Gur's blog

Governor You

T minus 27 and counting to Day One. A good day, we thought, to make Albany - uhhh - how shall we say it - a bit more interactive...?!?!?!

Towards that end, we've reverse engineered the somewhat hard to find section of Spitzer's transition site where people have been dutifully submitting their ideas for better governance - and have converted it into a much livelier public wire.

So now, beyond the simple show and tell, you can vote up the ideas you love; and down those you hate. We've also opened them all up for comments.

Macaca's Insult Machine

Macaca here, macaca there; just in case you haven't had enough, allow me to introduce you to Slate's George Allen Insult Generator.

And while I present Slate's creation to you here, if you're amused I strongly encourage you to thank the folks at Slate by clicking over there.

Warning: there's nothing PC about this here machine.

I am:

Hello, I'm Sen. George Allen. Who are you?

A Gay American That Got Paid to Play

Noteworthy in former New Jersey Governor James McGreevey's monsterous NY Mag confession today is his frankness on the politician-donor tete-a-tete:

All my financial contributors were vying for payback as well. My goal had been to raise $40 million for the campaign, which, unless you’re a Clinton or a Bush, is an obscene amount to pull out of pockets. You can’t take large sums of money from people without making them specific and personal promises in return. People weren’t shy about saying what they expected for their “investments”—board appointments to the Sports Authority or the New Jersey Economic Development Authority, for example, which were coveted not just for their prestige but because they offered control over tremendously potent economic engines, with discretionary budgets in the tens of millions. The plum was the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey; directors there controlled a multi-billion-dollar budget. I tried to stay as naïve about this horse trading as possible. But I allowed my staff to intimate things to donors. This is the daredevil’s dance every politician faces.

The Case of Ben v. Internets

Ben is working ferociously to unclog the tubes of his Internets.  In the meantime, here's a backup link to his posts on the Daily Politics:

DNC in NYC? Netroots Say: Fugitaboutit!

The netroots are bubbling, New York, and they've got their sights set on you.

The problem: they're not diggin' this whole let's-bring-the-Democratic-Convention-to-New-York-City bit.  No, not at all!

To put it mildly, they're kinda sick of your "liberally" coasted self; and generally, find the values of many of your inhabitants - wealthy Democrats, in particular - antithetical to their own.  And, to boot, they seem to think that you think that the world revolves around you and only you.  Wha?

In The Case of Cuomo v. Green

These ads will be added to the Ad Watch shortly; but in the mean time, click below for your last minute viewing pleasure.

I Ran For Office, And All I Got Was This Lousy Fine



Can't complain too much (though I tried).  All things considered, I guess $100 fine seems pretty fair for having made $2,000 worth of what the CFB deemed "non-campaign-related expenditures," and for paying on a portion of these commitments one day late, right?

The irony - I was fined for my Dollars for Democracy program, the part of the campaign where I was to put my money where my mouth was. My mouth was saying that instead of just using tax-payer funds to buy-off political club endorsements, why not redirect some of these monies to community organizations that were consistently adding real value to New Yorkers on the ground?

Clarke Wiki Watch

A reader turns up what happens when one types in "Yvette D. Clarke" at, which bills itself as the world's greatest encyclodictionalmanacapedia (the correct pronounciation of which you can hear here).

Apparently, - which touts the slightly more naunced Wikipedia entry on "Yvette D. Clarke" as its source of information -  is ... how shall I put it ... not so subtle about its views.

The closing paragraphs on Clarke read:

In the 2004 election cycle, Yvette Clarke, with only two and a half years service as an elected official, and the 41st council district's Tracy L. Boyland both ran for Owen's seat in the 2004 election cycle, an act that many saw as outright betrayal.

Congressman Owens Harangues Rep Murtha Over Brooklyn Visit

On WNYC's Brian Lehrer Show this morning, Rep John Murtha confirmed his endorsement of Council Member Yvette Clarke for Brooklyn's 11th Congressional District, and withstood a surprise attack [via phone] from his colleague, Rep Major Owens.

Owens took issue with Murtha's unannounced visit to his district - calling it a "breach in protocol" - and questioned whether Murtha's co-conspirator Rep Anthony Weiner even held a similar position [to Murtha, Clarke and Chris Owens] on the Iraq War.

Murtha defended Weiner who had signed on to Murtha's troop redeployment resolution.

Update: Weiner's office further clarifies the point:

"Jack Murtha is right. Our troops have become targets and occupiers rather than peacekeepers and nation builders. We honor them by redeploying them and taking them out of the middle of an escalating civil conflict. The primary burden for getting Iraq on its feet now lies with the Iraqi's. That's why on day one I was a cosponsor of Rep. Murtha's resolution calling for a change in direction in Iraq."

Audio of the interview now available, here.

Anti-War Rep John Murtha to Endorse Yvette Clarke In The 11th

Such is the scoop sources say.

Not only will the Congress's leading anti-war voice give Yvette Clarke his full-on support, but former US Marine and PA Rep John Murtha - one of Bush's most outspoken critics on Iraq - will also join Clarke at a town hall forum to hear the concerns of voters in the 11th Congressional District tomorrow night.

Significant this is because of the district's strong anti-war leanings.  According to sources with knowledge of Brooklyn politics, polling routinely shows that the Iraq War is tops on the minds of voters in the 11th.

The Smoking Guns In The AG Race

The Rochester Democrat and Chronicle recently asked the four attorney general candidates to opine on this one question:

What steps would you take to curb the gun violence that is plaguing upstate?

You can read each of the candidates' responses by clicking on their names after the jump.   

Worth noting - the New York State Rifle and Pistol Association found Maloney's position "the least offensive among the four".

Maloney's piece - as it were - begins with a recollection of fond childhood memories shooting a .22 caliber rifle with his dad and brothers... and concludes with his support for the death penalty.

Dept. of Nuhhhh - Uhhhhh????

Brought to you by Republican Tramm Hudson, the current front runner in Florida's 13th Congressional District race to replace Rep. Katherine Harris.

And I quote:  "I grew up In Alabama, and I understand, and I know this from my own experience, but blacks are not the greatest swimmers or may not even know how to swim."

Or, just watch for yourself, here:

Hat Tip: Hotline On Call

Update: Hudson issues apology

Google This!

An aside.

Don't know why.  Can't explain it.  But today, Google is throwing many searchers our way.  Guess this happens on the more curious of days...???

So, thought I'd share with you what it is your fellow readers searched (the last 24 of them) to make their way here.

And, again, I leave the deciphering to you.

Num  Perc.      Search Term
2      8.33%    inthevip
2      8.33%    clintonbust
2      8.33%    ellen young for state senate
1      4.17%    nys assembly camara
1      4.17%    room eight
1      4.17%    somnambulism
1      4.17%    nick spano
1      4.17%    lead dog and view never changes and pictures
1      4.17%    police national average pension
1      4.17%    jim owles
1      4.17%    race attack in douglaston
1      4.17%    unless you are the lead dog, the view never changes
1      4.17%    john spencer debate
1      4.17%    georgina bloomberg, photos
1      4.17%    sylvia friedman brian kavanagh
1      4.17%    member of assembly miguel estrella
1      4.17%    articles on rodent infestation on the upper west side
1      4.17%    pataki early retirement incentive
1      4.17%    tristram, custody
1      4.17%    spano working families endorsement
1      4.17%    anthony miranda- male democratic district leader
24     100.00%

Ravitz In His Own Words: Denies Late Night BOE Visits; Blames The Internets

So what really happened at the Board of Elections the night petitions were filed, and shortly thereafter? These questions have been the subject of much debate (a la Maurice and Gate).

So we decided to take some of these questions directly to John Ravitz, BOE head honcho. And now, we leave the real deciphering to you...

(pls note: as always, we welcome commentary from any of the officials mentioned herein - either in the comments section or via email for direct publication)

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