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Chuck Schumer

WNYC News

As Schumer Ascends, Menendez Fights for Political Life

Friday, March 27, 2015

Two local U.S. Senators find themselves in the headlines, for very different reasons.

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WNYC News

Senator Reid Steps Down, Endorses Schumer to Succeed Him

Friday, March 27, 2015

On the heels of his announcement that he's not running for re-election, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid is backing New York Senator Chuck Schumer as his successor.

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The Takeaway

Sen. Schumer: Ebola Screenings Needed Now at U.S. Airports

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Ebola remains a top national security priority, especially for lawmakers like Sen. Chuck Schumer. He's calling for increased measures to fight the disease both at home and abroad.

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WNYC News

Cuomo: Helicopter Survey of Sandy Damage ‘Disturbing’

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Governor Andrew Cuomo took a helicopter tour of areas devastated from Hurricane Sandy, along with New York's Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand. He says the state faces "significant" challenges to rebuild, and will have to "fundamentally" rethink  New York City's infrastructure going forward.

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It's A Free Country ®

Campaign Finance Watchdogs Regroup After Supreme Court's Montana Decision

Monday, June 25, 2012

In fewer than 200 words on Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Montana's 100-year-old prohibition on corporate spending in elections, setting the stage for renewed efforts to overturn Citizens United that don't involve the nation's highest court.

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Transportation Nation

Commuter Transit Tax Benefit to Expire at End of Year

Monday, November 07, 2011

(Photo: Natasja Sheriff)

The cost of commuting by transit is set to rise in 2012 for 2.7 million Americans. The Commuter Tax Benefit program that allows workers to use up to $230 in pre-tax dollars each month for mass transit costs will expire if Congress doesn't renew it by the end of the year. The parallel benefit for car commuters will stay in place.

N.Y. Senator Chuck Schumer says that's wrong. "We need to be encouraging people to take mass transit. That's what this benefit does. If we let it expire, we're sending out a message: better for you to drive than take the train," he told reporters and curious commuters a press conference this  morning staged in front of the iconic Grand Central Terminal information booth.

While the transit tax benefit has been set to expire before, stand-offs in Congress over deficit reduction and other major pieces of legislation may make coming to an accord on the transit tax benefit that much more difficult.

Using fighting language, Schumer announced he is launching a campaign to preserve the transit benefit saying, "I will do everything in my power to get this benefit renewed." He promoted the advocacy efforts of TransitCenter, a company that administers transit benefits like TransitChek, including a new website defending the tax benefit.

Commuters who use the program's full benefits save over $1,000 a year in taxes. Until 2009, the benefit offered for car commuting costs was almost double what was available for rail and bus commuting costs. A one-year bill passed in 2009 bringing benefit parity and was extended at the 11th hour last year. Schumer plans to introduce an extender for the transit tax benefit and vowed to push for it to be made permanent.

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Features

Queen of Soul to Play Charlie Rangel's Birthday Party

Monday, August 08, 2011

Aretha Franklin, fresh off of her Brooklyn debut this past week, will headline Rangel's 81st birthday fundraising gala at the Grand Ballroom of the Plaza Hotel on Wednesday.

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WNYC News

Census Workers Unable to Access 'Housing Underworld,' Some Say

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

As the city plans to challenge what it says are low census numbers by showing that many of the thousands of vacancies – namely in Brooklyn and Queens – were in fact occupied homes, some residents in those areas spoke of an impenetrable "housing underworld" that census workers could not reach.

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WNYC News

Schumer, Bloomberg Call for Stricter Gun Control Penalties

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Mayor Michael Bloomberg endorsed a plan to increase federal penalties on states that are not enforcing background checks for prospective gun buyers.

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The Empire

The Future of Josh Isay, New York's Media Guy

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Finally, a profile of Josh Isay, the consultant to, um, everyone? (Bloomberg, Caroline Kennedy, Schumer, Christine Quinn, Netanyahu):

Dana Rubinstein:

IF THERE WAS EVER A TIME JOSH ISAY could be neatly categorized as a "Democratic operative," that time is over. He is now the guy who could represent Quinn or Stringer or some other Democrat if those are the choices for mayor in 2013, but who is just as likely to represent the next Bloomberg, if and when one surfaces, if that candidate is the one he likes best, and has enough money, and looks likely, with some expert help with messaging, to win.

Certainly, he will not feel constrained by any sense of partisan duty.

(As one of Isay's consultant friends put it, "Josh is highly motivated by making profit, which is fine.")

When the Democratic primary electorate rejected Joe Lieberman in Connecticut, Isay (like Schumer, and other Democratic senators) helped Lieberman beat the Democratic nominee in the general. Isay did his best to help Crist, the former Republican governor of Florida, who became an independent only when it became clear that he was going to lose his Senate primary. Outside American politics, Isay has worked for Netanyahu and Israel's Likud Party, which is increasingly explicit about its ideological alligment with the U.S. Republican Party. (There was a tradition, dating back to the Bill Clinton era, of top Democractic consultants working for Likud's opponents; Netanyahu's first American guru, by contrast, was Arthur Finkelstein, the reclusive archconservative who masterminded the rise of former governor George Pataki and the Senate campaigns of Al D'Amato.)

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As far as American politics is concered, Isay said, “I consider myself kind of a, what is Koch’s expression? A liberal with sanity. I think that’s Koch’s expression.”

(It is.)

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Isay will likely get a piece of President Obama’s reelection campaign in 2012, perhaps playing a bigger—and proportionately more lucrative—part than in 2008, when Knickerbocker SKD handled mail in the northeast, and television in the west.

“I don’t know how they’re going to organize it for the next presidential,” said Isay. “But Anita [Dunn, business partner in D.C.] was communications director for the White House and will certainly play a role in whatever they want to do.”

For more, check out Jason Horowitz's piece about Isay, Pollock and Wolfson.

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The Empire

Schumer defends Wisconsin's workers

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Schumer defends Wisconsin's union workers, and the labor movement in general.

"Here's the point I'd make to those who want to strip collective bargaining. We see a corporation be corrupt, or steal, or go. Do we say 'Lets abolish the corporate form?'"

He added:

"There are people on the hard right…that do want to use this moment to eradicate and crush unions and that will be the detriment not just to the of the union members, but of the whole middle class in America and that means the rest of America itself."

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The Empire

party with Weingarten and Schumer

Friday, January 28, 2011

If you're in DC on Monday, why not hang out with the powerful union leader, Randi Weingarten, and New York's senior senator?

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The Empire

Reacting to What Obama Didn't Say

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

My story:

Afterwards, Bloomberg released a statement calling the omission of gun control from the speech "disappointing."

Considering the effort Bloomberg put into forcing the issue onto the president's radar, that appears to be an understatement.

Leading up to Obama's third State of the Union speech, Bloomberg hosted 34 people who lost family members to gun violence — one for each person who, on average, are killed in America every day by guns. Among those represented were victims of the Virginia Tech shooting, the recent Tuscon shooting, and even Martin Luther King III, son of the slain civil rights leader.

At the event, Bloomberg said the nation needed someone with "courage" to address the issue.

Later that same day, Bloomberg appeared on CBS with Katie Couric — along with King — to further press his case.

The day of the speech, the coalition Bloomberg founded to combat "illegal guns" published an open letter to the president in the Washington Post. Hours before the speech, Bloomberg's office announced he would be joined at City Hall on Wednesday by "Gifford's hero intern" who "cared for Rep. Gabrielle Giffords after she was shot."

Democratic Rep. Carolyn McCarthy of Long Island said, "I'm disappointed that President Obama did not urge us to look at our nation's gun laws."

McCarthy — a gun control advocate spurred to action after her husband was gunned down on the Long Island Railroad — added, "I look forward to continuing that path and hearing from our president in the future."

Democratic Rep. Anthony Weiner also thought that the Arizona tragedy provided Obama a moment to lean into what has normally been a difficult issue.

"In a speech that seemed to strive for common ground, he missed a chance for common sense on guns," Weiner said.

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The Empire

Schumer goes to everyone's inauguration

Friday, January 21, 2011

At a swearing-in ceremony for a Republican Assemblywoman on Staten Island. (Tom Hilton's Facebook page)

Here's the state's senior senator - and one of the nation's most vocal Democratic strategists -  at the ceremonial swearing in ceremony of Republican Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis of Staten Island yesterday.

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The Empire

Schumer and Christie spar

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

"Terrible" is how Senator Schumer described NJ Governor Christie's cancellation of the ARC tunnel. (azi paybarah / wnyc)

Jim O'Grady:

Governor Christie’s spokesman Michael Drewniak isn’t pulling his punches over New York U.S. Senator Charles Schumer’s criticism on the ARC tunnel. Earlier today, Schumer blasted Christie for make a “terrible, terrible” decision to kill the $9 billion commuter rail train under the Hudson.

“Where was the senior senator from New York with funding alternatives to a project that was predicted to run billions over projections – all of which were to be borne by New Jersey and its taxpayers?,” Drewniak said. “This was a ‘bi-state’ project for which Senator Schumer’s state and the federal government were set to pay zero, zilch, nothing for the cost overruns. We can live with the criticism while protecting taxpayers from this boondoggle, which was simply a bad deal for New Jersey.”

Drewniak went further in questioning Senator’s Schumer’s timing and motivation in slamming Governor Christie’s decision on ARC, which was made in October.

“I’ll also give Senator Schumer the benefit of the doubt and assume he didn’t brush up on the topic before he spoke. Unless, of course, his remarks are merely political, which is always a possibility,” Drewniak said.

No reply yet from Senator Schumer on this latest round of comments.

UPDATE: Schumer's spokesman, Mike Morey, emails: "Rather than come to the table and work with federal officials to deal with overruns, and preserve an asset everyone agrees is needed in the region, the Governor’s decision flushed $6 billion in federal and Port Authority money down the tubes.”

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WNYC News

MLK 2011: Sharpton Updates the Struggle, Bloomberg Gets Jeered

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

WNYC

In his annual tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, the Rev. Al Sharpton and his parade of guests urged the crowd to fight the modern battle against inequality. And in at least once instance, that meant, for some, booing the person at the podium.

"We must deal with the issues of today," said Sharpton, who flew into the event after spending the morning in Washington DC. He equated the need to update the civil rights struggle today with the 1965 television sitcom F-Troop, which, according to Sharpton drew its humor from the fact that the post-Civil War soldiers "were fighting a war that had already been fought."

"The problem with many of us today is we want to fight the civil rights battle of 50 years ago," said Sharpton. "And not deal with the civil rights battle of today."

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The Empire

The redistricting debate, live

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

At 10 AM, the New York State Senate will hold a hearing on redistricting; the once-every-ten-year event where lawmakers determine the boundaries of their districts. This year, former NYC Mayor Ed Koch has led a push to create a non-partisan redistricting process. Koch and a bunch of other supporters are expected to speak.

Mayor Bloomberg says it will increase the competitiveness of the elections, and make elected officials more responsive to voters. But it's not universally embraced by lawmakers.

Senator Chuck Schumer is not in favor of the plan, saying it's unfair for it to happen in New York if it's not happening in other states at the same time.

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The Empire

The Meaning of Schumer

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Senator Schumer will now guide legislation for Senate Democrats. (Azi Paybarah / wnyc)

Dana Milbank foresees tension with the rise of Schumer:

Expect to see a Clintonian focus on popular (though not pathbreaking) middle-class issues and regular votes designed to split and embarrass Senate Republicans.

Schumer's rise should come as a warning to the White House, as well: With 23 of their seats on the ballot in 2012, Senate Democrats are going to start looking out for themselves rather than for the president. "The last year was finishing the job on all the things Obama wanted and the House passed," said a Democratic aide familiar with the new plan. "These next two years it's about keeping our Senate incumbents strong."

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Schumer has often disagreed with Axelrod, siding with the pragmatic Rahm Emanuel over the past two years. He was privately skeptical about the merits of a major push for health-care reform, arguing that there would be little political benefit, because the average middle-class voter already had health care.

Instead, Schumer favored a Clintonian array of less ambitious proposals with popular appeal, ranging from immigration reform to a crackdown on Chinese currency manipulation, to a payroll tax holiday.

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The Empire

On China, daylight between Schumer and Bloomberg

Monday, November 08, 2010

It doesn't get any starker than this.

On Sunday, Schumer said China "takes unfair advantage of American workers and American companies, by any standard."

They've also "stolen" intellectual property rights, "manipulat[e]" their currency, and anyone who praises that country "doesn't get what's really happening."

Bloomberg, in Honk Kong this weekend, said, "we’ve got to stop blaming the Chinese and blaming everybody else and take a look at ourselves."

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The Empire

Schumer: No to DSCC, Yes to agenda-driving

Monday, November 08, 2010

Despite begin asked by "Leader Reid and many of my colleagues,"Schumer says he doesn't want to lead the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.

Instead, Schumer says he can "better serve our country, our state and our party by focusing on issues and getting us to refocus on the middle class."

The clamoring for Schumer's return to the DSCC has hit a fairly high volume.

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