The nanny state is creeping across the border.
New Jersey lawmakers traveled all the way to New York City Hall Thursday to announce their plans to introduce legislation boosting the tobacco purchase age in the Garden State to 21. The announcement comes less than a month after City Council Speaker Christine Quinn unveiled similar plans for the city, which were quickly followed by lawmakers in Albany.
Up in Smoke
While a growing number of states have been legalizing medical and even recreational use of marijuana, the popular plant remains illegal in New York. However, an upcoming pair of new medical marijuana bills in the Legislature and Governor Andrew Cuomo’s proposal to decriminalize possession of small amounts of the drug may signal the Empire State is on its way to looser marijuana regulations.
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.”
Inside The IDC
Governor Andrew Cuomo has made it absolutely clear that the new Senate leadership coalition between the breakaway Independent Democratic Conference and and the Republicans will draw his ire if they do not support certain items on his agenda. Yesterday, we noted that it seemed the IDC and the governor might not be seeing eye-to-eye on one of the item on the governor’s “litmus test” for the coalition, campaign finance reform. Last night, we received a call from one of the five IDC members, State Senator Diane Savino, seeking to clarify the conference’s position on the issue. She also discussed the IDC’s goal, the racial controversies that have dogged the group and revealed the one person she’s not sure she’d allow to join the conference.
Governor Andrew Cuomo has made enacting campaign finance reform part of his “litmus test” for judging the new coalition in the New York State Senate. Based on their recent statements, it seems he may only get half of the reforms he wanted from the new merger the Independent Democratic Conference and the State Senate Republicans.
this is important
“Proud to be an American”-gate is far from being over, especially if you live on Staten Island.
If you’re just paying attention now, the entire controversy started when a New York City school replaced the famously patriotic song with Justin Bieber’s “Baby” for a kindergarten graduation ceremony, a move that caused Staten Island Congressman Michael Grimm to declare, “Justin Bieber is not a Substitute for American Patriotism.”
Other Staten Island pols, including the GOP opponent for Democratic State Senator Diane Savino, reacted similarly. However, Ms. Savino wasn’t especially impressed with either Republican’s flag-waving rhetoric on the issue.
Elected officials and community members rallied against the upcoming reality show “Brooklyn 11223″ this afternoon, lambasting the show as demeaning to women and calling on the Oxygen network to take it off the air.
Councilman Vinnie Gentile, who organized the event, told The Politicker the show “hit such a nerve in Bay Ridge and we had such a reaction from the locals that they wanted an avenue, a way, to speak out.”
And speak out they did. Carlo Scissura, representing Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, took the largest broadside to the network for hosting the show.
“What amazes me is the hypocrisy of this network. This is a network that brands itself as looking out for the interests of women, and yet they do something that completely disparages women, particularly Italian-American women,” he said, before calling for the community to rise up. “If the show’s filming in one of the restaurants, stop going there, period. If the show’s coming out here and they’re wrecking the streets or taking up parking spots, call the police.”
social media excitement!
Everyone who hasn’t been living under a rock knows the New York Giants whipped up an impressive victory in the Super Bowl last night. However, even rock-dwellers were aware of the news if they were friends with any elected officials on Facebook.
Generally, the excited politicians’ responses needed at least five exclamation marks.
Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley and State Senator Marty Golden were examples of this. Ms. Crowley wrote “NY Giants XLVI Super Bowl Champions!!!!!” while Mr. Golden wrote “Congratulations to the SuperBowl Champions the New York Giants!!!!!! Go Big Blue.”
Councilman Jumaane Williams, who correctly predicted the score of the game, might have been the most excited of them all. “UH…Yeah! We did it again. ANY DAMN QUESTIONS!!!!!!!” he declared, adding “WHOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!” He also had another “WHOAA” post containing 50 exclamation marks.
new hbo series
At last night’s State of the Borough address, Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz took some time to reiterate his call for a new casino in the Coney Island neighborhood.
“I’m not talking about turning Coney Island into Atlantic City, that’s not what I’m not suggesting,” he said, before pivoting into one of his many jokes of the evening. “Although I look forward to setting my DVR to recording the smash HBO drama Coney Island Boardwalk Empire.”
in out in out
Saint Jermaine Endeley, a college student who had been campaigning in the Democratic primary against Staten Island State Senator Diane Savino, announced today that he is exiting the race.
“After weighing heavily the viability of my candidacy I have decided not to run for State Senate in 2012,” he said in a statement. “While I hope to see the Senate Democrats united and to have my ideas promoted in Albany, I simply do not believe that I can win at this time and so I will instead focus my energy on other projects.”
There was some confusion about whether Mr. Endeley dropped out previously, after blogs, including Politicker, reported that he had made such a decision. After initially declining to comment, the candidate subsequently denied these claims.