red vs blue
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.”
Senator Chuck Schumer predicted Democrats at all levels of government will emerge victorious against Republicans in this year’s elections during his speech last night at the gala scholarship dinner that closed out the annual New York State Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic and Asian Legislative Caucus association weekend in Albany.
“The tide is beginning to turn, these hard right, nasty people who only care about the people at the very top, well, we peeled back the curtain and the American people are seeing who they really are,” Mr. Schumer said.
Never Have I Ever
At a press conference announcing Senator Chuck Schumer’s endorsement, Councilman Lew Fidler, who’s campaigning for the New York State Senate, addressed the dust-up over his comments that his opponent, Republican David Storobin, has “ties to skinheads, and neo-Nazi groups and white supremacist group.”
“I want to answer that, and my campaign folks would probably tell me that I shouldn’t,” he began. “I never, ever, ever did, or would have, called David Storobin a neo-Nazi.”
“I’m not so internet savvy … I used the word ‘ties’ instead of ‘links,’” he explained, adding that he “never once raised it in public,” while Mr. Storobin “continues to raise it in public.”
However, his campaign appeared to be strongly, and publicly, doubling down on the comments after they were made at a Brooklyn Young Democrats gathering. They sent out a press release earlier this week entitled, “Councilman Fidler’s Campaign Calls on Mr. Storobin to Come Clean on Ties to White Supremacist Websites.”
For years the operating assumption in Albany political circles on both sides of the aisle was that eventually, one day, Democrats would take control of the State Senate, thus completing the extermination of the Republican Party in New York State.
The logic of this argument was simple: A Republican had not been elected statewide since George Pataki won re-election in 2002, and even that was something of a fluke victory over scattered Democratic opposition. Democrats had a huge majority in the State Assembly. Democrats had a 5:3 advantage in the number of voters registering with their party, a ratio that was likely to increase as more immigrants and minorities came of voting age in the state. The GOP was becoming a party of guns and the God-fearing, neither of which had much traction among Yankee Republicans, or what was left of them.
Governor Andrew Cuomo praised the “bold vision to strengthen the national economy, grow America’s middle class, and protect consumers” in President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address last night in a statement released shortly after the speech.
“The President is right to put private sector growth at the center of his agenda to create jobs, and his address laid out specific steps to build our country’s economy not just for today but for future generations as well,” Governor Cuomo said.
After introducing five bills to legalize same sex marriage over the past four years, Assemblyman Daniel O’Donnell is marrying his partner, John Banta, on Sunday now that New York State passed the marriage equality law. Their invite contains a reference to their long wait for a wedding.
The race for former State Senator Carl Kruger’s seat is really getting nasty. In an appearance at Brooklyn Young Democrats meeting at a bar in Sheepshead Bay last night, Councilman Lew Fidler was filmed by the Sheepshead Bites blog blasting his opponent, David Storobin, for having ties to extremist groups.
“David Storobin, a guy who can’t even fess up to what he writes on his web pages anymore and is busy scrubbing what little history he has, because he’s embarrassed about his ties to skinheads, and neo-Nazi groups and white supremacist groups,” Mr. Fidler said.
Councilman Fidler’s comments referenced controversy over Tweets by the @Storobin4Senate account implying President Obama is a Muslim and a blog written by Mr. Storobin that was linked to on white supremacist sites.
Good Day Sunshine
In a Q&A session with reporters following his executive budget presentation in Yonkers this morning, Governor Cuomo addressed criticism he hasn’t been transparent enough during his first year in office.
“You know, I think you will always hear a critique that you could be more transparent and it’s probably always true for any of us in any occupation,” Governor Cuomo said in response to a question from The Politicker.