From the New York Times:
Lawyers for the city, responding to a request to unseal records of police surveillance leading up to the 2004 Republican convention in New York, say that the documents should remain secret because the news media will â€œfixate upon and sensationalize them,â€ hurting the cityâ€™s ability to defend itself in lawsuits over mass arrests.
Yeah, well; the City could have considered that before spying on a Martin Luther King Rally endorsed by sitting members of the City Council. One would think this would have been obvious at the time.
It gets better. read more »
There's a big story in The New York Times today, confirming what many people involved have long suspected: the NYPD's intelligence unit infiltrated and subsequently filed reports on various Progressive left political groups in New York City that were engaged with the 2004 Republican National Convention under the pretext of stopping criminal activity in opposition to that event. This also provides a case study into government dysfunction in New York on several levels.
But potential troublemakers were hardly the only ones to end up in the files. In hundreds of reports stamped â€œN.Y.P.D. Secret,â€ the Intelligence Division chronicled the views and plans of people who had no apparent intention of breaking the law, the records show.
These included members of street theater companies, church groups and antiwar organizations, as well as environmentalists and people opposed to the death penalty, globalization and other government policies. Three New York City elected officials were cited in the reports.
In at least some cases, intelligence on what appeared to be lawful activity was shared with police departments in other cities. A police report on an organization of artists called Bands Against Bush noted that the group was planning concerts on Oct. 11, 2003, in New York, Washington, Seattle, San Francisco and Boston. Between musical sets, the report said, there would be political speeches and videos.
â€œActivists are showing a well-organized network made up of anti-Bush sentiment; the mixing of music and political rhetoric indicates sophisticated organizing skills with a specific agenda,â€ said the report, dated Oct. 9, 2003. â€œPolice departments in above listed areas have been contacted regarding this event.â€ read more »
I wrote about this yesterday, but I am revisiting it with the smoking gun letter uploaded rather than just linking as a PDF. I want to emphasize that this is a scan of the letter sent by the company that makes the voting machines Sarasota County used warning of a glitch. This warning was ignored by Kathy Dent, the Sarasota County Supervisor of Elections. The result was an election with an unprecedented, and HIGHLY suspicious, 18,000 vote undercount for Congress and that undercount is believed by election experts to have changed the outcome of the election, essentially stealing the election from Democrat Christine Jennings. Here's the letter:
This letter suggests a specific action...which the Sarasota election board NEVER ACTED UPON. Furthermore, posters were sent by the company that were meant to be posted at each polling place to warn voters of the delay. The posters were never posted. Finally, and probably criminally, Kathy Dent never released this letter when Christine Jennings' legal team filed a letter of discovery. That essentially is a cover up. read more »
We all saw with horror as yet another Florida election was mired in uncertainty and missing votes. A whopping 18,000 votes for Congress in the FL-13 Congressional race disappeared, mostly from Democratic districts. This is an almost unprecedented undervote that raises red flags that SOMETHING went seriously wrong with that election. This is further evidence that touchscreen voting machines are just too unreliable. And many elections experts agree that the results of the election were affected by this undervote and, had those votes been properly recorded, the Democratic candidate, Christine Jennings, would have won.
But...it looks like the Florida election board had full warning there was a problem and were even offered a patch but IGNORED IT. Then they tried covering it up.
According to a letter dated August 15th (PDF from the Christine Jennings campaign) from the company that made the machines used in FL-13 to the Florida elections board, a problem had been identified that gave a slow response time on the computer, slower than what a voter would expect. The letter claims that this would not affect the integrity of the vote (covering their asses) but it is likely that this kind of delay could lead to a voter being out of sync with the computer and would be exactly the kind of thing that could lead to an unrecorded vote. If the computer takes too long to respond, and the voter has moved on, then a vote will go unrecorded. It warrants further investigation to see if the delay is the cause of the undervote. read more »
If you wanted to buy some land to develop for your own profit, would you expect taxpayers to pay the entire bill for you? Well, if you are a law school buddy of Pataki, that is exactly the sweet deal you could get while Pataki was Governor...and the exact deal Bruce Ratner seems to have gotten with you and me footing the bill.
This comes via Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn.
According to the March 9th 2007 Daily News New York City is spending $100 million to buy the property on or near the 22-acre Atlantic Yards site for developer Forest City Ratner.
Of the $205 million proposed to support the project in the Mayor's preliminary budget, $100 million is slated for land acquisition costs and $105 million for roads, utilities and other infrastructure needs, according to EDC officials.
The state is chipping in an additional $100 million.
David Yassky was pretty angry upon hearing this:
"There's no justification to spend public money like this," said Councilman David Yassky (D-Brooklyn Heights). "Government money should be spent on transportation infrastructure, schools and traffic calming - not subsidies for a private company. read more »