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Blowing the Chauffeur: The Mournful Sound You Hear Is Not Tekiyah Gedolah; It's Kaddish (Taps For Alan Hevesi)

September 25, 2001 was the only time Alan Hevesi ever wanted my vote that he didn’t get it. On September 11th, 2001, I rose early in the morning and voted for Hevesi for mayor, although I knew he’d lose. There was going to be a run-off, and I’d then get a chance to re-evaluate, so why not go for my first choice?

Of course, my vote for Hevesi that day never got counted, and newly sobered by the reality of what had just occurred and the enormity of what lay ahead, I decided to get serious in the rescheduled primary two weeks later. Between Freddy Ferrer’s insensitively premature remarks about moving businesses out of Lower Manhattan, and his public ass-kissing of Al Sharpton, I decided the run-off was now and switched my vote to Mark Green. It was the right thing to do, and I felt terrible. That November, Hevesi appeared on the Liberal line and I voted against him again, although this time, so did he.

Did You Get What You Paid For?

Consultants rake in $1.78B in 2004 cycle


WASHINGTON -- In the 1967 film classic "The Graduate," the callow Benjamin Braddock, played by Dustin Hoffman, is counseled to make his future in plastics.

These days, in the nation's capital, the career advice whispered to a young graduate would boil down to this: Consulting.


After Judicial Conventions

It now seems likely that that this year was the last where candidates for New York Sate Supreme Court Justices will be chosen by conventions. This is a result of 2 Federal Court decisions that ruled the present convention system illegal.

Despite talk of switching to an appointive system, the most likely change is that candidate for Supreme Court will, starting next year, be picked in Primary elections. That is because a change to an appointive system requires amending the State Constitution and that will take at least three years.

While many reformers and good government types who sincerely want to have a high quality court system have proposals to improve the way these judges will be elected (public financing, smaller districts, independent screening panels), these changes are so controversial that I doubt the State Legislature will agree to them.

LunchBox: Whole Lotta Somethin'

On LuchBox today, host Adam Green on: Alan Hevesi, George Allen, John Faso, Eliot Spitzer, George Pataki and more...

Subway Reading 1: "The Truth about the Jew"

Suway Reading 1
I’m one of those people on the subway who’s always looking to see what my fellow riders are reading. Once I saw someone reading the exact same edition of Lolita that I was; that was the coolest example.

On the L train this morning I saw a real gem sitting right in front of where I was standing. As my "smart" phone doesn't look like a camera, I snapped a few shots of the pamphlet and then the reader after she put it away (a guy sat next to her and seemed to be as curious, but not as subtle, as I; she acted uncomfortable as she put it in her purse).

The Difference Between a Cactus and a Caucus

On September 19, I announced: “I’ll be going on modified High-Holy-hiatus until 9/25, although I reserve the right to come back and comment on anything that interests me and won’t keep until then.”

I kept fairly silent, not posting my own pieces, and minimally sticking my nose into the business of others. The one “Room 8” entry I chose not to ignore was this pissing match between EnWhySea Wonk and Rock Hackshaw in which, in keeping with the spirit of the holidays,  I tried to play peacemaker, to no avail, telling them that while a little towel snapping in the Room 8 Locker Room was to be expected (and if one couldn't  take it, they could always join the Chorus instead), if this sort of street brawling continued, I'd have to see to it that Coach benched the both of em. 

Importing Constituents

With all the political news being made right now, I'm sure that few have given thought to the way that New York's prison population may have dramatic consequences for the State's political present and future.

No one knows definitively if the prison population can affect the outcome of an election in specific legislative districts. But what many have recognized is that instead of a fair and representative practice, politicians are using non-resident incarcerated New Yorkers for their own political advantage.

Compared to my Senate District of approximately 312,000 people, there are upstate senators who have significantly less constituents. Senate Districts 39 through 62, which are Upstate, are short a combined total of 275,268 people. If every Senate District represented an equal number of people, a whole other Senate district for the NYC-region would be created (where Districts 1-38, like mine, exceed the norm).

LunchBox: Adam Green Returns

On LunchBox today, host Adam Green on: Charlie Rangel, George Allen, George Bush, Alan Hevesi, Chris Callaghan, John Spencer, Hillary Clinton, the Pope, Peter Kalikow, Roger Toussaint, Jerry Falwell and more...

What’s going on with Central Brooklyn political clubs? Part 1

This past summer has only cemented my belief that there needs to be a new Democratic club in central Brooklyn. CBID, IND, and other groups have done their part in local politics for quite awhile. However, their effectiveness and cohesiveness have begun to dissolve.

Now, this is not a rant about what these clubs did or can do, just an honest assessment of what these clubs are and what they can be. 

I am not too familiar with IND and have never been a member. What I have heard is there is constant fractioning and division in the club. Old members are fighting amongst themselves, while new members envision a dramatically different club. The reason I bring this up, is to add more contents to the situation that CBID finds itself in right now.  

Half-Nelson, A Sick Flick "Made For" ABC's John Stoessel

I saw the movie “Half-Nelson” yesterday evening, and have just checked the reviews on the Internet. To my surprise I find my evaluation of the film completely different from that of almost every reviewer.

As I sat in the cinema the thought occurred to me that this was precisely the kind of sick school flick that John Stoessel of ABC would applaud and cherish.  Maybe we can expect a clip on one of his future shows. At the risk of increasing it’s popularity, I would summarize Half- Nelson as essentially a pornographic film which did everything except consumnate a sexual relationship between a White male drug-addicted teacher and a 13 year old innocent Black girl who looked like a cute,  flat-chested boy with braids at the beginning and began to show some sign of tits at the end.

Hakeem Jeffries And The Train That Left The Station

When a man with  a wife and two young children gives up a $250,000 job and a future without limits to run for a $90,000 job, it’s quite a stretch to imagine that he will be caught on video-tape looking for a bribe from some developer.

Hakeem Jeffries could be a multi-millionaire within 5 years at his present job. Instead, he’s going to spend several days a week away from his wife and two young children in a cold, dull dreary town as a Freshman in the Assembly.  And he’s going to take a pay-cut of about $160,000 per year.  I suggested to the Assemblyman-to-be that  it was just about enough grounds for divorce on the basis of cruel and inhuman punishment.

"Finally, a good reason to leave Manhattan" (NY politicians)

Don't New York's politicians have better things do to?

See "'Ad'ding insult to boroughs" in the Sunday New York Post, pg. 5. Public Storage ads proclaim, "Finally, a good reason to leave Manhattan."

Councilman Eric Gioia (D-Queens) "fired off a furious letter to the California-based storage company yesterday, demanding that the 'narrow-minded and inaccurate' ads be removed from city subways and buses immediately."

Gioia must be kidding, right? Can we just give these politicians their $25,000 salary increase right now? What would we do without the city council's opinion on advertising? How could anyone live?

A Wonk's Life: Happy Anniversary to Room 8

Wonk's Life 1.1

(More Pictures at the End) 

In the comments of a recent post I was accused by a blogger on this site who shall remain nameless, of being a one-issue voter. I take serious issue with unjust accusation. On the occasion of the sixth month anniversary of Room 8 (the first post was by Jerry on March 23rd (not including bios for the site’s pioneers) the official launch was announced on the Politicker a few days later), I’d like to take the opportunity to debunk this insult with a semi-retrospective of my work.

Maloney's Moxie

by Jenny Klion

You’ve got to wonder who are the friends of US Rep Carolyn Maloney. For the 2005-2006 election cycle, a stunning 61.4 percent of her entire donation base was comprised of individual contributions — to the tune of well over a half a million dollars. And among those individuals, many of whom hail from wealthy Westchester County, three of them happen to be part of the executive team at Triumvirate Environmental, a Boston-based environmental/waste management company with new offices here in New York City.

LunchBox: New Rules

Adam Green returns Monday with all new LunchBox vlogcasts. In the meantime, we give you the all-offending Bill Maher.

HBO's Real Time with Bill Maher