up with criticism
Hell hath no fury like a county organization scorned.
Multiple Democratic insiders confirmed to Politicker that Queens State Senator Malcolm Smith, the fifth member of the breakaway Independent Democratic Conference, could face a primary challenger in 2014. Mr. Smith, it should be noted, has flirted with running for mayor as a Republican and is not going out of his way to strengthen his Democratic bonafides.
“It’s clear that Malcolm Smith is on his last term in the Senate,” said one source. “Caucusing with Republicans is not a viable tactic.”
MSNBC host Chris Hayes isn’t done with Governor Andrew Cuomo, at least not yet. Mr. Hayes, who blasted “New York’s supposedly Democratic governor” last week for failing to support Democratic control of the New York State Senate, revisited the topic again yesterday to argue Mr. Cuomo is knowingly undermining his stated ideological interests.
“Well, I agree!” Mr. Hayes said after playing a clip of the governor dismissing his criticism, calling for a policy-oriented discussion instead of a partisan one.
Tells us how you really feel, Councilman Lew Fidler.
Mr. Fidler, who yesterday criticized Senator-elect Simcha Felder for vowing to cross party lines and caucus with the Republicans, took another pass this afternoon in a lengthy statement where he demanded Mr. Felder himself answer questions about the decision.
“Simcha is correct that the parties are not a religion, nor should they be,” Mr. Fidler wrote. “But being open and honest with the voters should be.”
Although most of the attention last night was rightfully placed on the presidential race, a number of important state legislative campaigns were also waged, which, depending on how they turn out, could potentially have a significant impact on the legislation and policies that emerge out of Albany in the coming years. Notably, control of the New York State Senate hangs in the balance, and if Democrats win there, the party would control the trifecta of the state government as they already have an overwhelmingly majority in the State Assembly and a similarly aligned governor.
With one temporary exception, the senate has been continuously controlled by the GOP in recent years. Despite a large fundraising edge and an aggressive gerrymander which appeared to have locked in a Republican majority for the immediate future, a number of surprisingly strong Democratic victories pushed back against the conventional wisdom that they had no chance at reversing their fortunes this year,
Assemblyman Karim Camara, who was for a time the one hope reformers had to block Frank Seddio from succeeding Vito Lopez as the head of the Kings County Democratic Party, officially backed Mr. Seddio this afternoon in a move to unify the party right before the vote to replace Mr. Lopez. Barring a large meteor striking the planet or a something of that magnitude, Mr. Seddio now seems all but certain to be the new leader of the Kings County Democratic establishment.
It’s Election Day in New York next Thursday! But instead of a titanic battle between ideologies–your Mitt Romneys vs. Barack Obamas, if you will–the options on the ballot will be little-noticed state legislative contests between candidates of the same party, often with few policy differences.
However, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t some exciting races happening. From “Who Gets Arrested for Raping a Grandmother?” to “Assemblywoman Caught Up in Sex Scandal with Two Young Men,” there’s been no shortage of nasty drama and mud slinging as voters head to the polls.
Here’s a breakdown of who’s running and why it might matter who wins. The list below focuses on Democratic races because the few Republican primaries in this staunchly blue city tend to have clear favorites or are taking place in such Democratic territory that the victor is reasonably likely to be irrelevant.
red vs blue
Legislators in North Carolina have proposed a bill aimed at making sure there will be enough booze at September’s Democratic National Convention in Charlotte. Under current North Carolina law, state-run liquor stores, which are the only source for hard alcohol in the state, must be closed on Sundays and on Labor Day, the day before the convention is scheduled to start. The bill would allow the stores to remain open on Labor Day to prevent bars and restaurants from running out of booze due to the combined imbibing of holiday weekend revelers and early DNC arrivals.
Earlier this evening, the State Republicans ultimately decided to place Rep. Bob Turner, Nassau County Comptroller George Maragos, and attorney Wendy Long all on the ballot where the winner will take on Democratic incumbent Senator Kirsten Gillibrand in November. And, as Republicans move with excitement towards their June 26th primary, the State Democratic Party issued a yawn via press release.
Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney was on hand for President Barack Obama’s trip to New York City visit last week and she shared her thoughts about the presidential visit with The Politicker.
“I thought he was inspiring, he has a record to run on, the enthusiasm, I went to two events with him, was deep and strong,” Ms. Maloney said. “When he made the comparison of where we were three years ago to where we are now, I told him we should have a bumper sticker that just says Osama bin Laden dead, American auto industry hiring and exporting. It shows the tremendous reversal in a lot of ways.”
Massachusetts Senator John Kerry appeared at the New York Law School this afternoon as part of the Sidney Shainwald Public Interest Lecture Series and he delivered a speech “about where we find ourselves at this moment in our country.” Mr. Kerry began by apologizing for Congress’ dismal approval rating.
“I come to you with huge humility. I understand that we are at eight percent in the United States Congress and it is therefore miraculous that you would invite a sitting, elected member of the United States Senate to come talk to you,” Mr. Kerry said. “I don’t come here to be partisan, but I’m going to tell you facts.”
Despite his promise to be non-partisan, the Democratic senator proceeded to slam Republicans for “ideological extremism” in Congress, the failure of the debt reduction supercommittee and a presidential primary he described as a “traveling reality gong show television show.”