7:12 am Jul. 27, 2012
The conviction of City Councilman Larry Seabrook on nine counts of fraud, conspiracy and misuse of more than $1.5 million of public funds has put a spotlight back onto the Council's system of disbursing millions of dollars in discretionary funds. At the head of the process is City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, who in 2008 and 2010 announced changes to the system to make it more transparent, and said after Seabrook's conviction that his conduct was "galling."
Quinn's reforms seem to have distanced her from the system's problems fairly effectively, though. She got a brief mention in the Wall Street Journal's write-up of the news, and the Times didn't mention her at all.
Mindy Meyer: "We're rescheduling something with Anderson Cooper." [Simi Lampert]
Andrew Cuomo is in New York City and has no public schedule.
10 a.m. On the Brian Lehrer Show: Zev Chafets, author of Rush Limbaugh: An Army of One, discusses Mitt Romney's trip to Israel.
2:30 p.m. The Democratic Party's Platform Drafting Committee starts the first of their three-day meetings at the Marquette Hotel in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
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Mitt Romney slighted London for some of their Olympic preparations, which drew a sharp response from British prime minister David Cameron. [Ashley Parker]
Barack Obama and Mitt Romney aren't pushing for new gun control laws, and that's sad. [Daily News]
Obama and Romney won't push for more gun control laws until it has more support from voters. [Adam Winkler]
"In a way, President Obama’s remarks were even more disappointing because he fell far short of offering a solution even though he clearly demonstrated an understanding of the problem." [New York Times]
Obama made a "desperate" plea for campaign donations in honor of his birthday. [Carl Campanile]
"[W]hen the murderer is white or racist or his crimes so incomprehensibly ugly, the anti-death-penalty crowd stays silent. It’s the smart play." [Jonah Goldberg]
"It’s a huge problem when your dad is arrested on bribery charges while you’re running for Congress," said Democratic consultant Scott Levenson, referring to Democrat Grace Meng. [Carl Campanile]
More on Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. "considering" a race for public advocate. [Tina Moore]
Boisterous assemblyman Jose Rivera may run for his son's City Council seat after he leaves office in 2013. [Bob Kappstatter]
An unintentionally hysterical video of a reporter driving with Mindy Meyer, who makes an illegal u-turn. Also: "We're rescheduling something with Anderson Cooper." [Simi Lampert]
A pay raise for legislators is not popular with voters. [Erik Kriss]
D.O.T. on the mysterious bike share delays: "All we’re saying is, refer to previous statements on this, including the mayor’s.” [Matt Flegenheimer]
The Dept. of Environmental Protection hit the Church of Scientology with $700 in fines blaring commercials outside their office, but the violations were thrown out. [David Seifman]
The Dept. of Education changed its enrollment practices to stop steering students with learning challenges into low-performing schools. [Yoav Gonen]
"Downtown Brooklyn was one of the few places in the entire city where no private sector jobs have been lost since 2003." [Reuven Blau]
37 percent of city residents get Medicaid assistance. [David Seifman]
The M.T.A. plans a $1 surcharge on Metrocards. [Jennifer Fermino]
Larry Seabrook and the City Council
The Wall Street Journal details Seabrook's scam, which stemmed from funding he controlled from 2002 to 2009. The article also notes the "scandal cast a shadow over the political aspirations" of Quinn. [Tamer el-Ghobashy, Jenifer Maloney and Tania Karas]
Quinn is not mentioned at all in the Times' story of Seabrook's conviction. [Benjamin Weiser]
He was convicted on nine charges and could face 20 years in prison. [Ivan Pereira]
Seabrook was acquitted of taking kickbacks from boilermaker he helped get work at Yankee Stadium. [Courtney Gross]
Seabrook's nickname: "Cash and Carry Larry." [Paul DeBenedetto]
Seabrook's 2010 mugshot. [The Smoking Gun]
The jury forewoman said it was "morally wrong" for Seabrook to try getting reimbursed for a $177 bagel, but this part of the prosecutor's case had too many holes for the jury to convict. [Ikimulisa Livingston, Doug Montero and Bruce Golding]
"[H]is conviction should should give fresh impetus to finally shut that [discretionary funding in the Council] down." [New York Post]
"Seabrook becomes the third disgraced politician – along with Miguel Martinez and Hiram Monserrate – convicted in the last three years of diverting public money while serving on the council, Department of Investigation Commissioner Rose Gil Hearn said." [Tom Hays]