Streams

Azi Paybarah

author of The Empire blog

Azi Paybarah appears in the following:

Cuomo on Reducing Pensions: No Position Yet

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

WNYC

The New York Post has an entertaining front-page story today about a pretty healthy fireman who collects disability pension payments. For critics, it’s the latest example of pension abuse that’s driving the state broke.

In a scrum with reporters today, Andrew Cuomo was asked if he supports moving away from a defined-benefit system to a defined-contribution system.

Interestingly, Cuomo said “I don’t have a position on a specific option.”

Later, he said however costs are reduced, it’ll likely have to be an option that labor unions agree to, rather than something lawmakers pass over the union’s objections.

Here’s part of what Cuomo said on this topic today:

“We’re going to need to really explore ways to reduce the costs of the pensions.”

“There are a number of options that have been bandied about and part of the process is going to be putting everyone in a room and figuring out how do we actually reduce the costs.”

“I don’t have a position on a specific option, but the strategy is going to have to be to reduce the costs.”

“I think the best way to do this is to do it cooperatively; to do it mutually.”

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Reader: No Jockeying

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

WNYC

Joseph from NYC (loudly) disagrees with my analysis that there is some discord among the growing same-sex advocacy community.

He writes:

Azi, what are you talking about?

Last week, Fight Back held a contest to name the next target. "Next week we’ll announce a new target." Hardly the 'jockeying' you report it to be. Your evidence? The fact that they make the announcement on the "frist" (EDITOR!) business day back from the holiday.

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Gay Marriage Advocates' Next Target: Stachowski

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

WNYC

There's some jockeying going on to be the lead advocate for same-sex marriage in New York.

On Friday, it was announced that Brian Ellner would lead the new Campaign for New York Marriage--a group associated with the Washington-based Human Rights Campaign.

Today (the first business day since Ellner's announcement) [spelling fixed] another group--Fight BackNY--announced they're targeting Democratic State Senator Bill Stachowski for defeat this fall.

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Bloomberg Strategist on the Mayoral Race That Could've Been

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

WNYC

The New School just released the transcript from its post-election discussion with consultants on the 2009 city elections. It’s a chance for top campaign operatives to be (more) honest about what they were doing behind the scenes to shape the race.

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The Lede: Rangel's Tumble, Crowley's Slap

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

WNYC

Cuomo says the fund-raising story about him in the Times does look bad.

A blogger posts vintage footage of Schumer, and asks "What if Sonia Sotomayor (hispanic) was treated the way Alberto Gonzales (hispanic) was treated?"

Rangel, a portrait of a powerbroker in decline.

Democrats will try removing Espada from the party.

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The Lede: Kruger's Money, Cuomo's Role

Monday, July 05, 2010

WNYC

Steele faces more heat from Republicans.

Savino says she didn't realize what was in the deficit reduction plan she voted for.

Chris Smith says Cuomo is now the fourth man in Albany's "three men in a room" game.

Kagan backs a judicial nominee Schumer blocked.

Gillibrand wears sunglasses at Byrd's funeral.

Cuomo supports the mosque at Ground Zero. Lazio opposes it.

NY Post: "[T]he overall budget grew 6 percent, even as fiscal doomsday still looms. Quinn and Bloomberg should've taken their cues from Gov. Paterson."

Seifman says some member items from last year still haven't been paid.

Kruger gets hit for campaign spending. "$180 for candy, $302 for online music from iTunes, and $513 for Russian language tapes. His flower bill was $2,060."

More legal trouble for Espada.

Here's a video of Gillibrand at a Gay Pride Shabbat.

Maloney: "Somehow the politically correct position on the deficit has become cut, cut, cut, irrespective of the economic consequences."

DN: "Carving out a special tax hike just for the most generous New Yorkers is perverse, even by Albany standards."

"The city's murder rate is up 11% so far this year."

Vielkind: "So there is a tacit acceptance among lawmakers--mixed with equal measures of exasperation and hope--that they will be back. Besides the budget, major and minor bills remain unresolved."

Shinnecock Indians also have to get their land recognized before they can open a casino.

NYT: "The state’s politicians should also stop chasing gamblers."

Stachowski's opponent gets the Independence Party nod.

Levin and Lopez get hit for initially opposing the Domino development plan. DN says "no tweaks should have been necessary for a project that was brilliantly conceived from the get-go."

Weingarten may be a transformative leader, says an education columnist.

Gaskell asks what counts as success in Afghanistan.

And pictured above: Cuomo at a July 4th parade on Staten Island, with supporters Rep. Mike McMahon, Assemblyman Mike Cusick, and State Senator Diane Savino.

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Brooklyn 'Fired Up' as Hoboken Enjoys Another NYC Fireworks Show

Friday, July 02, 2010

WNYC

The Fourth of July fireworks show will give lots of people along the Hudson River a great free show.

The fact that some of those people will be New Jersey residents is angering Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, whose constituents had an eaiser time seeing the show when it was held on the East River. Moving the show back to the East River "should be our priority—not providing viewing pleasure to residents in New Jersey and excluding a large part of New York City, especially Brooklyn,” a "fired up" Markowitz said in a public statement.

But Sunday's fireworks show, organized by Macy's, will take place on the Hudson, for the second year in a row. And some New Jersey residents are openly cheering their good fortune.

"Take that Brooklyn!," wrote one reader on the blog Hoboken411.

 (h/t Amy Eddings)

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Roundup: Paterson's Image, Maloney's Mail

Friday, July 02, 2010

WNYC

Bill Clinton on Byrd: “[M]aybe he did something he shouldn't have done and he spent the rest of his life making it up.”

The photo of Paterson vetoing bills is his legacy.

McGeveran basically agrees: “It's hard to imagine what was going through the Daily News editors' minds when they chose a big Mel Gibson cover after seeing this museum-ready historical-moment picture of Paterson.”

Levy clears his throat.

Cuomo and Chartock, round 2.

Queerty isn’t as optimistic as Cuomo on same-sex marriage.

JoeMyGod readers aren’t overly confident either.

Ellner will lead a same-sex marriage group.

Freedlander: “Bloomberg’s fingerprints are all over the financial reform bill.”

Stu Loeser, photographer.

An NYT reporter watches Assemblyman Rivera, and Tweets: “This is one of the legislators leading the great state of N.Y. God help us.”

Frank raises for Maloney.

Maloney mails against special interests.

More Huckabee buzz.

Gaskell expects a fight over war funding in the Senate.

And Bloomberg meets the Hot Dog Eating contestants.

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Maybe Lula and Assad Just Like Each Other

Friday, July 02, 2010

WNYC

In a video I posted earlier, Bruce Blakeman argued that America's allies were meeting with leaders from rogue nations in more frequency under Obama than they were under Bush--signaling America was losing it's strength in international diplomacy.

"The president of Brazil met with the President of Syria. Assad. Bashar Assad. I cannot think that if George Bush was still president, that the President of Brazil would meet with the Syrian president. I cannot imagine a scenario where that would happen," Blakeman said.

A reader points out that, in fact, Brazil's President, Lula da Silva, already met with Syria's president...in 2003.

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'I Want to Go Home. I Want to Get Paid'

Friday, July 02, 2010

WNYC

At the 2:26 mark, Jose Rivera says out loud what most legislators are saying privately. State legislators do not receive their paychecks until the budget is completed. It was a law passed a few years ago as an incentive to force them to pass the state's budget on time.

Which hasn't always happened.

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Coffey Seeks Interns

Friday, July 02, 2010

WNYC

The AG candidate's campaign posted this ad on the Jobs That Are Left list-serv:

Sean is a retired Navy Captain, successful lawyer, and Wall Street
reformer running in the Democratic Primary for New York State Attorney
General.  He is also the only true outsider in the race, having never
before been elected or appointed to political office.  Sean has
pledged never to run for Governor, and views himself as the people's
lawyer, not a politician.

With offices opening across the state, the Coffey Campaign needs
interns.  Intern opportunities include meeting with volunteers,
working with community organizations, and using the voter file to
track and manage volunteers.  Interns should also be comfortable
working on projects on their own and able to excel in a fast paced
environment. An ideal candidate will be able to commit to 40 hours per
week but hours and dates are flexible. For more information on Sean or
any of his platforms, visit Coffey2010.com.

To apply, please send an email to [redacted] [at] coffey2010.com,
with a brief resume attached.

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Vetoes

Friday, July 02, 2010

WNYC

Here's Paterson, still vetoing spending bills he says the state can't afford. A spokeswoman said the governor will finish vetoing about 7,000 items by the end of today.

Politically, Paterson's hard-line stance against the state legislature has revived him, politically, as evidenced by things like this glowing New York Post front page today.

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Blakeman Says Gillibrand Silent on Israel

Friday, July 02, 2010

WNYC

Dickter's interview with Blakeman got refershingly deep into the weeds of foreign policy. 

 Around the 3:30 minute mark, Blakeman says the US is no longer preventing allies from talking to rogue or unfriendly nations.

"The president of Brazil met with the President of Syria. Assad. Bashar Assad. I cannot think that if George Bush was still president, that the President of Brazil would meet with the Syrian president. I cannot imagine a scenario where that would happen."

Around the 4:10 mark, Blakeman hits Gillibrand for not bringing the White House closer into Israel’s corner:

"So, I think there’s a fundamental shift away from Israel and towards the Palestinians, by the administration. Senator Gillibrand has been absolutely silent on that, and I think that has emboldened Iran."

On the home front, Blakeman praised Chris Christie as someone "reflecting the new Republican Party." When asked about Sarah Palin, Blakeman was complimentary, but not non-committal about her 2012 chances.

“I think there’s a perception that she’s not smart. I think she’s very smart. I think she does have great communication skills, leadership skills, but there a lot of good Republicans out there who could be potential presidential candidates, and I think Sarah Palin is just one of them.”

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The Lede: Paterson Defends, Arroyo Explains, Ball Gets a Lawyer

Friday, July 02, 2010

WNYC

Paterson says good-bye to elected life.

He's delaying some federally-funded health care services here.

On immigration: "The president’s decision to elevate the issue reflected more of a political strategy than a legislative one since the White House has no plan to actually push a bill this year."

Money for broadband is on its way.

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Espada Signs Koch's Reform Pledge

Thursday, July 01, 2010

WNYC

State Senator Pedro Espada signed the pledge from Ed Koch’s PAC supporting non-partisan redistricting and other reform measures in Albany.

Koch--continuing with the group’s MO of using public attention to shame others into signing the pledge--said, “if Espada commits to these reforms, surely you must.”

Espada, a Democratic Senator from the Bronx, has been criticized for a number of alleged ethical lapses, including a history of campaign finance filing problems, profiting from a non-profit health care group he controls and throwing the state into chaos when he and another Democratic Senator caucused with Republicans, flipping control of that house and bringing state government to a standstill.

Among the people who have not signed the pledge are Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and Assembly Vito Lopez, the Brooklyn Democratic County Leader.

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The Lede: Sampson's Turnaround, Arroyo's Aide

Thursday, July 01, 2010

WNYC

Schumer hasn’t ruled yet, but it’s cameras probably won’t film Byrd lying in repose in Senate Chamber.

Washington Examiner: “Before Charlie Rangel lost his chairmanship of the House Ways and Means committee, there had not been a single member of congress punished for ethics violations by congressional ethics officials in three years.”

Arcuri votes for Wall Street regulation.

Senate won’t act until mid-July.

Bloomberg: “[A]ll of us were part of the 12 million undocumented here, getting them here, we all chose to pass a law and then deliberately not enforce it.”

Harold Ford: “Don’t besmirch people who decide to go and make a living.”

Confessore finds state bills quietly passing the legislature.

Wrobleski: “How much longer can you sell the notion that some should be shielded from economic reality just because their salaries, benefits and pensions come out of the public till?”

Sampson now supports creating a contingency plan for not getting $1 billion in FMAP money from Washington.

Weiner: “Paterson declined to offer specific examples of what might be cut if the aid is not approved.”

Sampson couldn’t get 32 votes to pass about $1 billion in new taxes and revenue raisers.

State Senators are going home for the July 4 weekend.

Allowing some SUNY and CUNY campuses to set their own tuition is another budget sticking point: Paterson and Sampson support it; Silver and even some Senate Democrats oppose it.

Stachowski and Senate Democrats on Long Island--Johnson and Foley--signaled they won’t vote for a budget without solving the SUNY/CUNY issue.

Paterson throws cold water on racino deal in Syracuse.

NYSUT points to education funding that Paterson vetoed.

Brodsky wants info on bonuses paid to top officials at public authorities.

Post Star: “An aide to state Assemblywoman Carmen Arroyo was arrested Wednesday on charges of robbery and impersonating a police officer, accused of flashing a fake badge and stealing $4,000 from an apartment, police said.”

Arroyo couldn’t be reached for comment.

Padavan wants to outlaw alcohol with more than 160 proof.

Kendall Stewart tries settling his campaign debt. “He asked City Hall to forward him the link to the CFB filing information.”

Jose suffers through City Council timing. “At 2:16, an intern for Garodnick who had been sitting in the room most of the day told me he had no idea if the hearing was going to happen at all.”

Rendell welcomes New York’s overtaxed hedge fund workers.

And here's the “least helpful — police sketch ever released.”

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17 Arrested in 'Steal to Order' Car Theft Ring

Thursday, July 01, 2010

New York prosecutors say they've broken up a "steal to order" car theft ring that took car requests from as far away as Senegal -- and filled them from the streets and parking lots of the Tri-State area.

Prosecutors say the ring was based out of ...

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Albany Update: What's Going On?

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The sky was supposed to fall. Chaos was supposed to reign. And somehow, Albany failed to deliver even that.

Comments [1]

Roundup: Kruger's Answer

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

WNYC

Mayor Bloomberg takes NYC subway to announce new recipients of Cities Of Service Leadership Grants.
June 30, 2010 (Photo Credit: Spencer T Tucker)

The “rumors” Gillibrand was trying to stomp out were started by…Gillibrand.

Seiger reaches his “end-of-quarter” limit on fund-raising emails.

Garcia never told Christie who Client 9 was.

Bloomberg doesn’t agree or disagree with anybody.

Ford: “What threatens our party right now is an attitude that business is bad.”

Kruger gets an answer to the budget question that stumped him.

Savino withdraws her bill: “I’m tired of people trying to politicize the pension system.”

Liz wonders when she can leave Albany.

Weiner makes a nice catch. But what’s up with that throw?

Albany’s plan to tax rich people will help Connecticut.

Gatemouth takes on a New York Post article.

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Rice's Protest Video

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

WNYC

Mott's factory workers in Williamson are getting lots of attention from New York politicians. The latest, Kathleen Rice, who is out with this video of her trip to visit the striking workers.

The solidarity with workers is, I think, a sentiment not entirely shared by voters, according to a Quinnipiac poll released today. Then again, unions do have an unignorable role in Democratic Party politics.

In late May, about 300 workers at the iconic applesause producer went on strike after management sought wage cuts. Worker refused, and said the company made more than $500 million in profits last year, making wage cuts unnecessary.

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