Council Members Move to Limit Next Speaker’s Power

Councilman Brad Lander speaking this afternoon. (Photo: William Alatriste New York City Council)
Councilman Brad Lander speaking this afternoon. (Photo: William Alatriste New York City Council)

The next speaker of the New York City Council is going to have far less power than Christine Quinn, if a large bloc of members have their way.

More than a dozen incumbent members and likely-to-be-elected Democratic nominees gathered on the steps of City Hall this afternoon to press for sweeping reforms to council rules that would reduce the speaker’s power by eliminating many of the mechanisms used to keep members in line. Continue reading “Council Members Move to Limit Next Speaker’s Power”

An Apologetic Shelly Silver Tries to Fix Albany’s Sexual Harassment Problem

Sheldon Silver. (Photo: Getty Images)
Sheldon Silver. (Photo: Getty Images)

Facing growing calls for his resignation, Assembly Speaker Shelly Silver, surrounded by an army of loyal supporters, apologized for his handling of the Vito Lopez allegations and announced a series of reforms to ensure, he said, that such mistakes will never be made again.

“I want New Yorkers to know I care deeply about this institution and its employees, that I remain dedicated to our core commission of protecting those who are most in need of a strong and caring government,” Mr. Silver told reporters at a press conference in Albany hours after Mr. Lopez officially resigned.

Continue reading “An Apologetic Shelly Silver Tries to Fix Albany’s Sexual Harassment Problem”

Andrew Cuomo Doesn’t Want ‘Scandalmania’ Hijacking His Agenda

Gov. Andrew Cuomo. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
Gov. Andrew Cuomo. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

As the fallout from the recent slew of arrests of state legislators continues, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Monday that he doesn’t want what he dubbed “Scandalmania” hijacking his agenda.

“What I’m trying mightily to do is not allow the Scandalmania–‘cuz you know how the press is with scandals and that becomes all-consuming–I don’t want that to eclipse the session and I don’t want it to derail the session because we have a lot of good work to do out there for New Yorkers who just want their government to function,” said the governor during a radio appearance on “The Capitol Pressroom with Susan Arbetter.”

Continue reading “Andrew Cuomo Doesn’t Want ‘Scandalmania’ Hijacking His Agenda”

Cuomo Proposes Electoral Reforms in Wake of Corruption Scandals

(Photo: Getty)
(Photo: Getty)

Two weeks ago, Democratic State Sen. Malcolm Smith was arrested and charged with trying to bribe his way into the Republican mayoral primary, prompting cries for reform from both ends of the political spectrum. Today, Governor Andrew Cuomo rolled out a series of proposals that he hopes will address many of these concerns.

“You’ve heard the expression pay to play, this is pay to run,” Mr. Cuomo said at a press conference announcing the measures. “The allegations that the minor parties basically, on occasion, have used campaign contributions to determine who gets the line and it’s almost that the line goes to the highest bidder.” Continue reading “Cuomo Proposes Electoral Reforms in Wake of Corruption Scandals”

Cuomo Proposes Fix to the ‘Truly Ugly Picture of Our Political Landscape’

Governor Cuomo speaking at the press conference.
Governor Cuomo speaking at the press conference.

After a series of New York officials were arrested and charged with corruption last week, Governor Andrew Cuomo says he has the solution–or at least the first step. Accordingly, at press conference earlier this afternoon, Mr. Cuomo unveiled a legislative package aimed at curbing the problem.

“Over the past few days, there have been several charges brought against public officials; they span city and state government,” he began. “And they paint a truly ugly picture of our political landscape. I’d like to say that this is an unprecedented situation, that public corruption is a new problem. But it isn’t and, in many ways, that’s what makes it worse.”

Continue reading “Cuomo Proposes Fix to the ‘Truly Ugly Picture of Our Political Landscape’”

Grading the Redistricting Amendment

questionableart1 Grading the Redistricting AmendmentProfessor 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.

Continue reading “Grading the Redistricting Amendment”

Bay Ridge Democrats Not Interested In Opposing Vito Lopez Like That

bay ridge dems fb Bay Ridge Democrats Not Interested In Opposing Vito Lopez Like That
(Photo: Facebook)

Last Friday, City & State broke the news that a number of Democratic Clubs were uniting under a common banner, “Brooklyn Reform Coalition” to try and replace Assemblyman Vito Lopez as the head of the Kings County Democratic Party.

However, one of the groups mentioned in the coalition’s press release, the Bay Ridge Democrats, said  they’re not part of the intra-Democratic Party feud and apparently there was a miscommunication involved.

“Bay Ridge Democrats were unaware of this coalition and I was surprised that we were mentioned as part of the story,” the club’s president, Justin Brannan, told The Politicker in a statement. “My club has only one focus and that is to elect forward-thinking Democrats who truly represent our community.”

Continue reading “Bay Ridge Democrats Not Interested In Opposing Vito Lopez Like That”