Saturday, November 8, 2008

Diana Reyna

Just what are Diana Reyna's reasons for supporting the term limits extension? WATCH VIDEO


Slush pols look after their own

by Robert Gearty, Benjamin Lesser, Kirsten Danis, and Greg B. Smith
The Daily News, April 30, 2008

Council member Diana Reyna of Brooklyn was generous with her in-laws, starting with $75,000 for the Striking Viking Story Pirates, an acting troupe featuring her sister-in-law, Laura Hernandez.

Reyna said her in-law approached her for funding. The money pays for the group to perform plays in three schools in her district.

She insists her sister-in-law gets no compensation from city money, but acknowledges her relative gets paid from birthday parties the group performs.

Reyna also sole-sponsored $6,000 in "discretionary funds" for Los Sures Senior Center, which is run by her mother-in-law, also named Laura Hernandez.

Reyna also sponsored another $25,000 in taxpayer funds to be split by Los Sures and three other nonprofits.

City pulls lid off pols' pig trough
Saturday, June 16th 2007

For the first time, the City Council squealed yesterday on how its 51 members doled out $36.4 million in so-called "pork" funds.

The Council divulged the sponsors for each of more than 1,500 budget allocations. Previously, only the recipients and how much each got were made public.

The disclosure was made as Council members unanimously approved the city's new $59 billion budget, which kicks in July 1. The spending plan includes a 7% cut in the property-tax rate - part of a package of $1.3 billion in tax cuts.

Budget officials reported yesterday that the record surplus of $4.4 billion has grown by another $638 million since Mayor Bloomberg proposed the new budget April 26. The surplus is being used to help offset future spending gaps.

Each Council member controlled a minimum of $340,000 for member items, totaling at least $17.4 million of the $36.4 million in Council discretionary funds.

"I don't call it pork," said Councilman David Weprin (D-Queens), chairman of the Finance Committee. "I call it funding services provided by community groups."

A big beneficiary was the Ridgewood Bushwick Senior Citizens Council, part of the social services and housing empire of Assemblyman Vito Lopez (D-Brooklyn), the Brooklyn Democratic boss.

Last year, Lopez's organizations got at least $572,000, without any sponsors being disclosed.

This time, Lopez-related groups got $609,750. Sponsors included Council members Diana Reyna and Erik Martin Dilan, both Brooklyn Democrats, and Dennis Gallagher (R-Queens), who all represent districts in and around Lopez's turf.

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