Mayor Michael Bloomberg railed against the court system Friday, blaming lawsuits for railroading his agenda in his final term.
“We’ve got to do something about our court system. Because they just stop everything,” Mr. Bloomberg lamented during his weekly radio interview Friday morning with WOR’s John Gambling.
Mr. Gambling chimed in in agreement: “Everything gets stopped–everything the city does.”
The infamous incident where Mitt Romney put his dog in a crate tied to the roof his station wagon during a family road trip in 1983 made a surprise appearance in an Oregon courtroom last week. A defense attorney representing one of two men who was charged with animal abuse after they dragged a pitbull behind a car for several hundred feet after tying the dog to the outside of the vehicle and forgetting to let it back in before driving off invoked Mr. Romney’s story to argue everyone makes mistakes sometimes.
“Our presidential candidate tied up a dog and drove off with him for quite a while,” the lawyer, Lisa Pardini, said.
The Neverending Story
Six days after election day and a premature declaration of victory for Rep. Charlie Rangel, there is still no official winner in the Upper Manhattan congressional race between Mr. Rangel and State Senator Adriano Espaillat. This afternoon, lawyers for both candidates are headed to New York State Supreme Court to address issues with the Board of Elections’ tabulation of the results in their congressional race and alleged instances of “irregular and possibly fraudulent returns from voting machines.” Mr. Rangel prepared for the legal battle by sending an email to his supporters saying he’s “completely baffled” by the situation and asking for donations to help him in the court fight.
“To my surprise, my opponent’s campaign pounced on me on Friday, saying that I had somehow stolen their votes! I’m completely baffled by the situation and the way my opponent has been reacting,” Mr. Rangel wrote. “I don’t know what will transpire in the coming days, but one thing is clear: I need your help to prepare myself for another battle — whether it’s a legal battle with the Board of Elections or with my opponent.”
Law & Order
A coalition of Occupy Wall Street protesters and attorneys for civil rights organizations filed a Freedom of Information Law requesttoday asking the NYPD to reveal “all information concerning the policies guiding the law enforcement response to Occupy demonstrations since last September.” The FOIL request is part of efforts to investigate the government response to Read More
Law & Order
Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez was arrested and charged with Obstructing Governmental Administration and Resisting Arrest during the NYPD’s eviction of the Occupy Wall Street encampment in Zuccotti Park November 15. This morning those charges were dismissed in Manhattan Criminal Court. Though the district attorney’s office claimed they “determined that the officers who were involved in Read More
At the end of last week, lawyers representing the two candidates in the special election to replace Carl Kruger in the State Senate agreed to a court proceeding to resolve which candidate ultimately received more votes. Republican candidate David Storobin is currently leading by a single vote, but Democrat Lew Fidler is feeling confident.
The judge has appointed two “Special Referees” to hear ballot objections made by both sides on the contested absentee votes (i.e. one campaign may believe signature similarity on certain ballots indicates the votes were fraudulent).
The wide of embattled former State Senator Pedro Espada is seeking some divine intervention in the trial of her husband and son. Yesterday, as one of Mr. Espada’s former employees took the stand and testified against him, his wife, Connie, posted a prayer request on her Facebook page.
“Lord pls pray us & pls keep all my enemies away, let them not be able 2 bring us harm Amen,” she wrote.
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.
Councilman Charles Barron decided to make his beef over the court-drawn Congressional map formal, submitting a letter to the three-judge panel that outlined, in his opinion, the racial unfairness of the map. However, his arguments are either legally or practically questionable.
“After thorough review of these plans, I also noticed that racially, the white Congressional Districts would be more solidified with an overwhelming majority population, thereby making it almost impossible for them to lose any power,” Mr. Barron, who’s a candidate for Congress himself this year, wrote.
“For example, the new 27th District is 92.7% white, the 21st District – 91.6% white, the 23rd District – 90% white, the 19th District – 86% white, the 20th District – 79% white, the 24th District – 83% white, the 1st District – 77.9% white, and the beat goes on. The whites are secured in their power base.”
After much anticipation, the federal courts have released new congressional maps for the State of New York tonight. Assuming the Legislature can’t come to a last minute agreement, the boundaries below will likely represent the redistricting landscape on the federal level for the next ten years.
Last week, the court presented a draft map which contained a number of substantial changes to the electoral landscape. Notably, Congressmen Bob Turner, Maurice Hinchey, and Gary Ackerman saw their districts dismantled. Two of these districts inevitably had to be cut, as New York is required to lose two Congressional Districts this cycle. The plan additionally created a new Asian-plurality district in Queens that Mr. Ackerman has vowed to campaign for.
(Mr. Turner may be currently exploring a possible run for the U.S. Senate and Mr. Hinchey is retiring.)