Dominic Carter's blog

Paterson steps up to "level the playing field."

What do three of the last four governors have in common?

Promises to increase opportunities for minority and women owned firms.

Well, here’s something that shocking and how could it exist in a liberal state like New York?

We already know that New York is one of the most ethnically diverse states:

-Has the second highest number of women-owned businesses

-And New York has the third highest number of minority-owned business enterprises

Yet the reality is at the end of the day, when it comes to spending money with such businesses, New York State currently falls behind eight other states.



Either you have it or you don't

Just recently I had lunch with former Mayor Ed Koch, and I have to say it was a very pleasurable experience.

Some politicians just have “It.” Charisma, personality, charm, the ability to connect with people. Koch has always been one of them.

For 25 years, Koch and I have always had a traditional Newsmaker/Journalistic relationship. I’ve known him as the city’s personable and witty three term mayor, but this time over lunch was different. He was again literally standing as tall as he did when he was mayor. He’s a man in his 80’s, who has had heart problems, but on this day Koch was in his prime. Every weekend, he dines for the most part, with former members of his administration, and it was remarkable to watch Koch hold court without missing a beat. In all these years, I had never seen the private Ed Koch. But this time I did.



With our schools, it's not time for business as usual

The logic has escaped me for for several days now, and I still just don’t get it.

Maybe you can help me.

What good can possibly come out of keeping open 19 failing NYC schools?

The State Appeals court recently ruled against the City of N.Y that wanted to close the schools for low performing results, in favor of the United Federation of Teachers and the NAACP.

The court found that the city failed to provide statements fully showing the impact for closing the 19 schools. (In other words, not fully accounting for how the closures would affect the communities the schools are located in)



Cuomo should sure thank Paterson

Governor David Paterson deserves better than being called the “Accidental Governor.”

When it comes to the budget, Paterson is taking one for the team. He's biting the bullet on Andrew Cuomo’s behalf. Mr. Cuomo, the gov-in-waiting should thank Paterson immensely. Perhaps it explains why publicly Cuomo in general has been offering praise Paterson’s way.

Think about it.

Most governors in Paterson’s shoes with only a few months to go, would only be concerned about their legacy. In other words, Paterson could punt on the state’s horrible budget situation, simply passing on the enormous problem to the next guy.



One big Mess of a Budget

“Quick Agreement Unlikely on …… Budget Cuts”

“ALBANY — Negotiations over Gov. ………… plan to cut $1 billion out of the current state budget stalled today, legislative leaders said, making it extremely unlikely that a package will be in place for lawmakers to vote on when they return to the Capitol on Monday.

Although leaders of both the Democratic-controlled Assembly and the Republican-led Senate have pledged to make cuts in order to eliminate a budget deficit, disagreements this weekend over where to cut -- especially in the political minefield of aid to local school districts -- appear to have dissipated their resolve to act quickly.”



Will Bloomberg run for President? He is looking at the current Political Climate

If he sees an “opening”, Mayor Michael Bloomberg may decide to run for President.

Bloomberg flirted with running as an independent in the 2008 race, and to me, it has become increasingly clear that Bloomberg is itching for a new challenge.  

Sure enough, my thoughts were confirmed over lunch recently with a top NY political consultant on Team Bloomberg who said “Bloomberg wants to run.”

Of course under normal circumstances an independent candidacy wouldn’t have much of a chance at all, but these are not normal times, and you already know the rest of the sentence, Bloomberg is not a normal politician.



The handwriting for a Cuomo budget is on the wall

The more things change, the more they remain the same.

An incoming governor vows change is coming to Albany. The legislature responds we will see about that. 

                          Sound familiar?

At the Democratic Convention last week, Andrew Cuomo took questions on how he will handle next year’s budget.

“I’m not going to raise taxes; I’m not going to have a wage increase for public employees,” he said.


The Perfect 1-2 punch

If State Republicans were not already facing enough of an uphill battle, what in the world are they going to do to combat the Andrew Cuomo-Rochester Mayor Robert Duffy ticket?

You have to tip your hat to Cuomo, this selection is good.

New York City voters may not initially be impressed, but upstate is. Upstate often feels neglected when it comes to downstate, and downstate dominated political tickets. But now, they not only have the popular Cuomo (based on polls) but one of their own.



Albany is not big enough for Cuomo and Silver

The race for governor is starting to heat up---but not necessarily between the candidates.

Instead it’s the top democrats.

Soon to be Democratic nominee for Governor Andrew Cuomo and the powerful speaker of the Assembly Sheldon Silver.

Of course both men are downplaying a disagreement.

Cuomo has started doing media interviews and Monday told Fred Dicker, the state editor of the NY Post ( on Talk Radio 1300 AM in Albany) he did not see Assembly speaker Sheldon Silver as an "obstacle" to his agenda.



Let the games begin

It's official.

Political consultant Basil Smikle is off and running against Harlem State Senator Bill Perkins.

You might as well call this the race over choice. That is charter school choice.

Perkins does not support charters, but the problem that could cost Perkins his job is his position does not sit well with many parents in the district.

Smikle came out on the attack Thursday afternoon in Harlem:



Huge week for "Governor in waiting" is coming up.

In the suburban battleground area of nearby Westchester County- The race for governor is about to officially begin.

As State Democrats meet, they can forget Governor Paterson’s poll numbers, and start the coronation towards the future. It’s Andrew Cuomo moment in the sun.

It was be interesting to see how Cuomo is nominated and how he accepts his party’s backing?

What role does his father (Democratic icon and three term N.Y. Governor Mario Cuomo) play at the convention, if any?



The Race for State Attorney General will be a Battle

One of the more hotly contested races to keep an eye on this year is once again the battle for State Attorney General.

Not lost on any candidate running for AG:

- The job of New York Attorney General has been national in stature.

- Election to NY Attorney General has been a very successful stepping stone into the Governor’s mansion. Notably Elliot Spitzer and Andrew Cuomo. (should the polls end up being accurate)

And adding to the unpredictability of this race is Cuomo's request for a balanced ticket. Regional balance, (Upstate Downstate) ethnic balance, and gender balance.



One Harlem Race just got a lot hotter

Harlem State Senator Bill Perkins is running for re-election this fall, and he could be in serious trouble.

Why?

This situation is a nightmare for any incumbent. There apparently won’t be any split of the opposition vote after Larry Blackmon-a deputy city parks commissioner has backed out of the race, and there’s the question of the role Mayor Bloomberg will play. Directly or indirectly.

Political consultant Basil Smikle –generally a well liked guy known for keeping the pulse of the community- will run against Perkins in the Democratic primary this fall – mainly challenging Perkins opposition to charter schools.



Senator Perkins, what's good for the goose is good for the gander. Why not give parents an option?

With all due respect to the United Federation of Teachers, what wrong with parents having a choice on Charter Schools?

It breaks my heart with the percentage of children that are not graduating from High School. Pick a city---select any state, and it is mostly children of color that are dropping out in record numbers.

Charter schools are one of the big debates in Harlem these days with State Senator Bill Perkins being adamantly against them yet parents in the district are deciding in droves to support such schools “with their feet.”



They may not like each other, but Elliot Spitzer and Andrew Cuomo share some some similarities

The recent announcement from State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo that Senate Majority leader Pedro Espada Jr. and family members allegedly looted more than 14 million from the government-funded nonprofit Soundview HealthCare Network reminded me of the last man to hold the seat before Cuomo—the so-called “Sheriff of Wall Street.”

While on a personal level, the two democrats Elliot Spitzer and Andrew Cuomo are not fans of each other, they do share some interesting similarities. (please see Sam Roberts piece in the NY Times…. Spitzer on Cuomo: He’s Driven, Often by Politics)

-Nearly a year in advance of the 2006 race, polls showed Spitzer, the heavy favorite in his run for governor, and four years later Cuomo is looking at the same situation---with basically only token opposition from republicans and in all likelihood is the next governor of New York State.



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