Tasini Files Suit Against AOL, HuffPo

New York political activist Jonathan Tasini announced today he is filing a class-action lawsuit against The Huffington Post and AOL over its compensation (or lack thereof) for bloggers and other content producers.

The website, which was purchased earlier this year by AOL for $200 million, highlighted the concern among those in journalism and publishing that HuffPo is a repository for junk content written to appeal to quick Google searches.

“Arianna Huffington is pursuing the Wal-Martization of creative content and a Third World class of creative people,” said Jonathan Tasini, the lead plaintiff in the suit, in a statement. “Actually, that is unfair to Wal-Mart because at least Wal-Mart pays its workers something for the value those workers create. In Arianna Huffington’s business model, economic gain is only reserved for her. Everyone else, apparently, is expected to work for free regardless of the value they create. Greed and selfishness is the order of the day.”

Tasini, a New York City resident, has launched unsuccessful Senate campaigns against both Hillary Clinton in 2006 and HuffPo contributor Kirsten Gillibrand in 2010.


Meet The Littlest LCAer

The LCA has a new member.


The Times Union’s intrepid Jimmy Vielkind today is celebrating the birth of Brooke Rose Vielkind, born at 12:52 p.m. on March 31 (nearly beating the on-time state budget!)

Jimmy reports that Brooke Rose and her mother, Katherine Rose Nadeau, are healthy and recovering at home.

Here’s how the new dad describes his daughter:

“Brooke came out pink as a peppermint pig, with a nicely fuzzed head (some blondish strands, some light brown…the genes are still fighting) and, when she shares them with the world, eyes the color of Levis.”

“We are so proud of her already…She’s meeting her grandparents today, and all agreed she’s a sweet, happy, beautiful little girl. We just say she’s perfect.”

Congratulations – and Mazel Tov! (from LB) – to Jimmy and Katherine!

Reisman To The Rescue!

I’d like to take this opportunity (before one of my blogging competitors does it for me) to introduce you to our soon-to-be newest CapTon member: Nick Reisman.

Regular CapTon viewers might recognize him as a frequent member of our Friday reporters roundtable. He became a go-to roundtabler a few months ago, and quickly got bumped to the top of our invite list, thanks to his insights and his willingness to trek to YNN’s Watervliet Avenue Extension studios after a long week chasing news at the Capitol.


Nick will be filling a reporting hole left by the departure of former CapTon contributor and Twitter enthusiast, Kaitlyn Ross, who moved on for a much warmer opportunity in Florida.

You’ll be seeing him first on the blog, and then later on the screen as he joins me in making the transition from ink-stained wretch to TV reporter – a switch with which he’ll be assisted by CapTon’s Mike Whittemore. Look for the two of them at our Capitol Bureau, sharing some rather cramped (not for long, we hope) quarters with Erin Billups, of NY1.

I’m very much looking forward to his arrival – and not only because it means I will get some much-needed assistance on the blog.

Nick is only 26, but he has several years of reporting under his belt. He graduated from SUNY Albany in 2007 with a degree in History and journalism and then interned at Gannett and the NY Daily News (my alma mater).

His first reporting gig was at The Post-Star in Glens Falls, where he started for 2-1/2 years. He’s now a member of Gannett’s Albany Bureau. Longtime Journal News readers might be familiar with the name “Reisman.” That’s because Nick’s father, Phil, is a veteran columnist for that newspaper (also a Gannett publication).

Nick has only been covering the Capitol for just under a year, but he has proven himself to be a very quick study. His writing is clear and his questions of elected officials are pointed. He is also a very able blogger, often beating me to the punch over at Politics on the Hudson.

I hope you’ll join me in welcoming Nick aboard. Look for him to start posting here in the coming days. He sent me this quote about his impending move:

“I can’t wait to get started on The CapTon team. The show and the blog both drive the conversation in state government, which is very cool.”

Birnbaum Lands At POLITICO

Make that two former Posties at POLITICO.

Ben Smith reports that former Post political editor, who walked off the job earlier this month after a “curse-filled blowup” with Col Allan over coverage of President Obama’s tax plan, has landed at POLITICO. His new title is “senior editor,” and he’ll be concentrating on breaking news coverage at first.

Birnbaum joins his old Post colleague, Maggie Haberman, who is currently on maternity leave, but will undoubtedly return raring to go and as well-sourced as ever.

POLITICO editor John Harris announced Birnbaum’s hire by saying: “My Christmas present arrived early this year.”

Harris’ memo appears in full after the jump.

More >

Goodbye, NT2, We Hardly Knew Ye

….Or, put more aptly, we weren’t able to unmask ye. (Darn you!)

Seriously, this is really very sad, and big loss for state Capitol junkies who really enjoyed this blog’s insightful and well-sourced commentary that was replete with historical references – so much so that speculation over who was behind it focused largely on past and current electeds and legislative staffers.

As it turns out, we might have been on to something there. From NT2’s final post:

“Several of our members, including our scribe, are about to start new ventures. Our remaining members didn’t think they could maintain the output of the blog at the same level. So we’ve decided to end it.”

“…There’s a possibility that we regroup and return in the new year under a different banner and with a slightly different focus. We’re exploring that now.”

And that’s why they’re not revealing their identities…yet. (CapCon’s Rick Karlin came to much the same conclusion).

Come clean, NT2! I’ll never tell.

Promise. Really.