Last Thursday, Walter Mosley was elected to succeed Hakeem Jeffries in Brooklyn’s 57th Assembly District. Mr. Mosley was supported by Mr. Jeffries, who left the seat to run a successful congressional campaign, and the race was largely seen as a referendum on Mr. Jeffries’ ability to deliver for another candidate in his Central Brooklyn base. Politicker sat down with Mr. Jeffries yesterday to get his post-game analysis on Mr. Mosley’s campaign and the endorsements that didn’t go their way. Mr. Jeffries also talked about his plans for moving to Washington, his thoughts on the future of the Brooklyn Democratic Party in the wake of the Vito Lopez scandal and discussed ringing the opening bell at NASDAQ on the first anniversary of the Occupy Wall Street protests.
The three main Democratic candidates for an open congressional seat in northeastern Queens, Assemblyman Rory Lancman, Assemblywoman Grace Meng, and Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley, interviewed in front of a panel at District Council 37 last night, which voted overwhelmingly to recommend the union ultimately endorse Mr. Lancman.
Apparently one of the issues at hand, three sources told The Politicker, was confusion about whether Ms. Meng voted for or against Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Tier VI proposal, opposed by public employee unions.
Ms. Meng ultimately voted against it, but, as her campaign explained it this evening, there was a procedural moment in the debate where she indicated she was going to vote in favor of the legislation. Video* of the proceeding indeed shows the total being announced with 45 nays while the official tally has 46.
In a Q&A session with reporters after the cabinet meeting today Governor Andrew Cuomo discussed the state of his push to reform the pension system for public workers. Governor Cuomo was asked about legislators who are demanding he negotiate the reforms with the unions and get them to agree to a plan, but he was adamant that there’s nothing to negotiate and the unions are inherently opposed to reform.
“We just finished negotiating quote-un-quote with our public employee unions; salaries, benefits, et cetera when we did contracts. The contracts were ratified. Pensions are not subject to collective bargaining negotiations, so you can’t negotiate a pension in the collective bargaining. If you just finished negotiating a contract and someone says, ‘Well, go negotiate the pension with the unions and I’ll only pass pension reform if the union agrees,’ there’s nothing left to negotiate with the union,” Governor Cuomo said. “By definition, the unions don’t want a reform that would diminish pension benefits, so the answer’s always going to be, ‘No.’”
East Side Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney proposed yesterday the creation of a congressional “Contracts Caucus” to examine the contracting practices of city, state and federal governments.
“When I get back to Congress along with my colleagues I intend to form a Contracts Caucus to look at these questions and to look at where these federal dollars are going and to look at what we can do to help the economy of our great country and the selfless people that are working here because what I have learned today is frankly upsetting to me,” the congresswoman said at a briefing yesterday with DC37 to discuss the impact of federal funds on jobs and services.