Streams

Bloomberg's Q&A: Non-Partisan Elections

Monday, August 02, 2010

WNYC

Michael Bloomberg bristled at a question about whether he recommended the City Charter Revision hire a city analyst who previously produced a report on the benefits of non-partisan elections.

“I just told you, I read about it in the papers,” Bloomberg says around the 8-minute mark. “How could I have recommended her if I didn’t even know about it?”

Bloomberg goes on to say that elections in the city right now “Is not democracy as the founding fathers envisioned it.”

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Roundup: Paladino's Rant, McGeveran's Wood

Monday, August 02, 2010

WNYC

Kornacki says even if he’s found guilty, Rangel won’t be removed from his seat. And he won’t lose a primary.

Rep. Velazquez lets Rangel twist; Rep. Towns is more supportive.

Burton says Obama is hands off Rangel.

Tapped doesn’t see racism behind the probes in Rangel and other CBC members.

Freedlander has more on Towns’ effort to get Powell off the ballot.

Paladino wants the governor disbarred, which is tough since the governor isn’t a lawyer.

Paterson was stopped and frisked three times.

Benjamin follows Cuomo’s dance with labor.

Giuliani says Muslims won’t be offended if a proposed mosque and cultural center is blocked from opening near Ground Zero.

McGeveran says the News beats the Post today because really, Martha Stewart on the wood?

Littlefield says Obama shouldn’t be blamed for the debt.

Buffalo Mayor Brown’s son was arrested.

Legislators crawl closer to the latest budget in state history.

Republicans lead the generic ballot.

Gatemouth finds news in a birthday announcement.

92Y events: Plouffe, Huffington, Stewart.

And fund-raising for Chelsea Clinton has already gone too far.

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Bloomberg Wants Someone Who Knows What the Hell They're Doing

Monday, August 02, 2010

WNYC

Mayor Michael Bloomberg isn't shying away from the fact that his newly hired, $175,000-a-year advisor to his appointees on the city pension boards may lead to conflicts with the city comptroller, whose job is to, basically, advise members of the pension boards.

Bloomberg told reporters today, “Why should we not have someone really professional, just because there may be disagreements? You really want somebody running your money that doesn’t know what the hell they’re doing? I don’t think so.”

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Maloney Balks at Debating Democrat Rival

Monday, August 02, 2010

WNYC

Democratic Rep. Carolyn Maloney declined to accept an invitation from Baruch College to debate her Democratic opponent, Reshma Saujani.

After Saujani e-mailed to say that she accepted the college's invitation, I asked Maloney's campaign spokeswoman if the congresswoman would also.

Here's the response I got:

 Right now, Carolyn is fighting to get our economy back on track. Having secured billions of dollars for the 2nd  Avenue Subway and Eastside Access, creating jobs remains her top priority. As always, Carolyn is focused on talking  directly to voters about their concerns and ideas.

The debate about whether to debate usually favors the challenger, since it’s an easy way to look substantive, and good government groups often cringe at debate-avoidance. But Maloney has a lengthy and notable career in Congress, which she and her campaign are eager to discuss. Usually.

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Removing Powell

Monday, August 02, 2010

WNYC

Brooklyn Rep. Ed Towns handily beat his Democratic challenger, Kevin Powell, in a colorful and contentious race two years ago.

This year, Towns is trying to keep Powell off the ballot.

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'Taxes'

Monday, August 02, 2010

WNYC

Republican gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino's new Web video features a cartoon guy screaming and running away from the word "tax." (A less-polarizing issue than Park51, the Islamic cultural center and mosque that's been occupying a lot of oxygen on the campaign trail.)

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Hasidic Rapping in Brooklyn, 20 Years After Crown Heights Riots

Monday, August 02, 2010

WNYC

A bunch of elected officials are gathering outside Brooklyn Borough Hall on Monday at 1 p.m. to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Crown Heights riots, when racial tensions in the neighborhood boiled over into thee days of violence. The riots helped put an end to the David Dinkins mayoral term, and usher in the Giuliani era at City Hall (with a little help from a Cuomo in Albany).

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The Lede: Rangel's Shake, Cuomo's Unions, Thompson's Mail

Monday, August 02, 2010

WNYC

Rep. Charles Rangel: "I've never gotten a fair shake."

Rep. Mike Arcuri is the first Democrat from NY to say Rangel should resign.

Paterson defends Rangel.

Reps. Rangel and Maxine Waters, of California, decisions to move forward with ethics trials, "puts the interests of these two veteran members of the Congressional Black Caucus at odds with those of their party leaders."

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Obama Nudges Rangel

Friday, July 30, 2010

WNYC

Rangel's response to Obama's gentle nudge is typical:

President Barack Obama is sending a strong signal to ethics-embattled Harlem Rep. Charles Rangel, telling CBS News that the time has come for the 80-year-old dean of New York’s congressional delegation to end his career “with dignity.”

But a person close to Rangel tells POLITICO the embattled Democrat “doesn’t give a damn about what the president thinks about this” and won’t step down.

The real story here isn't Rangel's response today, but may instead be the responses from other members of Congress that are likely to follow, now that Obama has signaled how he'd like this to end.

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Dems Hit Lazio as a 'Bonus Baby'

Friday, July 30, 2010

WNYC

Here’s the New York State Democratic Party’s latest video, dubbing Republican gubernatorial candidate Rick Lazio “a Bonus Baby,” for getting $1.3 million from JP Morgan, which received federal aid during the Wall Street meltdown.

The ad, it’s worth noting, is not coming directly from Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Cuomo’s campaign, but it’s clear the way they want to handle Lazio is by tying him personally to Wall Street, bonuses and bailouts.

The goal is force Lazio into defending Wall Street, which isn't too common right now, as this front-page Washington Post story about Democratic congressional candidate Reshma Saujani makes clear.

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The Department of Expert Pontification

Friday, July 30, 2010

WNYC

Here's an unsolicited PR pitch I received and that may not be entirely ignorable:

The Invisible Gorilla authors, Chris Chabris and Daniel Simons, recently penned an op-ed piece that ran in the Chicago Tribune last weekend that talks about the possibility that politicians don’t intend to lie, they just might remember it wrong. The cognitive psychologists can talk about how politicians regularly embellish their records. When their exaggerations are uncovered, they are accused of intentionally deceiving voters in a premeditated attempt to polish their public images. Are these misstatements necessarily deliberate lies? Are all politicians mentally deranged self-promoters? Some of them may be. In many cases though, they might actually be the victims rather than the victimizers.
 
Recent political stories that they can speak of:
 
Republican Senate candidate in Illinois, Mark Kirk
Democratic Senate candidate in Connecticut, Richard Blumenthal
Hillary Clinton (sniper story)
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Unleashing the Saujanis, Taylors

Friday, July 30, 2010

WNYC

Andy Hawkins kicks the ball down the field:

Some think that if [challenger Reshma] Saujani can win at least 40 percent of the vote against [Rep. Carolyn] Maloney, then it will unleash a flurry of interest in her kind of insurgent candidate: young, tech-friendly and no enemy of Wall Street.

[Sen. Kirsten] Gillibrand, though a prodigious fundraiser in her own right, is still seen as vulnerable to a challenge. Some of the thinking surrounding [Diana] Taylor’s future assumes that as the end of [Mayor] Bloomberg’s term nears, the two will get married, providing a lavish, if unofficial, launch to Taylor’s hardly secret political ambitions ahead of 2012. Or smaller scale: the Maloney paranoia has Taylor, or perhaps her compatriot Maureen White—who have both been twisting arms furiously to kick up opposition to Maloney—using Saujani as a stalking horse for their own Congressional ambitions next time around.

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King and Weiner Debate

Friday, July 30, 2010

WNYC

Reps. Peter King and Anthony Weiner had a finger-poiting, throat-cleaing debate about who is to blame for the failure to pass the 9/11 health bill in Congress. King, a Republican, said it was Democrats fault, since they brought the bill up for a vote under rules that required a two-thirds majority in order to pass. A two-thirds majority was needed because Democrats did not want amendments added onto the bill and under these rules no amendments are allowed. Usually, amendments can be added to a bill, and only a majority of votes are needed to pass legislation.

"They didn't have the guts to vote on it, up or down," King charged.

Weiner, a Democrat, focused on King's inability to get more than a dozen or so Republicans to support the bill.

"Democrats overwhelmingly supported this. Peter's party overwhelmingly voted agaisnt [it]."

After a few minutes of them yelling and pointing fingers at each other, the Fox News anchor comments, "This may be why Congress has an eleven percent approval rating."

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Bloomberg Tackles 'Instant News' Problem, Skips 2012

Friday, July 30, 2010

WNYC

Maybe I"m guilty of paying too much attention to this storyline, but the other newsy nugget out of Bloomberg's radio show this morning: he doesn't want to run for president in 2012.

"I’m going to support the president as much as I can. We need a successful president -- I think Republicans and Democrats should do that. And then as you get near the end of this president’s first term, if you want to run against him, I don’t. but if you did, or want to support somebody else, that’s fine. But this country has to pull together."

The mayor also offered this criticims of the modern media landscape, which, desipte his growing dominance, he doesn't seem to like.

"This instant news. They walk up to you, stick a microphone in front of you and say, 'Okay John, what do you say about this. You have to say something. You say something, and later on, you find out the facts were different. Oops." And: "The bloggers, to add on top of this. They write things that in some cases literally aren’t true. There’s no editing. There’s no accountability."

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Bloomberg Hits Republicans and Democrats

Friday, July 30, 2010

WNYC

In a slightly less animated format, Mayor Bloomberg expressed his displeasure at the congress' failure to pass a $3.2 billion piece of legislation that would have paid for health care expenses related to the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

"I think only a dozen Republicans voted for it and shame on the others," Bloomberg said during his radio show on WOR. "How can [you] go and preach patriotism and then when it comes down to it -- partisan politics. And on the Democratic side, it's even more of an outrage."

Bloomberg criticized them for bringing the legislation forward under rules that required the bill have a two-thirds majority of vote in order to pass.

"Democrats do have a majority. They set the rules. And they could have brought up this bill and passed it. There was a majority that would have passed it."

Bloomberg said Democrats brought the legislation forward under the stricter rules in order to prevent Republicans from introducing amendments onto the bill. Democrats, said Bloomberg, "didn't want to go on the record" voting against those amendments. "You can't have it both ways," he said.

"Democrats control the House. And if they don't want to control the House, turn it over to the Republicans," Bloomberg said. "But if you control the House, you have to have the courage to stand up."

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The Lede: Kaye is Slighted, Weiner is Unhinged

Friday, July 30, 2010

WNYC

Congress shoots down a $3.2 billion bill to pay for 9/11-related illnesses for first responders.

Anthony Weiner becomes unhinged after the vote: “I will not yield...The gentlemen is wrong!”

Lazio’s new video pushes Cuomo on Cardoba.

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Roundup: Rangel Deals, Paterson Regrets, Paladino Crusades

Thursday, July 29, 2010

WNYC

Unnamed source close to Rangel keeps settlement talk alive. “Just because this meeting happened doesn't necessarily mean the deal is dead.”

Rangel’s attorneys presented the Ethics Committee with a plea deal, according to PBS.

Quinn responds carefully to a Rangel question.

A Democratic congressman from Pennsylvania, Patrick Murphy, wants Rangel to resign.

Maybe Rangel’s settlement will establish a precedent.

Limbaugh: “I keep hoping that one day African-American politicians, ladies and gentlemen, will finally achieve racial equality and that they, too, will be punished for their ethical lapses just like people of no color are.”

One day after being cleared of criminal wrongdoing, Paterson says he regrets dropping out of the governor’s race.

I’m not sure he would have gotten past Cuomo.

Cuomo goes after insurance companies who may be “defrauding” military families.

Cuomo’s pension investigation against Hank Morris proceeds.

Thirteen charges against Morris were thrown out.

Paladino explains his opposition to the Cordoba Cultural Center. “It’s about the Islamists wanting to illustrate that they have conquered America by taking down the World Trade Center.”

Silver calls Koch old.

And Bloomberg tackles the “anti-success attitude that’s swept the media.”

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Rangel's Response

Thursday, July 29, 2010

WNYC

All 32 pages of it.

Rangel’s office responds to the Ethics Committee’ statement of alleged violations. It’s the first official response Rangel has given into the matter. Part of Rangel’s defense is, he didn’t do anything wrong (that’s what he says about the four rent-controlled apartments).

In other areas, he says he wasn’t treated fairly and felt the probe was an attack on him, personally.

“The charges in the SAV [statement of alleged violations] magnify an issue about the proper scope of Congressman Rangel’s official duties into an attack on his integrity.”

[skip]

"Although the Investigative Subcommittee compiled and numbered the exhibits for use when questioning witnesses, those numbered exhibits have not been provided to Congressman Rangel. Thus, unless a document is described in great detail in the transcripts—which is rarely the case—the reader is left to guess at the document the witness is addressing…Consequently, without the numbered exhibits, the testimony is not complete."

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The Charges Against Rangel

Thursday, July 29, 2010

WNYC

If you'd like to read all 13 counts.

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No Deal Yet as Ethics Committee Begins Hearing

Thursday, July 29, 2010

WNYC

So much for the 1 pm fireworks. Rangel will reportedly admit to wrongdoing and avoid a trial, according to CBS.

The details of course, will be where the fun is. And how Rangel's four Democratic opponents use this issue going forward, not to mention Republicans.

UPDATE: The Ethics Committee is beginning their hearing right now into Rangel, seeming to indicate that reports of a deal to avoid a trial may have been premature. “Credibility is exactly what is at stake here,” said Rep. Michael McCaul, a Republican from Texas, on the committee said.

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