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June 8, 2015- Opinion by Steven E. Greer
The local advertising flier called Broadsheet (BS) has been criticized by BatteryPark.TV over the years for being extremely biased in its reporting. The bias has often been in favor of the Sheldon Silver Downtown political machine.
For example, in the Fall of 2012, the Sheldon-Silver-funded Manhattan Youth community center orchestrated rallies opposing the opening of Asphalt Green. They billed the rallies as “Save the Ballfields”, but the real intent was to restrict the ability of Asphalt Green to compete with Manhattan Youth.
BP.TV was the only news source to accurately report on the Asphalt Green saga. The BS was in complete collusion with Manhattan Youth and Sheldon Silver. During CB1 meetings on the topic, the BS’s freelance writer, Matt Fenton, would be seen stretching out on a fold-out chair with hands locked above his head, flaunting the fact that he was not going to take notes or report on the scandal.
The BS also received considerable payments from the BPCA during that time, so the lack of reporting helped BPCA President Gayle Horwitz, who was the one orchestrating the entire ploy to stall the opening of Asphalt Green. BP.TV reporting led to her prompt ouster, but the BS still failed to report on the BPCA scandal, avoiding biting the hand that fed it cash.
There are many more examples of BS reporting bias. When Sheldon Silver was arrested and indicted on corruption charges, the BS failed to report, and so on.
Now, the BS has outdone itself, which is quite a feat. In another article written by Matt Fenton, the BS covers the story of the felony conviction of CB1 member, and long-time ally of the BS, local lawyer Jeff Galloway. From reading the BS version, one would think that Mr. Galloway was a saint wrongly persecuted.
The BS states, “This plea arose from charges that Mr. Galloway failed to file New York State tax returns in a timely manner between 2005 and 2010, and that when he did file these returns, Mr. Galloway claimed improper deductions. As a result, New York County District Attorney prosecutors claimed in court filings, Mr. Galloway underpaid New York State taxes for those six years by a total of $166,421.”. Well, that seems pretty benign.
What the BS leaves out is that Mr. Galloway lied to prosecutors, used a bogus social security number on his tax filings, and continued to lie after he was caught. The BS makes no mention of the fact that Mr. Galloway deducted the cost of his huge Gateway apartment complex, which is subsidized as “rent-stabilized”, even though Mr. Galloway earns approximately $1 Million a year from his law firm.
The BS’s Matt Fenton goes on to compare Mr. Galloway’s crime to other crooked lawyers, who were much worse, thereby downplaying Mr. Galloway’s transgressions, “Mr. Galloway’s case is far from unusual, and is relatively mild in comparison to some recent, similar incidents of lawyers who have run afoul of the tax code. In 2011, Joseph O’Brien, a former partner at the law firm of Sullivan & Cromwell, was sentenced to 28 months in federal prison (and ordered to pay $2,866,832 in restitution) after failing to pay taxes on more than $10 million in income. And in 2013, Theodore L. Freedman, a former partner at the firm of Kirkland & Ellis, was sentenced to a year in prison (and required to pay $840,000 in restitution) after pleading guilty to charges arising from failure to report $2.4 million in income.”. (Of note, Mr. Fenton also failed to properly give credit to a law blog and the WSJ, which was the source of this information.)
Then, Mr. Fenton portrays Mr. Galloway as a dedicated servant to community, rather than as a parasite to the community. The BS article states, “Mr. Galloway has served as a volunteer member of CB1 for many years…he helped negotiate agreements that created the ball fields and then converted them to artificial turf, while also overseeing the process that brought Asphalt Green to the community center on North End Avenue.”.
In reality, Mr. Galloway had absolutely nothing to do whatsoever with the artificial turf on the ballfields being replaced after Hurricane Sandy. Instead, Mr. Galloway was busy trying to use the crisis as an opportunity to revive his nearly dead “MOU” document that would have placed dozens of restrictive covenants on Asphalt Green, protecting Sheldon Silver’s Manhattan Youth.
Mr. Fenton mentions that Mr. Galloway has been a leader within he Gateway Plaza building complex, “He has additionally served on the board of directors of the Gateway Plaza Tenants Association (where he fought to preserve rent stabilization and affordability) and has been a vocal advocate for the rights of local pet owners, pushing the Battery Park City Authority to create multiple dog runs.”. However, the article fails to mention that the windows in Gateway are so bad that snow leaks into them during the winter, and that the electric bills are far higher than they would be if LeFrak’s Gateway allowed residents to directly pay ConEd instead of their building management company, and that none of these problems have been fixed despite the decades of “service” by Mr. Galloway on the tenants association.
Mr. Galloway has succeeded in maintaining the rent-stabilization on his multiple apartments, despite the rest of Gateway becoming market rate. Millionaire Galloway lives in a complex of several apartments that have been joined together, which cost him a fraction of what they would in a market-rate setting.
Mr. Fenton’s article then quotes another CB1 member, Anthony Notaro, praising Mr. Galloway. Ironically, Mr. Notaro himself is now under investigation by the city and other agencies for conflicts of interest.
Notaro is quoted, “Jeff has been an active and devoted member of the Battery Park City community for more than 25 years, donating countless hours to the betterment of our neighborhood. From Community Board 1, to the Gateway Tenants Association as well as the BPC Dog Association, along with his wife Paula, Jeff has worked tirelessly to make our community great. I know I speak for many Battery Park City residents when I say that I feel lucky to count them as my neighbors and friends.”.
For decades, the BPC Dog Association served as the organization that enabled dog owners in Gateway to use the sidewalks as pet sewers with impunity. Large menacing breeds, such as put bulls, were running wild inside Gateway, scaring residents, and so on. This is what Mr. Galloway’s “dog mafia” was really doing.
As the informed viewers of BP.TV know by now, The Broadsheet, run by Gateway Plaza resident Robert Simko, is not a news outlet. It is run by amateurs who make a living accepting cash from the very same agencies they are supposed to be covering as “journalists”. This advertising flier should not be allowed to clutter the front desks of apartments in the community, unless the paper is used to clean up the dog poop.