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NY ranks last in business climate index

It is axiomatic that we want job creation in New York – what New Yorker wouldn’t want to see our unemployment rate go down? Since jobs are created when companies hire employees, it would seem obvious that all New Yorkers would be supportive of public policy that encourages employers to set up shop in New York. Well, if you thought that is what our New York elected officials were locked in on – a laser-like focus on jobs – you would be sadly mistaken. Taxes are an important part of the policy mix that makes one jurisdiction more attractive relative to another, and on that basis one study ranks New York state … 50th! Last Place!

According to the Tax Foundation, New York has the worst State Business Tax Climate. In fact, over the past four years New York has dropped each year from 45th place in 2008, to 47th in 2009, 49th in 2010 and finally, to dead last in 2011.

How can we – New Yorkers – expect our economy to flourish when our politicians keep raising the tax rates? When they raise tax rates,
they stifle economic activity – taxpayers, both businesses and individuals, leave the state – and tax revenues decline. And how do our New York politicians respond? They raise tax rates ever higher, causing even more taxpayers to flee the state.

As the Tax Foundation points out, “The modern market is characterized by mobile capital and labor. Therefore, companies will locate
where they have the greatest competitive advantage. States with the best tax systems will be the most competitive in attracting new businesses and most effective at generating economic and employment growth.” It should not come as a surprise then that no state is losing population faster than New York – our tax burden is chasing people and businesses out of the state, and they are relocating to more tax friendly jurisdictions.

It is time to FIX NYC. It is time we cleaned political house. 50th place – should our elected officials take a bow,
or should they take a hike? Let’s send them packing!

Read the entire articles:

http://www.taxfoundation.org/research/show/22658.html

NY turns into a FLEE Market

NY turns into flee market (1.6M bolt high-tax state in last decade)
New York Post ^ | August 3, 2011 | ERIK KRISS

Posted on Wednesday, August 03, 2011 11:58:41 AM by Second Amendment First

Taxed-out New Yorkers are voting with their feet, with a staggering 1.6 million residents fleeing the state over the last decade, a new report found.

That’s as if the entire populations of Buffalo, Rochester, Yonkers, White Plains and West Babylon combined had packed up and left.

For the second consecutive decade, New York led the nation in the percentage of residents leaving for other states, according to the report by the Empire Center for State Policy.

The population loss is “the ultimate barometer of New York’s attractiveness as a place to work, live and do business,” said the report’s co-author, E.J. McMahon. “It’s the ultimate indication that we’ve been doing things wrong.”

Most analysts blamed New York’s high taxes and skyrocketing cost of living for the mass exodus.

The Tax Foundation ranked New York highest in the nation in the combined state and local tax burden in 2008. And as small-business lobbyist Mike Durant noted, New York has also “consistently ranked worst or in the top three worst in business climate.

“You can’t suck every penny out of people and expect them to remain in New York,” added Durant, New York state director of the National Federation of Independent Business.

Since 1960, New York has lost 7.3 million residents to other states — a net loss of 2.5 million people after adding in an influx of 4.8 million new immigrants, the study found.

Even counting the state’s high influx of immigrants, New York still suffered a bigger net loss than all but three other states during the last decade, according to the analysis of 2010 Census data by the fiscally conservative think tank.

(Excerpt) Read more at nypost.com …

NY’s New Marketing Campagin – instead of I love NY – it’s I Flee NY

Reports that 1.6 million New Yorkers left the state in the last decade.

I was trying to imagine why 1.6 million people left New York over the last decade and came up with a few thoughts (“NY Turns Into Flee Market,” Aug. 3).

New York has the highest taxes and an unfriendly business environment.

It’s a mecca of liberalism and political corruption.

It has strict gun control, but only for law-abiding citizens, and no death penalty.

New York is one of three states that didn’t dump their incumbents in last November’s election.

And, finally, there are traffic and tolls everywhere you turn.

Goodbye, New York. Hello to the South.

John Comparetto

Calabash, NC

***

Count my wife and me among the many who are fleeing New York.

As we pondered retirement, we realized that taxes and other expenses (like insurance) would limit what we could do in our golden years.

So we built a home in Pennsylvania.

Our home is 50 percent larger than our Rye home, we have much more land and our taxes are 25 percent of what we pay in New York.

Plus, our pensions will not be taxed by Pennsylvania.

These are just the beginning of a long list of benefits to moving out of state.

I sincerely hope that Gov. Cuomo can help change the spend-and-tax culture that has pervaded this state for many decades.

Gregg Moxhay

Rye

Read more: http://www.nypost.com/p/news/opinion/letters/state_new_motto_leave_ny_A2w0U3UA8UBJ3UQSzs9epN#ixzz1UX3DGM1T

Ohio Medicaid Russian Drug Smuggling Investigation

Two men posing as wealthy Russian Drug Smugglers get told not to put their exotic sports cars on the Medicaid application, to classify their “Bob Marley” illicit drug business as “babysitting,” and to get abortions for their underage sisters who perform sex in exchange for drugs.

NY Nepotism Extends Beyond Albany Into the State SUNY Universities

With all the press regarding the shady finances of SUNY’s Research Foundation, “artvoice” decided to check in on the status of who is actually running this shady and very secretive private research foundation that has access without accountability to hundreds of millions ($132 million) in public funding.

The group handled $132,000,000 in state funds for construction projects in Buffalo. As reported in The Great UB Heist:

Who are the directors of the Buffalo 2020 Development Corporation? James Weyhenmeyer, the chairman, is also vice president and managing director of the Technology Accelerator Fund at the SUNY Research Foundation. Satish Tripathi, the vice chairman, is the newly-named officer-in-charge of UB and soon to be president.

Buffalo 2020 Development Corporation board members are: David Dunn, vice president for Health Sciences at SUNY Buffalo; Scott Nostaja, who abruptly resigned as senior vice president and chief operations officer at SUNY Buffalo on March 23; John J. O’Connor, senior vice chancellor for Research and Innovation, secretary of SUNY, and president of the Research Foundation of SUNY; Edward P. Schneider, executive director of the UB Foundation; and former UB President John B. Simpson.

Since then, Scott Nostaja quit his job at UB and has resigned from the corporation. Under intense scrutiny, John O’Connor left his positions at SUNY and the SUNY Research Foundation and resigned from the corporation. John Simpson, who quit as UB President, retains his position in the corporation. So does David Dunn, who recently quit his job at UB to go to the University of Louisville. Current UB President Satish Tripathi also retains his position.

The group is supposed to have a meeting in July, but they contend they are not subject to the Open Meetings Law.

Read more: http://blogs.artvoice.com/avdaily/2011/06/24/buffalo-2020-development-corporation-in-flux/#ixzz1QIkXNtHv

NY. ALBANY NEPOTISM CREEPS INTO HIGHER EDUCATION SUNY BUFFALO’S RESEARCH FOUNDATION

How Pubic-Private partnerships work and why they are one of the main avenues for fraud intentionally left unchecked by both the State and Federal Government to

The biggest taxpayer racket is public-private partnerships

HERE’s HOW NYS  IS REDISTRIBUTING YOUR-TAXPAYER MONEY TO SUPPPORT THEIR “FRIENDS AND FAMILY”

In broad terms, all the UB 2020 bills have focused on changing the rules of state oversight at UB to make it easier for the university to buy and sell state property and to enter into public-private-partnerships exempt from Freedom of Information Law and other state laws. Another major element of the plan is granting the university the freedom to raise tuition as it sees fit, without approval of the Legislature, and to keep this money for itself. Bill supporters argue that in years past, tuition money went into the overall state budget, even as state funding for SUNY was cut. So, in addition, the bill requires the state to continue funding UB at present levels in perpetuity.

This year, SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher has been pursuing negotiations with Cuomo’s office and the Legislature to craft a plan that would call for “rational” and “predictable” tuition increases for New York State resident students for the next five years. The increased income to SUNY, advocates argue, would be an antidote to state funding cuts to the system

The invisible money machine

It would have been impossible for UB 2020 legislation to have gone anywhere without the generous support of various UB foundations that bankrolled lobbying efforts in Albany in support of it over the last few years, outspending all other SUNY schools by far. The UB foundations control nearly half a billion dollars and operate beyond the reach of the press and public. There are at least seven and perhaps a dozen or more of these UB-affiliated entities.

In 2008, the New York State Commission of Public Integrity listed more than 40 university employees as UB 2020 lobbyists—compensated for that role by the foundation, in addition to their state salaries.

The law firm that represents the UB Foundation, Hodgson Russ, provided us a list that is 34 pages long, listing more than 1,400 names of people compensated by the foundation. It’s undated, and many of the job titles are cut off. Names and salaries do appear, and it’s relatively easy to see that more than 260 people are paid $30,000 or more by the foundation alone. Seventeen are paid over $100,000

The 2008 990 tax form filed by UB Foundation Activities shows that it spent more than $28 million on various forms of employee compensation, including millions in salary top-ups to upper-level UB employees, and $18,923,891 on travel, advertising and promotions, conferences, and conventions, and payments to various affiliated corporations. The chart on the next page enumerates some of those salary top-ups.

Meanwhile, the foundation spent $3,348,300 on scholarships to UB students

David Dunn  2010 SUNY Compensation = $383,804, UB Foundation Compensation = $381.625.  Total 2010 Compensation = $765,429 (more than the U.S. President)

John B. Simpson  2010 SUNY Compensation = $265,000, UB Foundation & Other Compensation = $474,118.  Total 2010 Compensation = $739,118 (more than the U.S. President)

Michael E. Cain 2010 SUNY Compensation = $225,000, UB Foundation & Other Compensation = $256,625.  Total 2010 Compensation = $595,425 (more than the U.S. President)

Scott D. Nostaja 2010 SUNY Compensation = $175,000, UB Foundation & Other Compensation = $332,307.  Total 2010 Compensation = $507,307 (more than the U.S. President)

ALL IN THE FAMILY

Let’s take a look at how public-private partnerships work today at UB, even before the passage of any “UB 2020 Flexibility and Economic Growth Act.”

The membership of the UB Council, the UB Foundation, and the various affiliate corporations reads like a Who’s Who of Western New York government, law firms, and corporations, many of them with substantial UB business. Their dealings with UB and the State of New York are overseen by themselves, their family members, and their friends and associates

For example, Frank L. Ciminelli is an owner of Ciminelli Development and senior vice president of LP Ciminelli Inc., the largest construction group in Western New York. He is also an emeritus trustee of the UB Foundation and an active member of its Properties Committee. Frank and his three sons (Louis, Paul, and John) have had a long and profitable relationship with UB. In 2004, Louis and Paul formed non-union GPS Construction Services LLC. Louis named his cousin, Robert Savarino, as its president and CEO. UB named GPS the general contractor for the Alfiero Center at UB’s School of Management, on the North Campus. At the building’s dedication, UB’s Simpson said, “In important ways, the Alfiero Center is the visible manifestation of the dynamic partnerships that have contributed to its construction.”

Foit-Albert Associates was the building’s architect. Beverly Foit-Albert is also a director of the UB Foundation and a member of its Properties Committee. Her firm also drew up the plans for relocating over 150 families from McCarley Gardens, the moderate-income housing development that occupies a piece of land coveted for development in the downtown medical corridor. In 2010, the UB Foundation offered $15 million to buy the property, relocating the residents over several city blocks in new builds.

UB also picked GPS as the contractor for two off-campus UB housing projects. Frank’s son John became president and COO of GPS in 2008. The following year, LP Ciminelli Inc. reabsorbed GPS, and John planned to “come over to LPCiminelli as senior vice president in charge of the housing business,” according to an April 4, 2009 story in the Buffalo News.

Frank’s son Louis is a director of the Buffalo Niagara Partnership—which has once again made passage of UB 2020 its number one legislative priority this year—and chairman and CEO of LP Ciminelli, Inc., where his son Frank L. Ciminelli II is senior vice president. Frank’s brother Paul is president and CEO of Ciminelli Development Company, Inc., a director of the Empire State Development Corporation, a director of the UB Foundation, and a member of its Properties Committee

The bond for the residence hall, dated May 20, 2010, is valued at $82,865,000, and lists LPCiminelli Inc. as the construction manager.

The UB entity that drew up and authorized the bond is the UB Faculty-Student Housing Corporation. Tax forms show that at least as far back as 2007, Frank Ciminelli and his son Paul have both been directors of this corporation, along with the UBF Corporation, FNUB, Inc., and the UBF Incubator, Inc. According to the UB website, they still hold these positions today. They were there when the construction contracts were okayed and remain on right through construction.

So when UB, through the UB Faculty-Student Housing Corporation, contracted for this enormous and lucrative project, there were Ciminellis on both sides of the table. The only person missing was a disinterested steward of the money’s true owner: the people of New York State

This sort of thing goes on all the time in the corporate world, but the money-handlers are not usually helping themselves to public money quietly transferred to a private corporation. We call it “nepotism” when an ordinary person gives a job to a family member. What do we call it when a UB corporation director gives his company, or a family member, or himself a multi-million-dollar contract? Was there even a show of competitive bidding? Because the UB Faculty-Student Housing Corporation—along with the other myriad related organizations—claim to be private entities, the public and press can’t find out. If someone recused himself, then he may have been standing outside the door, but we can’t know this until we get access to meeting minutes. Already UB’s foundations argue that they are immune to Freedom of Information Law. If the UB2020 legislation ever passes, that immunity will be codified.

Read more: http://artvoice.com/issues/v10n13/the_great_UB_heist#ixzz1QIeHBqAZ

Ruth Pollack, Esq. Testimony New York Senate Judiciary Committee

NY Senate Judiciary Committee Hearings on Corrupt Courts

NY. Federal Courts accused of complete destruction of records, evidence and extensive tampering of ECF Docket

THE AMERICAN JUSTICE SYSTEM IS BROKEN

In a landmark case and petition to the Highest Court in America – a question is asked . . .

What happens to a country when the Courts and Judges become corrupt and ignore the law?

What happens when leading scholars refer to Circuit Court decisions as “Shenanigans”?

What happens to a country when its citizens can no longer trust or take recourse with the Courts?

What happens when Justice becomes an illusion and the Courts and Judges are destroying records and tampering with evidence?

Below are excerpts from a PETITION FOR A WRIT OF CERTIORARI to the SUPREME COURT showing how broken the system is.

Petitioners believe that the extreme nature of the documentary evidence provided in the Appendix herein provides a casebook study, if not a microcosm of the ongoing destruction of the fabric of this nation’s judicial system as the final arbiter of the rights of the citizenry and all those who come to the courts for preservation of its most sacred constitutional rights. We believe that the malfeasance in this case is by no means isolated. We surmise that it is the worst example of the total deprivation of due process seen in the history of American courts.

Petitioners and their counsel promptly reported the docket tampering and file destruction in writing, certified mail to the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern and Southern Districts of New York, the Chief Clerks of the Eastern District of New York and Second Circuit, the magistrate and judge assigned to the case, all defendants and defense counsel, the Nassau County District Attorney, the New York State Comptroller and Attorney General, and the New York State and federal Grievance Committees, the New York State Judiciary Committee, the FBI, the United States Senate and House Judiciary Committees, PACER, Inc., the United States Department of Justice in Washington, D.C., the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, and the United States Office of Court Records (OCR), for mandated action pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1734 and 1735, to no avail.

In late 1776, New York attorney John Jay reminded the people of New York that “you and all men are created free, and . . . it is therefore . . . the duty of every man, to oppose and repel all those, by whatever name or title distinguished, who prostitute the powers of Government to destroy the happiness and freedom of the people over whom they may be appointed to rule.” Hershkowitz and Klein, ed., Courts and Law in Early New York, Selected Essays 100 (National University Publications, KenniKat Press 1978).

Justice Scalia recently reminded us that “the principal purpose of this Court’s jurisdiction is to clarify the law.” Caperton v. Massey Coal Co., Inc., 556 U.S. 1, 17, 129 S. Ct. 2252, 2274 (2009). This Court’s central mission has always been to preserve the integrity of the judicial system and society’s reliance on the system.

HAS THE INTEGRITY OF THE JUDICIAL SYSTEM AND SOCIETY’S TRUST IN THE SYSTEM BEEN LOST?

Ask any American who has been to Court lately.

You’re better off going to Vegas than taking a chance on actually getting Justice in the Courts

READ THE FULL Chesney Petition for Certiorari to Supreme Court

ALSO SEE www.exposecorruptcourts.com

If you agree the American Judicial system is broken, please write in. 

Man burns himself alive on the courthouse steps protesting how American Courts have strayed from ensuring liberty to enforcing oppression

I’ve said before that the word “literally” is overused and misused in our culture. I’m guilty of it, and so are many others. It’s not a big deal, except for the fact that when you really need the word, its meaning has been diminished.

But guys, today we have a story about a man who literally and successfully set himself on fire on the courthouse steps and died. To quote a tipster: “If burning yourself alive to protest the court system isn’t sensational enough to merit a mention on ATL, I don’t know what is.”

No doubt.

But why self-immolation? Well, let’s take a look at the man’s 10,000 word suicide note….

 

Thomas James Ball of New Hampshire had been through a divorce and a battle with his ex-wife over child support. He believed he was facing jail time. His suicide was in protest of the family court system he felt had done him wrong. The New Hampshire Union Leader reports:

Ball ended his life in front of the courthouse where two thick files trace the disintegration of his marriage. The files include reports of slaps on the face of a preschooler. An arrest. A subsequent divorce. Visitation disputes. Orders to pay child support. A pending contempt charge….

In his letter, Ball said he was facing jail time.

“I am due in court the end of the month. The ex-wife lawyer wants me jailed for back child support. The amount ranges from $2,200 to $3,000 depending on who you ask. Not big money after being separated over ten years and unemployed for the last two. But I do owe it. If I show up for court without the money and the lawyer say jail, then the judge will have the bailiff take me into custody. There really are no surprises on how the system works once you know how it actually works. And it does not work anything like they taught you in high school history or civics class,” he wrote.

Ball was set to appear in court on June 24 for not following a judge’s order that he pay half of his children’s medical expenses — $2,062 — that his ex-wife, Karen Ball of Jaffrey, had paid.

Little of the rambling letter makes much sense. But Ball recounts a 2001 incident in which he was accused of hitting one of his children and which seemed to precipitate the divorce.

“My story starts with the infamous slapping incident of April 2001,” he wrote. While putting his 4-year-old daughter to bed, she began to lick his hand, he warned her three times to stop then slapped her.

Ball cut her lip, and his wife asked him to leave the house, he wrote…

Karen Ball filed for divorce three days after the slapping took place.

Okay, you’d think that a guy who shirks his child support, slaps around his kid, and then lights himself on fire wouldn’t engender much sympathy. But check out this commenter on the Union Leader website:

Regardless of whether he was a stellar parent or a really bad parent, plain fact is the Domestic Relations legal arena of the court system had taken its toll on this individual. The consistency lies in the court systems’ ability to absolutely destroy a persons’ life and its advocacy for doing so. The manner in which people handle to stresses that follows after a trip to court obviously vary with this extreme being played out at the front door of Cheshire Superior Court. Some will likely read his last writings and say he was a nut. Perhaps Tom Ball was a nut, but it also might logically follow that his contact with the system contributed to his downward spiral.

this story serves to remind us of the irony in the marital court adjudication system. DV laws were somehow supposed to protect an abused spouse, but now frequently serve as a legal bludgeon from one spouse on another. When that occurs, we the public will unfortunately witness from time to time, the limits of ones’ stress.

And for what it’s worth, I don’t think I’m the only one who would rather face a “legal bludgeon” than be bludgeoned by a deadbeat father my mom needs to sue every time I have a medical problem.

NYS Comptroller to audit SUNY Research Foundation

New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli announced that his office is auditing the Research Foundation of the State University of New York and will examine various issues, the comptroller’s office said, including potential conflicts of interest, hiring and compensation as well as issues raised in previous audits.

Dennis Tompkins, DiNapoli’s communications director, said when the Research Foundation was formed in 1977, the comptroller was given the “authority to audit the Foundation” and has done so periodically. Tompkins said the office has also received numerous reports “about some potential wrongdoing at the Foundation,” including concerns about possible abuse of hiring practices and payroll.

Peter Taubkin, spokesperson for the Research Foundation, said the announcement is “in response to a request by SUNY seeking the assistance of OSC to audit certain activities of or relating to the Research Foundation.”

Tompkins said the “comptroller is committed to making sure that the Foundation is being run ethically” and is being held accountable to the taxpayers.

One of the institution’s previous audits includes one published in 2005, which examined a sample of “administrative and discretionary costs” from July 2001 to the end of December 2003.

According to the report from the comptroller’s office, auditors found RFSUNY had not followed competitive procedures in awarding 11 contracts, totaling $2.4 million. For one contract awarded on a single-source basis, a lobbying firm was paid $600,000 to $720,000 a year and several monthly payment invoices did not detail the provided services. The comptroller’s office recommended the Research Foundation receive documentation from vendors of services provided and receive multiple bids for purchase requisitions. In its response, RFSUNY agreed.

The comptroller’s report also cited the Research Foundation payments that were “inconsistent with the University’s policy and may not have supported the University’s objectives,” such as $137,500 in payments for supplemental housing allowances for two campus presidents and two instances of employee salaries being supplemented beyond state legal limits.

Further recommendations from the auditors included complying with the provisions of a 1977 agreement, which calls for depositing money into the university’s income fund, and creating limitations on spending to restrict items such as payments to employees for things like a child’s tuition or personal entertainment.

About the provisions of the 1977 agreement, according to the report, RFSUNY responded that it is not required to make deposits into the income fund. But the auditors commented the institution’s officials did not provide documentation to prove this. To the item of limiting spending, RFSUNY responded it thought “existing controls are adequate to assure that Foundation resources are expended in a manner that specifically supports the University and its programs,” the report said.

Taubkin said, “While this audit identified some improvement opportunities, the auditors concluded that the expenditures they tested generally complied with RF policies and procedures. Should any items from the previous 2005 report be included in the scope of the current audit, we will respond fully and cooperatively.”

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