Monday, February 15, 2016

Bazzomanifesto Update 02/15/16: 9 New Topics In Today's blog

A)  Check Out

B) Check Out Yorktown News:
New Bazzo Says Column: What Iowa Voters Really Said
C) Check Out The Somers Record:
D)  Check Out Mahopac News:
E) Check Out North Salem News:

1) ICYMI: Cuomo Defies Obama/Ryan Agreement

2) NYGOP Events Calendar

3) Town Of Ossining: Town Board Work Session- February 16th, 2016

4) Town Of Ossining: Supervisor’s Update- February 12th, 2016

5) Buffalo Company Calls on U.S. Attorney to Probe Case

6) TNT: Fire Madoff Defense Attorney as JCOPE Chairman


9) News from Senator Murphy: February 12, 2016

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ICYMI: Obama and Ryan Bipartisan Agreement

It's not often you find consensus in Washington these days, which makes it all the more significant that President Obama and Speaker Ryan are continuing 40 years of bipartisan agreement about the best solutions to get unskilled workers into the workforce, while ensuring them a decent living, in an increasingly global market for unskilled workers.

The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is a tax credit supplement for people on minimum wage to boost their income while they acquire more skills and can advance themselves in the workforce. As they work their way up the job ladder, these supplements drop off.

Despite decades of agreement by both Democrats and Republicans about the effectiveness of this program, Governor Cuomo defiantly calls it a "tax scam" to mask his real reasons for pushing a job-killing 67% increase in the minimum wage: currying favor with the state's most powerful union--SEIU 1199-- and the Bernie Sanders wing of his party.

The consequences of a $15 minimum wage would be hundreds of thousands of jobs killed, higher prices for consumers and more people being shut out of the workforce and entirely dependent on government.

Read more about the Obama/Ryan agreement below:

Politico: Obama and Ryan find common ground in budget blueprint

The two leaders have a history of scrapping over budgets. But they are linking arms over an anti-poverty measure

But underneath the heated rhetoric, the two leaders are finding a sliver of common ground - their shared commitment to fighting poverty.

In a promising sign, Obama and Ryan discussed the anti-poverty measure during their lunch in the Oval Office last week, the first such one-on-one meeting since Ryan ascended to speakership last November.
"Certainly Speaker Ryan has made very clear that he's interested in pursuing bipartisan efforts around reducing poverty," a senior administration official told reporters on Tuesday morning.

The measure at issue is an expansion of the Earned Income Tax Credit that has been credited with pulling millions of Americans out of poverty. Obama's proposal released Tuesday would double the credit for childless workers and parents who don't live with their children, and would also lower the eligibility age for single workers to 21. Ryan has supported both moves.

"This is the best chance we've had in a long time, and that's because of Paul's commitment to it, and the president's commitment, for that matter," said Arthur Brooks, president of the conservative American Enterprise Institute who has participated in poverty forums that both Obama and Ryan have convened over the past year. "They both want it, they both know it's the right thing to do, I think it's probably gonna happen." 
The White House is also hoping to find common ground with Republicans on budget items such as cybersecurity and cancer research funding. But fighting poverty is an issue that both Obama and Ryan see as part of their legacies. And it provides some hope that the two men can ease their years-long, pitched battle over their budgets, and create some needed goodwill during Obama's final year in office.

Obama alienated Ryan, the GOP's resident budget wonk even before he ran as Mitt Romney's running mate, by excoriating Ryan's sweeping budget proposal at a speech in 2011. That plan, with a Medicare voucher program and tax breaks paid for with deep cuts to infrastructure and research, was "less about reducing the deficit than it is about changing the basic social compact in America," Obama said.

He didn't realize Ryan was in the room for the speech at George Washington University, and Obama later said it was a "mistake" to go after him so hard. But just a year later, in his 2012 reelection campaign, Obama ran aggressively against Ryan's vision, calling it "thinly-veiled Social Darwinism," and his campaign considered Romney's embrace of both the man and his budget plan a gift.

But Ryan has been interested in right-leaning approaches to alleviating poverty since his years as a policy aide to the late Jack Kemp, a self-proclaimed "bleeding-heart conservative." He's been visiting inner-city neighborhoods and meeting with ex-convicts with the civil rights activist Bob Woodson since 2013, and in June, he called for a "new battle plan" in the war on poverty.

The earned income tax credit, or EITC, was a major part of that discussion. Unlike other government assistance programs favored by liberals but viewed on the right as "income redistribution," Brooks said, "EITC is really about rewarding work."

Expanding EITC has been part of Obama's budget proposals for the past few years; the difference this time is that Ryan, who vocally supports it, is in charge. But one sticking point remains: how to pay for it. Some previous proposals have relied on new tax revenues to cover the cost. That's a nonstarter for Ryan, who would prefer to cut energy or agriculture subsidies.
"Speaker Ryan supports the policy, but the question is how we cover the cost," said his spokesman Doug Andres in an email. "The speaker does not think we should raise taxes on small businesses or go deeper into debt to do it. We need to cut wasteful spending. If we can agree on that, then there's an opportunity to move forward on a policy proposal with a great deal of merit."

In a budget briefing for reporters Tuesday, Obama's Council of Economic Advisers chairman Jason Furman said the White House would be "happy to work together with Congress on an acceptable pay-for."

A newer White House request for the next fiscal year is $2 billion for a new set of pilot programs with states that would give poor families a little extra help with emergency one-off payments, to make rent or get a car repair without losing a job or a home.

Requests to help some longer-standing elements of the administration's anti-poverty plan are likely to go nowhere, including a proposal that would encourage more states to expand Medicaid under Obamacare by continuing the 100 percent federal match.

"I don't think anything that we've said today has tried to paper over the significant differences between the priorities that are identified by the Republicans and the priorities that we've identified," White House press secretary Josh Earnest said Tuesday. "Given those significant differences, it's all the more important that we capitalize on those areas where common ground does obviously exist."

Read more:

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events throughout New York State


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Town Supervisor Dana Levenberg The Volunteer-Spirited Town Town Board Work Session February 16th, 2016- 7:30PM Municipal Building 16 Croton Avenue, Ossining NY 10562 Work Session: 7:30PM 1. Infrastructure & Water Update for Town Bo

Town Supervisor Dana Levenberg The Volunteer-Spirited Town Supervisor's Update- February 12th, 2016 Happy Valentine’s Day (and President’s Day), Ossining. This is a great time to reach out to your friends and loved ones and let


On Monday, February 15, 2016 10:03 AM, DiPizio Construction wrote:

DiPizio Construction & Dreamco Development

Contact: Jerry McKinstry, 917-282-6185

Buffalo Company Calls on U.S. Attorney to Probe Case

Contractor Says Crooked "Pay-to-Play" Culture Alive and Well in New York State

Buffalo--February 15, 2016 ...The Buffalo contractor who was awarded the $20 million Canalside Skating rink contract -- before being controversially replaced by a rival firm that donated lavishly to the campaigns of Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul -- today called on U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara to probe the circumstances of her case.

In a letter recently sent to the U.S. Attorney, Rosanne DiPizio, CEO with Dreamco Development Corporation and acting CFO and project manager with DiPizio Construction, who completed nearly 50 percent of the Canalside project before being wrongly terminated, in part, because she warned leaders of major design flaws and budget problems, wrote that she has experienced the backlash and unfairness of New York's rigged "pay-to-play" system firsthand and welcomes federal "efforts to shine a light on, and more importantly, prosecute New York's crooked and systematic practice of rewarding high-end donors and friends of the political class." (Letter is below).

"I have long maintained that poor planning, improper budgeting and incompetent management and oversight on the part of ECHDC, Empire State Development Corp. and Gov. Cuomo's appointees led to construction delays," DiPizio writes. "I also believe that the company was made to be a scapegoat so that the state agency could hire a firm that played by Albany's unspoken rules involving campaign kickbacks."

DiPizio has been an outspoken critic of Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation Board President Thomas Dee and Empire State Development Regional Chairman Sam Hoyt, appointees of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, for unfairly and unilaterally terminating her family's construction company -- in business for 37 years with an impeccable reputation and record of results.  DiPizio and her family owned business won the contract to build the Canalside rink in 2012. After being wrongly blamed for delays, the contract was given to Pike Construction. DiPizio is currently suing the ESD, ECHDC and its leaders for blaming her for the project's delays and tarnishing her company's reputation.

DiPizio's concerns coincide with reports that the Buffalo Billion revitalization program has come under scrutiny by U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara's office apparently over how contracts have been awarded in the region.

The Honorable Preet Bharara
U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York
Office of U.S. Attorney
One St. Andrews Plaza
New York, N.Y. 10007

February 11, 2016

Dear Mr. Bharara:

I have read and closely followed your efforts to root out corruption in New York State, and I am particularly interested in reports that your office is looking into the potentially improper awarding of contracts associated with the so-called "Buffalo Billion" program.

As a small business owner whose family-owned construction company has been a respected employer in Buffalo for 37 years, without incident, I welcome your efforts to shine a light on, and more importantly, prosecute New York's crooked and systematic practice of rewarding high-end donors and friends of the political class. From my perspective, it sure looks like a "play-to-play" culture is alive and well in New York.

I have experienced the backlash and unfairness of this rigged system firsthand: I was wrongfully terminated from a $20 million contract to build the Canalside Ice Rink after winning the job in 2012 from the Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation and Empire State Development through a competitive bidding process. Unfortunately, I was made a scapegoat by ECHDC and ESD leaders -- notably ECHDC Board President Thomas Dee and ESD Regional Chairman Sam Hoyt, appointees of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo -- who, after tarnishing my family's reputation, subsequently gave the contract to a company whose executives have donated generously to Gov. Cuomo and others throughout this region.

I have long maintained that  poor planning, improper budgeting and incompetent management and oversight on the part of ECHDC, Empire State Development Corp. and Gov. Cuomo's appointees led to construction delays. I also believe that the company was made to be a scapegoat so that the state agency could hire a firm that played by Albany's unspoken rules involving campaign kickbacks.

Adding to the injustice, unfairness and absurdity of this situation, the ECHDC board members just this week, on February 8, 2016, ratified Dee's decision to terminate the contract -- nearly 3 years after he acted unilaterally.

Although the Canalside project is not technically part of the Buffalo Billion, the circumstances (and the players) of my situation and other major public projects in this region are almost identical to reports that I have read and heard. I ask that you probe the circumstances of my case as they may very well have striking parallels to the larger culture of corruption that is plaguing Albany and efforts to turn around the City of Buffalo.

While Buffalo needs to be revitalized and is poised for a rebirth of sorts, I am personally saddened that Buffalo's opportunity for a turnaround is being undermined by incompetence and corruption.

A true economic turnaround can neither happen under the current cloak of corruption hanging over the city nor under the current leadership at the ESD, ECHDC or under this governor's leadership as it now exists.

I have tried to expose these leaders through the courts, but as you can imagine that is taking time and significant financial resources, which leaders here seem all too happy about, as they divert millions of taxpayers dollars to politically-connected outside counsel, Phillips Lytle LLP.

My case is a classic David versus Goliath scenario, and I don't know where to turn. I welcome the attention of your office.


Rosanne DiPizio
DiPizio Construction and Dreamco Development

CC: Members of the New York State Press


On Monday, February 15, 2016 11:44 AM, "The November Team, LLC" wrote:


Contact: Jerry McKinstry, 917-282-6185

Former Bernie Madoff Attorney Blocks New York
Editorial Board Member from 'Transparency' Roundtable
"Only in Andrew Cuomo's New York would Bernie Madoff's criminal defense attorney head up the ethics commission"

New York--Feb. 15...New York Governor Andrew Cuomo needs to fire the chairman of the New York State Joint Commission on Public Ethics (JCOPE), former Bernie Madoff attorney Daniel J. Horwitz, the public relations firm The November Team (TNT) today said. Mr. Horwitz prevented a member of the New York Daily News Editorial Board from attending a "roundtable" discussion Friday about extending a controversial -- and almost certainly unconstitutional -- ruling that will effectively police conversations between editorial boards and public relations executives.

JCOPE recently decreed that New York public relations executives register as lobbyists -- and chronicle their activities to government regulators --  if they discuss public affairs issues for which they are paid with editorial writers. (The only way to enforce that ruling would be to monitor communications between those parties.) JCOPE is now seeking to extend the definition of editorial writers to social media personalities. That was the subject of Friday's roundtable discussion in New York City.

"Only in Andrew Cuomo's New York would Bernie Madoff's criminal defense attorney be put in charge of the state ethics commission," said TNT partner Bill O'Reilly. "Mr. Horwitz may be sharp as a tack in criminal court, but he's dumb as a doornail evidently when it comes to issues of free speech, which he has admitted to trying to regulate. Now, Mr. Horwitz, a man charged with increasing transparency in government, is literally shutting the doors on editorial board writers."

Governor Cuomo has publicly expressed reservations about JCOPE's recent ruling, but his administration has not yet complied with a Freedom of Information Law Request (FOIL) issued by TNT that seeks all communications between the governor's office and JCOPE on this issue (the governor's office has acknowledged receipt of the request.) JCOPE refused to comply with a separate FOIL request issued by TNT, saying that it is exempt from New York's Freedom of Information Laws.  

"One of two things is happening," Mr. O'Reilly continued. "Either Mr. Horwitz is running completely out of bounds on his own, in which case Mr. Cuomo should remove him from his position, or Mr. Cuomo is sanctioning Mr. Horwitz's actions. What Mr. Cuomo does about this will tell us which it is."

We need some brave members of the UTY to take one of these questions and ask it at the Town Board at the courtesy of the floor. The next board meeting on Tuesday Feb. 16, 2016. Give  me call if you are wiling to volunteer. I can't do it without your help. We need our members to state they are members of the UTY and then ask your question. I will make calls if there no responses.
 Ed 245-1018
-----Original Message-----
From: Nick Witkowich
To: Ed Ciffone
Sent: Wed, Feb 10, 2016 12:55 pm

1- We would want to know from each member on the Board if they think it's appropriate that Town Board Members  took the unusual steps to scheduled 4 closed door sessions in the same month that it decided to reverse long standing "courtesy on the floor" rules. What can taxpayers take away from those secretive actions?

2- New York State Law allows for the release of salaries and pensions information of all town employees because the public has a right to know.  In line with transparency, will the Board provide the tax payers with a list of any elected official or Town employee that is delinquent in paying taxes to this town or our school district?

3- What is the Town Board's reasoning for not taken any action against long term tax delinquents who owe huge amount of back taxes?  Is it true that Town has over $3 million in uncollected taxes, including from several elected officials ?

4- Can the Town Board provide a list of all town employees who have been hired within the last 4 years?   Have any of those employees been given raises with in the last 4 years?  Do any of these employees have relatives in key government position in this town to include the Town Board and or the Supervisor's office?  Are those hirings or raises defensible?

5- Will the Town Board consider waiving their recent raises and use the money the town saves to pay to have the leak in the ceiling in the meeting hall repaired?    Does the Town Board think they deserve future raises?

Nick Witkowich


Feb. 12
No. 36
Garcia Nomination

Earth Day To celebrate and honor Earth Day this year, I am proud to sponsor a poster contest for children in grades K-6.  The theme of our Earth Day celebration is "Reduce, Reuse, Recycle."

I encourage you to visit my website where you can upload a photograph of your submission.  Students' projects should convey a real commitment to making the environment a better place.  READ MORE.
2016 ST. PATRICK'S DAY KICKOFF 2016 St. Pats Kickoff


I want to personally invite you to my upcoming St. Patrick's Day Kickoff on March 5th.

We will have live Irish music, the pipes and drums and a special performance by the area's best Irish step dancers!

This is a family fun event to kickoff one of the best seasons of the year.  Your support and participation will mean the world to me.

Click here to buy your tickets today!

Wishing you all the best,

FIGHTING FOR OUR VETERANS I was honored to be recognized by the Vietnam Veterans of America for my efforts on behalf of Vietnam Veterans.

Last year I passed a law that was long overdue which recognized the VVA as an official benevolent order in New York.

Our Vietnam Veterans don't often get the recognition they deserve for their bravery and service.  I am humbled by this honor and will continue to work on their behalf because they are true American heroes.
HOLDING DRUG DEALERS ACCOUNTABLE year, my colleagues in the Senate passed Laree's Law, which would empower law enforcement officials to charge drug dealers with murder when death occurs from an overdose.  Why is this bill relevant today?  In the 11-day period beginning on January 29th, 23 people between the ages of 20-61 in Erie County have died as a result of an overdose from heroin use.  Of the 17 pieces of legislation we passed in the Senate last year, only one has become law.  If we are serious about winning the war on drugs the Assembly needs to act! READ MORE


EagleFest 2016
I stopped by Teatown's Eaglfest over the weekend.  This great event allows participants to enjoy and learn about some of the Hudson Valley's natural beauty.

Distracted driving is impaired driving.  I am proud to partner with New Castle resident Ben Lieberman to author Evan's Law, named after his son, who was tragically killed in a motor vehicle accident caused by a distracted driver.  Evan's law will provide law enforcement with the needed mechanism to evaluate cell phone use at the scene of an accident.
Youth Court Graduation
Congratulations to the Class of 2016 consisting of 28 graduates representing four schools with our community.  This is the 9th year that the Alliance for Safe Kids (ASK) has hosted this phenomenal program.
As a father of three kids, I know Hudson Valley families expect a quality education for their kids.  I spent time this week meeting with school officials from Westchester and Putnam Counties and had a constructive conversation about the future of education in New York which starts with returning vital dollars to our local classrooms which we can accomplish by ending the Gap Elimination Adjustment.

Kendall on Hudson
I visited Kendall on Hudson in Sleepy Hollow to talk with senior citizens and listen to their concerns about legislation pending in Albany.  A continuing care community, Kendall on Hudson provides independent living, assisted living and a nursing home all in one location, giving seniors the opportunity to stay in one area as their housing needs change.
James Earl Jones
In recognition of Black History Month, I am honored to pay tribute to Pawling resident James Earl Jones.  Possessing one of the most famous voices in film and television history, James Earl Jones' career has included winning two Emmy Awards in 1991, making him the first actor to win two Emmys in the same year in the drama category.
Bazzo 02/15/16

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