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General Campaign Season Kick Off: What's Ahead

Monday, September 20, 2010

With the party primaries receding in the rearview mirror, political candidates have their eyes fixed on the six week road to November. As the first full week of general election campaigning gets underway here's a look at what lies ahead for the gubernatorial and AG candidates.

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30 Issues in 30 Days: Nominate an Issue

Monday, September 20, 2010

The Brian Lehrer Show and It's a Free Country are about to launch their election series 30 Issues in 30 Days. Each day between now and the mid-term election, we'll be going beyond the horse race and talking about the issues that matter. What do you want to hear discussed? It can be national or local; related to Senate, Congress or other important races.

Callers into the Brian Lehrer Show have helped us start the list. T. Howard in Queens said it's time to focus on the real backbone of American economy: oil policy. Christopher in Armonk suggested linking school funding to income taxes instead of property taxes. Ruth in Westchester wants to talk about repealing the Second Amendment in the wake of Supreme Court rulings that have restricted local gun control measures. And small business owner Joseph in Massapequa had questions about how new tax rates and the health insurance overhaul could affect his bottom line. 

What do you want to know about this election season? Leave a comment below to nominate your issue and any other suggestions for the series here, and stay tuned!

 

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Pennsylvania Voters: Depression Where Obama Inspired Hope Two Years Ago

Monday, September 20, 2010

Depressed. That certainly describes Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, a former coal-area that now, as one local once explained it to me, “scratches to get by. Where I’ll sell you pizza, if you buy my tires.” But it also describes the mood of the voters, who, less than two years after “Yes, We Can” swept the nation, pretty much believe, “No, We Can’t.”

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Contest for Congress: In Hudson Valley, Republican Tries to Recapture Seat from Rockstar

Monday, September 20, 2010

Until four years ago, New York's 19th House District in the lower Hudson Valley was considered Republican territory. But in 2006, former rock star John Hall of the band Orleans used a grassroots coalition of environmental and peace groups to beat the six-term Republican incumbent. Now, he faces a well-financed challenger in Nan Hayworth, who is campaigning for votes with a message of fiscal restraint and small government. 

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Bullhorn: Juan Manuel Benitez Asks For GOP - Press 1 Only?

Monday, September 20, 2010

"We speak English here!" is often the answer I get at Republican or Tea Party gatherings whenever I skim the crowd looking for a Spanish speaker that can produce a soundbite for my television story. I wonder if they are the same people who cringe when an automated machine tells them to "press one for English, para español, oprima el dos."

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Bullhorn: Gerson Borrero Asks What's Wrong with a Little Crazy?

Monday, September 20, 2010

Have we all gone loco in the media? Whether we like it or not Carl Paladino received 62.09% of the primary votes casted by Republicans on September 14th.  The more widely known Rick Lazio, the presumed “sane” candidate received only 37.91% of Republican votes. Call me nuts, but as much as it may sicken us, we should acknowledge that Carl Paladino’s in-your-face ways, his candid vocabulary, political incorrectness and even his racist tinge may connect and reflect millions of New York State voters.

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Stucknation: A Personal Perspective on Foreclosure Families

Monday, September 20, 2010

Two years after the start of the Great Recession, the collateral damage continues to mount. Formerly middle class families continue to fall into the abyss of dispossesion and poverty, with their children in tow. Through no fault of their own, they will be handicapped by this economic chaos as they try to take their place in the world. It's a story I know well, going back to my family's own foreclosure when I was growing up.  

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Farai Chideya Interviews Allen West, Tea Party Star in Florida

Sunday, September 19, 2010

WNYC partner Pop + Politics just returned from a road trip to Florida, where host Farai Chideya interviewed retired Lieutenant Colonel Allen West, a Tea Party Republican who is challenging Rep. Ron Klein (D-FL) for Florida's 22nd Congressional seat in Broward and Palm Beach counties.

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Contest for Congress: GOP Targeting Bishop in Hamptons Swing District

Saturday, September 18, 2010

According to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, seven incumbent House Democrats face formidable Republican challengers in New York. For the Republicans, one of their best prospects for a pick-up is New York's 1st Congressional District that includes Long Island's Hamptons and Eastern Suffolk County.

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City Deal for New Voting Machines under Federal Scrutiny

Friday, September 17, 2010

Federal investigators are looking into how a Nebraska firm, Election Systems Software, won a $50 million contract to provide the city with new optical-scan voting machines, a law enforcement source confirms.

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The Mix: Voices From The Week of September 13th

Friday, September 17, 2010

Welcome to It's A Free Country's The Mix, where we take some of the notable Politics Bites clips and other voices found on WNYC this week and mix 'em up. Here's what we've got on tap. Voices are in blue, connections are in bold.

It was Primary Day in New York, and in NYC one of the big stories was the new paper ballots and voting machines -- designers Milton Glaser (the man behind the I [[heart]] NY logo) and Charles Blow of the New York Times were not fans...but by the time all those ballots were counted, the winners were decided, including a defiant Charlie Rangel, Democratic Attorney General nominee Eric Schneiderman, and the new kid on the block, Carl Paladino. Paladino was part of a big night for the Tea Party, which notched victories across the country. That movement is the subject of a new book by New York Times National Correspondent Kate Zernike, who sees parallels in the movement to the 2008 Obama/Biden campaign. Joe Biden was quick to remind his '08 supporters that they would need to be active in what looks to be like a very interesting fall contest.


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Strong TEA or Weak GOP? What Paladino Means

Friday, September 17, 2010

WNYC
Carl Paladino is giving voice to how much people in New York, particularly upstate, just feel like Albany just cannot, absolutely, represent their interests.

-Liz Benjamin, host of Capital Tonight, blogger, and Daily News columnist on The Brian Lehrer Show

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Republican Big "Cautiously Optimistic" for November

Friday, September 17, 2010

WNYC
I'm cautiously optimistic, but strongly so, that Republicans in the House are going to do so well in November. People are tired of the old politics of villainization, of attacks and they want to see ideas come to the table based on the common sense conservative principles of less taxes, of free enterprise.

-Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA), House Minority Whip on The Takeaway

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Tea Party Uses Obama Organizing Playbook

Friday, September 17, 2010

WNYC
What's really important to note about the Tea Party is everyone is focused on the rallies, everyone's focused on the crazy signs. But what starts happening is they really start organizing, and they start thinking about how they're going to take over the Republican Party and move it to the right. And what they're really doing is they're looking at the liberal's playbook, and they're looking at how Obama won in 2008. And they're saying, 'we need to do that.'

-Kate Zernike, New York Times National Correspondent and author of Boiling Mad: Inside Tea Party America

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Blumenthal Keeps Obama at Arm's Length during Stamford Visit

Friday, September 17, 2010

On a day when his once-safe race was downgraded by a political handicapper to a "toss up," U. S. Senate candidate Richard Blumenthal had the delicate task of thanking a fellow Democrat who came to raise needed dollars, while maintaining some distance.

That's not easy when the visitor is the ...

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Bullhorn: David Cruz Asks Where’s My President? Where’s My Job?

Friday, September 17, 2010

After watching how we all comported ourselves during the primaries, I guess the biggest question we should be asking is “have you no shame?” But, that’s a rhetorical question at this point, right? It seems the only thing we’re all actually able to agree on is that our national political and cultural conversation is as dangerously dopey as it’s ever been.

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Highlights: What Does "Free Country" Mean To You?

Friday, September 17, 2010

As we launched the It's A Free Country project, we had a number of guiding questions in our mind. What's broken in our current political system, if anything? What exactly does "It's A Free Country" mean? What can a new political hub add to civil conversation? We put this question not just to the professionals on our line-up of reporters and producers, but to you as well. Here are some highlights. You can see the full set of responses here, and continue to add your voice here. Here are some responses to the question What does the phrase "It's A Free Country" mean to you?

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Bullhorn: Edward-Isaac Dovere's Questions for Democratic AG Nominee Eric Schneiderman

Friday, September 17, 2010

Many of the questions State Sen. Eric Schneiderman will have to answer as he emerges from the Democratic attorney general primary are ones that were put to him by his fellow Democratic candidates, and have now been taken up Staten Island District Attorney Dan Donovan, the Republican nominee. He dismissed them as issues so far, but whether the New York general electorate—which is much larger and more diverse than the interest-group driven base Schneiderman successfully mobilized in an ultra-low turn-out primary—will let him may decide who becomes the next attorney general of the state.

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'I Don't Think He's Fit For Public Service'

Thursday, September 16, 2010

New York Governor David Paterson had harsh words for the Republican gubernatorial nominee Carl Paladino.

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So Broken Hearted You Won't Vote?

Thursday, September 16, 2010

We've seen people doing a lot of virtual activism--they'll click and send and they'll sign an email petition or a letter to a congressperson, but what they won't do is actually get out, knock on doors, make phone calls, show up at a town meeting, rally in the streets.

--Paul Loeb, Author of Soul of a Citizen, speaking on The Brian Lehrer Show

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