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December 11th, 2008

SOHO POLITICS: THE MEAN STREETS OF SOHO & POLITICAL REALITY.

by D. Clark MacPherson

The problem with political jokes is they get elected.
—Henry Cate VII

Now that the main political season is over we begin again with the rounds of phone calls—from aides and politicians as well as hopefuls. Once an office has been secured, longevity becomes the order of the day. And, that, my friends, means money. Few people understand the dirty business of complying with or circumnavigating the election laws in order to raise enough money to either hold on to an office just won, or move on to a better position. It almost doesn’t seem to matter what the job pays. Bloomberg is a good example of that. In fact he’s reported to have spent nearly $100 million to become Mayor, a position that pays approximately $200,000.

Influence, power, quid pro quos and hubris seem to be the coin of the political realm.

The pecking order, once you move out of neighborhood block associations and political activism, starts with the Community Board. City Council members or the Borough President recommends people for membership. The Chair of the Community Board can also recommend someone but he does not have the power to appoint a regular member. He can appoint what is called a Public Member, however, someone whose vote is limited. Continue Reading »

Filed Under: Articles | Community | New York | News | Politics

December 10th, 2008

PLUNKITT OF TAMMANY HALL: A POLITICAL COLUMN OF AMAZING RANDOMNESS.

by Trip Plunkitt

Due to the possibly illegal City Council vote last October to repeal term limits, Plunkitt is disgusted with the following individuals (who all represent us locally): Billionaire Mayor Michael Bloomberg; Bloomberg’s “Mini Me” Council Speaker Christine Quinn; Council member Alan Gerson (who even went so far to say he “had no choice” but to vote for it – puleeze!); Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer (who strangely supported it even though he can already run for another wonderful four years).

And don’t forget all the council members who voted their self-interest in repealing the term limits law that was voted on not once but twice by the people of the City of New York by public referendum. Billionaire Bloomberg appears to have bought this vote with calls by his commissioners to everyone, threatening removal of Bloomberg-controlled public and private funding for their vital projects. And sources tell us most of the “undecided” council members were onboard to vote yes weeks before the actual vote and Mayor Bloomberg knew it. Shame on all of you! Continue Reading »

Filed Under: Articles | Commentary | Community | New York | News | Politics

December 10th, 2008

PURE GOLD: YOU CAN’T PLEASE EVERYBODY.

by Ed Gold


Some say Obama’s appointments haven’t been liberal enough. We say, let the man do his job, already.

Some of the cries from the left are telling us that Barack Obama is betraying his liberal base and backing too many right-wingers in putting his White House team together. They should review his campaign promises in which he rejected ideology and argued for a pragmatism that was non-partisan, if mildly left-leaning.

Obama’s critics on the left may have begun to believe some of the GOP campaign rhetoric that Obama was not only the most liberal senator, but that he showed signs of being a socialist or an agent of class warfare. Continue Reading »

Filed Under: Articles | Commentary | New York | Politics

December 9th, 2008

TELL THE NYS DEPARTMENT OF CONSERVATION WE DON’T WANT NATURAL GAS DRILLING UNDER OUR WATERSHED—NO FRACKIN’ WAY.

by John Coakley


Thanks to Earthworks for the heads up.

Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking (insert Battlestar Galactica joke here), is a technique used by Big Oil to stimulate the production of oil and natural gas wells. It sends toxic, extremely high-pressure fluids into underground formations. Those fluids are never fully recovered. Why does this matter? Well, the natural gas-rich Marcellus Shale formation rests beneath much of the Appalachian mountains in the mid-Atlantic states—including much of New York and the NYC drinking watershed. It used to be too expensive to drill there but now the oil companies want to give it a shot—drinking water quality be damned. Sure, they’ll tell you that it’s safe and pollution is unlikely, but that’s what they said when they wanted to frack in Colorado and New Mexico, and that mess has yet to be cleaned up.

So what can you do? Click here before the deadline of December 15th to send a letter to the powers that be in our state, telling them that you’d rather they didn’t pollute our drinking water, if you please. I mean, for frack’s sake!

Filed Under: Community | New York | News | Politics | Take Action

December 3rd, 2008

PURE GOLD: SHOULD A BASIC CIVIL RIGHT BE SUBJECT TO A POPULAR VOTE?

by Ed Gold


Why can’t these guys get married? Seriously, is there a rational reason?

People in California voted overwhelmingly for Barack Obama, then surprisingly supported the traditional and conservative position by backing Proposition 8, opposing gay marriage and reversing a decision by the State Supreme Court which had concluded that the ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional.

The Prop. 8 vote left about 18,000 gay and lesbian couples who married after the court decision in legal limbo, although it is hard to believe a state can cancel a marriage retroactively.

But the Prop. 8 decision in California, with similar results in Arizona and Florida, brought the marriage issue front and center, reinforcing the view that same-sex marriage may well be the hottest of the cultural wedge issues, even topping abortion. Continue Reading »

Filed Under: Articles | Commentary | New York | News | Politics

November 30th, 2008

WORLD AIDS DAY, 12/1/8: GET TESTED!

by John Coakley

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimated a 40% increase of new HIV infections in 2006, with 53% of new cases among men who have sex with men and 45% among African Americans. To make matters worse, New York City’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene released a report which suggested the rates of HIV infections among New Yorkers are three times higher than national rates.

What does this mean? It means that no matter your sexual preference or racial identity, you had better know your status. The good folks at Gay Men’s Health Crisis are offering free testing in Manhattan and Brooklyn on Monday, which happens to be World AIDS Day. There are a number of other events on the day itself and the days following, so click here to see what else is going on. And click here if you want to consider volunteering in a variety of capacities. We’re in this together, folks. AIDS is still a huge problem in New York, and knowing if you’re HIV positive or negative (and acting accordingly) is a big first step in becoming part of the solution.

Free HIV testing
Monday, 12/1/8
Brooklyn: Brooklyn Public Library, Cadman Plaza & Eastern Parkway. 10am—4pm
Manhattan: Borough of Manhattan Community College, 199 Chambers Street. 11am—3pm

Filed Under: Community | Events | New York | Politics | Take Action

November 24th, 2008

PURE GOLD: PRESIDENT GINGRICH IN 2012?

by Ed Gold

I was sitting across the dinner table from him.

Newt Gingrich was pontificating about ancient history. He was the teacher and we were all students, although the table was occupied by a mix of famous people and top editors of Time Magazine, the writer excepted.

We were at a Time Magazine anniversary celebration. People who had made the Time cover had been invited. That included the writer and feminist, Susan Brownmiller, someone I had known for 40 years, who asked me along.

It was 2002, and I asked Gingrich if he was interested in being president. He said probably not in 2004, but who could tell about the future.

It seems now as if he has his eyes on 2012, and recent evidence indicates he’s trying to capture the right-wing base of the party. Continue Reading »

Filed Under: Articles | Commentary | New York | News | Politics

November 17th, 2008

FORTRESS GLOBAL INVSTIGATIONS’ DONATE P.I.’S TO INVESTIGATE WRONGFUL CONVICTIONS.

by Joelle Panisch

Fortress Global Investigations, a nationally distinguished private investigation firm, announced on October 27th the launch of the Fortress Innocence Group (FIG), an initiative to investigate and gather evidence for cases of wrongful conviction in collaboration with aiding law firms. Fortress Global Investigations President and CEO and former Manhattan persecutor, Robert Seiden, made the announcement standing side by side with his new partners— Martin Tankleff who was recently exonerated after 17 years in prison, and Jay Salpeter, the private investigator vital in securing his freedom.

The Group plans to conduct a strict appraisal of potential cases before accepting new cases, including one or multiple polygraphs, in depth questionnaires, and the evaluation of evidence and procedures. The Fortress Innocence Group hopes to be funded by private donations and public grants, and will work with experts within Fortress Global Investigations as well as private investigators across the United States, forensic experts, and former prosecutors and law enforcement.

“This is an unprecedented event in the history of the American criminal justice system,” said Seiden. “[It] will undoubtedly have an impact on the lives of innocent people wrongly convicted and may well shed much needed light on some of the inherent flaws [in the system].”

Perhaps the most compelling words were Mr. Tankliff ‘s, who celebrated a joyous anniversary of exactly 10 months since he was released from prison. “In many ways it’s just an epiphany,” said Tankliff. “Today is a day when I can make a difference for innocent men in the future.”

Also supporting FIG was New York State Assemblyman Michael Gianaris, Assemblyman Joseph Lentol, Senator Eric Schneiderman, and ‘exonerees’ Alan Newton, Dave Sheppard and Dr. Ruben “Hurricane” Carter.

For more information on the Fortress Innocence Group call (516) 466-0176 or toll free at (866) 791-206 or go to www.fortressinnocence.com.

Filed Under: Articles | New York | News | Politics | Take Action

November 17th, 2008

PURE GOLD: G.O.P POST-GAME WRAP-UP.

by Ed Gold


No autographs, please: Palin at the Republican Governor’s Conference in Miami.

The Republican governors gathered in Miami recently, still suffering from the concussion their party received on Nov. 4, recognizing the seriousness of the injury but showing very little understanding of how they might recover.

A collection of 2012 wanna-bes was on hand, conspicuously headed by the gunslinger from Alaska, and including at least three other ambitious governors—Haley Barbour of Mississippi, Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota and Bobby Jindal of Louisiana.

Leaving aside the Barracuda, the other three have all succeeded politically, thanks to tight economies, good personalities, and sadly, loyalty to the cultural base of the party. Continue Reading »

Filed Under: Articles | Commentary | New York | News | Politics

November 16th, 2008

MALONEY + LAPPIN TO PROTEST BUSH’S WEAKENING OF THE FAMILY AND MEDICAL LEAVE ACT.

by John Coakley


Bush: will not be missed.

Unsurprisingly, the Bush administration is doing what it can to make our society as regressive as possible before we kick its collective ass to the curb. Case in point: new regulations that severely weaken the Family and Medical Leave Act. Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney, Vice Chair of the Joint Economic Committee, says it better than I could so let’s give the floor to her:

“It’s disappointing that the Bush Administration in its waning days would undermine a policy that’s so vital to working families. Among other things, these new regulations will make it harder for employees to take FMLA leave and easier for employers to deny it. The United States lags far behind most countries in protecting the jobs of workers who have caregiving responsibilities or who happen to fall seriously ill. There could not be a worse time than during a serious economic downturn to ask workers to choose between their job and a family member or their own health. Rather than watering down these important family supports, we should be working to expand them. Congress and President-elect Obama will have to add these regulations to the ever-growing list of compassionless Bush Administration policies that must be reversed.”

Quite so. Rep. Maloney will be joined by NYC Councilmember Jessica Lappin, NOW-NYC Chair Noreen Connell, Francine Moccio of the Institute for Families and Work, and other women’s leaders tomorrow at a news conference to protest this shining example of why Bush won’t be missed. Join them, won’t you?

Monday, 11/17/8 @ 10:30 AM
City Hall Steps
Centre St. between Worth and Pearl

Filed Under: Commentary | Community | Events | New York | News | Politics | Take Action

November 14th, 2008

MURDER OF LOCAL IMMIGRANT LEADS TO ALLEGATIONS OF HATE-MONGERING AMONGST SUFFOLK COUNTY POLITICIANS.

by Joelle Panisch


Marcello Lucero.

Thanks to Michael O’Neill for the heads up.

The November 8th murder and alleged hate crime of 37 year-old Ecuadorian Marcello Lucero in Patchogue, LI, has garnered local and national review of Suffolk County policies and practices, especially regarding immigration. Allegations of the intentional denial of hate crimes and of legislation that some believe is knowingly designed with loopholes to allow for immigrant harassment and to veil racially motivated crimes has stemmed suppositions of impropriety among Suffolk County legislature and County Executive, Steve Levy.

Overt blame is hard to prove but Levy, in his second term, has long been scrutinized for stewing a climate of hate and potential attacks. Continue Reading »

Filed Under: Articles | Community | Events | News | Politics | Take Action | the Hamptons

November 13th, 2008

HELP SAVE WHAT’S LEFT OF THE BOWERY FROM GLASS TOWER DISEASE.

by John Coakley


Trump SoHo: do you want this kind of thing going up on the Bowery?

Thanks to Rob Hollander for the heads up.

The Bowery, as we all know, has a rich history of inhabitants that ranges from turn of the century immigrants to skid row transients to punk rockers. Like so many other parts of Manhattan, the Bowery has been infested of late with tall residential towers that seem to be aimed squarely at the young, urban professionals who can afford them, thus making the character of the neighborhood less distinctive by the day. Fortunately, the west side of the Bowery has been protected via the rezoning of the Little Italy Special District and the NoHo Historic District. Unfortunately, the east side receives no such protection; the recent East Village/ Lower East Side Rezoning protects the area just east of the Bowery but not the street itself. The City Council will vote on whether or not to extend these boundaries to include the whole of the Bowery on Monday, which gives all of you until tomorrow morning to send them a quick email telling them that you’d like to see this historic street saved from the yuppification that continues to influence the look and feel of our city. The email addresses and a sample letter are included below: Continue Reading »

Filed Under: Community | New York | News | Politics | Take Action

November 5th, 2008

YES!

by John Coakley

An indisputable majority in the popular vote.

An even bigger majority in the electoral college.

Control of the House and Senate.

A classy, quick concession speech from McCain.

No month-long investigation into Republican voting shenanigans keeping us all in a heightened state of anxiety.

Sarah Palin on the next moose back to Alaska.

That’s what I call a good election day.

Filed Under: Articles | Community | New York | News | Politics

November 1st, 2008

90 NON-PROFITS TELL GOVERNOR PATERSON TO STOP CUTTING SERVICES.

by John Coakley

Governor Paterson recently told the Daily News that charities “are going to become the replacement for what government is supposed to do.” At the same time, Paterson is ruling out an increase in taxes on the wealthiest New Yorkers to help close the budget gap.

Oh really? Mary Brosnahan, Executive Director of the Coalition for the Homeless, put it best: “Apparently Governor Paterson’s version of shared sacrifice is similar to that of George Bush: demand sacrifice from the poor and nothing from the most affluent.” In other words, if you’re rich, maybe you should sacrifice a bit by paying more taxes since you aren’t in a position to need services like Medicaid, though apparently lots of other people do—applications increased by 30% between December of last year and April of this year. And that was before the economic crisis. In other words, this is not the best time to cut services across the board, especially if you aren’t going to raise taxes for those who can afford it.

90 non-profit agencies got together and sent Paterson this letter in response to his plans: Continue Reading »

Filed Under: Articles | Commentary | Letters | New York | News | Politics | the Hamptons

October 31st, 2008

PURE GOLD: STRATEGISTS SHRUM & SCHOEN OPTIMISTIC FOR OBAMA.

by Ed Gold


Bob Shrum.

If veteran political strategists Bob Shrum and Doug Schoen are right, Barack Obama could win in a landslide next Tuesday, and the Democrats in the Senate could close in on a filibuster-proof 60 votes while picking up 20-25 seats in the House.

Shrum has survived a host of campaigns, has been on the losing side for Gore and Kerry, suffered painfully for McGovern, and actually won with Bradley–when he ran for mayor of Los Angeles.

Schoen has had two notable clients recently—Bill Clinton and, currently, Mike Bloomberg—and has earned the honor of “Pollster of the Year.”

For Democrats, this was a good-cop, good-cop combo. The discussion would surely have been more contentious if GOP consultant Ed Rollins had shown up as originally scheduled

Shrum and Schoen, nevertheless, provided a lively 90 minutes before a mostly student audience on Tuesday evening, the event appropriately labeled “One Week and Counting.” Continue Reading »

Filed Under: Articles | New York | News | Politics

October 27th, 2008

PURE GOLD: THE PEOPLE—UM, IN THE CITY COUNCIL, ANYWAY—HAVE SPOKEN!

by Ed Gold


Mayor Mike, looking just a bit smug.

We knew the Bloomberg-Quinn tandem would carry the day when a vote was scheduled before the City Council which would permit the mayor to run for a third term. Both the mayor and the speaker are proficient in counting votes.

While all recent polls indicate a 70 percent approval rate for Bloomberg, a Quinnipiac poll showed 89 percent of voters in the city calling for a public referendum on term limits.

This adds up to a conspicuous ambivalence, with large majorities supporting the mayor’s right to seek a third term and at the same time opposing a change in the charter on the third term issue without a public referendum.

The N.Y. Times made the case for Bloomberg. The paper has always opposed term limits and would prefer no term limits at all.

Since a majority of New York voters have indicated they would back a Bloomberg third term, the Times argued they should have the right to make that choice.

Opposition was widespread and emotional. At the heart of the argument was the contention that a law opposed twice by public referendum should not be revoked by City Council action. Continue Reading »

Filed Under: Articles | Commentary | Community | New York | News | Politics

October 25th, 2008

“THE POLITICS OF IMMIGRATION: QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS” W/ CO-AUTHOR DAVID WILSON, 10/26/8 @ 3PM.

by Jo Panisch

Immigration is a fiery topic, with limbs that reach over all facets of our society. Many people base their conclusions on misinformation, which results in unfair assumptions and wrongly allocated blame.

David Willson and Jane Guskin co-wrote “The Politics of Immigration: Questions and Answers” to address the misconceptions and specifically answer the burning questions and create a dialogue. According to David Bacon, Photojournalist and trade unionist,

”Guskin and Wilson have written an excellent book about immigration politics, a very complex subject, in an accessible and provocative way. They use a question and answer format, which allows them to directly address some of the most heated issues in this national debate. They’ve done a great job of identifying these hot-button points, and go about undoing the stereotypes, misinformation and prejudice that paralyze rational thought about immigration policy. In the process, they break down complex sets of ideas into their component pieces, giving each one its own question. This book is a great reality check, a good teaching tool, and a powerful weapon against racism.” 


Please join co-author David Wilson for a discussion about immigration. This is an opportunity, no matter what conclusions you may draw, to at least make sure they are informed.

David Wilson at the SP-USA (NYC) Monthly Activist Meeting
Sunday October, 26th at 3pm
A. J. Muste Institute
339 Lafayette Street, Buzzer #11

Filed Under: Arts & Leisure | Community | Events | Politics

October 22nd, 2008

TIME’S UP: CITY COUNCIL VOTES ON TERM LIMITS EXTENSION, 10/23/8 @ NOON.

by John Coakley

Loyal readers will know that we’ve been covering this issue for some time now. And most of you agree with us that it’s a bit insulting; yesterday’s Quinnipiac University poll shows an overwhelming majority (89%!) of New Yorkers want to see term limits decided by referendum. Well, tomorrow is it—your last chance to speak up. At high noon, the City Council will meet to vote on whether or not to extend term limits for both itself and the Mayor. If you haven’t signed this petition, do it now. If you have, send it to someone who hasn’t. And if you’re able, come down to the meeting and make your presence known. The best time to raise your voice is when the powers that be don’t want to listen to it. Hey, I just made that up. Damn, I’m good.

What: The City Council votes on extending term limits without voters’ approval
Where: Council Chambers, City Hall.
When: Thursday, October 23, 2008 at Noon
How to get there: Take the 4 / 5 /6 trains to City Hall/Brooklyn Bridge;
the 2 / 3 trains to Park Place, the W / R trains to City Hall, or the A / C trains to Chambers Street.

Filed Under: Commentary | Events | New York | Politics | Take Action

October 20th, 2008

PURE GOLD: FULL MOONS AND HOLLOW PLUMBERS.

by Ed Gold


The GOP: In need of repair.

This has been an “Alice in Wonderland” presidential campaign, complete with a full moon. While the nation is faced with the most serious financial crisis since the Great Depression, involved in two wars, trapped by an addiction for oil and faced with a collapsing infrastructure, the Republicans have their gunslinger from the north-her eye on the presidency, telling crowds in North Carolina that henceforth she only wants to talk in “pro-American” sections of the nation.

As unemployment this year climbs over three quarters of a million, and further millions are fearful of losing their homes, the GOP fills the nation’s phone lines with rantings challenging Barack Obama’s patriotism by suggesting his collusion with terrorists. One of that rare species, a moderate Republican, Sen. Susan Collins of Maine has publicly asked her candidate, John McCain, to stop running that garbage in her state.

As Yeats once put it, “the center doesn’t hold” in today’s Republican Party. Continue Reading »

Filed Under: Articles | Commentary | New York | News | Politics

October 19th, 2008

DHCR PROTEST: 10/21/8 @ NOON.

by John Coakley

The Division of Housing and Community Renewal is the organization that is supposed to enforce our city’s rent control regulations. Clearly, they aren’t doing the best possible job. Rent stabilized or rent controlled apartments are becoming more and more scarce while market rate apartments get more expensive, giving the lie to the belief that too much of the one increases the price of the other. So join Housing Here and Now in protesting the DHCR at their offices this Tuesday. On the agenda:

.Public DHCR Meetings in all the Boroughs
.Establishing community advisory board for DHCR
.Fighting landlord harassment of tenants
.Defending affordable rent laws
.Stopping illegal rent increases
.Enforcing building codes for livable conditions
.Responding to tenant complaints

All pretty reasonable requests, if you ask me. You should go.

10/21/8 @ noon
Manhattan DHCR Office
25 Beaver St.
4,5 to Bowling Green, or R,W to Whitehall

Filed Under: Community | Events | New York | Politics | Take Action

October 15th, 2008

OPPOSITION AGAINST BLOOMBERG TERM LIMIT EXTENSION GETS ORGANIZED; SIGN THE PETITION!

by Jo Panisch


“You’re not asking the people if they want term limit extensions? Not cool, Mike. Now give me a fish.”

Criticism gets increasingly vocal as opposition to Mayor Bloomberg strengthens. On Tuesday the Working Families Party delivered a petition to Councilman David Yassy to sway his undecided vote on Mayor Bloomberg’s appeal for a term extension. The WFP, officially not opposed to ending term limits as long as it goes to a public referendum, has organized a massive grassroots petition rallying support.

This comes after an array of nasty allegations were made against the mayor, including a letter to the city’s Conflicts of Interest Board asking them to conduct an investigation into whether the Mayor made unethical deals with City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and former term-limits advocate Ron Lauder.

Tuesday Bloomberg gave a press conference intended to pacify concerns, but got agitated when a journalist asked him about any misconduct in both lobbying City Council members and alleged attempts to sway votes by threatening committee positions. Continue Reading »

Filed Under: Articles | Community | New York | News | Politics | Take Action

October 15th, 2008

REMINDER: TERM LIMITS PUBLIC HEARING TOMORROW @ 1PM.

by John Coakley


The perfect lunch break: warm weather, Vietnamese sandwiches, and a brisk walk to City Hall to tell the powers that be that they still answer to you.

Supposedly, tomorrow will be the last day of 70 degree-plus weather. You know what that means, right? Yep, it means you eat lunch outside. Outside as in while you’re walking to the Public Hearing on the extension of city electoral term limits. Even if you like Bloomberg and his perhaps unconscious (Billionaire status has got to mess with your head, folks) goal of turning Manhattan into the exclusive home of the top economic 1%, you have to admit that his wanting to skip the referendum process is a little scary. So that’s why you’ll be wolfing down that delicious Paris Sandwich Bahn Mi as you work your way down to City Hall to speak your mind, presumably along with hundreds of other pissed off New Yorkers. You really should go.

Public Hearing
City Hall – City Council Chambers, 2nd Floor
Thursday, 10/16/8 @ 1pm.

4/5/6 to City Hall or the 2/3 to Park Place or the R/W to City Hall or the J/M/Z to Chambers

Bring ID to get through the security guards on Park Row or Broadway.

Filed Under: Community | Events | New York | Politics | Take Action

October 13th, 2008

PURE GOLD: WHO IS BARACK OBAMA? DON’T ASK THE RIGHT.

by Ed Gold

No candidate for president in my lifetime has ever been attacked so viciously and from such a wide range of sources as Barack Obama, who somehow has confounded the screamers by maintaining a composure that has further angered his enemies.

There are obvious reasons for this near-hysteria coming from the right: Barack Obama is not a familiar American name, and the man, after all, is black, the first of his color to be seriously considered for the presidency.

But other factors intrude. His mother seemed to favor African and Asian men. His early schooling was in a Muslim country.

He has contradicted a host of stereotypes. He overcame poor economic conditions to become a star in the Ivy League, which perplexed and aggravated many of his opponents. Then he skipped the big bucks in prestigious law firms for the grubby, painful work of urban community organizer. He served in the Illinois state senate, then won a surprisingly easy victory for the U.S. Senate where he now sits as its only black member.

The rightists turned the word “elite” into a pejorative because of his success at Harvard, where he became the first black editor of the prestigious Harvard Law Review. Continue Reading »

Filed Under: Articles | Commentary | New York | News | Politics

October 10th, 2008

PURE GOLD: LET’S NOT FORGET THE SENATE RACES.

by Ed Gold


Kay Hagan, D-NC.

The wind is at the Democrats’ backs in the battle for Senate control with one big surprise in the making: Liddy Dole of North Carolina may join husband Bob in retirement.

Kay Hagan, a feisty state senator, only recently took the lead against Liddy, who had held a steady edge in September.

Hagan has rapped Dole for for being a loyal Bush follower, and for being lethargic on the Senate floor.

There are 11 seriously contested seats, with ten currently occupied by Republicans and only one by a Democrat. Continue Reading »

Filed Under: Articles | Commentary | New York | News | Politics

October 10th, 2008

35 MEMBERS OF THE BROOKLYN DEMOCRATIC COUNTY COMMITTEE TELL THE NEW YORK CITY COUNCIL THAT THEY OPPOSE THE EXTENSION OF TERM LIMITS.

by You the Reader


What if it was Bush asking for a third term?

Thanks to The Brooklyn Optimist for the heads up.

cc: Mayor Mike Bloomberg

Council Speaker Christine Quinn

Ronald Lauder

Dear Council Members:

What if President Bush had decided to amend the Constitution so that he could run for a third term? Surely, since 47 out of 51 of you are Democrats, this notion must be pretty frightening. Yet it is this concern that best sums up why we oppose the proposal before you to extend term limits.

Whether term limits are good for New York City is not an issue we care to argue. In the past 15 years, the voters of our City have twice decided that philosophical debate for themselves. In fact, it is as a result of their decision that most of you owe your current jobs. But now that you are on the verge of having to relinquish your power to a new generation of leaders, many of you are having second thoughts.

Surely, you can’t expect voters to interpret your motivations to extend term limits as anything but a self-serving power grab. Every dictator in world history faced with term limits has argued at the last minute of their reign that the political climate is so serious the people must keep them in power or else fear ruin. Well, New York City didn’t buckle when Mayor Giuliani tried to stay in office after 9/11. Now, we ask you to show the same courage and stand up to Mayor Bloomberg.

The people of New York need your help as City Council Members to protect our vote. The major newspapers, so many of our elected officials, and even Ron Lauder, once the foremost champion of term limits, have all abandoned us or cut backroom deals. You’re the last hope of the little guy. If you really think that New Yorkers want this change, then put Mayor Bloomberg’s proposal back on the ballot for referendum and let us decide.

We 35 members of the Brooklyn Democratic County Committee ran for office to be the voice of our neighbors and our communities. We thought you ran for office for the same reason. Here’s your chance to prove us right.

Sincerely, Continue Reading »

Filed Under: Community | Letters | New York | Politics | Take Action

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