A close-up look at NYC education policy, politics,and the people who have been, are now, or will be affected by acts of corruption and fraud. ATR CONNECT assists individuals who suddenly find themselves in the ATR ("Absent Teacher Reserve") pool and are the "new" rubber roomers, and re-assigned. The terms "rubber room" and "ATR" mean that you or any person has been targeted for removal from your job. A "Rubber Room" is not a place, but a process.
Gov. Scott Walker survived his recall election. The same cannot be said for the integrity of campaign finance laws inWisconsin.
Incumbents targeted for recall are freed from Wisconsin's normal
fundraising limits, and can collect unlimited contributions from
individual donors. With the election
between Walker and his Democratic opponent, former Milwaukee mayor Tom
Barrett, seen as a battleground for national partisan politics, money
poured in on both sides. But Walker exploited the seemingly infinite
loophole to tremendous advantage: By election day, Walker's campaign had
received more than $30 million in donations, a total that approached
the $37.5 million spent by both sides during the 2010 election,according to the Center for Public Integrity.
Wisconsinreceived a grade of 'C-' from the State Integrity Investigationfor its political financing
laws and practices, with reporter Kate Golden finding proper measures
on limits, enforcement, and transparency, while also documenting
numerous exemptions and back-channels, including the recall election
loophole. But in other states, the potentially polluting influence of
unlimited, and sometimes unsupervised campaign financing is constant and
permanent, borne out of state laws and practices -- or their absence.
Frustrated with Albany’s tepid reaction to the idea of publicly financed
elections, the Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes and his fiancé are
financing a new campaign to press the issue in coordination with Gov.
Andrew M. Cuomo.
The group has also enlisted two former Cuomo aides to help plot its
strategy. The campaign, Protect Our Democracy, will include a 501(c)(4) nonprofit group and a political action committee.
The law allows the disclosure of the names and pensions of retired
public workers. But it exempts disclosure of the name of a “beneficiary”
— which has long been interpreted to mean a person receiving the
benefits after a retiree dies.
A state court ruling last year, however, found that a retiree could also
be “beneficiary” and, therefore, could be shielded from disclosure. It
is now up to the State Legislature to undo this ridiculous ruling and
clarify an important law.
The government transparency website Project Sunlight has been expanded
by Attorney General Eric Schneiderman to include the user friendly New
York Open Government feature. Project Sunlight, which contains a
collection of information compiled by the Attorney General's Office,
will now help voters and government watchdogs hold state government
accountable by offering up-to-date campaign contribution, lobbying and
state contract data.
“Secrecy breeds corruption, while transparency generates confidence,”
Schneiderman said in a statement. “New York Open Government will help
the public keep an eye on what their government is doing in order to
deter corruption and increase confidence in the public sector."