The Democratic challenger for Brooklyn State Senator Marty Golden, Andrew Gounardes, wrote him a letter yesterday on redistricting, taking particular issue with a recent New York Post story suggesting Republicans in the State Senate were attempting to hold Governor Andrew Cuomo’s agenda hostage over the redistricting issue.
“[I]t is so unfortunate that you and your Republican colleagues in the Senate have chosen to break the New York Uprising pledge that you signed just 18 months ago,” Mr. Gounardes wrote, attaching a copy of the pledge with the letter. “In that pledge, you swore to support an independent and non-partisan redistricting plan based on the 2010 Census. I was raised to believe that a person’s word is as good as their bond. With broken promises like this, why should voters take you at your word in the future?”
“I call on you to disavow the legislative threats of your colleagues and to recommit yourself to the pledge that you so recently signed,” he concluded.
Reached for a response, Mr. Golden’s campaign defended the redistricting process and expressed support for its outcome.
The Politicker recently noticed some amusing campaign committee spending, including former Rep. Eric Massa, who resigned under male-groping allegations, using his non-existent campaign to pay his wife, and a former state senator who’s spending campaign money despite the tiny fact he’s been deceased since 2005.
Now at least one State Senator is renewing her call for Albany to end spending by so-called “ghost campaigns” belonging to retired or deceased elected officials by passing a bill requiring inactive campaign committees to give their cash to charity, the state’s general fund, the State University of New York, another committee, or back to the original contributors.
“Everyone knows our campaign finance laws need an overhaul, but this issue is particularly obvious and the solution should be a matter of bipartisan agreement,” Senator Liz Krueger said in a statement.
Although Governor Andrew Cuomo has vowed to veto the current set of redistricting maps, Democratic State Senator Eric Adams let it be known this morning that he isn’t happy with his new district. A number of Democratic incumbents were drawn into the same districts, including Mr. Adams and neighboring State Senator Velmanette Montgomery, something Mr. Adams felt was ideologically motivated.
“This year I am the poster child for removal. Many of the Upstate and Long Island Republican senators are angry with me because of my progressive agenda for New York City residents,” Mr. Adams said in a statement. “In Albany, I am known as one of the lead voices that support social issues such as, but not limited to, tenant housing protections, fair funding in our schools, and ending the draconian practice of NYPD stop and frisk.”
(The proposed map, which Politicker labeled “A Stork With a Big Surprise,” is one of the most bizarre-looking ones in the state.)
getting ugly out there
Things are certainly heating up quickly in the special election to replace Carl Kruger in the State Senate.
David Storobin, the Republican candidate, held a press conference this afternoon to call his Democratic opponent, Councilman Lew Fidler, to “apologize for false, malicious remarks.” The initial remarks in question came from a video posted on Sheepshead Bites, where Mr. Fidler said Mr. Storobin “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.”
Andrew Gounardes, a 26-year-old attorney and official in the local Bay Ridge Democrats club, formally declared his candidacy to run against Brooklyn’s only Republican State Senator, Marty Golden, this afternoon.
“Our state government still lacks the accountability, transparency, and honesty that we deserve. And worst of all, some of the politicians we’ve elected to office and entrusted with our votes, aren’t doing much about it,” he said early in his speech.
The special election to replace corrupt State Senator Carl Kruger is getting underway, and GOP candidate David Storobin is ramping up his advertising efforts. Sheepshead Bites notes “[c]ampaign posters for Republican underdog David Storobin’s State Senate campaign have popped up all over the neighborhood in the past week.
Additionally, a reader who lives relatively far outside of the special election district noted that she was seeing advertisements for Mr. Storobin’s Facebook page.
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.
In a move likely to disappoint Democrats hoping for a contentious Republican primary for Hudson Valley Rep. Nan Hayworth, State Senator Greg Ball said today he’ll simply run for reelection instead.
“She makes it so tough to not run against her because she is disconnected from the district she represents. But this Senate seat decided the balance of power in the previous election and will be similarly important in the next election,” he said in an interview with Yossi Gestetner. “So I am focused on reelection to the State Senate.”
Mr. Gestetner then pressed Mr. Ball specifically on whether he was ruling out the Congressional campaign. Mr. Ball responded that he’s “totally committed on reelection to the State Senate.”
no choice for school choice
Special election candidate David Storobin, who already has the Republican and Conservative lines in his campaign to replace former State Senator Carl Kruger, will likely be unsuccessful in his efforts to be on a third “School Choice Party” line, a Democratic source told Politicker.
The Democrat explained that 2,387 valid signatures were needed for an independent ballot line in this State Senate district — an awkward number as it’s calculated from the number of votes the district cast in the last gubernatorial election. Apparently Mr. Storobin fell several hundred signatures short of this goal.
Mr. Storobin’s bid to be on the School Choice line will still be successful if his signatures remain unchallenged, but the Democratic source suggested strongly that they will be challenged, additionally arguing that the lack of signatures shows a lack of organization for the aspiring State Senator.
David Storobin slammed his Democratic opponent, Councilman Lew Fidler, for spending too much time in Manhattan instead of in the State Senate district they are both hoping to represent.
“I understand that Lew Fidler’s radical progressive base lives far outside our district, and that he finds it impossible to get local support, but it is time to start campaigning in southern Brooklyn,” Mr. Storobin said in a release.