This week the Council of Municipal Retiree Organizations of New York City, which represents more than 250,000 retired city workers, announced that three candidates for office in Queens had signed its pledge to oppose any cuts to Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and unemployment insurance. The candidates all pledged in fact to spend more on those programs, agreeing to “adjust them to the rising cost of living.”
The three are all Democrats, office holders already, one seeking higher office, one defending his seat against a tough challenge and one running for re-election unopposed. They are, respectively, Assemblywoman Grace Meng (D-Flushing), who’s running for the 6th Congressional District seat against City Councilman Dan Halloran (R-Whitestone); state Sen. Joe Addabbo Jr. (D-Howard Beach), who’s running to retain his seat against Councilman Eric Ulrich (R-Ozone Park); and Assemblyman David Weprin (D-Little Neck), who has no opponent.
CORMO said it was especially happy to “recommend” Meng and Addabbo because they opposed Tier 6, the lower level of benefits for new public employees adopted under the urging of Gov. Cuomo.
But the group made one little mistake in its announcement —misspelling Meng as “Ming.” The assemblywoman was not offended or upset by this, however, said her spokesman, Austin Finan.
Ming of course is the name of an ancient royal Chinese dynasty known to many for its beautiful vases, and to historians for its steady, stable rule.
Meng is of Chinese descent. But there’s no Meng Dynasty in government — just her and her father, Jimmy Meng, who previously held the Assembly seat she now holds. And while the younger Meng is trying her best to get into the House, her father, under indictment for allegedly taking a bribe, is trying his best to stay out of the big house.
Citizens Union, the good government group that along with the Queens Chronicle and the Forum newsgroup sponsored last Thursday’s great debate in Howard Beach between Ulrich and Addabbo, announced on Wednesday that it is endorsing Addabbo.
Like many facing the choice between the two — including, no doubt, many voters in the 15th Senate District — Citizens Union found the choice to be a tough one. While touting in a press release its reasons for supporting Addabbo, such as his record of backing reform in Albany, and at the polling place, it devoted just as much space to singing Ulrich’s praises.
Meanwhile Ulrich announced that his latest endorsement comes from the New York City and Vicinity District Council of Carpenters.
Ewww. Eliot Spitzer is back. At least the patron of high-end call girls, and one-time governor of New York State, you may recall, this week made his first public appearance in Albany since resigning in disgrace in 2008.
Spitzer, who once bragged that he was so powerful he was a “steamroller” (in politics, mind you!), offered some thoughts on the 2016 presidential election, saying Secretary of State Hillary Clinton should make another run. That would mean Cuomo should not. Cuomo, when he was state attorney general, investigated some of Spitzer’s non-sexual wrongdoing in office. Hmmm.