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.
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 ...
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:
Thursday, March 22, 2012
Today on "The Capitol Pressroom":
Assembly members Hakeem Jeffries and Rory Lancman will join us--separately--to talk about their runs for Congress.
And Susan Lerner of Common Cause interprets the new Congressional Maps for us.
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.
Thursday, March 15, 2012
Assemblyman Rory Lancman has announced he won't be pursuing a primary challenge against Congressman Gary Ackerman in the new 6th District in Queens.
"My enthusiasm for running against Republican Bob Turner on a platform of leveling the economic playing field for working people doesn't extend to running against fellow Democrat Gary Ackerman,” Lancman said in a statement. “Gary Ackerman is a solid progressive who is, if the Democrats take back the House, poised to assume important leadership roles in protecting the integrity of our financial system and strengthening the U.S.-Israel relationship as a senior member of the House Financial Services and Foreign Affairs committees. I have enjoyed a great relationship with Gary over the years, from interning in his office when I was a high school student to having his support in all of my campaigns for public office, and I'll be supporting Gary this year in the new Sixth congressional district."
Tuesday, March 06, 2012
Just hours after a federal judge's proposed congressional maps were picked up by the media, Assemblyman Rory Lancman, who had intended to run against Republican Congressman Bob Turner, saw himself drawn into an entirely new district--one without an incumbent--in the judge's plans.
The Special Master’s lines came out today, and while I can’t predict what the final lines will ultimately look like, the Special Master’s district six is centered around my home and communities that I have represented in the Assembly, on the community board and as a civic leader for over twenty years. I look forward to the opportunity to run for Congress when the lines are finalized.
Let's take a look at that proposed 6th district. For starters, this appears to be pretty close to the district AALDEF and other community groups proposed District 5 in their UNITY map:
And the court's District 6 map:
A quick look at the voting age population of the new district:
Which is all to say, the district's voting age population in majority minority, and the largest chunk in that group is the Asian community. It will be interesting, if these lines become real, to see how that dynamic shapes the candidates in the race.
Friday, January 06, 2012
Assemblyman Rory Lancman wanted a shot at the 9th Congressional District during the special election back in September. Since the man Queens party boss Congressman Joe Crowley picked for the seat, Assemblyman David Weprin, lost to Republican Bob Turner, Assemblyman Lancman has kept up a steady stream of criticism of the new congressman, potentially portending a run against him next year.
Today's critique is over Congressman Turner's position on gun control (something the city takes very seriously).Or, I suppose, lack there of: Turner, according to theQueens Chronicle, won't take a position on a bill to strengthen gun background checks.
“Congressman Bob Turner’s troubling position on guns leaves Queens families and New York’s finest vulnerable,” Lancman said in a statement. “It’s extremely unsettling that someone who represents me and my community would put our safety at risk to satisfy the gun lobby.”
Lancman went on to tout his own record on gun control as an Assemblyman, which earned him an "A" from New Yorkers Against Gun Violence and an "F" from the National Rifle Association.
While Lancman almost certainly has strong philosophical differences with Turner, and vice versa, whether or not he'll be able to turn those into campaign fodder will depend entirely on how the Congressional lines are drawn in redistricting.
Hoping to get a response from Turner's folks on this. I'll post when it comes in.
Wednesday, December 21, 2011
In a ruling by the state’s highest court on December 20th, a major disagreement over one of the biggest tools the state’s Attorney General has in regulating Wall Street. In a unanimous decision, the Court of Appeals ruled that New York’s Martin Law didn’t preempt private individuals from going after Wall Street firms that mismanaged or defrauded investors.
In a statement, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman's office called the decision "an important recognition that private lawsuits brought by harmed investors are compatible with our office's public enforcement role under the Martin Act."
But for those not plugged into the securities industry, the Martins Law is a Depression Era law unique to New York, that allows the state’s Attorney General broad powers to go after firms that swindled investors. In light of the 2007 Wall Street-created meltdown of the economy, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has taken the baton passed down from former AG Eliot Spitzer to use the previously unused law to go after big Wall Street firms.
The Court of Appeals decision settles a disagreement over how the Martin Act impacts private investors’ attempts to recoup funds they believe were inappropriately lost. Some state and federal courts had ruled that the act preempts investors from seeking damages because the facts of the case could be used by the Attorney General to make his or her own case.
Now, the two are separated and can happen concurrently: the Attorney General’s office can sue a firm for fraud and investors can also try to get back some of the money they invested, using the same facts to build their separate cases. No longer does the AG’s office have sole domain over pursuing firms thanks to the Martin Act.
This is partly what Queens Assemblyman Rory Lancman has been pushing for with a bi-partisan bill he has cosponsored with State Senator Tom Libous of Binghamton.
Friday, September 16, 2011
Not even 24 hours into his term as congressman from New York's 9th Congressional District and Bob Turner has already drawn the ire of at least one local political official.
Queens Assemblyman Rory Lancman just sent out an official statement on Congressman Turner's vote to block the National Labor Relations Board from challenging a new Boeing facility in North Carolina, which critics say was moved in retaliation against unionized workers.
"My new Congressman's honeymoon ended when his first vote in Washington was to undermine basic worker protections and enable companies to outsource American jobs overseas," Lancman said in the statement.
As David Freedlander over at Politicker noted, Lancman had wanted the job, but Queens party boss Congressman Joesph Crowley gave it to the now-defeated David Weprin. If the 9th Congressional District exists in 2012, Lancman could be a Democratic challenger gunning for Turner's job.
Monday, May 23, 2011
By Annmarie Fertoli : Associate Producer at WNYC
A state lawmaker has introduced a bill that would require hotel maids to be equipped with personal security devices, in the wake of the recent arrest of ex-International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn, who's been accused of sexually assaulting a hotel worker at the upscale midtown hotel Sofitel.
Thursday, December 23, 2010
Producers of the troubled Broadway show "Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark" told state and federal officials that they would hire an independent expert to review safety procedures, and increase the number of rehearsals for understudies.
Monday, December 06, 2010
By Brigid Bergin : Reporter
Seven months after an attempted car bombing in Time Square, local leaders are shining a spotlight on the Great White Way’s emergency preparedness. And as the theater season hits its holiday peak, those who work on Broadway are giving themselves mixed reviews.
Monday, September 20, 2010
By Kathleen Horan : Reporter, WNYC News
Governor Paterson vetoed a bill on Monday that would increase penalties for those convicted of assaulting a cab driver. Queens Assemblyman Rory Lancman, the author of the bill, said it is difficult to believe the governor rejected the Taxi Driver's Protection Act, which had near-unanimous support in both houses of the legislature.
Thursday, May 14, 2009
By Beth Fertig
When the New York Civil Liberties Union invited reporters to hear its ideas for reforming mayoral control of the schools today, it also invited two legislators with their own strong opinions.
State Senator Bill Perkins, who represents Harlem and other parts of Manhattan, and Queens Assemblyman Rory Lancman, both support the NYCLU's goal of making the school system more transparent. The NYCLU officially takes no position on whether to renew mayoral control. But it's says the current system is "absolute" and "unfettered." It cites the reluctance by the Department of Education and NYPD to disclose information on student arrests, suspensions and expulsions. There have also been incidents in which principals don't feel like they're fully in charge of their buildings, because of the NYPD's responsibility for school safety. The report is available here.
While the NYCLU wouldn't say whether it thinks the current system of mayoral control should be diluted, the two lawmakers did share their thoughts.
State Senator Perkins is one of a handful of lawmakers who want end the mayor's control of the Panel for Educational Policy. Bloomberg currently gets to appoint eight of the 13 members, including the chancellor - who chairs the body. The five others are appointed by the borough president. In 2004, the mayor fired three panel members because they were about to vote against his plan to stop promoting third graders who got low scores on their state math and reading tests.