Posts Tagged: commissioner


8
Feb 11

Broward Commissioner Ilene Lieberman shows up to meeting

LIEBERMAN.jpg

Broward County Commissioner Ilene Lieberman (to the left of the flag, with reddish hair) is present and accounted for at today’s County Commission meeting. It’s the first meeting she has attended in person, and not via telephone, in quite a long time.

She announced recently she had a health issue that has kept her from attending meetings for about the last six months.

Meanwhile, Commissioner Barbara Sharief is in Tallahassee lobbying state legislators on a health care issue, her expertise. She’s participating by phone.




Broward Politics


8
Feb 11

Parkland commissioner tells teens: Money is king in politics (surprise!)

A large crowd of high schoolers from all over Broward County had their idealistic bubbles burst this morning at the Broward County Commission meeting. They were told the reality that everyone in politics already knows.

The truth that was passed on to them: It’s not ideas that are key in politics — it’s money.

The teens are at Tuesday’s County Commission meeting to get a look at how county government works. They’re all part of Youth Leadership Broward, and are from 22 high schools around the county.

Parkland Commissioner Jared Moskowitz talks to them in this clip. Elected at 25, five years ago, he was the youngest elected official in Broward. And still is.




Broward Politics


8
Feb 11

Another porthole into Broward commissioner activities opens

Broward County’s new “open government” initiative — required under a new code of ethics — gives the public unprecedented access to what happens behind the scenes in government, before decisions are made in public meetings.

Some might consider that a peek at the makings of sausage — something no one should see if they want to be able to stomach the final product — but a lot can be learned by looking through these portholes.

Here’s the latest one we’re featuring. It’s a searchable database of the fund-raising your nine Broward County commissioners do for others. It also shows outside employment for the nine, and they must disclose how much they earned in the previous quarter.

Search the largely AWOL Ilene Lieberman, and you’ll see she reporting earning $ 0 at the law firm where she and her husband, Stuart Michelson, do business. She also campaigned for Judge Mary Rudd Robinson.

Search John Rodstrom, and you’ll see he reported in January that he’d earned $ 220,000 from Sterne Agee, in the final quarter of 2010. In the quarter before that, he only reported earning $ 40,000 from that investment firm.

Some, like Commissioner Kristin Jacobs, reported no outside employment, and no fund-raising for others. Her campaign contribution reports are included on her link.




Broward Politics


5
Feb 11

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell wants deal done now – Kansas City Star


Reuters
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell wants deal done now
Kansas City Star
Roger Goodell said he believes both sides have a sense of urgency to find solutions by March 4. DALLAS — It isn't the weather that hangs like a black cloud over Super Bowl XLV as much as the labor situation.
NFL commissioner Goodell preaches need for labor settlementMiamiHerald.com
Goodell: Owners committed to getting deal doneChicago Tribune
Super Bowl XLV – Apps for the Big GamePadGadget
Bristol Press –ABC2 News –USA Today
all 1,264 news articles »

Sports – Google News


4
Feb 11

Malloy Names Avon CEO As New Insurance Commissioner; Thomas Leonardi Will Sell His Stake In Investment Firm

Thomas Leonardi, the chairman and CEO of Avon-based Northington Partners, has been nominated as the state’s new insurance commissioner.

A native of Brooklyn, New York, Leonardi runs the company that specializes in insurance venture capital and investment banking.

Capitol Watch


2
Feb 11

Commissioner Goldberg

UCLA law school recently announced that:

Professor Carole Goldberg, Jonathan D. Varat Professor of Law at UCLA School of Law, has been appointed by President Obama to serve on the Indian Law and Order Commission. An expert on federal Indian law and tribal law, she will serve on the nine-member panel that was created by the Tribal Law and Order Act of 2010. President Obama signed the act into law in July with the goal of improving public safety on Indian lands, including lowering the rates of domestic violence and sexual assault on reservations as well as lowering the rates of alcohol and drug abuse.

Great choice.




ProfessorBainbridge.com


1
Feb 11

New DCF commissioner wants answers in kidnapping case

Joette Katz held a press conference on this snowy afternoon to announce her new leadership team. But most of the questions from the media centered on the case of a girl kidnapped as a baby from a New York hospital and raised by her abductor in Bridgeport.

Katz has ordered an investigation into the department’s involvement in the case. Courant columnist Helen Ubinas says it’s a good start, but she also hopes Katz will demand answers and restore some much-needed accountability to the beleaguered department.

Capitol Watch


31
Jan 11

North Broward Hospital District Commissioner Joseph Cobo cleared of criminal wrongdoing, gets referral to state Ethics Commission

By Peter Franceschina
Staff Write
r

State prosecutors have cleared North Broward Hospital District Commissioner Joseph Cobo of any criminal wrongdoing after a 19-month investigation, but prosecutors have referred two issues to the Florida Commission on Ethics for review.

Cobo was accused in the spring of 2009 of potentially violating ethics and criminal law in an investigation by an outside attorney hired by the hospital district board, involving instances where he may have used his position as commissioner to benefit himself or clients of his health-care consulting business.

The Broward State Attorney’s Office undertook the investigation after the district board voted in May 2009 to send the outside investigator’s report to the governor’s office, rather than the Ethics Commission, which has the power to level civil penalties against public officials.

Cobo has always maintained that he did nothing wrong, and he said Monday he was pleased that prosecutors found insufficient evidence to file charges.
joseph%20cobo.JPG
“I’m very happy and very delighted about the state attorney’s finding, and I hope the state Ethics Commission finds the same thing,” Cobo said. “Some of the things were a stretch of the imagination, and some were an outright fabrication.”

Assistant State Attorney David Schulson headed the investigation, and he found two issues that should be reviewed by the Ethics Commission, according to a Jan. 13 close-out memo released Monday.

Cobo

“We did not feel he crossed from that gray area where it would warrant a criminal prosecution,” Schulson said Monday.

The outside investigation and prosecutors found that Cobo intervened with hospital administrators who were working on a potential lease agreement with two of his clients.

“I do not find that that Commissioner Cobo’s conduct rose to the level of a violation of any criminal law,” Schulson wrote in the close-out memo, but “the details of this incident should be more appropriately reviewed by the Florida Commission on Ethics for possible ethics violations.”

The other accusation that Schulson referred to the Ethics Commission involved Cobo’s interactions with a young doctor who contacted him through his medical consulting firm for help setting up a solo practice, according to his memo.

Cobo called hospital administrators and staff on behalf of the doctor, who sought a financial agreement with the hospital district, and then Cobo solicited the doctor to hire him to set up his practice, according to the outside investigation and Schulson’s report.

When the doctor rebuffed Cobo, the commissioner replied, “That’s not the way things are done. This is very unprofessional,” according to Schulson’s memo.

Cobo said Monday he was just trying to help out the doctor and had no expectation that the doctor would hire his consulting firm.

“The guy got his agreement. I did not try to stop it,” Cobo said. “All I did was try to help the guy. Look at what it got me. Did I do anything wrong? No, I don’t think I did anything wrong.”

The former federal prosecutor who performed the outside investigation recommended at the time that the hospital district take steps to provide better ethics training for its seven commissioners. Since then, commissioners have had an ethics retreat and established a conflict-of-interest policy, a hospital spokeswoman said, and will be taking up ethics issues in the near future.

Cobo, who was appointed to the hospital board in 2007 by then-Gov. Charlie Crist, said he does not plan to seek reappointment when his term ends in July. He said he will find other avenues for serving the community.




Broward Politics


31
Jan 11

North Broward Hospital District Commissioner Joseph Cobo cleared of criminal wrongdoing, gets referral to state Ethics Commission

By Peter Franceschina
Staff Write
r

State prosecutors have cleared North Broward Hospital District Commissioner Joseph Cobo of any criminal wrongdoing after 19-month investigation, but prosecutors have referred two issues to the Florida Commission on Ethics for review.

Cobo was accused in the spring of 2009 of potentially violating ethics and criminal law in an investigation by an outside attorney hired by the hospital district board, involving instances where he may have used his position as commissioner to benefit himself or clients of his health-care consulting business.

The Broward State Attorney’s Office undertook the investigation after the district board voted in May 2009 to send the outside investigator’s report to the governor’s office, rather than the Ethics Commission, which has the power to level civil penalties against public officials.

Cobo has always maintained that he did nothing wrong, and he said Monday he was pleased that prosecutors found insufficient evidence to file charges.

“I’m very happy and very delighted about the state attorney’s finding, and I hope the state Ethics Commission finds the same thing,” Cobo said. “Some of the things were a stretch of the imagination, and some were an outright fabrication.”

Assistant State Attorney David Schulson headed the investigation, and he found two issues that should be reviewed by the Ethics Commission, according to a Jan. 13 close-out memo released Monday.

“We did not feel he crossed from that gray area where it would warrant a criminal prosecution,” Schulson said Monday.

The outside investigation and prosecutors found that Cobo intervened with hospital administrators who were working on a potential lease agreement with two of his clients.

“I do not find that that Commissioner Cobo’s conduct rose to the level of a violation of any criminal law,” Schulson wrote in the close-out memo, but “the details of this incident should be more appropriately reviewed by the Florida Commission on Ethics for possible ethics violations.”

The other accusation that Schulson referred to the Ethics Commission involved Cobo’s interactions with a young doctor who contacted him through his medical consulting firm for help setting up a solo practice, according to his memo.

Cobo called hospital administrators and staff on behalf of the doctor, who sought a financial agreement with the hospital district, and then Cobo solicited the doctor to hire him to set up his practice, according to the outside investigation and Schulson’s report.

When the doctor rebuffed Cobo, the commissioner replied, “That’s not the way things are done. This is very unprofessional,” according to Schulson’s memo.

Cobo said Monday he was just trying to help out the doctor and had no expectation that the doctor would hire his consulting firm.

“The guy got his agreement. I did not try to stop it,” Cobo said. “All I did was try to help the guy. Look at what it got me. Did I do anything wrong? No, I don’t think I did anything wrong.”

The former federal prosecutor who performed the outside investigation recommended at the time that the hospital district take steps to provide better ethics training for its seven commissioners. Since then, commissioners have had an ethics retreat and established a conflict-of-interest policy, a hospital spokeswoman said, and will be taking up ethics issues in the near future.

Cobo, who was appointed to the hospital board in 2007 by then-Gov. Charlie Crist, said he does not plan to seek reappointment when his term ends in July. He said he will find other avenues for serving the community.




Broward Politics


28
Jan 11

Bobby Valentine Out On Traffic Patrol In Stamford In New Job As Public Safety Commissioner In His Hometown

Some wondered exactly what former New York Mets manager Bobby Valentine would be doing in his new job as the public safety director who oversees the police and fire departments in Stamford.

Now, they know.

Valentine, 60, was out directing traffic the other day on the snow-covered streets of his hometown. Plenty of passersby noticed Valentine near Interstate 95 near the Stamford office towers. His move even captured attention on the Sports New York cable television channel.

The dean of radio news in Fairfield County – Fran Schneidau of WCBS News Radio 88 – also picked up on the story.

Capitol Watch


25
Jan 11

Navi Pillay’s Cronyism: The U.N. High Commissioner For Human Rights’ Play To Implement The Goldstone Report

For Immediate Release:
January 25, 2011 Contact: Anne Bayefsky
[email protected]
(917) 488-1558

This article by Anne Bayefsky appears today on The Weekly Standard.

The world of U.N. human rights, best known for a human rights council with members like Libya, Saudi Arabia, and China, has just outdone itself. A short press release on Monday announces that U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay has made some new appointments. The biographies attached leave out a few salient facts – and for good reason. The U.N.’s top human rights officer turns out not to be the model of independence and justice she professes.

Pillay has chosen Sweden’s Lennert Aspegren for the job of “independent expert” and upgraded current U.N. “independent expert” American Mary McGowan Davis to become Aspegren’s boss. Both are charged with assessing how “independently” Israel and its judiciary have responded to the notorious Goldstone Report. But the connections among Pillay, Goldstone, Aspegren and McGowan Davis, as well as other Pillay choices, are dizzying – and disconcerting.

The saga begins a few months after Pillay’s ascendancy to the job of high commissioner in September 2008, during the Gaza war in late 2008 and early January 2009. The U.N. Human Rights Council began the New Year by doing everything in its power to prevent Israel from exercising its right of self-defense against Palestinian rocket attacks emanating from Gaza.

Despite the fact that High Commissioner Pillay was for many years a judge on the Rwandan Criminal Tribunal, which should have taught her to listen to all sides before making up her mind, she immediately drew the central legal conclusion only one day after Israel began its military operation in Gaza. On December 28, 2008, she issued a press release in which she “condemned Israel’s disproportionate use of force.” At the Human Rights Council on January 9, 2009, she first declared Israel guilty of “egregious violations of human rights” and then she demanded “credible, independent, and transparent investigations … to identify violations and establish responsibilities.”

She got her wish. Three days later, on January 12, 2010, the Council created what came to be called the Goldstone inquiry, a so-called “independent international fact-finding mission.” Notwithstanding the title, the Council’s resolution made sure that the point of the mission was to investigate what the Council and Pillay had already decided were “violations of human rights by Israel against the Palestinian people.”

The council asked Pillay to prepare a separate report – despite the fact that she had already drawn her own conclusions – on the same alleged Israeli violations that she had spoken about so soon after coming into office.

The four members of the Gaza inquiry were carefully selected over the next few months and announced by the president of the Council on April 3, 2009. Every one of them, including the man who was appointed chair, South African judge Richard Goldstone, had published their views, uniformly claiming that Israel was guilty of the very crimes they were being hired to investigate, before they were selected for the Council.

Pillay had her own personal connections with Goldstone. Goldstone had been a judge on the highest courts in South Africa. Post-apartheid, Pillay was also named a judge of the High Court of South Africa. Goldstone was appointed the first prosecutor of the Rwandan Criminal Tribunal. Less than a year later, Pillay was part of the first cohort of judges appointed to the Rwandan Criminal Tribunal. When they were both at the Tribunal, Goldstone and Pillay cooperated closely. By the time of the Gaza conflict, then, the Goldstone-Pillay tag team was primed.

Pillay had no qualms about the prejudicial mandate that she had been handed by the Council. The reasons were soon clear. Rather than recognizing and condemning Hamas as a terrorist organization that openly advocates genocide, her August 2009 report lauds Hamas for having “made public statements that it is committed to respect international human rights and humanitarian law.”

A month later, in Pillay’s words, she and “Justice Goldstone made a similar assessment.” Goldstone released his report on September 15, 2009. Extreme, even by U.N. standards, his report contains blood libel that, in the Gaza war, the Israeli government deliberately set out to murder Palestinian civilians, rather than to protect Israeli civilians from a deadly eight-year assault.

Goldstone also went out of his way to hand Pillay a means to keep the anti-Israel drumbeat going. He asked the high commissioner’s office to “give attention to the Mission’s recommendations in its periodic reporting.” Pillay in turn became Goldstone’s lead champion, endlessly repeating the words she wrote in the Huffington Post shortly after the report’s release: “I lend my full support to Justice Goldstone’s report and its recommendations.”

Pillay was just warming up. She began to press the Human Rights Council and others to move to the next stage, and take “urgent action to counter impunity” and “ensure accountability” for the crimes Goldstone alleged. Council members like Saudi Arabia, Kyrgyzstan and company couldn’t have agreed more. On March 25, 2010 the Human Rights Council decided to create another committee as a follow-up mechanism to the Goldstone report.

Among other things, the new Goldstone follow-on committee was charged with determining “the independence, effectiveness, [and] genuineness” of Israel’s response to the report and its “conformity with international standards.” The word “Hamas” was missing from the Council resolution, which referred only to an enigmatic “Palestinian side.” By this point, the Council felt it could count on Pillay and left it to her “to appoint the members of the committee of independent experts.”

In June 2010 Pillay chose three lawyers for the follow-on committee: German Christian Tomuschat as chair, Malaysian Param Cumaraswamy, and Mary McGowan Davis. She chose them with all the elements of independence and accountability that were becoming her signature – that is, accountability to her or to her personal predilections. Tomuschat had once provided legal advice to Yasser Arafat’s PLO. And all three members had close affiliations with an NGO that compromised their impartiality and was linked directly to Pillay’s own staff.

The interrelationships here are not just indicative of the usual collegiality among professionals. The body had been handed the power to assess the adequacy of the implementation of the Goldstone report. It could decide either to breathe new life into the Goldstone recommendations or to retire them. So relationships between Pillay, Goldstone and the new recruits matter to the integrity of the exercise. The members of a committee key to the future of the Goldstone report had been handpicked for their ideological biases and personal connections in order to perpetuate that very report.

Pillay’s moves undermined any pretense of integrity, impartiality or independence.

Committee members Christian Tomuschat and Param Cumaraswamy are both currently honorary members of the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ). Both had been members of the ICJ’s executive committee, and Cumaraswamy was the ICJ’s vice president until 2006. For her part, McGowan Davis is currently on the board of directors of the American Association for the ICJ.

The ICJ, however, is an NGO that had lobbied for the creation of the positions that the three Pillay appointees had assumed. ICJ representatives had also declared their views on the answers that were supposed to result from the new investigation. In October 2009 and March 2010 at the Human Rights Council, the ICJ declared that the Israeli investigations into the Gaza conflict “failed to meet international standards of effectiveness and independence.” The ICJ also claimed that the prosecution and punishment of Israeli “civilian leaders and military commanders” for Goldstone’s list of crimes is “essential” in order for Israel to conform to those standards.

Now meet Mona Rishmawi, a legal advisor to Pillay and chief of her “rule of law” branch. Both Tomuschat and Cumaraswamy, appointed to the Goldstone follow-on committee, were members of the ICJ’s executive committee during Rishmawi’s stint as an ICJ director. Rishmawi had also been executive director of Al-Haq, the Palestinian affiliate of the ICJ. Her published articles include such gems as “Land Use Planning as a Strategy for Judaization” – “Judaization” being the horrible conception of a Jew living on Arab land – and an article where she denounces the “unfortunate parity between the claims of Nazi defendants in the post World War II trials and those put forward by the government of Israel.”

All of this meant that Pillay’s newly appointed “independent experts” were theoretically committed to assessing the “independence” and “effectiveness” of Israeli proceedings and their conformity with international standards. But in practice, the NGO to which they were also closely connected had specifically declared before the Council that Israeli processes “failed to meet international standards of effectiveness and independence.” And in case the triumvirate needed any help coming to that conclusion, they could always count on assistance from the High Commissioner’s office and her partisan advisor on the rule of law.

In addition to her ICJ connections, appointee McGowan Davis had another problem with fitting the “independent expert” mold – her own connection to Pillay. McGowan Davis was a consultant both to the Rwandan Tribunal and to the International Criminal Court during the time that Pillay served as a judge on each of these courts.

Pillay’s office also selected South African lawyer Ahmed Motala as the in-house contact to serve as the Tomuschat committee’s facilitator. Motala, however, doubled as an anti-Israel blogger. He had written in the middle of the Gaza war that Israel targeted Palestinian civilians in order to impress voters: “What better way to gain the support of the Israeli electorate than to … kill innocent civilians.” After Motala’s comments were widely circulated, Pillay was forced to remove him from the committee post.

But Pillay seems to have been undaunted, making no pretense of an even-handed approach when it came to Israel. On July 7, 2010 she made an unusual appearance before the U.N. Security Council, having been invited to address the issue of “situations where the protection of civilians has been and remains of great concern.” After noting the millions affected by atrocities around the world, the only plea she made in her statement to the Security Council on behalf of the peoples of this earth was: “I urge the Security Council to support the recommendations of the United Nations Fact-Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict,” a.k.a., the Goldstone report.

The Goldstone follow-on committee performed as Pillay and the Human Rights Council anticipated. Their September 2010 report repeated the odious claim that Israel engaged in “violence against civilians as part of a deliberate policy” and criticized Israel’s legal system for failing to hunt down “officials at the highest levels.” Referring to a Hamas internal “investigation,” in which Hamas exonerated itself from all wrongdoing, the committee could only conclude that it was “not in a position to ascertain the veracity of any of these assertions.”

The Human Rights Council rewarded the committee with a job renewal, a request for another report in March of 2011, and a demand that the U.N. system open its coffers and pay for it all. However, given the obvious biases and lack of independence among Pillay’s crew, the professional reputation of committee members was starting to suffer. Perhaps the glow from impressing Libya, Saudi Arabia and company was also wearing off. So in late November of last year, Tomuschat, followed a week later by Cumaraswamy, resigned from the Goldstone follow-on committee.

It was left to Pillay to find a replacement. Which brings us to Monday’s unassuming press release. Pillay promoted McGowan Davis to the position of chair and chose Lennert Aspegren to join McGowan Davis on the Goldstone campaign.

Again, Pillay’s twisted notion of an “independent expert” is on fully display. Aspegren and Pillay were both elected to the Rwandan Criminal Tribunal at the same time in 1995, frequently assigned to the same three-judge chamber, and worked as full-time colleagues until 1999. Pillay was taking no chances on a stranger with whom she couldn’t pick up a phone. Moreover, just like Pillay, Aspegren had once worked in close cooperation with the Tribunal’s prosecutor, Goldstone – who had a vested interest in the findings of the follow-on committee.

It gets worse. With Goldstone deservedly under fire, so-called human rights organizations have begun giving him awards. One such award is the Stockholm Human Rights Award, tailor-made for the Goldstone resuscitation campaign, with Goldstone being the first-ever recipient in 2009. This award is a joint initiative involving three organizations, one of which is the International Legal Assistance Consortium (ILAC). One of the four “founding organisations” of ILAC is the International Commission of Jurists, the NGO connecting so many of the dots.

Prior to giving Goldstone his award, ILAC and the other two organizations sponsoring the prize wrote and widely distributed a letter, entitled, “The Goldstone report must be taken seriously.” Goldstone was on the ILAC governing body (the ILAC Council) at the time it decided to create and award him the prize. Cumaraswamy, the former Pillay appointee to the Goldstone follow-on committee, is one of a small group of specially-appointed ILAC “individual members.” The unseemly optics of it all evidently passed unnoticed.

It is less difficult to overlook the award recipient in its second year. The 2010 Stockholm Human Rights Award was given to none other than Goldstone-crusader, High Commissioner Pillay. The award was given out in a small ceremony on November 30, 2010, and in the room was her old colleague at the Rwandan Criminal Tribunal and soon-to-be-member of the Goldstone follow-up committee, Lennart Aspegren. Pillay singled him out for individual praise in her acceptance speech.

It also transpires that while Goldstone was on the ILAC Council and Cumaraswamy was an individual member, Aspegren was selected to serve on a number of ILAC delegations, which sent him on missions around the world, a debt he may just want to repay.

So this is how the U.N. works. A High Commissioner with a clear bias, shared by the U.N.’s most unscrupulous set of state actors, contrives to create a series of committees to forward her agenda. The job descriptions are liberally sprinkled with the word “independent.” But, in fact, she ensures that individuals who are anything but “independent” fill the positions. They are either indebted to her or to each other. They share her biases or are tied to those who do. And in the face of criticism, they manufacture and give each other awards. Those with bruised reputations depart, only to be replaced by other reliable friends.

It is hard to know which of these many steps is more deplorable than the next. In the name of “independence” and “accountability,” the U.N.’s top human rights official is busy promoting a vicious campaign to demonize one U.N. member state and throwing the rules about impartiality and fairness out the window.

Commissioner Navi Pillay and her appointments, Lennert Aspegren and Mary McGowan Davis, are the wrong people to take any leadership role in demanding accountability from others.

For more United Nations coverage see www.EYEontheUN.org.

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Daled Amos


19
Jan 11

Lobbyist watch: Husband of Broward Commissioner Ritter loses lobbying job with Sunrise

Staff writer Susannah Bryan has the following story today:

Russ Klenet, husband of Broward County Commissioner Stacy Ritter, lost his lobbying job with Sunrise to Ron Book in a special meeting Tuesday night.

Both men have lobbied for Sunrise at the state and local level for years.

Sunrise Mayor Mike Ryan had questioned the $ 107,500 paid annually to Klenet and Book during budget hearings in September.

The city paid Klenet $ 65,000 a year excluding travel. Book has earned $ 42,500 a year excluding travel.

At Ryan’s suggestion, commissioners agreed to cut lobbying fees to $ 50,000 this year.




Broward Politics


15
Jan 11

Joan McDonald Named By Governor Andrew Cuomo As Next State Transportation Commissioner In New York State

Joan McDonald, who rose to become an important player in the administration of Republican Gov. M. Jodi Rell, is leaving to return to New York State.

She was tapped Friday by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo to be the next commissioner of the state Department of Transportation.

There had been much speculation in Connecticut about McDonald’s possible role in the new administration of Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, but now she is headed back to New York State. She served in the final years of the Rell administration as the commissioner of the Department of Economic and Community Development, having been named in May 2007.

Malloy was quoted in a news release from Cuomo’s office about McDonald’s nomination.

“Commissioner McDonald is a talented and hardworking individual, dedicated to helping create new jobs and engaging Connecticut’s business community,” Malloy said in the statement. “I’ve enjoyed my working relationship with her, and we’re sorry to see her go, but I know that her work ethic, her experience, and her dedication to the job will be of great service to the people of New York State.”

McDonald had generated speculation in Connecticut after she started showing up at important budget meetings at the state Capitol during the Rell years with budget director Robert Genuario. Some Capitol insiders assumed that she would become Rell’s next budget chief, but that was strongly denied at the time by a key Rell official and it never came to pass.

Capitol Watch


14
Jan 11

Democrat Clyburn Advocates Gov’t ‘Restraint on Speech’ Including Internet; Daughter is FCC Commissioner

Rep. James Clyburn (D- SC) went on government-funded radio Monday to advocate for censorship and government controlled “restraint on speech”.    He positively yearns for the romantic time of the 1960’s, before the internet, when the government’s “Fairness Doctrine” controlled the free-flow of opinion in our country.  Bizarrely, Rep. Clyburn concedes that the 1960’s had some “unfortunate” murders (some would call them political assassinations) but maintains that our society would be better if the government took on the role of censor.

We’ve grown accustomed to high-ranking Democrats calling for restraints on political speech.  They always seem to cite Rush Limbaugh, Bill O’Reilly and Glenn Beck and always seem to overlook the far more incendiary rantings of Ed Schultz, Randi Rhodes and the odious Mike Malloy.  But in Rep. Clyburn’s NPR interview, two chilling new wrinkles to the speech-squelching movement are revealed.

Number one, why did Rep. Clyburn mention the internet as part of his tirade against free political expression?  The “Fairness Doctrine” was created to control the content of radio and television stations.  Newspapers and periodicals were never affected because, unlike TV and radio, they are not licensed by the Federal Government.  The internet (and the content that appears on it) falls under the same guidelines as newspapers.  Or, at least, it did.

Welcome to life under the new, “Net Neutrality” provisions voted into existence by the unelected and barely accountable FCC.  If the new powers over the internet that the FCC single-handedly bestowed upon themselves are allowed to remain, then logically the FCC has every right to control the content of the internet in the same way they now believe they can control the delivery of that content.

Which brings us to point number two:  One of those five FCC Chairmen is none other than Mignon Clyburn, daughter of Rep. Clyburn, himself.  What kind of conflict and bastardization to our checks and balances are at play here?  A Congressman (third ranking Democrat in the House) is very vocally advocating for broad new powers to control speech on TV, radio and the internet and his daughter is part of the controlling body in the Executive Branch who would implement such a policy.

As usual, the left is trying to exploit this tragedy to implement broad new controls over everyday Americans.  To paraphrase Jeff Foxworthy:  If you find yourself advocating for laws that will result in more restrictions on people from exercising their God-given right to free speech, you just might be an authoritarian.

(Naked Emperor News discovered the NPR interview for this story)


Big Journalism


12
Jan 11

Broward Commissioner Lieberman: “Health issues” keeping me from meetings

UPDATED with statement
Broward County Commissioner Ilene Lieberman broke the silence Tuesday and gave a public explanation, however general and vague, about why she’s not been present at seven of the last 12 regular county meetings. (Click here for memory refresher.) She’s also been largely silent at the meetings she attended by phone.

Tuesday, Lieberman once again is not physically present. But after sitting silently on the phone for two and a half hours, Lieberman read a statement before her colleagues broke the meeting to go to a workshop room.

The County Commission sound system is such that commissioners attending by telephone can barely be heard by the public, so I regret to tell you that I didn’t catch every word of her statement and am eagerly awaiting the captioner’s minutes. However, I did get the gist.

Lieberman announced that she had a health issue keeping her from meetings, but she thanked everyone who’d offered their thoughts and concerns. She also assured constituents that her office is open and running smoothly, and that constituent needs are still being met.

UPDATE: Here is the full statement:

I would like to take a moment of personal privilege and thank everyone who has called and expressed their concerns about me. As you know, I am having some personal health issues at this time. However, I want to assure the residents of my district that my office is running smoothly and I am in touch with my staff on a daily basis. I also am making sure that I am updated on all county issues. I thank you for your understanding during this difficult time and I hope to be back to 100 percent soon.




Broward Politics