Here’s a brief excerpt from Joe Lhota’s press conference in which he describes the provision of the proposed NYPD Inspector General bill that he finds “extremely distressing.” He references a section of the proposed bill which provides that the inspector general would have “all powers necessary to conduct independent reviews of the [NYPD’s] policies”. In responding to the question of why he objects to the proposed NYPD IG, but didn’t object to the MTA’s IG when he ran that agency, he goes on to say that the MTA Inspector General “does not have the ability to question the policies directly by the MTA. It is an audit function.”
I looked at the statute authorizing the MTA Inspector General – here’s what I found in Section 1279(4)(b) and (c) of the Public Authorities Law:
“§ 1279 (4). The inspector general … shall have the following functions, powers and duties:
(b) to initiate such reviews as he may deem appropriate of the operations of the authority and its subsidiaries … in order to identify areas in which performance might be improved and available funds used more effectively;
(c) to recommend remedial actions to be taken by the authority and its subsidiaries … to overcome or correct operating or maintenance deficiencies and inefficiencies that he determines to exist;” (underscore added.)
Lhota is correct that the MTA Inspector General does not have the authority to examine the MTA’s “policies”. He seems to understate some of the MTA IG’s statutory authority, however. The statutory sections above appear to give the MTA IG authority for rather broad reviews at the IG’s own initiative and to “recommend remedial actions … to … correct operating deficiencies.” That seems like a broad mandate.
Would a similarly drafted provision in the NYPD IG bill be acceptable to Joe Lhota? We’ll try to get an answer. Also, I’m unclear on whether the MTA IG has full authority to examine the operations of the MTA police. We’ll try to get that answer as well.
Today’s charges against Malcolm Smith, Daniel Halloran and four others are a political disaster for New York City’s Republican Party. The alleged corruption goes to the heart of what little influence remains for the New York City Republican county organizations and their chairmen.
Leaders of two of the five county organizations and one of the four Republican members of the City Council were criminally charged. The Complaint suggests that at least one, and possibly two, other county county chairmen were expected to support Smith in exchange for a quid pro quo payment. According to the Complaint, Halloran expected to be able to drag along in his corrupt scheme any of the county chairmen who were not being bribed. Continue reading GOP Disaster→
Here is why yesterday’s NY Times story on Christine Quinn is good, possibly great, for her:
It shatters two lingering memes, first that she is weak-willed, indecisive and not strongly in control as speaker, and second that she is simply the mayor’s “lapdog”, doing his bidding. Those don’t hold up well.
We have just concluded a months-long EdKochfest, celebrating his New York flavored orneryness. Her NY Times profile sets her up as Koch’s emotional/tempermental successor.
Most regular people think that yelling at “city officials, lobbyists and political operatives” is probably justified and a good thing.
Bill Thompson must be jealous – a major part of his campaign is convincing voters that he has “fire in the belly.” Wouldn’t he love a story like that about him?
Every day that we spend talking about Christine Quinn is a bad day for Bill de Blasio, John Liu, Bill Thompson and Sal Albanese.
In our “5 Minutes With …“ feature we spend 5* interesting minutes with leading government officials and policy leaders. In this “5 Minutes With …” segment we speak with Benjamin Lawsky, New York State Superintendent of Financial Services.
Today, Rockaway came to City Hall. A group of Rockaway residents rallied on the steps of City Hall, seeking to draw renewed attention from Mayor Bloomberg. We spoke with three mayoral candidates who attended the rally, and asked this question: “If Mayor Bloomberg called and asked you ‘what’s one thing I can do to improve how we’re doing in the Rockaways’, what would you say”?
Their answers reflect what we’ve previously reported, that many Rockaway residents are deeply disaffected by what they perceive as the mayor’s lack of interest or engagement in their community and it’s post-Sandy challenges.
Political leadership has many components, including managerial, policy and emotional leadership, with the last including the sense of voters that their elected leader cares about them and understands their community. The mayor’s tenure has included strong elements of the first two components, but much less of the third. That lack of emotional leadership continues to reverberate in post-Sandy Rockaway.
In our Mayoral Mashup we talk with voters, as well as political and policy leaders, about what they see as the most important issue facing New York City’s next mayor.
For this Mayoral Mashup we spoke with voters attending a mayoral candidate forum co-sponsored by the Daily News and Metro IAF, focused on crime and public safety, asking one simple question: What do you see as the most important issue that our next mayor will face upon taking office? Watch to find out what they had to say.
With John Liu’s expected formal campaign kickoff on Sunday, the Democratic mayoral field appears to be set. Four “major” candidates, Christine Quinn, Bill de Blasio, John Liu and Bill Thompson, and a couple of lesser candidates, are in.
The next big change in the field will likely come when one, or both, of the citywide officeholders in the race faces a reality check. Bill de Blasio and, presumably as of Sunday, John Liu have declared that they are giving up their current citywide office and running for mayor. Presently, public polling shows both significantly trailing Christine Quinn, and with only modest recent gains for de Blasio and little change for Liu. Both are in their first term, and term limits do not apply to them in this cycle. Both would likely be readily re-elected, although John Liu would face the somewhat tricky circumstance of dealing with Scott Stringer’s candidacy. (The four Democratic candidates for Public Advocate would not present such a problem for de Blasio.)
Will one, or both, rethink their target office when petitioning begins in early June? Absent significant poll movement, it seems likely. Stay tuned as they each try to emerge as the clear alternative to Christine Quinn.
Today we spoke with the Rev. A.R. Bernard on the mayoral race and whether he will run, what he may do if he doesn’t run and his thoughts on a meeting with Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus. It’s well worth watching.