The best items from The Notebook, City & State’s political blog
City & State’s political blog, The Notebook, is your key source for political and campaign developments in New York. Stay on top of the news with items like these at www.cityandstateny.com/thenotebook.
Most of the defendants in the Carl Kruger bribery scandal want to serve their prison sentences at Otisville, a medium-security federal correctional facility in Orange County, N.Y. Kruger was sentenced to seven years in prison, Michael Turano to two years, former MediSys CEO David Rosen to three years, and Parkway Hospital executive Robert Aquino to four months. Kruger, Turano and Rosen all specifically requested Otisville. The facility, a so-called “haven” for white-collar criminals, was listed in Forbes as one of the “12 Best Places to Go to Prison.” The biggest perk? “Jewish prisoners can enjoy one of the biggest and most active religious programs at Otisville,” Forbes noted. “My guess is that it’s a relatively easy place to do time,” said Robert Gangi, the former executive director of the Correctional Association of New York. The other thing Otisville has is really great seders, which could appeal to Jewish inmates like Kruger. In 2008 New York magazine wrote a piece on Otisville and its Jewish traditions, which stated, “Otisville is one of only a handful of federal institutions to have a full-time Jewish chaplain. It also boasts a kosher kitchen and weekly Shabbat services.”
Now that Fran Barrett, wife of legendary Village Voice muckraker Wayne Barrett, is taking a job with the Cuomo administration, we wondered what effect the new hire could have on her husband’s reporting on Andrew Cuomo. Asked if he thinks Cuomo co-opts potential critics, Barrett said he hasn’t covered the governor in a long time, since Barrett’s been writing national copy for Newsweek–The Daily Beast. “Do I think that he regarded me as a media threat to him? Absolutely,” Barrett said. “Do I think he does now? Absolutely not.… I know many people regard him as a national figure and a presidential candidate, but I think most of the copy about that has been ridiculous.” And is the governor transparent enough? “I kicked his butt on his media strategy. But you know, look, this is just my feeling about it. He is more secretive than some governors I’ve covered. He’s not any more secretive than Pataki was.… I think his point of view is, he’s got 75 percent favorables; it’s a strategy that he developed while he was [attorney general], and until his numbers start going down I don’t see him changing it.”
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