Sunday, April 5, 2015

How the tweeding gets done

From Progress Queens:

In an investigative report broadcast Wednesday evening on NY1 Inside City Hall, the journalist Grace Rauh pulled back the curtain on the unregistered lobbying firm, BerlinRosen.

One of BerlinRosen's name partners, Jonathan Rosen, is a close advisor to Mayor Bill de Blasio (D-New York City). Indeed, BerlinRosen worked on the de Blasio mayoral campaign in 2013 and maintains close ties to Mayor de Blasio. A report published last year in The New York Post showed that Mayor de Blasio regularly consults with BerlinRosen by phone.

In 2014, Mr. Rosen attended 20 meetings with Mayor de Blasio, according to a review conducted by NY1 of Mayor de Blasio's calendar. Those meetings have given Mr. Rosen access to inside information about the de Blasio administration.

That insider access gives Mr. Rosen and his firm with access to present his clients' business to Mayor de Blasio, and Mr. Rosen is extremely aware of political sensitivities specific to Mayor de Blasio, allowing Mr. Rosen to guide his clients according to Mr. Rosen's knowledge of Mayor de Blasio's political sensitivities.

One nonprofit client of BerlinRosen, which Ms. Rauh highlighted in her report, was Communities United for Police Reform, a coalition of police reform groups that, for much of 2014, deliberately deescalated pressure for police reform, so as not to embarrass Mayor de Blasio. However, late in 2014, after police reform activists began to demand that Mayor de Blasio hold the New York Police Department accountable for police brutality and officer-involved fatalities, BerlinRosen separated from its representation of Communities United for Police Reform, because BerlinRosen did not want to jeopardize its lucrative business opportunities, which are premised on maintain close ties to Mayor de Blasio.

The political phenomenon of elected officials subjugating nonprofit social groups into deescalation has been described by Jane Hamsher, the publisher of Firedoglake, as locking groups into a "veal pen." The local phenomenon of the "veal pen" was the subject of a workshop as the 2014 Left Forum.

BerlinRosen also represents the Coalition for the Homeless, a group that refuses to hold Mayor de Blasio accountable for the runaway spike in homeless during his mayoral administration, and the external nonprofit lobbying arm of City Hall, the Campaign for One New York.

The Campaign for One New York raises big money donations from special interests, who have business before New York City government. How many favors are being traded either by BerlinRosen on its own behalf or on behalf of the de Blasio administration in order to raise large sums of unregulated money for the controversial lobbying arm of City Hall ?

Ms. Rauh's report noted that because BerlinRosen is an unregistered lobbying firm, the public has no transparency into which private corporate clients the firm may represent or how much the firm is being paid -- transparency that does exist for registered lobbying firms, according to Ms. Rauh.

Another issue raised in Ms. Rauh's report is the fact that BerlinRosen can skirt campaign finance regulations that place a cap on campaign contributions for municipal officials.

Not mentioned in Ms. Rauh's report, however, is the fact that BerlinRoses uses the Campaign for One New York to coördinate its political and lobbying activities with City Hall when, during the normal course of an election cycle, such coördination would be deemed a violation of campaign finance law as amended by the Supreme Court's decision in the Citizen United case.

BerlinRosen's lucrative business opportunities are given to it by its access to inside information about the de Blasio administration, and the public has no insight about how BerlinRosen may be exploiting that insider access, except that, on a few occasions, it becomes known that the firm is representing many sides on the same transaction, a revelation that became clear when it was reported that BerlinRosen was being paid by Two Trees Management, a real estate developer on whose behalf BerlinRosen consulted, in connection with a zone-busting real estate development project at the site of the old Domino Sugar factory in Brooklyn. BerlinRosen was representing Two Trees Management at the same time when BerlinRosen was advising City Hall on other matters.


Anonymous said...

DiBladio and City Hall are Not For Sale,Its already Bought and Paid For.
Political Corruption is the Worst I've ever seen.GANSTERS EVERY ONE OF THEM.

Anonymous said...

We should all be steeling like these guys!!!
Jump a turnstyle and go to jail
Rip of the tax payer and retire in luxary
These guys make Charlie Rangle look HONAST!!!

Anonymous said...

They need Two Trees to hang you when they catch you steeling from Them!!

Anonymous said...

Conservative or liberal...the " old boys'" network is the bane of political corruption. One hand washes the other but the shit won't come off. It just gets spread aroun on everything the cabal touchés. Don't shake Paul Vallone's hand without an anti bacterial wipe handy. He's your local shit heal.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Can a NYC mayor be recalled?
If not, which legislative body would have oversight and who would be bold enough to introduce a bill that
would allow such a measure?

JQ said...

On the heels of Avella's proposal to vet consulting firms too.

And what, that slick manchild doesn't want to respond to a report. I was under the impression that these people were sociopaths and would eloquently explain their skill sets and expertise in duplicity.

Clearly, these enlightened faux progressive dumbasses don't have a damn idea of their own on how to make the city and its services function appropriatly, so they give our tax dollars to these creeps to hype then water down any proposals and the one city agenda.

What's going on is this unelected unregistered firm is writing legislation on our taxes. And what have we got from their advice, burgeoning crime, excessive development and the continuing cancerous cost of living and inequity for the middle and lower working classes.

Give this time though, this may be what Preet was hinting that more will come. As Silver was once a client, and the worst of city council are also (Note Jimmy Von Creamer, and Fatty Julianna Ferreras)

Anonymous said...

Were just compensating 💰 ourselves 😁 for the Hard Work we do for you ingratefull tax payers 😤
Now go pound Sand.

Anonymous said...

Louis Flores has more talent than a gaggle of NYTimes journalists.

Richard Iritano said...

Yes, Fatty Julissa Ferreras---as in fat, bloated lies. Back on Friday, February 25, 2011, Fatty Liar Ferreras was aligned by the hip to confirmed 'Lying, Sexting, Fraudster,' Anthony Weiner (who, ironically, still has a voice through regular Daily News columns of epic fail). On that drizzly Friday afternoon at 12:00 p.m. Anthony Weiner was 20 minutes late for a press conference that his own office arranged at the foot of the 'Triumph of Civic Virtue Statue'located on Queens Boulevard, that was diagonally across the street from his former congressional offices in Kew Gardens. At the time, Weiner brazenly suggested that this precious work Greek mythological allegory (made of precious Italian marble), should be sold on Craig's List. Before the local news cameras were even rolling, I called Ms. Ferreras aside and concisely explained that the statue in question was not a work of misogyny, but of allegorical inclusion---which the message is clear in its universal banishment of corruption and vice. Also, I went on to explain that the statue itself is not "crushing two women," because the female sea sirens that are draped around the statue's feet at the bottom of a bedrock platform, are not real women at all (they were allegories for corruption and vice, and I further explained to Ferreras that the same allegorical reversal is prominently displayed in similar European statuary and fountains (where there exist male sea sirens at the base of a female figure). But, my MBA from Cornell fell upon deaf ears in the bizarr-o world of art maven Julissa Ferreras. As soon as Weiner was finished with his bullshit diatribe, Ms. Ferreras proudly proclaimed that the male figure was visibly crushing two women, and according to her and her faux esteemed constituents, they found this statement to be offensive! Taxpayer dollars hard at work, and ignoring truth, fact, evidence and proof---as told by an empowered idiot like Ferreras, who continues to play into the hands of a third female borough president who continues to perpetuate artistic falsehoods, in favor of a personal belief system that betrays public trust and historic knowledge. Bring back the 'Triumph of Civic Virtue' to a working fountain base, Madam President. The taxpayer has already paid for the cleaning, conservation and preservation of the wrongly evicted statue (that was banished to Brooklyn's Green-Wood Cemetary, where it remains on temporary loan). To allocate the marginal funding to return this statue to a working fountain would lend great credibility to all previous claims made by you that Queens County is still a democracy of valued, public input. Let Community Board 9 have a formal vote, followed by urgently needed meetings to resume with your administration to work together in civic harmony for Civic Virtue's long awaited return to the borough to which it was proudly gifted to by former Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia. Alas, if fairness, honesty, openness and transparency is disallowed from prevailing upon its democratic, taxpaying subjects, then how can any government body expect to be viewed with honest, ethical leadership (that leads by example)? Please do the right thing for true democracy to always prevail!

Anonymous said...

"Faux Progressive Dumbasses"
Who are you kidding,their Robbing us Blind and you call them Dumbasses?
TheY know for a Fact WERE THE DUMASSES and there is not one thing we can do about it

Richard Iritano said...

Alas, even if Queens Crap online was ordered to be required reading by purportedly top level city and state government leadership (i.e., mayor, city council speaker and all councilmembers), assemblymen, state senators, right up to the governor himself), there STILL wouldn't be any effective change and/or honest, ethical leadership (that leads by example), or freedom and democracy to prevail upon its taxpaying subjects. Today, more than ever before, it's taxation without representation---and the hardworking, taxpaying public be damned!

Anonymous said...

Queens Historical Society...
although not permitted to support political candidates directly, under it's not for profit status, give moral support to the locals in return for funding.
Evan Stavisky strong armed Flushing Town Hall into using Parkside Group's services for lobbying for their funding.
They claimed that they could secure the most for the fees they had to pay Parkside.
So, even 501C3 not for profits are skirting around the law.
Kiss your pols' asses or be left without grant money.