Part of the frustrating nature of the continuing debate about Andrew Cuomo’s purported involvement in the 1977 Mayoral campaign’s infamous “Vote for Cuomo, Not the Homo” posters is that the ambiguities in the story prevent serious discussion of the underlying question about how long the statute of limitations runs for candidate “bad acts”, and whether the statute should ever run. Instead we focus on questions like: Did the posters exist? If so, did Andrew have anything to do with them? If he did, should we hold this against a 19 year old 29 years later? If Andrew knew, how could Mario not? And, if Mario knew, how could people outraged in 1977, forgive and back Mario in 1982 (Allen Roskoff, this means you), and then hold it against Andrew in 2006?
Bill Weld in accepting the endorsement of the Libertarian Party said he disagrees with the Party on legalizing drugs and prostitution but he concurs that government should be "kept out of your bedroom". Isn't this a contradiction?
Jerry Skurnik is probably the most academic of all the resident bloggers here, and that’s good. His columns are factual and insightful. He backs up his positions with stats and verifiable info. He hardly moves to those fudgy areas of innuendo, speculation and political gossip, where most bloggers move on occasion, and where a few actually reside permanently. And that’s good.
Continuing an irregular series on who the likely voters are in the upcoming "hot" elections, I turn today to the 30th State Senate District in Manhattan being vacated by David Paterson. These percentages are based on data in the Prime New York voter file and these reports come with the usual caveats - ethnic data is based on last names so are not 100% accurate, past voting behavior is not always predicative, etc.
Likely Primary Voters Estimated Percentages
I have commented on the race for the 20th Senatorial district twice in the past 5 weeks, and what I have written is there for everyone to see. That's why I blog openly. I use my full name because I want to be responsible for what I write. I refuse to take the coward's way out, and hit someone from behind a sobriquet. I don't hide because I am not afraid. Politics should brook no coward, but alas, cowardice abounds in this "game".
Stupidity also abounds, but thats somewhat understandable given today's educational climate, with standards perpetually deteriorating. Too many people leave school unable to think critically, or even rationalize well. It's unfortuneate, but "c'est la vie". I do believe that candidates for public should be able to differentiate between common sense and stupidity, and when their supporters make stupid statements, the candidates should immediately move to correct them. With all this as a backdrop, I hope that Eric Adams and Anthony Alexis would get a grip on their supporters like immediately.
A political consultant recently asked me if it was true that 70% of the vote in a statewide Democratic Primary came from New York City and it’s suburbs. I responded that I have heard and believe that was true for years but have not recently checked.
So I decided to look into past primary turnout and here it was I found.
I looked at the Democratic enrollment and the turnout from the last two statewide primaries – 2000 & 2004. Neither of these years are great because the primaries were pretty ho-hum - in 2000 Hillary had a minor Primary opponent and in 2002 Andrew Cuomo withdrew right before the Primary. But I thought it was better to use them rather going back 8 years.
Why does New York City do so poorly compared to the rest of the State on school aid and legislative pork? Let’s look at the budget process; what follows may seem a simplistic rendering of a complicated series of events, but actually gives more thought to the process than that exercised by the majority of legislators in any given year (which is sad, because I wrote the whole thing while waiting for my toast to pop).
The New York State Constitution’s budget process is a Robert Moses created contrivance whose purpose is to rob the legislature of its legislative powers. The legislature has responded in many years by exercising the one constitutional power it has, which is to do nothing. The current governor has far greater constitutional powers, but regards lethargy and sloth as a matter of personal religious practice, rather than as constitutional law. But, this merely has slowed the process in some (actually many) years. In good years and bad, the basic process remains the same.
Are we all so used to the fact that Mike’s rhetoric has nothing to do with actions that it is no longer worthy of comment?
On Thursday, Mike spoke to a pro-choice group and the press reported:
“On this issue, you're either with us or you're not. Period. You can't have it both ways," said Bloomberg, a Republican, in a passionate noon address before the liberal NARAL Pro-Choice New York. "We can't let anybody equivocate."
Bloomberg said pro-choice supporters must stand tall against elected officials who "try to nuance themselves" away from a commitment to abortion rights "in the interest of political expediency and partisan politics."
In the latest Hotline ranking of the top twenty-five marginal House districts, the net change if the election were held today would have net one Democratic seat switch to the Republican side and six Republican seats would be up for grabs (all other races would result in each party holding its seat). If the Democrats took all six Republican seats there would be a net pickup of only five votes in the House for the Democratic side.
On their list of the top fifty contested races, however, Republican seats are moving up the list, spelling more trouble for the GOP. And in the second twenty-five races, the Democrats might pick up as many as an additional fifteen seats if you, include the independent in Vermont. The fly in the ointment is that except for the first Clinton mid-term election in 1994, when the Democrats lost 54 seats, all the mid-term elections since 1982 have only had single digit moves. This is largely the result of the historic Republican turnout advantages in non-presidential years, and the advantages that modern mapping and computerized reapportionment have given incumbents.
Back in the 80's, Clarence Norman beat back a few challenges from islanders. In 1984 he faced two, Carl Roberts and Maurice Gumbs. Two years later, Gumbs backed off to let Roberts tackle Norman. It didn't matter, Clarence held serve. Then there was a lull on the front, until Joan Gill stepped forward to challenge Clarence. Joan was born and bred in Brooklyn, just as James Davis was. She tackled Clarence twice; in 1992 and 1996. I managed her last campaign, and found out for the
Sometimes the one way to make everyone angry is to take the most sensible position. Take Atlantic Yards. The arena would provide Brooklyn a real public benefit, and whatever one thinks about the adequacy of the percentage of “affordable” housing in the project, I defy anyone to find any developer who’s ever done any better. Yards opponents say they aren’t against an arena, they just think the Yards (easily accessible to half the City’s subway lines, as well as many bus transfer points), is an inferior location compared to putting an arena in the Brooklyn Navy Yard (a mass transit desert located in a flood zone). And they are all for development of the Yards (a deep hole in the ground, whose conversion costs have scared away nearly everyone), but just oppose any plan likely to be viable there. But the Yards plan’s opponents are fundamentally right that the Ratner plan proposed for development is just too damned big, and that the only response Yards plan supporters have given to questions concerning how we will evolve solutions to the seemingly insoluble problems the project presents is “if you build it, they will come”. Pardon my skepticism.
As I campaign to become the Assemblyperson for Brooklyn’s 43rd district one of the first questions I am asked is, "Who are you with? Who is backing you?" Most of the time, I am being asked by a parent and he/she is asking this question in front of their child and as I ponder the answer to this question, I imagine what a child has to go through when he or she is in the school cafeteria and trying to make new friends. I contemplate the pressure he/she is under to find someone to be affiliated with in order to be accepted. I also realize that sub-consciously by asking this question in front of their child, the parent is instilling a sense of “needing to belong” in order to be successful. What if no one is backing me, what if I am not with anyone? Does that mean I am not just as capable of doing a great job? What about if that child told his peers in the cafeteria, “I am not with anyone?” Does this mean that that child would not be the greatest friend anyone can ever have?
According to ABC News The Note, the New Republic has a profile of George Allen that might interest those who have been debating the Vote for Cuomo-Not the Homo issue.
Some highlights –
"Another classmate, who asks that I not use her name, also remembers Allen's obsession with Dixie: 'My impression is that he was a rebel. He plastered the school with Confederate flags."
"It was the night before a major basketball game with Morningside High.The mostly black inner-city school adjacent to Watts was coming to the almost entirely white Palos Verdes High to play. When students arrived at school on game day, they found graffiti spray-painted on the school library and other places. All five people who described the incident say the graffiti was racially tinged and meant to look like the handiwork of the black Morningside students. But it was actually put there by Allen and some of his friends. 'It was something like die whitey,' says Campbell."
In case you had any lingering doubts, the reality on the ground is this: people have little faith in government. The level of distrust has risen to an all time high; so high, in fact, that work-arounds to government's opaqueness are popping up all over the place. And today, popped congresspedia.
Everything you ever wanted to know about your member of congress: their contributors, lobbyist reports, personal financial disclosures, travel records, government contracts, and more.
Here's an entertaining and partisan look (GOP-types, you have been warned) into the making of Bush-speak. Apparently, it's all about awkward silences, lots 'o blinking and putting food on your family.