Fire at will commander
Rep. Pete King says President Barack Obama made a serious mistake today when he announced he’d seek congressional approval to attack Syria, which is accused of slaughtering its own people with chemical weapons.
Mr. King, an outspoken hawk on foreign policy matters who is flirting with his own presidential bid in 2016, accused Mr. Obama of setting a precedent that will hamstring other administrations going forward. “President Obama is abdicating his responsibility as commander-in-chief and undermining the authority of future presidents,” Mr. King argued in a statement.
big in d.c.
Is he the chair of the City Council’s finance committee or a Sith Lord?
According to the campaign arm of House Republicans, it might be hard to tell with Domenic Recchia.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg just released his public schedule for tomorrow, and it’s a doozy. Throughout the day, the mayor is set to meet with over a half-dozen members of the country’s congressional leadership, including Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. Also on the list is former presidential candidate John McCain, a couple moderate Republicans and a press conference with New York’s two senators on the city’s request for billions of dollars in federal aid in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.
Earlier today, President Barack Obama gathered with the majority and minority leaders of both houses of Congress to move forward in avoiding automatic spending cuts and tax hikes set to occur at the end of the year. Although Democrats and Republicans have, at times, seemed to have irreconcilable differences in the process, the various elected officials walked out of the Roosevelt Room with an optimistic outlook that a compromise would be reached.
“I can only echo the observations of the other leaders that it was a constructive meeting. We all understand where we are….We are prepared to put revenue on the table provided we fix the real problem,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell told reporters, according to a White House pool report. “Most of my members, I think without exception, believe that we’re in the dilemma we’re in not because we taxed too little but because we spent too much.”
your two cents
New York State started off as a key battleground in the Democrats’ battle to retake control of the U.S. House, especially after the courts intervened in the redistricting plan and shook up a lot of traditional boundaries. However, most of these races were focused in areas further Upstate and the suburbs, leaving the heavily Democratic New York City with just two congressional elections of note.
In Queens, Democratic Assemblywoman Grace Meng faced off against GOP Councilman Dan Halloran for a seat crafted from the district remnants of outgoing Congressmen Bob Turner and Gary Ackerman. Despite Mr. Halloran’s polling showing the race a tie, those numbers did not pan out and Ms. Meng is currently ahead by roughly 2-to-1, which matches how Democrats have historically performed within the area.
Tomorrow is Election Day! For Congress and the U.S. Senate primaries at least. So at long last we all get to find out if all of these months of breathlessly following FEC filings and endorsement press releases amount to anything, or if those of us who follow politics are really as wrapped in our myopia as we imagine ourselves to be (we are guessing that regardless of the outcome, the answer to that question is yes.)
Anyway, what will you be looking for tomorrow when the results come trickling in? Is there a certain candidate that needs to clear a threshold in order to remain legitimate? A challenger that will show herself to be a rising star if she does well? Will endorsements matter? Incumbency? The economy?
Let us know what you will be looking for by shooting an email at dfreedlander [@] observer.com. If you promise to refrain from excessive spin, anonymous and semi-anonymous submissions are welcome.
Here are some of our thoughts:
Councilman Charles Barron and Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries, both candidates for an open congressional seat in Brooklyn, don’t really like each other very much. At least, that’s the most obvious impression from a debate between the two Democrats on Inside City Hall last night.
It started off with Mr. Barron calling Mr. Jeffries ”negative and immature” and a “sore loser” over his dismissal of retiring Congressman Ed Towns’ endorsement.
Earlier today, the New York State Senate Democrats asked the court currently enacting the state’s new Congressional redistricting plan to consider expanding their efforts and, at the very least, draw up their own maps for the State Senate as well.
They made two core arguments about the need for this legal action in their letter to the court.
“First, the Legislature’s plan is subject to preclearance by the Department of Justice pursuant to section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, a process that can take up to 60 days,” the wrote, referring to the required process of federal review for some counties in New York like the Bronx, Manhattan, and Brooklyn.
This afternoon, the Republicans controlling the New York State Senate filed their formal objection to the congressional redistricting plan currently being considered by a three-judge panel, and their arguments directly centered on the need for incumbency protection measures for Republican Representatives.
“Professor Persily generally dismisses the Senate Majority Defendants’ (and other parties’) concerns about ‘respecting the cores of prior districts,’ insisting such claims are merely ‘pretextual arguments for protecting incumbents,’ they wrote in their letter. “As a threshold matter, incumbency protection is a traditional redistricting principle, as Professor Persily himself has previously recognized.”
The letter further argued against placing incumbents politicians in the same districts if at all possible.
“[A]voiding incumbency pairings actually enhances the reality and appearance of judicial impartiality,” they wrote, again contending protecting sitting Representatives should be more highly prioritized in the process.
On The Capitol Pressroom today, Governor Andrew Cuomo continued criticizing what he called “the quote unquote ‘judicial’ lines” the court presented for New York State’s new congressional map. Mr. Cuomo posited the court’s flaws in drawing the congressional map make a compromise with the Legislature over the State Assembly and State Senate maps a relatively welcome deal.
First, Mr. Cuomo argued again the judge’s map was “remarkably similar” to the competing plans the State Assembly and State Senate presented to the court.
However, a quick glance at the court’s map and the legislative proposals shows this not to be the case.