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Old 04-20-2015, 10:05 AM
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Default De Blasio in secret bid to be Dems’ 2016 pick

http://nypost.com/2015/04/20/de-blas...cy-vs-hillary/

De Blasio in secret bid to be Dems’ 2016 pick
By Fredric U. Dicker
April 20, 2015 | 12:19am



Despite repeated claims to the contrary, Mayor Bill de Blasio is positioning himself to be the leftist “progressive” alternative to Wall Street-friendly Hillary Rodham Clinton as the Democratic candidate for president, a national party operative told The Post.

De Blasio’s hope, the operative said, is a “Draft de Blasio’’ movement will develop among progressive activists over the next several months that will lead to the mayor being able to defeat Clinton in the primary elections next year in much the same way leftist Sen. George McGovern successfully challenged the initially front-running establishment Democratic candidate, Sen. Edmund Muskie, more than 40 years ago.

Standing ready to back de Blasio against Clinton, said the operative, is the state’s small but influential Working Families Party, which has strong ties to de Blasio and is funded by some of the nation’s most powerful labor unions.

Earlier this year, the New York-based WFP urged Massachusetts Senator and Wall Street-bashing “progressive’’ favorite Elizabeth Warren to challenge Clinton and run for president — but she has repeatedly said she won’t do so.

“With Warren saying she’s not running, de Blasio and his advisers are trying to position the mayor as the ‘draft’ candidate for the left in 2016. That’s why he refused to endorse Hillary last week,’’ contended the operative, who is involved in presidential politics.

The draft effort explains why de Blasio was accompanied last week on his “progressive” speech-making trip to Iowa by John Del Cecato, one of the nation’s most important Democratic communications strategists and the man responsible for the popular “Dante” TV spot that helped get de Blasio elected mayor, said the operative.

“Why would your ad maker be traveling with you in a non-campaign year? Why was he there with de Blasio in Iowa unless you’re trying for something bigger?’’ asked the operative.

For Del Cecato, an expert in Iowa politics and a longtime campaign adviser to President Obama, helping develop a draft effort for de Blasio may also be personal.

Del Cecato was described by the operative as “part of the faction of Obama advisers who still deeply dislike and deeply distrust Clinton’’ dating from the time the two faced off in the Democratic primaries in 2008.
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  #2  
Old 04-22-2015, 07:12 AM
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Default Re: De Blasio in secret bid to be Dems’ 2016 pick

http://nypost.com/2015/04/21/de-blas...by-slush-fund/

De Blasio’s progressive plane-hopping funded by slush fund
By Yoav Gonen
April 21, 2015 | 10:57pm

Mayor de Blasio’s trips across the country to promote his progressive agenda — and himself — are being financed through a nonprofit funded by groups with business before the city.

The only event listed on the mayor’s schedule Tuesday was a fund-raiser for that nonprofit, Campaign for One New York, which critics have characterized as a mayoral slush fund that circumvents the city’s strict campaign finance rules.

Last week’s trip to Iowa and Nebraska, where the mayor made two speeches that portrayed income inequality as a national crisis, was paid for largely by the group.

It has raised more than $2 million from unions, individuals and firms with city business, and is operated by Hizzoner’s former campaign firm, BerlinRosen.

Rather than staffers from City Hall, former campaign consultant John Del Cecato of AKPD — the firm behind the popular Dante de Blasio campaign ad in 2013 — accompanied the mayor to the Midwest.

“We’re very disappointed to see the mayor ramping up his unacceptable fund-raising activities,” said Susan Lerner, director of the government watchdog group Common Cause New York.

“If it is a city purpose, it should be billed as a city trip, and not fall on wealthy special-interest groups to pay for it,” she added. “Wealthy special interest groups want something from the mayor and want something from the city: There is no free lunch.”

City officials countered that the mayor was simply being frugal by not spending taxpayer dollars on the trip, and that the city’s ethics board approved the funding mechanism.

“The city could have paid for it, but instead chose not to use city funds,” said City Hall spokesman Phil Walzak.

“The trip was paid for by the institutions hosting the events and the Campaign for One New York — as allowed by and approved by the Conflicts of Interest Board.”

The mayor has said his recent interest in promoting a national, progressive agenda stems from his belief that the city’s challenges with income inequality can only be resolved on a national scale.

Unlike city political campaign funds, the nonprofit — which is registered in New York as a 501(c)(4) — doesn’t have to worry about contribution limits, and only discloses donors twice a year.

That’s allowed groups to give massive amounts to help promote the mayor and his policies — including the United Federation of Teachers, which gave $350,000 to promote universal pre-K during its contract talks with the city early last year.

SEIU Local 1199 donated $250,000 earlier this year, and former Facebook president and billionaire entrepreneur Sean Parker gave $250,000 through the California firm Tektite in July.

A dozen other real estate and other firms, or their principals, that have business before the city have each donated more than $25,000 since de Blasio took office.
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Old 04-26-2015, 09:01 AM
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Default Re: De Blasio in secret bid to be Dems’ 2016 pick

http://nypost.com/2015/04/26/de-blas...le-class-life/

De Blasio slams Walker: He’s dismantling middle class life
By Laura Italiano
April 26, 2015 | 10:30am

Mayor de Blasio injected himself into the presidential race again Saturday, this time slamming Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, a contender for the Republican nomination, in his back yard for stripping government workers of the right to collective bargaining.

Walker is “working to dismantle the foundation for middle class life,” de Blasio told the Wisconsin Democratic Party. De Blasio has denied rumors he is mulling a presidential run.
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Old 04-27-2015, 11:49 AM
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Default Re: De Blasio in secret bid to be Dems’ 2016 pick

http://nypost.com/2015/04/27/de-blas...aseball-games/

De Blasio: New Yorkers are too mean to me at baseball games
By Chris Perez and Michael Gartland
April 27, 2015 | 1:35am

Hey Bill, there’s a reason it’s called a “Bronx cheer.”

Mayor Bill de Blasio whined to a crowd of hayseeds in the Midwest about how New Yorkers are too mean to him at baseball games — and said he was jealous of how well his Milwaukee counterpart is greeted by fans.

“I had the pleasure of taking in a Brewers game with Mayor Tom Barrett last night,” de Blasio told a group at a speech Saturday in Milwaukee. “I was struck by how many people kept coming up to the mayor to thank him for his service.”

“I go to quite a few baseball games in my city of New York, and I gotta admit — the reception isn’t always that cordial,” he added. “People recognize me, all right. But oftentimes our exchanges are limited to a few choice words . . . or even a particular finger!”

New York fans at the Subway Series on Sunday night said they aren’t going to pretend to be nice — and if de Blasio wants to get treated better, he’d better earn it.

“He’s the worst,” said Diane McGrath, 48, a city worker, who has rooted for the Yankees for 30 years.

“What kind of reaction does he expect to get? He disrespects this city, disrespects the cops in this city, gets booed at their funerals, and seriously expects to get treated nice when he comes to the baseball games?” she said. “Get out of here. New Yorkers don’t forget.”
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Old 05-06-2015, 11:05 AM
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Default Re: De Blasio in secret bid to be Dems’ 2016 pick

http://nypost.com/2015/05/06/latest-...for-de-blasio/

Latest poll shows ‘lukewarm’ support for de Blasio
By Aaron Short
May 6, 2015 | 2:08am

Voters are uneasy with the direction Mayor de Blasio is taking the city, according to a new poll.

Only 45 percent of New York voters think the city is moving in the right direction, while 49 percent believe it’s going the wrong way, a Wall Street Journal-NBC 4 New York- Marist poll of de Blasio’s performance has found.

It’s the first time since de Blasio took office as mayor in January 2014 that fewer than 50 percent of voters reported they think the city is on the right track, according to a Journal report on the poll.

An even worse number for the mayor: 57 percent of people in the city think quality of life has gotten worse or stayed the same over the past year, de Blasio’s first as mayor. And those who said it stayed the same did not think that was a good thing, the Journal reported.

Only about 20 percent of people think quality of life in the city has improved.

The only good news for the mayor was that, despite all the criticism of his performance, his overall approval rating edged up five points over the past year, from 39 percent to 44 percent.

That’s a much better rating than former Mayor Mike Bloomberg had at the same point in his administration. In May of 2003, he was only polling at a 32 percent approval rating.

“His overall approval rating is lukewarm but inching up,” Lee Miringoff, director of the Marist College Institute for Public Opinion, said of de Blasio.

One area in which de Blasio has been hammered is his handling of matters involving the NYPD, especially after his soft reaction to unrest in the city after the police-arrest death of Eric Garner last year.

According to the poll, only 37 percent of voters approve of the way de Blasio has handled police-community relations, compared with 57 percent who disapprove.

The poll also shows that de Blasio has the support of black New Yorkers, 66 percent of whom think he deserves to be re-elected. Only 28 percent of whites would like to see him stay in office eight years.

Meanwhile, one of the mayor’s particularly bad habits got rapped: According to the poll, 55 percent of voters think his constant lateness is irresponsible.

De Blasio complained in an e-mail to his staff on Tuesday that they should coordinate with his police detail after he arrived late at an event Monday, according to a New York Times report.
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Old 05-06-2015, 11:19 AM
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Default Re: De Blasio in secret bid to be Dems’ 2016 pick

http://nypost.com/2015/05/06/city-wo...000-employees/

City workforce grows by more than 6,000 employees
By Yoav Gonen
May 6, 2015 | 12:09am

The more the merrier.

The city government workforce is bulking up to pre-recession levels — growing by more than 6,000 employees to 308,997 in the fiscal year that starts on July 1, documents show.

Among the agencies expected to see the largest increases are the Department of Education, with 1,671 new workers; the Correction Department, with 534 more staffers; the FDNY, with 463 more; and child welfare, which is set to add 445 workers.

In February, Mayor de Blasio released a preliminary budget for fiscal 2016 with $77.7 billion in spending. His executive budget is due Thursday.
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Old 05-07-2015, 10:47 AM
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Default Re: De Blasio in secret bid to be Dems’ 2016 pick

http://nypost.com/2015/05/07/de-blas...r-1-7-million/

De Blasio proposes ‘mansion tax’ on homes over $1.7 million
By Joe Tacopino
May 7, 2015 | 1:49am

Mayor de Blasio is proposing a “mansion tax” on homes that cost more than $1.7 million, as part as a vast program that would increase affordable housing across the city.

The tax would generate more than $200 million and help build or maintain more than 200,000 affordable living spaces over the next decade, according to The New York Times.

The ambitious plan, which would need approval from Albany, would also urge developers to devote 25 to 30 percent of new projects to working-class families in return for a tax break, the Times said.

Although he would face a tough fight with state legislators, De Blasio is optimistic because Gov. Cuomo recently signaled support for the idea.

“No more tax breaks without building affordable housing in return,” de Blasio told the paper.

“This can’t be a city of just penthouses and luxury condos. We are turning the page, and making sure the same pressures that have pushed New Yorkers out of their neighborhoods are harnessed to build the next generation of affordable housing.”

The mayor believes his program could create more than 60,000 affordable homes in the next decade.

His plan stems from the “Five-Borough Ten-Year” mission to solve the crisis of affordable housing in New York City, but also builds on meetings the administration had with builders, developers, housing activists and urban
planners, the Times said.

De Blasio has garnered support from the Real Estate Board of New York, a lobbying organization with significant political influence.

“We’re going to support it, including the mansion tax,” Steven Spinola, president of the board, told The Times. “We’re not happy about everything, but we think it will lead to building more affordable housing.”
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Old 05-07-2015, 11:47 AM
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Default Re: De Blasio in secret bid to be Dems’ 2016 pick

http://nypost.com/2015/05/06/city-ba...f-job-seekers/

City bans ‘unfair’ credit screenings of job seekers
By Michael Gartland
May 6, 2015 | 10:24pm

Employers in the city soon won’t be able to use credit checks to screen job applicants.

Under a bill signed into law Wednesday by Mayor de Blasio, businesses will be banned from using credit reports, bankruptcies and liens to disqualify people from employment.

The law, which was sponsored by Councilman Brad Lander (D-Brooklyn), takes effect in 120 days.

Advocates have pressed politicians for the prohibition because they say law-abiding applicants can’t get jobs after being saddled with student loans or medical bills that have ruined their credit.

“Credit checks for employment unfairly lock New Yorkers out of jobs. There is no link that can be shown between credit history and job performance, and now New York City law reflects that fact,” Lander said.

He called the new law the toughest of its kind in the nation.

But it still provides exemptions.

Law-enforcement personnel, employees who have to be bonded and financial-service workers will all still be subject to credit vetting.

Kathryn Wylde, CEO of the Partnership for New York City, which represents some of the city’s largest employers, described the law as striking “an important balance” that will still enable “employers to conduct credit checks for the most sensitive job openings while reducing chances that a poor credit history will unfairly disqualify job candidates.”

Still, Wylde said the partnership would be monitoring the law’s implementation to assess its “costs and consequences.”

Only three council members voted against the measure: Steven Matteo (R-SI, Mark Weprin (D-Queens) and Eric Ulrich (R-Queens).

“We cannot dictate to businesses what information is important in choosing their own employees when it could have a bearing on their suitability for the job they are seeking,” Matteo said.

“This bill, while well-intentioned, was simply too much government interference.”
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Old 05-07-2015, 11:49 AM
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Default Re: De Blasio in secret bid to be Dems’ 2016 pick

http://nypost.com/2015/05/06/new-yor...e-in-violence/

New York City jails see ‘significant’ rise in violence
By Michael Gartland
May 6, 2015 | 10:28pm


Elizabeth Crowley
Photo: William Farrington


Violent incidents in the city’s jails have increased despite reforms enacted by the de Blasio administration, according to figures released Wednesday by a Queens lawmaker.

City Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley, who heads the committee overseeing the Correction Department, said the number of assaults on jail staffers increased from 240 between October and December 2014 to 263 between January and March 2015. Serious injuries climbed from 73 to 86 in the same periods.

The total number of incidents rose 2 percent, to 2,617.

“These are significant jumps,” she said at a City Hall hearing.

She praised Correction Commissioner Joseph Ponte for a decrease in violence among 16- and 17-year-old inmates, but asked why the dip wasn’t widespread.

Ponte blamed the spike on “the type of inmates we have” and tight prisoners’ quarters, which he said are being revamped.

Legislators also want the city to provide inmates with a “bill of rights” spelling out basic jail regulations. Ponte said he backed that idea.
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Old 05-09-2015, 09:07 AM
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Default Re: De Blasio in secret bid to be Dems’ 2016 pick

http://nypost.com/2015/05/09/job-pla...ge-commitment/

Job placements drop 30 percent after de Blasio’s ‘living wage’ commitment
By Yoav Gonen
May 9, 2015 | 1:10am

Job placements through the city’s employment centers plummeted by nearly 30 percent after the de Blasio administration stopped dealing with employers who pay less than a “living wage” for part-time work, new data show.

About 28,300 applicants were placed into jobs in 2014, compared to 39,800 in 2013 — the final year of the Bloomberg administration.

The sharp drop came after the city began requiring participating employers to offer either full-time work or pay at least $10 an hour as of April 2014. The “living wage” requirement was bumped up again last month to $11.50 per hour.

Some experts question that strategy, wondering what happens to the thousands who didn’t get jobs.

“Should the city not serve those folks who can only get minimum-wage jobs at this point?” asked Professor Ester Fuchs of Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs, who serves on the city’s Workforce Investment Board.

“The bottom line is they’re placing less people in employment while the number of jobs in the city is increasing,” she said. “It flies in the face of the mayor’s ideological commitment to helping the people at the bottom.”

City officials say the decrease in hires at 17 Workforce1 career centers stems from a deliberate focus on quality over quantity.

The new restrictions initially bumped up the average wage for city-placed hires from $10.71 an hour in 2013 to $11.35 an hour last year, they said. In the first three months of 2015, the average wage increased again to $13.23 per hour, officials added.

“Wages are up, but jobs are down — to be truly meaningful, we want growth on both fronts,” said City Councilman Dan Garodnick (D-Manhattan), chair of the Committee on Economic Development.

Additionally, the percentage of full-time job placements also climbed, from 43 percent in 2013 to 56 percent last year.

“Every New Yorker deserves to earn a wage that can sustain a family,” said Commissioner Maria Torres-Springer of the Department of Small Business Services, which oversees the jobs centers.

“We expect to continue to see this upward progression as we deepen engagement with employers, equip New Yorkers with in-demand skills and connect more people to good jobs in key growth sectors.”

The city earmarked $20 million in federal funds toward the Workforce1 program, which was launched by former Mayor Mike Bloomberg early in his first term.

Mayor de Blasio announced an overhaul of the initiative in November — including efforts to require firms that do business with the city to give priority to applicants from the jobs centers.
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