Corruption in state and local politics

Lies, damned lies, and statistics.
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Re: Corruption in state and local politics

Post by Abdul Alhazred » Mon Jul 16, 2018 4:21 pm

gnome wrote:Race? No frigging clue how that needs to work.
Two things a LIBBERUL must acknowledge about race:

1) Scientifically proven not to exist.
2) Public policy must be formulated as though it were the most important thing in the world.

Clear now? :P
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Re: Corruption in state and local politics

Post by RCC: Act II » Mon Jul 16, 2018 5:01 pm

Abdul Alhazred wrote:
gnome wrote:Race? No frigging clue how that needs to work.
Two things a LIBBERUL must acknowledge about race:

1) Scientifically proven not to exist.
2) Public policy must be formulated as though it were the most important thing in the world.

Clear now? :P
How is this a problem? That something is a social construct makes it no less of a thing.

I don't think the magnitude of #2 can be taken as read, but it is important.

The idea that being racist is ok since that racism has no scientific basis is at best mediocre trolling, and as a serious position it wanders into the area of "really goddamn stupid"

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Re: Corruption in state and local politics

Post by Abdul Alhazred » Mon Jul 16, 2018 5:10 pm

RCC: Act II wrote:The idea that being racist is ok since that racism has no scientific basis ...
I think the idea (admittedly defective) is that racism is wrong because it is unscientific. At least that is how I have understood those arguments.

But of course what is scientifically proven not to exist is "race" as understood by late pre-post-modern anthropologists. Ashley Montagu for example.
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Re: Corruption in state and local politics

Post by RCC: Act II » Mon Jul 16, 2018 5:30 pm

Abdul Alhazred wrote:
RCC: Act II wrote:The idea that being racist is ok since that racism has no scientific basis ...
I think the idea (admittedly defective) is that racism is wrong because it is unscientific. At least that is how I have understood those arguments.

But of course what is scientifically proven not to exist is "race" as understood by late pre-post-modern anthropologists. Ashley Montagu for example.
The idea is just a dodge for people that want to avoid racial issues. Like when conservatives assert that the party that first mentions race is the one being racist. It's total nonsense.

If a police department only arrests black people for years, noticing this and looking into it is prudent. Meanwhile, there are pinheads that will say because the people looking into it happen to notice that the people being arrested were all black, those guys are the real racists. Not the cops who are being investigated just because it is statistically near impossible that their acts were just coincidence rather than based on race.

That's the conservative sophist bullshit about race in a nutshell. All the rest of this "lol libs say so such thing as race so why mad about nazis lol" comes down to pretty much that...

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Re: Corruption in state and local politics

Post by Abdul Alhazred » Mon Jul 23, 2018 10:47 pm

Cuomo had the MTA waste $30M on tunnel vanity project
NY Post
Gov. Andrew Cuomo ordered the cash-strapped MTA to waste as much as $30 million on his latest vanity project — retiling two city tunnels in the state’s blue-and-gold color scheme — instead of using the dough for desperately needed subway repairs, The Post has learned.

The boondoggle began soon after the taxpayer-funded agency ordered white tiles to reline the Brooklyn-Battery and Queens-Midtown tunnels after Superstorm Sandy, documents show.

The governor got wind of the plan — and insisted that the cash-strapped transit agency add stripes of blue and gold, thinking nothing of the additional $20 million to $30 million cost, according to sources and project documentation.

“The white tile had already been ordered, but he insisted that [the walls] be in the state colors,’’ a top construction executive told The Post.

Another builder confirmed that Cuomo ordered the super-costly tile change.

...
Another argument against hereditary aristocracy.
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Re: Corruption in state and local politics

Post by Witness » Tue Jul 24, 2018 12:41 am

Federal Jury Convicts Lawyer and Coal Company Executive for Bribing State Legislator

BIRMINGHAM – A federal jury today convicted a Birmingham lawyer and an Alabama coal company executive in a scheme to bribe a state legislator to use his office to oppose Environmental Protection Agency actions in north Birmingham, announced U.S. Attorney Jay E. Town, FBI Special Agent in Charge Johnnie Sharp Jr. and Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation, Special Agent in Charge Thomas J. Holloman.

The jury returned its verdicts after deliberating about 12 hours following more than three weeks of testimony before U.S. District Judge Abdul Kallon. The jury found Balch & Bingham partner JOEL IVERSON GILBERT and Drummond Company Vice President of Government and Regulatory Affairs DAVID LYNN ROBERSON guilty of bribing former Alabama Rep. Oliver Robinson to advocate their employers’ opposition to EPA’s prioritization or expansion of the north Birmingham Superfund site. The bribe came in the form of a lucrative consulting contract that paid Robinson $360,000 through his Oliver Robinson Foundation, a non-profit organization, between 2015 and 2016.

Drummond Company was a client of the Birmingham-based Balch & Bingham law firm.

The jury found Gilbert, 46, and Roberson, 67, guilty of bribery, honest services wire fraud, conspiracy, and money laundering conspiracy.

Robinson pleaded guilty in September to the conspiracy, bribery, wire fraud, and tax evasion.
https://www.justice.gov/usao-ndal/pr/fe ... legislator

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Re: Corruption in state and local politics

Post by Anaxagoras » Tue Jul 24, 2018 3:37 am

Abdul Alhazred wrote:
Mon Jul 23, 2018 10:47 pm
Cuomo had the MTA waste $30M on tunnel vanity project
NY Post
Gov. Andrew Cuomo ordered the cash-strapped MTA to waste as much as $30 million on his latest vanity project — retiling two city tunnels in the state’s blue-and-gold color scheme — instead of using the dough for desperately needed subway repairs, The Post has learned.
...
Another argument against hereditary aristocracy.
More on that New York City subway system:
They Vowed to Fix the Subway a Year Ago. On-Time Rates Are Still Terrible.
A series of meltdowns and accidents on New York City’s subway last summer led to a startling admission: The system was in crisis and in desperate need of immediate repairs.

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, after declaring the subway to be in a state of emergency, promised that a rescue plan by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority would deliver results. The authority’s chairman, Joseph J. Lhota, said subway riders would see improvements “relatively quickly.”

But one year later, subway service remains in many ways the same — dismal.

Long delays continue to upend New Yorkers’ lives. Trains are still breaking down at an aggravating pace. Signal equipment dating to the Great Depression repeatedly wreaks havoc across the system, which sprawls across 665 miles of track and 472 stations — the most stations of any subway in the world. With a daily ridership of more than 5.5 million, New York’s subway is the most heavily used rail system in the country.

The authority’s own statistics are a mixed bag: They show minor progress in some areas, but no major boost in reliability, despite the hundreds of millions of dollars spent on repairs. The on-time rate for trains hovers near 65 percent on weekdays — about the same as a year ago and the lowest rate since the transit crisis of the 1970s, when graffiti, breakdowns and violence plagued the system.

“All I see is the construction, but I don’t see the extra improvement,” Chance Shealey said on a recent afternoon as he rode a D train through the Bronx.
One rider, Kyana Palmer, described the all-too-common experience of being swept up in a painful delay this month. She had taken an Uber from her home in Brooklyn to the Franklin Avenue station, hoping one of its four lines would be running to take her to work. Instead, she found hundreds of frustrated riders waiting on a sweltering platform for more than half an hour.

“You’d think people would be out protesting in the streets,” Ms. Palmer said, adding, “They’ve been doing so many changes and I’m like, ‘Is it helping?’ It’s still the same.”

Subway officials said the culprit that morning was a train with mechanical problems that happened to get stuck on a switch that is used by all four subway lines. It caused a ripple effect of delays that continued into the evening rush.

Ms. Palmer said the subway had become so erratic that she wanted to move.
Subway riders are desperate for relief. Davianny Medina recently got stuck on a train for an hour and arrived late to her job at the salad shop Sweetgreen. Like many New Yorkers who have been forced to alter their schedules to account for subway failures, she said she leaves home an hour early to try to avoid being late.

“It’s extremely frustrating,” she said. “The trains should be reliable.”
But at least they're getting new tiles in pretty colors!
(To be sure, I do think that aesthetic considerations are important, but the basic infrastructure has to be the top priority.)

Not to harp on the Japanese thing, but as a regular rider of trains over here, and occasional rider of trains back in :freedom: , the difference really is huge. It's been some decades since I rode a train in NYC, so I can't really comment on the current state of that from personal experience, but last year I did ride the BART train in San Francisco when visiting my brother there, and the train seemed very old and dilapidated, and very noisy too. The BART train I was on made an awful constant screeching noise, and the shape of the tunnel seemed to amplify the noise and reflect it back into the train car. Because it got much louder in the tunnels. Much noisier than trains over here, even those that go underground. I think most trains here are relatively new, some very new, and they get replaced/refurbished on a schedule. Delays due to equipment malfunctions are relatively rare. It happens to me a few times a year.
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Re: Corruption in state and local politics

Post by Doctor X » Tue Jul 24, 2018 9:15 am

You live in a country that issues an official apology if the train is 10 seconds late or early, then executes the children of those responsible [Citation Needed.--Ed.]

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Re: Corruption in state and local politics

Post by Abdul Alhazred » Tue Jul 31, 2018 9:39 pm

Entire police force suspended after North Carolina chief charged with corruption
NY Daily News
SOUTHPORT, N.C. — All police operations have been suspended in a North Carolina town in the aftermath of public corruption charges levied against its chief and an officer.

Southport Mayor Jerry Dove tells WECT-TV that he and the city board last week asked the Brunswick County Sheriff's Office to assume all law enforcement functions until further notice. Brunswick County District Attorney Jon David said Thursday that Police Chief Gary Smith and Lt. Mike Simmons had a "habitual and repeated pattern" of leaving their police posts for work at a trucking company.

...
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Re: Corruption in state and local politics

Post by Anaxagoras » Tue Jul 31, 2018 11:39 pm

I saw that headline. I thought it was weird. I was expecting a different kind of corruption.
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Re: Corruption in state and local politics

Post by Anaxagoras » Wed Aug 08, 2018 4:02 pm

This one's a congressman, so technically not "state or local" but I'll allow it.

New York Congressman Chris Collins Arrested on Insider-Trading Charges
Federal prosecutors in Manhattan accused Rep. Collins, 68, of tipping off his son about the results of a failed drug trial completed by Innate Immunotherapeutics Ltd., a biotechnology company headquartered in Sydney. Rep. Collins was a member of Innate’s board of directors and one of the company’s largest shareholders, holding approximately 16.8% of its stock, the indictment said.

Rep. Collins allegedly passed material non-public information about the failed trial of a multiple sclerosis drug to his 25-year-old son, Cameron Collins, so that he could trade on the tip. Prosecutors say his son sold nearly 1.4 million Innate shares and passed the information onto other individuals, including his fiancée and her father, Stephen Zarsky. Mr. Zarsky, 66, then sold all of his Innate shares and shared the tip with his brother, his sister and others before the public release of the trial results, according to the indictment.

Innate publicly announced the failed drug trial after U.S. markets had closed on June 26, 2017. The next day, Innate’s stock dropped more than 90%. In total, the trades allowed the defendants and alleged co-conspirators to avoid more than $768,000 in losses, the indictment said.
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Re: Corruption in state and local politics

Post by Doctor X » Wed Aug 08, 2018 4:09 pm

I already posted it in the Shit-Post Thread.

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Re: Corruption in state and local politics

Post by RCC: Act II » Thu Aug 09, 2018 3:21 pm

One justice resigned from the WV supreme court and the house just voted to impeach the other four.

link

The justice that resigned and the main target of the impeachment are facing federal criminal charges. The ones against the other three are pretty much standard low level everyday corruption bullshit. Mostly there has been a pissing match between the court and the legislature over funding and court control issues and the legislature is using the Loughery case as an opportunity to clean house. They have a point, really. The ego level over in that wing of the capitol has been off the charts for years. They blew seven figures on office renovations at the same time they killed the community mental health courts for lack of funding. Those courts were doing some good work as to addressing the mental health issues of non-violent offenders who often have a mixed diagnosis of a mental illness and related drug addiction.

So, fuck 'em. Not shedding a tear.

Which in and of itself, fair enough. Where it gets ugly is that the legislature pretty clearly timed the process so any removal will take place past the deadline for the office to be on the 2018 ballot, which means the governor with almost no oversight gets to pick four judges that will serve until the 2020 election. So there is a sort of coup feel to the thing.

There is one seat up for grabs in November. Non-partisan, so I'm considering getting on the ballot. It should be a zoo.

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Re: Corruption in state and local politics

Post by ed » Thu Aug 09, 2018 3:29 pm

RCC: Act II wrote:
Thu Aug 09, 2018 3:21 pm
One justice resigned from the WV supreme court and the house just voted to impeach the other four.

link

The justice that resigned and the main target of the impeachment are facing federal criminal charges. The ones against the other three are pretty much standard low level everyday corruption bullshit. Mostly there has been a pissing match between the court and the legislature over funding and court control issues and the legislature is using the Loughery case as an opportunity to clean house. They have a point, really. The ego level over in that wing of the capitol has been off the charts for years. They blew seven figures on office renovations at the same time they killed the community mental health courts for lack of funding. Those courts were doing some good work as to addressing the mental health issues of non-violent offenders who often have a mixed diagnosis of a mental illness and related drug addiction.

So, fuck 'em. Not shedding a tear.

Which in and of itself, fair enough. Where it gets ugly is that the legislature pretty clearly timed the process so any removal will take place past the deadline for the office to be on the 2018 ballot, which means the governor with almost no oversight gets to pick four judges that will serve until the 2020 election. So there is a sort of coup feel to the thing.

There is one seat up for grabs in November. Non-partisan, so I'm considering getting on the ballot. It should be a zoo.
Cool.. I may come up and vote for you. You don't have to be a citizen/resident, do you?
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Re: Corruption in state and local politics

Post by Abdul Alhazred » Thu Aug 09, 2018 3:32 pm

ed wrote:
Thu Aug 09, 2018 3:29 pm
Cool.. I may come up and vote for you. You don't have to be a citizen/resident, do you?
West Virginia might not have voter ID, but it isn't California. Or Chicago.
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Re: Corruption in state and local politics

Post by Witness » Sun Aug 12, 2018 12:41 am

Before becoming LAPD chief, Moore retired, collected a $1.27-million payout, then was rehired

Before Michel Moore was promoted to become the Los Angeles Police Department’s new chief in June, he took a brief, highly unusual retirement.

He left as chief of operations for only a few weeks before rejoining the force in the same job at the same pay. But the move provided him with a financial windfall: a lump sum retirement payment of $1.27 million from the city.

Moore, 58, received the money thanks to his enrollment in the city’s Deferred Retirement Option Plan, or DROP, which pays veteran cops and firefighters their pensions, in addition to their salaries, for the last five years of their careers.

The extra pension payments go into a special account that the employee receives at the end of the five years — so long as they formally retire.

Moore said in an interview that the plan to have him retire and then return almost immediately to work was proposed by former Chief Charlie Beck and approved by Mayor Eric Garcetti.
http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-m ... story.html

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Re: Corruption in state and local politics

Post by Witness » Tue Aug 21, 2018 4:25 am

Former Bedford DA receives sentence

Bedford, Pa. - Bedford DA William Higgins, Jr. received his sentence on Friday, August 17 at 1:30 p.m.

Higgins will not spend any time behind bars since he pleaded guilty ot 31 charges in May.

He was accused of using his power as a District Attorney to help female drug dealers in exchange for sexual favors.

Following his hearing, he was sentenced to $9,700 in fines, eight years of probation, 1,125 hours of community service, 120 days of house arrest, and was sentenced for counseling.

"I think of the case from a lawyer's perspective," said Steven Passarello, Higgins' Attorney. "And even though Mr. Higgins is a lawyer, he found himself in the role of a defendant. And to his credit he decided he did not want to put his family or the county of bedford through a media circus trial."

Higgins was officially disbarred last month.
https://www.wearecentralpa.com/news/bre ... 1378449872

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Re: Corruption in state and local politics

Post by Witness » Wed Aug 22, 2018 4:23 am

Detroit city councilman subpoenaed over extortion allegations

DETROIT (WJBK) - A bar owner told FOX 2 Problem Solver ML Elrick last month that Detroit City Councilman Gabe Leland extorted him for thousands of dollars in drinks and food. Now ML has obtained a copy of a federal grand jury subpoena investigating those allegations.
[…]
The subpoena, issued last week, seeks any records supporting Scott Bridgewater's claim that Leland demanded thousands of dollars in free entry, free alcohol and free food in return for Leland's promise to help Bridgewater's bar in a dispute with Detroit officials.
[…]
The subpoena was issued three weeks after FOX 2 aired ML's interview with Bridgewater, who accused Leland of extorting him.
http://www.fox2detroit.com/news/local-n ... llegations

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Re: Corruption in state and local politics

Post by Witness » Mon Aug 27, 2018 3:22 am

Ex-North Carolina Records Registrar Admits to Skimming $900K

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The longtime official in North Carolina's capital city responsible for registering deed and marriage records has pleaded guilty to embezzling more than $900,000 in cash from her office to repay credit card and household debts.

Media organizations reported former Wake County Register of Deeds Laura Riddick entered her guilty plea Friday. Her plea deal with prosecutors calls for her to serve at least five years in prison.

The county's insurance company discovered last year that $2.3 million in public money went missing from Riddick's office between 2013 and 2017. Prosecutors charged four former employees, including Riddick.
https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states ... mming-900k

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Re: Corruption in state and local politics

Post by Witness » Sun Sep 02, 2018 3:14 am

Arkansas State Senator Jeremy Hutchinson Indicted on Wire and Tax Fraud Charges

A federal grand jury in Little Rock, Arkansas indicted current Arkansas State Senator Jeremy Hutchinson yesterday for allegedly devising a scheme to steal thousands of dollars in campaign contributions—spending them on personal luxuries and expenses—and then falsifying state campaign finance reports and tax filings as part of the scheme.
https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/arkansas ... ud-charges