Here is the transcript of that letter.
Re: Civics Lesson #2
Enclosed is a copy of my last letter. Try reading it again. Get over the shallow rhetoric with your round table of “know it all” talking heads. Do you want to be a journalist or a celebrity groupie? Educate yourself. Here’s the latest:
1) You had your sunglasses on again. Pat Lynch, the former Chief of Staff, protégé and confidant of Sheldon Silver is a charter member of the friends and family club. She’s another untouchable like Hevesi, Rattner and Rangle.
The first that the public heard about a probe of Pat Lynch was when Andy announced the settlement. Tragically, the press thinks this is legal and proper. The public only knows what Andy chooses to tell them. There is no indictment or statement of facts. How can the people judge whether or not Andy’s actions are judicious? Lynch will not complain. The resolution kept her out of jail. What about the rights of the people to have wrongdoers properly punished and to send a clear message to others? Andy is not only prosecutor, but also jury and judge. He alone determines whether criminal or civil charges will be brought and if and when he’ll settle and for how much. He has conflicts everywhere and the press has given him a pass. The public has a right to know and judge whether or not Andy is fixing deals
Lynch apparently gave a bribe. Andy gave her a slap on the wrist financial settlement and he alone determined the fine. He said she couldn’t lobby the Comptroller’s office but its okay for her to lobby the rest of the government. Andy buys chips and future considerations. Andy protects the Albany establishment and the status quo.
For that reason, by copy of this letter, we are asking the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District to review the Attorney General’s activities in the Lynch, Rattner and Hevesi cases.
2) As predicted, the Rattner fix was completed Thursday. Rattner, the big money briber, was given immunity from criminal prosecution and the little guy bribee was sent to jail. In the final settlement, which you will note I predicted in my first letter to you, there was no admission of guilt for bribing a public official. Andy Cuomo who said, “If you break the law you go to jail” and that ethics reform is his top priority on his last day as Attorney General, gave Rattner, the privileged establishment insider, a slap on the wrist $10Mil [chump change] fine. They also agreed that for 5 years Rattner can’t deal with the Comptrollers office but he can still deal with, and presumably bribe, any other officials in State government. All the banter of the last few weeks between the two was playacting to set the stage for the fix. Andy is the poster child for ethics reform. There it is again Liz. In New York all pigs are equal but some pigs are more equal than others. I’m attaching Greta Van Sustern’s Greta Wire on the topic.
3) Hevesi is still walking the streets. His sentencing was scheduled for December 17th and is now adjourned until February 1st. Did my letter scare somebody? Andy undercharged him and then took a plea to get the political announcement during the campaign. He recommended no jail time for the man who held the most trusted position in State government and took $1 mil in bribes. Hopefully Judge Stone will put Hevesi behind bars for a long time to send out a clear message to other public officials that if you breach the public trust you go to jail.
4) What does a Jewish liaison in the Governor’s office do for $150,000/year? Is there a job description? Do we have an Italian liaison? A Polish liaison? A Muslim liaison? How many liaisons do we have? Also what does a $150,000/yr public policy advisor do in the Comptroller’s office?
5) Read the Medicaid commentary written by Gregory Blass and John Imhoff. Bureaucrats carelessly and with reckless abandon expand Medicaid costs on the taxpayer’s backs by imposing regulations that should only be authorized by elected officials accountable to the people. They now allow mere attestations in the place of documentation in a program wrought with fraud. No positive proof of identity is required to apply.
Dropping a “means test” that considered assets and solely considering the applicants income is ridiculous. Medicaid was created for individuals below the poverty level. It has now been expanded in N.Y. to include just about all of the middle class creating an unsustainable expansion of costs that if properly revealed to the taxpayers, would cause an insurrection and cost everyone in Albany their jobs.
This wasteful and abused program has cost New York hundreds of thousands of jobs and the flight of its middle class. We spent $53BIL or $2,360/person on Medicaid, twice that of the national average of $1,077. Medicaid consumes 45-100% of the County land real property tax levy. A carelessly loose application and administration process managed by un-elected bureaucrats with far too much discretion in Medicaid decisions and policy making fosters creative fraud.
6) You completely missed the fact that the government can and should immediately pass legislation to convert to a 401k plan for the exempt non-union employees in State and local governments which number approximately 20%. This includes the State and local legislatures and all their aides, all political appointees and all the people in management of the various Agencies and Authorities of the governments.
The constitution protects the pension rights of only union civil service employees. By quickly enacting a defined contribution plan for exempt employees, the State would set the stage for demanding from the unions a stipulated release from the Constitutional protection that would allow a capping of the present defined benefit program and conversion for the future to a 401 k plan for all State and local government employees. Attached is a copy of N.Y.S. Senator Mike Fitzpatrick’s excellent op-ed article of January 2 on the topic.
The hammer available to a Governor with the intestinal fortitude to extract such an agreement from the unions is that most union contracts and the binding arbitration provisions of the Taylor law expire in 2011. The Taylor law needs to be amended to reflect a continuation of binding arbitration limited only to first responders and other critical employees such as correction officers, probation, health, etc, in return for rescission of the Triborough Amendment covering continuation of terms and a capping of the present defined benefit plans and conversion for the future to a 401-K plan for all government employees. As to the other non-essential employees of the State and local governments [i.e.: teachers], no one cares if they go on strike.
If Andy and the Legislature, in all their wisdom, sign an extension of binding arbitration without using it as leverage to force substantive change as stated above they will have abrogated their responsibility to serve the people of New York State.
It’s as simple as that Liz.
Very truly yours,
Carl P. Paladino
Cc: Hon. Lewis Bart Stone, J.S.C., Part 31, N.Y.S. Supreme Court
Hon. Richard Hartunian, U.S. Attorney, Northern District
Hon. William Hochul, U.S. Attorney, Western District