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Political Dynasties

Tuesday’s Daily News had a story about Thursday’s Bronx Democratic County Committee Dinner.

One line in the story got me thinking –

The party has also been criticized for creating so many political dynasties, with a number of incumbents' sons and daughters in office.

I have heard this criticism many times. But is this unique to the Bronx? To New York City?  To Democrats?

To answer those questions, I decided to look at all the present members of the NY State Legislature and the NY Congressional Delegation to see how many were related to other elected public officials.



Shibboleth Time Is Here Again!

"The Gileadites captured the fords of the Jordan leading to Ephraim, and whenever a survivor of Ephraim said, "Let me go over," the men of Gilead asked him, "Are you an Ephraimite?" If he replied, "No," they said, "All right, say 'Shibboleth'." If he said, "Sibboleth," because he could not pronounce the word correctly, they seized him and killed him at the fords of the Jordan. Forty-two thousand Ephraimites were killed at that time." (Judges 12:5-6, NIV)

Judging from the editorials of  New York’s  dailies,  and the comments from  elected officials, bloggers,  and just ordinary  New Yorkers, this is a political season when a ground-swell of righteousness has risen like a tsunami, threatening to sweep away Racism and those elected officials and candidates who practice or appear to practice  it.  How wonderful!



Niagara Falls pwn3d

Ever been to Niagara Falls? The cataracts themselves are gorgeous. The city on the New York side is mostly a depressing shadow of its former self.

A few years ago, politicians in Albany and the Falls decided that the best way to reverse decades' worth of disasterous policy blunders and economic decline (see urban renewal, Robert Moses Parkway, high taxation, et al.) would be to carve out a sovereign Seneca Indian Nation enclave out of 50-odd acres of prime downtown Niagara Falls real estate. Under a federally approved compact between the State and the Seneca Nation, the Nation could build three casinos in Western New York - one on tribal land in Salamanca, one in Buffalo, and one in Niagara Falls. (Buffalo's casino is weeks from starting construction. The other two are already open).



How 9/11 Changed the NYC Local Government Budget

I have finished compiling the census bureau’s state and local finance data for Fiscal 2004, and you can have the spreadsheet if you e-mail me at vampire-state (at) att (dot) net, putting state and local finance in the subject so I know the e-mail is not spam.  Since the Bureau also compiled data for Fiscal 2002, the last budget before 9/11, we can see how that event affected the city’s finances, and thus how that affected us all.  The answer is the city became worse off, in part because when all the dollars are counted, Albany and Washington reacted to the tragedy by directing more money away from New York City.  And the many ways in which New York City and state differ from the national average became more pronounced.



Carl Andrews Has Dropped Himself Out!!!

An interview with Carl Andrews, immediately after his endorsement by  Elliott Spitzer, Billy Thompson, and David Dinkins  should  now convince every intelligent voter once and for all that Carl is absolutely not the person Brooklyn or any community would want to represent them in Congress.  Elliot Spitzer would have been chased out of Manhattan if he had tried to pass off someone with Carl Andrews’ credentials on his community. Bill Thompson’s father was one of the first to demand that Clarence be indicted. And here was Billy trying to patch up relationships for a race in 2009 which he will never win. Dave Dinkins was asleep.  Carl finally escaped from his handlers, and talked about his qualifications. What a Mess! We quote exactly what Carl had to say about  himself on a taped recording by Sun Reporter, Azi Paybarah on June 26, 2006 02:03 PM



Join the "Drop Out Chris" Movement

11th District Candidate

Gatemouth said something similar to this before, but I want to add my 1¢ (2¢ adjusted for inflation) and take it up a notch.  If Chris Owens is truly concerned about a white Park Slope Brooklyn Heights Jew taking over his father's seat, then he should drop out of the race today. But he's not going to, because that's not his concern at all—he wants the seat for himself more than anything to do with race.

We've seen the various pols come out and say that David should not be "allowed" to win this seat. Obviously there have been differing opinions about how that should be accomplished and why, but Chris's comment last week as quoted on the Daily Politics really went too far in this delicate subject of race and this seat. In case you missed it, here's what he said: "What if an Israeli Arab won an election for Prime Minister because other Israeli Jewish candidates split the vote? I think Jews would be upset about that." (It's  funny that Chris should use this analogy, since he's very quick to point out that he is 1/2 jewish himself.)



Exposé: Sean Patrick Maloney is Not Running for Attorney General!

Last year the "Race to Watch" was the Manhattan Borough President race. A semi-newcomer to the political scene was one of the nine candidates on the ballot. Along with the likes of members of the State Assembly, City Councilmembers and a former City Councilmember, was Brian Ellner.

Brian Ellner's previously was on the school board and was in private practice at a big law firm in the city before his run. Mr. Ellner is tall, white, good-looking, gay, has a long-term partner, is a good speaker and he had lots of great ideas for the office. He received a lot of support from the gay community, especially young white men. But for the fact that another openly gay candidate was running (the New York Post's favorite, Margarita Lopez), he would have probably swept the gay clubs for their endorsement. During the height of the campaign, you could not go to a gay event without seeing him. Especially in Chelsea, he was ubiquitous. It seemed as if he was running for mayor of Chelsea; he couldn't possibly be campaigning in the rest of the borough when he was at every single gay event imaginable.



When Democrats Act Like Dick(s)

Seems to me like Representative Gary L. Ackerman (D-NY) has some explaining to do.

In late 2003, knee-deep in regret over his Iraq war vote, Ackerman released a statement explaining his then reluctant support of President Bush's $87 billion supplemental appropriations bill. In it, he lambasts the GOP's Halliburtonistic tendencies:

[“...And because of the majority’s tax-cutting fanaticism, these billions are going to come in the form of debt-to be paid by our children and our children’s children. And this, because the majority party has squandered our surplus by their tax pay off to their wealthiest contributors.”]

Problem was, that by that time, one of Ackerman's wealthiest contributors was also getting shnoockered off the Afghanistan and Iraq war troughs. And an even bigger problem – that Ackerman was himself getting tipsy as well; and in fact, has gotten sloshed off the war ever since.



OT: Brooklyn's Quincy Douby and Wednesday's NBA Draft

Forget the Knicks, MSG, James Dolan, Isiah Thomas, and Larry Brown. For the feel-good story, follow where Quincy Douby goes in Wednesday's NBA draft.

Both the NY Knicks and the NJ Nets have two low first round picks each in the NBA draft.

Douby (who's Haitian), grew up in Coney Island. He's very thin, but he can shoot the lights out. He played at Rutgers, where he averaged over 25 points a game.

So, if the Nets pick Douby, they can say that he's the Rutgers local product. And if the Nets move to Brooklyn, he's the Brooklyn high school product.

It's a great story for this Wednesday and local basketball fans.



Politiko: All Gentleman - Some Of The Time

***Wink***Wink*** Hi, I'm Politiko. I'm here simply as a political observer to chime in with the likes of Messrs. Gatemouth, Hackshaw, Yoda, Enwhyseawonk, Gumbs and Littlefield (where, by the way, are the women? Ms. Markowitz seldom posts and might not really be female)

My Mama tried to raise me to a be a proper gentleman and she succeeded for the most part (you'll hear no swearing from me). But the "if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything" part never sunk in. I plan on providing some constructive criticism for the Powers-That-Be and the Wanna-Be-Powers-That-Be, and, heck, maybe I'll even throw in some praise once in a while. But whatever you do, please don't take me too seriously, I'm often winking. ;-)



Carl and Eliot, Odd Couple, Troubling Relationship

Why would Elliot Spitzer endorse a candidate who is described consistently in the press as “ the confidante of a convicted felon” or “a close friend of the County Leader who was convicted of felony corruption.?” Almost every day , one newspaper or the other virtually raises that question as it reports on Carl Andrews and his congressional candidacy.

Two excerpts from articles in just the last few days:

From Celeste Katz, Daily News reporter, June 19: “Self-styled reformer and gubernatorial front-runner Eliot Spitzer is going to bat today for a congressional candidate with close ties to convicted former Brooklyn Democratic boss Clarence Norman.”



Oh, there's a "Border" there?

While New York City tabloids have had fun coming up with clever headlines to decry the steep decline in homeland security funding under a new "threat-based" formula, Buffalo's one paper has been a touch more subdued. People here are somewhat more numb to bad news, perhaps.

Today's headline:  "Terror threat assessment of region may now consider border" 

May?!

WNY's homeland security funds dropped from $10 million in 2005 to $3 million in 2006 as a result of a threat reassessment that saw the region plunge from 25th to 46th out of 46 urban areas. 



You Get What You Pay For

The Wall St. Journal has a web site called Opinion Journal’s Political Diary. It’s a pretty interesting combination of opinions & political rundowns, with the Journal’s political biases.

The site is not usually free but they are offering a free two-week trial.

But sometimes you get what you pay for.

From the June 21st Political Diary –

Marylanders opposed to the state's new Early Voting law reached a milestone this week with enough petition signatures to bring a November referendum into the realm of possibility. Not a happy omen for the state's heavily Democratic legislature and its most blatant effort yet to club Republican Governor Robert Ehrlich.



Bill-ary's Democratic Angst?

Buried in today's Page Six:

[Sources say he's [Bill Clinton] worried Mayor Bloomberg will run for president as a third-party candidate, spending $300 million of his fortune, and draw enough votes away from presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton to elect the Republican candidate.] 



Is This Really The Best Use Of His Time?

DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff participates in a 10:00 am ET panel sponsored by the Heritage Foundation: "'24' and America's Image in Fighting Terrorism: Fact, Fiction or Does it Matter?" The three "24" cast members who are expected to participate: Mary Lynn Rajskub (Chloe O'Brian), Carlos Bernard (Tony Almeida), and Gregory Itzin (President Charles Logan). Rush Limbaugh takes the day off from the radio show to moderate.