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Cuomo Obscura: Shady Moments During New York’s ‘Most Transparent’ Administration
Gov. Andrew Cuomo promised to operate the "most transparent" administration in history. But it has often fallen short
 
When New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo took office, he promised to operate "the most transparent" administration in history. The night of his victory, he said, "The people want a government of competence and performance and integrity."
 
But just last week, New York State instituted a new email deletion policy that automatically purges government emails after 90 days. It's the latest in a long line of decisions that seem to contradict Cuomo's promise.
 
August 15, 2011 - Cuomo responds to a request for flight records with black ink.
 
The administration's FOIL Lawyer meets a reporter's request for information on the use of the State's Police Aviation unit with documents so full of redactions that the Albany Times-Union wrote it is " impossible to understand why someone used planes or helicopters during the governor's first six months in office."
 
August 15, 2011 - Governor signs a toothless ethics reform Act.
 
The Public Integrity Reform Act, previously named the Clean Up Albany Act, requires greater disclosures of campaign and business finances as well as meetings between firms and any elected officials. But its new Governor and lawmaker-appointed enforcement panel created as part of the law called the Joint Commission on Public Ethics is criticized in a New York Times editorial as " so deeply flawed in its structure as to be wholly ineffective."
 
July 16, 2012 - Gov. Cuomo uses BlackBerry messaging system to avoid a paper trail.
 
The New York Daily News reports on the Governor's use of Blackberry's messaging system to communicate with his "inner circle" as to avoid a paper trail that comes with using email.
 
June 30, 2013 - Governor adopts a new email retention policy that erases correspondence after 90 days.
 
The Albany Times-Union reports the state's new email system would purge all messages after 90 days unless they are individually marked to be saved.
 
May 5, 2014 - Cuomo aides are using personal email accounts for government business.
 
ProPublica reports that aides to Gov. Cuomo are using private email accounts to conduct government business, including Howard Glaser, a top Cuomo adviser at the time. This may violate a state policy which prohibits state employees from using "a personal email account to conduct State business unless explicitly authorized." The administration later denies using private emails for government business.
 
July 23, 2014 - Cuomo hinders Moreland Commission's efforts to root out misconduct.
 
A New York Times investigation finds that the governor's office scuttled the ethics commission's pursuits of corruption when they involved entities with close ties to Cuomo. The Commission had been established in July 2013 to aggressively investigate cases of government misconduct that could reach litigation by the Attorney General.
 
August 11, 2014 - State issues 118-page policy on how to save emails. 
 
As ProPublica writes, the 118-page long email policy is so "bewilderingly complex" that it leads to " further concern that emails may not be saved at all."
 
October 14, 2014 - Cuomo administration refuses to share further details on fundraising.
 
The Cuomo administration delays its response to a public records request from Capital New York for documents detailing some of the governor's fundraising efforts. The administration denies the request six months after it was submitted arguing that any documents not posted online to the Governor's pre-edited public schedule "are simply drafts meant for internal use" and exempt from disclosure under Freedom of Information laws, according to a report by Capital New York.
 
February 25, 2015 - The administration begins purging emails under new policy.
 
The State fully implements its email deletion policy that automatically deletes all emails at several state agencies older than 90 days.
 
February 27, 2015 - Cuomo's Chief Information Officer grilled over email deletion policy.
 
Lawmakers at a budget hearing grill Maggie Miller, the State's Chief Information Officer, over its new policy. When asked pointed questions about the policy's impact on litigation and Freedom of Information laws, Miller answered, "I, uh, all I can say is I fully support the policy."
 
Courtesy: ProPublica.org

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AAP says both Bhushans and Yadav worked against party in elections
AAP accused Prashant and Shanti Bhushan and Yogendra Yadav working against the party during Delhi elections
 
Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Admi Party (AAP) on Tuesday alleged that the party's three top leaders Prashant Bhushan, Shanti Bhushan and Yogendra Yadav worked against it during the recently concluded Delhi elections.
 
According to a statement issued by Manish Sisodia, Gopal Rai, Pankaj Gupta and Sanjay Singh on the party's Facebook page, these three leaders, especially Prashant Bhushan, told party workers from other states over the phone to not come to Delhi to campaign for the polls. 
 
The statement says Prashant Bhushan told party workers ""Even I am not campaigning for the Delhi polls. It is necessary for AAP to lose the Delhi polls this time. Only then Arvind (Kejriwal) will come to his senses."
 
AAP says during the Delhi election campaign, Prashant Bhushan kept the party brass threatening to hold a press conference against the party. Even Mayank Gandhi, the party chief in Maharashtra had stated the same thing in his blog post last week.
 
Meanwhile, replying to the statement, Yadav said he has been told that the members of legislative assembly (MLAs) in Delhi are being forced to sign a letter against him and Prashant Bhushan.

"I would like to thank my four colleagues for making a statement in public. Hope this would put an end to all this rumour mongering, and opens the possibility for a truthful dialogue. I'm told that Delhi MLAs are being forced to sign a letter against us, I hope this ends," Yadav said.

"It is our party's mechanism that Lokpal can look into allegations against any party leader; and the Lokpal is willing to look into it," he added.
 
Last week, the National Executive (NC) of AAP removed Prashant Bhushan and Yadav from the party's Political Affairs Committee (PAC).
 

 

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Nifty, Sensex and Bank Nifty on a downtrend – Monday closing report
Nifty may be headed for 8,600 and below
 
We had mentioned in our previous week’s market report that the Indian indices may move sideways. But the much-awaited US jobs report gave out better than anticipated data which has sparked the fear that Federal Reserve may raise interest rates by June 2015. This has led to a sharp downmove in all equity markets around the world.
 
The S&P BSE Sensex opened Monday lower at 29,317 while Nifty opened in the red at 8,891. After hitting the day’s high, almost at the same level, the benchmarks moved lower. The indices continued to move lower and hit the day’s low at the end. Sensex hit a low at 28,800 and closed at 28,845 (down 604 points or 2.05%) while Nifty hit a low at 8,740 and closed at 8,757 (down 181 points or 2.03%). Bank Nifty opened and hit the high at 19,545 and moved lower at 19,113 and closed at 19,145 (down 602 points or 3.05%). The loss on the indices was the highest since 6 January 2015. NSE recorded a volume of 90.68 crore shares. India VIX rose 9.52% to close at 15.8125.
 
Minister for Commerce & Industry Nirmala Sitharaman last week said that exports play a key role in ensuring success of the Make in India initiative. Speaking at the ECGC Dun & Bradstreet Export Performance Award ceremony in Mumbai, Sitharaman reiterated government's commitment to 'ease of doing business' and assured the gathering that similar measures will be extended to the export sector as well. 
 
Coming back to Indian stock markets, Sun Pharma Advanced (15.07%) was the top gainer in ‘A’ group on the BSE. The stock hit its all-time high again today. It recently got USFDA approval for its new drug application for Elepsia XR (Levetiracetam extended-release tablets 1000 mg and 1500 mg). Elepsia XR is indicated for adjunctive therapy in the treatment of partial onset seizures in patients 12 years of age and older with epilepsy.
 
Pipavav Defence (7.26%) was the top loser in ‘A’ group on the BSE. It was in news as Reliance Infrastructure said that it bought 18% stake in the company for aggregate amount of Rs819 crore. This will be followed with it making open offer for 26% of share capital at Rs66 per share.
 
Hindustan Unilever (3.76%) was the top gainer in Sensex 30 pack. The stock hit its 52-week high today. Sesa Sterlite (5.21%) was the top loser in the Sensex.
 
On Friday, US indices closed in the red. US Labor Department said employers added 295,000 workers in February. It was the longest run of 200,000-plus increases since 1994. The jobless rate dropped to 5.5% from 5.7% in January. The market fell because investors now anticipate a hike in interest rates. Except for Shanghai Composite (1.89%) all the other Asian indices closed in the red. Jakarta Composite (1.27%) was the top loser.
 
Data released by the General Administration of Customs on Sunday showed that China posted a record trade surplus of $60.6 billion last month. February exports jumped 48.3% from a year earlier, the strongest rise since May 2010 and comfortably beat market expectations, but customs office cautioned about reading too much into the figure given seasonal distortions. A 20.5% slide in February imports was the sharpest since the global financial crisis.
 
European indices were trading in the red. US Futures were trading flat. Greece may reportedly hold a referendum on whether to accept terms from the European Union over further aid to the country. Last month, Greece struck an agreement with its creditors to extend its current euro 240 billion ($263 billion) bailout by another four months.

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