Saturday, May 14, 2016

Marble Hill Was Annexed As a Part of the Bronx Today

  Today's question was if Manhattan is an island then Marble Hill is part of the Bronx Mainland. Isaac Moore – Bronx Borough Protectorate, of 'The Great and Glorious Grand Army of The Bronx' marched his army into Manhattan today to proclaim Marble Hill in the name of the Bronx. Photos of the march into Manhattan to claim Marble Hill in the name of the Bronx are below, and his speech went as follows,

People of Marble Hill!

On this great day of May 14th 2016, The Great and Glorious Grand Army of The Bronx has crossed the border of our homeland, and into Manhattan in order to lay claim upon the neighborhood of Marble Hill, and demand your declaration of loyalty to the mightiest, most glorious, and obviously most handsome, borough, and county of The Bronx.

It is clear to us that the borough of Manhattan has been rejecting Marble Hill since the building of the Harlem River Ship Channel in 1895. For 119 years you have been cursed with your connection to the vile island of Manhattan. With our actions here today we release you from the grotesque shame which for over a century has plagued your people.

We bring you affordable-ish rents, humanely priced coffee at old time coffee shops, good music, great food, real bars, the most park land of any borough in New York City and direct access to the mainland of the United States of America. We do not bring you billionaires, television studios, fifteen dollar cocktails, and street corners clogged with slack jawed tourists. No longer must you suffer the spoiled ramblings of the effete bourgeoisie and the ever encroaching menace of hipsterism.

Lewis Morris, signer of the Declaration of Independence and Bronxite once said “Stand upright, speak thy thoughts, declare the truth thou hast, that all may share; Be bold, proclaim it everywhere: They only live who dare.”

In that spirit, we The Great and Glorious Grand Army of The Bronx now proclaim the citizens of Marble Hill to no longer be held down by the tyrannical yoke of Manhattan and newly dubbed free citizens of the Borough of The Bronx.


Isaac Moore – Bronx Borough Protectorate
The Great and Glorious Grand Army of The Bronx

Above - The Generals go over their battle plan.
Below - The march to Manhattan is on as the group passes the Bronx post office on Broadway.

Above - The army crosses into Manhattan.
Below - On the way to their destination, a young Marble Hill lad is knighted into the Bronx Army.


Above - The Army reaches its destination of the highest point in Marble Hill.
Below - The annexation ceremony of Marble Hill to the Bronx begins.

Above - After the ceremony is complete, the Generals climb down ever so cautiously.
Below - The march back to the starting point now that Marble Hill is unofficially part of the Bronx

Above - The Army now marches up Broadway.
Below - The Army reaches its starting point, and downs some ale now that they have annexed Marble Hill in the name of the Bronx.


Senator Ruben Diaz Sr. announce the celebration of “Abrazo Boricua in New York”

  Senator Rev. Rubén Díaz, in conjunction with  New York State Assemblymen Marcos Crespo, Luis Sepulveda, Michael Blake and newly-elected New York City Council Member Rafael Salamanca, will celebrate the Annual “Abrazo Boricua in New York.”   

Abrazo Boricua, a completely free annual banquet for 500 people, will take place at Maestro’s Caterers located at 1703 Bronxdale Avenue, Bronx, New York, on Thursday, June 9, 2016 from 7:00 p.m. to 12:00 a.m.  This event will honor the contributions of the Puerto Rican community in the State and City of New York .   

During the banquet Senator Ruben Diaz, together with the elected officials will be presenting proclamations and recognition to (5) distinguish members of the Puerto Rican community. 

For more Information, please call Leila Martinez at 718-991-3161.


   On Thursday, May 12th, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. in conjunction with The Hebrew Institute of Riverdale -“The Bayit,” hosted the Bronx Israeli Independence Festival.

“The Bronx joins with communities across the world in commemorating the 68th anniversary of the State of Israel, a historic day that instills joy and pride in Jewish people. This year’s celebration is even more special because it happens it falls during Bronx Week, when we get to highlight the best and brightest of our Borough. I can’t think of a better way to show the world that The Bronx is a friend of Israel and that the Jewish community in the Bronx is strong, vibrant and growing,” said Borough President Diaz.

The event was completely free and included a barbeque dinner, inflatable rides, puppet show, entertainment, music and much more.

Above - Long time Jewish leader not only Riverdale, and New York City, but the entire world Rabbi Avi Weiss, welcomes his good friend Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. to the Bayit the spiritual home of Rabbi Weiss. 
Below - Rabbi Weiss explains to BP Diaz just what the exhibits on the wall mean to the Jewish religion. 

Above - BP Diaz was so involved in the event, that he even helped out at one of the games for children who came to the event.
Below - Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz was on hand to help celebrate the event with BP Diaz, as was local Councilman Andrew Cohen (who is not in the photo).

Friday, May 13, 2016

The Bronx Chamber of Commerce - New Member Networking & Recognition Program May 25, 2016

Wednesday, May 25, 2016, 2:00-3:00 pm
Conference Center Hutch Metro Center
1200 Waters Place, Bronx, NY 10461
Network & Welcome the following companies that recently
joined The Bronx Chamber of Commerce:
Advance Auto PartsISE Office
Apple BankLafayette Avenue LLC
Arthur J GallagherNew Beginnings International Family Center
ATM Advantage LLCNew York Life Insurance
Celaj ManagementNew York Plumbing Supply
Children Foundation of AstorOriginal Energy
DJJ TechnologiesPark & Nguyen
Essen Metro UrgicareRescare, Inc.
Express Furniture WarehouseRite Check Cashing
Flushing BankS & M Moving & Storage
Green Street Solar PowerServco Industries
Houlihan-Parnes Realtors LLCStarAct LLC.
Hub Third Avenue Merchants AssociationWilliams Center
Membership Certificates and Membership Pins will be presented.

Refreshments will be available.
RSVP before May 20, 2016 by


Legislation Cracks Down on the Excessive Pricing of Lifesaving Pharmaceuticals

   Assembly Speaker Carl E. Heastie and Assemblyman Marcos A. Crespo announced the passage of legislation this week to prohibit medicine price gouging, an unscrupulous business practice involving lifesaving drugs that are in short supply and exorbitantly priced that then become unaffordable for patients who are fighting deadly illnesses.
“These falsely inflated medicine prices are crippling the ability of hospitals and health care providers to deliver the quality of care that patients expect and deserve,” said Heastie. “This bill will give the attorney general the authority to crackdown on these abuses and stop these profiteers who are preying on the vulnerability of sick people.”
“Overpriced medicines have been burdening our health care system and hindering the treatment of very ill patients for too long,” said Crespo. “The bill the Assembly passed will help restore fairness to the pricing of high-demand medicines and discourage nefarious pharmaceutical sales strategies that seek to make big bucks off the lives of sick people who are struggling to regain their health.”
The Assembly’s legislation (A.6731, Crespo) adds medicines, those that are publicly posted as drugs in short supply by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, to the list of goods and services that can be subjected to the state’s price gouging laws, and it empowers the state’s Attorney General to prosecute cases involving illegally priced medicines.
This anti-medicine gouging bill also permits the courts to determine when the price for a drug in short supply is unreasonably excessive and establishes the criteria for making such determinations.
Over the years there have been many media reports that have documented the impact of “gray market” vendors who purchase from small wholesalers or pharmacies quantities of scarce generic drugs that are then re-sold at prices many times higher than their initial price point. There have been news accounts involving vendors that have inflated the price of blood pressure medication from the normal price per dose of $25.90 to $1,200.
Medicine price gouging has caused significant disruptions to the medical treatment of patients who are battling life threatening health conditions. According to the data reported by the Associated Press in 2011, nearly two dozen experts found at least 15 deaths, in 15 months, that were blamed on the shortages of the right medicines not being readily available.

Editor's note:

However for this to become law it must also be approved by the State Senate, and then signed by Governor Andrew Cuomo. 

Ancient Order of Hibernians

1916 2016

Division #3

Bronx County

Remembering the Heroes of 1916

Annual Golf Tournament

Thomas Moore and Austin O’Hara

June 11 th Noon

Pelham / Split Rock GC.

Cost $150.00 Per Person

Returning to Jimmy Ryan’s Bar and Grill

3005 Middletown Road, Bronx, NY

Price includes:

Round of golf, Open Bar, Buffet

Prizes for best Golfer and Callaway winners

Hole sponsor from $100.00

Proceeds are awarded to 8 local catholic elementary graduating

student and St. Raymond’s GAA FC. Player of the year

Tournament Organizer; Danny Donovan 917-921- 2542

For more information, please contact:

President, Joe McManus 718-644- 1841

Bob Nolan 347-880- 1403



JUNE 11 TH 2016




Youth Got Talent (YGT):“Stirring Up The Gifts” Youth Summit May 21st

Gethsemane Missionary Baptist Church
771 Fairmount Place
BronxNew York 10460
Reverend Dr. Torrence Robinson, Pastor
Church Telephone (718) 294-7129  Church Fax (347) 270-3207
 “Changing Position to Take Possession” (Joshua 3:1-5)

    The Youth Got Talent Committee of Gethsemane Missionary Baptist Church (GMBC) invite you to attend our Youth Got Talent (YGT):“Stirring Up The Gifts” Youth Summit. It is scheduled to take place on (Saturday) May 21, 2016 (1:00 P.M.3:00 P.M) at GMBC, 771 Fairmount PlaceBronxN.Y. 10460; Reverend Dr. Torrence Robinson, Pastor.

The event is purposed to engage, motivate, challenge, and empower youth age 5 -25 years old  to think and act positively towards making healthy life choices; to make their dream of success reality.

The YGT Committee and Panelists will encourage and assist the youth to use their imagination, competitive edge, energy, talent, and creativity to participate in meaningful dialogue and strategic exercises to promote relational health development, effective dialogue, team building, and creative art performances. There will also be performances by youth whom auditioned last quarter for our annual YGT Competition & Show (which has been modified this year).

The desired outcomes of summit are for youth to:
  • Improve their level of communication with peers and adults;
  • Identify and develop leaders;
  • Assess their level of endurance, self control and time management;
  • Improve their ability to move beyond their current comfort levels and familiar groups to establish healthy and productive relationships through the use of their identified/unidentified gift, talent, and ability;
  • Improve their awareness of their strengths and self worth as a resource beneficial towards the growth and development of their family and community at large: socially, physically, emotionally, spiritually and economically. Also increase positive insight regarding their peers;
  • Prepare for participation in YGT: “SUTG” Competition & Show 2017;
  • Identify and engage/reengage in healthy and fun activities that supports refusal of  participation in  risky behaviors that can lead to alcohol & substance use/abuse, HIV infection, viral hepatitis, STD’s, incarceration, recidivism, and homelessness;
  • Ultimately glorify God in words, thoughts and deeds. entrepreneurship

We hope that you will be able to attend, and bring youth from your family and community. Light refreshment will be provided. The event is free. Charitable contributions are accepted. Please direct any questions to the YGT Committee Coordinator at (917) 226-7960.

Sis Carrie Taft, YGT Committee Coordinator
Youth Got Talent Committee Members:
Sisters Jordin Gill, Nakia Plummer, Deborah Mizell, Nakia Simmons;
Deacons Kim D. James, Elizabeth Gadson.

"Do not neglect the gift that is in you." 
(1Timothy 4:14a)


By Senator Rev. Rubén Díaz
District 32 Bronx County, New York

  You should know that if I had been the judge who sentenced Sheldon Silver, I would not have sentenced him to 12 years in prison.
It is important for you to know that in my political life, I have been a conservative democrat, with pro-life, anti-gay marriage, anti-gambling, anti-mixed martial arts, and anti-marijuana positions.
Sheldon Silver was my worst nightmare because he stood for everything I was against.
We all know that Sheldon Silver was arrested, indicted, and found guilty of extortion, fraud and money laundering, but in all of my political life, I have not seen anyone who has done more for senior citizens, women's rights, unions, funding for health care for the poor and needy, funding for public school education, and social service programs for straight, gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender New Yorkers.
I don’t know anyone who has fought harder in government for the legalization of gay marriage than Sheldon Silver.  Sometimes I think that Sheldon Silver even put aside his Jewish religious beliefs in order to help the liberal movement and its causes.
It is true that he violated the law, and he should be punished, but where are all of the people he has represented and done so much for?
Sheldon Silver has experienced a public stoning in the media. He was berated and paraded in handcuffs, and forced to experience humiliation. For such a powerful person, he was forced to endure tremendous public shame.
Sheldon Silver lost his license to practice law, and lost his title as Speaker of the Assembly. He was forced to pay a $1.75 million dollar fine and forfeit $5.3 million dollars. His family has been put through hell.
My prayer is for Sheldon Silver, who is also battling prostrate cancer, and for his family. This is a very painful and difficult time for all of them.
We all know about Sheldon Silver’s miserable failings, but is everyone forgetting the good he has done for so many years? Where are all of the people he fought for? Where were all of the demonstrations and letters appealing to the judge for leniency before Sheldon Silver’s sentencing?
Sheldon Silver stood in the public arena and fought the good fight for liberal causes and rights, and I don’t see anyone who benefited from those fights anywhere, but I do see a public pile-on to completely destroy any memory of any good Sheldon Silver ever did for them.
For the record, Sheldon SIlver's fights were not for me, not for my beliefs, and not for my conservative democratic ideals.
After all Sheldon Silver has gone through: after being publicly stoned, punished and practically destroyed, after being handcuffed and humiliated, after having to lose his law license, title and Assembly seat, after all of the money that he had to pay back, and after putting his family through shame, I cannot comprehend the sentence he received.
The judge sentenced Sheldon Silver, a 72-year sick old man to 12 years in prison.
I believe that after all of the punishment described above, a few years would have been enough. Why have him die in prison?  I have seen murderers receive less time in prison for their crime .... as I always say, God hates ugly.
I am Senator Reverend Rubén Díaz, and this is what you should know.

  If I was the Judge I would have thrown the book at him just like what happened. There is no place for elected officials like the former Assembly Speaker who abused his power for the almighty dollar. It is hoped that the U.S. Attorney roots out all corruption that has and is still going on at all levels of government. 
Maybe the former Speaker got sick worrying about what would happen if he got caught. Good health to you Senator Ruben Diaz Sr.

Statement Of U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara On Sentencing Of Former New York State Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos

    “In the span of just 16 months, we have seen the arrest, prosecution, conviction, and sentencing of both leaders of the New York State legislature.  The nearly simultaneous convictions of Sheldon Silver and Dean Skelos, whose corruption crimes were laid bare during fair and public trials, have no precedent.  And while Silver and Skelos deserve their prison sentences, the people of New York deserve better.  These cases show – and history teaches – that the most effective corruption investigations are those that are truly independent and not in danger of either interference or premature shutdown.  That will continue to be our guiding principle in exposing and punishing corruption throughout New York.  I thank the career investigators and prosecutors in my office, as well as FBI Assistant Director Diego Rodriguez and his entire team for their tremendous work in these two landmark prosecutions.  All New Yorkers who believe in clean government owe them an enormous debt of gratitude.”

Former New York State Senate Leader Dean Skelos Sentenced To 5 Years In Prison And His Son, Adam Skelos, Sentenced To 6 ½ Years In Prison, In Manhattan Federal Court

Taking Into Account Taxpayer Funded Pension, Dean Skelos Also Ordered to Pay to Pay a $500,000 Fine

Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced today that former New York State Senate Majority Leader DEAN SKELOS was sentenced today to five years in prison after having been found guilty by a federal jury of using his official position to obtain more than $300,000 in bribes and extortion payments that were paid to his son, ADAM SKELOS, in exchange for DEAN SKELOS’s official acts.  ADAM SKELOS, who was convicted by the same jury, was also sentenced to six-and-a-half years in prison.  DEAN SKELOS and ADAM SKELOS were sentenced in Manhattan federal court by U.S. District Judge Kimba M. Wood, who also presided over the four-week jury trial.   
U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said:  “In the span of just 16 months, we have seen the arrest, prosecution, conviction, and sentencing of both leaders of the New York State legislature.  The nearly simultaneous convictions of Sheldon Silver and Dean Skelos, whose corruption crimes were laid bare during fair and public trials, have no precedent.  And while Silver and Skelos deserve their prison sentences, the people of New York deserve better.  These cases show – and history teaches – that the most effective corruption investigations are those that are truly independent and not in danger of either interference or premature shutdown.  That will continue to be our guiding principle in exposing and punishing corruption throughout New York.  I thank the career investigators and prosecutors in my office, as well as FBI Assistant Director Diego Rodriguez and his entire team for their tremendous work in these two landmark prosecutions.  All New Yorkers who believe in clean government owe them an enormous debt of gratitude.”
According to the evidence introduced at trial, court filings, and statements made in Manhattan federal court:
From 2011 to 2015, DEAN SKELOS served as Majority Leader and Co-Majority Leader of the New York State Senate, a position that gave him significant power over the operation of New York State government.  DEAN SKELOS repeatedly used this power to pressure companies with business before New York State to make payments to his son, ADAM SKELOS, who substantially depended on these companies for his income.  DEAN SKELOS and ADAM SKELOS were able to secure these illegal payments through implicit and explicit representations that DEAN SKELOS would use his official position to benefit those who made the payments, and punish those who did not.  In total, DEAN SKELOS obtained over $300,000 in payments to ADAM SKELOS through persistent and repeated pressure applied to senior executives of three different companies that needed legislation passed in the New York State Senate and other official actions from DEAN SKELOS. 
The Glenwood Scheme
Beginning in late 2010, and continuing for approximately two years, DEAN SKELOS repeatedly solicited payments for ADAM SKELOS from representatives of Glenwood Management Corp. (“Glenwood”), a major New York City real estate company.  DEAN SKELOS’s solicitations for payments to ADAM SKELOS took place during the same meetings when Glenwood’s representatives were asking for DEAN SKELOS’s assistance with New York State legislation that was crucial to Glenwood’s profitability.  As a result of the sustained pressure from DEAN SKELOS, representatives of Glenwood arranged for a $20,000 direct payment to ADAM SKELOS and further arranged for Abtech Industries (“Abtech”), an Arizona-based stormwater technology company in which Glenwood’s founding family owned a stake, to make $4,000 monthly payments to ADAM SKELOS.  Glenwood arranged for these payments to ADAM SKELOS due to the company’s substantial dependence on DEAN SKELOS for real estate tax abatements and other real estate legislation favorable to Glenwood, and based in part on statements from DEAN SKELOS that he would punish those in the real estate industry who defied him. 
The Abtech Scheme
After successfully obtaining ADAM SKELOS’s Abtech consulting contract for $4,000 per month, DEAN SKELOS assisted Abtech in causing Nassau County to issue a request for proposal (“RFP”) for a public works project that was tailored to Abtech’s stormwater technology.  DEAN SKELOS and ADAM SKELOS then threatened to use DEAN SKELOS’s official powers to block Abtech’s bid for the RFP unless the company sharply increased ADAM SKELOS’s payments.  Abtech ultimately agreed to increase ADAM SKELOS’s payments to $10,000 per month because the company feared that, if it did not meet the defendants’ demands, it would lose the Nassau County contract that was critical to its business.  In return for the payments to ADAM SKELOS, and to ensure that they would continue, DEAN SKELOS facilitated the approval of Abtech’s $12 million contract with Nassau County and thereafter took numerous additional official actions to benefit Abtech. 
For example, when Abtech and ADAM SKELOS believed Nassau County was insufficiently funding the company’s project, DEAN SKELOS pressured Nassau County officials to make additional funds available.  In January 2015, DEAN SKELOS was intercepted in a call with the Nassau County Executive in which he asked for an explanation for the lack of funding, complaining on behalf of ADAM SKELOS that “somebody feels like they’re getting jerked around the last two years.”  The next day, DEAN SKELOS traveled with the County Executive and his Deputy to the funeral of a New York City Police Department officer, where DEAN SKELOS reiterated in person his demand that the County expedite payments to Abtech. 
DEAN SKELOS also used his official position in an attempt to direct a portion of a $5.4 billion sum that the State had recovered in litigation with financial services companies (the “Settlement Funds”) in a way that would benefit water projects and contracts that were being pursued by Abtech.  For example, at the same time ADAM SKELOS was attempting to obtain additional Abtech stormwater projects with local municipalities by claiming that the projects could be funded through State funds, DEAN SKELOS was advocating for a portion of the Settlement Funds to be allocated for stormwater projects. 
DEAN SKELOS also used his official position in an attempt to enact State “design-build” legislation that was being sought by Abetch and that Nassau County officials had explained was necessary to implement fully the $12 million contract with Abtech.  Nassau County officials provided DEAN SKELOS with proposed legislation that DEAN SKELOS stated he would support if backed by the Governor.  In a recorded call on ADAM SKELOS’s “burner” phone, ADAM SKELOS told a representative of Abtech that DEAN SKELOS had privately assured ADAM SKELOS that DEAN SKELOS was “going to be sure that [the design-build legislation] gets done.”  Later, ADAM SKELOS told Abtech’s representatives that while design-build legislation would not be enacted as part of the April 2015 budget process, DEAN SKELOS would continue to pursue it in the legislative session continuing through June 2015.  The defendants were arrested in May 2015 before their plan to enact the legislation could be completed.
The PRI Scheme
During the same time period as the Glenwood and Abtech schemes, DEAN SKELOS pressured yet a third company, called Physician Reciprocal Insurers (“PRI”), to pay ADAM SKELOS.  PRI is a major medical malpractice insurance firm, whose existence depends on New York State legislation that exempts the firm from being liquidated even though its liabilities exceed its assets.  Similar to the Glenwood scheme, DEAN SKELOS solicited payments to ADAM SKELOS from PRI during the same conversations when PRI was seeking DEAN SKELOS’s support for the extension of this legislation that was critical to PRI’s business. 
In response to the pressure from DEAN SKELOS to find sources of payment to ADAM SKELOS, PRI agreed to, among other things, give ADAM SKELOS a full-time job with benefits.  Even though ADAM SKELOS was expected to work 40 hours per week, he treated his PRI position as a “no show” job from the outset of his employment.  When ADAM SKELOS’s supervisor told ADAM SKELOS that he was expected to show up to work, ADAM SKELOS berated him and told him “[g]uys like you . . . couldn’t shine my shoes. . . . And if you talk to me like that again, I will smash your fucking head in.”  When the CEO of PRI told DEAN SKELOS that ADAM SKELOS was not showing up to work and was mistreating the other employees, DEAN SKELOS expressed no concern about ADAM SKELOS’s conduct and simply told the CEO to “[w]ork [it] out.”  Based on this conversation, among others, the CEO understood that if he did not continue to pay ADAM SKELOS, despite his non-performance and misconduct at work, he was risking DEAN SKELOS taking legislative action against PRI.  Later, when former Senator Alphonse D’Amato, one of PRI’s lobbyists, reiterated to DEAN SKELOS that ADAM SKELOS was not showing up to work and was being disruptive when he actually did show up, DEAN SKELOS also dismissed Senator D’Amato’s concerns and told him that ADAM SKELOS needed the income and benefits from PRI.
DEAN SKELOS did not inform any of the companies he pressured to pay ADAM SKELOS that, between 2011 and 2014, ADAM SKELOS was making between $230,000 and $441,000 per year.  
During the time period that PRI was paying ADAM SKELOS, DEAN SKELOS repeatedly voted to extend PRI’s legislative protection from liquidation as well as other legislation that was being sought by PRI.
*                      *                      *
In addition to the prison sentence, Judge Wood ordered DEAN SKELOS, 68, of Rockville Centre, New York, to pay a $500,000 fine, forfeit $334,120, and pay a $800 special assessment fee.  DEAN SKELOS also was sentenced to one year of supervised release.  In imposing a fine on DEAN SKELOS, Judge Wood took into account the tax-payer funded pension that DEAN SKELOS would be receiving.  Judge Wood ordered ADAM SKELOS, 33, also of Rockville Centre, to forfeit $334,120, pay a $800 special assessment, and serve three years of supervised release. 
DEAN SKELOS and ADAM SKELOS were found guilty by a unanimous jury on December 11, 2015, of conspiracy to commit extortion under color of official right, conspiracy to commit honest services wire fraud, three counts of extortion under color of official right, and three counts of soliciting and receiving bribes.  

Croton Filter Plant - CHANGE OF DATE - Next FMC Meeting is June 15, 2016

Although we told you about plans for the Croton FMC to meet on June 16th, scheduling difficulties interfered with that date.

The Croton FMC will therefore meet a day earlier, on Wednesday, June 15, 2016 at 7pm at the DEP office, 3660 Jerome Avenue, Bronx 10467.

The proposed agenda will be sent to you in a subsequent email.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016


Assemblyman Dinowitz Calls on NY Senate to Close LLC Loophole

Legislation reduces the influence of big money in political campaigns

   Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz called on the New York State Senate to pass a bill reducing the ability of deep-pocketed special interests to make unlimited campaign donations. The legislation, which has already passed the Assembly overwhelmingly, would bring LLC’s in line with other corporations by creating a uniform law that restricts LLCs to the same $5,000 aggregate contribution limit. This would increase transparency in elections and accountability in government by protecting against individuals contributing above the legal limits.

Assemblyman Dinowitz said, “Currently, LLCs provide a loophole for special interests to make unlimited, and often anonymous, political donations that drown out the voices of ordinary voters. Closing this loophole will prevent the rich and powerful from skirting around contribution limits to unfairly buy influence and access.”

Under existing election law, individuals and corporations can make multiple contributions to the same candidate, political party or campaign committee by creating an unlimited number of LLCs. The law treats each LLC as an individual donor, even though more than one LLC can be controlled by the same individual. This makes it extremely difficult to determine the true contributor. Further, the Supreme Court’s 2014 ruling in McCutcheon v. FEC removed aggregate limits on individual donations, effectively allowing LLCs to make unlimited political contributions.   

Big money campaign contributions have a corrosive effect on our electoral system and a corrupting influence on our government,” said Assemblyman Dinowitz. “Candidates chasing large donations from well-heeled contributors looking for special access or influence are less able to represent all of their constituents. Our democracy will only suffer as a result. This legislation helps ensure that everyone is playing by the same rules when it comes to political contributions.  I am proud to co-sponsor this critical legislation.”

Assemblyman Dinowitz Helps Pass Gender Protection Legislation 

     Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz announced that the Assembly passed legislation he co-sponsored prohibiting discrimination based on gender identity or expression - the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act (GENDA) (A.4558-B), sending the message that intolerance has no place in New York State.
“Across the country, transgender individuals are facing an assault on their basic human rights,” said Assemblyman Dinowitz. “From absurd laws dictating what bathrooms transgendered people can use such as in North Carolina, to giving health professionals the right to refuse treatment of LGBT persons, as they are trying to do in Arkansas, Tennessee, and Oklahoma; these laws are acts of ignorant bigotry, and clearly illustrate why New York must stand up to discrimination and lead the nationwide fight for transgender equality.”
In addition to prohibiting discrimination based on gender identity or expression, the GENDA Law, authored by my colleague, Assemblyman Richard Gottfried (D-Manhattan), amends various provisions of the Penal Law and the Criminal Procedure Law to add "gender identity or expression" to the list of factors that constitute a crime a hate crime.
“Sadly, transgender individuals often experience housing and employment discrimination, are refused service, and in extreme cases, face physical violence because of how they express their gender identity. While New York already protects against discrimination on a number of bases, it has not yet extended this important protection to transgender people,” said Assemblyman Dinowitz.  “It’s time for the Senate to join us in extending protections to all New Yorkers.”

21 Members Of South Bronx Drug Trafficking Organization Charged With Narcotics Trafficking And Firearms Offenses

     Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, James J. Hunt, the Special Agent in Charge of the New York Division of the Drug Enforcement Administration (“DEA”), Angel M. Melendez, the Special Agent-in-Charge of the New York Field Office of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (“HSI”), and William J. Bratton, the Commissioner of the New York City Police Department (“NYPD”), announced the unsealing today of two Indictments charging a total of 21 members of a Bronx-based drug trafficking organization with narcotics trafficking and firearms offenses.  The organization operates in the vicinity of the Diego Beekman Houses (“Beekman Houses”) in the South Bronx and is charged in two separate indictments – United States v.Demetrius Flowers et al. and United States v. Damon Guadalupe et al.  Some of the members of the organization were affiliated with a subset of the Bloods Street Gang, known as the “Low Rider Brims,” and other members were affiliated with a gang known as the “Young Shooters.”  Of the 21 defendants charged in both Indictments, 14 are currently in custody, including 12 defendants who were arrested earlier today and yesterday as part of a coordinated takedown.  The defendants already in custody will be presented today before United States Magistrate Ronald L. Ellis in Manhattan federal court. 
In connection with today’s takedown, law enforcement agents also executed search warrants at three locations, including residential apartments in the area occupied by several of the defendants.  During the execution of those search warrants, agents recovered, among other items, crack, cocaine, marijuana, as well as ammunition and gang paperwork.   To date, in this case, agents and officers have seized, among other evidence, quantities of crack, cocaine, heroin, marijuana, prescription pills, as well as firearms, ammunition, and knives.  During the investigation, agents and officers also intercepted thousands of wiretapped calls, during many of which various members and associates of the drug trafficking organization discussed their gang and narcotics activities.
Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said:  “As alleged, these defendants, many of them members of street gangs, terrorized a South Bronx neighborhood with their drug dealing and violence.  Law enforcement has no duty more important than keeping our citizens safe.  As we have done in a number of recent takedowns with our law enforcement partners, we will continue to focus on those in our communities who are allegedly responsible for so much of the gang and gun violence.  All New Yorkers are entitled to live in neighborhoods free from constant drug-dealing and senseless violence.  That is why we bring actions like the one we bring today.”
DEA Special Agent-in-Charge James J. Hunt said:  “Law enforcement’s crackdown on gang related drug trafficking has netted 14 more arrests in New York City.  It is alleged that the ‘Low Rider Brims’ and ‘Young Shooters’ street gangs instilled fear and intimidation in the residents of the Beekman Housing Projects in the Bronx.  Not only did their alleged drug trafficking fuel drug addiction, their ‘armed and ready’ attitude resulted in numerous shootings and turf battles jeopardizing the safety of the neighboring schools and community.”
HSI Special Agent-in-Charge Angel M. Melendez said:  “Residents of the Mott Haven section of the Bronx can rest easier knowing members of a violent gang are under arrest and out of their neighborhood.  These gangs allegedly peddled drugs and used violence to protect their criminal enterprise.  HSI and its law enforcement partners are committed to combating violent criminal organizations and ensure the continued safety of our communities.”
Commissioner William J. Bratton said:  “This investigation is the latest example of a coordinated effort to combat drug trafficking, whose operations brought an influx of violence and firearms to the Bronx. I commend both our NYPD detectives and law enforcement partners for their hard work, which led to these arrests, and for their ongoing commitment to protect our neighborhoods.”
As alleged in the Indictments unsealed today in Manhattan federal court and in other court papers[1]:
The Beekman Houses is a private housing complex comprising approximately 38 apartment buildings in the Mott Haven neighborhood of the Bronx, New York.  From at least 2010 up to and including May 2016, the defendants operated a drug trafficking organization (the “Beekman Houses DTO”) in and around the Beekman Houses.  The Beekman Houses DTO trafficked in a variety of narcotics – including crack cocaine, heroin, and marijuana – on a daily basis.  Some of the members of the Beekman Houses DTO were affiliated with a subset of the Bloods Street Gang known as the “Low Rider Brims,” and other members were affiliated with a gang known as the “Young Shooters.”  The defendants sold narcotics in areas frequented by New York City’s most vulnerable citizens, including in the vicinity of New York City schools.   
In addition, members of the Beekman Houses DTO protected and maintained their drug business through the possession of firearms and acts of violence.  These included shootings that happened in broad daylight on public streets and into apartment buildings.