Thursday, January 03, 2013
The 113th Congress is now in session in Washington, D.C. That means new faces around the Capitol. Among them are two from New York City. WNYC's Colby Hamilton spent the day with Congresswoman Grace Meng of Queens and Congressman Hakeem Jeffries of Brooklyn as they navigated their new surroundings on their first day.
Friday, October 26, 2012
If elected to Congress, Grace Meng would be the first Asian American in Congress from a state east of the Pacific coast. But to win, she has to overcome Dan Halloran, a Republican with ties to the district that date back a century.
Tuesday, July 24, 2012
The father of Queens Democratic Assemblywoman and Congressional candidate Grace Meng was arrested Tuesday for allegedly soliciting $80,000 in cash from a defendant in a tax crime and telling the individual that he would use the money to bribe prosecutors for a reduced sentence.
Monday, June 18, 2012
New York's sixth congressional district, in Queens, like the rest of the borough, was once dominated by Jews and Catholics. But redistricting this year made Asian Americans almost forty percent of the district, giving an Asian American candidate, Grace Meng, a shot at being New York's first Asian American elected to Congress.
But first, she'll have to beat Democratic two candidates with deep roots in Queens politics in next week's primary: City Councilmember Liz Crowley, and state Assemblymember Rory Lancman. Click over this interactive map to see how the district has changed in just ten years. The winner of the June 26 primary will face a Republican in November.
Friday, May 04, 2012
Latino voters in the new 6th Congressional district in Queens are getting robocalled by Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez starting today, urging them to vote for Assemblywoman Grace Meng in the June 26 primary.
Tuesday, May 01, 2012
Assemblyman Rory Lancman fired off a press release on Tuesday slamming his potential opponent in the 6th Congressional District, City Councilman Dan Halloran, over his vote against the living wage bill that passed on Monday, in a preview of the upcoming general election fight.
Monday, April 16, 2012
By Brigid Bergin : Reporter
Assemblywoman Grace Meng got the unified endorsement of four probable 2013 mayoral candidates - Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, Comptroller John Liu, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, and former comptroller Bill Thompson - for her Congressional campaign.
Thursday, April 12, 2012
Congressional candidate Assemblywoman Grace Meng has received the endorsement of the New York Hotel and Motel Trades Council. The union has a large immigrant presence among its enrollment, with 30,000 members being counted in the new 6th Congressional district, according to the union. It is the largest union endorsement the Meng campaign has received so far, and breaks a string of labor announcements for Meng’s rivals in the Democratic Party primary in the 6th Congressional district in Queens.
Tuesday, April 03, 2012
The Democratic candidates vying for their party’s spot on the ballot out in the 6th Congressional district have been slinging around fundraising figures over the past week. On Tuesday, Assemblywoman Grace Meng’s campaign says she’s come out on top.
According to an email from her spokesperson, Meng’s campaign has $300,000 ...
Monday, April 02, 2012
Assemblyman Rory Lancman continued to line up labor support today, in his quest to be the Democratic Party nomination in the new 6th Congressional district in Queens. On Monday, the Working Families Party announced its support for Lancman in his primary race against fellow Democrats Assemblywoman Grace Meng and City ...
Wednesday, March 28, 2012
State lawmakers are in Albany this week to pass the agreed-upon budget finalized by legislative leaders and Governor Andrew Cuomo. The $133 billion budget impacts many facets of life in New York, and probably none greater than the City of New York. Lawmakers from the Big Apple explained the impact some of the key pieces of this year’s budget will have on the city.
Tuesday, March 27, 2012
The cast of characters is assembled. Republican City Councilman Dan Halloran’s official announcement yesterday that he is running for Congress in the new 6th District in Queens capped a week or so of campaign launches. Unless a Republican challenger emerges, Halloran will face whichever of the three Democrats pulls out a win in this year’s sprint of a primary race.
“I am running for Congress because the president and the Democrats’ policies have failed, and New Yorkers need a new voice,” Halloran said in a statement announcing his campaign’s launch. “Democrats in Washington, led by President Obama, have spent us into financial ruin. They have failed to grow our economy and have led us deep into a harrowing recession. And they have thumbed their nose at Israel, calling for a return to its 1967 borders and showing an unwillingness to stand up to our mutual enemy, Iran, who wishes to destroy us. My Democratic opponents are nothing but a rubber stamp for this president’s failed leadership.”
Halloran was first elected to the city council in 2009 after a campaign that took some interesting as well as ugly terms. Halloran has been called a "pagan" after reports connected him to a group that worshiped Nordic and Germanic gods. Halloran was also accused of race baiting white voters against his Korean rival, Democrat Kevin Kim.
There’s a decent chance Halloran could again face an Asian candidate from the Flushing area. The early Democratic frontrunner is Assemblywoman Grace Meng. Last week Meng received the backing of the Queens County Democratic organization. This week she officially launched her campaign, listing a large number of Queens Democrats as supporters.
At least from the statements from the campaigns, it looks like Halloran and Meng arepicking up where now-Congressman Bob Turner and Assemblyman David Weprin left off in their special election last September. Republicans appear to want to continue to make the the race about Obama and, in a heavily Jewish district, Israel. Democrats—at least those around Meng—lead with House Republicans’ fiscal combativeness and attacks on the social safety net in Meng’s statement on Halloran entering the race:
Wednesday, March 21, 2012
Today on "The Capitol Pressroom":
Assemblywoman Grace Meng is running for the New York City Congressional seat being vacated by Gary Ackerman. She joins us to discuss her decision to run, and reflects on her time in the legislature.
This morning the Deputy Secretary for Public Safety Elizabeth Glazer is scheduled to join members of the New York State Coalition Against Domestic Violence to discuss expansion of the state’s DNA Databank. State Senator Dan Squadron is the lead sponsor of a bi-partisan bill in that house that would establish the crime of aggravated domestic violence. What is it? We will find out.
When we last checked in with our Energy Committee Chairmen, State Senator George Maziarz was much more interested in seeing such a ‘highway’ span from western NY, rather than come down from Canada. The reason? He says it could utilize the underutilized New York State energy companies that populate upstate. He is also adamantly against shutting down Indian Point’s aging nuclear facility.
Meanwhile, across the aisle and down the hall, Assembly Energy Committee Chair Kevin Cahill is equally determined to shut down Indian Point, and replace that energy with a mixture of conservation efforts and clean power, like hydro… perhaps from Canada.
For show archives, please visit The Capitol Bureau's website here.
Monday, March 19, 2012
It must have been an amazing four days for Assemblywoman Grace Meng of Queens.
On Thursday March 15, late in the afternoon, 30-year incumbent congressman Gary Ackerman announced his retirement at the end of this session. She quickly let it be known she was interested in the new seat being drawn in Queens by a federal court—as did a number of other folks, such as Councilman Mark Weprin, Senator Tony Avella, Assemblyman Rory Lancman, Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley and others.
The Queens County Democratic organization decided to take the weekend to talk with the candidates and their supports, but late yesterday the news leaked: the county organization chose Meng as their candidate.
This morning at Queens County Democratic headquarters in Forest Hills they made it official.
“It is rare in this business to meet someone like Grace Meng. She’s hard not to love and she has character, commitment and confidence without a hint of arrogance—and in this business, that’s rare,” Councilman Mark Weprin said before officially nominating Grace to be the county organization’s pick for the new 6th Congressional District.
“Grace, it seems to me, you are the future of the Democratic Party,” said Senator Senator Toby Ann Stavisky in her seconding of Meng’s nomination.
The future, past and present appeared to all be taken into account in the choice of Meng. In his remarks on the nomination, Queens County Democratic Party chairman and Congressman Joseph Crowley pointed out that not since Geraldine Ferraro had Queens sent a woman to congress (both Representatives Maloney and Velazquez have parts of Queens in their districts, but both live in other boroughs).
“To have someone from Queens running is incredibly important this year, especially when I believe women have been attacked so much in recent weeks,” Crowley said.
And it’s the growing Asian American community in Queens that opened up the door for a future potential Congresswoman Grace Meng.
“It really is, I think, time for the Asian American community to have this opportunity,” said Crowley.
“Our greatest strength has always been our diversity,” Meng said in her remarks after getting the nod. “Queens is famous throughout the world for diversity and tolerance. But really it’s what we have in common that makes our neighborhoods work, our students succeed, and our families able to care for children and grandparents as they can.”
Getting the county’s endorsement won’t mean Meng makes it on the ballot in November. At least one of the other candidates interested in the job, Assemblyman Rory Lancman, is still planning on running. He’s scheduled a press conference for 3 pm this afternoon to officially launch his campaign for the job.
Congressman Crowley said he hopes the historical importance of Meng’s potential election against whomever Queens Republicans run in November will dissuade Lancman and others from challenging her.
“Having an incredibly divisive primary will not be helpful to that cause,” Crowley said.
Given the proposed district’s demographic breakdown that seems unlikely. While the district’s voting age population would be 60.1 percent minority voters, including the 38.8 percent Asian population in the district, it’s still 39.9 percent white and most of those voters are Jewish. Democratic enrollment is high in the community, which could work to Lancman’s advantage.
Friday, January 20, 2012
The New York City press corps waited excitedly for embattled Comptroller John Liu’s latest campaign finance report. On top of a sort of a schadenfreude-like desire to see just how bad Liu got hurt by his fundraising scandal, reporters also anticipated the list of other bundlersthe Comptroller had been so reticent to reveal.
They were rewarded this week when the semi-annual filings came due on January 17. Within hours the world saw the list of intermediaries, who “bundle” multiple donations together on behalf of a candidate. The infamous Pan, who is accused of trying to help an FBI agent posing as a wealthy donor to skirt campaign finance laws, was there among them.
And so was Queens Assemblywoman Grace Meng.
Seeing Meng’s name might have surprised some observers; it was the understandable but ultimately unfair negative association the term “bundler” has received, especially when connected with the Liu campaign.
“The issue is not that he used intermediaries, because intermediaries are built into the law. Otherwise, you wouldn’t have forms to register and such,” said political consultant Michael Tobman, who has worked with Meng since her 2008 primary. “The issue is who called, how much pressure, what was said, and where were the calls made.”
All the potential 2013 Democratic candidates use intermediaries. Council Speaker Christine Quinn actually has more listed in her campaign filings than John Liu. Even so, Meng’s name appearing in Liu’s filing stood out.
For those who know Meng’s history, the real surprise was that she was helping Liu at all.