Archive for New York

Christie's Bridgegate Costing Taxpayers Millions


Christie Bridgegate

The law firm hired by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is billing $7.3 million for handling bridgegate, a tab the taxpayer will pay. Gibson Dunn billed the state $784,459 for May, June and July, said. The firm had already been paid $6.52 million on the legal bills through April. Christie hired Gibson Dunn in January…


I'm in a New York State of Mind



gov. mario cuomo

NY Governor Mario Cuomo, a very young Nicole Sandler,
and WMCA Program Director Jeanne Straus - circa 1984


I was born in New York City, and lived in Queens until my family moved to Florida on the day I finished 6th grade. After graduating from the University of South Florida, I moved back to New York, working in radio there for five years (until a relationship brought me to Los Angeles- a story for another day).

I love New York, and will always consider it, in some sense, home.

I also adored Governor Mario Cuomo. The picture above was taken in 1984 or 1985, when I produced a monthly statewide "Ask the Governor" radio show. (Another aside: always sitting next to me in the control room while I screened the phone calls was Cuomo aide Tim Russert!)

Gov. Cuomo was not only a really great governor for the state of New York, he was a genuinely nice, caring person. He always remembered my name and would even comment on a haircut or something else that made me realize he actually paid attention to me (unlike his opponent in his first gubernatorial primary, then-Mayor Ed Koch who, although I had met him numerous times, always introduced himself as if it was our first time meeting).

My life could be very different now had I accepted Gov. Cuomo's job offer back then. Unfortunately, he wanted me to work in his Albany press office. I may love New York, but it was New York City, not Albany where I wanted to remain, so I turned it down!

That said, to quote Howie Klein,

Don't ever mix Andrew Cuomo up with his dad.

Howie explained why in a post titled, "Andrew Cuomo -- The Richard M. Nixon of the Democratic Party?".

Over the past week or so, we've learned that the younger Cuomo is embroiled in an ethics scandal, nothing new for New York politics, but something he had promised to stamp out. Meet the new boss, same as the old boss...

Thankfully, there's a light at the end of the tunnel and her name is Zephyr Teachout,

Zephyr Teachout, a constitutional law professor and former national Director of the anti-corruption group the Sunlight Foundation, running as the progressive alternative to Cuomo.

I first spoke with Zephyr back in my Air America days, and was thrilled to see her name emerge in June as a potential Working Families Party challenger to Gov. Cuomo. We spoke back then, after politics got in the way, and she was still deciding whether or not to challenge Cuomo in a Democratic Party primary. Thankfully, she decided to do just that, and she chose a great running mate too!

Her selection for Lt. Governor, Tim Wu, is is a law professor at Columbia University and is most well-known for being the father of Net Neutrality. He's also the son of two immigrants.... Zephyr framed the differences between Hochul and Wu very succinctly: "In the Hochul-Wu contest, Hochul represents conservative and fear-based politics, and Wu represents progressive and democracy-based politics."

The primary is just a month away, so visit and help if you can!

Today happens to be the 69th anniversary of the US dropping a nuclear bomb on Hiroshima. You'd think the world would learn from our mistakes...  It's worth remembering what we did on that day.

Sadly, as I discussed with Susie Madrak in the first hour of the show today, it won't take something as drastic as another atomic bomb to devastate life on the planet. We're killing ourselves a little bit more each day, as she tells us in this article about recent revelations of methane leaking from the Arctic.

Tomorrow, if we're still standing, I'll be back with a busy show- Congressman Alan Grayson, economist Stephanie Kelton, cultural HERstorian Amy Simon and the No-More-Bullshit man himself, Stephen Goldstein. Talk to you then, Radio or Not!


"Bridge Over Troubled Water" cut at 9/11 ceremony but nearly performed after #Christie speech


chris christie bridgegate over troubled water 9-11 ceremony

First things first. The song "Bridge Over Troubled Water" was cut from the 9/11 museum ceremony because Idina Menzel got sick and had to cancel, not because of the political implications. However, had she been able to attend, she would have sung the song right after Chris "Bridgegate" Christie's speech.

That would have been awkward.

At the last minute, 9/11 widow and Broadway singer LaChanze was added to the line-up, and she sang “Amazing Grace” instead. If you saw her performance, you'll agree that it was exquisite. And inadvertently more tasteful.

But not nearly as ironic.

Can you even imagine the clips that would have aired 24/7 on every cable news talk show had Menzel been able to do her thing as planned?

For the sake of those who have been so tragically impacted directly (and indirectly), it's fortunate that "Bridge" wasn't part of the program. Had it been under different circumstances-- appropriate circumstances-- it would have made quite an impact for all the right reasons.

But this, of course, was not the time or place, so it all turned out for the best.

The Hill:

Organizers for the 9/11 memorial museum dedication ceremony on Thursday had to tweak the original program, which would have included a speech by Gov. Chris Christie (R-N.J.), followed by a performance of “Bridge Over Troubled Water.”


Investigation #3 for Team Christie: Manhattan district attorney is said to investigate Port Authority


chris christie schultz i know nothing Manhattan district attorney

Watch out Chris Christie and Co., the Manhattan district attorney is now sniffing around, because apparently they too believe something stinks.

police dog sniffing around animated GIFYes, a third-- count 'em, three!-- team of "seasoned corruption investigators who are most likely focused in large measure on a different set of corruption allegations" is now looking into possible state crimes, as opposed to federal ones.

That's a whole lot of allegations and/or suspicion of corruption, and a whole lot of probes. Call me crazy, but it appears that prosecutors and lawmakers are convinced that something is rotten in Joisey.

Via the New York Times:

The Manhattan district attorney’s office has subpoenaed documents from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey concerning a range of the troubled agency’s major construction projects, including several that have come under scrutiny as a result of the politically charged George Washington Bridge lane closings, a person with knowledge of the matter said Saturday. [...]

This new criminal inquiry opens what is in essence a third investigative front focused on the actions of Mr. Christie and his appointees...

ruh roh smallerIf I were Christie and his pals, I'd be just a tad nervous right now. And by "just a tad" I mean I'd be quaking in my sleazy little boots.