A Sheldon Silver Mystery: Did He Betray New York Renters?

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York When New York enacted a major rent regulation law in 2011, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver celebrated the passage of the legislation as a victory over real estate interests.“Despite fierce and well-financed opposition to working families in New York City, we were able to secure important victories for tenants,” he said at the time.But the bribery case against Silver unveiled by prosecutors last week raises questions about whether Silver pulled his punches in negotiations on that 2011 bill, potentially at the expense of hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers who live in rent stabilized apartments.A little-scrutinized section of the criminal complaint alleges a luxury developer implicated in the Silver bribery scheme requested changes to the law. The changes were ultimately adopted.The complaint has tenant advocates who lobbied on the bill, known as the Rent Act of 2011, wondering what really happened. For now, it’s a mystery: U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara hasn’t specified what change Silver made on behalf of a developer who was part of the alleged bribery scheme.“It’s hugely important,” says Benjamin Dulchin of the Association for Neighborhood and Housing Development. “I hope Preet Bharara tells us someday.”The complaint itself provides only a bit of detail.With the legislation pending, it says, “the Lobbyists met, on behalf of Developer 1, with Silver in his State office to advocate for certain proposed terms for the new Real Estate Legislation. The legislation that was enacted included Developer 1’s recommendations in substantial part.”“Developer 1” is widely reported to be Glenwood Management, the politically influential firm of centenarian developer Leonard Litwin.So what might Glenwood have wanted out of the legislation?The heart of the fight that year centered on rent regulation, which limits rent increases on about a million units in New York City, including some of Glenwood’s. The state law governing rent regulation comes up for renewal periodically.Landlords can deregulate apartments and begin charging market-rate rents under certain circumstances, such as when an apartment becomes vacant and its rent passes a threshold, at the time $2,000. As a result, over 200,000 units have become deregulated over the past 30 years. In the 2011 negotiations, tenant advocates wanted to stem the flow of units out of the program by tightening the rules. Another focal point was the formula that governs how much landlords can raise rent on regulated apartments when they invest money in improvements.There were other matters the legislation dealt with that could have been of interest to Glenwood Management, including tax exemptions for new development. The firm did not respond to a request for comment.Silver has said he will be vindicated when the case is aired in court. His lawyers did not respond to a request for comment.The ultimate rent deal struck in 2011 among Silver, Gov. Andrew Cuomo, and the state Senate did not please tenant advocates.“Both Cuomo and Silver tried to spin the 2011 bill as a great victory for tenants when in fact there were very minor improvements,” says Michael McKee, the treasurer of the Tenants Political Action Committee, who lobbied on the bill.He says even at the time—long before the alleged bribery scheme between Silver and the developer was known—it wasn’t clear where exactly Silver stood.“Silver was not forthcoming about what he was working to achieve,” McKee says. “Silver always presented himself as pro-tenant, but who knows what happened behind closed doors?”While Silver is seen as more pro-tenant than many others in Albany, including Republicans in the state Senate, tenant advocates have long viewed him as an unreliable ally.The New York Times story reporting the eleventh hour deal on the 2011 law noted that it fell “well short of what many Democrats and tenant activists had hoped for.” Silver was also quoted saying it was time to stop fighting for a stronger package. “I think the days of pushing are over,” Silver said.In last week’s criminal complaint, prosecutors also quote an internal memo from an unnamed real estate developer association.  The memo concluded “in connection with the 2011 rent regulation reauthorization that Silver was considerably more favorable to the real estate industry than expected.” The memo said that “though he may never be the owners advocate, given that the Governor wanted [certain proposals] off the table and wanted to restore his reputation with tenants, it would appear that he (Silver) could have successfully pushed for more.”If the Silver case goes to trial, prosecutors will likely have to flesh out the episode.“Some more favorable treatment specifically by Mr. Silver towards the developers in question will have to be proven, something more concrete than speculation that he was less unfavorable towards the real estate industry in general than he could have been,” says Robert Walker, a government ethics law specialist at Wiley Rein.Have information about this story or a tip? 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ZENITH BANK/DELTA PRINCIPALS’ CUP: Q’finalists Emerge, Battle for Semis Ticket…

first_imgAfter five days of intense battle in the zonal elimination series with 26 qualifiers competing for honours in eight zones and 10 centres, the quarterfinalists for the 2019 Delta State Principals’ Cup emerged at the weekend.The Principals’ Cup football competition is a developmental tournament sponsored by Zenith Bank after the partnership agreement with the Governor Ifeanyi Okowa administration. The partnership revived the event only two years ago after being in limbo for over 27 years.The quarterfinalists schools include; Comprehensive Secondary School, Owa Model Secondary School, Boys Secondary School, Orhuwhorun Secondary School, Obule Integrated Secondary School, Sapele , Solid Rock Foundation School, Uwheru Government School and  Ekpan Secondary School. The quarterfinals will be decided today in four different centres and according to the pairing released by the organizing team, Comprehensive Secondary School and Owa Model Secondary School will clash at the Kwale Township Stadium while Boys Secondary School will tango with Orhuwhorun Secondary School at the Oleh Township Stadium.At the Warri Township Stadium, Obule Integrated School and Solid Rock Secondary School will compete for honours just as Otujeremi Township Stadium will host the last pairings between Uwheru Government School and Ekpan Secondary School.Head of the organizing team, Tony Pemu, said all matches would start simultaneously at 2pm at the four centres.Pemu said: “We are all set for the quarterfinals and we are excited that the standard is getting higher everyday. The dates and venues for the semis and final games will be determined soon after the meeting of the Main Organising Committee for the competition.“The joy we derive so far is the way the event has been growing with every edition. Delta State Government and the sponsors, Zenith Bank, have been wonderful.”The Group Managing Director of Zenith Bank, Peter Amangbo, has stressed that the outfit was proud of the competition.“We are happy that this competition is an avenue for some youths to emerge and start their career to be good professionals for themselves and the country in future,” Amangbo said.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram Ifeanyi Okowalast_img read more

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Cueball’s blog: The importance of Christmas was never more apparent this year

first_img Close Forgot password? Please put in your email: Send me my password! Close message Login This blog post All blog posts Subscribe to this blog post’s comments through… RSS Feed Subscribe via email Subscribe Subscribe to this blog’s comments through… RSS Feed Subscribe via email Subscribe Follow the discussion Comments (11) Logging you in… Close Login to IntenseDebate Or create an account Username or Email: Password: Forgot login? Cancel Login Close WordPress.com Username or Email: Password: Lost your password? Cancel Login Dashboard | Edit profile | Logout Logged in as Admin Options Disable comments for this page Save Settings Sort by: Date Rating Last Activity Loading comments… You are about to flag this comment as being inappropriate. Please explain why you are flagging this comment in the text box below and submit your report. The blog admin will be notified. Thank you for your input. -16 Vote up Vote down cgilbert · 293 weeks ago That’s the problem with a “news outlet” where a single person is writer, contributor, editor. No checks or balances. We get what *that person* deems newsworthy, tasteful, pertinent. And we get his opinions, both in terms of what is published, it’s angle, and his censorship of comments. What we have is a well-meaning fellow imposing *his* way of thinking via e-media in a town dreadfully devoid of other options. A fellow who has had difficulty working within the “constraints” of an organized paper in the past, who now has nobody now to overrule him. Report Reply 2 replies · active 293 weeks ago +25 Vote up Vote down Home Town Boy · 293 weeks ago cgilbert I have to differ with you on no one can over rule cue, We the public do not have to visit this site if we feel it is not worthy of visiting. I love what Tracy is doing for the community and using his experience in journalism to bring us the best he can with what he has to work with. Thanks again Tracy for having this site for us. Report Reply 0 replies · active 293 weeks ago +18 Vote up Vote down Satisfied Reader · 293 weeks ago cgilbert I don’t think you are being fair. I would agree with you if Cue did not allow the public to post on his site differing opinions. I have disagreed with him several times and he sure does post my reply word for word. So while a person may feel he is pushing a certain agenda you certainly have the freedom here to post the opposing view. You can also talk to him face to face if you feel he is wrong. And lastly if you feel the newscow is so out of touch you have the freedom to not punch it up on your computer screen. Keep up the good work Tracy. I look forward to agreeing and at times disagreeing with you and letting you know both! Report Reply 0 replies · active 293 weeks ago +3 Vote up Vote down crusader pride · 293 weeks ago Cgilbert..you say it is a one sided reporters slanted view…ok..when was the last time the Wellington Wednesday, Wichita Eagle or any of the three stations in Wichita sent more than one reporter to cover an event. So basically your getting the same one sides slanted view from that reporter. One thing nice is Tracy is local and knows people. Do I think at times he is full of it and we disagree…absolutely..but like one person said do you agree with all media reports..no. Tracy seen that Wellington and Sumner County was lacking for local news. He has provided a service backed by local advertisers to bring that local news to us…if you don’t like it don’t log on. You basically gave your one sided slanted view and it seems everyone disagrees with you… Report Reply 0 replies · active 293 weeks ago 0 Vote up Vote down cgilbert · 293 weeks ago OK, I can take the criticism. I understand and support the differing opinions. My intent was not to say that he’s not providing a good service, here. I just don’t espouse, as do most media, the notion that one guy should be writer, sole contributor, editor, and jury when it comes to content. The posting of the terrifying 911 call before the child was even laid to rest was, in many opinions, very poor taste and using the “the Eagle did it first…” as an excuse is “weak speak” for “I want web site hits too!” Running police notes about burned out headlights is another one – this practice has no value and does not “deter crime” — it just feeds the gossipy. Thank you for not culling my posts on this matter. Report Reply 1 reply · active 293 weeks ago -3 Vote up Vote down voodoo child · 293 weeks ago Okay, so Eddie Shaw had his moments I am sure. No harm no foul life go’s on and as long as your fair nobody can stand flat footed look you in the headlines and *****. Report Reply 0 replies · active 293 weeks ago +3 Vote up Vote down WHS73 · 293 weeks ago Hmmm. I remember a front page article in the Daily News that appeared probably 30 years ago. It was a report on an apparent suicide that said the name couldn’t be released until family had been notified. And then the article went on to say, “It is rumored” followed by the man’s name. Now how did that pass the editor’s scrutinizing eye? It’s the kind of reporting Sumner Newscow seems to be avoiding with the proverbial 10-foot pole. I doubt we’ll see an “it’s been rumored”here. And I, for one, am grateful. Report Reply 0 replies · active 293 weeks ago +1 Vote up Vote down MJE · 293 weeks ago Cgilbert has a point. I don’t mean about the release of the 911 call- I think that has news value. But when one person is the editor, publisher, and only reporter, how can you offer comprehensive and complete news coverage? Sumner Newscow’s coverage does tend to be uneven. There’s is extensive coverage of school sports, but significantly less coverage of some other school activities. There is lots of coverage of Wellington, but much less of other Sumner County communities. Wellington City Council and meetings are covered, but not those of other Sumner County cities or the county commission. Sure, the guy paying for the webhosting gets to decide what to post, but I’m sure Tracy wants to produce the best news site he can. Report Reply 0 replies · active 293 weeks ago Post a new comment Enter text right here! Comment as a Guest, or login: Login to IntenseDebate Login to WordPress.com Login to Twitter Go back Tweet this comment Connected as (Logout) Email (optional) Not displayed publicly. Name Email Website (optional) Displayed next to your comments. Not displayed publicly. If you have a website, link to it here. Posting anonymously. Tweet this comment Submit Comment Subscribe to None Replies All new comments Comments by IntenseDebate Enter text right here! Reply as a Guest, or login: Login to IntenseDebate Login to WordPress.com Login to Twitter Go back Tweet this comment Connected as (Logout) Email (optional) Not displayed publicly. Name Email Website (optional) Displayed next to your comments. Not displayed publicly. If you have a website, link to it here. Posting anonymously. Tweet this comment Cancel Submit Comment Subscribe to None Replies All new comments 1. The need for Christmas …This past week was not a hopping one on the news front. We shopped, we wrapped, we met friends and relatives we haven’t seen in awhile, we talked, we reacquainted ourselves with loved ones in different towns and cities. But we didn’t do anything really newsworthy.That’s great, because the week before was one of the most stunning news weeks in Wellington history that included the murder of a 10-year-old boy, and a personal tragedy of a well known young man.This holiday season was bittersweet. Christmas is not only a time to remember the birth of Christ, but it is about our renewal of hope within ourselves. Tragedy struck so quickly and stunningly in the heart of the Christmas season this year in Wellington, that it made it difficult to do that.But for me, the holiday couldn’t have come at a better time. It was much needed therapy. We need Christmas — not just for the gifts we buy, the eggnog we may drink, the food we eat, or the activities we share. We need it to remind ourselves that is OK to love one another.Like the carol says: Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year — especially if we allow it to be. 3. The 911 call… Perhaps the most agonizing decision I made last week was whether or not I should link the Blansett 911 call that evening on this site. This is the one time I’m glad to have comrades in the media business.Emergency 911 calls are open record, and there was immediate discussion with my Winfield partner on whether or not to proceed with obtaining that information. My dilemma was whether it served any purpose at the time for the public at large to listen to the 911 tape and if it would be insensitive and callous for Sumner Newscow to do so.However, KSN-TV, Channel 3 in Wichita would be the first to release the tape publicly on that Wednesday. The Wichita Eagle followed suit, and by Friday other media outlets had done the same. Whether Newscow would release the 911 tape became a moot point since it was about everywhere else. I decided to link it from the You Tube page made by the Wichita Eagle on Friday afternoon.It received little reaction. By that point it appeared the public was oversaturated with murder news and was jaded from a wearisome week.Ultimately, I would have sought the tape had no one else done so. But it was more a case of timing for me. My preference was to wait until the holiday season was over and give us enough time where we could sit down and legitimately look at this particular aspect of the story more objectively.The Wichita media, on the other hand, was quick to get it out into the open. Again, it was another one of those ethical dilemmas where there are no right or wrong reasons.Now do I believe such tapes should be available to the public? Absolutely. The fact Ms. Blansett was the actual person to make the phone call means everything in this case and by making this public clears up a lot of rumors and innuendos.And I have always believed, that reporting truth serves a community a greater purpose in this age of massive distribution of misinformation.4. The Interview… Ratcheting this column way down, The Interview, the controversial movie starring James Franco and Seth Rogen, was released this week after initially being banned because of  threats and computer hacking by North Korea operatives.The movie was released online Christmas Day through digital streaming and a few independent movie houses are now showing it. So far no theater in the Wichita area is showing the flick. It was rather a passive-aggressive approach by Sony Pictures, who looked like dunces through the whole controversy.I told Wellington Regent Theater manager Jerry Fike the other day when the complete ban of the movie was in effect, he needed to find a bootleg copy or find a movie insider that could supply a digital copy so he could be the only theater in America to show the film. Not only could we get Fox News and CNN reporters to come down to our humble community but it would be intriguing to see how much Fike could charge customers who “had” to see this movie.A couple of days ago, I was all worked up about censorship and the wusses who own the theaters. Now my feelings have evolved.The reviews are just coming in and the movie appears to be a dud — with uninspiring writing and acting. It really isn’t that funny.That is ironic because the reality surrounding the movie is hysterical. 2. Why we do what we do…Caleb BlansettThe murder of Caleb Chad Blansett came with many ethical questions I grappled with as a news reporter. My biggest dilemma was what constituted news and what was unnecessary sensationalism.I hope people have come to realize my goal for this website is to record an accurate historical account of the happenings of Sumner County in a timely fashion. It is also a goal to provide in-depth information that you won’t find elsewhere. With the Blansett story, that is nearly impossible because the Wichita media have descended in full force this past two weeks to our community for this tragic story.For the most part, the media have done pretty well telling the story. But I beg to differ on how they have handled the social worker aspect of the story and whether this constitutes as pertinent news.Although I have addressed this before, I’d like to reiterate my position. The Kansas Department of Children and Families had been working with the Blansett family for three years and had visited the family four times according to media reports.But there is no evidence that has been made publicly that the KDCF did anything wrong or if those visits is even relevant to the crime at hand. It might be. It might not. These visits could be the crux of the legal case in the trial of Lindsey Nicole Blansett. But as of Sunday, Dec. 28, we don’t know that to be true, and neither does any other news outlet.The KDCF can’t defend itself because the subject matter on the Blansett cases are sealed to the public, which they ought to be. Therefore, what took place in those private sessions is not for public consumption and is sure in the heck not for media speculation.Sumner Newscow will aggressively report this story. But it is not going to feature speculative news.center_img 5. Shout out of the week…This week’s shout out goes out to my family who spent the bulk of Christmas Day in a car. We woke up early to get to eastern Colorado — a 6.5 hour drive from Wellington — to celebrate Christmas with my mom and dad and family, only to get squeamish about an incoming snowstorm, and return to Wellington that very night.All told we spent 13 hours of driving in a 20-hour span.A family picture of the McCues on their way to Colorado for Christmas dinner.And all I could do is smile. We spent countless quality time with one another in the car. I got to visit with my sibling and saw their families for the first time in over a year, and it was just a great, great time.Christmas is indeed the most wonderful time of the year.Follow us on Twitter. Commentary by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — Five Cueball thoughts for Sunday, Dec. 18, 2014…last_img read more

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Mauricio Pochettino is Bayern’s No1 choice to replace axed Niko Kovac

first_imgBAYERN MUNICH have made Mauricio Pochettino their main priority as they search for a new boss, according to reports.The Bundesliga giants axed Niko Kovac this month and Hansi Flick is expected to continue until the end of the season.1 Mauricio Pochettino is on the radar of a number of top sidesCredit: AFP or licensorsCaretaker Flick masterminded a 4-0 hammering of Borussia Dortmund but Pochettino is being lined up should he quit Spurs, claims The Athletic.A source is quoted as saying: “Pochettino would be the preferred solution.“If he and Spurs end up splitting, which looks likely, Bayern will do anything to get him.”On the other hand, that’s what everyone would do, even Real Madrid and probably Manchester United, who have been aiming at him for a year and a half now.”It’s a very difficult option, but that would be Bayern’s priority.”The report adds that Thomas Tuchel is another frontrunner, while Arsene Wenger was only considered as a caretaker.Pochettino has failed to build on last season’s Champions League final run and Spurs are a club in crisis with several senior players joining the boss in wanting out.Most read in footballTHROUGH ITRobbie Keane reveals Claudine’s father was ’50-50′ in coronavirus battleTOP SELLERGavin Whelan has gone from League of Ireland to David Beckham’s InstagramExclusiveRIYAD RAIDMan City’s Riyad Mahrez has three luxury watches stolen in £500,000 raidPicturedAN EYEFULMeet Playboy model and football agent Anamaria Prodan bidding to buy her own clubI SAW ROORodallega saw Rooney ‘drinking like madman’ & Gerrard ‘on bar dancing shirtless’NEXT STEPJonny Hayes set to move to English Championship having been let go by CelticREF RELEASEDChampions League ref Vincic released by cops after arrest in prostitution raidKEANE DEALEx Man United youth ace David Jones says Roy Keane negotiated a contract for himREF RAIDChampions League ref Vincic ‘arrested in raid into drugs and prostitution ring’NICE RONCristiano Ronaldo goes on family bike ride with partner Georgina Rodriguez & kidsJan Vertonghen, Toby Alderweireld and Christian Eriksen are all out of contract in the summer and a rebuild is on the cards.Tottenham struggled to a VAR-assisted 1-1 draw with newly-promoted Sheffield United in their last outing before the international break.And they will try to regroup for a clash against West Ham on November 23 before Olympiakos visit London three days later.[pod_component pod_component_config_id=”bWMArKDIZ”pod_component_config_url=”https://www.thesun.co.uk/nu-sun-pod-component-config-prod/bWMArKDIZ.json” pod_component_config_loader_url=”https://www.thesun.co.uk/nu-sun-pod-loaders-prod/1.66.0/componentLoader.js?114810″ src=”https%3A%2F%2Fiframe.thesun.co.uk%2Fnu-sun-pod-widgets-prod%2Fiframe-pod.html%3Fid%3DbWMArKDIZ%26script%3Dhttps%3A%2F%2Fwww.thesun.co.uk%2Fnu-sun-pod-loaders-prod%2F1.66.0%2FcomponentLoader.js%3F114810%26config%3Dhttps%3A%2F%2Fwww.thesun.co.uk%2Fnu-sun-pod-component-config-prod%2FbWMArKDIZ.json”]Son proves he is the ‘nicest footballer in the world’ as Spurs star uses his hands to protect mascot from the rainlast_img read more

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