Friday, February 01, 2013
By Jim O'Grady
When Ed Koch became mayor of New York City, he decided that what the city needed was a leader with an active will and gigantic personality. Specifically, his. He died Friday at 88.
Monday, June 11, 2012
At a time when political candidates are holding press events to tout endorsements, a group of elected leaders met in front of the Museum of Jewish Heritage in Manhattan on Monday to denounce a candidate for Congress, Brooklyn City Councilman Charles Barron.
Wednesday, May 30, 2012
Call it the New York City Mayors for Rangel: Mayors Michael Bloomberg and Ed Koch both lent their support to Congressman Charles Rangel's reelection campaign on Wednesday, the campaign announced.
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Reader William Bryk has a critical take on why Ed Koch's reform push probably won't yield any results, in Albany or anywhere else. In short, it's ballot access, says Bryk:
If Mayor Koch were truly serious, primaries would be taking place across the City. They're not. With all respect to him, he's a general without troops; he's been retired from politics for over twenty years; he's eighty-five years old this year; he can get some press attention, but he can't effect the kind of change he says he wants to bring about.
The hyper-technical ballot access requirements of the election law are the reason why we don't have the nationwide anti-incumbent surge enriching our local politics. If Mayor Koch would lend his energies and talents to making it easier for ordinary citizens - not just lawyers and professional politicians -- to get on the ballot, he would truly crown his sixty years' service as soldier, lawyer, public official, and public figure.
Timing, I'd say, is also a factor.
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Despite the “anti-incumbent” mood supposedly sweeping through the mid-term elections, there are surprisingly few incumbents in New York State facing serious electoral challenges.
Among the most glaring examples are Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and Senate Conference Leader John Sampson: They’re Democrats who each lead one half of the often-criticized “dysfunctional” state legislature. They’ve also both refused to sign the reform pledges advanced by the group led by former Mayor Ed Koch, who, in return, branded Silver, Sampson and other hold outs “enemies of reform.”
That seems like enough fodder for a challenger.
So, how did Silver, Sampson and other “enemies” avoid serious primary challenges?
In short: Since the state has no campaign finance mechanism, challengers would have had to start revving up their fund-raising and campaign operations months in advance, well before the anti-incumbent “mood” and fever pitch for reform swelled to it’s current levels.
Or, as Jerry Skurnik, a political consultant (and one-time Koch aide) put it to me, “By the time Koch started doing this stuff, it was too late.”
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Former Mayor Ed Koch is pushing candidates for state and federal offices in New York to sign onto a pledge saying they support non-partisan re-districting, expanded ethics rules and a state budget crafted by Generally Accepted Accounting Principles.
He’s also open to supporting another reform issue that’s being pushed by Mayor Bloomberg: non-partisan elections.
When I asked if he supports the measure, Koch said, “Up to now I have not, but I’m considering changing my position. Most of the large cities in the country do have a non-partisan elections.”
“There would no longer be primaries, anyone running for mayor,” he said, “you could identify yourself as Democrat or Republican if you wanted to.”
Turning the focus back to Albany, Koch reiterated his position that Senate Democrats will lose control of that part of the state legislature since most of them have not signed on to his reform pledge.
Koch has singled out the Democratic leaders of both chambers, Speaker Sheldon Silver in the Assembly and Conference Leader John Sampson in the State Senate, as “enemies of reform,” for refusing to sign the pledge.
But neither of them face Democratic primary challengers, nor any real general election opponent.
Koch said Silver and Sampson will get re-elected, “but they can be thrown out if the membership changes in the house that elects them.”
So, who would Koch like to see as the new Assembly Speaker and Conference Leader?
“I’m not involved in that,” Koch said. “That’s not what my burden here is.”
Monday, July 26, 2010
Former Mayor Ed Koch is pressing his case against Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and Senate Conference Leader John Sampson -- two Democratic legislative leaders who are among the handful of lawmakers to not sign Koch’s reform pledge.
On Fred Dicker’s show this morning, Koch recalled his conversation with Silver about non-partisan redistricting.
Koch: “He said let's dialogue. I haven’t heard from him since.”
Koch went on to warn that Senate Democrats are "going down to a defeat," in no small part because many of them have not signed onto his pledge.
Thursday, July 22, 2010
Former Mayor Ed Koch doesn't hold back with NBC's Melissa Russo.
"What should voters do about Sheldon Silver," she asked. "Throw the bum out," Koch replied. He and Silver are both Democrats from Manhattan, but they were never particularly close.
Koch goes on to say that Republicans can "rightfully" claim to be the party of reform, since more of them signed Koch's reform pledge.
Thursday, July 01, 2010
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.
Thursday, January 29, 1987
Mayor Koch's "much better than doctors" recipe for a surefire cold remedy, the infamous Guggle Muggle. Delicious, "medically superb" and with a mysterious origin, it was passed on from mother to mother through generations untold. Don't forget the right dosage --if you can handle it.