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  deep qt dossier 109: The Swingin' Totalitarian: Vladimir Lenin Sings!
July 1, 2013: Think totalitarians are dull boys (and girls) who wear matchey matchey duds, never quaff cocktails or croon torch tunes in the wee small hours? If so, you're wrong. No need for shame though. I thought the same. Until I found a copy of "The Swingin' Totalitarian: Vladimir Lenin Sings!" in a box of old records at a junk store.
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  deep qt dossier 108: The Soul of Shozo Shimamoto: Gutai, Mail Art, Collaboration with Nature
March 24, 2013: On January 25th, three days after his 85th birthday, legendary artist Shozo Shimamoto died of heart failure. A memorial event titled Shozo-ism was held at Hotel Novotel Koshien, Osaka West in Japan on March 13th. Another memorial is ongoing. Quoting Shozo's first son, Takashi Shimamoto "please visit Shozo's soul, he would be so excited to see you."
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  deep qt dossier 107: Now Running 4 President: The Year of Living Idiotically
May 18, 2012: I loathe presidential election years. Let me count the ways...
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  deep qt favorite dishes: When Hitchens Met Clinton/Oh What a Lovely War!
May 2, 2012: Farewell Christopher Hitchens. Gone, not forgotten. When Hitchens circa 1999 dissected Bill (and Hillary) Clinton in No One Left to Lie To, it was CSI with razor wit and moral scalpel. In light of Hitchens' death, No One Left has been reissued. Silver lining to a cloud!
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  deep qt dossier 106: Big Catholic Boo 4 Obama, Bah 4 Limbaugh the Lesser
March 9, 2012: I rarely come on all Catholic. But...
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  deep qt early spring roll: Mortgage Settlement Madness!
February 27, 2012: Five mega lenders cough up $25 billion via the national mortgage servicer settlement. Victims of foreclosure abuses will be made whole. Not. State pols will plug budget holes. Yes! Attorney generals do best of all. Oh-- see their new power tool.
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  deep qt dossier 105: Parker's Chill, Cuomo's Crony Capitalism Fever
February 13, 2012: OMG Albany! The seat of state government. Where pulp fiction and pols meet and marry. Governor Andrew Cuomo has a public-private honeymoon plan. The scent of sweet infrastructure deals makes corporate suitors swoon. Even cynical New Yorkers hear bells. The church (or is it a casino?) of Crony Capitalism is open for biz. Scrawled on the wall, this slogan: remember HUD and HVCC.
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  deep qt dossier 104: Like Mao Said, Real Estate isn't a Dinner Party
December 19, 2011: On December 21st, the National Association of Realtors will gift the nation with the true number of existing home sales between 2007 and 2010. Despite the forced write down, the NAR has reasons to be cheerful Not being based in the Peoples Republic of China tops the list. In China, disappointed bubble buyers are storming the gates of real estate heaven-- trashing sales offices and demanding deep discounts...
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  deep qt dossier 103: Turkey Day at Target: Jim Johnson Carves, Consumers Gobble and Run
November 23, 2011: Will the chief execs and board members of Target Corp. be watching- and wagering on-- consumers racing through the aisles of Target on Black Thanksgiving? A fly on the wall says "yes!" While consumers gobble & run, Target board member Jim Johnson, head of Fannie Mae in its salad days, will be carving the bird just as skillfully as he eviscerated congressional regulators...
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  deep qt Popcorn Ball 2: Update: Gingrich bumps Corzine as Batman's Two-Face!
November 17, 2011: It takes a lot to shock Hollywood. But the news that Newt Gingrich has bumped Jon Corzine as supervillain Two-Face in the next Batman is making jaws drop in Dream City...
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  deep qt Popcorn Ball: Corzine to play Two-Face in new Batman!
November 6, 2011: This just in from Hollywood-- Jon Corzine, who until about a week ago was Top Dog in the tanking Wall Street unreality series "My Own Private MF Global" has been cast as supervillain Two-Face in the next Batman opus...
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  deep qt dossier 102: Cambodia's Curse, Mexico's Manana, Reckless Endangerment Stateside
August 5, 2011: Summer reading circa 2011: "Cambodia's Curse" by Joel Brinkley, "Manana Forever?" by Jorge Castaneda, and "Reckless Endangerment" by Gretchen Morgenson and Joshua Rosner. The first two a trip to strangely familiar flailing states, the last a crime procedural about our very own real estate bubble. Got justice? Hey-- who needs a cow when the milk is so cheap!
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  deep qt breakfast of chimpanzees: Albany's Historic Student Ghetto: Kegs N Eggs Mark the Spot
March 31, 2011: On March 12th drunken students rioted in the Albany, New York neighborhood known as the student ghetto. After prepping for the annual St. Patrick's Day parade with Kegs N Eggs house parties, crowds spewed out onto the frosty streets for a trash fest. YouTube took it viral...
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  deep qt dossier 100: Gaming the Game: Baba, Elvis, and the NBA Betting Scandal
March 20, 2011: Sean Patrick Griffin's new book "Gaming the Game" won't make ex NBA referee Tim Donaghy happy. In 2008, Donaghy (aka Elvis to his cohorts) was convicted of feeding pro gambler Jimmy "Baba" Battista picks on NBA games. Elvis claims Baba made him do it. Griffin says no way...
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  deep qt double fry daddy: Left, Right, Third Party in Sight?
March 2, 2011: Big government and big finance pumped the housing bubble. Then came the bust. After years of investigations, Republicans and Democrats can't agree on who-done-it. No prime movers of subprime sleaze, political enablers, or Wall Street sludge jugglers have been prosecuted. However, we will be able to hang some teachers and sanitation workers out to dry. In our state capitalist times, Joe and Joan Average are increasingly on their own...
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  deep qt dossier 99: Mortgage Fraud! Mollusks! Taxpayers Rush to Invest
February 15, 2011: Ah, mortgage fraud. The unsung power tool of the housing bubble. Miss the big grift? No need. New scams are on fire! Government sponsored programs are being mined. Meanwhile, in Hoboken NJ, mollusks are undermining the new urban waterfront. Hurry hurry-- time to reinvest. Before shipworms swallow Sinatra Drive...
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  deep qt tongue sandwich: The New Civility: Another Day, Another Lip Lock
January 29, 2011: Incredible that 9/11 is almost ten years ago. So much has changed. Including our attitude about free speech...
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  deep qt popsicle stick: Governor Andrew Cuomo: Day One, Everything Freezes
January 8, 2011: And so it begins. Not with a bang but a brrrrr. On January 5th, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo laid down his first State of the State address in a freezing cold auditorium at the Empire State Plaza Convention Center in Albany. The space wasn't frigid by accident. Some like it hot, but Andy does not. Why is a mystery. Some cite his "shark-like" eyes, saying he needs the deep chill. But I disagree...
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  deep qt dossier 98:The Cassette Culture Sound of Solomonoff & Von Hoffmannstahl-- in Stereo!
January 2, 2011: In the early 1980's, David Solomonoff and I lived in a five floor walk-up in the tallest building on our block in Hoboken, New Jersey. No telephone. Couldn't afford it. Up there in the clouds, where no phone ever rang, we began doing Mail Art and making music cassettes as Solomonoff & Von Hoffmannstahl. The post office became our scene and we loved it. Via snail mail we connected with artists and musicians all over the world...
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  deepqt leafy greens & grit: Mix Stash of Potential Explosives w. Multi Family Dwelling, Toss Carefully
December 3, 2010: Sometimes a story is so local it jumps up and bites you. Such is the case with the stash of potentially explosive materials found in an apartment building in the town where I live ...
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  deep qt dossier 97: The wacky little Caesars of Upstate New York
November 18, 2010: In Upstate New York political circles, wacky little Caesars are a dime a dozen. Some are truly extreme...
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  deep qt dossier 96: All Fired Up: The Downtown Albany Real Estate Game
October 31, 2010: When you talk about Albany to people outside the Capital Region most think you mean New York State government. In election years the reality of Albany as a specific place, not a symbol of pols-gone-wild, becomes even more difficult to convey. A shame, because the city of Albany has all sorts of exciting stuff going on. Particularly on its downtown real estate scene.
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  deepqt deep tribute: Robin Palmer: Weatherman Yippie Right Wing Rebel Forever
October 17, 2010: Robin Palmer died this August. He was a born rebel. Never without a cause. Usually multiple causes. Which sometimes seemed wildly contradictory. Let's see; there was radical bomber Robin, guerilla theater Robin, and right wing Robin. Or was he just Robin wing all along? Whatever. I'm glad to have been his friend...
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  deep qt dossier 95: Empire State Circus Circus: Cuomo, Lazio or Paladino?
August 8, 2010: New Yorkers are rolling in the aisles. The summer of our discontent (economic, political, you name it) has been made glorious circus by the race for the governor's seat. A clown car of candidates is lurching round the ring. This year's Volkswagen-- or is it a Volt?-- is almost totally filled by King Andrew Cuomo. His war chest is bulging, his contributors mighty. Oh oh see Rick Lazio. He's squashed in the kiddie seat! Government landlord Carl Paladino? He's 4 the Peeps. But Manhattan madam Kristin Davis is coming from behind...
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  deep qt dossier 94: The Garden of Traveling Pimp Hands
June 6, 2010: Traveling pimp hands-- animal, vegetable, or political? U B the judge. From White House plots to the gardens of assorted local governments and/or crime scenes, pimp hands are invasive...
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  deep qt eminent domain pie: Atlantic Yards-- Roll Out the Dough, Land Grab to Go
May 6, 2010: I love the smell of eminent domain abuse in the morning. It smells like land grabs and taxpayers being soaked. A truly fragrant blast of the stuff is wafting up from Brooklyn...
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  deep qt dossier 93: The Power of Yes: WaMu Raps, Fannie and Freddie Got Back
April 21, 2010: Just when I think I'm through dishing the United States of Real Estate, it pulls me back in.
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  deep qt empty bird sandwich: Obama, O'Dubya, O Maltese Falcon
April 4, 2010: When considering a third party option vs. supporting donkeys or elephants ask yourself-- what would Sam Spade do?
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  deep qt dossier 92: Greetings From Vermont: No Billboards, Plenty Cocaine
March 22, 2010: Vermont rates upper echelon among states for per-capita use of hard drugs. Assorted federal studies agree: Vermont has a nasty habit. Violence and corruption go with heavy traffic. Whoa! The coke ring in South Burlington was fronted by Rizzo Bro. (The Feds allege Olsen & Dean aren't a comedy team.) In Rutland, yet another out-of-town guy dealt crack from a downtown home. (Allegedly.) Remember the late Carlos Vasquez? Whatever happened to that murder investigation? In December, X debt collector and dealer Chip Saldi of Williamstown got 9. If he hadn't sold out a cop he might B fine. See the Vermont Drug Task Force sweep! Operation Connecticut Valley 2010 is the latest-- was Byrne Blitz the greatest? Meanwhile, Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy channels economic stimulus...
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  deep qt dossier 91: Jersey City Trumps Jersey Shore: U.S. v. Leona Beldini
February 7, 2010: Jersey Shore? Fuhgeddaboudit. Jersey City is the gem of reality TV. "Shore" is MTV. Jersey City is FBI. Like, how real is that? Video tapes of pols talking trash have been unspooling in federal court in Newark at the trial of Jersey City Deputy Mayor Leona Beldini. Charges? Bribe-O-Rama! Jersey Shore has hot munchkin Snooki, but Jersey City has the far classier-- albeit far older-- Beldini. Back in the day, Beldini was burlesque queen Hope Diamond, the Gem of Exotics. As for JWOWW, check Jersey City Mayor Jerry Healy. JHOWW-come-he-keeps-geting-elected? See Jerry the sassy stripper fist pump pepper! See stoolie Solomon Dwek pass cash! See Beldini do The Funnel! You'll laff, you'll cry, you might even ask why Jack Shaw disappeared in a flash...
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  deep qt free lunch
January 25, 2010: As the reconfirmation (or not) of Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke looms, President Obama and Treasury Secretary Tiny Tim Geithner are singing his praises ala Michael Jackson: "Ben, most people would turn you away/I don't listen to a word they say/They don't see you as I do/I wish they would try to/I'm sure they'd think again/if they had a friend like Ben." The vox populi is more sour. Referencing Ben The Rat With TARP. Counting the taxpayer bailouts. Remembering how Bush Boy Ben snoozed as the housing bubble and its derivative madness built to a Bernard Hermann crescendo. Like, how Psycho was that? "Change" is Obama's refrain. Ben has changed! Paul Krugman and other wimpy critics say not enuff but hey, Ben is 2 biggety big 2 fire. Whatever. In honor of Ben, Bush, and Obama, Mondo QT is issuing its very own Bailout Bux. Feel free to print as many as you need, just like they do in DC...
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  deep qt dossier 90: Andrew Cuomo and the Incredible Industry-Wide Mortgage Fraud Investigation
December 10, 2009: Eenie meenie chili beanie-- cast your mind back to November, 2007. When the bursting housing bubble made it seem as if mortgage fraud perped by parties larger than brokers, bank clerks, and appraisers might finally matter. New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo sent an ominous missive to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. He was launching an "industry-wide investigation into mortgage fraud". Subpoenas and an independent examiner were coming their way..
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  deep qt dossier 89: Atlantic Yards, Shadow Government, and Albany Frozen in Amber
October 28, 2009: The big chill of eminent domain abuse is challenged in the highest court in New York. The case is Goldstein et al v. New York State Urban Development Corporation-- aka Empire State Development (ESD). Godzilla of the quasi-private Shadow Government. The ESD is speeding the plow for developer Bruce Ratner and his Atlantic Yards. Twenty two acres of towers in low rise Brooklyn. ACORN will handle the affordable slots. How wild is that? As wild as the ESD giving $4 million to Chaim Ausch in Albany? The tax delinquent diamond man has a plan for the broke-down Hotel DeWitt Clinton. Plus contributions for Albany Mayor Jerry Jennings. The more things change...
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  deep qt classic dish: April Daye, Lady of Burlesque/Hope Diamond, Jersey City Deputy Mayor?
October 11, 2009: As anybody who spends time muckraking can tell you, pursuing stories about political corruption can take you to some passing strange places. Particularly in New Jersey...
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  deep qt dossier 88: Abbie Hoffman's Contrarian Shoes
September 22, 2009: Abbie Hoffman was master of the culture jam before the term was coined, whacking the establishment with its own wack. Wikipedia the FREE encyclopedia says "culture jamming sometimes entails transforming mass media to produce... satirical commentary about itself." Hello, ACORN? Can I come over in clown pimp garb and film you getting down with housing fraud? Speaking of interviews, I did one with Abbie in 1981 for the New York Rocker. He told me all about his contrarian shoes...
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  deep qt shore dinner: Fish For Obama My Precious
August 9, 2009: Ahoy President Obama! I hear you want folks to send you any fishy emails they receive about your health care reform plan. (Whatever the heck it is.) So I'm enclosing the ones I've received. Not all the messages diss your plan, but all are pretty fishy...
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  deep qt dossier 87: Jersey City Dreaming: Bullets, Bribes, and Unreal Real Estate
July 26, 2009: Summer bloody summer boils over behind the Jersey City Gold Coast. A deadly shootout erupts in Smack Alley. Six children lose fathers. The FBI stings corrupt public servants, Hudson County takes it hard. Hoboken Mayor Peter Cammerano got down and dirty with crooked developer Solomon Dweck. Oops he was wearing a wire! Jersey City Deputy Mayor Leona Beldini, a venerable (not venal) Realtor chatted cautiously when raising campaign cash for Mayor Jerramiah Healy. As for big man Joe Doria, Commissioner of New Jersey's Department of Community Affairs, he's fired not busted. (Tho the FBI raid raises concern.) Jersey City once had a case of corruption-- till the new improved U.S. Housing Mission turned it into an epidemic.
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  deep qt roof top dining: Jersey City Deluxe: A Cut Rate Beacon for FHA Buyers
June 28, 2009: In this era of reduced real estate expectations and tighter lending it's nice to know that taxpayers, via the FHA, will be helping hip young professionals buy luxury condos deep in the heart of Jersey City, New Jersey. With a mere 3.5 percent down "qualified buyers" can use FHA loans to buy units at cut rate auction prices at the Beacon, a massive multi-building complex set like a jewel in a neighborhood where almost 30 percent of the residents live below the poverty line. For some 40 years the nabe has been called inner city. Now it's called "improving". Want proof of improvement? The public housing project next door to the Beacon will be demolished...
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  deep qt dossier 86: Life, Inc: Tripping the Corporatism Fantastic with Douglas Rushkoff
June 11, 2009: Spoiler alert for the last few folks who take Alan Greenspan seriously-- don't read chapter two of Douglas Rushkoff's new book Life, Inc. The scene where Greenspan addresses attendees of the 2008 Wealth Expo in New York City via satellite is pure twisted comedy.
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  deep qt green shoots and spam: Obama Montana and the Morbidly Obese VAT Tax
May 31, 2009: Whew. President Obama's first 100 days are done. Ditch the give-him-a-break and those holy magazine covers. Hey-- didya hear? Obama and Hannah Montana are king and queen of the Wal-Mart prom! Where Sam's choice chow can't top Spam. Sales are surging. Just another green shoot in the Obama guided economy. Despite rumors, the Marquis de Sade didn't ghost write the phrase "100 Days of Stimulus". And Bush II hasn't moved to Nightmare Alley. Yet. Meanwhile, the O admin is considering a big fat VAT tax. Will voters storm the gates of heaven?
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  deep qt dossier 85: Arlen Specter Zelig, America's Unsung Pulp Star
May 5, 2009: As Senator Arlen Specter returns to the Democratic fold he left back in 1966, his career is being covered by many a pundit. But one aspect isn't getting the high beam it deserves. For 45 years Specter has appeared at critical points in lurid national dramas, skipping from part to part like a pulp fiction Zelig.
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  deep qt banana peel party: Hoboken Tax Revolt: BYO Tar & Feathers
April 13, 2009: In early March the mayor of Hoboken, New Jersey was tarred and feathered by a mob of city residents enraged by a gigantic property tax increase. April Fool late! Twas only an effigy of Mayor Dave Roberts that got the T & F treatment. Still, it's the thought that counts. On May 12th, a mayoral election will be held. Roberts won't be on the ballot; he prefers to leave City Hall on a rail of his own making.
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  deep qt sliders: Mortgage Fraud Modification For Dummies
February 25, 2009: In housing bubble daze mortgage fraud became the white collar crime of our time. The FBI talked, few listened. In the now, FBI agents got cut from the stimulus. Mortgage fraud was their target. "Laws don't mean a thing if they ain't got that swing" fumes Senator Patrick Leahy of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Neil Barofsky (aka Inspector TARP) waxes prophetic-- fraud is ready to roll. Hey ho let's go! It's mortgage modification time. With Secretary Shaun Donovan at the helm, HUD is cleaning up its act and taking on a load...
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  deep qt dossier 83: Stimulus IBM Style: Take the Jack, Ship Out the Back
February 4, 2009: IBM CEO Sam Palmisano knows good stimulus! Tech infrastructure projects will "reignite growth" and "create jobs". Sam sez 30 billion bucks should do it. Meanwhile back at assorted IBM ranches, workers are being laid off in groups of less than 500. Shhhh-- mustn't wake SEC. But union peeps at Alliance@IBM are up and counting. Four thousand fired so far. No need to fret. IBM has Project Match. The Big Blue Foreign Legion. See the world as a slumdog, come back on an H-B1 visa...
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  deep qt dossier 82: Like New Jersey Corruption, Stimulus is Forever
January 11, 2009: Governor Jon Corzine of New Jersey wants a special $1 trillion stimulus for states. Taxpayers need not fear; twill only for last 2 years. Those who know Jersey know better. Once federal funds start passing through corrupt hands, need never dies. Stimulus is forever baby. Federal investigations have swept 125 pols and players from the Jersey stage but the scams keep on coming. (Other states have no problem keeping apace.) Hey-- U.S. Attorney Christopher Christie has gotten into the Garden State governor's race! Will this change the face?
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  deep qt ants on a stick: Them! Them!
December 31, 2008: As the first decade of the 21st century draws to a close the question hovers: how did we-the-people become so crooked? Back in the day bank fraud for property would have been a balk. That so many average Americans have been willing to cheat for real estate is far more ominous than the games played by Countrywide, WaMu, Bear Stearns or Fannie, Freddie and Bernie. Only chumps trusted Them...
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  deep qt bbq pit: Shovel Ready Xmas/Gifting Our Public Servants
December 20 2008: Consumers (aka Americans) gift public servants for Xmas. Outgoing Bush rips his wrapping paper. Incoming Obama breaks his commemorative plate. He's shovel ready to revive the economy. The Blagojevich bobble-head keeps shaking; Christie Hefner sez Playboy can't compare 2 public service. In New York State, X Governor Eliot Spitzer slings Hefty chutzpa and X Schenectady Police Chief Greg Kaczmarek gets baby lax. What a dope. He did it, he moved it. X Mayor Al Jurczynski saw no evil. X Governor Pataki put Al to work in the NY State Department. Licensing real estate pros. They sure bear watching. Mortgage fraud in poor places can B nasty. Talking RE, the New York Times is saddled with a money sucking tower. Built by Forest City Ratner and eminent domain. In Brooklyn, the Rat goes splat with Atlantic Yards. Happy Landgrabiversary! And oh yeah-- Merry Christmas.
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  deep qt dossier 81: Might Makes Blight: Eminent Domain v. Free Speech in Clarksville, Tennessee
November 29, 2008: Hop the last train to Clarksville, Tennessee. Where Mayor Johnny Piper, the Downtown District Partnership, and the Clarksville City Council have a blight pretty plan to seize other people's land. So private developers can "maximize the potential". Home owners and small businesses in Blightville object. They say bad things in newspaper ads. Pointing out the local pols who double as developers. Suggesting their profits will be maximized. "Libel" scream the pols/developers. The Institute for Justice sez "SLAPP". As in: Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation...
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  deep qt transylvania twist: Nightmare on Election Street
October 30, 2008: Hit the road Halloween. For those who loathe politicians (count me in) there's no more horrific time than the final days of a presidential race...
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  deep qt dossier star 80: Obama McCain: A Man For This Season
October 13, 2008: Remember "change we can believe in"? How about "the straight talk express"? The first is the mantra of believers in Barack Obama, the second was John McCain's war wagon during his 2000 primary fight for the Republican nomination. Though Dubya ultimately prevailed, McCain's image as political brave heart got a righteous polishing. Even after he became Dubya's liege the image didn't completely lose its luster. As for Obama, his jousts with Bill and Hill of The Infernal Machine won huzzahs in independent circles. But those were the days of yore-- this is now. Evil omens re the economy hath melded Obama and McCain into one man, living in the cramped quarters of one craven political soul...
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  deep qt grease fire: The Big Bailout Circus
September 28, 2008: The Big Bailout Circus has the nation in stitches. Taxpayers are being sewn into a skin-tight forever suit by an amazingly bipartisan group of government clowns. But despite the agreement about the need for a slap dash redo of the U.S. financial system-- and by extension our political system-- the designing bozos disagree about details. And none can resist an occasional hit of the rubber chicken...
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  deep qt dossier 79: Explicit Fannie & Freddie: Taxpayers Tote Load, China Heaves Sigh of Relief
September 11, 2008: Is there some way out of here, said the taxpayer to the thieves...
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  deep qt bangers and mash: Obama Parts the Sea, Cuomo Heeds the Community, Cynics March on DC
August 10, 2008: Pundits are puzzled; why no Berlin bounce for Obama? Back at the ranch, Methuselah oops McCain fires off a few snarky campaign ads. Moses gets his britches in a twist. Or at least, Bob Herbert seems to think so. Freud calls it as HE sees it, the O crowd cries "cynical". Pols in Albany, New York agree. Cynicism is next to ungodliness. Mayor Jerry Jennings nixes the blame game; state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo preaches to the political choir. His Community Partnership Initiative wing-ding is chock full of workshops for the peeps! Topics not covered: public corruption, mortgage fraud, gangs, drug traffic...
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  deep qt micro brew: Bloody Toto Guilty of Mortgage Fraud
July 25, 2008: Go Brooklyn. A jury in that fair borough has found Emmanuel "Toto" Constant guilty of mortgage fraud and grand larceny. Emmanuel Constant is the former founder and leader of FRAPH, the Haitian paramilitary group that in the early 90's, systematically tortured and murdered thousands of supporters of deposed President Jean-Bertrand Aristide...
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  deep qt perpetual steak roast: The Albany Show/See Bruno Go/Did Spitzer Know?
June 30, 2008: New York's X Governor Eliot Spitzer must be kicking himself. If he'd played his cards sharper he could be in Albany watching state Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno take flight sans state-owned helicopter. Oh-- Joe says the revitalized FBI probe into his state-funded bidness deals (nano grants ahoy) and his duties at Wright Investors' Service (union pension funds ahoy) had nothing to do with his leaving. Still, the feds did help Bruno move; they hauled 30 boxes of records from his office. As Bruno resigned he allegedly aped Spitzer. In Albany, monkey shines all of the time!
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  deep qt dossier 77: Hillary's White Wedding/Mortgage Fraud Rescue Wrap/Why Are We in Iraq
June 8, 2008: Spring segued into Summer with Hillary's white wedding. Milady Hill rolled in Joe Sixpack's arms moaning how Joe wouldn't go for O. Is this the same co-president who sliced globaloney? In April, FBI Director Robert Mueller asked another pert question: are we becoming more crooked? The most recent FBI Mortgage Fraud Report is suggestive. Hot scams include: foreclosure rescues. Not to be confused with the Senate Banking Committee housing rescue. The plan could reach Dubya by Independence Day. Hooray! Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will tote the FHA load. Taxpayers won't be tapped. If you believe that, remember Iraq...
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  deep qt spring-a-ling roll: Fort Trumbull Circa 2008: Waist Deep in the Big Muddy
May 6, 2008: Crank the Wayback Machine to Summer 2005 and the Supreme Court decision re Kelo v. New London. Eminent domain in New London, Connecticut was AOK. Blue collar Fort Trumbull was passe; upscale redevelopment carried the day. After bulldozing Fort Trumbull's last homeowners, the New London Development Corporation (NLDC) got busy with preferred developer, Corcoran Jennison. An affluent utopia rose. Condos! Lattes! Revenues galore! Oops. Reality is a wasteland mired in a slack lending market. The conventionally financed condo plan is long gone. Think multifamily rentals. Bring on (hopefully) a taxpayer-backed FHA loan. Not to worry tho-- luxury is still the name of the game...
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  deep qt: dossier 76: Troopergate Opens in New York, Cops and Robbers Come Out
April 16, 2008: New Yorkers can thank their lucky stars X Governor Eliot Spitzer had a thing for pricey hookers run by international crims laundering money through shell companies. If Spitzer did cheap cash and carry his transactions wouldn't have triggered Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs) and he'd still be dodging investigations into Troopergate. But with Spitz dethroned, Troopergate is opening wide. Revealing not just one measly scandal but a political culture so airless it makes Jersey smell fresh. Cave Troll Number One: a State Police smear squad...
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  deep qt wack snax: Hillary's Housing Fix in a New York Nutshell
March 29, 2008: Welcome to the Empire State Asylum for the Politically Insane. While X Governor Eliot Spitzer rampages in the day room, Senator Hillary Clinton is on the sun porch mixing up a housing fix. Stand and deliver, taxpayers-- your contribution will be "self-financing over time". Woo Woo! Former fed head Alan Greenspan and Citigroup's Robert Rubin will direct Hill's fix. Qualifications? Greenspan has the Housing Bubble under his belt, Rubin knows CDO sickness. And Rubin & Citi give good bailout. Think predatory subprime Ameriquest. Their spawn, Argent Mortgage, has been busy in Florida. Allegedly.
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  deep qt: dossier 75: QAT: Eliot Spitzer's International Mystery Mack
March 19, 2008: Enough with the sack stuff. The real eye opener about Eliot Spitzer isn't his compulsion to heave ho, but his willingness to disguise payments via an international criminal enterprise that specialized in money laundering. Aka QAT International, Inc. Aka QAT Consulting Group. Aka QAT this and that. Lord knows how many QATs. What does QAT mean? Is it a conglom of initials? An acronym for "Quietly Artfully Tax-less"? Or does it refer to khat (also called qat) a plant with an amphetamine buzz..
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  deep qt venison stew: Ben Bernanke Walks Into a Bar, Andrew Cuomo Appraises the Nation
March 5, 2008: The Clinton Obama show is killing comedy. Great jokes are lost in the sauce. Did you hear about Ben Bernanke and stagflation? His antlers were bass ackwards! Or how about Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac? The GSEs checked into Motel OFHEO. As their portfolio caps were lifted, taxpayers provided implied protection. Whap! Pow! New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo is ready to combat appraisal fraud in the whole GSE USA. (His investigation of the issue is closed.) Come 2009, the Home Valuation Code of Conduct and an independent institute financed by Fannie and Freddie will send bad lenders to the moon. Till then, OFHEO will be on the job....
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  deep qt: dossier 74: Merrill Lynch, Springfield, and the Secret CDO Wasteland
February 21, 2008: Remember when subprime was going to be over in just a few quarters? Now it's billions upon billions in CDO writedowns. The hits from esoteric mortgage-related instruments just keep coming. Attorneys in public and private places are launching investigations and lawsuits. Attention institutional investors! Did Merrill Lynch put your pension fund in a bind? Is your Taft-Hartley barely beating? Are your triple A-rated, assured auction market investments secret CDOs? See Springfield, Massachusetts. They bit but got back what they lost. If only Maine could make Merrill and municipal bond insurer MBIA hoist Mainsail II. Aye, there's the rub-a-dub drubbing. So few public servants lashed down the cargo...
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  deep qt super supper: Obama and Ron Paul Take New York State, Tastee-Freeze Opens in Hell!
February 5, 2008: You say you want a revolution?
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  deep qt snow cone: Stimulus Package Store, GSE Jumbo Out Back
Jamuary 28, 2008: Hot damn. The government is going to stimulate the economy. Come Summer, rebates will arrive from Uncle Sam. What a man! Consumers will rush to pump Wal-Mart. Meanwhile, back at Rancho Notorious for Tax and Spend, pols do it the usual way. On top, with the lights out. Gee whiz-- a GSE loan jolt might stimulate housing prices in inflated markets! Will Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac overcome financial and legal problems? Will investors fall in love (again) with mortgage-backed securities full of jumbo? Cynics say the GSE guarantee will bring taxpayers to their knees; romantics cite the birds and the bees...
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  deep qt: dossier 73: The Mortgage Mess Lawsuit: Countrywide and Miles High
Jamuary 16, 2008: Suit up in 2008! The mortgage mess manifests in courts countrywide. (Yeah, there's a lender by the same name.) Bank of America rescues Countrywide Financial from bankruptcy rumors. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are relieved. But will BofA lift Countrywide's lawsuits? Oh what a strain-- the predatory train rolls on. Baltimore! Cleveland! Did Wells Fargo Bank set up Baltimore's inner city nabes to fail by foreclosure? Did 21 investment banks and lenders trample Cleveland? Then there's Springfield, Massachusetts. Where reps from the Albany, New York office of Merrill Lynch sold subprime CDOs to unnamed officials. The investments tanked. Springfield got mad. Mass is investigating. There must be some way outta here, said the subprime juggler to the thieves...
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  deep qt egg noggin: Santa Sees Albany Sleeping; Mayor Jerry Jennings Saws Wood
December 22, 2007: Santa drops in on city hall in Albany, New York. Seeking Mayor Jerry Jennings. Got coal? Nope-- it's the Medallion of the University at Albany! A big chunk of SUNY. Santa sees the Honorary Committee pay tribute to Mayor Jennings for "innovative and effective government" and an "unprecedented reduction of crime". Santa sez who wrote this stuff and checks the list twice. Deck the halls with all the interested parties. In a nabe near Washington Park, thieves party in a couple of brownstones. The unprecedented reduction of crime isn't playing in real time...
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  deep qt: dossier 72: Subprime Cottage: Eco-Friendly w. Eminent Domain View
December 11, 2007: Cast your mind back to Susette Kelo. She and her neighbors in the Fort Trumbull section of New London, Connecticut lost their property to eminent domain. As perped by the New London Development Corporation (NLDC). Poodle to Connecticut's Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD). Until early 2007, the DECD loved Mortgage Lenders Network. Aka MLN. Mighty Mouse of subprime. Like cheese, MLN melted down. Next up: Chapter 11 with protection. Residential Funding, sub to GMAC, got huffy when MLN's Mitch Heffernan made "scandalous" allegations. Emax Financial relaxed in the Virgin Islands and eco-friendly Workstage got stuck with a rustic cottage. In November, MLN settled. Which creditors will take out the trash? Back in Fort Trumbull, ain't nothing going on but another delay by developer Corcoran Jennison. Is this "public use" or speculation in subprime time?
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  deep qt: dossier 71: Philadelphia On The Edge Of Tomorrow
November 18, 2007: Say hey. Philadelphia has a new day. In November, reform candidate Michael Nutter was elected mayor by an enormous margin. A gut reaction against the corruption and crime that flourished under Mayor John Street. The feds convicted players in and around city hall. Philadelphia became Murder City, USA. Old faces from the byegone Black Mafia surfaced. Imam Shamsud-din Ali invoked "the person closest to the person" when shaking down drug dealers and fronted minority-set asides for majority pals. The mosque's school got the treatment too. This Summer, Imam Ali was seen talking slots and casinos to a grand jury. Will tourists pay-to-play on the waterfront? In October, Sean Patrick Griffin's seminal work (Black Brothers, Inc.) on the Philly Black Mafia was reissued and Black Entertainment Television (BET) kicked off American Gangster with an episode based on the same. History haunts. Bring on the change!
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  deep qt treat bag: Hillary Clinton, The Shadow Party and Me
October 28, 2007: Halloween 2009. A big night at Castle Clinton. Aka the White House. President Hillary is throwing a bash. The Shadow Party is THE place to be. X President Bill plays host, cape by Vlad the Impaler. Among the guests, financier seer George Soros. A babe dressed as an ACORN hurls punch: the Working Families Party Store cleans up. Hillary zeros in on Xi Jinping, of the Politburo Standing Committee of the Communist Party of China. Ring-a-ding-ding what a princeling! The Beijing Olympics were divine! Will Hillary in Iraq be as fine? Seriously folks, The Shadow Party is a book. By David Horowitz and Richard Poe. A polemic just right for the season. I read it. I write what I think...
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  deep qt: dossier 70: Cambodia Rocks, Justice Rolls, Nuon Chea Feels Dizzy
October 10, 2007: Cambodian justice has finally twitched the tip of its little piggy and indicted Nuon Chea, former Deputy Secretary of the Communist Party of Kampuchea-- aka the Khmer Rouge. Nuon Chea is charged with crimes against humanity and war crimes. Between 1975 and 1979, the Khmer Rouge rocked Cambodia back to the stone age with their vision of a totally self-sufficient agrarian society created by totalitarian force in cut time. Two million people died. Tuol Sleng prison, as headed by the notorious Comrade Duch under the authority of Nuon Chea, was an abattoir for the politically impure. Duch and Nuon Chea are the only high-level Khmer Rouge indicted by Cambodia's Extraordinary Chambers. So little justice, so many international dollars. The UN development agency (UNDP) thinks it looks hinky. Meanwhile, Nuon Chea is defending himself like a hack hit with graft charges. I'm so dizzy sez he. Give that man a European toilet...
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  deep qt: dossier 69: The Bush Subprime Bailout: Limited Surge or Taxpayer Quagmire?
September 4, 2007: There he goes again! The man who said "mission accomplished" is launching a "limited" bailout of the subprime Ownership Society. Powered by HUD, FHA, and GSE. Hey-- Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac aren't pure government poodles: they're government sponsored enterprises who dood the secondary mortgage market. Lenders loved MBS. Appraisers got pressured. Like Topsy, the housing bubble just grew. Private sector subprime seduced innocent borrowers into taking out liar loans. Foreclosures followed. Will FHA Secure lift enough ARMS? Or will a taxpayer quagmire be required?
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  deep qt corn dodgers: The Appalachian Summer of Eliot Spitzer
August 22, 2007: The New York State political scene is bubbling like a still with a bumper crop of corn! Troopergate rages-- as do Governor Eliot Spitzer and State Senate Majority Leader Joe Bruno. Is Republican political consultant Roger Stone a dirty mouth? Or did a robot make those calls to Spitzer's Daddy-O? Hell-O. We will bury U. With dirty politics and taxpayer investments in weird urban real estate. Paging the DHCR. The Corporation picks up the phone. In Albany, the South End gets boosted. In the Southern Tier, State Senator Thomas Libous strikes a blow for freedom. Oh yeah say folks left out of the Steak Roast. Back home, Uncle Ira carves close to the bone...
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  deep qt: dossier 68: Mortgage Fraud Addicts of the Empire State
August 10, 2007: Meet Mortgage Fraud. According to the FBI, this white collar celeb is a housing bubble lover with a helluva habit. Subprime anyone? Please check your ARMs at the door. Whoops they fell through the floor. In Albany, New York, hard core mortgage fraud addict Aaron Dare solicits an unwilling appraiser and Berne Bernie Watkins lets himself go. HUD fraud rocks almost as hard as the foreclosures sweeping the nation! In Brooklyn, where the dead really know how to flip, a Lending Universe explodes. The AGA Capital players receive indictments for bad mortgage fraud habits allegedly perped in all 5 boroughs, the Catskills, and Jersey. Hey-- can anyone here read Russian? This loan doc looks mighty darn funny...
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  deep qt covered dish dinner: Jersey Ham ala Sharpe James, Redevelopment Scams on the Side
July 29, 2007: Summertime isn't downtime when it comes to corruption in Jersey. See X Mayor Sharpe James of Newark perp walk with redeveloper Tamika Riley. James' companion on city credit card trips. See State Senator Sharpe James enhance the power of Mayor Sharpe James via state legislation. Hey-- dual office holding is legal. Not legal: city credit card pleasure trips and steering city properties for Tamika to flip. (Allegedly.) See Tamika flip! Building An Empire was never so cheap. Ultra legal: New Jersey's Local Redevelopment and Housing Law. Aka LRHL. Just one of the acronyms that keep the wheels spinning...
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  deep qt: dossier 67: On Spitzer! On Bruno! In Custom Clown Cars!
July 15, 2007: New York Governor Eliot Spitzer and State Senate Majority Leader Joe Bruno are clowning it up in Circus Albany. Bopping each other with insults and spritzing accusations. Yo corrupt Bozo, honks Spitzer. Pennywise the Spy-Boy, flaps Bruno. The plane, the plane! There goes Bozo right down Hevesi lane? In the government reform ring, New York State's public authorities will be getting a presto change-o. Will the shadow agencies disappear, or merely shift shape and serve a new master? Beep beep, goes Pennywise as he delivers a power point presentation about the lazy pachyderms in the state legislature. Campaign finance reform is the name of that game. Republicans do drag their feet. But may step more lively when Pennywise utters the magic words "full public financing”.
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  deep qt summer book club: Pulp Fiction Iraq
June 28, 2007: When Johnny came marching home post WW2 pulp fiction jumped to meet him. Titles screamed bloody murder. Jackets were eyeball ecstasy. Blurbs rhapsodized the sack and slug stuff under the covers. When Our Boys & Girls finally get back from Iraq, pulp needs to greet them just as exuberantly. Read all about it: Dick's rage rises, Bill gets busy with POTUS, and George surges into the Fertile Crescent. And in 2057, Hollywood turns gritty post Iraq pulp fiction into box office gold....
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  deep qt oh gee: Good in Iraq: The Dating of The President 2008
May 8, 2007: Oh gee we're stuck in Iraq. No turning back. Can't give Dubya the sack till 2008. What about our new date? Let's ask Dear Addie...
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  deep qt: dossier 66: Jim McGreevey and the China Syndrome
April 30, 2007: Sad news. Jim McGreevey, X governor of New Jersey, has suffered a chutzpa relapse. 1000 corrupt maniacs conga down memory lane: Golan Cipel leads the pack. In the now, McGreevey teaches ethics at Kean University. University Prez Dawood Farahi sends Jim to China. Education is a highly desirable commodity! The Peoples Republic will pick up the bill! The State University of New York (SUNY) has similar plans for an outpost in Nanjing. United University Professions (UUP) sends a union message re the treatment of foreign teachers in China and Amnesty International reports on repression in Beijing. Where the 2008 Olympics look a lot like the old daze...
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  deep qt deep bucket: Oh Alphonso! FHA Modern is so Subprime!
April 15, 2007: Hold on to your hats girls. HUD Secretary Alphonso Jackson is asking Congress to pass a proposal for a "modernization" of FHA mortgage loan programs. According to Alphonso, the FHA needs to cover the subprime crisis. Once upon a time, the FHA was a hefty home financier. Fraud ridden but cozy. Then came the subprime sirens. Fraud ridden and exotic! Borrowers went for a free market fling. The FHA showed more skin. No luck. Will a makeover do the trick? Lift those loan limits, ditch those downpayments. Dubya and Congressman Barney Frank say FHA Modern is oh so subprime...
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  deep qt: dossier 65: Alt-A Reality and the Subprime Rescue Mission
April 9, 2007: The United States of Real Estate continues to suffer subprime mortgage sickness. Now turning Alt-A. Together they make nonprime. M&T Bank Corp feels queasy re Alt-A and the secondary market. American Home Mortgage Investment drops a few Alt-A products. Meanwhile, Ohio commits state taxpayers to a subprime rescue mission. Jersey and California could follow. Check the federal front. Is Lafayette on the way? Or is it the FHA? Beazer Builders hangs with ButtHUD in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina. Their low income homes a study in foreclosure...
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  deep qt home canned candidates: Hillary and Rudy Sitting In a Tree
March 24, 2007: With each presidential election the candidates seem more proscribed and the selection process more truncated. Inner party poopers, talking heads and big money try to seal the deal before the ink is dry on the last guy. This time the dumb beats loudest for Hillary Clinton and Rudy Giuliani. If Hillary and Rudy wind up the people's choice they'll be a killer combo platter. Little dif between the chow fun and lo mein but plenty of ptomaine. And maybe a new top model for MAD Magazine!
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  deep qt dossier 64: The Subprime Tsunami Awards
March 17, 2007: Subprime celebs galore! Alan Greenspan's exploding ARM is a killer. Bear Stearns & UBS sport invisible analyst hands. New Century looks old and predatory but Ameriquest's face lift is grand. Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick offers himself-- Robert Rubin of Citigroup accepts. Alas, Mortgage Lenders Network of Connecticut is missing. Thanks for the memories sez GMAC. Emmanuel "Toto" Constant (formerly of Haiti and FRAPH) breaks out in a mortgage fraud sleeper shot on location in Brooklyn. Closing Bell: Maria Bartiromo looks soulful as Angelo Mozilo of Countrywide Financial dishes his irrational competitors and stands up for Joe Doakes. Seems subprime is social salvation. But is it affordable-- or merely obtainable?
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  deep qt cold cut platter: Hot Rats in Connecticut/Reform in China
March 8, 2007: On March 3rd, the City of New London, Connecticut and the quasi-public New London Development Corporation (NLDC) finally did what they've been hot to do since 1998. Bulldoze the family home of Michael Cristofaro. Cheese was served at NLDC Central. Taxpayers picked up the tab. Two days later in the People's Republic of China, Premier Wen Jiabao promised reform. Attention peasants displaced by government land grabs! Cease and desist demonstrating...
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  deep qt dossier 63: Heritage Hell: The Watson International Murders
March 1, 2007: Philadelphia's murder wave crested again on February 12th when self described real estate investor Vincent Julius Dortch shot and killed Robert Norris, Mark Norris and James Reif in the waterfront offices of Zigzag Net. Zigzag wasn't the object of Dortch's obsession. The men he killed were board members of Watson International, a company rooted in Broome County, New York. Dortch believed Watson execs cheated him in a deal gone sour. The Watson plan was to revamp the Heritage Country Club, a left-behind piece of IBM in Broome County. Tis a tangled tale, involving foreign interests, 4 states, a flood, and a whole lot of conflicting stories....
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  deep qt dossier 62: Snitch & Die: A Philadelphia Crime Tradition
February 11, 2007: In 2006, Philadelphia became the top spot for murder among America's ten largest cities. Victims numbered 406. The majority were inner city residents. Among the dead were drug turf rivals, innocents caught in the crossfire, and witnesses who made the mistake of talking. Witness intimidation of the fatal variety is big in Philly. It's why many murders go unsolved, or can't be prosecuted. Some think "snitch & die" is a new trend. But for those familiar with Philadelphia's criminal history in the 1960's and 70's, it's deja vu all over again...
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  deep qt dossier 61: The Big Subprime Shovel
January 29, 2007: Once upon a short time ago, Mortgage Lenders Network USA (MLN) seemed an inexorable subprime force. A model for Connecticut's financial services. MLN execs had seen the future and it was subprime. Then came the storm. Warehouse lenders and Wall Street investors battened down the hatches. Banking regulators, borrowers, mortgage brokers and sales reps (sans commissions not culottes) picked up torches. MLN kept right on shoveling...
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  deep qt amuse bouche: Springfield Laffs Its Asselins Off
January 22, 2007: In the roster of corrupt pols who serve the people on the Eastern Seaboard, few provide as many black laffs as the Asselin clan of Springfield, Massachusetts. Raymond Asselin Sr. was head of the Springfield Housing Authority (SHA) since Disco days. He and his family, including State Rep Chris Asselin, looted the SHA. Got graft? The Asselins raked it in. Hi ho! Off to prison they go...
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  deep qt: dossier 60: The Tainted & The Prime: Mortgage Lenders Shake Out
January 15, 2007: 2007 kicked off with weird weather and the meltdown of Mortgage Lenders Network, USA. A prominent subprime lender based in Connecticut. Until 2 months ago everything looked jake. Connecticut's Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) was set to deliver an ultra advantageous 4 million dollar loan. Tainted borrowers were being phased out in favor of double plus good ones. Then lightening struck-- a dramatic deterioration of lending conditions! Employees and borrowers did the Furlough. Sans stockings & chocolate. In California, Ameriquest Mortgage shakes its body down to the ground. Is Ambassador Roland Arnall having an Amsterdam good time? Or does he dream of exotic mortgage nights in 49 states of the union?
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  deep qt bubbly: Homeschool For The Holidays
December 31, 2006: Yes Virginia, many people do socially beneficial things without taxpayer support! Take homeschoolers. Such as the ones featured at the "One Week Short of a Year Carnival of Homeschooling" posted at "Principled Discovery". Their spirits are high. Does G. K. Chesterton know why?
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  deep qt western omelet: Rocky Mountain Mortgage Fraud Fever
December 11, 2006: District Attorney Scott Storey of Jefferson County, Colorado is one busy lawman. The local housing market is chock full of mortgage fraud varmints. One particularly pesky ring, operating for roughly 5 years, recruited hundreds of illegal immigrants to act as straw buyers in the Denver metro area. Ringmasters were mortgage brokers, realtors, and loan officers in local banks. Straw buyers were supplied with stolen identities, including drivers licenses, social security cards, and income tax returns. What couldn't be stolen was forged. HUD greased many a wheel with DAP. The FHA gift program kept rolling rolling rolling...
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  deep qt dossier 58: Indies Party Hearty/Eminent Domain Mopes
November 14, 2006: Old news: anti war vote lifts Dems who bought the WMD, Rumsfeld bonds with Winston Churchill, Dubya remains optimistic & Rove gets a lesson in metrics. Good news: indies sweep the nation. Real good news: citizens in nine states say bye-bye to eminent domain abuse. The ghosts of Poletown are dancing in the Detroit streets. Some call it the post-Kelo revolution...
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  deep qt monster mash: Election 2006: The Shadow of Bush/The Bride of Clinton
November 6, 2006: As Halloween recedes, Turkey Day looms. Yessir, the elections are upon us. But not all the monsters have decamped. Shove over inflatable Pilgrims and plastic Santas. The ghoulish denizens of Party City have decided to hang in our yard FOREVER.
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  deep qt land-grab-a-bite: Kelo v. Pataki. Not.
October 28, 2006: New York, New York. A wonderful town. Unless your slice is coveted by developers Forest City Ratner and the Empire State Development Corporation. Bruce Ratner and ESDC head Charles Gargano have gargantuan appetites; Governor Pataki can pack it in. Eminent domain is their shovel. In Brooklyn, folks fight back against Atlantic Yards. Aka 8.8 million square feet of taxpayer jack-in-the-box. See resistors launch a federal lawsuit at Pataki, Gargano, Ratner, et al. Claiming gluttony is unconstitutional. Citing Kelo v. City of New London...
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  deep qt dossier 57: The Eminent Domain Train
October 24, 2006: Proposition 90, Woody Guthrie & Jesse James. The last a movie circa 1939. Admired by Guthrie who dished land grabs launched by railroads in the late 19th century. According to Professor Gideon Kanner of Loyola Law School, the Iron Horse set the pace for today's epidemic of eminent domain. Professor Kanner spelled it out in October at the 10th Annual Property Rights Conference in Albany, New York. Guess what state is the "sub-basement of eminent domain law"? Going down! Next stop-- Destiny USA in Syracuse. A mega mall to die for. Other stores will. While Proposition 90, aka the Protect Our Homes Initiative, riles the League of California Cities, The California Redevelopment Association, and the California State Association of Counties. Whew! Is this any way to run a railroad?
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  deep qt dossier 56: The Good Right Arm of Robert Menendez
October 12, 2006: In New Jersey's political whirl, one day you're in and the next day you're out. Sometimes it works in reverse-- prison doors swing both ways. Over the past several years scores of the state's politicians and public contractors have been indicted and/or convicted on corruption charges. Others balance on the edge of legal dodges, insufficient evidence, or are blessed with stellar connections. A consistent theme is graft in exchange for career advancement, public contracts, and development deals. Both Democrats and Republicans join in the jamboree. No region of the state, be it urban or suburban, has proved crook-free. Some spots however, are hotter than others...
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  deep qt tv tray: As The Empire State Turns
October 1, 2006: New York State is TV Land! Men in Trees go for Republican gubernatorial candidate John Faso. Comptroller Alan Hevesi sez Pimp My Ride; Eliot Spitzer sez day one everything changes. Will Democrats be Dancing With The Stars? Classic sitcom Bewitched is a model for AG wannabe Andrew Cuomo, but Jeanine Pirro's life is a telenovela. Move over Ugly Betty-- here comes Al's Love Boat! Alleged mob ties crowd Bernie Kerik's drawers, while X Governor Jim McGreevey of Jersey tells Oprah ALL. Except for the political corruption he keeps in his closet...
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  deep qt election lit: Dogs, Guns & Cheese
September 7, 2006: Tiptoe thru election lit from New York State. Primary day draws nigh. Who let gubernatorial candidate Eliot Spitzer's Democratic dogs out? He will ask & we will answer: Spitz is not to blame! His cheesy shoes were hijacked by attorney general wannabe Andrew Cuomo. An X HUD head. Andy Boy also sends guns to Dems. Remember his Gun Buy-Back Program? Oops it was unconstitutional and ineffective. Never mind sez regional Huddie Charles King-- Andy meant well. What made bell ringer Charlie run? Ask & Andy answers. In the 108th Assembly District in upstate New York, hands are found in Independent and Conservative boxes. Courtesy of candidate Martin Reid, the Republican State Committee, and state Senate Majority Leader Joe Bruno. They know bad government when they seize it. Hey say they-- change is needed! Ask & we will answer?
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  deep qt dossier 55: Fort Trumbull's End: No Whimper, Big Bang.
August 31, 2006: After years of legal wrangling, government proceedings and pay-outs, political repercussions, community destruction, personal tragedy and a landmark U.S. Supreme Court ruling that touched off a national firestorm, the eminent domain battle of Fort Trumbull in New London, Connecticut has ended. Not with a whimper but with a great big bang of public money.
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  deep qt serial noir: Revitalization My Lovely: Chapter 8
August 23, 2006: Mayor Bob Slotsky gets busted. Constituents give his perp walk poor marks. Will Slotsky miss out on becoming America's Next Top Zombie Pol? Is Slaugerton, New Jorksacutt, a target of the plot to disenfranchise the dead and shaft cities? Was Henry Ford the devil? County Exec Frank Tusk moans low at the Peanut King Brew Barn. Bartender & moonlighting cop Mike Testirolla slings drinks and FHA mortgages, while Sal "Coochie Coo" Adobo has half the force in his can. A salacious sitcom plays geek chorus and a special agent for change sez gimme some joe. To go? Hell no. The feds are in it for the long haul...
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  deep qt war(m) machine: Mash It Up
August 3, 2006: Saddam sez shoot me. Tasha Thomas sues him. In Baghdad, bullets fly. Dubya said they'd be roses. We bought a dozen. Years? Decades? Back in the usOa, Nanny State & Bully Boy are dating. Welcome to Club New York. The Empire State Development Corporation rules! ESDC head Charles Gargano waits tables in a quasi-public style, gubernatorial gonnabe Eliot Spitzer gobbles peanuts, and Hillary & Chuck blow in from DC. Hey-- they licked Maliki! X HUD guy Andrew Cuomo sez make me AG. The PBA of NYC agrees. They heart his fraud-ridden Officer Next Door. But all is not rotten in Denmark. Eminent domain abuse takes a legal hit in Ohio, while war mongering makes Senator Joe Lieberman run for his life in Connecticut. Joe still might win tho. Al Sharpton just plugged his opponent.
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  deep qt dossier 54: The Pioneer Families of Springfield
July 21, 2006: In Springfield, Massachusetts families still count. Public money & federal indictments. Clan Aranjo headed by Carol looted a credit union. Allegedly. Ray Asselin & family mined the Springfield Housing Authority. Allegedly. The Brothers Ardolino, talked mortgage fraud in X Mayor Mike Albano's city hall and HUD buck danced in mob bars. Their ownership interests hidden. Semi-allegedly. Non family players include X City Council Prez Francis Keough 3. No friend 2 the homeless he, but big on CDBG. X Police Commission Chairman Gerald Philips taught welfare teens the value of a no show job, while kicking back with HUD's bucket. Is that a Section 8 voucher or are you just glad to see me? And X attorney Albert Innarelli turns to his support group when convicted of perping FHA mortgage fraud in Springfield's distressed neighborhoods. Indeed they R...
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  deep qt 4th of july: Squibs & Sparklers
July 4, 2006: In Bridgeport, Connecticut, Mayor John Fabrizi just fessed to coking it up while in office. His dealer (alleged) was in local gov'ment too! Fabrizi won't resign. Duty calls. Or is it the Executive Committee of the Conference of U. S. Mayors? Fabrizi signed the exec com's We-Luv-Eminent-Domain resolution. So did recently indicted San Jose Mayor Ron Gonzales. Along with Mayors John Street of Philadelphia and Richard Daley of Chicago. Ongoing federal investigations be damned! We hates H.R.4128! Land grabs must be expedited. So sayeth Speaker of the House James Amann back in Conn. Where X Governor John Rowland is trying to sell his. Rowland X aide Peter Ellef and X public contractor William Tomasso check into Club Fed. No hot tub but a whole lotta bunks. In sunny California, one million voters put John Hancocks on an initiative to quash eminent domain abuse. Happy 4th of July!
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  deep qt dossier 53: HUD's House of Pancakes
June 22, 2006: Holy housing bubble! HUD is finally cracking down on fraudulent mortgage flippers. Will Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac be under OFHEO's thumb? Will the National Association of Realtors make FHA mortgage loans exotic? And how about those crazy HUD friendly CHDOs? Not a cheese snack, but an exception to HUD's new anti flippin' rules. Join the crowd! The national mortgage fraud epidemic rages-- perped by a handful of unregulated sleazeballs. Flip City shivers, tapped taxpayers lap dance, and the last buyers into the pool of inflated affordable housing ask where did our love go...
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  deep qt serial noir: Revitalization My Lovely: Chapter 7
June 11, 2006: Local development lovely Lara Tremor (now Linda Twitch) surfaces in witness protection. Stuck on a Medicaid reservation in Catatonga Falls. New Jorksacutt's answer to the Riviera. Visions of past charettes & long gone HUD bux dance in Lara/Laura's brain. Back in Slaugerton, a body believed to be Mayor Terry McConn is found coming through the rye. Will current Mayor Bob Slotsky prove a zombie for all political seasons? Governor Herb Kuspitor needs him to bring out the dead-- or a reanimated reformer could ride a "me love the little guy" ticket into office...
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  deep qt frozen snickers: Nuts! Nougat! Chills!
June 5, 2006: In Connecticut, the New London City Council votes to evict the last eminent domain resistors in blue collar Fort Trumbull. Even though Governor Jodi Rell wrote a letter to Mayor Sabilia requesting property rights lite. Once upon a John Rowland time, New London Development Corporation (NLDC) prez Claire Gaudiani said crushing Fort Trumbull would create a hip little city. Tough nugies baby! The hipsters are Susette Kelo, Michael Cristofaro and all who fought the good fight. Meanwhile, New York State's goobernatorial candidates are chosen. The goobers? Democrat Eliot Spitzer & Republican John Faso. Aka Spitso. But who does what in the executive bathroom? In Brooklyn, that beauteous boro, a demo is scheduled to protest Forest City Ratner's Atlantic Yards project. Be there or be quasi-public.
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  Dossier 52: Desperately Seeking Serfs
May 25, 2006: In New London, Connecticut the eminent domain war rages on. Mediator Robert Albright (a man with a mission from Governor Jodi Rell) plays the cash card. Serf's up he croons to Fort Trumbull's homeowners, and hits the table with a carrot and stick. X prez Claire Gaudiani of the quasi-public New London Development Corporation claims the NLDC bulldozed the nabe to help "the real little people". Pfizer Pharmaceutical sez "whatever". The Connecticut legislature adjourns without passing any reform legislation re eminent domain, but does agree an ombudsman is needed. Attention taxpayers-- pay $200,000. A mere bagatelle considering the cost, social and otherwise, of development related eminent domain. The corrupt ghost of X Gov John Rowland haunts Conn's campaign trail. Will voters remember Fort Trumbull?
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  Dossier 51: The Thought That Counts
May 14, 2006: New York State's culture of impunity jacks networks of regional cronies. Mismanagement, miscalls and/or malfeasance matter nought. Promise taxpayers anything, but give them unemployment and HUD backed foreclosures. When it come to economic development, it's the thought that counts. The Broome County boys launched Endicott Interconnect. Pledging Mo Jobs and Profits Galore. They didn't drop in. Now see what condition their condition is in. Over in Albany, the capital city, real estate whiz Aaron Dare (cuz to Virginia) emerges. One, two, three acts has he! Eat your heart out F. Scott Fitzgerald-- the Ascension has been guaranteed.
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  deep qt dinner theater: EDA's Follies: Part Four
April 27, 2006: In Godzilla movies the money shot is when the big guy crushes Tokyo. With city dwellers rushing around trying to dodge the dino's dogs. But if developer Forest City Ratner and New York State's quasi-public Empire State Development Corporation (ESDC) have their way, no one will flee the footprint of the Atlantic Yards Project in Brooklyn. The nabe will be empty when Godzilla gets there! Y so blue Panda Bear? If eminent domain abuse (EDA) takes your home, ACORN will drop you into an "affordable" slot. Out in the hood, gag orders are temporarily lifted. Pataki & The Legislators blow 100 million taxpayer kisses to Ratopia, and the ESDC and its collaborators deny their conflict of interest.
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  deep qt dinner theater: EDA's Follies: Part Three
April 14, 2006: Happy communities are all alike-- but every community threatened by eminent domain abuse (EDA) is different. Hoboken, New Jersey has its own twisted tale to tell. Are political corruption and EDA joined at the hip in Jersey? Will the last few blue collar jobs in Hoboken be swallowed by an URSA/Tarragon land grab? Will Mayor Dave Roberts ever stop counting developer dollars? And whither the dithering City Council? Paging Frank "Pupie" Raia; URSA/Tarragon wants your Northwest Redevelopment Area mojo! Further out/in the Garden State, the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ) faces charges of systemic Medicaid fraud...
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  deep qt dinner theater: EDA's Follies: Part Two
April 4, 2006: On April 3rd, the city council of New London, Connecticut, blew another chance to heal the city they represent. It's been roughly 6 years since New London's municipal government, and the quasi-public New London Development Corporation (NLDC), launched an eminent domain attack on the homes of residents in the modest nabe of Fort Trumbull. Since then, it's been a laff riot. Not.
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  deep qt dinner theater: EDA's Follies: Part One
April 1, 2006: Celebrate April Fools Day by considering the follies of EDA. Aka, Eminent Domain Abuse. You know EDA. She rolled over on the nabe of Fort Trumbull in New London, Connecticut. The U.S. Supreme Court said go go girl. Now her slips are showing across the nation. In Albany, New York, the WinnDevelopment plan for Park South cuts EDA down to size. Only "non-owner occupied property" need apply. Will the nabe's most prominent slumlord reap the property values he helped drive down? You do the math! Mayor Jerry Jennings did little. Drug crime and neglect did a lot. Next ish-- on to Brooklyn. See DDD rassle the ESDC. Check Hoboken, New Jersey. EDA eyes the last few blue collars; Ursa/Tarragon throws its weight around. Then back up to EDA's epicenter. New London, Conn. Where an upside down American flag in Fort Trumbull sez it all...
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  deep qt home cooking: Appalachian Apple Knockers
March 24, 2006: New York State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer wants to be governor. He has plans to fix po' lil old upstate New York. According to Spitz "if you drive from Schenectady to Niagara Falls ... it looks like Appalachia." Phew. Albany, where the AG hangs his Sheriff of Wall Street hat, is AOK! Appalachia starts 5 miles west of the capital city. Ping ping ping ping. Albany Mayor Jerry Jennings is bustin' his crime fightin' buttons. The rest of upstate will get an influx of poverty warriors from Manhattan (take that, pellagra) and taxpayer jacked downtown development that smacks of Governor George Pataki. State Senate Majority Leader Joe Bruno twangs his approval. Uh oh-- maybe Jennings should break out the burlap...
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  deep qt on the go: To Live And Die in New London
March 14, 2006: This morning brought a mailing from Michael Cristofaro in New London, Connecticut. It contained a link to a news story about the death of Wilhelmina Ciavaglia Dery, an 88 year old resident of the Fort Trumbull neighborhood in New London. Also this comment by Michael: "At least she spent her last days in the house she loved"...
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  deep qt serial noir: Revitalization My Lovely Reloaded: Chapter 6
March 4, 2006: The pols and players of fictional Slaugerton in lovely New Jorksacutt ride again. Zombie Bob Slotsky is Mayor. The dead voted him in. X Mayor Terry McConn and local development lovely Lara Tremor are missing in action. Maybe. Police Chief Kram is worried-- the feds are in town. Counting the HUD bux that pimped the bar strip and Sal "Coochie-Coo" Adobo. A convention center cum gambling casino is planned. Slotsky pours Kram a killer cocktail and zombies aspire to pinnacles of political power. Mayor Slotsky's pants pop at an inopportune moment. But editor Bix Blanc, of the Slaugerton Herald-Union, covers his butt with a revitalizing vision...
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  deep qt policy pop: The Universal Soldier
February 28, 2006: The End of History and the Last Man was a fizzy concoction bottled by Francis Fukuyama back in 1992. A policy wonk gone wild. Rapping the universal desire for liberal democracy to a transnational beat. Yet neoconservatives who invaded Iraq didn't really catch his kind-of-Marxist lyrics. Now Frankie sez relax: don't do it! And cynical isolationists better not come knocking when foreign policy is rocking. But wait-- what's that thumping under the floor? Countless numbers of tell tale hearts? Or Dubya worshipping the Golden Calf?
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  Dossier 50: Slaves, Serfs & Odd Birds: Part 1
February 21, 2006: Paging Jim Thompson. Lonoke, Arkansas (pop. 4,287) has a story 4 U. Mayor Thomas Privett has been busted. Along with Police Chief Ronald Jay Campbell & his darlin' wife Kelly. Charges say the chief was brewing up meth and burglarizing homes. His missus was also allegedly doing the last. Plus inmates at the county jail. All R charged with using prisoners as their own private dancers. The inmates came courtesy of Arkansas' Act 309. Which delivers state prison inmates to local jails for free local labor. But the federal PIE program enhances private industries with prison labor all over the nation! On the northeast front, opponents of eminent domain in Albany, New York can rest EZ. Winn Development of Boston will only get heavy when needed. In Springfield, Massachusetts, the comely homeless led bureaucrats astray. HUD goodies their goal. Go west to Rio Dell in Humboldt County, California. See Sequoia Semperviren. Also see CDBG's First Time Home Buyer and Housing Rehab program morph into something way strange. Hey-- the owls R not what they seem!
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  Dossier 49: Blow The Men Down
January 28, 2006: New York New York! The state, that is. Population is down but the cronies are up. Rising up greedy. Marching on the state capital in Albany. The heads of AAR Contractor Inc bit the dust-- now the henchmen are heard from. A snowstorm of asbestos and cocaine fills the air. Workers are coughing. Worth Construction and Joe Pontoriero won't get to revamp that highway for the state but the courthouse down in Putnam still beckons. In Westchester County, will D.A. Jeannine Pirro ask Emily Post for advice re returning Joe's dough? In Broome County, the state issues a job audit at Endicott Interconnect Technologies. Whoopsie EI! Not enuff jobs for the ESDC dollars. No biggie. Enforcing penalties just isn't done. Meanwhile, back at Rancho Notorious, Charles Gargano and his quasi-public crew rev bulldozers for eminent domain land grabs and plot to shoot craps in endless casinos.
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  deep qt hangover helper: Wires & Liars
January 15, 2006: Abramoff. Cunningham. DeLay. Ho hum. Want pay-to-play? Pols wearing wires and copping pleas? Cronyism so thick democracy chokes on it? Go northeast young man & woman! Visit the secret school in Secaucus, New Jersey where pols do the pat down. Then pop up to Massachusetts for fun with X State Rep turned lobbyist Christopher Asselin of Springfield. A slew of corruption charges bother his clients and government pals not a whit! Though those in the housing projects allegedly plundered by his family might beg to differ, folks who beg to live wind up in the Springfield homeless shelter. Where X director Francis Keough allegedly used them for free labor. And sex. While helping himself to money meant for the shelter along with a little Section 8. Allegedly. Meanwhile, the right Reverend Paul J. Starnes of Trinity Mortgage got busy flipping close to 100 depressed properties. Fraudulently. Over the border in New York State, quasi-public agencies cut a rug. Or is that a deal greased by crony connections? Whatever. Plus helpful hints re corruption correction.
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  deep qt shopping list: Right Down Santa Claus Lane
December 1, 2005: Cancel Thanksgiving. Cut to Black Friday. X Prez Bill Clinton confesses-- I was a Teenage Hitchcock! Early bird shoppers come to blows. The deep gift list includes: Joseph Pontoriero & Worth Construction. Cuff links or mob links? New York State Comptroller Alan Hevesi sez no Joe. Putnam County sez go go. Attorney General Eliot Spitzer mounts up to be guv -- give him a lasso. But what about Charles Gargano? A DVD for Governor Pataki. Steak knives for state rep Tom Libous. Alien abductions for New London, Connecticut and all of New Jersey plus goodies for Monmouth, Camden & HUDson. In Springfield, Massachusetts more anti-Albano and for Providence, Rhode Island a prince not a rogue. For Philly and Newark a new attitude. On Xmas eve Mayor Jerry Jennings of Albany, New York tears into his toys, X Governors John Rowland of Conn and Jim McGreevey of Jersey wear chains forged in life and Dubya sips nog from a mug with notorious stubble. While a crisp star appears before John & Jane Q who come through on some critical issues.
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  deep qt horn o' plenty: We Gather Together
November 19, 2005: Iraq Iraq Iraq. Before moving forward, a little step back.
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  Dossier 48: The Vorpal Blades
November 10, 2005: O frabjous day! In Albany, New York Mayor Jerry Jennings wins another term in office. But those FBI crime stats need some splaining. Meanwhile, the Albany Times Union stands lost in uffish thought & another citizen watch group gathers in Midtown. In Springfield, Massachusetts the feds snag a Bandersnatch from the inner circle of X Mayor Mike Albano. X Chief of Staff Anthony Ardolino! And his bro, X cop Chet! Former Mayor Robert Markel asks Y local news types didn't beat the feds to the punch. David Starr at The Republican answers. All mimsy were the doings at Springfield Central-- an economic development council where pols & players gimbled with public money. But tomorrow is another day. Say yay voters gave Mayor Charlie Ryan the AOK. Also say yay the One New London party in New London, Connecticut staged a city council coup. Take that eminent domain! Way down yonder in Jersey, Jon Corzine gets to be guv. Just which Jabberwock will fill his senatorial seat? And didja hear the one about the Golden Cicada, the Catholic high school and the quasi-public development agency from Jersey City? Transparency International puts the Czech Republic on the corruption hit parade. Snicker-snack snicker-snack say blades in cyberspace...
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  Dossier 47: Dr. Strangedeal or:
October 27, 2005: how to stop worrying and learn to love land grabbers, quasi-public agencies and aluminum coifed cronies. Unfortunately, elderly people have a tuff time getting with the program. Like Walter Pasqualini of New London, Connecticut and Pat Kelly of Albany, New York. In New London, check that crazy NLDC! They're out no they're in. Chief Operating Officer David Goebel "retires". Public & quasi public state agencies in Conn heave a sigh of relief as Peter Ellef & William Tomasso plead out. X Governor Rowland is packing up his jail cell. Will Ellef inherit his bunk? In Albany, an APA amicus brief in favor of eminent domain comes back to haunt the Albany Law School as angry philanthropist Marty Silverman sez git off my land. Say-- was CAIDA a rent hog? And why won't Jon Corzine in Jersey pop in on POG? Read all about the Cyrkle of Aluminum Cronies (aka CAC) and kick up your heels at a Carnival of Liberty. Smells like 1776 spirit to me...
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  deep qt harvest home 2: ED's Little Acres
October 18, 2005: Welcome to New London, Connecticut. Where the national eminent domain (ED) wars were launched. And rage on the local stage. Gather broader meaning while ye may. Do ED & corruption have a thing going on? Are quasi-public agencies the creatures of corporate interest? Should politicians who do ED fear voter wrath? Ask the New London City Council. Prior to election day they've severed (ouch!) relations with the New London Development Corporation. That's NLDC if you're nasty. Alas-- NLDC exec David Goebel can't come to the phone. In NYC, Mister ED aka Charles Gargano of the Empire State Development Corporation (ESDC) and developer Forest City Ratner have plans for a hefty hunk of Prospect Heights and Park Slope in Brooklyn. While upstate in Albany, a Castle Coalition rep will deliver a speech about eminent domain reform at every level. Mister Ed however, will never speak unless he has something to say...
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  deep qt harvest home: God's Little Acres
October 14, 2005: Libertarians got back! On the Internet! Hear Eric grumble before the grave and spin a few LLP's. In Elk Grove, California the city council takes a Last Supper break. While New Jersey gubernatorial hopefuls Jon Corzine and Doug Forrester spar over eminent domain. Is Camden's Cramer Hill project part of an "unholy alliance"? Is George Norcross III a political boss? And how come Commerce Bancorp has such a big family? Over at the University of Medicine & Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ) acting Governor Richard Codey takes out the trash. In Connecticut, residents of New London and a federation of taxpayers apply FOIA to the NLDC. The NAACP in Dee Cee testifies to Congress re Kelo and names Park South in Albany, New York as a place where eminent domain threatens African-Americans. The UHA gets sued, EIT may appeal and in Ohio, Tom & Bernadette Noe (the Arnold & Maria of Toledo) put their assets on the line. A report on E-Rate fraud by the House Energy and Commerce Committee appears in time for the Day of the Dead and HUD head Alphonso Jackson enables 362 housing agencies.
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  Dossier 46 addenda: ED's Social Whirl
October 3, 2005: The social season kicks off with notable anti-eminent domain (ED) events. Head for Brooklyn, New York on the evening of October 5th for "A Celebration, Inspiration and How To Stop Eminent Domain In Its Tracks" at the BRIC Studio at 57 Rockwell Place. Around the corner from the Brooklyn Academy of Music. Call Develop Don't Destroy at 718-362-4784 for time & direction. Or pop the provided link to DDD. The BRIC line-up is killer--
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  deep qt: dossier 46: Quasi-Public Agencies R Us!
September 30, 2005: Or R they? In New London, Connecticut city officials dither after demanding the heads of the heads of the quasi-public New London Development Corporation (NLDC). The quasi-public agency that loves eminent domain. Top dogs Michael Joplin and David Goebel hunker down in the NLDC bunker. Connecticut Governor Jodi Rell sends a mediator and talks reservation. X Governor John Rowland was rah rah for quasi-public agencies. X Co-Chief of Staff Peter Ellef was liaison man. Referencing wisdom gained when Commish at the Department of Economic & Community Development (DECD). A full support undergarment for the quasi-public. Then there was CRRA. Enron anyone? And the CuraGen addenda. Or how about CURE and that crazy bioscience cluster? See CII. Or CDA. When Robert V. Matthews testified re Rowland eyes opened wide. In myriad altered states quasi-public cronies streamline past oversight. Talking free market while using government to transfer wealth to their pockets. In the Cramer Hill neighborhood of Camden, New Jersey a demonstration is on the agenda. October 8th. 11 A.M. Anti eminent domain-- what else?
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  deep qt main dish: Land Grabbers Stew
September 21, 2005: Yum yum. New London, Connecticut. Where an unelected quasi-public agency almost ruled via eminent domain. The Supreme Court said faster pussycat. The New London Development Corporation (NLDC) savored a bittersweet victory. Why half sour? Read it & weep. NLDC execs Michael Joplin and David Goebel are evicted by the New London City Council. Who also lower a no confidence boom on the NLDC. The agency that told Susette Kelo to take a hike from her Fort Trumbull home. (She isn't leaving anytime soon.) X Governor John Rowland sits in prison. Does Pfizer miss him? Thankfully philanthropist and X NLDC prez Claire Gaudiani is long gone. Or it might be her skin on the sidewalk. New London is not alone. Eminent domain battles rage. Uniting right & left. Making pols dash for the exit. And threatening the delivery of federal funds to cities that use eminent domain to crush small property owners. It's enough to make a land grabber stew...
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  deep qt classic cuisine: Venus & Mars
September 16, 2005: Are Burlington, Vermont and Jersey City, New Jersey sisters under the skin? Are men from Burlington and women from Montreal? Venus spins while Mars roils the political waters in Albany, New York. Mayor Jerry "Jerigula" Jennings calls forth his paladins to beat back the Albany Civic Agenda. Assemblyman Jack McEneny steps forth. Back room reformers beware-- the spirit of Erastus Augustus lives! But reform is a trickster. It uses the side door. In New London, Connecticut eminent domain takes a hit. The New London Development Corporation (NLDC) delivers notices to quit and charges homeowners rent. Governor Jodi Rell hits the ceiling & house trains NLDC. Top dog Micheal Joplin sulks. New London pols who once worshipped his ground want to evict him. Upstairs the gods are rolling in the aisles...
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  Dossier 45: Way Down Yonder
September 6, 2005: Perhaps the only city dwellers who can't imagine experiencing the societal breakdown of New Orleans post Katrina are those who live in urban nabes as valuable as some in say, Manhattan. Where if Wall Street or 5th Avenue were threatened by looters, gun toting paratroopers would drift downward like dandelion fluff in May. But residents of myriad other cities, particularly ones called post-industrial must surely suspect that given a similar scenario, rule of thug would replace rule of law just as quickly, the buses, water and food would be just as slow in coming, and pols would shovel the bull just as high as they have re New Orleans...
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  deep qt labor day do: Feet Don't Fail Us Now
August 29, 2005: Hup 2 3 4 Iraq's an ever onward war. Homeland Security pork is served to both political parties but hey-- hands off illegal immigration! Speaking of borders, if you live one step over the city limits of Albany, New York don't bother trying to help city voters vote. As the Albany Civic Agenda discovered. State Supreme Court Justice Thomas Spargo tossed 224. In the meantime, Albany Mayor Jerry Jennings suits up for another term, seeking to dispense more outside-budget bucks and appoint department heads sans Common Council approval. In Cologne, Germany, youthful Catholics gather for a word from Pope Benedict. Don't tell us what we want to hear sez a neo-Pascal. We're tired of lies chimes in Felicity Elvis. Yup-- Elvis. Back home, Kanye West walks through the valley where the shadow of death iz...
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  Dossier 44: Summertime Has Come Today
August 17, 2005: Today in Ohio, Nate "Bagman" Gray was found guilty on all 36. Governor Bob Taft got four-- a historical first. In early August the New Jersey governor's race turned muddy for plutocrats Doug Forrester and Jon Corzine. Talking weird mortgage loans check "The Housing Bubble Fact Sheet" at CEPR. Just how many years will it take for Fannie Mae to restate? Should GSEs do FHA? Is the bubble big enuff to box with God? Poor Jeanine Pirro. A mudslide of allegations re cash from RICO Suave washed over her dog days. Did Hillary do the spillary? Tiptoe through the past contributions and present public contracts of Joe Pontoriero and Worth Construction in New York State and Connecticut. Paging Senator Joe Lieberman and of course-- triple X Mayor Phil Giordano of Waterbury.
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  deep qt serial noir: Revitalization, My Lovely, Chapter 5
August 8, 2005: Local development lovely Lara Tremor is top of the world Ma. Bob Slotsky, Slaugerton's most prominent unofficial political consultant and blackmailing zombie is finally dead! His funeral swings like a pit & pendulum do. New Jorksacutt Governor Herb Kuspitor and State Senator Jed Puptue give Bix Blanc of the Slaugerton Herald-Union the straight poop on crime in our times. Mayor Terry McConn's jowls do the herky jerky. County Executive Herb Tusk twists the knife. The eminent domain boom gets lowered on some low rent stakeholders, DWI Construction gets ready to roll and Bob Slotsky's lips are unlaced. A priest steps up to the plate and serves The Word. The End?
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  deep qt chuck wagon: The Sheriff Rides Out /ED Stampedes
August 1, 2005: Howdy Podners! New York State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer hits the justice trail. Tracking payola in the lawless streets of Tune Town. Relax-- don't do it. So say experts re real estate in the day of the bubble. U.S. Reps Hillary Clinton & Chuck Schumer vote low on the U. S. Border Patrol but step up to save the American Dream. The Castle Coalition spins top abuses of eminent domain: that's ED Baby ED. Park South in Albany, New York makes the cut. So do hits from West Harlem, Syracuse & Spring Valley. Jersey and Pennsylvania got game too! Will Shorty's Lunch & Jerry's Shoe Repair kiss ED's hoof? Will the Flats in Cleveland, Ohio be re-revitalized by developer Scott Wolstein and Mayor Jane Campbell? In California, U. S. Rep Nancy Pelosi hears God speak via the Supreme Court while back in New York, semi-public development corporations make like the Shadow Over Innsmouth. Pols rush to craft Swiss cheese laws limiting property theft and Dee Dee Sharp swings her lasso like a square dance pro...
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  Dossier 43: Poobahs On Parade
July 25, 2005: Questions questions questions. Such as: whatever happened to that surveillance tape of New Jersey political poobah George Norcross asking an AG investigation to go away? Is it in Heaven? Is it in Hell? Or is it poobah spirit that we smell? In the locker rooms of poobah, Jersey pols gather to dis Hoboken's anti pay-to-play ordinance and mull over the latest corruption busts in Monmouth County. While in Ohio, the Bureau of Workers Compensation takes a hit. Poobah Tom Noe, a fund raising fool and bud to Governor Bob Taft, put his rare coin hoodoo on BWC investments. Just how many golf trips did Taft take? And how much wood did he chuck? On municipal fronts, the feds ask if X Mayor Michael White of Cleveland used X consultant Nate Gray as a bag man for airport deals. While residents of New York State ask if former HUD head Andrew Cuomo will become AG. (Perish the thought say voices from his past.) In Philadelphia, airport & insurance deals receive federal scrutiny while in Massachusetts, jumped-up public servants in Springfield often ask "Where do you work?" A bully game played in myriad poohbah places...
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  deep qt loss: Pat Kelly
July 22, 2005: Pat Kelly of Albany, New York died on July 21st of cancer. Pat was one of the founders of, and the principle force behind, the Park South Walk & Watch. She was also active in the Park South Neighborhood Association. Pat was in her 60's and had lived and worked in Park South for more than four decades. She loved her neighborhood. She knew every inch of it. Her commitment to it was unshakable. Though a tenant who could have left at any time, Pat stuck by Park South as it became blighted by crime and neglect. She worked hard to reverse that decline. She also defended Park South in the last few years when the city of Albany launched a redevelopment plan that involved the use of eminent domain. Pat, more than anyone, wanted Park South to be revitalized. But in her words, "Bulldozers are not the answer."
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  deep qt serial noir: Revitalization, My Lovely, Chapter 4
July 1, 2005: Now that murdered political consultant Bob Slotsky has risen up zombie, will local development lovely Lara Tremor and Slaugerton Mayor Terry McConn find a way to keep him in the ground? Will Grubanese real estate flipper Alkar Y'hut be able to help? At non-profit Housing From Heaven zombies are a dime a dozen. Just like mortgages. Say hey FHA! At the Samaria Lounge & Motel, bugs are detected. Thanks to Homeland Security-- and New Jorksacutt Governor Herb Kuspitor. Sometimes he uses the floor. Terrorists know nothing of his moves. Only his aides know for sure. But Lara Tremor suspects it will take more than a salt shaker to seal Slotsky's lips...
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  deep qt burger special: The Ground Round
June 27, 2005: Bless my soul if on June 23rd the U. S. Supreme Court didn't rule (narrowly) that it's AOK for local governments to use the power of eminent domain to seize private property and give it to private developers who claim they can use it more profitably. Dean-o might say "ain't that a kick in the head" but hey-- the Court hasn't been a reliable champion of constitutional rights for some time. While a ruling on the right side would have made things easier, the battle isn't over. Quite the contrary. Eminent domain will now be fought state by state, city by city, street by street and blog by blog. And the battle will be a big red one.
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  deep qt bento box: Eat To The Beat
June 10, 2005: A little box of updates to go go. Shrink wrapped specials include: Frances X. Moroney and Raymond B. Asselin of the Springfield Housing Authority. When in Massachusetts, visit Belchertown. Excuse me, on to Utah. Where eminent domain (ED) gets dunked in the salt lake. But Mayor Adam Schneider of Long Branch, New Jersey sez Me Love ED. As do reps from K. Hovnanian Homes and Applied Development Co. The Urban Land Institute agrees. In Albany, New York, angels land. Curtis Sliwa shows up on a slide. Westward ho the internet eyeballs on state Senator Tom Libous. While NFI message-boarders surf lunatic waves. Back in Jersey the war chest of Hoboken Mayor Dave Roberts swells to dangerously bodacious proportions. Gubernatorial candidates Corzine and Forrester suit up as reformers-- dough balls kneaded by chefs from the Garden State kitchen.
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  Dossier 42: The Good Doctors Of Jersey
June 7, 2005: As Mayor Dave Roberts races for re-election in Hoboken, New Jersey, dodgy campaign contributions swell his war chest. "Swell" sez POG "see you in court." The anti pay-to-play ordinance that POG (aka People for Open Government) fought for in 2004 seems to say Roberts and state Senator Bernard Kenny should fess up. But will they? Or instead hunker down in chairs at the Hoboken Democratic Party and the state Joint Committee on Ethics? Where Camden state Senator Wayne Bryant got a pass for his dual role as chair of the Senate Budget and Finance Committee and legal beagle re the Camden Recovery Act. Talking Camden recovery, check Cramer Hill. Low income Hispanic home owners may get the eminent domain treatment. So yupsters from Philly can park their butts cross the Delaware. In the meantime, Camden municipal government is out of town. And old familiar faces gather in a fine assortment of chairs...
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  deep qt serial noir: Revitalization, My Lovely; Chapter Three
June 1, 2005: The Hams End Neighborhood Association (HENA) gathers. Led by HENA head Horace Stumpfler and vice prez Katrine Patooty. Their vice is HUD. And Potemkin Village community participation. Slaugerton knows good hogs. See city father Phineas Van Slauger. Whose Victorian pork palace revitalizes into a gold mine for Mayor Terry McConn. Local development lovely Lara Tremor enters the room. Bette Davis eyes screwed down tight. Sergeant Mike Testirolla flips Cop Next Door homes and flics his Bic at criminal complaints. But Lara leaves in a lather, late for an appointment in Samaria. While an eager beaver new urbanite gets fitted for a Howdy Doody frame...
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  deep qt lazy susan: The World Spins/QT catches the dishes
May 20, 2005: In Los Angeles elephants line up behind Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. Back east in New Jersey, Mayor Jeremiah Healy of Jersey City keeps his clothes on-- and still gets re-elected! Mayor Dave Roberts of Hoboken gears up for a rematch with Carol Marsh and "Pupie" ponders his future. Political consultant Paul Byrne checks out. Without seeing Bobby Jay pay. Back in the day Boss Hague haunted the halls of power. Making like the ghost of Christmas Future. While up in Albany, New York, Mayor Jerry Jennings strolls through the Student Ghetto. A nabe reformer reborn. Dropping a dime on former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani. Aka Doktor Mabuse. Downstate, X-execs at Staten Island University Hospital cringe before the wrath of AG Eliot Spitzer. Take that Medicaid fraudsters! 50 lashes with a wet noodle! In Dee Cee, Republicans stampede to save CDBG...
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  deep qt serial noir: Revitalization, My Lovely; Chapter Two
May 9, 2005: Bob Slotsky lurches into the Peanut King Brew Barn in Slaugerton. A political player turned dead boy. Date rape drugs burn a hole in his pocket. Moonlighting cop Mike Testirolla keeps pouring: behind the scenes lurks Sal "Coochi-Coo" Adobo. A saint by any other name with awesome endowments. King of countless revitalized bars. County Executive Frank Tusk arrives in time to keep a female employee from taking the fall. Bob Slotsky places a call. Local development lovely Lara Tremor picks up: murder comes back like too many onions. And New Jorksacutt gets nailed by Thomas De Quincy...
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  deep qt recipe box: 4x4x4, part two
May 5, 2005: Tomorrowland. Future Mondo paths. One leads to apocryphal New Jorksacutt. Another through neighborhoods slated for eminent domain. See Long Branch, New Jersey & New London, Connecticut. See public servants snap up private property. Then look back in anger at Poletown in Detroit. Mayor Coleman Young knocked it down. Two decades later the Michigan State Supreme Court raised it up. Vindicating the constitutional rights of a long gone population. Sullied pols cry for QT attention. Stop your sobbing! The race for the statehouse in New Jersey & New York will be wild. The last mad days of the housing bubble more so. In 2011 President Condaleeza Clinton makes her bones. Only to be busted by a blogger...
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  deep qt quik bite: Call Me Mister
April 28, 2005: Apres resignation, X Governor Jim McGreevey of New Jersey was last seen slaving over dry briefs in the back offices of the Weiner Lesniak law firm. Where State Senator Raymond Lesniak hangs. In reality Jimbo was helping the Mills Corporation and Mack Cali Realty build a Xanadu in the Meadowlands. Though missing mobsters may grumble, the real issue is conflict of interest. Perception-wise. Jimbo resigns. Again. Ray Lesniak supports. Again. In search of jobs jobs jobs former New Jersey governors lose the ID. And re-enter the USA as illegal aliens. Picking peaches and slinging rice. In South Jersey, Mr. Monmouth County is indicted. A replacement rises from the waves...
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  deep qt serial noir: Revitalization, My Lovely
April 26, 2005: Mayor Terry McConn of Slaugerton, New Jorksacutt heaves himself out of the E-Z Boy. But Lara Tremor, local development lovely, spots danger danger on the hirsute chest of crony consultant Bob Slotsky. A dark tale of murder follows. The HUD bucked hot tub at the Peanut King Motel sees some action. Thongs are worn. Electric knives whir. The dead walk, vote and obtain FHA backed mortgages. Keep repeating it's only a movie it's only a movie it's only a movie. Chapter One of an ongoing story...
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  deep qt recipe box: 4x4x4, part one
April 24, 2005: Ruminations on Mondo QT. Past, present & future. It came from a hysterical/historical condo. Then swept forward on a wave of real estate fraud. HUD hovered. Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae hit the hay. Main Street Grifters with Ubermensch Delusions (MSGUD) paid to play. OPM picked up the tab. Coke washed it down. Blogs blogged onward while public servants got busy with their bad selves. New urban snake oil was poured by folks with one foot out the door and the other in grave disservice to their neighbors. Antiques and second homes were hawked in the city of Hudson, New York: jobs for the young and under-employed took a hike. But all roads still lead to Springfield, Massachusetts, Camden, New Jersey & Buffalo, New York. Follow the bouncing ball of Mondo QT. Take a PEEP at future art. Hear Lieutenant Columbo press Dubya about Osama Bin Laden & see Tom Lehrer at home on the range.
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  Dossier 41: Things To Do Under House Arrest
April 14, 2005: Harsh justice descends on convicted New York Racing Authority (NYRA) administrator Vincent Hogan. Six months of house arrest looms. The horror... the horror. In Newark, New Jersey another white collar crim gets the booklet tossed his way. Jerry Free, of United Gunite Construction, once bribed his way into the Garden State's sewers. Wearing a wire, talking pay-to-play, and taking down the likes of Essex County X Executive James Treffinger. The sewer man also got busy in Atlanta, Georgia. Where in 2004, X Mayor Bill Campbell was indicted. Now Free wears an ankle bracelet - and dishes up novelty ice cubes in Florida. Take a trip to Marlboro Township in Monmouth County, New Jersey. Sample the latest corruption catch: X Mayor Matthew Scannapieco. He sold out his town for a handful of developer clams. Over & over & over. If he gets house bound will Jerry deliver the wings?
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  deep qt sandwich board: Nihil Obstat
April 8, 2005: As Pope John Paul II steps through Heaven's gate worldly pomps gather. Stateside, Bush throws down Social Security reform but keeps coming up snake eyes. WMD mutters the public. Remembering gas that was going to flow like cheap wine. In Springfield, Massachusetts, convicted public servants are house bound. Assistant U.S. Attorney William Welch suggests they wear sandwich boards. School lunch money thief Alfonso Carrano narrowly misses his chance. Will X-cop Chester Ardolina do better? Chet launched a little mortgage fraud, but a much bigger deal was allegedly inflated by Pastor Paul Starnes. Why so much flipping in cities? Nihil obstat sez HUD. In New York State, Middletown Mayor Joseph DeStefano hunkers down in his office apres partial conviction. While in Jersey, X County Executive Robert Janiszewski gets more than expected. A state Judiciary Committee hearing on corruption in Monmouth County is proposed by a rep from Camden (!) and the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement subpoenas former NYC top cop Bernie Kerik. His attorney moves to quash. Lock, stock & barrel.
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  deep qt Spring Form: The Four Horsemen of the Apacalypso
March 21, 2005: If End of Days is upon us, what will it mean for the housing market? Will HUD's noble mission be finished? In New Jersey, will pols finally be free of U.S. Attorney Christopher J. Christie? Whither Charles Kushner's video collection? Ponder also what the 4 riders might mean to Mayor Joseph DeStefano of Middletown, New York and the pickled punks of Springfield, Massachusetts. In Texas, builders could wind up trapped by the binding arbitration clause in their final contract, while the Erpenbeck related home purchase reforms long sought in Ohio and Kentucky might just dry up and blow away. Would Mayor Dave Roberts in Hoboken, New Jersey be able to sell that last bit of land? Would X Mayor Buddy Cianci of Providence, Rhode Island still be feted? And what about X Governor John Rowland in Connecticut, the Erie Canal Crew in New York State, plus Hillary, Condoleeza and UBL? But most important-- how would the Apocalypse affect Albany?
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  Dossier 40: Plowing The Back Forty
March 15, 2005: New twists in an ongoing story about rebirth by bulldozer in the venerable city of Albany, New York. A capital city. Where the small and historic blue collar neighborhood of Park South teeters on the edge of tomorrow. The target oops subject of the Park South Redevelopment Urban Renewal Plan. Launched by Mayor Jerry de Jennings with assistance from assorted good neighbors and development forces. ACDA will be designating a preferred developer ASAP. As soon as the Albany Common Council says go go go to eminent domain. But whatever happened to progressive Albanian protest? And check that crazy loophole in New York State law! The one that lets ethically challenged state employees slip out the back Jack. From Connecticut comes advice re stains on New York's corruption carpet...
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  deep qt clam roll: Jersey Shore Shackle Catch
February 23, 2005: On February 22nd in Monmouth County, New Jersey, 11 public servants were rolled out of bed in the wee hours of the morning by the FBI and U. S. Attorney Christopher J. Christie. Bringing the 36 month count of corruption busted officials in Jersey to 76. The spirit of those 76 is bi-partisan. The most recently shackled batch is largely Republican. All are charged with extortion. Aka development related pay-to-play. Monmouth County is in the southern part of the state: many of its towns are one time seaside resorts in various stages of taxpayer assisted revitalization. Mayors John J. Merla of Keyport, Paul Coughlin of Hazlet, and Paul Zambrano of West Long Branch are among the allegedly sullied servants. As are some councilmen and committeemen, a fire marshall and code enforcement official, plus several high level employees of the county Division of Transportation and Division of Highways. Highway-man Richard J. Ladanza apparently does tridential duty as director of the Division of Highways, and deputy mayor and police commissioner in the city of Neptune. Highway-man Thomas Broderick, an X county undersheriff and current assistant supervisor at the Division, not only faces extortion charges but ones of money laundering. For allegedly cleaning the clams of a developer in league with the feds. Employees who accompanied Mister Developer when he paid off pols were actually agents! How sneaky is that? Hidden tapes have been whirring for months in Monmouth as part of "Operation Bid Rig" an FBI probe into public corruption in South Jersey. The Monmouth investigation grew out of an earlier one in Asbury Park. Last year QT touched on the Asbury Park catch in "Truckstop Mortgages & Waterfront HUD Hauls". Visit the QT clam shack for a roll in the past made present. But waste watchers be warned-- we never hold the mayo.
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  Dossier 39: Tales From The Current Crypt
February 18, 2005: Winter wanes. But weird tales still beckon. A step is heard in the hall. The trusted family retainer? Or a public servant from Hell? Scream Deanula Scream! No DNC pod he. In upstate New York, Governor George Pataki and Lady Libby have dinner delivered in Putnam. The delivery dame drops at their door after hiking 100 miles. The NYS Republican Party cleans up. Attorney General Eliot Spitzer collects the Working Families Party endorsement for gov-- but seems to forget the ruling of State Supreme Court Judge Bernard Malone re David Soares. Assemblyman Richard Brodsky of Westchester says what kind of AG HE wants to be, while in Springfield, Massachusetts things just keep getting stranger. Did Gerald Phillips, X chairman of the Police Commission bump his bedmates into a top Section 8 position? Did X City Councilor Keough use the homeless for slave labor? And why were fetuses buried in bottles on the grounds of a Springfield Housing project? Though the feds dug 'em up, neither are saying...
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  deep qt Candy Box: The CDBG Sweetheart Assortment
February 14, 2005: Back in the 70's Nixon boxed HUD's Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program and sent it to blighted cities. Though Dick was an unrequited lover his gift was a fave. Pols offered it to their beloved cronies. By the time it got to the poor side of town only crumbs were left. No biggie. Revitalization is just around the corner. Now President Bush wants CDGB to reduce. Will the real Ownership Society please stand up? See-- some people's income morph into other people's assets! See-- indicted Mayor Joseph DeStefano of Middletown, New York call for more CDBG! See-- the United States Conference of Mayors support efforts to fight waste, fraud and abuse in all federal programs! And last but oh baby not least-- see former HUD head Jack Kemp surf/serf the economic expressway to your heart.
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  Dossier 38: Jersey Trench Bosses & The Bubble Machine
February 3, 2005: Something is rotten in the Garden State. Will post Jimbo Governor Richard Codey be taking out the trash? Nope. Though a credible clean-up man with voter pote, Codey bows to Corzine the Mighty. Flavor fave of the state party trenchmen. See Raymond Lesniak! Hire Jim McGreevey! Real Estate Deals R Him. See Donald Norcross. Camden County trench boss. Then see Camden City. And die? In the "most dangerous city in the U.S." big time crack dealer Keith Jenkins snapped up slums. Then flipped them for inflated prices. HUD picked up the bill and passed it along. But in Newark, beauty pageants grace bullet riddled housing projects serviced by the family Lucas. In Hudson County, political factions unite behind Cap'n Corzine and the housing bubble goes pop when a pol climbs aboard. New York City based Demos releases the report "A House of Cards: Refinancing the American Dream" and tut tuts over folks who denigrate government...
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  deep qt wing dip: Kentucky Fried Bank Boys
January 25, 2005: John Finnan and Mark Menne, X top execs of long gone Peoples Bank of Northern Kentucky, helped grease Ohio developer Bill Erpenbeck's massive bank frauds. The ones that pushed Peoples over a cliff, impacted banks in 3 states and left hundreds of homeowners and sub contractors holding an empty bucket. Finnan & Menne breaded Bill's bouncing checks and didn't say "boo" when homebuyer closing payments became Erpenbeck Dippety Doo in Peoples Fridge. As Jams LLP, Finnan & Menne made a mortgage fraud sandwich with Bill: serving false property values to small banks and sucking up supersized loans. But former U.S. Rep Ken Lucas of Northern Kentucky is sure "circumstances not publicly known" made "John" turn oleaginous. Lucas is one among many prominent people who say "secret reasons" or evil "subordinates" caused Finnan & Menne to curdle. Some supporters sent mercy pleas to U. S. District Judge William Bertelsman in Covington KY. Today, Judge Bertelsman sentenced John Finnan and Mark Menne to 63 months and 54 months respectively. Less than prior federal guidelines required but more than either man wanted. A previous QT spread of Finnan, Menne & Erpenbeck can be found at deluxe and delightful Corruption Cascades:
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  deep qt pantry staples: Hot Rats & Poppers
January 24, 2005: When rats flee sinking ships of scams and public corruption they dive for the portholes: later they surface on witness stands. Take Timothy Carroll. One time front man for Alexander Salvagno of AAR Contractor Inc. The upstate New York environmental scamsters who got big time for Xmas. Carroll pretended to own Analytical Laboratories of Albany. Aka ALA. Where AAR's phony asbestos abatements got the AOK. But Carroll watched TV and looked the other way. Uh huh uh huh. Some fume over squealers who buy small time (or maybe even no time!) but in the meantime, grade schools miss AAR not a whit. While Willie the pimp checks his khakis for signs of complicity. Hoping to appear in the life style pages of his home town paper.
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  Dossier 37: Off With A Bang
January 12, 2005: Midway through the first decade of the 21st century who remembers Millennium dread? In Connecticut fear of dead ATMs drove X Governor John Rowland's X aide Lawrence Alibozek to bury graft in his yard. Three years later Patty Rowland played Santa on her thumb. Now John's tossed in the tea towel and confessed to a wee bit of corruption. Where's the outrage? On his and Alex Salvagno's mutual face. Across the nation Main Street grifters with Ubermensch delusions (MSGUD) cut rugs on a crooked bias as graft & mortgage fraud become kissing cousins. In Los Angeles, Mayor Jim Hahn feels the heat. In Miami, City Commissioner Arthur Teele joins X Commissioner Humberto Hernandez in jail. The MSGUD are restless. Crooked mortgage broker Thomas Fazy gets shot dead in Oak Forest, Illinois after flipping slums in Chicago. Drug gangs play the same game in the same city and the feds premier "Operation: This Old House". In Cleveland, Ohio, HUD knocks 99 percent off a multi million dollar Empowerment Zone misunderstanding and over in New York State, folks are watching the Erie Canal. Those rumors of alien abductions at SUNY just keep getting weirder...
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  deep qt jaw breaker: Auld Acquaintance
December 23, 2004: The strange case of AAR Contractor has been a QT topic for years. The case closes with Alex Salvagno being sentenced in federal court in Syracuse, New York to 25 years in prison. Raul Salvagno, Alex's father, got 19. Both have also been ordered to pay $23 million in restitution. The Salvagnos, who as AAR Contractor and AAR Environmental were based in Albany County, New York, perpetrated massive asbestos removal scams that effected public and private buildings across a broad swath of New York State. Among the buildings involved were schools, hospitals, churches, prisons and government offices. Including the state capital. The AAR Contractor case became a QT subject largely because there seemed to be a curious silence about the topic on the Albany media front. Though that changed somewhat as time went on. A lot of people trusted Alex Salvagno and lived to regret it. Health issues still loom for many. Particularly for AAR workers who labored for years without adequate protection from untreated asbestos. By all accounts and as evidenced in the complexity of the AAR scams, Alexander Salvagno (who supposedly masterminded events) is an intelligent and creative person. That someone so gifted would toss his life down a twisted rathole is another strange thing re the strange case of AAR Contractor. Those who need an AAR refresher, can take the link to past QT coverage.
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  deep qt stocking stuffer: Ghosts of Corruption Present
December 17, 2004: Was Bernie Kerik, George Bush's shot down Homeland Security guy separated at birth from a litter of other public servants? See Golan Cipel, Dick Cheney, Zoe Baird, Kimba Woods, and Linda Chavez. Also see Joseph Santiago, an X New Jersey top cop with rumored mob connections. Falsies natch! Contractors Frank & Peter DiTommaso, buds of Bernie and heads of Interstate Companies Corp, once chipped in to help X Senator Robert Torricelli in Jersey battle corruption charges. (Tho' Bob didn't know 'em.) If rats see mob here and see it there, why don't pols see it anywhere? Visit a diner in Staten Island, casinos in Atlantic City, a prominent law firm in Hudson County and a past kiss kiss in Hackensack. Trip 6 degrees of separation from NYC and ask-- how did Angelo Prisco get that parole? And for how long will Johanna's parasites keep us up past the dawn?
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  Dossier 35: Ringers, Wizards & Sinister Orange Fruit
December 7, 2004: Be glad Bush & Kerry weren't Yanukovich & Yushchenko. Also be glad Mexico and Canada aren't Russia. Give a real cheer for term limits nationally and in Hoboken, New Jersey say hooray for anti Pay-2-Play. Mayor Joseph DeStefano gets limited in Middletown, New York but in Jersey, Hudson County boys Jon Corzine and Bret Schundler suit up for the governor's race. Dressed as reformers, carrying bags by Jimbo. If victorious, will Corzine the Mighty boost Boss Robert Menendez into his senator's seat? In the Empire State, Attorney General Eliot Spitzer announces he wants to be a reformin' governor too. The New York State Canal Corporation gets a dress down for botching the Erie Canal reno and Buffalo super slumlord Scott Wizig resurfaces in Baltimore, Maryland-- flipping properties at the poor. On Ukrainian television, Mrs. Lyudmila Yanukovich says reformers just want to party all over the capital and fly high on sinister orange fruit...
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  deep qt turkey sandwich: The Glad Game
November 25, 2004: I confess. I voted Ralph. But though Kramden's chads may have been mangled it's time to stop hashing the bird. Count the Thanksgiving glads. Like Iraq. A few more decades of mop up and wham-o. Victory in a can-o. Reality TV be bopping. And chopping. Poppies bloom in Afghanistan. Illegal immigrants do likewise stateside. Come on in-- the slave labor's fine. Soon some Supremes will be chosen: expect an implosion. Left Right Left Right. Two step to the drum machine. God! Guns! Gays! Has the Chef of the Future risen?
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  deep qt snack cake: Heavenly HUDbuckle
November 17, 2004: While all eyes were on the party cake, other goodies were served in the United States of Real Estate. The FBI said "Mortgage Fraud is Rampant" and Assistant Director Chris Swecker of the Criminal Investigative Division expanded on the topic to Congress. HUD honcho John C. Weicher wagged an FHA finger at "disreputable individuals" and over at AMCO (an independent valuations solution company) Jack Kemp and Andrew Cuomo joined the board. Crooked appraisers are shaking like Jell-O. Plus, the ex HUD heads have a national housing agenda! A creamy dreamy grand plan piled high with taxpayer dollars. Yum. It's Morning in America & Great Society Summer all rolled into one. But the GSEs stay queasy. Oops that's quasi. Do the hucklebuck, do the hucklebuck...
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  Dossier 34: Naked Politicians & Non Profit Prophets
November 9, 2004: Forget the presidential race. A nudist is now mayor in Jersey City, New Jersey! A rival snapped candidate Jeremiah Healy hanging out on his porch. A few sheets to the wind. Like Louis Abolofia, he had nothing to hide. But voters knew Healy's home was his castle. Elsewhere, homes are made into poker chips by eminent domain. Aka "taking". A tool of municipalities seeking revitalization. Last Spring, non-profit development types at an Urban Land Institute con-fab demanded lebensraum at cheap prices. Grand plans anyone? Come the New Year, the U.S. Supreme Court will consider the constitutionality of condemnation for private redevelopment. If the Supremes say stop in the name of love, will non-profit prophets fade? Michael Corleone seems doubtful.
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  deep qt party platter: Serve the People!
October 27, 2004: The race is almost run. Bush will keep us safe. Kerry will take care of us. They want to be our waitrons! In Saratoga Springs, New York, Robert Bruno leaves his post as Road to Recovery exec. He too wants to serve the people. In Middletown, Mayor Joseph DeStefano counts his 52 federal counts-- yet doesn't bemoan all those HUD loans. While "Chi-Chi" DeStefano wipes the wall with help from Lollipop, Iceman and Louie. Post Rowland Connecticut gets a public integrity unit. Attention Mayor Dannel Malloy of Stamford! DOT oddities are candy dish favorites! On the Internet, some seem to crave Kevin Ingram. And 7 months after being found guilty of leaving asbestos in NYS lunchrooms, Alex Salvagno will be sentenced in Syracuse. Caligula offers to help clean up: FBI Agent Dale Cooper does the dishes.
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  Dossier 33: The Crocodilians
October 9, 2004: Ah Hoboken! Oligarchical jewel of New Jersey's Gold Coast. People for Open Government (POG) worked hard to put an anti pay-for-play ordinance on the November ballot. The Hoboken City Council & Mayor Roberts substituted skim milk. A judge tossed their version back. Then Hudson County Clerk Javier Inclan wanted two, two, voting booths! Was Inclan's vision inspired by the U.S. State Department's refusal to accept passports issued by his office? Citing an investigation into docs for sale? Did deceased Mayor Glenn Cunningham of Jersey City hit the HCDO nail on the head? Plus, Governor Jim McGreevey lauds Inclan's intellect and an Ohio herpetologist weighs in on the political impact of alligators.
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  Dossier 32: The Eyes of Madame Zora
September 30, 2004: A gypsy woman has visions. Urban reanimator Aaron Dare returns to Albany, New York. Missing HUD bux in hand. New Jersey Governor Jim McGreevey climbs out of his post Golan funk. State Senator Raymond Lesniak pops words o' wisdom. Play Dough is quoted and developer Charles Kushner does the jailhouse rock. More cronies of Connecticut X Gov John Rowland are indicted. Conn contractor William Tomasso taunts coppas in an Albany parking garage while in Springfield, Massachusetts, the Asselins plan a family trip to Devil's Island. Capital Region residents in upstate New York celebrate George Soros Day and Jersey Gold Coast developers say please--no more tax abatements! The sun burns out. President George Bush and President John Kerry tour Iraq hand in hand. But Cheney & Edwards duke it out in the doorway of the Abu Ghraib dining room...
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  Dossier 31: On the Matter of Mister Beam, Part Two
September 25, 2004: In oh 3 George Beam takes Mentor, Ohio to court. His reason? A HUD bucked home rehab gone hellish. His attorney? Republican State Representative Jamie Callender. Perry Masonite doin' the people's work. Mentor cries "Governmental Immunity!" George gets chicken feed. But later serves leftover baked beans to raccoons after Bush & Kerry pull a no-show for dinner. Over in Cleveland, more low income homeowners get the HUD home repair shaft and the Cleveland Department of Community Development keeps corporate stakeholders in West Tech Lofts coming to the table. The Way-Back Machine summons up Ohio HUD's Title I salad days, an audit of its Community Housing Improvement Program and memories of Ronnie Davis and the Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority. The ghost of former HUD Secretary Andrew Cuomo sends a stern message to Cleveland's Associated Estates Realty Corporation. But the raccoons back in Mentor reject the cold beans.
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  deep qt harvest bowl: let's get dirty!
September 15, 2004: Harvest goodies from Northeast primaries. In Springfield, Massachusetts, recently indicted State Representative Christopher P. Asselin goes down in a 3-way race. Words of wisdom are heard at Our Lady of Hope. In upstate New York, Albany County District Attorney Paul Clyne (aka Mr. Machine) gets a nasty surprise from reform candidate David Soares. Whose ideas about reform seem less than local. Will the Capital Region get to do more drug rehab? O Joy! Albany Common Council President Helen Desfosses has an ecstatic moment...
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  Dossier 31: On the Matter of Mister Beam, Part One
September 13, 2004: Bush & Kerry hit Ohio. Neither drop in on homeowner George Beam in Mentor. Back in 2000 a HUD bucked rehab, via CDBG, hit his house like a ton of bricks. Ripping off his stairs. Leaving debris piled high. A trench ran through it. Mentor's low bid contractor blamed it on the workers. HUD blamed Mentor. Mentor blamed George Beam. Mister Beam blamed Mentor and HUD. But only got to sue the contractor. HUD hit the road & Mentor cried "governmental immunity!". After 5 years of attorneys, contractors, city officials, HUD heavies and assorted government dead beats, George Beam says "I used to believe in the justice system." Mister Beam is not the only one whose HUD home rehab left them living la vida loca. Particularly in Ohio...
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  deep qt prix fixe: Midnight in the Garden of Jim McGreevey
August 21, 2004: From an antiquarian fly on the wall of a chamber under the New Jersey Statehouse comes a tale of political sound and fury. As soon-to-be X Governor Jim McGreevey and his inner circle take calls from Lord Charles Kushner, unroll scrolls from Baron Robert Menendez and Crabiel the Craven, and pray that Corzine the Mighty remains in Washington. Does Le Duc, aka State Senator Ray Lesniak, triumph over his Machiavellian foes? Does varlet Golan Cipel surface in the dungeon of Lord John Lynch of Middlesex? Will Codey the Lesser ascend to the throne? Tis a tale signifying nothing more than Garden State business as usual...
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  Dossier 30: Albany Terror Tales
August 17, 2004: In early August the FBI raids the Masjid As-Salaam Mosque in Albany, New York. Founder Mohammed Hossain and iman Yassin Aref are busted. For allegedly prepping to wash dollars for a terror plot. But ouch-- it's a sting! There are no shouldered fired, surface-to-air missiles. And plans to kill a Pakistani official in NYC are only hot air pumped by an informant. Darn say the hawks. Yay say the doves. Who cares about stupid old money laundering anyway say both...
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  deep qt drive through: Jersey Jimbolaya. In a Bucket.
August 12, 2004: New Jersey Governor Jim McGreevey comes out and quits. Saying being gay is the reason. Wake up & smell the Jimbolaya! Gayness had nothing to do with it. Unless federal investigations make you cry happy. Jimbo brought his crew to Trenton: main squeeze Golan Cipel was Homeland Security Advisor. Sans citizenship, security clearances and qualifications. Newark public safety guy Joseph Santiago got to be State Police Superintendent for a day. Despite rumors of mob connections. Chief of Staff Gary Taffet played let's make a deal with billboards. Mega developer Charles Kushner was set to be bridge & tunnel man. But uh oh-- no go. Kushner contributed hugely but questionably. Feds say he hired hookers to set up a witness. His brother-in-law. Fundraiser David D'Amiano invented a literary code for graft. McGreevey dropped a word or two. Why go on? Jimbo won't. Jon Corzine waits in the wings. What an improvement...
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  Dossier 29: Full Family Fraud
August 2, 2004: Corruptoid watchers take note-- the hot trend is Full Family Fraud. Be it real estate scams, bank fraud, graft or public contractor capers, whole clans play while others pay. Take the home buildin' Erpenbecks in Southern Ohio. Ripped off homebuyers and banks in 3 states say "please". In Massachusetts, Raymond Asselin Sr., head of the Springfield Housing Authority (SHA) turned the HUD bucked agency into a family trough. Allegedly! From backyard swimming pools installed gratis as graft, to quarters skimmed from public housing washing machines, the Asselins had it all. Nine of them now have multi count federal indictments. Including Ray's youngest son, State Representative Christopher P. Asselin. Despite charges Chris boosted SHA funds to boost his 2002 campaign, this public servant still serves-- on the Massachusetts State Legislature Committee for Housing and Urban Development. All while running for re-election. But the Chris campaign is short a bookkeeper: Mom was indicted.
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  deep qt take out: A Chicken Ain't A Chicken
July 16, 2004: New Jersey Governor Jim McGreevey simmers in a pot stirred by indicted political fund raiser David D'Amiano and indicted campaign contributor Charles Kushner. Does mulch go better with a hooker chaser? In Albany, New York, Mayor Jerry Jennings flip flops onto a Project IMPACT bun: a Burgermeister slathered with conflictin' crime stories. While in Springfield, Massachusetts, State Senator Christopher Asselin, Raymond Asselin Sr. and umpteen other Asselin family members are charged with feeding off the Springfield Housing Authority. For decades. Got mold? Another environmental abatement fraud erupts in upstate New York. Mold warrior Ronald Schongar, of Microb Phase Environmental, seems to have been spraying God-knows-what into elementary schools in Connecticut. Federal investigations of Ron Schongar involve 5 states and are focused on the Clifton Park, New York office of Microb Phase. The mold man sez it's all a misunderstanding.
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  Dossier 28: Corruption Cascades
July 6, 2004: In Ohio, X bank president John Finnan and veep Marc Menne plead guilty to leading Peoples Bank of Northern Kentucky over a cliff. To protect Bill Erpenbeck, mega developer from Hell. As JAMS LLP, Finnan and Menne real estate scammed. Erpenbeck homes in hand. Then hid Erpenbeck bank overdrafts. Oh. Look. See bank fraud balloon. See Bill steal homebuyer payments & kite checks. See lottsa lenders in Kentucky, Ohio and Indiana never ask whazzup. Back at the Erpenbeck nest the rattlers got riled. Bill and Big Daddy Tony tried fitting sister/daughter Lori for a frame: she strangled them with a wire. Plus, it's a Pay-for-Play day in the neighborhood. In Connecticut, X Governor John Rowland resigns. In New Jersey, developer Joseph Barry sez I Bribed Hudson County Executive Robert Janiszewski. Take a number Joe! In Pennsylvania, cronies of Philadelphia Mayor John Street receive indictment bouquets. But what do Don McLean & the Butthole Surfers say about all this?
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  deep qt delicious dish: O My Suburbia
June 23, 2004: Gas prices rise. Suburban New Urbanists gather at my suburban town hall and ask: Is This the End of Suburbia? Wishing & hoping! Thinking & praying! Prophet James Howard Kunstler mounts the pulpit. Geography of Nowhere in hand. My Body Snatcher neighbor puts a pod in the basement. Suddenly - driving to the local strip mall in demon "Kar" seem better than taking public transportation. Jump back! I want to cross myself...
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  Dossier 27: Vacations. Permanent & Otherwise.
June 14, 2004: Pools are filled. Graves are dug. Summer begins with notable passings. Such as Mayor Glenn Cunningham in Jersey City, New Jersey. The city's first black mayor rode in on hope for reform. After his death, the Hudson County Democratic Organization slipped dogs into his shoes. While President Reagan's death brings back Memories. Of his 84 trip to Hoboken. Frank Sinatra in tow. The Workers World Party said NO. Did Reaganomics kill death by taxes? Or only revitalize government spending? And in Albany, that capital city of New York State, two public officials wave bye bye. School Superintendent Michael Johnson jet skis over stagnant water. Public Safety Commissioner Jack Nielsen heads off to help Haiti. With two guns and no answers.
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  deep qt quik dish: Salvagno ala RICO
May 28, 2004: First, take 2 slick Salvagnos. Such as the upstate New York, AAR Contractor duo of Alexander and Raul. Dip in deception and roll in asbestos. Then add umpteen jury delivered, federal convictions for major environmental fraud, money laundering, tax evasion and bid rigging. Add a potential sentence of 79 years in prison and several million bucks worth of fines. Toss the ingredients into the crock pot of white collar justice. Voila! Crispy crims on a bed of privilege. Two months after conviction the Salvagnos' million dollar bond goes unpaid. Sentencing is set for the distant date of September 10th. Salvagno ala RICO definitely isn't a 30 Minute Meal. Those who crave fast food should settle for street thug on a stick. The Salvagnos need time to stew in their assets. Seasoned perhaps, with a handful of fresh capers? Or maybe a dash of Cayman pepper? BAM! QT has served up prior coverage of AAR Contractor cuisine...
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  Dossier 26: Homeland Security -- North Bergen Style
May 24, 2004: Ex-cop Tom Rowan of North Bergen, New Jersey is a patriotic guy. With a website called North Bergen Public Domain. Aka NorthBergenPD.Com. Its homepage features a 9/11 memorial. Yet North Bergen public officials deem Rowan's site "a threat to Homeland Security" and demand to be master of his domain. Jeez Louise. You'd think the ongoing federal probe into matters municipal would be enough to keep Mayor Nicholas Sacco and the town's legal beagle busy...
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  deep qt dark: One year later war: in pictures.
May 8, 2004: Abu Ghraib. Say it once and its almost like screaming. Say it twice and you find yourself asking-- how wretched will the picture have to get before we reach THE END?
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  Dossier 25: EZ Pinata Party Hearty!
May 6, 2004: In New York State, Charles Gargano, ChairMan of the Empire State Development Corporation is tossing a theme bash. The Empire Zone program aka EZ pinata is packed with tax breaks. Bringing jobs to blighted areas. Spiffy suburbs take swings. Swoosh! Krack! Kollect! 25 empty buildings in Monroe County get EZ pickings. No workers needed. Local Republican vice chair Joseph Rulison stamps his approval. In Buffalo and Albany, reincorporations go down as job rich expansions. Or so sez Assemblyman Richard Brodsky-- naming HSBC Bank in Buff and financial advisors Urbach Kahn & Werlin P.C. in Alb. Execs from the latter share Albany Local Development wisdom with Mayor Jerry Jennings. Helping him with his Albany Convention Center. When pressed about EZ oversight, Gargano sez local devils made him not do it....
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  Dossier 24: Easter Eggs & Tube Hogs, Part Two
April 26, 2004: Public access tube hogs on a rampage! In the Illinois village of Downers Grove, boosters gobble up cable air space. In New York, Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz moves tenant friendly "Rent Wars News" to lesser digs and fills BCAT cable slots with sweet potato pie. Ronin Amano fires back. Talking tube hogs-- is former Mayor Bret Schundler of Jersey City, New Jersey in the running for Garden State Gov? If he gets to Trenton get ready for face time. Big time. Plus extra cheesy slices of heaven. But "Talking Politics" in Hudson County is always dicey. Ask yourself-- who let the dogs out in '02? Mayor-Of-Many-Hats Nicholas Sacco of North Bergen? "Talking Politics" says what the heck and hits the Net. In central New York, Channel 13 in Ithaca walks tall and American dissident Robin Palmer hosts "For The Duration". While winning an apology from Hillary Clinton. 3 hours east in Albany, Mayor Jerry Jennings keeps public access talk under wraps. Faint protests are heard. Barely.
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  Dossier 24: Easter Eggs & Tube Hogs, Part One
April 13, 2004: "It's like a white collar home invasion," say folks whose faith in HUD's helping hand has taken a CHIP. But hope still springs. Even as social trust erodes. Are class action suits a substitute for justice denied? Remember the Title I! And prepare to meet the political tube hogs of public access TV. Belly up to the box for a slice of Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz's sweet potato pie. Cool Whip It!
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  deep qt dishes: Mulch Man Meet Mulch Man
April 4, 2004: Governor John Rowland & Governor Jim McGreevey-- perfect together. In Connecticut, Rowland X Chief of Staff Peter Ellef keeps mum about his case of Enronitus and antique tout Wayne Pratt tips the feds to collectable condo deals. In New Jersey, a mulch trail leads to Governor Jim McGreevey. Courtesy of a favor seeking fundraiser "fresh" from the Cornell Dairy Farm in Carteret. Federal subpoenas in high places make history in both states. Eastward ho to Hudson County, where the words of columnist Peter Weiss come back to haunt....
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  Dossier 23: The United States of Real Estate
April 1, 2004: Kicking off National Housing Month. Was Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan speaking in a dead language when he warned that unchecked growth of mortgage giants Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac will likely threaten the US financial system? But according to the National Association of Home Builders, the gold dust twins are all we've got. Anti housing types are pitching tents.
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  Dossier 22 redux: Afterword: The Strange Case of AAR Contractor
April 1, 2004: In late March, the boys from AAR Contractor are spotted in federal court in Syracuse being convicted in one of the largest cases of environmental fraud in the nation's history. But last July, Alexander Salvagno of AAR was spotted serving on a New York City EPA peer review board of the draft document "Exposure and Human Health Evaluation of Airborne Pollution from the World Trade Center Disaster". Say wha?? File the question under AAR.
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  Dossier 22: The Strange Case of AAR Contractor
March 8, 2004: In Syracuse, New York 5 years of EPA prosecutions peak with the trial of Raul and Alexander Salvagno, a father and son combo who feds allege were steeped in asbestos abatement fraud. Some 60 convictions of others but def deeply steeped, precede the proceedings. For over a decade, across New York State, workers worked sans training or protective gear. Public buildings got the rip and skip shaft and parking lots and cemeteries became asbestos dumping grounds. Dummy labs verified everything was clean as a whistle. Was Alex Salvagno secret owner of Analytical Laboratories of Albany? Was the bookkeeper told to "deny deny deny"? And can you guess the Salvagno entity du jour? AAR Contractors, AAR Environmental Services or Atlantic Surface Prep, Inc.? None of the above shouts a voice from the peanut gallery. While in Libby, Montana the impact of asbestos contamination on a blue collar town is pondered by High Plains Films. In a film called what else but-- Libby, Montana.
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  Dossier 21: Universal Monsters
February 20, 2004: Though Frankenstein, Dracula and bloodsucking burgermeisters abound, keep repeating this isn't Albany, New York. And despite the mention of environmental fraud, neither is this United States v. Salvagno. We're talking universal monsters. The kind found in the castle next door. Where Renfield is neighborhood association president-for-life, Igor tosses sacks of asbestos out back and Frankenstein goes bananas when his monster won't do play for pay. But the Mummy plays it cool. After centuries in the tomb, he's got the revitalization thing down pat.
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  Dossier 20: Walking in a Winter Wonderland
January 17, 2004: In Connecticut, Governor John Rowland steps the razor's edge of potential impeachment. The Gifts! The Gifts! But Patty Rowland playing Lucy Ricardo says Santa is on their side. So were a whole lot of contractors. And then there were the elves: Alibozek, DeRosa and Ellef. Just to name a few. Over in Schenectady, New York, Mayor Al Jurczynski greets 2004 by leaving city hall and its troubles behind. Cake walking into a state job, getting ready to bring glad tidings of federal dollars to villages, suburbs and fields. Sometimes called Small Cities. While in Albany, New York on New Years Eve, a police bullet claims the life of innocent passerby David Scaringe. Candles flicker on the downtown corner of Lark and State and the words of Christina Rosetti rise to the sky. The funeral procession stretches for a mile on a main artery. Yes Virginia, there still are many honest hearts.
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  Dossier 19: The Famous Mister ED
November 30, 2003: Remember Mister Ed, the talking horse? A mega star. Like most celebs, he had his secrets. Rumour sez Ed was really a zebra. Painted palomino and able to pass on b&w TV. But this ED stands for "eminent domain" -- a horse of a different paint job. Guess what? With a little help from government, anybody's neighborhood can be bulldozed by developers! Just throw the designation "blight" over the nabe and do it for "the public good". In Lakewood, Ohio, blight means two bedrooms with a view of Lake Erie. And in other cities, problem nabes will finally get "fixed". Before cooties spread to taxpayer funded New Urban real estate. Now that's public good! Or is it a zebra?
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  Dossier 18: The Good, The Bad & The Plug Ugly
October 5, 2003: Political columnist Peter Weiss heads for Heaven. His soul will be missed in Hudson County, New Jersey. Meanwhile in Oakland, California, Mayor Jerry Brown hits his new neighborhood nagging. Tote that dealer! Lift that trash! Should all Oakland nabes Rent-The-Mayor? Across the urban nation, blight delights in the way things are. Mayors sack out on federal crime fighting dollars: a camp bed on the corner would be better placed. X Mayors Cianci & Ganim do Dix in Jersey. In upstate New York, United States v. Salvagno approaches final denouement, after defense subpoenas desperately seeking records from the City of Albany are quashed. Is that a snow storm of asbestos blowing up? Or a cloud of unanswered questions?
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  Dossier 17: Supersized Burgermeister With Fries
August 25, 2003: Meet Mayor Jerry Jennings of Albany, New York. Where Patroons once stomped the earth. Burgermeister Jennings carries on. Ripping underwear ads off buses and reducing urban sprawl from the inside out. Crime climbs and so do state offices. To the Moon Alice! Critics say bad things behind their hands. The Burgermeister sez button yer lip and stay tuned. Revitalization comes to good little boys & girls. Back on the ranch in Jersey, Union County natives are restless. Is the train a-coming? Did the Union County Board of Freeholders give the Erie and Lakawanna Railway a free pass? Plus hot krispy links to sites covering the tasty topics of shoddy building practices, money laundering and intellectual property rights.
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  Dossier 16: Home Home On The Range
August 3, 2003: Bulldoze urban blight! So say pols on a real estate rampage. Eminent domain puts the whole world in their hands. Meanwhile HUD tosses a heap of foreclosed homes on the table. Calling all cronies: get with the Asset Control Area Program. Prison doors swing wide. Terror broker Kevin Ingram steps out. John Walker Lindh stays in. One Stop Arms Shopper Mike Malik strolls the streets of Jersey City and not a single X mayor sez hi. Lance Olsen in Montana writes piercingly of Japanese construction corruption & Sergio Bichao at DaHiller notes how local papers love Mexican floods: graft on the home front is just too provincial...
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  Dossier 15: The Dogs Have It
July 13, 2003: Bush waxes rhetorical & declares the war over. Flipper morphs from a dolphin into a real estate grifter. X Mayor Joseph Ganim of Bridgeport, Connecticut gets 9 years from on-target Judge Janet Bond Atherton. In Rochester, New York the mortgage flippin Amico brothers get their day of reckoning postponed. Philosophically speaking-- does corruption buy freedom? Or is complicity a group grope? Ask X County Executive James Treffinger in Essex County, New Jersey. Or drop a line to columnist Yulia Latynina at The Moscow Times. Remember-- corruption can become a social disease! Meanwhile, the over war rages. Old dogs burst their leads, looking to jump new bones. Will that barking EVER stop?
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  Dossier 14: biting dust & spitting nickels
June 21, 2003: Hell freezes over! Mayor Jerry Jennings admits Albany, New York is a high intensity drug trafficking area! Federal HIDTA funds are on the way. Maybe some multi agency law enforcement. Like HIDTA gave Camden, New Jersey in the 90's. City hall was dope central. X Mayor Milton Milan rolled in it. Back in upstate New York, teenagers waded in dumpsters, emptying bags of asbestos for the perps of a massive abatement fraud. Even the State Capital got the shaft. In the here & now, X Phil Giordano gets 37 and Janiszewski in Jersey squeals tactfully. Updates on Conn. Gov. John Rowland & friends. And an official shout out of Yo! Culture of Criminality! puts the New York Racing Association in a lather.
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  Dossier 13: losing weight up state/dropping trou down
June 5, 2003: Shuffle off to Buffalo, New York. A rust belt baby in deep debt. The state is set to take over. But State Comptroller Alan Hevesi says "The point is not to blame anyone." If the buck stops nowhere, why have government? Buffalo has lots. HUD has been generous. Just like in Jersey. Where 2 powerful ex county execs have been doing the pay for play tango. Republican James Treffinger in Essex County confesses "I didn't really welcome the investigation" while Democrat Robert Janiszewski in Hudson sing sing sings. Was Hudson Freeholder Nidia Davila-Colon a bag babe? Or a fool for love? Is Dr. Oscar Sandoval a mental healer? Or a pay off artist? Janiszewski names names (paging Joe Barry) betrays old friends and bitches how bribes were hell on his suits.
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  Dossier 12: Spring Fling II -- Mayors Ball
May 3, 2003: Mayors Marty Barnes & Sara Bost go down in corrupt flames in Jersey, as the nation's urban leaders chew the professional fat at the Confab of U.S. Mayors. Do straw buyers make the best constituents? Do rubber stamp consultants give good kickback? Do nagging nabe types know a hot spot to score? And where can a mayor with scalp space get a first class hairpiece with no money down? Will a HUD program cover it?
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  Dossier 11: Spring Fling -- Suits, Boots & Arabesques
April 14, 2003: In early April, the Amico mortgage fraud case wrapped up in Rochester, New York. Their next location location location? Prison prison prison. In Springfield, Massachusetts, another buddy of soon to be ex Mayor Mike Albano was indicted. Gerry Philips, chairman of the city's police commission & executive director of the Massachusetts Career Development Institute, allegedly threatened a federal witness, a 19 year old employee he allegedly coerced into alleged sex. And do gourmets gather at the federal residence of RICO chef, ex Mayor Buddy Cianci of Providence, Rhode Island? In by-the-sea Asbury Park, New Jersey, more pols paraded on the perp walk and ex Mayor Kenneth E. Saunders was said to look swell in shackles. QT readers comment critically on past newspaper endorsements of ex Mayor Phil Giordano of Waterbury, Connecticut and ask--are Monomaniacal Corruptoids with Bad Habits a more common political phenomena? And finally, on April 4th, the World's Largest Pimp & Ho Party was held at a posh nightspot in downtown Albany, New York. Should a prominent group of urban pols plan a joint do at the same space next year?
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  Dossier 10: The Gold Tooth
March 25, 2003: Connecticut sweeps past Jersey in the corruption race. A roundup of Connecticut's blue ribbon mudders. Mayor Joseph Ganim of Bridgeport collapses at the finish line. X Mayor Phil Giordano of Waterbury romps home on a stained carpet. Coming on strong from the rear; a clump of good buddies from Governor John G. Rowland's administration. Jockeying for power & burying booty out back. Making a run for the Gold Tooth, while a crowd of contractors bet to place and divvy up the sewers.
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  Dossier #9: Gassing Off On Iraq
March 9, 2003: A wind tunnel sucks at the fruited plains as left & right weigh in on Iraq. Both dusting off beloved stereotypes and howling happily as a bad moon rises. Each sure history floats their boat. But what about those oft characterized average Americans? Are they ready for war? And is Saddam Hussein really planning to move to New Jersey?
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  Dossier #8: sites unseen by gods and men
January 11, 2003. Our blighted cities within cities. Why so prevalent after so much revitalization? The question arises yet again after a gang rape in Queens, New York and the torture and starvation of children in Baltimore, Maryland and Newark, New Jersey. Drugs drugs & more drugs. Abandoned fight dogs attack a child in Albany, New York but neighborhoods like Park South offer inspiration. Put down the master plans, drop the corrupt practices and hit the streets.
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  Dossier #7: Tear & Compare
November 17, 2002.
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  Dossier #6: Under Color of Official Night
November 2002. Do politicians really welcome corruption investigations, as they always claim? New Jersey's Essex County Republican Executive, James Treffinger-- indicted and shackled! Are pols being persecuted while just plying their trade? HUD fraud as practiced by Tony Soprano. From Baltimore, Flip City, USA: The October 16th slaying of Angela and Cornell Dawson and their 5 children. Drug trade terrorism in a hard hit neighborhood. How about some true urban revitalization?
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  Dossier #5: August Is The Month Before Christmas
Updates on northeast mayors Buddy Cianci and Phil Giordano. One
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  Dossier #4: Flip Flap, These Values Are Crap!
Egregious examples of real estate fraud: first hand stories from
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  Dossier #3: Scenes From A Bubble
The fallout from WorldCon. Should disgraced CEO's be flogged at
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  Dossier #2: Hummels: Figurines or Fiends?
And does Art,
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  Dossier #1: Reverend Al Sharpton, Reformer
Reverend Al Sharpton as guest speaker at the New York Fair
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