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Ed Koch

The Empire

Former Governor Hugh Carey remembered

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Governor Hugh Carey's casket arriving at St. Patrick's Cathedral (Colby Hamilton/WNYC)

At a solemn but celebratory ceremony held at St. Patrick's Cathedral this morning, friends, family and former political colleagues of Hugh Carey--the man credited with saving New York City and State from financial doom in the 1970s--honored the former congressman and governor for his dedication to family and life-long service to his city, state and country.

"He saved New York City and State, and protected the honor of the whole country," former governor Mario Cuomo said shortly before the service. "He was the most effective governor in modern history."

Congressman Charles Rangel of Manhattan remembered his predecessor on the powerful Ways and Means Committee as a proud Brooklynite and American who guided Rangel during his early years in congress. "He and Tip O'Neal--anything good that I am today is because of both of them," Rangel said. "Everyone is going in and smiling. They say something like, this is a sad day and then immediately after that they say, he sure got a good run. And he did--he loved every day of life."

On the steps of the Catholic cathedral, Ed Cox, the head of the Republican Party in New York, called him a "great talent" who "just wanted to serve the state." Former mayor Ed Koch described Carey as a "an extraordinary man" and joined the chorus of admirers who lauded Carey for his singing. "He had a terrific sense of humor and was a marvelous Irish tenor," Koch said, who went on to praise Carey's ability to get political adversaries to sit together at the negotiating table.

During the service itself, clergymen and Carey's family illuminated both the personal and political--as well as the spiritual--aspects of the former governor. Edward Egan, the former Archbishop of New York, gave the homily, calling Carey a "great New Yorker and a truly great man." Carey was remembered as a deeply caring and loving husband and father to his 14 children, as well as a decorated veteran of World War II, whose work on behalf of the developmentally disabled has been overshadowed by his work saving the state.

"He was a prophet for our times, who spoke and lived the truth with wisdom and strength," Egan said.

Both Governor Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Michael Bloomberg were on hand, as were many of Carey's children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He passed away this past Sunday at the age of 92.

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It's A Free Country ®

Why Ed Koch Endorsed Republican Turner for Weiner's Seat

Monday, July 25, 2011

Turning a Congressional special election into a referendum on President Obama’s policies towards Israel makes perfect sense – to former Mayor Edward Koch. Koch, after all, thought up the idea and is off and running in pursuit of his plan to treat the local contest for a Queens-Brooklyn seat like an exercise in foreign policy.

To pretty much everyone else, even friends and supporters who generally agree with him, Koch’s latest quest is quite a stretch in both logic and politics.

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The Empire

Koch backs Turner against Dem in NY-9 congressional race

Monday, July 25, 2011

By Alec Hamilton

Alec Hamilton

As expected, former New York City Mayor Ed Koch announced this morning that he is crossing party lines to throw his support behind Republican hopeful Bob Turner in September’s special election for the 9th Congressional District.

Koch explained he was supporting the Republican in order to “send a message to Washington that will affect the position of President Obama on Israel and the position of the Republican Party on Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid."

Koch said it wasn’t personal and pointed out that he had supported Weprin on other occasions.

“There’s no question that David Weprin is a major supporter of the state of Israel and undoubtedly takes the same position I take with respect to entitlement, Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. But if David Weprin is elected, do you think that sends a message? Do you think Obama’s going to say ‘Oh my god, they’ve repudiated me! They sent David Weprin!’ No.”

The endorsement was made at the Turner for Congress headquarters in Queens, with Councilmember Erich Ulrich--himself once considered a contender for the Republican nomination--and 23rd Assembly District Republican hopeful Jane Deacy in attendance.

The race will pit Turner against Democratic Party pick Assemblyman David Weprin in an election to fill the seat vacated by the resignation of former Congressman Anthony Weiner
Republican Margaret Wagner, from Broad Channel, Queens, and independent Kevin Hiltunen from Bergen Beach, Brooklyn, came out to show their support for Turner.  Warner said she was motivated to support Turner out of concern about the Health Care Reform Act and the closure of a local Rockaway Hospital.

“My plan and my husband’s plan for insurance, they just gave us one less choice. So we’re starting to feel the effects of Obamacare already, and that concerns me greatly for my kids and my grandkids.”

Turner, a former businessman, said he would defend Medicare and Medicaid from privatization efforts.

“I will stand up for what I believe regardless of what party leaders tell me, and today that means defending Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid against privatization and ill-conceived cuts."

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WNYC News

Koch Unleashes Robocalls on Redistricting Flip-Floppers

Thursday, April 14, 2011

WXXI

Former New York city Mayor Ed Koch launched robocall attacks on state legislators, many of them Senate Republicans, whom Koch says have violated a pledge they signed to back non-partisan redistricting. And it’s not just the Republicans who are wary of changes to the way New York designs it’s legislative and congressional district lines.

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Transportation Nation

TN Moving Stories: MTA May Halve LI Bus Service, LaHood Orders Air Traffic Controller Staffing Review, and Regional Bike Share Being Explored in Boston Area

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Columbus Avenue bike lane being installed last year (photo by Kate Hinds)

NYC deputy mayor Howard Wolfson goes on the Brian Lehrer Show this morning at around 10:25 (give or take a few minuites) to counter charges that the city has gone too far with its bike lane program.

Long Island Bus may put the brakes on 27 of their 48 lines this summer because, according to MTA chairman Jay Walder, Nassau County is not paying enough toward the service's $134 million annual budget. Walder said 16,000 people may lose bus service and 200 workers will be laid off. (WNYC)

After two planes landed without being able to reach an air traffic controller at Reagan National Airport, DOT head Ray LaHood ordered an additional controller to staff the overnight shift (Washington Post) -- and a study of air traffic controller staffing at airports around the country. (AP via BusinessWeek)

Towns in the Boston area are exploring a regional bike share program. (Boston Globe)

Follow Transportation Nation on Twitter.

Accused of raiding local transit money, a Republican-led Minnesota House committee  dropped a provision from a major state transportation bill that would have shifted money from new rail projects to existing bus operations. (Minneapolis Star-Tribune)

The Queensboro Bridge will soon be known as the Ed Koch Bridge. (WNYC)

Vice President Joe Biden chastised Gov. Rick Scott in Tampa, saying he cost Florida thousands of jobs and cutting-edge infrastructure improvements by rejecting $2.4 billion in federal funding for high-speed rail. “Your governor, God bless him — I don’t know him — but I don’t get it,” Biden said at a private fundraising reception for Sen. Bill Nelson. (Miami Herald)

Changing Gear's Micki Maynard looks at Detroit's decline. "Sixty years ago...people in all parts of the city could walk to work, or take a streetcar or bus. Some of them chose to drive, because they earned enough to afford to vehicles they were making (something their parents and grandparents might not have been able to do)."

A day in the life of Manhattan parking court -- real life, in-person court, not the newfangled online court. (NY Times)

Top Transportation Nation stories we're following: The Central Park Conservancy is removing the confusing signs that led the NYPD to ticket nine cyclists improperly for speeding. What’s more, the NYPD took the unusual step of making house calls to apologize for the erroneous citations.  Speaking of Central Park: a NYC council member has introduced legislation that would ban cars from both Central and Prospect Parks. The attorney litigating the Prospect Park West bike lane lawsuit appeared on WNYC's Brian Lehrer Show. And: a new transportation advocacy group grows in Houston.

Follow Transportation Nation on Twitter.

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WNYC News

Council Votes to Rename Queensboro Bridge After Ed Koch

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The City Council voted 38-12 Wednesday afternoon to rename the bridge in honor of the former mayor who was born and raised in the Bronx and represented Manhattan's East Side in Congress before becoming mayor in 1977.

Comments [7]

It's A Free Country ®

Koch on Non-Partisan Redistricting

Monday, March 21, 2011

WNYC
New York, as far as I know, has the lowest turnover rate, it's an impossible rate to accept, less than three percent of the people who run for re-election are defeated. That's not democracy. And it isn't because they're loved, because they've done a terrific job, it is because in the Senate they work the district so it looks like a salamander.

Ed Koch former Mayor of New York City, on the Brian Lehrer Show.

Comments [13]

It's A Free Country ®

New York Redistricting: All for Reform, and Reform for None

Friday, March 04, 2011

WNYC

First comes census numbers, then comes the redistricting battle. In New Jersey, a tiebreaker’s been brought in to settle the scuffle between jockeying Republicans and Democrats, while in New York, New York lawmakers in Albany and Washington are preparing for the fight.

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The Empire

Resisting the Koch Bridge

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

City Councilman Peter Vallone Jr. takes to Facebook:

"They took the Triboro, now they're coming for the Queensboro. I was the only elected I know of to oppose the triboro re-naming, and I oppose this too. They would never think of re-naming the Brooklyn Bridge, and Queens should get the same respect. Ed Koch is deserving of an honor like this, so let's re-name Gracie [Mansion], or some other suitable landmark, for him."

Michael Saul has more.

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WNYC News

Union Leaders say Bloomberg 'Lying' about Pensions

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

WNYC

Mayor Michael Bloomerg is being called a "liar" who is trying "steal" pension benefits by the leaders of the police and firemen's union, who rallied on the steps of City Hall Wednesday morning.

"He's unhappy with the deal that was struck 23 years ago. Too bad. That was the deal," said Steve Cassidy, president of the Uniformed Firefighter's Association. "A deal was struck. It's a defined benefit. It goes on forever…if he doesn't like it, too bad. He cannot lie about it and pretend it's not a deal."

Bloomberg, for his part, told reporters earlier in the day "We certainly didn’t put out anything that is to the best of my knowledge not accurate and true." He added, "Nobody wants to get cut back, I understand that, we have to make a decision. Do we want to send out Christmas bonuses or have more teachers?"

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The Empire

Koch Watches Spitzer Movie, not Spitzer TV

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Ed Koch says Client 9 is "well worth seeing."

As for Spitzer's second act, on TV, Koch says, "I have never seen him, so I am not going to pass judgment on whether he is good or bad, but everyone else who I know who has seen him thinks he's bad."

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The Empire

Koch's bridge

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

"I thought it was a perfect fit," Koch says of the proposal to rename the Queensboro Bridge after him.

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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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Transportation Nation

Koch Feelin' Groovy Over Queensboro Bridge Name Change

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

(Alex Gorzen via Wikimedia Commons)

(Kate Hinds, Transportation Nation) Ed Koch is getting a 1,400 foot-long present for his 86th birthday. Mayor Bloomberg is planning to propose renaming the Queensboro Bridge after the former mayor at Koch's birthday party tonight.

Koch said that he was delighted, grateful and surprised when he got Mayor Bloomberg's phone call telling him the news late Tuesday afternoon. Moreover, Koch thinks it’s a good fit.

“There are other bridges that are much more beautiful, like the George Washington or the Verrazano,” he said, “but this more suits my personality because it's a workhorse bridge. I mean, it's always busy, it ain't beautiful, but it's durable.”

Read the story over at WNYC.



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WNYC News

Koch Feelin' Groovy Over Queensboro Bridge Name Change

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Ed Koch is getting a 1,400 foot-long present for his 86th birthday. Mayor Michael Bloomberg proposed renaming the Queensboro Bridge after the former mayor at Koch's birthday party on Wednesday night.

Comments [6]

Transportation Nation

TN Moving Stories: Miami-Dade Transit Tries To Figure Out Fed $ Freeze, and Queensboro Bridge To Be Renamed for Koch

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Why did the federal government freeze funding to Miami-Dade Transit? Bad accounting practices--or fraud? (Miami Herald)

Two major New York transportation structures are to be renamed. So: to get from lower Manhattan to Brooklyn, take the Carey Tunnel; from Manhattan to Queens, take the Koch Bridge. The former mayor is delighted by the renaming of the Queensboro. “It’s not soaring, beautiful, handsome, like the George Washington or the Verrazano,” he said. “It’s rugged, it’s hard working — and that’s me.” (New York Times)

Ford begins shipping the Transit Connect, the first all-electric commercial van. (Detroit News)

Does Toronto Mayor Ford need the approval of city council to scrap Transit City? He says no; the council says not so fast. (Toronto Star)

Fed up by the lack of live transit data from the NYC MTA? Someone put together a crowdsourcing app that live-tracks trains. (Wired)

Public transportation workers strike in Athens to protest the Greek government's austerity measures. (MarketWatch)

What transit options are on the table for Staten Islanders, who suffer some of the longest commutes in the country?  Possibly resurrecting the North Shore Rail Line. (NY1)

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WNYC News

How to Punish Charlie Rangel: Koch Says Quit, Harlem Pols Laugh

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

WNYC

The only question now is how to punish Rep. Charlie Rangel.

The facts against the veteran lawmaker in his two-year-old ethics probe were never in dispute. More than five hundred pieces of evidence were accepted without objection by a bipartisan panel who, on Tuesday, found Rangel guilty of violating 11 different Congressional ethics rules.

But now, a complete lack of consensus has broken out about what to do with the facts about Rangel.

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The Empire

Koch: Rangel should resign 'for his own health's sake'

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Koch says 80-year-old Rangel should retire, for his health. (Azi Paybarah / wnyc)

Ed Koch says Rep. Charlie Rangel should resign from office, saying, "I'm not thinking about his legacy."

"For his own health's sake, he should," said Koch, in an telephone interview.

Rangel was found guilty of 11 violations of congressional ethics rules. In a public statement, Rangel proclaimed himself the victim of an unfair process, claiming he was "deprived of due process rights, right to counsel and was not even in the room."

Rangel said on Monday that he couldn't afford legal representation in the 2-year-long investigation, which has cost him more than $1 million already.

Koch said Rangel, a fellow Democrat, is a "decent man" but "I didn't understand his bizarre behavior when he walked out of the hearing room" during yesterday's proceedings."

Koch is a former three-term mayor of New York City who also served as a Congressman from the Upper East Side. He said leaving public office is "very difficult. Most of us stay too long on the stage and ultimately regret it." Then, referring to Rangel, Koch added, "This is not a normal situation. I hope he takes my advice."

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The Empire

Schumer against non-partisan redistricting 'if other states aren't doing it'

Monday, November 08, 2010

Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer warns about "losing all that seniority" if New York goes forward with plans for non-partisan redistricting, "if other states aren't doing it."

Earlier this fall, Schumer reportedly called Ed Koch, a major proponent of non-partisan redistricting, to register his opposition.

More on Schumer and redistricting here and here.

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The Empire

Koch: Senate Democrats ‘Going Down to a Defeat’

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.

"He said let's dialogue. I haven’t heard from him since."

On Fred Dicker’s show this morning, Koch recalled his conversation with Silver about non-partisan redistricting.

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.

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