Azi Paybarah

author of The Empire blog

Azi Paybarah appears in the following:

Rangel Walks as Ethics Hearing Proceeds

Monday, November 15, 2010

After spending more than $1 million on legal bills, Rep. Charles Rangel told members of the House Ethics committee looking into charges that he violated Congressional ethics rules th...

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The Critics and Necessary Allies on Cuomo's Transition Team

Monday, November 15, 2010


On Sunday, governor-elect Andrew Cuomo announced the latest round of members to his transition committee, the advisory panel that will help decide whom Cuomo brings into his administration as he seeks to "clean up" one of the country's most dysfunctional state capitals.

The headline from the weekend's announcement was the inclusion of Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., on one of those transition committees. Kennedy is known as much for his work on environmental issues as he is for hailing from one of the most celebrated political families in American history. More importunely, he is also the brother of Cuomo's ex-wife, Kerry Kennedy, with whom the Governor-elect has three daughters. In 2003, the couple had a particularly nasty divorce, with accusations of her infidelity splashed across tabloid pages for weeks.

The presence of Kennedy's name on the transition committee, carries a powerful, and unmistakeable message: Cuomo is suppressing whatever old and personal feuds may exist in order to find the most talented personnel.

But transition committees have, in the past, proven ideal opportunities for presenting politically optimal visuals, while not always demonstrating deep or insightful decision-making.

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Ethics Committee Presents Rangel Evidence, Without Rangel

Monday, November 15, 2010

Updated 10:20am

The Ethics Committee has denied Rangel's request for a delay and is continuing with the presentation of evidence even without Rangel in the hearing room. "No conclusions as to the facts of this matter can be drawn by the fact that Mr. Rangel  has decided not to part in this hearing," said chairwoman Zoe Lofgren (D-Ca). More than 500 pieces of evidence against Congressman Rangel are expected to be presented this morning.

Updated 9:55am

A defiant Rep. Rangel defended himself in front of a committee of his peers and announced his intention to walk out before they agreed to consider delaying the proceedings in a closed door session.

At issue is Rangel's request that the hearing be postponed until he could raise money to hire a lawyer. He said lawyers offered to
represent him for free, but they feared such work would be considered a gift, something banned under current House rules.

"How far does this go" asked Rangel, "because we don't have time?" 

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Why One Congressional District Keeps Going to Two Different Parties

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


On election night last Tuesday, the Associated Press declared Democratic Rep. Tim Bishop of eastern Long Island the winner over Republican challenger, Randy Altschuler, 51 to 49 percent. By the weekend, a review of ballots reversed that, with Altschuler leading Bishop by more than 300 votes. 

That sudden switch over who controls the first Congressional district is, in some ways, what's been happening in the district for years.

The first Congressional district encompasses two extreme ends of the economic spectrum, even by New York standards. On one end is the tony playground for New York's wealthiest — the Hamptons — complete with celebrity-filled night clubs and beach-front mansions populated by out-of-town politicians looking to raise seed money for national campaigns.

But that's not where you'll find the voters in the district.

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Keith Olbermann Suspended for Political Donations

Friday, November 05, 2010

Joel Meares, assistant editor of the Columbia Journalism Review, will be discussing the Olbermann suspension on the Brian Lehrer Show Monday, November 8th at 11:20am.

UPDATE: In a statement on Sunday night, NBC president, Phil Griffin said “After several days of deliberation and discussion, I have determined that suspending Keith through and including Monday night’s program is an appropriate punishment for his violation of our policy. We look forward to having him back on the air Tuesday night.”


MSNBC has suspended news anchor Keith Olbermann for donating to three Democratic candidates this election cycle, one of the latest examples of the dangerous territories stars in opinion journalism are finding themselves.

Olbermann acknowledged the donations after they were reported by Politico Friday Morning. Olbermann, as host of MSNBC’s Countdown, fiercely denounced rivals at Fox News when their organization donated more than a million dollars to the Republican Governor’s Association.

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GOP Control of Congress Weakens NY Influence

Friday, November 05, 2010

The Republican takeover of the House of Representatives will mean a "vast decline in the influence of New York" congress members, says Rutgers University political science professor Ross Baker.

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52 to 45: How Republicans Shellacked Democrats

Thursday, November 04, 2010

From how Pres. Obama's party lost control of the House to why Sarah Palin isn't going away in 2012, listen as WNYC's Brian Lehrer, Andrea Bernstein, Bob Hennelly and Azi Paybarah chew over the election results in this 2010 swan song edition of Digesting Politics.


New York State Returns

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Azi Paybarah, WNYC reporter and blogger, and Ester Fuchs, professor of international and public affairs and political science at Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA), and former advisor to Mayor Bloomberg, examine the results from yesterday's voting.                                                                           

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Election Day Politics

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Errol Louis, new host of NY1's Inside City Hall, and WNYC reporters Azi Paybarah and Bob Hennelly, discuss the predictions for the election results.

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Are Democrats Caught in a Heffalump Trap?

Friday, October 29, 2010

In this anti-incumbent year, can Democrats turn out their base across the country and hold on to their advantage in the House? Listen as WNYC's Brian Lehrer, Andrea Bernstein, Bob Hennelly and Azi Paybarah discuss the latest in key races in New York State and around the country.


Cuomo Campaigns Quietly on his Agenda, but Loudly on Paladino's

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Andrew Cuomo, to the consternation of the media that covers him, likes to be in complete control of his message at all times, saying as little as he can get away with. The wildly undi...


Now, Bloomberg Supports Two Terms for Lawmakers

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who led the push to extend term limits for city lawmakers, says he will vote next week to roll back the law to its original incarnation.

The term limits issue is one of two questions that will appear on the back of the November 2 ballot for New York City voters. If the measure passes, the law will roll back and limit future city lawmakers to serving two, consecutive four-year terms. If the measure fails, the current limit of three terms, will stand.

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The Aqueduct Report: an Indictment Against Albany

Friday, October 22, 2010

From the NY Inspector General's report on the Aqueduct Entertainment Group's bidding process and what it says about Albany's dysfunction to Andrew Cuomo's tightly controlled campaign and its lack of speficity, eavesdrop on WNYC's Brian Lehrer, Andrea Bernstein, Bob Hennelly and Azi Paybarah as they catch up on the latest in politics.


Legal Trouble for Monserrate's Legal Defense Fund

Friday, October 22, 2010

A legal defense fund created by Hiram Monserrate before he was kicked out of the New York legislature may be his latest legal headache. Monserrate raised money for the fund by seeking...


Problem Poll: Troubles with the Primary Vote

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


Nearly half the polling sites in New York City had problems with a voting machine on primary day. 17 percent of polling sites in Manhattan didn't open on time. And out of 125 poll workers sampled, 54 did not pass the required training. 

These are among the highlights in State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli's report on "Voting-Related Problems" during the primary.

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The Spin: a Madam's Notes, a Goldwater Democrat

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

When the candidates left the stage, the real debate began. Democrat Andrew Cuomo and Republican Carl Paladino walked off stage and sent surrogates to spin reporters after the 90-minute debate at Hofstra University.


Gubernatorial Debate: Crowded Stage

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Gerson Borrero, columnist at El Diario La Prensa and columnist at, and WNYC reporter and blogger Azi Paybarah, recap last night's NY gubernatorial debate between all seven candidates.

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Countdown to the Elections

Friday, October 15, 2010

With just 17 days left before Election Day, WNYC's Andrea Bernstein, Bob Hennelly and Azi Paybarah catch up on the various statewide races.


30 Issues: Religion and the Right

Friday, October 15, 2010

Jeff Sharlet, journalist and author of C Street: The Fundamentalist Threat to American Democracy, Azi Paybarah, WNYC reporter and blogger, and conservative columnist and author of Paranoid Nation Matt Towery, talk about religion, the Republican Party, and whether or not some candidates are pandering to religious bigotry.

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Council Speaker Quinn Opposes Paid Sick Day Legislation

Thursday, October 14, 2010

City Council Speaker Christine Quinn said she won’t support a bill requiring businesses to give workers paid time off when they get sick. Quinn said pushing the legislation forward ...

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