There are few things vaguer to New York voters than ballot propositions that are often as hard to understand as they are hard to locate on a ballot. This Election Day one such ballot proposal New York voters will be asked to decide on is a legislatively referred constitutional amendment to create a redistricting commission to establish state legislative and congressional districts.
Redistricting is the once-a-decade process in which the legislative districts are adjusted to reflect shifts in population. In New York, like most states, the Legislature has for years had primary control of the redistricting process and that has resulted in districts that tend to protect incumbents and produce noncompetitive elections.
With Election Day around the corner, residents across Queens are firing up to cast their votes Tuesday.
In the race for governor, incumbent Democrat Andrew Cuomo is challenged by Republican Rob Astorino, the Westchester County executive.
Democratic state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli faces Republican Robert Antonacci, the Onondaga County comptroller.
Democratic Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is up against John Cahill, former chief of staff to Governor George Pataki.
Queens Congressional representatives have joined with colleagues from Long Island and five other states to form a new Quiet Skies Caucus with the aim of combating aircraft noise in neighborhoods near major airports.
Formation of the group was announced locally in a joint statement issued on Oct. 1 by U.S. Reps. Steve Israel (D-Suffolk, Nassau, Queens), Joe Crowley (D-Queens, Bronx) and Grace Meng (D-Flushing), along with Carolyn McCarthy (D-Nassau).
Former Rep. Kathy Hochul causally stepped out of the Elite Cafe at 72-28 Main St. in Kew Gardens Hills into the drizzly Friday afternoon. As her shoes hit the sidewalk, she suddenly stopped, her wide eyes opened wider by something happening in front of her — a traffic enforcement officer standing in front of a minivan writing a ticket for an expired meter.
“Oh my goodness, whose car is that?” she asked in her thick Western New York accent.
Rebel state Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside), the vocal populist whose move into the Senate’s Independent Democratic Conference angered the party establishment and prompted a primary challenge from former City Councilman and Comptroller John Liu, has now won the backing of a key congressman in his re-election campaign.
Avella was endorsed last Friday by Rep. Steve Israel (D-Suffolk, Nassau, Queens), who only started to represent part of this borough in 2013, thanks to post-2010 Census redistricting, but is a veteran lawmaker and chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.
Eleven votes separated them, but Republican candidate for the 3rd Congressional District Stephen Labate conceded Tuesday to the victor, Grant Lally.
The state Board of Elections certified the victory last Thursday, following a court battle over absentee ballots. At the time, Labate, a financial planner from Deer Park, LI, said he would seek a recount because of the small difference in votes.
Rebel state Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside), the vocal populist whose move into the Senate's Independent Democratic Conference angered the party establishment and prompted a primary challenge from former City Councilman and Comptroller John Liu, has now won the backing of a key congressman in his re-election campaign.
Grant Lally, the Nassau County lawyer seeking to unseat Rep. Steve Israel (D-Suffolk, Nassau, Queens) in the third congressional district, may have cleared the first hurdle.
Lally, who is backed by the Conservative and Libertarian parties, was certified by the state Board of Elections as the winner of the Republican primary Tuesday over his opponent Steven Labate.
Rep. Nydia Velazquez (D-Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan) defeated a primary challenger Tuesday by a wide margin, putting herself on the path to a 12th term in Congress.
Velazquez beat Jeff Kurzon by what appeared to be more than a 60-point margin early Wednesday, according to media reports. With most but not all of the votes fully counted, she was leading Kurzon 82 to 18 percent, according to NY1.
To call the June 24 Democratic primary for the 5th Congressional District low-key would be an overstatement.
Eight-term Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-Queens, Nassau) is being challenged by Joseph Marthone, an accountant whose political resume includes two unsuccessful bids for the state Senate and two for the City Council.
Two Republicans will fight it out at the polls in Tuesday’s primary in hopes of replacing veteran Congressman Steve Israel of the 3rd District.
Stephen Labate, 46, a financial planner from Deer Park, LI, who lost to Israel two years ago with 41.6 percent of the vote, will face Grant Lally, 52, a lawyer from Lloyd Harbor, LI.
The way Republican congressional hopefuls Stephen Labate and Grant Lally were going at each other recently, it’s hard to believe they share a party and many of the same objectives — but among them is winning the June 24 primary election and the right to take on Democratic incumbent Steve Israel (D-Suffolk, Nassau, Queens) in the 3rd District race.
On more than one occasion, they couldn’t resist the temptation to cut each other off in mid-sentence during what was billed as a Congressional Primary Candidate Forum, sponsored by the Northeast Queens Republican Club at the Clearview Golf Course Clubhouse in Whitestone on May 21.
In what members hope was a major step toward its revitalization, the Whitestone Republican Club held a special meeting on May 1 at Grace Episcopal Church in Whitestone, with two Congressional candidates from the 3rd District as the scheduled featured speakers, but only one showed up.
According to the invitations announcing the event, the party needs to be organized and be heard “as our freedoms and safety are being put more at risk every day.”
Furious that the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development could divert some of the approximately $3.5 billion in aid expected to assist the victims of Hurricane Sandy in rebuilding — and area municipalities in preparing for future disasters — two congressmen representing Queens and a third from the Bronx said last Friday that the agency has agreed to meet with them to discuss the dispute.
Reps. Gregory Meeks (D-Queens, Nassau), Hakeem Jeffries (D-Brooklyn, Queens) and Jose Serrano (D-Bronx) made the announcement during a press conference held in front of the steps to City Hall. It followed a letter that they, and 10 other members of New York’s congressional delegation, sent to HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan April 22, after media reports led by the Wall Street Journal said the agency was considering diverting some of the funding to other areas of the country hit by natural disasters.
You are cordially invited to more than nine hours of golf in the outdoors, in the company of and in honor of state Sen. Malcolm Smith.
The lawyer who asked that a case involving his client, Vince Tabone, be delayed, saying it would be unfair to Republican candidates seeking office, has thrown his own hat in the ring to oppose Rep. Steve Israel.
Grant Lally, a Republican from Lloyd Harbor, LI, announced last week that he would oppose Congressman Israel for the 3rd Congressional District seat. The district covers parts of Nassau and Suffolk counties and a section of Queens, including Douglaston, Little Neck, Whitestone and Floral Park.
“You may see a number of challenges against incumbents this year,” the insider said, noting that those candidates could have the support of groups that backed de Blasio and Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito last year, which have long champed at the bit at taking on the Democratic Party leadership and are emboldened by the results of the 2013 elections.
Democrats hold every state legislative seat in Queens and few, if any, are competitive in general elections. That leaves the Democratic primary the real race in many districts. Republicans haven’t held an Assembly seat in Queens since 1996.
Republican Alex Blishteyn, a Russian immigrant, is hoping he will be voted in as councilman in the 24th District, while his Democratic opponent, Rory Lancman, is ready to go from state to city office.
The two will face off on Tuesday for the seat now held by Councilman Jim Gennaro (D-Fresh Meadows), who is being term-limited out of office.
Democratic mayoral candidate Bill Thompson on Tuesday unveiled a proposal that he said would generate millions of dollars in tax revenue and expand opportunities for city youth.
Thompson and Congressman Gregory Meeks (D-Jamaica) are calling for the state to end of prosecuting 16- and 17-year-olds as adults. Thompson said this would generate at least $50 milion “a year in foregone wages and millions in lost tax revenue to the state.”
And the reports show that citywide races are still up for grabs among major candidates.
The following figures do not include those who have suspended their campaigns, or have reported little or no campaign fundraising or spending.
Former city Councilman Walter McCaffrey, who represented western Queens for more than 15 years, died on Wednesday at age 64 from complications stemming from a car accident he was in back in May.
McCaffrey was a Woodside resident and represented a district that stretched from Long Island City to Middle Village from 1986 to 2001 before term limits forced him to retire. He was succeeded by former Councilman Eric Gioia. Mayor Bloomberg ordered flags to be flown at half staff Wednesday in honor of the former councilman.
Anthony Weiner is now the most likely next mayor of New York City.
At least he is if you put faith in polls taken a couple months ahead of an election, in this case the Democratic primary for mayor and the general election to follow.
Councilman Dan Halloran (R-Whitestone), who was arrested last month on accusations that he took part in a scheme to bribe Republican officials in order to get state Sen. Malcolm Smith (D-Hollis) onto the mayoral ballot as a Republican, announced Wednesday that he will not run for a second term.
Halloran, who was first elected in 2009, was arrested April 2, along with Smith and Vince Tabone, former vice chairman of the Queens Republican Party, for an alleged plot to solicit bribes to acquire a Wilson Pakula for Smith, a Democrat, in order for him to get a place on the GOP primary ballot for mayor. He was indicted late last month.
“The more you’re in politics, the more corrupt you are,” then-Congressional candidate and Councilman Dan Halloran (R-Whitestone) said during a meeting with the Queens Chronicle’s editorial board last fall. “I don’t care if you’re the best person on the planet. You make deals, the line becomes blurry.”
That was Oct. 19. One day earlier, he allegedly left an unnamed Queens eatery $800 richer in exchange for promising someone a no-show job and other favors, according to a criminal complaint leading to Halloran’s April 2 arrest at his Auburndale home.
Tributes poured in last Friday for Ed Koch, the three-term mayor who personified New York City from 1978 through 1989, and who died early that morning at age 88.
They came unsolicited from elected officials across the city, and were echoed on the street by the people of Queens.