“Money speaks for money, the devil for his own”

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

It Looks Like Bloomberg Is Getting His Ass Handed To Him


I'm a cabbie and I think this rule is absurd. Cabbies are required to pick up anyone who hails them. So I'm gonna say "Sorry, I can't take you to
Brooklyn. You look like a prostitute." This one is sure to end up in somebody's court room and I hope Bloomberg is still mayor when it does.

 Fernando Mateo is not a "union boss" or a union anything. Cabbies are not in any union but Fernando likes to call press conferences and he gets quoted by the lazy slut media as some sort of taxi industry big shot.

 It’s a ‘trick’ question

How many of these hotties are hookers, Mike?

Last Updated: 7:39 AM, June 15, 2012
Posted: 2:17 AM, June 15, 2012
They’re not hookers — they just look as if they could be!
A dozen scantily clad women rallied outside City Hall yesterday, decrying a bill they say prevents beauties wearing skimpy clothes from getting a fair shot at hailing a yellow cab.
The proposal, which will soon get Mayor Bloomberg’s signature, slaps stiff penalties on cabbies who ferry prostitutes and get a cut of the cash.
But yesterday’s collection of bartenders and shot girls said that hacks will now be scared to pick up any woman wearing a short skirt or spiked heels — and noted that sometimes, even legitimately employed women have to flaunt it to make a living.
HO NO! Hot babes in sexy clothes make a point yesterday at a City Hall protest by cabbies against a bill that would impose a fine on drivers who transport working prostitutes.
HO NO! Hot babes in sexy clothes make a point yesterday at a City Hall protest by cabbies against a bill that would impose a fine on drivers who transport working prostitutes.
“They don’t even know who is a prostitute or not!” said Diana Estrada, 27, a Sofrito bartender wearing a cleavage-baring spaghetti-strap dress.
“You don’t have a shirt on that tells if you’re a prostitute or not.”
She frequently takes cabs home to Astoria after leaving late shifts, and she’s concerned taxi drivers will pass her by, since she wears short-shorts or miniskirts.
Currently, the city’s Taxi & Limousine Commission has the authority to strip drivers of their licenses if they knowingly partake in sex trafficking.
But the new bill — which the City Council unanimously passed Wednesday — would require the TLC to both strip a driver’s license and slap them with a $10,000 penalty if he’s previously been convicted of sex trafficking.
On a first offense, a driver goes to a city hearing, where his license could be revoked.
The proposal could make cops more willing to arrest drivers who are innocent, said taxi-union boss Fernando Mateo.
“I will challenge any one of you to tell me which one of [these women] you would consider to be a prostitute,” he said yesterday. “They’re all sexy.”

From around the web

Read more: http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/it_trick_question_mScbV1Ni5yVD0VcnUhFrjM#ixzz1yEBdsJ2p

2- Bloomberg's much heralded and touted taxi plan is probably going to be deep sixed by an ex-cabbie judge. It's refreshing actually that someone who might remember what driving a taxi is and feels like might get to make a decision about the taxi industry. "It seems to me" or "Well, I don't see why..." are not knowledge and information. Now Mike has been counting on a billion dollars from this plan which is going to be deep sixed anyhow since the Governor's dad is in the taxi medallion financing business and they are not about to finance this disaster. Governor Cuomo apparently was jerking Mikey around.

The plan, set to get underway this month, would have brought street-hail taxi service to northern Manhattan and the outer boros.  The sale of the additional medallions — essentially, licenses to operate street-hail vehicles — was to bring over $1 billion to city coffers.  The city has been offering seminars for fleet owners on how to convert outer-boro livery cars to taxis, and even designated a color for the new street hails –”Apple Green.”
Supreme Court Judge Arthur Engron, who was a cabbie himself while he was an undergrad at Columbia, wrote in his decision:  “The court has trouble seeing how the provision of taxi service is a matter that can be wrenched from the hands of city government where it has resided for some 75 years. And be handed over to the state.”  He added that the restraining order “seeks to preserve the status quo until a more complete examination of the plaintiffs claim can be made.”

Here’s the ruling:
Index Number: 102553/12
Oral Argument Date: 5/31/12
- against -
Temporary Restraining Order
et al.,
Index Number 102472/12
Oral Argument Date: 5/31/12
- against -
Temporary Restraining Order
MICHAEL R. BLOOMBERG, in his official capacity
as Mayor of the City of New York, et al.,
et. al.
Index Number 102783
Oral Argument Date 5/31/12
- against -
Temporary Restraining Order
Arthur F. Engoron, Justice
Every New Yorker worth his or her salt knows the following basic facts about taxicabs: only “medallioned” cabs are allowed by law to pick up street hail passengers; the City limits the number of medallions (NYC Charter § 2303(b)(4)); and finding a medallioned cab outside of lower- and mid-Manhattan and the airports is usually quite difficult. Indeed, in the so-called “outer-boroughs” (which for the sake of this order includes Manhattan above East 96th Street and West 110th Street) persons needing taxi service must, practically speaking, either telephone a livery cab company, or hail a “gypsy” cab not authorized to make the pickup. For decades, the problem of the lack of legal, reliable taxi service in the outer boroughs has proven intractable.
Recently, the executive branch of defendant City of New York, i.e., the mayor’s office, asked the legislative branch, i.e., the City Council, to increase the number of medallions and to authorize licenses for outer-borough hails. When negotiations broke down, the executive branch asked the State Government for the same. The result is the legislation at issue in these three roughly parallel (and fascinating) cases: Chapter 602 of the Laws of 2011, and Chapter 9 of the Laws of 2012, collectively known as The Street Hail Livery Law. These enactments essentially, and greatly simplified, allow the mayor to issue 2,000 more medallions; allow the Taxi and Limousine Commission, a part of the executive branch, to issue 18,000 outer borough hail licenses, and mandates certain handicap accessibility quotas.
Plaintiffs in the Metropolitan Taxicab Board of Trade case are medallion owners and New York City Council Member Lewis A. Fidler. Plaintiffs in the Taxicab Service Association (“TSA”) case are credit unions and the like that finance the purchase of medallions. Plaintiffs in the Greater New York Taxi Association case are medallion owners and one individual. Defendants in both cases are, simply put, the State of New York, the legislative and executive bodies thereof, the City of New York, the Mayor thereof, the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission, and the Commissioner thereof.
As plaintiffs would have it, the trek to Albany was an “end run” by the Mayor. Be that as it may, end runs are legal in football and in politics. The most basic question (among many others) presented here is whether the legislation violates the “Home Rule” provision of the State Constitution. See NY Const. Art. IX § 2(b)(2): the legislature . . . [s]hall have the power to act in relation to the property, affairs or government of any local government only by general law, or by special law [i.e., a law affecting only one locality] only . . . on request of two-thirds of the total membership of its legislative body or on request of its chief executive officer concurred in by a majority of such membership.” As this Court has determined, in the roughly 24 hours since oral argument ended yesterday, and on the business day just prior to the one on which significant aspects of the legislation are to go into effect, that plaintiffs are likely to succeed on their claim that the law does the State Constitution, and that plaintiffs have demonstrated “irreparable harm” and a “balancing of the equities” in their favor, this Court hereby issues this Temporary Restraining Order, enjoining defendants from implementing any aspect of the law (which contains a so-called “poison pill,” pursuant to which if any aspect of the law is held to be constitutionally infirm, the whole law falls).
Since The Great Depression the legislative branch of New York City has governed, and limited, the issuance of taxi medallions. Even when, twice in the last two decades, the City Council modestly increased the number of medallions, the Council issued a home rule message to this effect. Under the Home Rule provision of the State Constitution, the State Legislature may override the laws of a local municipality only in “matters other than the property, affairs or government of a local government.” The question here is basically whether the number of taxi medallions and the rules of outer-borough hails is primarily a matter of local or state concern. Obviously, anything that affects New York City affects the state in which it is situated, and just as obviously non-New York City residents can (and do, in droves) spend time in New York City. But, generally speaking, these facts cannot satisfy the Home Rule requirements or nothing would be left of the rule but the exceptions. The argument that the City is in the State, and so is a State concern, simply proves too much. This Court has trouble seeing how the provision of taxi service in New York City is a matter that can be wrenched from the hands of City government, where it has resided for some 75 years, and handed over to the State. Both governments are democracies, but only one is solely answerable on election day to the constituents of the five boroughs, those directly affected by the taxi service at issue here.
In a memorandum in opposition to plaintiff’s request for injunctive relief, defendant City quotes the New York State Senate Introducer’s Memorandum in Support of the legislation, in part, as follows:
The bill would allow the City to implement a taxi plan that will more effectively service all five boroughs of New York City and greatly increase the availability of accessible taxicabs and for-hire vehicles. The creation of this plan was prompted by three persistent mobility problems: the lack of accessible vehicles for people with disabilities; nearly non-existent taxi availability in underserved areas of the City (e.g., boroughs outside Manhattan); and insufficient taxi supply in Manhattan’s central business district.
There is nothing in here about Nassau or Westchester Counties, much less Buffalo or Rochester.
As the TSA plaintiffs put it (Memorandum of Law dated 5/17/12, at 7), “the Street Hail Livery Law infringes on Plaintiffs’ constitutionally guaranteed right to have their local government representatives decide issues relating to the local taxi industry, in which they are longtime and central participants.”
In addition to showing a likelihood of success on the merits, this Court finds that plaintiffs have demonstrated irreparable injury (see generally Ambrose v. Malcolm, 414 F Supp 485, 493 (S.D.N.Y.1976) (suggesting that deprivations of constitutional rights ipso facto demonstrate irreparable injury, or substitute therefor)), and a balancing of the equities in their favor (briefly keeping the status quo will not harm defendants).
Because of the afore-referenced severe time restrictions, today’s order does not address the numerous other complex objections (alleged unconstitutional takings and inadequate environmental review to name just two of many) plaintiffs have raised to the subject legislation. Today’s order also does not address the wisdom, or lack thereof, of defendants’ good-faith efforts to address age-old problems. Today’s order only seeks to preserve the status quo until a more complete examination can be made of plaintiffs’ claim (among others) that the legislation at issue represents an unconstitutional power grab, and of defendants’ response that the State government has properly regulated an area of state-wide concern.
Thus defendants are hereby temporarily restrained, pending further order of this Court, from implementing any aspect of the subject legislation, conditional on plaintiffs collectively posting a bond of $600,000 (the TSA plaintiffs claim to be a multi-billion dollar business) by Thursday, June 7, 2012. The Court will attempt to resolve with all deliberate speed plaintiffs’ request for a preliminary injunction, defendants’ request for summary judgment, and the ultimate merits of this litigation.
Dated: 6/1/12
Arthur F. Engoron, J.C.C.

une 22, 2011, 3:49 PM

Taxi Bill Has Potential Foe in Cuomo. Mario Cuomo.

Updated 6:05 p.m. | The New York taxi industry has struggled to find support in Albany as it tries to block a Bloomberg administration plan that would make it easier for livery cabs to pick up passengers outside crowded parts of Manhattan.
But the industry can count one potentially powerful ally in the Capitol: Mario M. Cuomo, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’sfather.
Former Governor Cuomo is a longtime board member atMedallion Financial, one of the industry’s most powerful companies. The company is a prime opponent of the bill — and a generous supporter of Andrew Cuomo’s political career.
Governor Cuomo and his office have yet to publicly state a position on the proposal, which easily passed the Assembly but has been held up in the Senate. If the bill lands on his desk for a signature, the governor may be in an awkward spot that could raise conflict-of-interest issues.
Last year, Medallion Financial, which has a financial stake in thousands of the city’s taxicabs, donated at least $49,000 to Andrew Cuomo’s campaign for governor. Previously, the company and its president had donated $37,000 to Mr. Cuomo’s bids for attorney general.
Josh Vlasto, a spokesman for the governor, denied that there would be any conflict of interest if the bill came to the governor’s desk. He said Mario Cuomo’s position was “irrelevant and would have no bearing on the governor’s decision.”
“We’re reviewing the bill, and the governor has been focused on closing down the key issues of his agenda with the legislative leaders,” Mr. Vlasto said.
It remained unclear on Wednesday night whether the Senate would take up the bill, which is still the subject of long negotiations among the mayor’s office, the Senate leadership and industry representatives.
The sponsor of the bill, Senator Martin J. Golden, Republican of Brooklyn, said, “The concerns expressed by the medallion owners and liveries as well as those who provide the financing will need to be part of any agreement.”
One sticking point is the potential boundaries of the territory in Manhattan where livery cabs would be allowed to make street pickups. The original bill said anywhere above East 96th Street and West 110th Street in Manhattan would be fair ground for liveries that had obtained a $1,500 permit to stop for a hailing passenger.
Far fewer yellow cabs make pickups in Upper Manhattan than other parts of the island, but some fleet owners want the dividing line to be farther north. One suggestion floated on Wednesday was 168th Street, which would essentially allow yellow cabs to maintain their dominance in all neighborhoods below Washington Heights.
Many big yellow taxi fleets bitterly oppose the plan, arguing the change would eat into their lucrative business.
Medallion Financial, whose Madison Avenue office sits one floor above the Rockefeller Family Fund, primarily lends money for the purchase of New York taxi medallions; it says it has $1 billion in assets. The company’s board of directors also includes Hank Aaron, the Hall of Fame baseball player, and Lowell P. Weicker Jr., the former governor and senator from Connecticut.
The company’s president, Andrew Murstein, has been on the phone with legislators for the last few days, trying to sway them against the mayor’s plan, which passed the Assembly easily on Tuesday. Mr. Murstein declined to comment for this article.
Mario Cuomo joined the company’s board in 1996, shortly after he left public life; his daughter Madeline Cuomo was doing legal work for Medallion Financial at the time. Mr. Cuomo receives about $53,000 a year in compensation from the company.
It was unclear whether Mr. Cuomo had joined his company’s efforts to stop the bill. An assistant to the former governor did not respond to several questions about his involvement, writing only that Mr. Cuomo had spent the last few days working on the mediation talks between the Wilpon family, owners of the New York Mets, and Irving H. Picard, the trustee for the victims of Bernard L. Madoff’s multibillion-dollar Ponzi scheme.
One person familiar with the former governor’s thinking said Mr. Cuomo was hopeful that the taxi legislation would not reach a point where it would pose a conflict of interest. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity so as not to strain a relationship with Mr. Cuomo.
In a company biography, Mr. Cuomo is described as bringing “valuable skills to the board of directors that he acquired through his extensive career in the public sector, such as his expertise in the areas of government relations and external affairs.”

City won’t appeal order halting Bloomberg’s taxi plans 

The city will not appeal a judge’s order that slammed the brakes on the Bloomberg administration’s taxi plans.
The preliminary injunction, which a Manhattan judge handed down last week, prevents the Bloomberg administration - at least temporarily - from creating a new class of livery cars that would be allowed to pick up street hails.
The order also prevents the administration from going forward with the sale of new yellow taxi medallions to expand that fleet.
City lawyers on Tuesday informed Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron by letter it won’t fight his decision. City lawyers, however, asked Engoron to swiftly decide three lawsuits brought by opponents of the city’s taxi plans, including fleet owners.

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