The strange but true history of the New York State Senate’s Independent Democratic Conference took a turn for the positively wild on Tuesday, with Mayor de Blasio endorsing incumbent IDC members Tony Avella (D-Bayside) and Jeff Klein (D-Bronx).
Adding to the surprise was the announcement that the Working Families Party had withdrawn its backing of former city Comptroller John Liu, who is challenging Avella, and former state Attorney General Oliver Koppell, who is primarying Klein, and will remain neutral in both races
The New York State Legislature wrapped up formal business for the year last Thursday, and elected officials from Queens, chosen in a random sample, are characterizing the session as an overall success.
“The short answer is yes,” Sen. Joe Addabbo Jr. (D-Howard Beach) said, starting with one of the basics.
The battle between the Queens Library and the borough’s elected city officials continued this week, as nearly all the lawmakers wrote their top state counterparts to press for passage of measures meant to reform the institution.
The library responded by saying it had already implemented many of them.
Cuomo strong but could lose edge if liberal runs — poll
Gov. Cuomo has a 57 to 28 percent lead over his Republican challenger, Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino, but that lead drops to 37 to 24 percent if a more liberal or progressive candidate runs on the Working Families Party line,
Leroy Comrie confirmed the worst-kept secret on Queens politics on Monday when he formally announced his candidacy for the Democratic nomination for the state’s 14th Senate District, the seat held by embattled Sen. Malcolm Smith (D-Hollis).
Comrie, speaking in a telephone interview on Tuesday, said the move was prompted both by people actively urging him to take on Smith, and a bit of homesickness for the hands-on legislative process.
Mayor de Blasio may get the funds he wants to implement universal prekindergarten citywide this year, though he won’t get them the way he proposed.
The state Senate, controlled by a coalition of Republicans, who are opposed to the mayor’s plan to raise taxes on city residents with incomes of $500,000 and over to fund pre-K, and Independent Democrats who back it, passed a budget proposal last Friday that excluded the tax hike, but included $540 million for pre-K in New York City, the full amount de Blasio sought to raise with his tax hike.
Forgive state Senate Democrats if they view their colleagues from Queens with a jaundiced eye.
Depending on whether Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside) can win re-election, and just whom he winds up caucusing with, he may become the second Queens Democrat in two election cycles to cost his party working control of the august body in Albany.
Mass transit advocates took issue with how Gov. Cuomo would like to redirect $40 million in next year’s budget for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.
But the governor’s office is responding by saying that the money will help the MTA pay down debt and still keep the agency flush with increased cash.
State Senate Co-Leader Dean Skelos (R-Nassau) said he won’t allow a vote on Mayor de Blasio’s request to permit New York City to raise its taxes on residents with incomes over $500,000 a year to fund universal pre-kindergarten in the city.
“This isn’t just a home-rule issue,” Skelos told reporters Monday. “It infected the entire state in terms of revenues, in terms of the finance industry. The last thing we need to see is high earners leave New York State.”
For the past few years, it seems like New Yorkers have been dealing with one weather-related disaster after another. Unfortunately, climate scientists predict that extreme weather events like Superstorm Sandy will become even more common if we don’t cut our global warming pollution.
As a New Yorker, I expect our legislators to do everything in their power to protect us from another Superstorm Sandy, but the state Senate, especially Sens. Dean Skelos and Jeffrey Klein, failed to expand clean and renewable solar power in New York. I can’t imagine how this common-sense issue failed to pass.
Gov. Cuomo laid out a simple plan to grow solar power that would have kept 120,000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions out of our atmosphere and powered 400,000 homes. Many areas, including Skelos’ district on Long Island, were devastated by Sandy. Why couldn’t Skelos at least agree to pass the governor’s plan for solar? It’s time for our legislators to stop playing politics, and start solving global warming.
The writer is a student at Fordham University.
State Sen. Malcolm Smith (D-Hollis) has been kicked out of the small coalition of breakaway Senate Democrats who first joined forces a few years ago to break away from the short-lived Democratic majority leadership.
One of those leaders was Malcolm Smith.
Sen. Malcolm Smith (D-Hollis) has been kicked out of a small coalition of breakaway Senate Democrats who first joined forces a few years ago to break away from then-Senate Majority Leader Malcolm Smith.
The Saratogan and Syracuse.com are reporting that Sen. Jeff Klein (D-Bronx) has booted Smith from the Independent Democratic Conference.
State Sen. Malcolm Smith (D-Hollis) and his close associates, both political and personal, appear to be keeping a low profile since Tuesday morning, when the seven-term senator was arrested on federal charges that include bribery, wire fraud and conspiracy.
Smith, 56, was arrested at his home in Queens by FBI agents as the result of a 28-page federal complaint charging him with attempting to bribe two city Republican officials in an effort to secure the Republican nomination for mayor.
“Mixed martial arts bill moving forward” (by Domenick Rafter, March 21, multiple editions) is great news. Mixed martial artsisa rapidly growing sport already legal in other states. Itrivalsboth wrestling and boxing infans and attendance for Pay for View events. Why should wemiss out on the jobs,economic growth and new tax revenues?
If Gov. Cuomo, state Senate Leader Dean Skelos, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver andmembers of the state Legislature cannotwork out their differences on issues of the day, send them tothe Octagon. They can settle their disagreements onthe mat! That would be one sporting event voterswould pay top dollar to see!
Port Authority Police Officers Mitchell Richter, center left, and Frank Misa were honored by the New York State Senate on March 5 in recognition of their rescue of a woman who jumped off the Whitestone Bridge on Feb. 7.
The officers were conducting routine marine parol in their boat off LaGuardia Airport when they received a call of a possible jumper.
State Sen. Mike Gianaris (D-Astoria) is now No. 2 in the upper chamber’s Democratic leadership, having led his party to what should have been a political victory in November.
“Should have been” because a group of rogue Democrats, including Sen. Malcolm Smith of Jamaica, formed their own caucus after the vote and aligned themselves with the Republicans, essentially keeping the GOP in power. Republican Leader Dean Skelos (R-LI) and Independent Democratic Caucus leader Jeff Klein (D-Brooklyn) say the two groups will share power, but the GOP vastly outnumbers the IDC and has held the Senate majority for decades, other than a one-term stint when the Democrats had it, in 2009-2010.
Allow me to add to the insightful reporting of “Sen. Smith jumps ship to join the Republicans” (Politics As Usual by Peter C. Mastrosimone, Dec. 6). Republican State Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelosreminds me of Don Corleone, who is not about to give up his power so easily. Like the Godfather, Skelos has all the politicians in his pocket, keeping him in charge. He haspurchased the votes of Democratic Sen. Simcha Felder and the Independent Democratic Caucus members, Sens. Jeff Klein, David Carlucci, David Valesky and Diane Savino, along with Malcolm Smith.
His offers of salary lulus, committee chairmanships, sponsorship and passage of favorable legislation promoted by their own pay-to-play campaign contributors, hidden earmarks buried under quasi state agencies, along with extra funds for additional staff, district offices and mailings, can’t be refused. All six are puppets while Godfather Skelos pulls the strings.
There are no politically pure virgins in Albany. Everyone has a price for selling out to the highest bidder.
Hollis and Jamaica voted Republican last month. Overwhelmingly. Surprised? So are the people of Hollis and Jamaica.
They of course did not vote Republican at all. The black community is by far the most reliable Democratic voting bloc there is, casting more than 90 percent of its ballots that way.
Democrats appear to have won a majority in the next session of the state Senate, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll be in control of the chamber, with all the perks that brings.
For one, two races remain undecided, the one for a new seat west of Albany that pits Republican George Amedore against Democrat Cecilia Tkaczyk, and the one between incumbent Sen. Steve Saland (R-Poughkeepsie) and Democratic challenger Terry Gipson. In the latter race, Conservative nominee Neil Di Carlo has taken votes away from Saland.
Long before Councilman Eric Ulrich (R-Ozone Park), ran to unseat Democratic incumbent state Sen. Joe Addabbo Jr. (D-Howard Beach), received nearly $900,000 in campaign contributions, before Addabbo was endorsed by Gov. Cuomo, and before their district was devastated by Hurricane Sandy, Addabbo and Ulrich were just Eric and Joe, two parishioners at Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Roman Catholic Church in Ozone Park.
Addabbo and Ulrich faced off Tuesday in what has been described as “the most closely watched and possibly most expensive state legislative race in the country,” for the 15th State Senate District which includes this neighborhood. Addabbo won by a wide margin.
State Sen. Joe Addabbo Jr. (D-Howard Beach) and Councilman Eric Ulrich (R-Ozone Park) are engaged in one of the most closely watched — and most expensive — state legislative races in the country.
When the two men met in a debate last Thursday, they knew the balance of power in the New York State Senate could be greatly affected by the outcome of the vote in the 15th Senate District on Nov. 6.
Last week, the world saw the Republican Party on display at our party’s National Convention in Tampa. And though you might not have been able to see it on TV, there was a decidedly New York flavor.
Yes, our state was well represented at the RNC. New York isn’t in the mainstream with the national GOP, as we all know. But it’s worth remembering that New York has an incredible Republican tradition. We’re the home of the Rockefellers, Teddy Roosevelt and Rudy Giuliani. We bring an important perspective to the party, even if we’re in the minority. We don’t agree with the national party on every issue, and that’s okay. But we do agree with the most important GOP principles — cutting taxes, creating jobs and getting government out of the way of hardworking people and small business owners.
There’s so much about Queens politics that evokes the theater of the absurd, but perhaps nothing more so than the suicidal tendencies of what’s left of the Republican Party here.
One bright spot among the gloom of the weakened GOP is the rising star of City Councilman Eric Ulrich, the moderate, thoughtful 27-year-old lawmaker from Ozone Park. Ulrich is seeking to replace Democratic state Sen. Joe Addabbo Jr. of Howard Beach in the 15th District, and he would be a formidable opponent. But first he has to get over a ridiculous hurdle put in his way by the Republican leadership, with whom Ulrich and a cadre of like-minded insurgents have been at war for years.
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority is vowing to appeal a ruling last week that could strip it of more than $1.8 billion in funding per year.
The Payroll Mobility Tax, which is charged to almost all employers in New York City and the surrounding counties served by the MTA, was ruled unconstitutional by a judge in Nassau County Supreme Court on Aug. 22.