Daily Archives: 01/11/2012

Cuomo Casino Plan Roils Las Vegas

WSJ Reports: Some Las Vegas casino companies hope to prevent a rival from cornering the New York City gambling market after Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced a handshake development deal for a convention center and casino complex in Queens.

Las Vegas Sands Corp. and MGM Resorts International said they are considering battle plans for New York. At least one other casino company, Boyd Gaming Corp., which owns part of Atlantic City’s Borgata, has started to reach out to Albany lobbyists.

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Politico Pic: Biden Sits Alone at Half Empty Event for CEO’s


Video: Farmers Sue Jon Corzine Over Missing Millions


NYC Public Advocate Staffer Leaves Post to Run Against Congressman Grimm

CHN Reports: Mark Murphy, a staffer in Public Advocate Bill de Blasio’s office, has resigned from the office in order to run against Staten Island Republican Congressman Michael Grimm, a source close to Murphy said.

Reached by phone, Murphy declined to comment.

The son of a former congressman, Murphy is seen as the preferred candidate of the Staten Island Democratic Party.  Grimm was elected in 2010 in a right race against Democrat Mike McMahon.

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Bloomberg: Congress, Not Banks, Caused Mortgage Crisis

CNY Reports: Speaking at a business breakfast in midtown featuring Bloomberg and two former New York City mayors, Bloomberg was asked what he thought of the Occupy Wall Street protesters.

“I hear your complaints,” Bloomberg said. “Some of them are totally unfounded. It was not the banks that created the mortgage crisis. It was, plain and simple, Congress who forced everybody to go and give mortgages to people who were on the cusp. Now, I’m not saying I’m sure that was terrible policy, because a lot of those people who got homes still have them and they wouldn’t have gotten them without that.

“But they were the ones who pushed Fannie and Freddie to make a bunch of loans that were imprudent, if you will. They were the ones that pushed the banks to loan to everybody. And now we want to go vilify the banks because it’s one target, it’s easy to blame them and congress certainly isn’t going to blame themselves. At the same time, Congress is trying to pressure banks to loosen their lending standards to make more loans. This is exactly the same speech they criticized them for.”

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9-0 Supreme Court Ruling: Ministers Can’t Sue Churches for Bias

Chicago Tribune Reports: The justices unanimously overturned a U.S. appeals court ruling that the job of a former teacher and minister at a church school was secular rather than religious and she could pursue her claim that she was improperly fired in violation of federal law.

The case pitted the competing interests of the government enforcing laws such as those prohibiting discrimination and retaliation and of the constitutional protections of religious freedom.

The justices for the first time adopted a rule used for decades by some U.S. appeals courts that the government generally cannot delve into church affairs and religious beliefs in employment cases involving ministers or other clergy members.

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NYC Councilman Greenfield Introduces Bill to Stop City From Towing Cars for ‘Minor’ Violations

PolitickerNY Reports: “Any driver who has been towed knows that a trip to the impound lot can be one of the most frustrating experiences in New York City. This bill would give drivers a chance to pay their debts to the city without wasting an entire day trying to retrieve their vehicle. What’s more it would save driver’s at least $150 in towing and storage fees. It’s a simple and fair way for the city to enforce its parking laws without excessively punishing drivers,” Councilman Greenfield said in a statement about the bill.

Councilman Greenfield proposes the city use “boot” devices to penalize parking violations instead of towing. Cars would still be towed if they remained in an illegal spot for over 72 hours.

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National Jewish Dem Group ‘Alarmed’ With Paul’s Support Among Democrats, Indies

Going through the results of Iowa and NH, it is increasingly clear that a large number of Democrats (in IA) and Independents (in NH) voted for Ron Paul, thus giving him more than 1/5 of the overall vote in both states.

In Iowa for example, 40% of those who described themselves as “Moderate” or Liberal” in the Fox News Entrance Poll, voted for Paul, while Paul picked up only 15% among those who described themselves as “Very Conservative.” In NH, nearly half of those surveyed in the Exit Polls were Independents, and as the Washington Post writes “it was a boon to Paul” because he picked up 32% of this vote; more than any other Republican in the field.

In a statement released late Tuesday evening, David Herris, the CEO of the National Jewish Democratic Council said, “The most alarming result from today’s (NH) primary is that Ron Paul, a member of Congress with a truly anti-Israel record—one who even empathizes with Iran, finished right behind Romney.” The statement also speaks about “Paul’s strong performance and momentum.”




Ron Paul To Everyone But Mitt: Drop Out

BuzzFeed Reports: Rep. Ron Paul’s campaign called on the rest of the Republican field to drop out of the race and unite behind him in order to defeat Mitt Romney.

“We urge Ron Paul’s opponents who have been unsuccessfully trying to be the conservative alternative to Mitt Romney to unite by getting out of the race and uniting behind Paul’s candidacy,” campaign chair Jesse Benton said in a statement.


Romney Raised $56M in 2011; Had $19 in Bank at End of Year

Washington Times Reports: Fresh off his win in New Hampshire, making former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romneytwo-for-two in the race for the Republican presidential nomination, his campaign on Wednesday said he had raised $24 million in the  final three months of 2011 and had $19 million in cash on hand.

That’s Mr. Romney’s best quarter so far in this campaign, and it comes  as he is trying to project an air of inevitability about his nomination  heading into South Carolina’s Jan. 21 primary.

“Mitt Romney’s growing financial support is representative of the  growing momentum for our campaign,” said Spencer Zwick, Mr. Romney’s  finance director.

All told, Mr. Romney raised $56 million in 2011. President Obama and the  Democratic National Committee, meanwhile, were on pace to raise more  than $200 million in 2011.

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Obama Economy: 40 Year Old NY Hebrew Day School to Close

The Rockland Journal News Reports: The Reuben Gittelman Hebrew Day school in New City, New York, announced plans to close at the end of the academic year, officials confirmed this morning.

The school, which was founded in 1971, serves children from pre-school to eighth grade and provides a dual secular and Jewish education.

The school informed other Jewish institutions in Rockland by email late Tuesday night.

“Like every single not-for-profit, they were hit with declining financial support because of the bad economy,” said Micki Leader, a board member of the JCC of Rockland. “It’s tragic. Many families are bereft.”


Jewish Republicans Watch as Favorites Savage One Another

JTA Reports: Romney and Gingrich both have deep ties in the Jewish Republican community. Romney’s funders include Mel Sembler, the Florida shopping center magnate, and Fred Zeidman, a Texas lawyer. Gingrich has a long and abiding friendship with Adelson, the Las Vegas casino magnate.

Both candidates have made Israel a central plank of their anti-Obama rhetoric. Romney, the former Massachusetts governor, says Israel would be the first country he visits as president, in contrast to Obama’s failure to do so during his term. Gingrich has explicitly said he would strike Iran should it acquire a nuclear weapon and has said he would move the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem on his first day in office.

While the two candidates might share views on the Middle East, their personal tensions have boiled over in recent weeks. Some observers are expressing amazement at the latest turn in the feud—not just because it has Gingrich and other GOP candidates taking aim at Romney’s business career, but also because the pro-Gingrich anti-Romney SuperPAC attacks are essentially being funded by Adelson.

But a source close to the casino mogul, a leading funder of Jewish conservative causes, said his $5 million donation last week to the SuperPAC did not necessarily signal agreement with the thrust of its anti-Romney campaign.

“It’s not about the other candidates in the race, it’s about a friend assisting a friend,” said the source.

Zeidman said none of Romney’s Jewish backers held it against Adelson for supporting Gingrich. Yes, Adelson has a longstanding friendship with the former speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives—but also, Zeidman said, because Gingrich deserved some degree of Jewish backing.

“I’m glad that Newt’s got support, because he was there when we needed him,” Zeidman said, referring to Gingrich’s role in the 1990s pushing back against the Clinton administration-led Oslo peace process and pressure on Benjamin Netanyahu during his firt term as prime minister. “He was phenomenal on Israel when he needed him the worst.”

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‘Do You Wanna Have People Lose Their Legs?’

CBS-NY Reports: The New York City health department has declared war on oversized restaurant portions, going after the food industry in a subway ad campaign.

One poster shows an overweight diabetic man who’s had a leg amputated. The copy says, “Cut your portions. Cut your risk.”

WCBS 880 reporter Rich Lamb asked the mayor whether that’s too graphic.

“What do you wanna do? Do you wanna have people lose their legs or do you wanna show them what happens so that they won’t lose their legs? Take your poison, which do you want?” answered Mayor Michael Bloomberg on Tuesday.

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Video: News Busters Editor Rips Media for Taking ‘Fire People’ Line Out of Context


Professor: Jews are ‘Kind of Heimish’ with Mormon Romney

TJW Reports: “Of the entire field, Romney has the greatest upside among Jewish voters,” said Jacques Berlinerblau, a professor of Jewish civilization and an expert in religion and politics at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. “Of the remaining Republican field, he is the one Jews feel most comfortable with – he’s kind of heimish.”

Although Romney’s Mormon faith was an issue when he ran for the presidency four years ago, it has not been this year. And Berlinerblau said he has detected “an unspoken understanding” between Jews and Muslims: both are “family oriented, professionally successful – and not being white Anglo-Saxons and evangelicals can also bind.”

“Romney is the one candidate, along with [former Utah Gov. John] Huntsman, who can make serious inroads in the Jewish community,” he added. “He is strong on Israel and exudes a kind of statesman-like steadiness that Jews are looking for; he doesn’t shoot from the hip.”

L. Sandy Maisel, director of the Goldfarb Center for Public Affairs at Colby College in Waterville, Me., agreed that although there is no data on where Jews are headed in the Republican primaries, “Romney is the most likely candidate.”

“He and Huntsman are the least out there on social issues,” he said. “Jews do not go for those considered extreme.”

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