Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Monday, October 10, 2016

Odds On De Blasio's Re-Election

Telling statement from Hakeem Jeffries, charter school shill and oft-rumored Cuomo fave for running against de Blasio in a Democratic primary for mayor, in this Wall Street Journal piece on de Blasio's chances for re-election:

“Short of the investigations showing anything happening to Bill de Blasio, it’s not clear to me that he has anything to be concerned about with respect to his re-election,” said U.S. Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, a Democrat who represents portions of Brooklyn and Queens. “It’s always difficult to unseat an incumbent when the economy and public safety numbers are not subject to heavy criticism.”

Sounds like Jeffries is going to stay in Congress, doesn't it?

Unless those investigations into de Blasio turn up something, of course - but no one seems to know what's going on with any of this:

Here's how the WSJ reports on potential challengers to de Blasio:

City Comptroller Scott Stringer, a Democrat, has privately told consultants and others that whether anyone is indicted has significant sway over whether he runs, people familiar with those discussions said. Mr. Stringer has said he wants to be ready to announce by the end of the year, but isn’t committed and is less likely to run if no one is charged, they said.

Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., another Democrat, also has expressed an interest in running but remains unsure if Mr. de Blasio is beatable, a person familiar with the matter said, and believes his chance at being competitive hinges in part on the investigations.

Mr. Jeffries said he is unlikely to run but would make a decision after November. Real-estate executive Paul Massey has said he would seek the Republican mayoral nomination, but it is unclear how formidable a GOP contender would be next year.

Diaz Jr has been investigated in the past by the feds and comes from a family with a history of corruption, so I remain skeptical that's the guy who gets to run successfully against de Blasio on the morals/ethics issue.

As for Massey, a real estate exec running for mayor of NYC? 

Good luck with that.

My thinking on that is, you want to be from a different industry with real estate money backing you to win (you know, like de Blasio...) 

If Jeffries doesn't run (and it sure sounds like he isn't), then only with Stringer do you have a realistic challenger to de Blasio, but until/unless we get more on the investigations in the next few months, Stringer's going to have to sit on his ambition and wait.

Post Cuomo administration indictments, I'm not convinced indictments of de Blasio staff and/or donors will be a fatal shiv for his re-election.

An indictment of the mayor himself would be.

Like everyone else, we'll just have to wait and see.

As a little tea leaf reading, a couple of weeks ago Preet made a de Blasio joke at a public function:

It seems that U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara’s recent slapping of federal charges on Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s closest associates in an alleged bid-rigging scheme has emboldened him to take jabs at just about everyone—right up to Mayor Bill de Blasio and his infamous affinity for traveling all the way to his old neighborhood of Park Slope to exercise at the YMCA during working hours.

Bharara was honored as “Newsmaker of the Decade” by City & State and served as keynote speaker at its 10th anniversary gala tonight at Vermilion Restaurant in Midtown Manhattan.

The federal prosecutor didn’t reference the case against Cuomo’s top lieutenants, but instead poked fun at another target of his recent investigations: de Blasio, who faces federal probes into his police department and defunct political nonprofits.

Bharara tweaked the mayor’s fondness for traveling 12 miles from his Gracie Mansion home to the Park Slope YMCA—a subject he hates to talk about—and his preference for eating pizza with utensils—known jokingly as “Forkgate.” He praised City & State for choosing Vermilion Restaurant as a venue, saying that he understood it to be “Indian fusion” which resonated well with him because “I’m kind of Indian fusion myself”—but he said de Blasio would prefer the gym if it were an event for him.

“If it had been Mayor de Blasio, we’d all be eating at the Park Slope YMCA,” Bharara said, as attendees shouted “Ooh!” and laughed raucously, “and we’d eat pizza with a knife and fork. It’s just jokes.”

Would Bharara be making Park Slope and pizza jokes about de Blasio if he were going to arrest him on corruption charges in the near future?

Seems weird, but maybe I'm overthinking it.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Cuomo Helped Christie Cover Up Bridgegate By Conspiring To Issue A "False Report" For The Bridge Closures (UPDATED)

Bombshell testimony from government witness and former Christie ally David Wildstein today in the Bridgegate trial:

David Wildstein, a former top Port Authority official turned star witness in the Bridgegate trial, suggested in Tuesday testimony that Gov. Andrew Cuomo discussed with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie issuing false report on the nightmarish lane closures on the George Washington Bridge in 2013, according to reports.

Multiple outlets reported that Wildstein, who has pleaded guilty to his role in the lane closures, heard there were conversations between the two governors within a month after the incident and they agreed that Port Authority Executive Director Pat Foye would approve a false report that blamed the closures on a communication breakdown and push blame onto the New Jersey side of the bi-state agency.

Such a report never was issued, though it was reported Tuesday that it was used for testimony before a legislative committee by former Port Authority Deputy Executive Director Bill Baroni.

Cuomo’s office did not immediately comment.

More details from the Daily News:

Gov. Cuomo directed the head of the Port Authority to "lay off" of an inquiry into the Bridgegate scandal until after the 2013 election following conversations with N.J. Gov. Chris Christie, a former PA official testified Tuesday.

David Wildstein, who has already pleaded guilty for his role in the September 2013 gridlock, said he had heard there had been "conversations" between the two governors after the Port Authority's executive director, Pat Foye, vowed to get to the bottom of the lane closures from Fort Lee to the George Washington Bridge.

Cuomo and Christie had agreed in October 2013 that Foye would sign off on a bogus report on the closures in which the Port Authority would admit a communication breakdown resulted in Fort Lee being caught by surprise by an agency traffic study, Wildstein said.
Wildstein recalled saying it would be a "heavy lift" to get Foye to approve the report, but that he believed it could be done thanks to Cuomo.

"My understanding was Gov. Christie and Gov. Cuomo had discussed this, if the New Jersey side (of the PA) accepted responsibility, Foye would sign off on this and that would put an end to this issue," Wildstein said.

 This report would be issued, there would be an explanation to the public, the Port Authority would take responsibility for the failure in communication ... and the question of lane closures would go away."

Under cross examination by Kelly's attorney Michael Critchley, Wildstein agreed that Cuomo's order that Foye "stand down" and "lay off" was only in effect to Election Day in November 2013.

The day after the election, Wildstein said he was contacted by a reporter who identified him as the architect of the Bridgegate plan.

Wildstein told the court today that he believed Foye was behind that leak to the reporter.

Cuomo so far has not commented on this allegation, but if it's true, then Andrew Cuomo, the Democratic governor of New York, helped Chris Christie, the Republican governor of New Jersey, to cover up the closure of the George Washington Bridge by knowingly sanctioning a false report about the reason for the closures.

Why would Cuomo do this?

Well, he was running for re-election next year, Christie was head of the Republican Governors Association, so by helping Christie out when he was running for re-election, Cuomo could expect to get help back from Christie in return when he was running the next year.

And that's exactly what happened - Christie mocked the Republican candidate for governor (Rob Astorino), withheld money and resources from the campaign and basically did all he could to help Cuomo win re-election.

At the time, many of us suspected that Cuomo and Christie had a non-aggression pact despite being in different parties.

We now have what appears to be definitive proof of that.

So, would be great to hear what Cuomo's excuse for helping Christie cover up Bridgegate would be, but the governor is whereabouts unknown and apparently his flying attack monkeys haven't come up with a good excuse yet to go public with.

We'll see how long we have to wait until they finally conjure up some bullshit excuse for Cuomo's helping Christie cover up Bridgegate.

UPDATE 2:15 PM: Didn't have to wait long:

Same old song - Deny, Deny, Deny.

Cuomo's on the witness list for the trial, so there's an outside chance he could be called to testify and put under oath where this kind of denial becomes perjury if proven false.

But best bet here is, he won't be called to testify, the NY legislature will do nothing about these allegations, Democratic and Republican politicians around the state will continue to defend/enable him  and he'll get away with his crimes, as he has since 2010.