Monday, April 11, 2016


With all apologies to Paul Simon for the ICEUFTBlog stealing and paraphrasing his line from Mrs. Robinson:

Where have you gone Reality Based Educator? We bloggers turn a lonely eye to you.

RBE would be the best source, particularly in the blogosphere, to figure out what U.S. attorney Preet Bharara's investigation of Mayor Bill de Blasio's fundraising means. RBE was on the corruption in Albany story just about every day before he retired from blogging in January. I'm sure he could sink his teeth into a New York City corruption scandal pretty well also.

We touched on the mayor's fundraising last month when we noted a story about the AFT contributing to de Blasio's Campaign for One New York following a meeting between the Mayor, AFT President Randi Weingarten and UFT President Michael Mulgrew. Soon thereafter we received our lousy contract with its paltry raises, healthcare givebacks, insane teacher evaluation system, weakened due process for Absent Teacher Reserves and interest free loan to the city that they won't pay us back in full until 2020. This prompted one of my all-time favorite comments from Mike Fiorillo:

And the pathetic Mulgrew needed Mommy to come with him when meeting with the Mayor... In order to pay tribute and get a lousy contract...

Fast forward a few weeks where now there is a corruption scandal among the top brass at the NYPD that the feds have exposed. CBS 2 broke the news last Friday that the investigation has expanded to de Blasio.

Now, sources told (reporter Marcia Kramer the feds are questioning people in the real estate industry about how the mayor raises money.

What does this mean for the city/UFT?

I am not accusing Mulgrew or Randi of any corruption here. I kind of agree with Norm Scott who thinks they are too smart for this. Skirting the rules in the UFT, or rather making up the rules to tilt the playing field in their favor, is far more subtle and sophisticated.

This blog would like to know where people who follow these things closely feel Bharara's investigation is going.

RBE could analyze this situation beautifully. If you are out there reading, please chime in any time you like.

Speculation from any of our readers is of course welcome.


Michael Fiorillo said...

At least since his City council vote in favor Atlantic Yards, it's been clear that De Blasio, like almost every other NYC elected official ever, is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the real estate industry. Just look at how all the global hot money is transforming the Brooklyn skyline, so that oligarch/narco/embezzler cash has now obscured views of the clock in the old Williamsburg Bank tower... and don't expect too many teachers to be living in them. The area around my school in LIC is being completely transformed by "luxury" towers that no one seems to live in (which may be just as well, since it can be hard to find a quart of milk, let alone groceries, in the area) to the point where, given the grabbness of Big Real Estate and charter schools, I fear for its future.

As for Preet, whatever happened to his "Stay tuned" comments regarding the investigation into our Reptilian Governor? More misdirection and politically-driven agendas, protecting you-know-who...

ATR 25/55 said...

More importantly, will this have any impact on the legislature extending the mayor's control of the city schools?

Anonymous said...

Mayoral control expires in June unless renewed by Legislature.

Anonymous said...

So does the current ATR provisions. How will this be decided and what is MORE/NA doing to make sure it's favorable and not more of the same Mulgrew mush?

Anonymous said...

I always said Preet was a Cuomo tool. He only goes after Cuomo's enemies. He knocked off Silver and Skelos to put a scare in the rest of the Assembly so they'd fall in line with Andy. Now, it's de Blasio's turn. The message is clear. But, my question is, how did Cuomo get so much juice in DC?

Harris L. said...

To Anonymous 7:57:00.

It takes a daring and quite spectacular penchant for conspiracy theories to believe that Preet Bharara is a "Cuomo tool" or his stalking-horse for vaporizing his enemies in Albany, or anywhere.

Andrew Cuomo survived only because Preet Bharara couldn't "prove it" to the level required to get an indictment and conviction.

As RBE regularly reminded us, Andrew Cuomo:

1. Doesn't use email so that there is no written trace for anything he says, believes or instructs

2. He and his inner sanctum use supercomputer-level encrypted cell phones and then burn them on a regular basis

3. The back up systems for the Executive Office are purged every now and then by the Guv's IT people so that when his communications are FOILed or subpeona'ed he can turn over exactly nothing

And, Andrew has no particular juice in Washington, DC. Andrew Cuomo and Chuck Schumer despise each other (and many people despise both Andrew Cuomo and Chuck Schumer). Schumer has never, ever, not for one minute been willing to cede his power or prerogatives to Andrew Cuomo and never, ever will.

Anonymous said...

Conspiracy theory? Yes. But, that's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Anonymous said...

Actually, come to think of it, Cuomo didn't need juice. He just needed someone in DOJ who wanted to make a name for himself. Cuomo found him, and gave him all the goods from the Moreland fishing exped- er, I mean Commission. Now, as pay back, Preet's going after de Blasio.

He won't be able to convict de Blasio. But, that's not the goal. They just want to make headlines and make de Blasio look like a tool of the gentrifiers.

Anonymous said...

What can MORE and New Action do? Mulgrew-Unity controls the UFT. Want change, vote MORE-NEW ACTION.

Anonymous said...

What kind of change? I didn't get an answer to my question, what is MORE planing on doing about the extension of ATR provisions in June?

James Eterno said...

Check the platform. As for the extension, the platform would have us opposed to it. I think the whole mess should be renegotiated.

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