Shining bright lights on backroom deals in the NYC body politic.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

NO, You Show Me The Money!

So Says Speaker Quinn

Hmmmm .... forget what we said the other day. Quinn just wants more money - period.

No mention of givebacks, no mention of Council Members paying for more of their healthcare coverage, no mention of pension adjustments or agreement to work additional hours, and no mind the working New Yorkers who have seen little to no quality of life improvements over the past decade.

Quinn wants a raise for Council Members and apparently, that's that!


Friday, April 21, 2006

Show Us The Money!

Or Not?

Since the establishment (especially ours) tends to move in lockstep, should be interesting to see whether or not the Mayor's salary panel, the City Council Speaker and our other elected officials follow Hillary's lead on this one:

Sen. Clinton wants no raise without a minimum wage boost

Questions is, what can Council Members, BPs, the Public Advocate and others offer New Yorkers first, before suckin' on the public trough?

Curious minds (and taxpayers) want to know...

Monday, April 17, 2006

Fresh Kill

Have At It!

Alright all you salary pimps and whores.

The 2006 list of all city employees and their salaries (as of April 1, 2006) was just released.

Your tax dollars hard at work ... or not.


Last names A-L, click here

Last names, L-Z, click here

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Salary Scheming

Deal or No Deal?

The edit heads at the Daily News vote No Deal today for City Council pay raises (of which, Barry Popik reminds us).

But we here at Backroomie, we're in to matters even more ludicrous. And that's the panel that Mayor Bloomberg created to render advice on this matter.

Frank Lombardi of the said News recently reminded us that this panel historically is but a facade for money-hungry lawmakers, and that in the past 23 years they have never NOT recommended a salary increase. OK.

But here's what we'd also like to know. Have the panelists' interests and/or conflicts thereof been fully disclosed. B/c, if so, we certainly haven't been privy to that information.

So, for starters, here are some things you may want to know about your salary judges:

1. Tom A. Bernstein, president and co-founder of Chelsea Piers, has made campaign contributions to the following pols: Public Advocate Betsy Gotbaum, Comptroller Bill Thompson, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer and Council Member David Yassky; and also to Attorney General candidate Mark Green.

2. G. G. Michelson also contributed to the coffers of Public Advocate Gotbaum.

3. Stephanie Palmer, of the New York Mission Society, contributed to former Manhattan Borough President C. Virginia Fields.

Someone want to check if either Chelsea Piers or the New York Mission Society receive City funding?

Friday, April 07, 2006

Oink! Oink!

The Council's Phat Pork

EJ McMahon of the Manhattan Institute did a very good thing last week in releasing his research of all that is Albany's pork. Simply put, that shit was so obviously fat and yuuuuuuuummmy!

We were inspired. So we thought we'd give you a glimpse of all that is the Council's pork. Because we know that shit is just as yummy.

What's most interesting, though, is to really see one's truest "priorities". And it appears that Giffie's priorities were the gay community (Hetrick Martin Institute got $229,000), some Jews (United Jewish Organization of Williamsburg got $350,000) and of course, the High Line - of which he's a very good friend (they got $250,000).

Interestingly, the Hetrick Martin Institute alone received more money than all the organizations with the word "Harlem" in their names combined. Go figure!

UFT's A Foot Drag

Let Stossel Teach

It wasn't so long ago that we reported on Randi's Pavlovian response to John Stossel's "Stupid in America" segment on ABC's 20/20.

After ABC aired this controversial piece, Randi brought out the troops to bash Stossel and ABC. But remarkably, Stossel responded by going outdoors to face the angry mob. At the protest, he also accepted what was then a very loud invitation to teach for a week at a school of the UFT's choosing.

But, predictably...

Like most of our dealings with the union, nothing was easy. It took weeks of phone calls to make any sort of progress. I suspect this will not surprise public-school parents.

...Then there were more meetings. Finally, four days before what was supposed to be my first day of class, they canceled. Officially, "they" were the public school administrators who said it might be "disruptive" and that it might "set a precedent" that would open their doors to other reporters.

Too bad. Letting cameras into schools would be a
good thing. Taxpayers might finally get to see how more than $200,000 per classroom of their money was being spent.

I wonder why the union even made the challenge. I suspect the UFT didn't expect me to say yes. When I turned out not to be easily intimidated, the teachers' union and the government school monopoly folded. Perhaps there's a lesson there.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Quinn, A Yankees Fan?

That's The Word

Today's a big day at the Council. A sold out crowd is anticipated in the Council Chambers as Members, lobbyists and Yankee fans anxiously await the Council's approval of the Yankee stadium deal.

And from what we hear on the proverbial street, la Speaker Quinn has no intention of disappointing.

Quinn has taken the not-so-unusual, Giffie-style-step of warning her rogue-est of Members - Barron, Avella and James, to be exact - that should they fail to fall in line with the Yankee deal that they might as well kiss their sweet pet projects good-bye.

Ahhhhhh ... nothin' like the sweet smell of reformia!

[and to keep ourselves in check, we hereby resolve to publish any response la Speaker Quinn would like to send in -]

Monday, April 03, 2006

A Mean Green Fighting Machine?

That's How We Like Our AG's

Fred Dicker of the New York Post really stuck it to a man today. And that man? Attorney General Candidate Mark Green.

Not only did Dicker humiliate Green by highlighting what appears to be his all but inevitable failure to get onto the ballot by way of backroom Democratic politicking, but he continued to sucker punch Green with these nasty blind quotes:

"Green will have a hard time getting to 25 percent - that's become clear," said one of the state's most important Democrats, who is neutral in the attorney general's race.

"People just don't like him. He's obnoxious. And while Cuomo is arrogant, too, he is able to hide it.

"He's turned on the charm and is more compelling and seemingly sincere. Mark is forced. He can't mask it," the insider added.

Journalistically, not such an impressive feat on Dicker's part; but what is of interest to us is how Green will respond, if at all, and why he hasn't already. Because we can't imagine an Attorney General candidate simply rolling over... especially one that seems to grasp the potential of the blogosphere.

As an aside, Adam Nagourney of the Times wrote an interesting piece this past weekend on how politics and politicians are facing sweeping changes by way of the net. The question for Green, then, is will he get swept under this wave or find a way to surf it?

Hopefully Green won't go the way of Dicker by stickin' it to himself!