This is cross-posted from ChangeNYC.org blog, I read it everyday...
Why call for piece meal sunshine, City Councilman Bill de Blasio? Why is your legislation limited to calling for an online data base to keep track of stimulus dollars in New York? Have we not had enough corruption by elected officials to call for transparency in the entire budget and contracting process? Just this week Majority leader Smith has to threaten to withhold his support for tolls on the East River Bridges to get the MTA to turn over budget information to the senate. How much money as Assembly Brosky says, is wasted by the unregulated state authorities? Do you think convicted former Assemblyman McLaughlin would've been able to rip off government money if the public had been able to follow its money in his crime spree? How about a crime wave closer to home councilman? Do you think any councilmember would have the guts to hide secret slush funds in the city budget if their actions were clear to all online? Do you think your fellow councilmembers would put their families on non profit payrolls if they knew that it was easy for anyone and everyone to look online and discover their corrupt acts?
Last year former Assemblyman McLaughlin who most believe is in witness protection, pleaded guilty in federal court to fixing street light contracts. Street lighting contracts have been fixed in this city since the days of Tammany Hall. Do you think putting the bidding process online might give that mob second thoughts? Do you think former Senator Velella could have delivered public works contracts for bribes if the state’s contracting process had been open and online? Two hospitals were closed this week in Queens at the same time one of its lawmakers stands accused of ripping off hospital funds.
300,000 more New Yorkers will be out of work this year. When will anyone step up in New York and say elected officials and their fat cat friends have to stop the rip-offs of our city and state budgets. Let's follow the example of the Obama administration which has promised transparency, in New York. It's time for candidates running for office to step on toes and stop doing safe press hits. The people are hurting and they need their money now.
Reporters Should Use Google
To the trough! Lulu is the nickname for the stipend City Council members get for heading committees and subcommittees or holding leadership positions. It comes from payment en lieu of expenses. This week's "LuLu" reports have managed to omit the fact that the council had promised to reform this practice once it had enacted pay raises for itself. Pay raises: Enacted. LuLus: Ongoing.
From True News January 26, 2009
Christine Quinn's Con Game City Council speaker and her cohorts took your money and ran - Council took the pay raise recommended by a special mayoral commission but ignored the part of the report that urged lawmakers to enact reforms aimed at reducing self-dealing and favoritism. Key among the proposed reforms was a call to abolish so-called lulus - extra cash stipends doled out by the speaker to well-behaving sheep - and to rule out raises in the middle of a term.