I thought today's story about AG Spitzer and his hesitancy to state whether he would expand the state's workforce was an interesting sidenote to the story of his endorsement by CSEA. Finally in this Governor's race, a candidate has made a common sense statement about an issue that has been on my mind. When Governor's reduce the size of government, who does the work they were doing? Are we to believe that people are really sitting around doing nothing at these government offices? If they are, can they get those people to process paperwork a little faster? I have to admit that I really believe that Republicans and conservative Dems have used this argument to actually steal money. Work previously done by government workers is now bid out to private companies to complete. I think a healthy debate needs to be had about this issue. Do taxpayers actually win when the size of government is reduced?
Who could be the next mayor of New York City? It is not too early for the question, since it takes time for a candidate to think about the option, to get their affairs in order and to get a campaign into shape. Political consultants are thinking about who to pitch and what the rationale is for the campaigns. Names of citywide and borough elected officials are mentioned, as are candidates who ran before, but it could be someone we have not yet heard about.
Manhattan Borough Presidents run for mayor a lot and often win, so there is Scott Stringer. Bill Thompson is the City Comptroller and was mentioned last time as a likely candidate, but some feel he is not interested. Betsy Gotbaum is the Public Advocate, the office Mark Green ran from in his bid to be mayor, but she has not acted like a potential candidate. The Bronx Borough President’s office gave us the last Democratic candidate and Adolfo Carrion is looking like a candidate. A strong finisher in 2001, Ferrer became the Democratic nominee in 2005, so one would have to consider Anthony Weiner to be a strong contender. This could be the Democratic list of Democratic contenders in the primary. Others may jump in and some may take a pass.
Four-term NY Republican Rep. John E. Sweeney seems to be losing the confidence of The Congressional Quarterly. CQPolitics.com just announced that his seat has been downgraded from Safe Republican to Republican Favored.
The reason? Challenger Kristin Gillibrand's latest campaign filings. Gillibrand recently reported $761,000, making her the 14th most well-funded House challenger this cycle.
The transit strike that occurred in December crippled the city, ruined the holiday season for some businesses, and cost quite a bit of money for the city. Still, I believe that Roger Toussaint made a horrible calculation. Of course the MTA was not negotiating in good faith, but what did he expect? And, why did Toussaint fail to understand that he would lose the battle and the public? How, exactly did he expect to move a lame duck administration through a strike action? I believe that the TWU had a right to be have some action, but, as I stare out of my window this morning, I pose this question -- how many more people would have been supportive of the strike action if it had been delayed until April 16th?
Who runs it The tram is managed by Interfac, a division of JWP on behalf of the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation of the State of New York ("RIOC"). RIOC is a state public benefit corporation created in 1984 to run the island's services and complete the island's development.
First there was Weld and Faso. Then, Spencer vs. KT emerged. Now, in this season of looming republican primaries, it seems we have one more to look forward to, Callaghan vs. Vanderhoef.
Who are they, you might ask. Of course, looking at any of the recent polls, you could ask that of almost any of the republicans running this year, with undecided the number one pick in every race among republican primary voters.
Well, J. Christopher Callaghan is the Treasurer of Saratoga County and is currently the only declared republican running for NYS Comptroller against democratic incumbent Alan Hevesi. Now, after months of rumors, it looks like Rockland County Executive Scott Vanderhoef is prepared to jump into the ring and run a primary against Callaghan for the nomination to take on Hevesi.
One doesn’t have to be a friend of Al D’Amato to think that this NY Times story about Bill Weld and Al is unfair to D’Amato - starting with the headline - Hints of Truth-Stretching in Weld-D'Amato Feud and continuing throughout.
The premise that both Weld & D’Amato are not telling the whole truth is probably technically correct. But whereas Al is wrong about a relatively minor point - when they first met, Mr. Weld is shown to be telling whoppers about everything else. He is wrong about when Al gave him money, about how much money Al gave him and about whether Al threatened him.
Several people (including me) spoke before the Campaign Finance Board's "doing business with the city" hearing today. There were three people from the Mayor's office, Suzanne Novak from the Brennan Center, and Doug Israel from the Citizen's Union.
But it was Fran Reiter (Reiter/Begun, former Deputy Mayor under Giuliani) who shined.
Her main point (which I disagree) is that developer money doesn't really buy that much in a NIMBY city. You can't give enough to bring a Wal-Mart here. The developer money in the system just says "Don't hate me as much as you already do." But no politician in the city wants to be revealed as on-the-take against the community. "Politicians are wary of carrying anyone's water," she said. The process already has plenty of sunshine.
During the transit strike, defenders of the TWU when asked why the union was striking while other municipal unions did not strike even as negotiations dragged on for years, fell back on one defense - that the TWU had a policy of no contract - no work. Now even at the time, this was a pretty weak argument for so called progressives to make - "tradition requires a strike". But now, as we are in the 5th month of no contact, I'm wondering what happened to no work? Even the anti-Toussaint militants aren't demanding an immediate strike . Has this important policy gone the way of the token?
Indeed, Texas is like a whole other country. Just compare the campaign ads of Kinky Friedman, the independent, rockin' Jewish Texan running for Governor of the State of Texas to those of our statewide candidates.
Paper or plastic?
Last week I took a deserved "spring break", since being out of the city for a bit is always re-invigorating. Thanks for the e-mails and phone-calls from those of you who missed me here and were concerned. I am fine , except for a lil hypertension- which is genetic. I must admit that I was surprised (and no, Gatemouth wasn't one of them), it tells me that people are reading "Room 8". So let's take our hats off to Ben Smith and Gur Tsabar. Real pioneers in this day and age.
I walked right in to the poll showing Spitzer still leading big, and yes I am a bit taken aback that Suozzi hasn't cracked the twenty- percentile as yet. I am still hopeful though. I hate coronations even more than I hate royalty. I like a good old- fashioned horse race. After all, in November we democrats will be all lining up behind our nominee, to ensure that another Republican like Pataki ( "Potato-head") doesn't trick us anymore.
In researching my three part series on the race for the Democratic nomination in the 11th Congressional District, I came across a remarkable document which bears discussion. It is a “10-point reform plan” for the Kings County Democratic Party written by Congressional candidate Chris Owens. The plan is interesting not so much for what it says about Owens (nothing not already suspected), as for what it says about “reformers”. In undertaking an uphill and not unmerited battle for reform of the Kings County Democratic Party, would-be reformers are well advised to first do two things: 1) Get Your Facts Straight, and 2) Get Your Goals Straight. The Owens document fails on both counts.
Have At It!
Alright all you salary pimps and whores.
The 2006 list of all city employees and their salaries (as of April 1, 2006) was just released.
Your tax dollars hard at work ... or not.
Last names: A-L, click here
Last names: L-Z, click here
In case anyone was still under the impression that the Mayor would even think about supporting Staten Island Council Member James Oddo to replace State Sen. Marchi ... here's an exchange from today's Staten Island Advance.