Way back in 1790, just a few short years after the real Tea Party, John Adams was stressing that our political system was broken. But it wasn't broken then, and it isn’t now. Here's why: the political parties don’t govern in our political process; the Constitution does.
- Daisy Khan, co-founder of the Park51 mosque and community center, on The Brian Lehrer Show
WNYC partner Pop + Politics is on the road this week in Florida, where an interesting gubernatorial contest is shaping up. Florida's current governor, Charlie Crist, is running for reelection, but not as a Republican. Pop + Politics' Farai Chideya spoke with Crist on Tuesday.
- New York Times columnist Gail Collins on Arizona Governor Jan Brewer and other new stars of this political season, on the Leonard Lopate Show
What we have in Brooklyn is what I call a ghetto monarchy, where they are basically trying to hold onto their power for the few, a handful of people, at the expense of the masses of people in the 10th district.
--Democratic challenger (and alum of MTV's The Real World) Kevin Powell on The Brian Lehrer Show
Carl Paladino’s complete disregard for the traditional niceties of electioneering is a marked contrast to the man he’s trying to defeat in the Republican primary, former Rep. Rick Lazio of Long Island. Critics, and even some supporters, describe Mr. Lazio as a sincere, but not passionate, candidate.
Passion is not lacking in candidate Paladino.
If we lend credence to recent polls then voters in New York are set to punish one of the most dysfunctional state legislatures in the nation. September 14 is the first shot the electorate gets to settle the score with those that shamed us by turning Albany into a circus. And yet when one peruses how many in the Senate or Assembly are facing opposition from within their own parties, reality sets in.
There is an element of ahistoricism in the idea that American politics is uniquely “broken” today. The forward-looking essence to the American spirit discourages the near-obsessive focus on past slights and failures that can hobble a culture. However, it also encourages a sense that what is striking or disturbing is also a novelty, when quite often it is not.
I tried to bid an official farewell to summer with a dip in the waters at my favorite spot off the Jersey Shore (the place, not the TV show), but swimming was restricted, such were the riptide conditions left over from the hurricane that just skidded past us a few days ago.
With less than a week to go, polls indicate most Democratic voters couldn't pick one of the five contenders for Attorney General out of a line-up. The airwaves are jammed with AG wannabe TV ads and the candidates are all beating the bushes to produce yet another marquee endorsement.
Make sure your vote counts: Before heading to your polling place, learn about the mistakes you might make while voting.
Ballot-design expert Jessica Friedman Hewitt, former managing director of Design For Democracy, took a look at New York City's "Demonstration" election ballot. She and a team of designers came up with these tips to remember:
I think what’s broken is the failure of anybody to communicate in a civil way. When I was in the Senate and the House of Representatives, there were huge differences of opinions between Republicans and Democrats. Nevertheless, the fact is those differences occurred on about ten percent of the issues. Ninety percent of the time we all agreed as to what ought to be done.
For people that pontificate or sermonize about First Amendment rights, it's curious to me that those people are trying to label those others, like me, who are raising legitimate questions about the placement of this one particular mosque. There's 100 mosques in New York City. There are 2,000 mosques in America. There are 50% more mosques American than there was on 9-11. Nobody is raising an issue about that.
- NY Gubernatorial candidate Rick Lazio on The Brian Lehrer Show.
[+ Read more]
I've been asked to help kick-off this new website and to answer the question: "What's Broken in Politics and How Do We Fix It?" Well, maybe this isn't what the good folks at WNYC want, but I'm gonna reject their premise. You see, they assume through the question that politics is broken and needs fixing. I think not.
New York City's new paper ballot includes several trouble spots where voters could easily make mistakes, like those made by WNYC's Brian Lehrer and Azi Paybarah when they tried, according to experts in ballot design.
→ VIDEO: Hi, I'm A Paper Ballot! Watch Brian and Azi Struggle With The New Voting System
When voters go to the primary polls on Tuesday, they will use New York's new paper ballots for the first time. WNYC's Brian Lehrer and Azi Paybarah recently took the new ballot for a test drive.
Every schoolyard argument seems to devolve to the exclamation that “It’s a free country.” “It’s a free country” usually ends a conversation, but here, it’s a conversation starter. Our mission here is twofold: to provide you lively political content and to partner with you to build a unique interactive community.
I began losing faith in the institution of government in the late 1990's. I had high hopes when the Republicans took control of the House of Representatives for the first time in 40 years, but then they settled into the swamp they swore to drain.
The Democratic US Senate primary will be decided between Kirsten Gillibrand and Gail Goode. Gillibrand has served in the Senate for the last two years, filling the seat vacated by Hillary Clinton when she became U.S. Secretary of State. This is the first time Goode has run for office.
The Republican primary for New York Governor is a contest between GOP nominee Rick Lazio, a former member of the House of Representatives who ran unsuccessfully for the U.S. Senate against Hillary Clinton in 2000 and his challenger Carl Paladino, a lawyer and businessman from Buffalo, who until 2005 was a registered Democrat.