Spin Cycle

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Lopez scandal: Batra's latest blast at Cuomo, post-JCOPE

Ravi Batra, who quit the state ethics commission,

Ravi Batra, who quit the state ethics commission, continues to criticize its conduct and Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo's influence. (Credit: Patrick E. McCarthy )

Ravi Batra, the lawyer who at one point was retained by Nassau Executive Ed Mangano to advise him on government “streamlining” but quit without charging the county, has issued a wide-ranging clarification on his resignation from the state's joint ethics board. Batra was an appointee of Brooklyn Democratic Senator John Sampson. He escalates his charges that Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo improperly and illegally big-footed the commission. Fringe? Maverick? Loose cannon? Explosive anyway. The text:

“I could no longer serve as an independent commissioner blinded by rogue staff doing things that Jcope had not voted on yet or even knew about at time of voting or helping to create “super commissioners,” and then to have the governor, who is himself subject to Jcope, illegally seek to become exempt by wielding a Moreland-sledgehammer to enslave Jcope to do his bidding. I felt like a judge having a gun put to my head to sign an order. All I could do was leave the bench with intact-honor and intact-independence, and face  the attacks from all whose lives depend upon those who see themselves powerful and above the law, and wish to destroy “checks and balances."

"This, after the staff illegally changed the effective date of source funding disclosures set by law and prior disclosures of foreign money given to CSNY affecting New York politics despite laws that prevent foreigners from contributing in support or against American elections. New York must belong only to New Yorkers, and not serve a foreign sovereign; just ask Nathan Hale. I agree, I was vigilant, I spoke up in objection, honoring Becket and Burke, and then left refusing to engage in public deception that Jcope was independent and not being used as a political tool (with or without an “enemies list"). Between the lessons of Kristalnacht and what the Jesuits taught me of “never on bent knee,” I left, and then, as I wrote yesterday to Gov. Cuomo, I resigned an additional board, NYS IOLA,  in rebuke of ignoble David Paterson, as he is no Basil Paterson, who is a true gentleman.

“New York has tasted steamrollering, and didn't like it. From our precious prince, we expect statecraft, not cracking legally required independence with a sledgehammer. Above-the-law status, no matter how attractive at times leads to dictatorships. New York is the Empire State, but in a republic.
 
“Sept. 7, 2012 was the culmination of controlgate. Today, being Sept. 11, and a day of near-holy remembrance, I have the added strength from all the lives lost on 9/11, and by the simple act of wearing the Flag on my lapel even when overseas, to ask my friend, the Governor, to return to being a prince helping people under law, and not engage in Plan B or Plan C, when they are illegal abuse of force for political gain.”

Tags: Ravi Batra , JCOPE , Andrew Cuomo , Vito Lopez , Albany , John Sampson , Democrats

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