RSS Feed

POLITICS (National, State/New York): New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, investigation, hiring/ payroll practices?: "Cuomo Administration Faces an F.B.I. Investigation Into Payroll Practices" ....

***New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, investigation, hiring/payroll practices?

* New York Times (Shane Goldmacher, William Rashbaum):  "Cuomo Administration Faces an F.B.I. Investigation Into Payroll Practices" - From the NYT:

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s hiring practices are under investigation, as F.B.I. agents and federal prosecutors have begun examining how staff members working in the governor’s office are being paid by other New York State authorities and agencies.

The governor’s office received a “document subpoena” months ago, according to Richard Azzopardi, a Cuomo spokesman. “We have cooperated, providing necessary documents,” he said. Mr. Azzopardi called the line of inquiry “absurd.” “The agencies are all part of the same executive branch, and this administration follows the exact same lawful hiring process we inherited from previous administrations stretching back decades,” he said. “If there are questions about it, call George Pataki,” referring to the three-term former Republican governor.

The F.B.I. inquiry was first reported by The Times-Union in Albany, which said that agents had interviewed “a number of people” who work in the governor’s office, even though their salaries are carried on the budgets of other state agencies and authorities.

The investigation is being conducted by an F.B.I. agent in upstate New York, in conjunction with prosecutors in the United States attorney’s office for the Eastern District of New York in Brooklyn, according to a person with knowledge of the matter, who could not explain the unusual arrangement. John Marzulli, a spokesman for the United States attorney’s office, would neither confirm nor deny the investigation. It was also unclear what law, if any, may have been broken.

F.B.I. investigations are nothing new in Albany .....................


POLITICS (National): 2020 Census, funding? fairness? accuracy?: "With 2020 Census Looming, Worries About Fairness and Accuracy" ....  

***2020 Census, funding? fairness? accuracy?

* New York Times (Michael Wines):  "With 2020 Census Looming, Worries About Fairness and Accuracy" - From the NYT:

WASHINGTON — Census experts and public officials are expressing growing concerns that the bedrock mission of the 2020 census — an accurate and trustworthy head count of everyone in the United States — is imperiled, with worrisome implications.

Preparations for the count already are complicated by a sea change in the census itself: For the first time, it will be conducted largely online instead of by mail. But as the Census Bureau ramps up its spending and work force for the 2020 count, it is saddled with problems. Its two top administrative posts are filled by placeholders. Years of underfunding by Congress and cost overruns on the digital transition have forced the agency to pare back its preparations, including abandoning two of the three trial runs of the overhauled census process.

Civil liberties advocates also fear that the Trump administration is injecting political considerations into the bureau, a rigidly nonpartisan agency whose population count will be the basis for redrawing congressional and state legislative districts in the early 2020s. And there is broad agreement that the administration’s aggressive enforcement of immigration policies will make it even harder to reach minorities, undocumented immigrants and others whose numbers have long been undercounted.

Taken together, some experts say, those issues substantially raise the risk that the 2020 count could be flawed, disputed, or both.


Consternation about pulling off an accurate count has been part of the run-up to past censuses, especially regarding funding challenges. During the last census, worries ranged from undercounting military personnel and their families on bases to fairly accounting for large inmate populations in rural Republican districts.

A bungled count could have profound consequences ...................


LOCAL GOVERNMENT: Los Angeles, "Weingart Center plans first high-rise homeless housing for L.A.'s skid row"; OC, "To Desalinate or Not to Desalinate: UCI Debate Over Controversial Proposed Huntington Beach Plant"; San Diego, "Auditor: Investigation of San Diego city IT contract exposed accounting woes"; Long Beach, "Long Beach may restructure tax deal for hotel developer" ....


POLITICS (National): President Donald Trump, battle for "self-preservation"?: Analysis, "Inside Trump's Hour-by-Hour Battle for Self-Preservation" ....  

***President Donald Trump, battle for "self-preservation"?....

* New York Times (Maggie Haberman, Glenn Thrush, Peter Baker):  "Inside Trump's Hour-by-Hour Battle for Self-Preservation" - "With Twitter as his Excalibur, the president takes on his doubters, powered by long spells of cable news and a dozen Diet Cokes. But if Mr. Trump has yet to bend the presidency to his will, he is at least wrestling it to a draw." - From the NYT:

WASHINGTON — Around 5:30 each morning, President Trump wakes and tunes into the television in the White House’s master bedroom. He flips to CNN for news, moves to “Fox & Friends” for comfort and messaging ideas, and sometimes watches MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” because, friends suspect, it fires him up for the day.

Energized, infuriated — often a gumbo of both — Mr. Trump grabs his iPhone. Sometimes he tweets while propped on his pillow, according to aides. Other times he tweets from the den next door, watching another television. Less frequently, he makes his way up the hall to the ornate Treaty Room, sometimes dressed for the day, sometimes still in night clothes, where he begins his official and unofficial calls.

As he ends his first year in office, Mr. Trump is redefining what it means to be president. He sees the highest office in the land much as he did the night of his stunning victory over Hillary Clinton — as a prize he must fight to protect every waking moment, and Twitter is his Excalibur. Despite all his bluster, he views himself less as a titan dominating the world stage than a maligned outsider engaged in a struggle to be taken seriously, according to interviews with 60 advisers, associates, friends and members of Congress.

For other presidents, every day is a test of how to lead a country, not just a faction, balancing competing interests. For Mr. Trump, every day is an hour-by-hour battle for self-preservation ................


POLITICS (National, State/Alabama): U.S. Senate race, Alabama, Roy Moore (R), Doug Jones (D)?: "In Alabama Senate race, Republicans fear they may lose even if Roy Moore wins"; "Even if Roy Moore wins, it's a loss for GOP"; "Why Democrats win even if they lose in Alabama" ....

***U.S. Senate race, Alabama, Roy Moore (R), Doug Jones (D)....

* POLITICO (Edward Isaac-Dovere):  "Why Democrats win even if they lose in Alabama" - "The party will eitiher pick up a seat in the Deep South -- or have Roy Moore to campaign against in the midterms."

* Los Angeles Times (Mark Z. Barabak):  "In Alabama Senate race, Republicans fear they may lose even if Roy Moore wins"

* Newsday (Albert Hunt/Bloomberg):  "Even if Roy Moore wins, it's a loss for GOP" - "Is it better for their candidate, Roy Moore, who has been credibly accused of sexually abusing underage girls, to win and keep the party's slim Senate majority? Or would he be such an albatross, causing bitter intra-party schisms, that it's actually better for Republicans if the Democrat, Doug Jones, wins?"