Gangster Government... Meet the Mob - JuniperCivic.com
Serving Middle Village and Maspeth since 1938.

Originally published in the November 2010 Juniper Berry Magazine

Gangster Government... Meet the Mob

from left to right: Marge Markey, Joe Crowley, Mike Bloomberg, Sheldon Silver, Elizabeth Crowley

When government is not responsive to the citizens it has sworn to serve and protect and when that government actually seeks to punish the citizenry, it can be called a gangster government.

The term has been used to describe the Obama administration's strong arm tactics on Obamacare. However from our view, some New York politicians can teach Barack a few Tammany tricks.

Here we examine a few of the major players that have negatively affected our community through their actions and misdeeds. Any resemblance to persons fictional or real who are living, dead or undead is purely coincidental.

Source: wikipedia.org

MEET THE MOB:

Mike Bloomberg

Michael Rubens Bloomberg (aka Mayor Mike; aka Bloomie; aka the ego) born Feb. 14,1942 in Boston, MA. 10th richest person in the United States, having net worth of $18 billion in 2010. He became a general partner at Salomon Brothers, where he headed equity trading and, later, systems development. In 1981, he was fired from Salomon Brothers but was given a $10-million severance package. Went on to set up a company named Innovative Market Systems. The company was renamed Bloomberg L.P. in 1986.

Elected NYC mayor in 2001 but does not want to give up power. In 2008 criticized city council members, calling them despicable for trying to change the term limits law. The following year he orchestrated that very same thing to get elected to a third term. Don't cross him or he'll send his people after you. Hires yes man staff. Hates Queens County; would not set foot in it if he had a choice. Wanted to charge a $9 admission fee into Manhattan; called it Congestion Tax.

Says he works for $1. In addition to be being mayor of NYC, he has a small business on the side, Bloomberg L.P. Thinks he should be president of the U.S. In March 2010, his top political operative Kevin Sheekey resigned from his mayoral advisory position and returned to Bloomberg's company. It is speculated that the move will allow Sheekey to begin preliminary efforts for a Bloomberg presidential campaign in the 2012 election. An individual close to Bloomberg said, "the idea of continuing onward is not far from his [Bloomberg's] mind.

Sheldon Silver

Sheldon Silver born February 13, 1944(aka Backroom Shelly; aka Slippery) has lived all his life on Manhattan's Lower East Side. He lives with his wife Rosa a few blocks from their children and her parents.

In 1999, Silver was instrumental in the repeal of NYC's commuter tax, which taxed non-resident workers similarly to city residents. This was a great benefit to those commuting to work in the city from surrounding areas, but came at a tremendous cost to his own NYC constituents. Silver was criticized by city leaders for removing the tax, and though after 9/11 he has suggested he would support reinstating it, he has taken no steps to do so.

Has too much power. He controls everything, from the legislation that can be voted on to how his normally docile members vote on it. He decides what the Assembly will accept in a state budget. He negotiates secretly with the other two leaders to hammer out important, expensive and far-reaching laws. And he ignores the wishes of less exalted lawmakers.

A former top aide to Silver, J. Michael Boxley, has been accused of raping two women while he was working for the speaker. Silver was said to have assisted in failing to properly investigate the Crothers case and of tolerating a culture of sexual harassment in the Assembly. In 2006, Mr. Silver and the Assembly leadership agreed to pay $500,000 to settle a lawsuit regarding this matter.

Joseph Crowley

Joseph Crowley (aka Clueless Joe; aka The Canary) born March 16, 1962. Graduated from Queens College in 1985. Served in the New York Assembly from 1986 to 1998. During that time, he played guitar and sang with a group of New York assemblymen called the Budget Blues Boys. Queens Democratic Party boss Tom Manton handpicked Crowley as his replacement in 1998 by timing his resignation announcement to favor his protege (Crowley). Manton filed for reelection before the July 16, 1998 deadline and then announced at a meeting of Queens Democratic committeemen a week later that he was not running. A classic bait and switch scheme. Democrats were disappointed about being shut out of the primary process, but Crowley, who described the appointment as being handed an ice-cream cone; too good to turn down, easily won in the heavily-Democratic 7th district, which includes parts of Queens and the Bronx. The real losers, of course, are the voters in Queens, whom Mr. Manton and Mr. Crowley have conspired to deprive of any real say in choosing their member of Congress, The New York Times wrote in an editorial entitled, So much for elections.

Crowley was made Queens Democratic Party boss in 2006. In October 2010 the NY Daily News reported that Crowley has spent nearly $40,000 in campaign cash on lawyers over the past three months to beat back an ethics investigation. Federal campaign finance records show Crowley handed $39,592 in donors' dollars to the Washington-based Brand Law Group on Sept. 18. The Office of Congressional Ethics is looking into a fund-raiser for Joe Crowley hosted by lobbyists ahead of a vote on a major financial regulatory reform bill in the House.

Margaret Markey

Margaret Markey (aka Not in Charge Marge, aka Missing Marge) Birthdate: 11/04/1941; former Director of Marketing and Tourism, Borough of Queens.

In that capacity Mrs. Markey was responsible for creating many of the marketing materials that are still currently used to promote the tourism industry in Queens. You can't make this stuff up! Elected to the State Assembly in 1998. Doesn't bother to show at civic, police or community board meetings in her district. Most constituents don't know what she looks like.

While many assembly members have two district offices, Markey has just one, conveniently located a block from her home on 69th Street in Maspeth. The rent for her district office: $5,200 per month; one of the highest in the state assembly.

In 1999, voted to repeal NYC's commuter tax, which taxed non-resident workers similarly to city residents. This was a great benefit to those commuting to work to the city from outside NYC, but came at a tremendous cost to her own constituents. Her vote cost NYC over $5 billion in revenue since.

In 2009, a controversial bill presented by Markey sought to tackle sex abuse cases in private schools. Critics have argued that the legislation is unfair because it appears to target Catholic schools, while the vast majority of sexual abuse has occurred in public schools under the state's control.

In March 2010, Markey co-sponsored, along with assembly members N. Nick Perry and Felix Ortiz, a bill that would prohibit the use of all forms of salt in the preparation and cooking of all restaurant food.

In 2000 Markey persuaded the Queens Democratic Party machine to appoint her husband, Charles, as a criminal court judge.

Under Accomplishments: (significant accomplishments, awards, achievements)on Vote-NY.org; Markey had No Response. Very appropriate.

Elizabeth Crowley

Elizabeth Crowley (aka Liz; aka Dizzy) born Nov.27,1977. Elected to the city council in Nov. 2008. Crowley's portfolio of experience consists of accomplishments by her relatives. Represents: Glendale, Richmond Hill, Ridgewood, Maspeth,

Middle Village & Woodhaven.

(10/26/06): Queens Chronicle: Elizabeth Crowley was a political ally of (former Assemblyman and union boss) Brian McLaughlin, she has been reported to be one of three female friends with whom he had "a close personal relationship," according to an indictment against McLaughlin.

McLaughlin was arrested Oct.17, 2006, on charges of stealing more than $2 million from New York State and labor unions. In May, 2009 he was sentenced to 10 years in prison.

Guilt by association: NY Post:

one day in 2004 – as McLaughlin explored running for mayor – he skipped out on an interview with

a New York Times reporter, after

hiding out in his office with Elizabeth Crowley.

Highlights of Crowley's tenure in the city council: Pushed for a public high school in Maspeth. When the Dept of Education would not guarantee that local children could gain admission, she voted against the high school in a city council vote. However she did not seek any support from her council colleagues. The high school was approved by a vote of 33 to 7. Now she supports the school even though there is no priority admission for residents of Maspeth & Middle Village.

In 2010 angered Council Speaker Christine Quinn for leaking important information to the press. Quinn punished Crowley, giving her the least amount of pork funding out of 51 council members, almost $1 million less than the top allocation.

So much for working with the Democratic-controlled city council.