets in 2013, records show.

City Hall ordered cops last year to ticket suspects they caught with 25 grams or less of marijuana instead of arresting them after district attorneys and activists clamored for drug decriminalization.

Still, arrests outnumber tickets citywide, and there appears to be wide variations in enforcement.

Bronx cops in the 45th Precinct in upscale Throggs Neck handed out 415 tickets for marijuana possession and made only 48 arrests in the first nine months of the year. Similarly, Staten Island cops in the 122nd Precinct ticketed 258 people and arrested only 18 suspects, city and state crime data show.

But Bronx cops in the 52nd Precinct in Kingsbridge arrested 720 individuals but ticketed only 168 people in the first nine months of the year. And Queens cops made 259 pot arrests but only ticketed 79 people in South Jamaica’s 113th Precinct, the records show.

Marijuana use in public is still illegal, and the new policy to just issue summons is putting rank-and-file officers in a difficult position, experts say.

“The police are being left in a nowhere land. No matter what they do they’re subject to criticism,” said John Jay criminal justice professor Eugene O’Donnell. “For cops it’s not really about marijuana; it’s about finding marijuana on the way to finding a gun or more serious narcotics.”

The Bobster
11-24-2015, 09:37 AM

Bill de Blasio’s early Christmas present? A protest at Yale to join
By Yoav Gonen
November 24, 2015 | 3:13am

Mayor Bill de Blasio said he supports efforts to rename a residential college at Yale University, where his son, Dante (left), is a student, that honors a man who promoted segregation in the 1800s. Photo: AP (left); Stefano Giovannini (right)

Mayor Bill de Blasio said Monday the residential college at Yale University attended by his biracial mongrel monstrosity, Dante, should “absolutely” be renamed because it honors a man who promoted racial segregation in the 1800s.

Asked about recent protests to rename Calhoun College — which was named after the nation’s seventh vice president, John C. Calhoun — Hizzoner said his teenage son had been involved in some of the demonstrations. :mad:

“He has certainly been involved in the discussions on campus and he’s active in the black student union and has been to some of the protests, I know that for sure,” the mayor said following a press conference in East Harlem on new mental health initiatives. :mad:

Modal TriggerYale University’s Calhoun College residences
Photo: Creative Commons: Flickr via Erin Pettigrew

“He certainly notes the fact that the college he’s in, Calhoun College, is named for someone it shouldn’t be named for,” de Blasio added. :mad: :mad: :mad:

“It’s quite evident to him, and you can understand as a young man of African descent :rolleyes:, it doesn’t feel particularly appropriate to live in a place named after the chief segregationist leader of the South in that particular time.”

Asked whether he himself thinks the school should be renamed, the mayor said, “Absolutely.” :headbash:

Yale University officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The Bobster
11-24-2015, 09:42 AM

Emotional de Blasio announces major mental-health initiative
By Yoav Gonen
November 24, 2015 | 3:16am

Mayor de Blasio’s eyes welled with tears on Monday during an announcement of a major mental-health initiative as he spoke of the addiction challenges faced by both his late father and college-age daughter.

Although he has been open about both their struggles previously, the mayor was overcome with emotion when he contrasted his frustration over not knowing how to help his alcoholic, war-veteran dad — who committed suicide — and his familiarity with mental-health and substance-abuse services now that his daughter, Chiara, is on the mend.

“Chiara showed us and really educated all of us on what . . . good efforts could do that would change someone’s life,” the mayor said at Hunter College School of Social Work in East Harlem.

“And so I wished — I literally wished at times there was a time machine, and I could learn what I learned from Chiara and go back and try and reach my father.”

Both Chiara and Dante, the mayor’s son, attended the event, as did his wife, Chirlane McCray, who is spearheading the effort.

The new programs include a hot line opening in 2016 — accessible 24/7 via phone, text and online — that will help connect people to mental-health and substance-abuse services for themselves or friends and family members.

The city will also dispatch a team of 400 doctors and other medical clinicians known as the NYC Mental Health Corps to provide mental-health services in the neediest neighborhoods.

These were among 23 new initiatives designed to fill gaps in knowledge and services and to end stigma over seeking help.

“Too many New Yorkers in every community are not getting the treatment they need — that’s the bad news,” McCray said. “The good news is that mental illness is treatable. We know what works. We have the tools — we just aren’t using them.”

Including 31 other programs that have been previously announced, the price tag for the entire plan was estimated at $850 million over the next four years.

The Bobster
11-25-2015, 07:30 AM

De Blasio on horse carriages: If you can’t ban ’em, reduce ’em
By Yoav Gonen and Rich Calder
November 25, 2015 | 1:31am

After nearly two years of battling unsuccessfully to ban horse carriages from Central Park, Mayor de Blasio is now pushing a compromise that would reduce their number by two-thirds, sources said Tuesday.

But the proposal, which would house the remaining 70 to 80 horses in new stables inside the park so they don’t travel on busy Midtown streets, is already generating stiff opposition.

“I completely disagree with it,” said Ian McKeever, a carriage driver in the Teamsters Union, which has been fighting with the mayor to protect the industry and its 230 horses.

“To me, that’s going to ruin our business,” McKeever added of the proposal.

“It’s all or nothing for us.”

The Central Park Conservancy, which oversees the park, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

As a mayoral candidate, de Blasio promised in 2013 to abolish the horse-carriage industry “on Day One” of his administration.

His campaign got a big boost from animal-rights activists, who donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to an independent political-action committee that targeted chief rival Christine Quinn, the former City Council speaker.

The two most prolific donors, former Edison Properties owner Steve Nislick and business executive Wendy Neu, together contributed $628,000 to those PACS, to de Blasio’s campaign and to his current Campaign for One New York nonprofit.

Neither Nislick nor Neu returned calls seeking comment.

De Blasio said he is still working with the City Council, which would have to approve his plan before it could be implemented.

An earlier version of a bill that sought an outright ban didn’t garner nearly enough support.

“There’s a legislative process going on. There’s a lot of give and take, and we are seeking common ground so we can get something done,” de Blasio told reporters at an unrelated press conference at Penn Station in Manhattan.