Monday, June 06, 2016

Bazzomanifesto Update 06/06/16: 4 New Topics In Today's blog


B) Check Out Yorktown News:
New Bazzo Says Column: Old Scores Being Settled:
C) Check Out The Somers Record:
D)  Check Out Mahopac News:
E) Check Out North Salem News:

1) Like It or Not, This Genie is Out of the Bottle:

2) Anatomy of a Smear Job -- George Latimer Style

3) Lawmakers call for investigation into state funding...

4) Elected Officials from State, County, City, and Town Governments Say "Less Talk, More Action": Demand Common Sense Ethics Reform to Fight Political Corruption


 (it is atom (underscore) taxi)
For immediate reply:

6, 2016

To: Members
of the Westchester County News Media
Bill O'Reilly on Behalf of Julie Killian for State Senate
Re: Anatomy of a Smear Job, George Latimer Style

A lot of people ask how entrenched politicians remain in office year after year
when the vast majority of the public consistently indicates in surveys that they
want fresh voices in office and career politicians sent home.  

This week we were given a textbook example of how one Albany incumbent accomplishes this using innuendo and outright falsehoods to distract the public from the important issues at hand, often with the help of third-party actors.

State Senator George Latimer, who's been in public office since 1989, is a proven
expert in these tactics. He's won two close re-election races using the same
basic method: His campaign shops an ugly story about an opponent to a reporter
or blogger, and then uses the resulting headline as the basis for tens of
thousands of dollars worth of hyperbolic advertising that portray the competing
candidate as unfit for office.

Mr. Latimer notoriously did this in 2012 when he portrayed a respected New York City real estate executive as a "slumlord."
 In 2014, Mr. Latimer squeaked by on Election Day by hypocritically attacking
his opponent for a
personal finance challenge
that he himself was facing.

The issues that actually mattered in those years (and still do) -- high property
taxes, mandate relief, ethics reform, school funding, covered up sexual assaults
in Albany -- took a back seat to discussions about nonsense.

That's how they stay in office.

Now, Mr. Latimer is at it again.  His target this time is Rye City Councilwoman Julie Killian, a pro-term-limits mother of five and a longtime community advocate,
challenging Mr. Latimer for state senate this year.  

Through a dubious "news" site calling itself "Rye City Roundup" came a screaming, all-caps headline last week: "NEW YORK STATE PLACES TAX LIEN ON COUNCILWOMAN JULIE KILLIAN'S MULTI-MILLION DOLLAR

That, along with an absurdly inaccurate story, was sent by email to a large list of
Westchester voters and proliferated via Facebook, and presumably other social
media channels. The fabricated headline will almost certainly end up in Latimer
advertisements, if history is any guide.

Let's make it clear: There is no tax lien on the Killian's home. To suggest otherwise
is patent fabrication.   

The tax issue apparently at hand was a 2011 income tax filing disagreement between the Killians and the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance that generated a $517 tax warrant.  The matter stemmed from the State's two-week
filing extension provided to state taxpayers due to Hurricane Irene.  The
warrant was fully satisfied in 2012 and it consisted of a $90 penalty and $427
of interest. No taxes were unpaid.

Compare that with this and it will tell you how Mr. Latimer has remained in office all these years.

For the record, the Killians had another minor issue with the State Tax Department 15 years ago. I'll relay it here for full transparency and disclosure.

In 2001, an outside tax service made an error filing employment taxes for a
household employee. The Killians promptly paid the $872 due the state.

More than anything, that error taught Julie -- a Chemical Engineer with an MBA --
just how complicated New York's tax code has become for families and businesses.
 It's no wonder we're ranked the least business friendly state in

Julie is often asked why good people don't run for office. Smear jobs like the one
above are clearly one of the reasons. When you run, you open up yourself, your
family, and your hard-earned professional credentials to false and increasingly
vicious attacks.  

Which brings us back to "Rye Roundup."  It's also wrongly suggesting that the Killian Family donated to a 501 c4 organization that opposes publicly financed
elections. They have not.  But that doesn't stop the site from spreading

I mention all this because as journalists potentially covering this race you will
no doubt see more of this refuse emanating from the Latimer campaign and/or its

You won't see it from us: Instead of digging into the mud, the Killian campaign will
work to stay focused on the issues that matter to Westchester families: tax
relief for families and small businesses, mandate relief, term limits for Albany
legislators, school funding, drug abuse prevention, and helping those most in

Yes, we'll vigorously challenge Mr. Latimer on his record, but we will not engage in
ugly personal smears.

Thank you for taking the time to read this brief memo. And please
feel free to reach out to me during this campaign at 914-282-1252 or by email at We promise to get back to you quickly, accurately, and


The November Team, PO Box 99, South Salem, NY 10590

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Empire Report

On Friday, June 3, 2016 4:46 PM, Sandra Galef wrote:


For Immediate Release

Contact:  Sandy Galef

June 3, 2016

(914) 941-1111 - Office

(914) 450-4086 - Cell


Elected Officials from State, County, City, and Town Governments Say

"Less Talk, More Action":

Demand Common Sense Ethics Reform to Fight Political Corruption

New York, NY - Political corruption has an uncanny ability to find its way into every hallowed hall of governance, but a group of key lawmakers from various levels of government are adamantly trying to stop it.  Standing onthe steps of City Hall in Lower Manhattan today, and representing state,city and town governments, State Assemblywoman Sandy Galef, New York CityCouncil Member Benjamin Kallos, and Town Supervisor Paul Feiner ofGreenburgh formed a united front to highlight the need to pass legislationto put an end to political malfeasance, and criticized their respective branches for failing to do so.  County Legislator Robert Trotta of SuffolkCounty is also in these reform efforts.

After witnessing two of the most powerful men in New York, former Speaker of the Assembly Sheldon Silver and former Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos,sentenced to multiple years in prison for corruption, public outcry for change has reached a fever pitch.  A recent Quinnipiac University poll showed a staggering 86% of voters who believe political corruption is endemic and pegged almost half of those polled saying all elected officials should be voted out of office so new officials could start over with a"clean slate". 

Responding to impossible to ignore headlines and pressing constituent concerns that pay-to-play politics are all but inevitable in state and local governments, Galef, Trotta and Kallos each have introduced bills in their respective governing bodies that would create a distance between those who seek to influence the law and those who make them. A common thread among the lawmakers is sponsored legislation that targets "dark money" flowing intopolitical campaigns by limiting contributions made by groups or individualswho have business dealings with a government entity in a practice that'sknown as "pay-to-play".  In 2007, under the leadership of Feiner, Greenburgh adopted the state's first and most stringent anti pay-to-play law.  The lawmakers were joined by activists from government watchdog groups including Dick Dadey, Executive Director of Citizens Union, and members of the new anti-corruption coalition, Demand Democracy.

NYS Assemblywoman Sandy Galef (95th Assembly District) said, "New York voters have told us time and time again how fed up they are with a pay-to-play political culture that relies on big bankrolls and lackluster attempts to enforce already weak laws that are rife with loopholes.  It is our responsibility as legislators to pass laws that improve the quality of life for our constituents and yet it has been so difficult to come to any agreement on meaningful anti-corruption reforms that would ultimately safeguard taxpayer money and restore public trust in our work.  I urge my colleagues in the Assembly and Senate to join me in strengthening ethics compliance in Albany, and to show the people of New York our 100 percent commitment to serving their interests, not our own."

NYC Council Member Ben Kallos (5th Council District) said, "We need to cleanup all levels of government in our state. In New York City, the people's voice could be further strengthened over corporate interests through our city's campaign finance system which matches small dollars with public dollars. We need to pass legislation to forbid the matching contributions from individuals and owners of companies doing business or the contributions they bundle.  I want to thank State Assemblywoman Galef for her leadership in the fight against corruption on all levels of government and bringing together a broad coalition of legislators and activists working to clean up government."

Town of Greenburgh Supervisor Paul Feiner said, "I would like to thank Assemblywoman Galef and the other leaders joining us today for fighting to make government more honest.  New York can set an example by showing how an honest government is an efficient one that can save taxpayers money.  I encourage state and local governments across New York to consider what theGreenburgh Town Board unanimously voted to do in 2007 - we prohibit incumbent elected officials from accepting campaign contributions from applicants, contractors, consultants, town employees, or anyone who deals with our government.  It allows elected officials to do what we think is right because we are not unduly influenced by outside campaign money ofundraisers."

Suffolk County Legislator Robert Trotta (13th Legislative District) said,"It is not uncommon for people and organizations doing business with SuffolkCounty to make donations to the political campaigns of County officials and candidates seeking County office. Such contributions can be interpreted by the public as a "pay to play" that results in government contracts being awarded on the basis of connections and contributions.  Therefore, I have sponsored legislation that would limit the contributions that contractors and public employee unions can make to elected Suffolk County officials and candidates running for Suffolk County office to $2,000.  With all the corruption we are seeing at the various levels of government, I believe that this measure, as well as the legislation introduced by Assemblywoman Galefand Councilman Kallos is a step in the right direction toward curtailing theprocess of doing business as usual with the government."

Dick Dadey, Executive Director of Citizens Union said, "Corruption has always been the underbelly of a pay-to-play culture when elected officials solicit campaign gifts and other such contributions and those who do business with the city feel obligated to make contributions in order to have access or have their matters addressed.  Our system of New York democracy encourages it in fact.  Much of the state and local ethics reform efforts have been focused on punishing those who are found guilty, but future efforts must be on the need to prevent corruption.  It is for that reason we need limits on lawmakers' outside income, restrictions on conflicts of interests so only the public interest is being served, and need to close them any campaign finance loopholes, like the one for the LLCs that allowcontribution limits to be skirted."

Susan Van Dolsen, of Demand Democracy and Co-Founder of Westchester for Change said, "We, the people, are tired of the insider politics that create breeding ground for corruption. As it stands, our state politicians have too little to lose from rigging the game so that they succeed, and putting the needs of the people after their own and the wallets that fund them. We have seen too many people continue to benefit from tax dollars after defrauding both government and public alike to benefit causes important to them instead of the ones important for the good of the state. We need laws that remove any potential avenues for corruption including strident conflict-of-interest rules, banning the personal use of campaign funds andremoving the pensions of convicted elected officials."

Blair Horner, Executive Director of the New York Public Interest ResearchGroup said, "New Yorkers are fed up with the seemingly never-endingpolitical scandals at all levels of government.  Voters must be heartened tosee that some public officials are willing to advance badly-needed reformsto start to clean up New York.  We applaud their efforts."

Common Cause/New York Executive Director Susan Lerner said, "The need forreform, not only in Albany but at all levels of government throughout NewYork State, is shockingly apparent. Voters will not tolerate a politicalsystem that puts powerful interests before the public good. From closing theLLC loophole to expanding public campaign financing, it's time for lawmakersto respond to their constituents and end the crime wave of corruption thathas sent dozens of elected officials to jail."

Barbara Bartoletti, Legislative Director for the League of Women Voters ofNYS said, "Once again the Assembly and Senate have spent six months avoidingpassing any real ethics reforms. The public is sick and tired of the twohouses passing the blame instead of actually addressing the underlyingcauses of corruption. This session Assemblywoman Galef introduced a packageof sweeping ethics reforms that were aimed at curbing corruption throughgreater transparency, limits on power and common sense ethics reforms. Thelegislature has failed to move these bills or any other legislation thatwould help curb Albany's culture of corruption. Now more than ever we needstrong ethics reforms; with only two weeks of session remaining, we demandthat the Assembly and Senate work together and finally pass realanti-corruption legislation."

Jessica Wisneski, Campaigns Director of Citizen Action of New York said,"Our democracy depends on removing the barriers to every voice being heard,everyone being able to vote and ordinary people running for office. We needto rewrite the rules of our democracy in New York, including a new campaignfinance system that limits big, private contributions and offers asmall-donor public financing system.  We stand with and applaud the electedofficials here fighting for the people's voice in our democracy, and weencourage others to take their lead."

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