9:23 am Mar. 20, 2012
The Daily News editorial page said there's no video or photographic evidence of police acting improperly in breaking up the latest Occupy Wall Street demonstrations, and summarily dismissed the protesters as whiny kids.
City Council members Ydanis Rodriguez and Jumaane Williams take a different view, saying the police used excessive force and proposing City Council hearings to look into the matter.
Williams said he wants to know why the police decided to close Zuccotti Park, which is supposed to be open 24 hours a day. Joseph Goldstein of the Times cites an anonymous law enforcement official saying the park was closed to prevent vandalism.
At a fund-raiser in Manhattan featuring Michelle Obama, Robert De Niro jokingly asked said, "Callista Gingrich, Karen Santorum, Ann Romney. Now do you really think our country is ready for a white first lady?" [Gatecrasher]
That's per Reid Pillifant's pool report from the event. [Capital]
Grace Meng's historic congressional candidacy comes John Liu's mayoral prospects fade. [Andrew Grosssman]
Republican David Bellavia didn't do anything to improve his rocky relationship with the G.O.P. establishment in his campaign kick-off announcement against Democratic congresswoman Kathy Hochul. [Jerry Zremski and Robert McCarthy]
Liu's audit claims millions in tax breaks were given to companies that failed to meet job-creation goals. Bloomberg's administration said the audit is full of inaccuracies. [Michael Howard Saul]
Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver wants member items back in the budget, after going without them for two years. [Erik Kriss]
CSEA, unhappy over passage of a new Tier 6 pension plan, suspended their endorsements of and donations to state candidates. They plan to "re-evaluate our political relationships." [Erik Kriss]
One editorial page is surprised to hear New Jersey has tougher anti-corruption laws than New York. [New York Post]
Another editorial page isn't too shocked at the findings, and argues that the poor grades across the country demonstrate why the federal government shouldn't relinquish its responsibilities to states. [New York Times]
An NYCLU analysis maps out the top ten places where the NYPD conducts stop-and-frisks. Number 5 on the list is the 90th precinct in Williamsburg, "home to Hasidic Jews, hipsters and Latinos." [Simone Weichselbaum]
An editorial page said there's no evidence of police officers mistreating O.W.S. protesters at this weekend's demonstrations. [Daily News]
Cops closed Zuccotti Park out of fear of vandalism. The closure led to most of the arrests of the 76 protesters. Council members Ydanis Rodriguez and Jumaane Williams want the City Council to hold hearings on this. [Joseph Goldstein]
A trailer for the 2012 LCA show in Albany. [NYSLCA]