Queens-born NBA player Ron Artest is the latest supporter featured on Democratic congressional candidate Reshma Saujani’s web site.
Artest--whose Queensbridge Houses are in the 14th Congressional District--is seen here holding a piece of Saujani campaign literature. Along with Wall Street employees, Saujani is trying to cultivate a following among younger voters. Sauajni is trying to unseat Democratic Rep. Carolyn Maloney, who was elected to Congress in 1992.
Artest would undoubtedly be part of that younger voter outreach. But, there may be a drawback. Artest is most famous for launching into the crowd at an Indiana Pacers game in what is thought to be the worst brawl in the sports history. To his credit, he has been behaving himself since.
“I just got polled,” a reader emailed recently.
This reader--who still has a landline in their Manhattan apartment and is a registered Democrat--took detailed notes about the call, including the fact that the Andrew Cuomo’s last name was pronounced “Coo-mo” by the caller.
The survey was about the AG’s race, and they were testing, among other things, which attribute is most important in picking the next AG.
“Cuomo's best choice.”
“They are the only candidate who has identified investigated and prosecuted misdeeds on Wall Street”
“Most progressive candidate”
“Served in military”
“Know how to get things done in Albany”
“They will fight for people who can't fight for themselves”
“Put people of NY ahead of special interests”
“Proven record of protecting New Yorkers”
“Restore trust in government”
“Best chance to win in November”
“Someone from outside the system who will be able to clean up corruption and dysfunction in Albany”
“Created nationally recognized effort to combat drunk driving”
“Only candidate who has never run for office before”
I’d be interesting in seeing which of these qualities scored highest.
Also, the caller wanted to know which critical statement made by opponents already was most disconcerting.
“They don't understand how to police Wall Street”
"They work for a firm that donated money to political candidates to get access to government”
“Too liberal and don't represent New Yorkers”
“Too rich to be in touch with average New Yorkers”
“Did not strongly support reforming Rockefeller drug laws”
“Have been in Albany too long and won't be able to bring changes to state”
“Have donated money to Republican candidates”
“Once registered as Republican”
“Not supported a woman's ability to work part time while raising a family served as elected official”
For the most part, the candidates have been shaping their identities through free media and sparsely-watched debates. Feedback from these kinds of surveys will have a real impact once the paid media (i.e. television and radio ads!) start airing.
The Credit Cardholders' Bill of Rights legislation--which recently became law--is a very big deal to Democratic Rep. Carolyn Maloney's campaign, and the subject of her latest mailer piece.
The mailer is basically an excerpt of a profile about her that appeared in Money magazine last year. Her opponent, Reshma Saujani, was recently featured in the Washington Post, but isn't likely to use any of its content in a mailer.
Steve Kornacki notes that should he beat Republican challenger Rick Lazio in November, New York gubernatorial candidate Andrew Cuomo is hoping to become like New Jersey's transformative Governor Chris Christie, but could wind up like New York's vanquished Governor, Eliot Spitzer.
Until the very end, Democrats swore that Corzine was safe and that their boilerplate attacks on the G.O.P. nominee—so successful between 1994 and 2008—would work as usual. It is impossible, therefore, to articulate what a body-blow Christie’s triumph was to the Trenton establishment.
This has been a major source of Christie’s legislative success. His victory shook Democrats, disabused them of their notions of invincibility, and compelled them to regard the new governor’s agenda with a seriousness they never afforded Corzine and his plans.
The ruling Democrats in Albany are just as arrogant as they were in Trenton, but Cuomo’s impending victory—no matter how massive the margin—won’t prompt any comparable soul-searching. The reason is simple: They’ve seen this story before.
[F]rom the vantage point of most of the Albany establishment, the governor-in-waiting looks and sounds a lot more like an Eliot Spitzer than a Chris Christie.
Rick Lazio has to worry about Carl Paladino.
Andrew Cuomo’s little-known Democratic opponent won’t be on the ballot.
Cuomo will have to refund more money than Rick Lazio has in the bank.
Gershman: “More than $4 million of the total Mr. Cuomo raised over the period consisted of donations of $10,000 or more.”
Cuomo spent campaign money at Tiffany’s, for gifts to donors.
Dicker hears of a new pro-business 527 group that may run issue ads this fall.
Rep. Eric Massa’s campaign paid his wife $34,214 after he resigned from office.
Governor Paterson paid $700,000 to lawyers and $150,000 for crisis communications.
Rep. Gary Ackerman hired a lawyer to answer questions from The Daily News.
Rep. Meeks hired lawyers and press aides to help with a federal probe.
Democratic Rep. Mike Aruci has $587,601. His Republican rival has $570,631.
Former City Councilwoman Helen Sears forgot to submit $101,963 in bills from the Parkside Group.
Scott Stringer hired the computer company run by the wife of the NYS Independence Party chairman.
State Senate candidate Adriano Espaillat helps fund a non-profit that employs his sister-in-law, and political allies.
Dick Gottfried clarifies his position on charter schools.
Vielkind: “The thinking is that women--who do not hold positions of power in the budget process--could do better.”
Karni looks at Bloomberg’s schedule, which is still handled by Shea Fink.
City Hall is falling down, and costing $106 million to fix.
And same-sex marraige supporters visited Albany.
Paladino’s been spending his money mostly on advertising: $831,368 on TV ads, and an additional $10,069 on Internet ads. He’s also spent $79,000 on polling.
Paladino has $53,000 on hand now, but has vowed to spend as much as $10,00,000 on the race. Paladino is a successful upstate businessman running in a GOP primary against former Long Island Rep. Rick Lazio.
They're both looking to take on Democratic Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, who reportedly has $23.6 million on hand.
More voters want to replace Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, rather than return her to office, according to a Siena poll released today.
Forty-three percent of voters said they “prefer someone else,” compared to the 34 percent who said they wanted to “elect Gillibrand.”
A majority of Democratic voters supporting electing her, 42-32 percent, and, predictably, a majority of Republicans oppose her, 59-20.
Gillibrand is losing among independent and unaffiliated voters, who want to replace her, 48-32 percent. In New York City, voters are split on keeping Gillibrand; 36 percent says keep her, 35 percent get someone else.
But there’s a silver lining for Gillibrand: she has no strong Democratic opponent (sorry Gail Goode), and her Republican rivals haven’t solidified voters on that side of the aisle.
The leading GOP challenger to Gillibrand is Joe DioGuardi, who leads the three-person field with 24 percent of the vote. Another 64 percent of voters say they don't know enough about DioGuardi, or the other candidates, Bruce Blakeman and David Malpass, to have an opinion.
Blakeman is a former legislator from Long Island, and Malpass was a White House official under President Bush. DioGuardi, a former congressman from Westchester, has the distinct advantage of having a daughter be an American Idol judge, boosting his name recognition somewhat.
Overall, the inability for Republicans to really capitalize on this race speaks to the wider issue of New York not having much of a functioning two-party system anymore.
Former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuilani opted not to run, as did former Governor George Pataki. Former Senator Alfonse D’Amato is now a lobbyist raising money for the leading Democratic gubernatorial candidate. D’Amato is also backing Blakeman, giving some astute (cynical?) observers the distinct impression D'Amato is ensuring Gillibrand's victory.
D'Amato, after all, was pretty happy to see Gillibrand get into the office in the fist place.
Governor Paterson has until Saturday to decide whether to sign a bill banning the NYPD from a database of information about people the police have stopped and frisked, but not arrested. NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly has been lobbying the governor, urging him not to sign the bill, saying the database has been an effective way to track down criminals.
The debate hinges on whether the database infringes on people's basic rights to privacy and if the info has been used to track down suspects in crimes not associated with initial 'stop and frisk' who otherwise may have gotten away.
Kelly, after a few meetings with Paterson, is now pointing to specific cases where information stored in the database lead to the arrests of criminals.
Paterson's decision about whether to sign the bill hinges on that newly presented information, he told WOR's John Gambling.
“Now he brings in evidence of 170 people who were stopped who were later arrested for different violations and crimes," said Paterson. "And we have to determine whether the database assisted in those arrests or not."
Andrew Cuomo is starting the first leg of a tour his campaign said will bring the candidate to each of New York’s 62 counties.
Cuomo starts out in the Hudson Valley tomorrow, and, over 11 days, will go to the Hudson Valley and North Country.
The Citizen Budget Commission raises a red flag on the most recent budget deal NYC lawmakers agreed to in June. In short, the CBC says we can expect the city’s financial situation to look very ugly very soon:
This year, the City will exhaust the last of the accumulated surplus; the fiscal year 2011 budget is balanced thanks to $3.6 billion in surplus from fiscal year 2010, a combination of those accumulated surpluses from the boom-years and increased tax revenues due to a stunning comeback in profits on Wall Street fueled by low interest rates. After that, the buck literally stops here; such good fortune is unlikely to continue, and actual expenditures will exceed revenues by $4.6 billion in fiscal year 2012.
If the federal government does not come through with $600 million in aid for Medicaid that is included in the adopted budget, a scenario looking more and more likely, more cuts are all but certain.
Gov. Paterson is unhappy legislators haven’t finished the budget: “I have no idea why they would act so irresponsibly at a time like this." Paterson’s spokesman: “We're waiting for them to finish a budget. We're not negotiating a revenue bill." State Senate spokesman: “We need a negotiated agreement to complete the budget, not another unnegotiated press release.”
The Times editorial board urges Paterson to sign a bill banning police from keeping stop and frisk data: “It is simply unacceptable to put innocent New Yorkers under permanent suspicion because they happened to be walking down a street in a minority neighborhood.”
The mosque slated near Ground Zero changed its name from Cordoba House to Park51.
Governor Paterson appointed five people to cushy jobs at the Parole Board.
2013: Anthony Weiner has the most on hand, but Scott Stringer raised the most during this filing.
NJ capped property taxes at 2 percent.
“The last two years have been a disaster for us,” said Rep. Carolyn McCarthy, a gun control activist.
Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver’s spokesperson said they have “no agreement” with the State Senate on CUNY/SUNY tuition raises.
Bill Stachowski says he’ll vote for the budget if there’s a deal on tuition.
Greg Meeks’ neighbor says the congressman’s house is too big for the neighborhood.
The Daily News says Meeks “has no excuse” for not checking with the House Ethics Manual before taking a loan from a campaign contributor.
The Landmarks Preservation Commission hearing today should be exciting, since they’re talking about the Ground Zero mosque.
Mayor Bloomberg’s defense of the mosque is a slap at Rick Lazio.
The city tries cutting its $7.6 billion pension costs.
Agudath Israel blames its funding cut on David Greenfrield, whom the group did not support for election.
Tom Golisano won a fight to get the value of his house lowered. It’s now $3 million.
Bloomberg isn’t staking out a firm position on term limits.
Ruben Diaz Jr. spends a lot of money on local schools.
Ray Kelly argues for keeping stop and frisk data for year.
Former Assemblyman George Ortloff hasn’t been sentenced to prison yet.
Being released today are results of a study about getting rid of the Sheridan Expressway in the Bronx.
An op-ed to sell wine in grocery stores.
And Lazio notes Andrew Cuomo's policy book doesn't mention terrorism or public safety.
State Senator Thomas Morahan, who represented parts of Rockland and Orange Counties, has died at age 78 after a six-month battle with leukemia.
A Bronx native, Morahan was elected to the state Senate in 1999. He is probably best known for successfully advocating for Timothy's Law, which requires insurers to provide more mental health coverage.
The absence of Morahan from the Senate isn't likely to impact the current session, since 32 votes are needed to pass legislation, and he was a stalwart member of the Republican minority.
Running to replace Morahan -- who was not seeking re-election -- are Rockland County Exec Scott Vanderhoef and 29-year-old town clerk David Carlucci.
Senate Republican Leader Dean Skelos issued statement on the passing of Morahan:
I am deeply saddened by the loss of Senator Tom Morahan, a tireless and dedicated public servant, but more importantly a great and valued personal friend. His accomplishments as a Senator, ranging from his fight to stop the commuter tax, to his efforts to help the mentally disabled, are only exceeded by his accomplishments as a father, husband and friend.
One of his lasting legacies was his insistence on bipartisanship and non-partisanship in state government, and he strived to achieve that and succeeded in doing so more times than not.
Tom was a champion for the mentally disabled and their families, as well as to all of his constituents in Rockland County and the lower Hudson Valley. And he was working for them right to the end.
Tom's hard work, his strong personality and his charm will never be forgotten by the countless thousands of people who were fortunate enough to call him their friend.
He will be greatly missed. My thoughts and prayers go out to his wife Helen, his daughters, and the rest of his family at this difficult time.
On the Ground Zero mosque, Mayor Bloomberg says investigating them is un-American.
Sean Coffey now joins the other AG candidates in opposing the NYPD’s practice of keeping stop and frisk information [updated].
Rick Lazio says he’ll release ten years of tax info and challenges Andrew Cuomo to do the same.
Maggie Haberman notes Democrats switch surrogates and keep pounding Lazio on his lobbying ties.
SEIU boss Dennis Rivera will back Eric Schneiderman.
Reader Mickey from Manhattan writes: “Perhaps Maloney ‘takes money from the special interests she's supposed to regulate.’ On the other hand, Saujani works for those special interests.”
Sarah Palin endorsed a Republican challenger to Democratic Rep. Dan Maffei.
On Alan Flacks’ calendar today: fund-raisers for Rep. Jerry Nadler and Manhattan DA Cy Vance.
Chuck Schumer stops by the Pool Party the same day he announced he’s fighting Zombie Sparks.
Jonathan Tasini blames Charlie Rangel for Harlem’s gentrification.
One Bill O’Reilly client endorses another.
Ruben Diaz Sr. makes fun of El Diaro for allegedly employing a spy.
El Diario has said they don’t want to be part of the spy story.
Dunham looks at Republicans who may back Elena Kagan.
Get ready to read a lot about Sonia Sotomayor.
Scott Brown gets behind the financial regulation bill.
Doug Schoen: “The left-wing economists urging Obama to ignore the latter concern, and pour more taxpayer money into the economy now, regardless of the impact on the deficits, are prescribing electoral suicide."
UPDATE: And R.I.P. State Senator Tom Morahan.
Embattled Democratic State Senator Pedro Espada, surrounded by supporters outside the Bronx Board of Elections Office, said he filed 10,000 signatures to get on the ballot for re-election on the Democratic line this fall.
Democratic challenger Reshma Saujani is still using the "special interest" line of attack against Democratic Rep. Carolyn Maloney.
A reader received this campaign mailer on Friday talking about how Maloney was “taking money from special interests” at fund-raiser scheduled around the same time she was taking an important vote on financial regulation.
Chris Matthews has called the “special interest” line of attack a “canard” because Saujani raises a lot of money from lots of Wall Street.
Here’s a graph from the Center for an Urban Future’s new report on why New York’s bet on reaping huge profits from putting video slot machines at the Aqueduct racetrack probably won’t pay off.
“[S]tate officials never seriously studied whether the idea of using video slot machines to prop up a dying race track make sense economically…
“Racing has been a declining business at Aqueduct for a long time. Between 1990 and 2009, the number of racing days dropped from 162 to 117. During the same period, total attendance fell by 82 percent; and after adjusting for inflation, Aqueduct’s “handle”—the total amount wagered on races at Aqueduct, including simulcast betting—also fell by 82 percent. In 2009, average daily attendance at Aqueduct was just 2,408, and the average daily handle just over $1 million.”
The competition to win the contract has been fierce. Three companies submitted bids to run the slot machines at Aqueduct. Two were disqualified. And one elected official says the fight for the Aqueduct bid may be behind a smear campaign targeting politicians in the racetrack's southeast Queens area.
The Center wants state officials to scrap the slot machines idea and instead look at how to use two nearby airports to generate financial activity.