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Caitlin Thompson

Caitlin Thompson appears in the following:

Wanna switch parties? You've got a week

Friday, October 07, 2011

by Sarah P. Reynolds

If you’re on the fence about changing your political party, you better think fast.  Are you an independent at heart but still registered in the two-party system? Are you a Republican who's feeling tired of your party's platform? Are you a Democrat watching your pals take a wrong turn? Are you marching in the Occupy Wall Street and feeling a change of heart?  This deadline may be for you!

October 14th is the deadline for voters who want to change their party affiliation for next year’s primaries. If you want to change it for this year’s General Election, you’re already out of luck. According to the New York State Board of Elections, state law prohibits a voter from changing their enrollment party and then voting in that new party in the same year.

According to John Conklin, Director of Public Information for the New York State Board of Elections, the law is designed to prevent voters from switching parties between elections without a waiting period, which could potentially manipulate election results. If a voter applies for a change in party affiliation by the deadline, the new enrollment would go into effect one week after this November’s General Election.

This rule does not apply to new voters in the state who still have time to register for next year; up to 25 days before the primaries.

October 14th (the postmark date) is also the final day to register for this year’s General Election which will be held on November 8th.

For both voter registration and a change to party affiliation, registrants must fill out the same voter registration form. You can get this form at your County Board of Elections, download it from the State Board of Elections website or call 1-800-FOR-VOTE.

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Alesi under fire for same-sex marriage vote

Friday, October 07, 2011

By Alec Hamilton

Republican State Senator Jim Alesi is being targeted by billboards commissioned by an anti-gay marriage group in revenge for his vote last June, Rochester's YNN is reporting. The group, the National Organization for Marriage, is targeting Alesi with billboards that mention his name and then warn, ominously, “you’re next.”

Alesi seems unconcerned by the campaign, saying the feedback he has received since voting in favor of same-sex marriage has been very positive. YNN quotes Alesi as saying “I'm steadfastly proud of the vote I took. And for those people who don't agree with me, that's a legitimate disagreement. But it doesn't change my views.”

The Republican Senator has called for a national debate on the right of same-sex couples to marry, telling YNN “I will predict that ten years from now, this will be the law of the land.”

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Showing the Love

Thursday, October 06, 2011

by Alec Hamilton

And even more support for the Occupy Wall Street rally.

Brooklyn City Councilmember Jumaane Williams also joined the masses on Wall Street yesterday, tweeting out this picture and this message:

“I am showing love to #OccupyWallStreet & the thousands of #youngpeople & #labor  #workers  who are still arriving.”

 

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Kelly: Protesters Can Stay

Thursday, October 06, 2011

by Alec Hamilton

The Occupy Wall Street protesters may remain in Zuccotti Park for as long as they want. Police commissioner Ray Kelly said during a City Council hearing today that as long as the demonstrators conduct themselves in a peaceful and lawful manner, the park’s owners may not require them to leave.

Part of the land-use deal of the sale of Zuccotti Park includes a provision that requires the park to be open to the public at al hours. The privately-held park is owned by Brookfield Properties, a real estate company who built the park in order to gain a zoning bonus for a neighboring skyscraper.

Commissioner Kelly said the NYPD had already spent $2 million dollars on police overtime to patrol the demonstrations since they began about three weeks ago.

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Assistant Commish For Dept of Housing Indicted

Thursday, October 06, 2011

By Alec Hamilton

Read the full FBI press release here.

… beginning in 2002, Walters accepted approximately $600,000 in bribes from general contractors and real estate developers in exchange for awarding them HPD contracts. On multiple occasions, Walters allegedly summoned… John Doe #1..to various locations around the city, including a golf driving range in the Bronx, where Walters would hand John Doe #1 a slip of paper with the amount—usually “250,” signifying $250,000—that Walters was demanding.

In subsequent meetings, John Doe #1 would make cash payments, often in excess of $25,000 at a time, to Walters, hiding the money in golf ball boxes, overnight mail envelopes and coffee cups. During the same time… John Doe #1 was awarded the general contracts for the following HPD projects: theLexington Avenue, Watkins Avenue Cluster, Bedford-Stuyvesant and Cooper- Decatur Cluster projects in Brooklyn, theAlexander Avenueand Crotona Park Cluster projects in the Bronx, and the Guy Brewer North Homes inQueens. The value of these general contracts was often in excess of $10 million.

Additionally, real estate developer Dunn, a friend of Walters since high school, admitted in a consensually-recorded conversation that Walters, whom Dunn described as “greedy,” demanded $75,000 from Dunn and actually received $25,000.”

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Bloomberg: Protesters are Well Behaved

Thursday, October 06, 2011

by Alec Hamilton

The Occupy Wall Street protests prepare to start their third week tomorrow with no sign of waning, and the arrests continue, but Mayor Bloomberg today said overall the protesters are well behaved.

“You don't see people throwing things the way you do in other parts of the world.” the mayor said. “I do not think this will escalate, and we want to make sure people have the right to protest.”

Twenty-three people were arrested last night on charges ranging from disorderly conduct to assaulting a police officer.

Bloomberg also said the police officers seem to have conducted themselves appropriately --though he said there might be "a piece of footage" that showed otherwise.

An NYPD spokesman did confirm that one officer used pepper spray last night on a protester.

 

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Rangel Issues Statement of Support for Protest

Thursday, October 06, 2011

by Alec Hamilton

New York Congressman Charlie Rangel lent his support to the Occupy Wall Street protests today, joining Minority Whip Steny Hoyer and House Democratic Caucus Chairman John B. Larson and Rangel’s colleagues in the Congressional Progressive Caucus.

Rangel issued a release today that said “This new wave of support gives me renewed hope that we can bring about change inAmerica.’

“Today, the American people are angry and frustrated: In addition to the 14 million who are out of work, many people have lost their homes, health insurance, money for college and are losing hope. The wealthiest few should pay their fair share instead of enjoying the record profits on the backs of the middle class. The American people have had enough. They're mad as hell, and I agree. This is not a political issue, it's a moral issue.

I lived through the Civil Rights movement, marched fromSelmatoWashington, and have witnessed what happens when people unite. That's why I was glad to visitLibertyPlazaon Saturday to lend my support. I encourage more of my Collegues in Congress and the religious community to stand with the people on Wall Street to help occupyAmerica. Together, we can take back our country."

The protests, slated to last for two months, are now in their twentieth day.

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Cuomo Makes NY More Multilingual

Thursday, October 06, 2011

By Alec Hamilton

Saying “we welcome immigration.” Governor Andrew Cuomo signed an executive order today mandating that state documents be translated into six languages – Spanish, French, Italian, Chinese, Russian and Creole, in an effort to expand communication to New York’s immigrant communities. The executive order directs twenty-seven state agencies which provide direct services to the public to provide free interpretation of official forms and translation services.

The Buffalo News quotes Conservative Party chairman Michael Long as saying “by doing this, we continue ... the idea that people don't have to learn our language,"

"Why aren't we sending a clear message that it's important to learn English as fast as possible. ... Why does the state or federal government have to do everything for everyone all the time?"

The governor said some of the cost for the program, which could help reach some 2.5 million New Yorkers with limited English, will be paid for by the federal government. The program is due to be phased in slowly over the next year.

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Incumbents, Carl Lewis Prevail in NJ Primary Votes

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Nine-time Olympic champion Carl Lewis has won the Democratic nomination to New Jersey's 8th Senate district. But wrangling continues over his status as a NJ citizen - Republicans filed a complaint in April, alleging that Lewis is not a resident of the state. The track and field star voted in California in 2009, and they point to four-year state residency requirements.

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Pelosi, Reid Distance Themselves from Weiner

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

I know Congressman Weiner, I wish i could defend him. But I can't.

-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, on embattled Congressman Anthony Weiner.

 

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SUNY Ethics Scandal Could Have Budget Fallout

Friday, May 13, 2011

The contentious SUNY budget battle is about to get a lot more messy. The New York State Commission on Public Integrity has found reasonable cause to believe that SUNY paid Senate Majority Leader Joseph L. Brunos daughter for a $70,000-a-year job for which she rarely came in, and was not qualified. The Commission on Public Integrity has served a Notice of Reasonable Cause of ethics violations against John J. OConnor, President of the Research Foundation of SUNY in the employment of Susan Bruno as Assistant director in the foundations Federal Relations Unit.

Earlier this month Governor Cuomo had approved allowing the four flagship SUNY campuses to set their own tuition increases, subject to legislative approval. The university system has long fought for the right to set their own tuition rates, and their partial success followed an announcement by the governor of $140 million in grants for the SUNY research campuses for expansion.

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Paladino: Still Mad As Hell!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Former GOP gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino is throwing his support behind Jane Corwin in the race for New York's 26th Congressional District. The Buffalo businessman issued a fiery letter to media outlets today (it's dated Wednesday Morning!) charging the current Tea Party candidate, Jack Davis, with "lying" based on the his supposed endorsement of Barack Obama and, "radical liberal policies like partial birth abortion."

Paladino supports Jane Corwin, another member of the upstate business community, who's family is behind The Talking Phonebook, a company that's credited with bringing more jobs to Western New York.

Corwin does hold a small lead over the competition in the latest Siena poll,  with 36 percent of voters supporting her compared to the 31 percent supporting Democrat Kathy Hochul.  Jack Davis, who is on the independent and the Tea Party line, has the support of 23 percent of voters.  The poll, conducted April 26 -27, includes responses from 484 likely voters with a margin of error of 4.5%.  The election is May 24.

Check out the full letter, replete with italics and boldtype here.

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Cuomo: Pass the Property Tax Cap

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Getting a two percent property tax cap passed by the legislature is a major goal for Gov. Cuomo as he settles into the statehouse. He campaigned on it and is pushing the cap once again, this time in a video message. The script aims to shame unnamed legislative leaders. "Many politicians are against the tax cap because it limits their power," Cuomo says, adding that the political establishment is fiercely lobbying against it.

Cuomo says the tax cap is on the side of the taxpayer (but he means property-owner) who have seen property taxes rise 73 percent in the last decade. Critics of the tax say that it will harm school districts and localities who depend on the funds to provide services.

If the taxpayers want to pay more taxes they can, and they can override the cap with a 60% vote. But the cap will put the odds in favor of the taxpayer and they deserve it, because the deck has been stacked against the taxpayers for too long.

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Top Five Cocktails for the Kentucky Derby

Friday, May 06, 2011

The Kentucky Derby, which has its major showdown at Churchill Downs on Saturday, is the prime opportunity for us all to step into the role of Southern gentry for an afternoon. Here's our Top 5 list of cocktails that will make you feel like the mannered class we know you are.

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Cuomo: Gay Marriage Issue 'Binary'

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Governor Andrew Cuomo has said he'd like to get gay marriage passed in the Albany Statehouse by June. He says he's less concerned with when, exactly, and more concerned about 'whether.'

Here's a Capital Tonight video of the presser:

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Tea Partiers Sue Over NJ Redistricting Map

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Thirty-eight registered voters from 21 counties all over New Jersey are suing over a legislative district map approved earlier this month, saying it is in violation of the state and federal constitutions, according to a Tea Party press release today.

The plaintiffs, along with the Bayshore Tea Party group, have filed a civil suit against the Democrats on the state's Apportionment Commission, "the 11th Member, Alan Rosenthal, Kim Guadagno, in her official capacity as Secretary of State of New Jersey, Paula Dow, Attorney General and Robert F. Giles, Director of the Division of Elections of the State of New Jersey, in Superior Court, Chancery Division, Ocean County."

The suit alleges that the commission over-packed the southern half of the state and "illegally split Newark and Jersey City from three districts each to two."

New Jersey's redistricting process is especially contentious - as New Jersey is in an election year, and the a primary is slated to be held in June.

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Albany Correspondents Host 'Fistful of Cuomos'

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Albany's political correspondents have sent out invites to their annual variety show, which lampoons Albany politicians. Our own Karen DeWitt gets double billing as controversial former Schools Commissioner Cathie Black and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in the May 8th show, which is titled "A Fistful of Cuomos."

If you're looking for a preview, DeWitt says: "We can't release lyrics until the show, or that would spoil the fun."

The LCA Show, at 111 years, is the longest running show of it's kind in the nation.

It's been around since 1900, "before people had movies, radio or, of course television," DeWitt says. "Back then, people had to make their own fun." Apparently, they still do.

Confirmed rebuttal speakers are Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos, and what DeWitt is calling "Klavinoluccilesky"- the Senate Independent Democrats- Senators- Jeff Klein, Diane Savino, David Valesky and David Carlucci. She says Governor Cuomo is invited, but not yet confirmed, but most Governors also deliver some kind of rebuttal. We can't wait to see the pictures.

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Early Hurdles in Carl Lewis NJ Sen. Campaign

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Manfred Werner - Tsui ( )

Nine-time Olympic champion Carl Lewis has encountered some pushback to his early plans to run for New Jersey Senate in the state's Eighth Districts. Republicans filed a complaint late last week, alleging that Lewis is not an NJ resident. The track and field star voted in California in 2009, and they point to four-year state residency requirements.

Lewis' lawyer Bill Tambussi said Monday that the Olympian's primary residence is in Medford, NJ, and that the political residency requirements are both 'unconstitutional and unenforceable.'

"He was raised here, number one; he went to high school here, went to college, had a career, and then moved back in 2005 and bought a condominium," Tambussi said. "He bought his house in 2007."

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NJ GOP Raises Nearly $1M for 2011 Elections

Friday, April 15, 2011

From a press release this morning, the New Jersey Republican Party has raised nearly $950,000 in the first quarter of 2011. From the press release:

“The out-pouring of support for Governor Christie’s Republican Party is directly related to the Governor's bold reform plans and strong leadership. The financial backing will allow the NJGOP to aggressively compete in races across New Jersey as we fight to elect more Republicans in November.” Sam Raia – Chairman of the New Jersey Republican Party

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Axe on 2012: We Can't Repeat 2010's Mistakes

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

  (White House)

Senior Campaign Advisor David Axelrod implored African Americans to return to the polls in 2012 to re-elect President Obama. Axe spoke was speaking at the National Action Network convention, a civil rights organization run by Rev. Al Sharpton's civil rights organization. He pointed to a four percent drop in turnout among blacks between 2008 and 2010.

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