I spent several hours in the 40th Assembly District yesterday, attending a candidates’ meeting, and gathering information from Block parties. Rock Hackshaw, a blogger on Room Eight and a well-known activist in Central Brooklyn, was also in the District and provided me with some information he himself had gathered.
Amazing as it may seem, less than a quarter of the residents of the 40th District may be aware that Assemblywoman Diane Gordon had been captured on tape making a deal to acquire a $500,000 home from a developer.
Among senior citizens, the highest-voting block, the number aware of the Assemblywoman‘s indictment fell to less than 10%. And many of those were told that once Gordon was re-elected, the charges against her would be dropped.
Imagine it’s 20 years from now, the year 2026. After 43 years in which Social Security payroll taxes had been greater than Social Security payments, with the surplus used to finance the rest of the federal government (but also promised to future retirees), the Social Security system will have begun to run a deficit in 2018. Taxes will have been substantially increased, and many kinds of federal spending (housing subsidies at the top of the list) slashed to pay Social Security back, but now Congress has no choice but to bite the bullet and drastically slash Social Security benefits for future retirees. That’s bad for the 50% of private sector workers who have no retirement plan other than Social Security, and bad for the additional 30% who only have a 401K plan – a plan they now realize has nowhere near enough money to pay for decent retirement. The poverty rate among the elderly, who have been the richest and most privileged of Americans for the past 60 years, begins to soar.
There is a general belief among people active in politics that a candidate who challenges his or her opponent’s petitions forfeits any chance of receiving the New York Times endorsement or at the very least guarantees criticism by The Times of such “undemocratic” tactics.
Many, including me, think that fear is what prevented the Ferrer campaign from challenging the petitions of Christopher Brodeur & Art Piccolo for Mayor even though leaving them on the ballot increased the likelihood of a Primary Run-off.
I don’t agree with this view. I think that the Times Editorial Board considers a number of factors in deciding whom to endorse and whether a candidate takes advantage of the election law is a relatively minor one.
This summer there were several gay bashings, including the pretty well reported case of drag performer Kevin Aviance. I wonder if an incident that occurred on Friday early morning, which was reported in Saturday’s Times and today’s News, is indicative of a change in the LGBT community’s attitude towards harassment.
The Times describes the attack entirely from the point of view of the man who was stabbed after admiring a woman on the street, who was “surrounded by girlfriends.” The Paper of Record does not mention the fact that the New Jersey women, who were taken into custody and charged with various very serious offenses, are lesbians and does not have their side of the story or even imply that there is one.
Friday, August 18. At about 11 this morning I was coming from downtown and turning east on Eastern Parkway off Flatbush when I saw a ton of signs all around the library. From a distance it looked like the West Indian Labor Day parade had invaded the library.
I completed the turn, went around the circle, driving slowly and closer to the library. Someone had sent a crew out to put up political posters on every piece of structure in the front of the library and all around the area. It looked as though if they could have done it, the thugs would have put posters on the library steps and the doors of the library. These tasteless idiots might have entered the library itself and decorated the walls with posters. One woman told me that if she had not moved fast enough the thugs would have draped her over with their posters.
KT McFarland will be appearing on Buffalo's premiere weekly public-affairs radio show this coming Sunday. At 10:00 a.m., even you downstaters can tune in at WBEN's website and listen online. The host of the show is Canisius College Political Science Professor Kevin Hardwick. Hardwick is a Republican who ran unsuccessfully a few years ago to unseat a 20-year county legislator incumbent (he lost thanks to electoral fusion and the IP line).
I'll be calling in to ask KT a question at 10:30 and can't imagine what to ask her. Her website touts her foreign policy expertise, which is nice, but I'd like to know specifically how she'd be a different Senator than Hillary Clinton.
Karim Camara is now running on a slate with the language-challenged Carl Andrews. But we have now heard that Camara had earlier flirted with both Yvette Clarke and Chris Owens, leading each of the two congressional candidates to believe that he(Camara) had broken with the Clarence Norman/Carl Andrews operation and would be running with them.
In fact, our information is that almost up to a week or two before petitions were circulated, both Yvette and Chris were convinced that they were going to be running with the Executive Pastor of the First Baptist church. But the cunning Camara slipped them and landed safely in Carl’s lap.
I have been recently been taken to task for my use of the phrase “the Michael Moore wing of the Democratic Party”. Given the use of the term “Michael Moore Democrats” by Republicans who’d like to tar us all, I think it is important to draw the distinction in my use. My usage is to make clear that while this tendency does exist, and exemplifies a strong and virulent strain of thought on the American left, it should not be used as a broad brush to tar us all. Frankly, the Moore group is smaller than it appears; unfortunately, the problem is twofold; its prominence among the media, which magnifies its importance to observers in the punditocracy and the heartland, and its malignant influence among other liberals who really do not believe in the same mindless kant. One reader said to me “I am damned proud to be a Michael Moore Democrat.” However, I don’t think he really understands what he is saying.
Society faces a dilemma. It does not want to see children and the elderly suffer from the neglect of family members. When it assumes the role of “family of last resort,” however, it encourages the selfish to shift family burdens onto the community, taxing those who meet such obligations to pay for it. Concerns about burden shifting by parents led to the Welfare Reform Act of 1996, which cut them off from assistance after five years even at the risk of suffering by the children. Yet the modest, and now miniscule, cost of welfare is dwarfed by the cost of custodial care for the elderly, and as the population ages that cost is set to explode, with consequences that dwarf those of baby boom retirement and the unfunded cost of Social Security. This may be the most important financial issue we face as a society. And for New York, which has more generous services for the elderly than any other state, it is a greater issue still.
So, People, Inc. Big social services organization covering Buffalo and Western NY. Presumably, doers of good things.
But, so too is Buffalo's Everywoman Opportunity Center (doers of good things, that is). Their self-sufficiency calculator for low-income New Yorkers, has proven itself financially useful and incredibly worthy.
Problem is, People Inc. is slated to receive some serious funding via the 2007 Labor HHS appropriations bill - while the Everywoman Opportunity Center (as just one example) is not.
Did Rep. Peter King (R) take one look at the racial breakdown of his district and decide that endorsing racial profiling was a good call? According to his congressional website, 90% of the district is white. Re-election anyone?
Newsday reported this morning that King declared screeners should not be hampered by “political correctness” as he endorsed requiring people of “Middle Eastern and South Asian” descent to undergo additional security screenings due to their ethnicity and religion.
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
It’s a forgone conclusion that DIANE GORDAN will resign her post after her election. She ran only to make sure County could appoint someone to her seat. When Hynes makes GORDAN sing, no note will be clearer than CARL ANDREWS. Maybe then ANDREWS will tell us how as a non-lawyer he collected $137,242 in receivership commissions from Brooklyn judges beholden to CLARENCE NORMAN. We also want to get full the scoop behind ANDREWS’ campaign management of a judge who was forced from office in disgrace.
A while ago, I reported on the candidates who filed petitions to run in contested Primaries in New York City. Now I’m reporting which elections in New York State do not have a traditional Republican vs. Democrat contest. That is, the Congressional & State Legislative districts where either the Democrats or Republicans do not have a candidate running.
4 Democratic Members of Congress – Rep. Gary Ackerman, Rep. Gregory Meeks, Rep. Anthony Weiner & Rep. Maurice Hinchey have no Republican opponents.
15 of the 62 State Senators do not have major Party opponents. 7 are Democrats from New York City plus 1 Republican from NYC – Marty Golden.
The number of phone calls I’ve gotten urging me to support Chris Owens for Congress because he is the most “progressive” candidate, has gotten me thinking (always a dangerous activity). The term “progressive” is obviously meant as a shorthand, but shorthand for what? Earlier this year, WFP Executive Director Dan Cantor said Eliot Spitzer would be the most progressive Democratic governor since FDR, ignoring the fact that Roosevelt’s immediate successor, Herbert Lehman, was clearly more progressive than FDR. Moreover, depending upon how the word is defined, Spitzer might also be said to be less “Progressive” than Charles Poletti, Averill Harriman, Hugh Carey and Mario Cuomo. Mario's WORDS were certainly more progressive than Spitzer's; Mario's DEEDS (to the extent he ever did anything but blame his complete lack of accomplishments on a Republican Senate he refused to expend any of his political capital, monetary or otherwise, on trying to alter for the better) may not so qualify.