Ed Cox, the chairman of New York State’s Republican party, has penned a scathing letter to members of his party, urging them to resist “strong-arm tactics” by Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo to rack up endorsements for his re-election bid.
When Governor Andrew Cuomo quickly passed tough new gun control measures in January, he faced a raft of criticism for skipping the standard deliberative period and allegedly ignoring the more minute legislative details. The criticism recently found new substance with the bill’s apparently unworkable 7-bullet magazine requirement, which Albany is now working to reverse. And, on his weekly radio show with John Gambling, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said that “one criticism” may indeed have merit.
“This is true of a lot of things,” Mr. Bloomberg said after accusing an unrelated City Council bill of having unintended side-effects. “You asked before about the magazines in Albany. We just got to start to thinking a little bit more about the implications of things before we rush to legislate and rush to legislate everything.”
Queens Councilman Eric Ulrich, currently a candidate for the State Senate against Joe Addabbo, announced he supports legislation to increase New York State’s minimum wage to $8.50 this evening. The move places him on the opposite side of the issue than Majority Leader Dean Skelos and the Republican conference, who steadfastly oppose the legislation.
“People are hurting in Queens and the current minimum wage simply isn’t enough to make ends meet for families here,” Mr. Ulrich said in a statement. “Single parent households are especially hit hard by the rising cost of living in New York. The bottom line is that there simply aren’t enough hours in the week at $7.25 per hour to pay the rent or mortgage and to buy the basic household items they need. I have listened to both sides of this argument, but one truth resonates more than any other: If we don’t take this action, too many families are going to go under.”
With the Green Party clearing the threshold of 50,000 votes in the 2010 gubernatorial election, they secured automatic ballot access through 2014, and judging from who’s filed petitions to be on the ballot in congressional races this year in New York City and the rest of the state, it seems they’re intending to take full advantage of the situation.
And, unlike the Conservative, Independence, and Working Families parties, which almost always endorse Democratic or Republican candidates, the Green Party is running their own slate of candidates, potentially impacting close races by siphoning liberal votes away from the Democrats.
Professor Gerry Benjamin, an expert on the mechanisms of government at State University of New York at New Paltz, was asked by Citizens’ Committee for an Effective Constitution to take a look at Governor Andrew Cuomo and the Legislature’s much-touted redistricting amendment and grade it point-by-point against what a truly independent amendment would look like.
Unsurprisingly, he found it wanting. He gave the amendment a ‘C-‘ overall on an ‘A’ through ‘F’ scale.
On The Capitol Pressroom this morning, the host, Susan Arbetter, pressed Governor Andrew Cuomo on whether he values the end product of legislation is more important than having a democratic and open process when passing it. Mr. Cuomo, who worked with the Legislature to pass a massive set of bills while you were probably asleep last night, said he wasn’t especially worried about the issue.
“The issue of transparency always comes up in Albany,” Mr. Cuomo admitted. “It’s true, you can always have more transparency. On the other hand, I think you can become overly fixated with observing … process with no product.”