“Grand Slam?” More Like Leaving the Bases Loaded


It’s officially baseball season and Governor Cuomo just touted his budget signing as a “Grand Slam”

Unfortunately, it’s more like leaving the bases loaded:

Stranded on First: Campaign Finance Reform

Stranded on Second: The NY Dream Act

Stranded on Third: The Moreland Commission and any/all of its recommendations.

Striking out at bat:The will of New York Voters who year after year supply more votes for Senate Democrats than Senate Republicans yet are still left with a Republican Senate.

This is what happens when our Governor keeps the Senate Republicans in power- important legislation is left on base.

Strategic Voter Registration with Sheryl Crow

ACT NOW’s Strategic Voter Registration Drive is kicking into high gear this spring and summer with a registration drive at the Sheryl Crow Concert at Jones Beach! Registering Long Island residents who like Sheryl Crow is a treasure trove of Democratic votes that will help efforts to unseat the Republican State Senate members on Long Island.

If you’re interested, please reply to this post.

We hope to see you there!

Strategic Voter Registration at the Staten Island Ferry Terminal

ACT NOW’s Strategic Voter Registration Drive is kicking into high gear this spring and summer with a series of registration drives at the Staten Island Ferry Terminal in Manhattan. Registering Staten Island residents who commute via ferry is a treasure trove of Democratic votes that will help efforts to unseat the scandal-plagued Republican House member Michael Grimm.

If you’re interested, please reply to this post.

We hope to see you there!

Strategic Voter Registration at the Staten Island Ferry Terminal

ACT NOW’s Strategic Voter Registration Drive is kicking into high gear this spring and summer with a series of registration drives at the Staten Island Ferry Terminal in Manhattan. Registering Staten Island residents who commute via ferry is a treasure trove of Democratic votes that will help efforts to unseat the scandal-plagued Republican House member Michael Grimm.

If you’re interested, please reply to this post.

We hope to see you there!

Strategic Voter Registration at the Staten Island Ferry Terminal

ACT NOW’s Strategic Voter Registration Drive is kicking into high gear this spring and summer with a series of registration drives at the Staten Island Ferry Terminal in Manhattan. Registering Staten Island residents who commute via ferry is a treasure trove of Democratic votes that will help efforts to unseat the scandal-plagued Republican House member Michael Grimm.

If you’re interested, please reply to this post.

We hope to see you there!

Strategic Voter Registration at the Staten Island Ferry Terminal

ACT NOW’s Strategic Voter Registration Drive is kicking into high gear this spring and summer with a series of registration drives at the Staten Island Ferry Terminal in Manhattan. Registering Staten Island residents who commute via ferry is a treasure trove of Democratic votes that will help efforts to unseat the scandal-plagued Republican House member Michael Grimm.

If you’re interested, please reply to this post.

We hope to see you there!

Strategic Voter Registration at the Staten Island Ferry Terminal in Manhattan

ACT NOW’s Strategic Voter Registration Drive is kicking into high gear this spring and summer with a series of registration drives at the Staten Island Ferry Terminal in Manhattan. Registering Staten Island residents who commute via ferry is a treasure trove of Democratic votes that will help efforts to unseat the scandal-plagued Republican House member Michael Grimm.

If you’re interested, please reply to this post.

We hope to see you there!

De Blasio, Obama and the Curse of High Expectations

Hizzoner

That was fast. Two and a half months after a landslide victory of historic proportions, Mayor de Blasio now has a 45% approval rating. If you dig into the numbers, it’s not quite as bad as it sounds- more people still approve of his job performance than disapprove of it. But it’s still quite a different picture from election night.

What’s happening to de Blasio is pretty much the same thing that happened to President Obama in 2009. A fresh, new candidate is swept into office promising change. Then a few months pass, and the reality of governing in a Democracy sets it- change isn’t instantaneous and limits on the power of any office holder blunt the agenda of the new leader. For Obama, his agenda was stifled by reactionary GOP Senate Minority abusing the filibuster. For de Blasio, his unmovable object is the dysfunctional state government in Albany, with Governor Cuomo and his Republican Allies in the State Senate blocking a millionaire’s tax to fully fund universal pre-Kindergarten.

And yet, like Obama, de Blasio has still achieved some significant half-victories. Obama got through the Stimulus, Dodd-Frank, and the ACA. De Blasio got a nonetheless large expansion of pre-kindergarten, ended stop and frisk, and signed paid sick leave legislation. But also like Obama (the terrible economy), De Blasio was also buffeted by forces beyond his control (the winter from hell).

The problem in both of these instances is that when politicians are elected with too large mandates, voters delude themselves into thinking that the new government will solve all of their problems. When said government then runs up against the limits of democratic power, voters get buyer’s remorse. Like Obama, de Blasio can rebound if he proves to be a competent manager and tack up some more legislative victories. It’s not too late now, but de Blasio should take a quick course correction to focus more on running the city competently, while letting the Council push through as much of his remaining agenda as possible without counting on anything more from Albany.

If this November, de Blasio directs his political muscle to help the Democrats take back the State Senate, he can once again start making promises about changing State Law. Here’s hoping he does- his career and the whole state will be better for it.

What Can We Do About Albany Corruption?

Call Governor Cuomo at 518-474-8390 and tell the person who answers that you want Cuomo to keep campaign finance reform with matching funds in the budget.

As ACT NOW activists I know you are asking what can be done about the endless stream of corrupt Albany legislators. One answer is campaign finance reform with matching funds for small donations coupled with increased disclosure requirements and tighter donation limits. This was tried with great success in NYC and Governor Cuomo has put a similar plan in his budget. Now it’s up to us to fight to keep it there.

New York stands to be a national leader on campaign finance reform. For only a penny a day apiece New Yorkers can:

  • Free legislators from endless fundraising, giving them time to meet with constituents and work on solving problems.
  • Attract more women and minority candidates who don’t run because they don’t have access to the money required.
  • Prevent government contracts — some for millions of taxpayer dollars — from going to donors rather than those who could do the job honestly, less expensively (graft costs!) and better.
  • Bust up a system that gives legislators a 96% reelection rate.
  • Increase the voice of ordinary citizens.

The changes Cuomo has proposed in the budget offer the best chance we have of fixing our broken system in about a century. It has worked in NYC and it could work state wide. For less than a penny a day we can make Albany politicians accountable to us, not big-money interests.

Call Governor Cuomo at 518-474-8390 tell him we need campaign finance reform. Today!

#TopTenAlbanyCrooks #1: Malcolm Smith

Malcolm Smith, felon-in-waiting, remains in the state senate and plans to run for reelection. He requested that his trial be postponed until after the primary! Smith faces corruption charges because he tried to buy a spot on the Republican line for the 2013 NYC mayoral election by bribing Republican officials.

Smith, a Queens Democrat, held the title of Majority Leader for 6 months before being replaced in June 2009 by a bipartisan group of senators, one of the events that triggered the “coup” that left the senate in chaos. In August 2008, Smith held a $75,000 per person fundraiser for 75 lobbyists and told them they “should get in early because then it doesn’t cost as much. The longer you wait … the more it will cost you and if you don’t get in at all then it will be painful.” The lobbyist said “people were looking around the room in disbelief.” Smith also siphoned money from a web of nonprofit groups.

Smith left the Democratic Party to become Chairman of the Independent Democratic Conference (IDC) when they offered him a better deal. From that base he bribed Republican officials to try and secure the Republican line for the NYC mayoral election. He offered hundreds of thousands in cash, plum jobs, and $500,000 in NYS funds for a road contract in an attempt to secure the line. After his arrest the IDC expelled him. Having been rejected by both the Democrats and the IDC, Smith now sits in the “felons caucus” with Senator John Sampson while both await trial.