Democratic State Sen. Daniel Squadron called on his Democratic colleague, State Sen. Malcolm Smith, to resign after he was arrested this morning and accused of orchestrating bribery scheme to land himself in the Republican mayoral primary.
“The charges outlined in today’s complaint are simply shocking,” Mr. Squadron, who’s also a candidate for public advocate this year, said in a statement earlier today. “This is something that belongs in ‘House of Cards,’ not an election to decide who will run our city or any part of our government. Regardless of the outcome of the criminal charges filed against Senator Smith, he has lost the public trust — and he should resign.”
Councilwoman Tish James, who’s currently running for public advocate, will be doing some cable news punditry this weekend. Tomorrow morning, Ms. James will appear on MSNBC’s Up With Chris Hayes to discuss her agenda and Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s soda ban.
State Senator Daniel Squadron announced today that he’s raised more than $2 million in his race for public advocate. Mr. Squadron, who’s facing three other candidates in a Democratic primary, hauled in a total of $2,150,000 in donations and expected public matching funds. He raised $183,000 in the last two months and has spent only $190,000 overall. Read More
The Race is On
“This is not a Pollyanna conversation. With all due respect, Reshma, you’re wrong.”
It was one of the few sparks in an otherwise genial forum for the five Public Advocate candidates, and it came, not so surprisingly, from Cathy Guerriero. Ms. Guerriero, along with Brooklyn and Manhattan State Sen. Dan Squadron, Brooklyn Councilwoman Tish James, former Deputy Public Advocate Reshma Saujani and education advocate Noah Gotbaum, spoke aggressively at the first forum of the year in the wide open Public Advocate race.
Brooklyn lawmaker Daniel Squadron took to the floor of the State Senator yesterday to eulogize Adam Yauch, the rapper known as MCA who performed with the Beastie Boys until his death earlier this month at the age of 47.
“We are very grateful from Brooklyn Heights to the Lower East Side and whatever happens we know that Adam Yauch and the Beastie Boys can’t, won’t and don’t stop,” Mr. Squadron said.
The two-term senator also introduced a resolution honoring Yauch, which passed unanimously, and may be the first usage of “hard-core punk outfit” on the Senate floor.
This afternoon, the State Senate Corporations, Authorities, and Commissions Committee voted to prevent the Corporate Political Accountability to Shareholders Act from moving out of committee. The Act, which was sponsored by Senator Daniel Squadron, would have forced businesses to disclose political donations by requiring shareholder approval and eliminated the secrecy surrounding super PACs in this state. Though the bill lost its vote today Mr. Squadron is circulating a petition that will bring the legislation to a vote on the Senate floor if it is signed by 38 senators.
“Today, Senate Republicans chose corporations over people and prevented my bill from moving out of committee. But our fight to counter Citizens United, rein in unchecked corporate political influence and bring transparency to our politics isn’t over: I’m petitioning to bring the bill to a vote on the Senate floor,” Mr. Squadron wrote in a note on his Facebook page.
On Monday, the State Senate Corporations Committee will vote on legislation that would force businesses to disclose political donations. Senator Daniel Squadron sponsored the Corporate Political Accountability to Shareholders Act to address the effects Citizen’s United Supreme Court decision of January 2010 that allowed businesses to make undisclosed and campaign contributions through super PACs.
“As we all look on in horror at the effect of Citizen’s United on the political process, here in New York, we have a chance to do something about it. This bill would reign in unchecked corporate influence in a way that the Supreme Court still allows,” Mr. Squadron told The Politicker. “It would require shareholders of corporations to approve political spending, it would require disclosre of political spending and it would require corporations to justify the corporate puprose of that spending. Too often people are using corporations to grind their own political axe. It’s not good for shareholders and it’s not good for the political system.”
Democratic Senator Daniel Squadron has criticized the legislative lines proposed by the Republican majority as the result of a partisan and “poisonous” redistricting process,” but one man believes Mr. Squadron is responsible for gerrymandering him out of his district. Pete Gleason, an attorney and two time City Council candidate who’s mulling another run for the Council, told The Politicker he believes his home was slated for removal from its current Senate district by Mr. Squadron.
“You know, it’s so transparent, it’s comical in one sense, but it’s also so transparent and it’s very dangerous,” Mr. Gleason said. “You cant have opposing parties in Albany complaining the other party is a scoundrel and you have no say in the process. When the line that was drawn in front of my door to exclude me from the district I’ve been in since 1998, you can’t say you had nothing to do with it, that’s ridiculous.”
Mr. Squadron’s spokeswoman, Amy Spitalnick, was flabbergasted when we called to ask about Mr. Gleason’s accusation.
“Has April Fools’ Day come early?” she asked.
She subsequently provided us with a statement saying Mr. Squadron had nothing to do with the proposed Senate district lines.
State Senator Eric Adams put an end to speculation about which office he would seek, announcing in an email to supporters this afternoon, “At the behest of many of you, Eric has decided to pursue his dream to run for the office of Brooklyn Borough President in 2013. “
Mr. Adams had been rumored to either be a BP candidate in 2013 or make a run for Public Advocate, but the email today–sent by his chief of staff, Ingrid Lewis-Martin–makes plain that he has decided to go with the former.
“The road to Borough Hall is long and can be rocky, but with your continued support we can pave the way and set a smooth course,” the email reads. “I will send you periodic emails and news updates to keep you informed and abreast of all of the ways in which you can be a part of our journey to Brooklyn Borough Hall.”
Year of the Dragon
Assemblywoman Grace Meng doesn’t buy Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s claim that he can’t make Lunar New Year a public school holiday because “you cannot have … a day off from school for every single holiday or we’d have no school.”
“I think he is exaggerating when he said that we had no school days left,” Ms. Meng told The Politicker. “His policies on immigrant services have been very good, they’re very progressive. He’s done a lot for immigrant communities in New York City and it’s frustrating for me that he doesn’t understand why this community wants its first and most important holiday off.”