Gotham Gazette Gotham Gazette is an online publication covering New York policy and politics as well as news on public safety, transportation, education, finance and more. http://www.gothamgazette.com/component/tags/tag/elections 2018-11-15T06:31:32+00:00 Webmaster webmaster@gothamgazette.com Field for Public Advocate Special Election Comes Into Focus 2018-11-12T05:00:00+00:00 2018-11-12T05:00:00+00:00 http://www.gothamgazette.com/city/8069-field-for-public-advocate-special-election-comes-into-focus Ben Max <p><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/images/39766002621_7e972f43a2_z.jpg" alt="Rafael Espinal" width="600" height="400" /></p> <p>Council Member Rafael Espinal (photo: William Alatriste)</p> <hr /> <p>Letitia James’ win in the race to become the next New York Attorney General means there will be a special election early in 2019 to name New York City’s next Public Advocate. The candidates for what will be a roughly three-month race were just beginning to become clear when news broke of planned City Council legislation calling for the position of public advocate to be abolished, as <a href="https://www.politico.com/states/new-york/albany/story/2018/11/12/council-to-consider-abolishing-office-of-the-public-advocate-691815" target="_blank" rel="noopener">reported by Politico</a>.</p> <p>Though the post of public advocate has had critics since it was created during a massive 1989 New York City Charter revision process, the Council bill faces an uphill path to passage, and the race to replace James as one of just three popularly-elected citywide officials will capture much of the city’s political attention over the coming weeks.</p> <p>The somewhat undefined and underfunded role of public advocate is largely shaped by the person who fills it. It is broadly expected that the public advocate will do as the name suggests and fight for public interests, serving as a watchdog over the rest of city government. It is also seen as a stepping stone post -- Bill de Blasio launched his successful 2013 campaign for mayor from the perch.</p> <p>With James expected to win her race for attorney general since she launched her campaign several months ago, a long list of potential public advocate candidates formed. Now that Election Day is in the past, some are making it official, while others are still officially in the considering phase.</p> <p>Pushing the decision-making is that organizations have begun to host candidate forums, including the first on Monday night, held in Manhattan by several progressive advocacy groups and Democratic clubs. <a href="http://aarp.cvent.com/events/aarp-new-york-city-nyc-public-advocate-town-hall-new-york-ny-11-14-18/event-summary-314a803f5d324ce18be85b3e3986817a.aspx" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Another will follow on Wednesday night</a>, hosted by government reform group Citizens Union and AARP-NY. Candidates must also consider fundraising and pursuing endorsements from groups, labor unions, and high-profile individuals.</p> <p>Even before James won her race, a handful of candidates declared their candidacies: City Council Member Jumaane Williams, state Assembly Members Daniel O’Donnell and Michael Blake, activist and journalist Nomiki Konst, and Columbia history professor David Eisenbach, who ran in the 2017 public advocate Democratic primary against James.</p> <p>Former City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito is said to be nearing the launch of a campaign, while there have been grumblings that her predecessor in that role, Christine Quinn, may also give the race a look. There has also been some question about whether Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams would consider it, though he has expressed his intention to run for mayor in 2021.</p> <p>Meanwhile, along with Williams, who just lost a bid to become the Democratic lieutenant governor nominee, current City Council Members either starting or flirting with a run for public advocate include Rafael Espinal, Robert Cornegy, Ydanis Rodriguez, and Eric Ulrich, the lone Republican in the mix at this point. (Meanwhile, five of their colleagues - Kalman Yeger, Robert Holden, Ruben Diaz Sr., Mark Gjonaj, and Rtichie Torres -- announced on Monday that they are backing a bill to eliminate the position.)</p> <p>Also in the running for public advocate are Dawn Smalls, a Manhattan attorney with a background in federal government, open government advocate and Democratic Party activist Ben Yee, and systems engineer Theo Chino. Other names could easily emerge in the coming days and weeks.</p> <p>Once James is officially sworn in as attorney general on January 1, Mayor de Blasio will have just a few days to call a special election, likely to take place in late February. That election will be “non-partisan,” meaning there are no party primaries and each candidate must create their own ballot line through petitioning to accrue signatures from voters.</p> <p>Once the special election is decided, the winner will only hold the office until the end of 2019. In the fall, there will be a “regular” election, with party primaries (as necessary) and a general election. The winner of that election will serve out the rest of James’ term until the end of 2021. He or she would be eligible to run for reelection that fall and able to serve two full terms on top of the partial term, though there is of course talk that whoever holds the seat at the start of 2020 may very well run for mayor in 2021, when de Blasio is term-limited out of office.</p> <p>The <a href="http://aarp.cvent.com/events/aarp-new-york-city-nyc-public-advocate-town-hall-new-york-ny-11-14-18/event-summary-314a803f5d324ce18be85b3e3986817a.aspx" target="_blank" rel="noopener">forum on Wednesday</a> will be held at New York Law School starting at 6:30 p.m., participating candidates including Blake, Williams, Espinal, Ulrich, O'Donnell, Konst, and Smalls.</p> <p>

***
by Victor Porcelli, Gotham Gazette

Read more by this writer.

</p> <p>Ben Max contributed to this story.</p>
<p><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/images/39766002621_7e972f43a2_z.jpg" alt="Rafael Espinal" width="600" height="400" /></p> <p>Council Member Rafael Espinal (photo: William Alatriste)</p> <hr /> <p>Letitia James’ win in the race to become the next New York Attorney General means there will be a special election early in 2019 to name New York City’s next Public Advocate. The candidates for what will be a roughly three-month race were just beginning to become clear when news broke of planned City Council legislation calling for the position of public advocate to be abolished, as <a href="https://www.politico.com/states/new-york/albany/story/2018/11/12/council-to-consider-abolishing-office-of-the-public-advocate-691815" target="_blank" rel="noopener">reported by Politico</a>.</p> <p>Though the post of public advocate has had critics since it was created during a massive 1989 New York City Charter revision process, the Council bill faces an uphill path to passage, and the race to replace James as one of just three popularly-elected citywide officials will capture much of the city’s political attention over the coming weeks.</p> <p>The somewhat undefined and underfunded role of public advocate is largely shaped by the person who fills it. It is broadly expected that the public advocate will do as the name suggests and fight for public interests, serving as a watchdog over the rest of city government. It is also seen as a stepping stone post -- Bill de Blasio launched his successful 2013 campaign for mayor from the perch.</p> <p>With James expected to win her race for attorney general since she launched her campaign several months ago, a long list of potential public advocate candidates formed. Now that Election Day is in the past, some are making it official, while others are still officially in the considering phase.</p> <p>Pushing the decision-making is that organizations have begun to host candidate forums, including the first on Monday night, held in Manhattan by several progressive advocacy groups and Democratic clubs. <a href="http://aarp.cvent.com/events/aarp-new-york-city-nyc-public-advocate-town-hall-new-york-ny-11-14-18/event-summary-314a803f5d324ce18be85b3e3986817a.aspx" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Another will follow on Wednesday night</a>, hosted by government reform group Citizens Union and AARP-NY. Candidates must also consider fundraising and pursuing endorsements from groups, labor unions, and high-profile individuals.</p> <p>Even before James won her race, a handful of candidates declared their candidacies: City Council Member Jumaane Williams, state Assembly Members Daniel O’Donnell and Michael Blake, activist and journalist Nomiki Konst, and Columbia history professor David Eisenbach, who ran in the 2017 public advocate Democratic primary against James.</p> <p>Former City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito is said to be nearing the launch of a campaign, while there have been grumblings that her predecessor in that role, Christine Quinn, may also give the race a look. There has also been some question about whether Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams would consider it, though he has expressed his intention to run for mayor in 2021.</p> <p>Meanwhile, along with Williams, who just lost a bid to become the Democratic lieutenant governor nominee, current City Council Members either starting or flirting with a run for public advocate include Rafael Espinal, Robert Cornegy, Ydanis Rodriguez, and Eric Ulrich, the lone Republican in the mix at this point. (Meanwhile, five of their colleagues - Kalman Yeger, Robert Holden, Ruben Diaz Sr., Mark Gjonaj, and Rtichie Torres -- announced on Monday that they are backing a bill to eliminate the position.)</p> <p>Also in the running for public advocate are Dawn Smalls, a Manhattan attorney with a background in federal government, open government advocate and Democratic Party activist Ben Yee, and systems engineer Theo Chino. Other names could easily emerge in the coming days and weeks.</p> <p>Once James is officially sworn in as attorney general on January 1, Mayor de Blasio will have just a few days to call a special election, likely to take place in late February. That election will be “non-partisan,” meaning there are no party primaries and each candidate must create their own ballot line through petitioning to accrue signatures from voters.</p> <p>Once the special election is decided, the winner will only hold the office until the end of 2019. In the fall, there will be a “regular” election, with party primaries (as necessary) and a general election. The winner of that election will serve out the rest of James’ term until the end of 2021. He or she would be eligible to run for reelection that fall and able to serve two full terms on top of the partial term, though there is of course talk that whoever holds the seat at the start of 2020 may very well run for mayor in 2021, when de Blasio is term-limited out of office.</p> <p>The <a href="http://aarp.cvent.com/events/aarp-new-york-city-nyc-public-advocate-town-hall-new-york-ny-11-14-18/event-summary-314a803f5d324ce18be85b3e3986817a.aspx" target="_blank" rel="noopener">forum on Wednesday</a> will be held at New York Law School starting at 6:30 p.m., participating candidates including Blake, Williams, Espinal, Ulrich, O'Donnell, Konst, and Smalls.</p> <p>

***
by Victor Porcelli, Gotham Gazette

Read more by this writer.

</p> <p>Ben Max contributed to this story.</p>
Max & Murphy Podcast: Analyzing 2018 Election Results & Looking Ahead to 2019 2018-11-07T05:00:00+00:00 2018-11-07T05:00:00+00:00 http://www.gothamgazette.com/state/8055-max-murphy-podcast-analyzing-2018-election-results Ben Max <p><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/images/graphics/2018/podcast18/mxm-logo.jpg" alt="mxm logo" width="600" height="239" /></p> <p>Ben Max, left, of Gotham Gazette,&nbsp;and Jarrett Murphy, right, of City Limits</p> <hr /> <p><strong>November 7, 2018 - Max &amp; Murphy Podcast: Analyzing 2018 Election Results<br /></strong></p> <p><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/images/graphics/2018/podcast18/alyssa-katz-wbai-150.jpg" alt="alyssa katz wbai 150" width="150" height="150" style="margin: 10px; float: left;" />The votes have been cast and the results are in. Election Day 2018 had some monumental outcomes in New York and beyond. Alyssa Katz of the New York Daily News editorial board joined Max &amp; Murphy to break it all down, from Democrats taking control of the U.S. House of Representatives to Governor Andrew Cuomo winning a third term to Letitia James being elected Attorney General to Democrats flipping control of the State Senate and what the policy agenda for 2019 might look like.</p> <p>Listen to the conversation and let us know what you think -- we're on Twitter <a href="https://twitter.com/TweetBenMax" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">@TweetBenMax </a>and <a href="https://twitter.com/jarrettmurphy" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">@JarrettMurphy</a>. You can listen to the show through the embedded audio below or download the episode wherever you get your podcasts, under "Max &amp; Murphy," and listen to Max &amp; Murphy live on Wednesdays at 5 p.m. on WBAI radio, 99.5FM or wbai.org</p> <p><iframe src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/526367661&amp;color=%23ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_teaser=true" width="100%" height="175" frameborder="no" scrolling="no"></iframe></p> <p>

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by Ben Max, Gotham Gazette
     

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</p>
<p><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/images/graphics/2018/podcast18/mxm-logo.jpg" alt="mxm logo" width="600" height="239" /></p> <p>Ben Max, left, of Gotham Gazette,&nbsp;and Jarrett Murphy, right, of City Limits</p> <hr /> <p><strong>November 7, 2018 - Max &amp; Murphy Podcast: Analyzing 2018 Election Results<br /></strong></p> <p><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/images/graphics/2018/podcast18/alyssa-katz-wbai-150.jpg" alt="alyssa katz wbai 150" width="150" height="150" style="margin: 10px; float: left;" />The votes have been cast and the results are in. Election Day 2018 had some monumental outcomes in New York and beyond. Alyssa Katz of the New York Daily News editorial board joined Max &amp; Murphy to break it all down, from Democrats taking control of the U.S. House of Representatives to Governor Andrew Cuomo winning a third term to Letitia James being elected Attorney General to Democrats flipping control of the State Senate and what the policy agenda for 2019 might look like.</p> <p>Listen to the conversation and let us know what you think -- we're on Twitter <a href="https://twitter.com/TweetBenMax" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">@TweetBenMax </a>and <a href="https://twitter.com/jarrettmurphy" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">@JarrettMurphy</a>. You can listen to the show through the embedded audio below or download the episode wherever you get your podcasts, under "Max &amp; Murphy," and listen to Max &amp; Murphy live on Wednesdays at 5 p.m. on WBAI radio, 99.5FM or wbai.org</p> <p><iframe src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/526367661&amp;color=%23ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_teaser=true" width="100%" height="175" frameborder="no" scrolling="no"></iframe></p> <p>

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by Ben Max, Gotham Gazette
     

Read more by this writer.

</p>
Fix New York’s Broken Balloting and Election Laws 2018-11-07T05:00:00+00:00 2018-11-07T05:00:00+00:00 http://www.gothamgazette.com/130-opinion/8059-fix-new-york-s-broken-balloting-and-election-laws Ben Max <p><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/images/37538369094_848cd1720a_z.jpg" alt="voting booths polling place" width="600" height="400" /></p> <p>(photo: Gotham Gazette)</p> <hr /> <p>On Tuesday millions of New Yorkers attempted to exercise their constitutional right to vote. However, far too many in New York City were met with <a href="https://twitter.com/electionland/status/1059921455117414400/photo/1?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1059921455117414400&amp;ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.citylab.com%2Fequity%2F2018%2F11%2Fnew-york-city-polling-place-vote-suppression-lines-machines%2F575074%2F" target="_blank" rel="noopener">broken ballot scanners</a> and hours-long lines that stretched for blocks in the pouring rain. It is encouraging to see so many citizens making the time and effort to vote, but incredibly disheartening to see our broken election system failing them.</p> <p>With the impending arrival of the long-awaited trifecta of Democratic leadership in New York State (Democratic Governor, Senate and Assembly) alongside reform-minded allies in New York City government, fixing our archaic and ineffective electoral process should be the first order of business once the new Legislature is seated in January.</p> <p>At polling sites across New York City there were reports of at least one – and sometimes all – ballot scanners malfunctioning. Thousands of voters braved hours of waiting and confusion just to fill out unscanned emergency ballots. Even in places where some of the scanners did work (such as the paltry two at my polling place in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn), poll sites and workers seemed overwhelmed by the dramatic turnout -- which still wasn’t even at 40% in the city or anywhere near presidential election levels.</p> <p>We will never know how many voters gave up on the long lines and didn’t vote, or what the chilling effect may be on future turnout. The initial response from the Board of Elections on the scanner malfunctions is that soggy or imperfectly torn ballots jammed the machines. Aren’t these issues we could -- and should -- have prepared for? Regardless of the merit of these questionable excuses, the bigger issue is clear: our current election systems are incapable of meeting the needs of our electorate.</p> <p>It’s not just machines and preparation.</p> <p>New York trails other states across the board in voting laws and procedures. One of the main reasons for the problems this past Tuesday is that poll sites were simply overwhelmed by the sheer numbers of voters attempting to vote on a single day – there weren’t enough poll workers or scanners. This is why <a href="http://www.ncsl.org/research/elections-and-campaigns/absentee-and-early-voting.aspx" target="_blank" rel="noopener">37 other states have enacted some form of early voting</a>, which expands the eligible voting period. This both lessens the logjam on a single day and has the added benefit of giving voters more flexibility. It also can help flag issues like machine jams due to two-page ballots.</p> <p>Early voting in other states over the past few weeks saw a <a href="https://www.cnn.com/2018/11/05/politics/early-voting-as-of-monday-morning/index.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener">surge in young and first-time voters</a>, the same voters who may have given up on voting Tuesday or have already become jaded by the experience.</p> <p>Relatedly, New York is the <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/25/nyregion/new-york-primary-congress-state-federal.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener">only state in the entire nation</a> which holds its state and federal primaries on separate days, which is incredibly confusing for the average voter and fiscally wasteful. With the additional $25 million or so spent on having a second primary day, New York could make great strides towards enacting early voting. New York also holds “closed” (party-based) primaries with the <a href="http://www.nyccfb.info/media/blog/dont-miss-party-primaries-2016" target="_blank" rel="noopener">earliest party registration deadlines</a> in the nation, which caused an uproar in the last presidential election. Where other states have enacted additional pro-voter participation features such as same-day registration and pre-registration for 16- and 17-year-olds, New York continues to fall further and further behind. These policy shortcomings are compounded by additional confusion such as the <a href="https://www.nbcnews.com/news/asian-america/new-york-city-board-elections-settles-lawsuit-over-voter-purge-n816941" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Brooklyn “voter purge”</a> in 2016 and the more recent 400,000 person <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/16/nyregion/inactive-voter-letter-nyc.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener">“inactive voter” misfire</a> just last month. Our elected leaders at the city and state levels must take a close look at both our laws and the Board of Elections.</p> <p>With all of these issues, it is truly amazing how many voters turned up on Tuesday in a state with such a dismal record. New York State has the fourth most registered voters of any state in the nation, but had the eighth worst turnout in the 2016 presidential election. Imagine how many people might vote if they had an extra day (or several) to do so, if the lines were shorter, and if they could count on ballot scanners working.</p> <p>It is time for New York City and State to finally make strides on voting access and ease and catch up with the rest of the nation. Our democracy depends on it.</p> <p>***<br /> Jamie Ansorge is an Attorney at Cozen O’Conner, Executive Board Member of the New Leaders Council NYC Chapter, and Co-Chair of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) Young Professional Leadership Council. On Twitter <a href="https://twitter.com/AnsorgeNYC" target="_blank" rel="noopener">@AnsorgeNYC</a>.</p> <p>

***
Have an op-ed idea or submission for Gotham Gazette? Email opinion@gothamgazette.com

</p>
<p><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/images/37538369094_848cd1720a_z.jpg" alt="voting booths polling place" width="600" height="400" /></p> <p>(photo: Gotham Gazette)</p> <hr /> <p>On Tuesday millions of New Yorkers attempted to exercise their constitutional right to vote. However, far too many in New York City were met with <a href="https://twitter.com/electionland/status/1059921455117414400/photo/1?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1059921455117414400&amp;ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.citylab.com%2Fequity%2F2018%2F11%2Fnew-york-city-polling-place-vote-suppression-lines-machines%2F575074%2F" target="_blank" rel="noopener">broken ballot scanners</a> and hours-long lines that stretched for blocks in the pouring rain. It is encouraging to see so many citizens making the time and effort to vote, but incredibly disheartening to see our broken election system failing them.</p> <p>With the impending arrival of the long-awaited trifecta of Democratic leadership in New York State (Democratic Governor, Senate and Assembly) alongside reform-minded allies in New York City government, fixing our archaic and ineffective electoral process should be the first order of business once the new Legislature is seated in January.</p> <p>At polling sites across New York City there were reports of at least one – and sometimes all – ballot scanners malfunctioning. Thousands of voters braved hours of waiting and confusion just to fill out unscanned emergency ballots. Even in places where some of the scanners did work (such as the paltry two at my polling place in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn), poll sites and workers seemed overwhelmed by the dramatic turnout -- which still wasn’t even at 40% in the city or anywhere near presidential election levels.</p> <p>We will never know how many voters gave up on the long lines and didn’t vote, or what the chilling effect may be on future turnout. The initial response from the Board of Elections on the scanner malfunctions is that soggy or imperfectly torn ballots jammed the machines. Aren’t these issues we could -- and should -- have prepared for? Regardless of the merit of these questionable excuses, the bigger issue is clear: our current election systems are incapable of meeting the needs of our electorate.</p> <p>It’s not just machines and preparation.</p> <p>New York trails other states across the board in voting laws and procedures. One of the main reasons for the problems this past Tuesday is that poll sites were simply overwhelmed by the sheer numbers of voters attempting to vote on a single day – there weren’t enough poll workers or scanners. This is why <a href="http://www.ncsl.org/research/elections-and-campaigns/absentee-and-early-voting.aspx" target="_blank" rel="noopener">37 other states have enacted some form of early voting</a>, which expands the eligible voting period. This both lessens the logjam on a single day and has the added benefit of giving voters more flexibility. It also can help flag issues like machine jams due to two-page ballots.</p> <p>Early voting in other states over the past few weeks saw a <a href="https://www.cnn.com/2018/11/05/politics/early-voting-as-of-monday-morning/index.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener">surge in young and first-time voters</a>, the same voters who may have given up on voting Tuesday or have already become jaded by the experience.</p> <p>Relatedly, New York is the <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/25/nyregion/new-york-primary-congress-state-federal.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener">only state in the entire nation</a> which holds its state and federal primaries on separate days, which is incredibly confusing for the average voter and fiscally wasteful. With the additional $25 million or so spent on having a second primary day, New York could make great strides towards enacting early voting. New York also holds “closed” (party-based) primaries with the <a href="http://www.nyccfb.info/media/blog/dont-miss-party-primaries-2016" target="_blank" rel="noopener">earliest party registration deadlines</a> in the nation, which caused an uproar in the last presidential election. Where other states have enacted additional pro-voter participation features such as same-day registration and pre-registration for 16- and 17-year-olds, New York continues to fall further and further behind. These policy shortcomings are compounded by additional confusion such as the <a href="https://www.nbcnews.com/news/asian-america/new-york-city-board-elections-settles-lawsuit-over-voter-purge-n816941" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Brooklyn “voter purge”</a> in 2016 and the more recent 400,000 person <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/16/nyregion/inactive-voter-letter-nyc.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener">“inactive voter” misfire</a> just last month. Our elected leaders at the city and state levels must take a close look at both our laws and the Board of Elections.</p> <p>With all of these issues, it is truly amazing how many voters turned up on Tuesday in a state with such a dismal record. New York State has the fourth most registered voters of any state in the nation, but had the eighth worst turnout in the 2016 presidential election. Imagine how many people might vote if they had an extra day (or several) to do so, if the lines were shorter, and if they could count on ballot scanners working.</p> <p>It is time for New York City and State to finally make strides on voting access and ease and catch up with the rest of the nation. Our democracy depends on it.</p> <p>***<br /> Jamie Ansorge is an Attorney at Cozen O’Conner, Executive Board Member of the New Leaders Council NYC Chapter, and Co-Chair of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) Young Professional Leadership Council. On Twitter <a href="https://twitter.com/AnsorgeNYC" target="_blank" rel="noopener">@AnsorgeNYC</a>.</p> <p>

***
Have an op-ed idea or submission for Gotham Gazette? Email opinion@gothamgazette.com

</p>
Max & Murphy Podcast: Election Day Live Show with Special Guests 2018-11-07T05:00:00+00:00 2018-11-07T05:00:00+00:00 http://www.gothamgazette.com/city/8054-max-murphy-podcast-election-day-live-show-with-special-guests Ben Max <p><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/images/graphics/2018/podcast18/mxm-logo.jpg" alt="mxm logo" width="600" height="239" /></p> <p>Ben Max, left, of Gotham Gazette,&nbsp;and Jarrett Murphy, right, of City Limits</p> <hr /> <p><strong>November 6, 2018 - Max &amp; Murphy Podcast: Election Day Live Show with Special Guests<br /></strong></p> <p><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/images/graphics/2018/podcast18/jumm-williams-2.jpg" alt="jumm williams 2" width="172" height="179" style="margin: 10px; float: left;" />On Election Day 2018 Max &amp; Murphy held a special live-audience edition of their show, broadcast on WBAI from Commons Cafe in Brooklyn, 5-7 p.m. as New Yorkers continued to go to the polls and/or await election returns. Guests included Democratic City Council Member Jumaane Williams, NY1 anchor Errol Louis, Republican attorney and 2017 public advocate candidate JC Polanco, and Kadia Goba, a reporter for BKLYNER.</p> <p>Listen to the conversation and let us know what you think -- we're on Twitter <a href="https://twitter.com/TweetBenMax" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">@TweetBenMax </a>and <a href="https://twitter.com/jarrettmurphy" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">@JarrettMurphy</a>. You can listen to the show through the embedded audio below or download the episode wherever you get your podcasts, under "Max &amp; Murphy," and listen to Max &amp; Murphy live on Wednesdays at 5 p.m. on WBAI radio, 99.5FM or wbai.org</p> <p><iframe src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/526312827&amp;color=%23ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_teaser=true" width="100%" height="175" frameborder="no" scrolling="no"></iframe></p> <p>

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by Ben Max, Gotham Gazette
     

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</p>
<p><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/images/graphics/2018/podcast18/mxm-logo.jpg" alt="mxm logo" width="600" height="239" /></p> <p>Ben Max, left, of Gotham Gazette,&nbsp;and Jarrett Murphy, right, of City Limits</p> <hr /> <p><strong>November 6, 2018 - Max &amp; Murphy Podcast: Election Day Live Show with Special Guests<br /></strong></p> <p><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/images/graphics/2018/podcast18/jumm-williams-2.jpg" alt="jumm williams 2" width="172" height="179" style="margin: 10px; float: left;" />On Election Day 2018 Max &amp; Murphy held a special live-audience edition of their show, broadcast on WBAI from Commons Cafe in Brooklyn, 5-7 p.m. as New Yorkers continued to go to the polls and/or await election returns. Guests included Democratic City Council Member Jumaane Williams, NY1 anchor Errol Louis, Republican attorney and 2017 public advocate candidate JC Polanco, and Kadia Goba, a reporter for BKLYNER.</p> <p>Listen to the conversation and let us know what you think -- we're on Twitter <a href="https://twitter.com/TweetBenMax" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">@TweetBenMax </a>and <a href="https://twitter.com/jarrettmurphy" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">@JarrettMurphy</a>. You can listen to the show through the embedded audio below or download the episode wherever you get your podcasts, under "Max &amp; Murphy," and listen to Max &amp; Murphy live on Wednesdays at 5 p.m. on WBAI radio, 99.5FM or wbai.org</p> <p><iframe src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/526312827&amp;color=%23ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_teaser=true" width="100%" height="175" frameborder="no" scrolling="no"></iframe></p> <p>

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by Ben Max, Gotham Gazette
     

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Cuomo Reelected, Democrats Take the State Senate; 2018 General Election Results in New York 2018-11-06T05:00:00+00:00 2018-11-06T05:00:00+00:00 http://www.gothamgazette.com/state/8058-2018-general-election-results-in-new-york Ben Max <p><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/images/graphics/2018/and-cuomo-nov.png" alt="and cuomo nov" width="600" height="431" /></p> <p>Gov. Cuomo votes (photo: @andrewcuomo)</p> <hr /> <p>Democrats will take full control of New York state government in 2019 thanks to the reelection of Governor Andrew Cuomo and other candidates for statewide office, as well as wins in the state Senate that flipped control of the upper chamber. Democrats continue to hold a wide majority in the state Assembly. With help from New York, Democrats also flipped the U.S. House of Representatives.</p> <p>The state Senate and <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/state/7928-ahead-of-primary-cuomo-gives-limited-insight-into-third-term-agenda" target="_blank" rel="noopener">gubernatorial</a> victories open the door for Democrats to move <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/state/8024-two-tiered-agenda-for-democrats-if-they-take-state-senate" target="_blank" rel="noopener">a sweeping policy agenda</a> that has been blocked by Republicans, some items for years, in areas such as voting, campaign finance, and criminal justice reform, women's reproductive rights, alterations to rent regulations, and more. While some results are still to be finalized, Democrats may have 39 seats in the 63-seat chamber come January.</p> <p>Cuomo won a third term on Tuesday, easily defeating Republican challenger Marc Molinaro and three other candidates, while his running-mate Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul won a second term alongside the governor.</p> <p>Letitia James, currently the New York City Public Advocate, was elected Attorney General and is the first woman of color elected to a statewide position in New York. She's also the first woman and first person of color elected to become New York Attorney General.</p> <p>The other Democrats running for statewide positions were also victorious, with U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli both winning reelection by wide margins, as expected.</p> <p>New York City and State races also contributed to a Democratic takeover of the U.S. House of Representatives.</p> <p>And, in New York City, <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/city/7912-mayoral-charter-revision-commission-puts-three-questions-on-november-ballot" target="_blank" rel="noopener">the three ballot proposals from Mayor de Blasio’s charter revision commission</a> were all approved by wide margins, ushering in campaign finance reform, a new civic engagement commission, and term limits for community board members.</p> <p>In the overall race for control of the state Senate, Democrats claimed a majority, and seemed on their way to winning at least 36 and up to 39 seats while several remained neck-and-neck and could also tilt their way, according to unofficial state Board of Elections results.&nbsp;With Democrats in control, Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins will become the first woman of color majority leader of the state Senate. "I am confident our majority will grow even larger after all results are counted, and we will finally give New Yorkers the progressive leadership they have been demanding," she&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/AndreaSCousins/status/1060017117838348289">tweeted</a>&nbsp;Tuesday night.</p> <p>Much of the action was on Long Island, but one of the few Republican-held seats in New York City was also hotly-contested and appears to be a Democratic pick-up for Andrew Gounardes, though Senator Marty Golden has not conceded.</p> <p>In the open race for District 3, Democrat Monica Martinez defeated Republican Dean Murray. In District 5, Democrat James Gaughran won by more than 9 points against Republican Carl Marcellino. In District 39, Democrat James Skoufis beat Republican Tom Basile. Kevin Thomas, the Democrat in District 6, closely defeated Republican Kemp Hannon. In District 7, Democrat Anna Kaplan defeated Republican Elaine Phillips with an almost ten-point margin.</p> <p>In two other open races, however, Democrats lost to their Republican opponents. In District 43, Aaron Gladd was defeated by Republican Daphne Jordan, and in District 50, John Mannion was defeated by Bob Antonacci.</p> <p>The current Republican majority leader, Senator John Flanagan, said in a statement, "This election is over, but our mission is not. Senate Republicans will never stop advocating for the principles we believe in or the agenda that New Yorkers and their families deserve."</p> <p>Along with competitive races for state Senate seats, many eyes were on potential swing districts for New York seats in the House of Representatives, part of the national picture whereby Democrats flipped the chamber to secure some control of government in Washington, D.C. and a significant leverage point regarding legislation, funding, and oversight of President Trump and his administration. That effort was aided by outcomes in New York, including an upset in New York City.</p> <p>In the one city-based congressional seat held by a Republican, Rep. Dan Donovan lost to Democrat Max Rose, who will go to the House to represent New York’s 11th congressional district of Staten Island and part of southern Brooklyn. In the 19th congressional district covering parts of the Hudson Valley and Catskills, <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/state/8044-antonio-delgado-makes-final-pitch-in-bid-to-swing-new-york-19" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Democrat Antonio Delgado</a> defeated incumbent Republican Rep. John Faso. And in Central New York's District 22, Democratic candidate Anthony Brindisi was ahead by a razor-thin margin over incumbent Republican Rep. Claudia Tenney, in a race that seems too close to call. In Congressional District 27, though Democrat Nate McMurray had conceded to Republican incumbent Rep. Chris Collins, McMurray's campaign later called for a recount when the margin between the two was only one point.</p> <p>Back in the five boroughs, of the three ballot proposals passing, Mayor de Blasio said in an election night statement, “Tonight we took a big step toward becoming the fairest big city in America. The question in front of voters was simple: are we going to be a city that works for everyone? New Yorkers answered with a resounding ‘YES, YES, YES!’ They voted to set a historic new direction for campaigns in our city by getting big money out of politics. They voted to give voters more power over their tax dollars. They voted to bring new voices into our democracy. The end result of the charter revision process that began nine months ago at the State of City is a democracy that can work for all of us – not just the wealthy and well-connected.”</p> <p>In terms of specific outcomes in important New York races, as of 2 a.m. on election night, initial results and tentative margins included:</p> <p>-Governor Cuomo was reelected with about 58% to 36% for Molinaro, while Green Party nominee Howie Hawkins received 1.7%, Libertarian Larry Sharpe won 1.6%, and Stephanie Miner of the Serve America Movement got less than 1%. Both Sharpe and Miner earned their parties automatic ballot access for the next four years (Cuomo on the Women's Equality Party line and Molinaro on the Reform Party line did not get enough votes on those lines and parties will lose their automatic ballot lines.</p> <p>-James won the attorney general office with 60% over Republican Keith Wofford, who received 34.3%, and other candidates splitting 2.3%.</p> <p>-DiNapoli was reelected comptroller with 64.4%, while Republican nominee Jonathan Trichter got about 31%, and other candidates split 1.7%.</p> <p>-Gillibrand won 64.5% of the vote, while Republican Chele Farley received 32.5%.</p> <p>In competitive state Senate races, the results included:</p> <p>-Democrat Andrew Gounardes appears to have won with 49.8% over Republican Senator Marty Golden's 48% in Senate District 22</p> <p>-Democrat&nbsp;Monica Martinez won with 52.2% over Republican incumbent Dean Murray's 47.5% in Senate District 3, which includes parts of Suffolk County.</p> <p>-Republican Phil Boyle won with 50.4% over Democrat&nbsp;Louis D’Amaro's 46.7% in Senate District 4, which also includes parts of Suffolk County.</p> <p>-Democrat James Gaughran won with 53.23% over Republican incumbent Carl Marcellino's 44.7% in Senate District 5, which includes parts of Suffolk County.</p> <p>-Democrat Kevin Thomas won with 49.2% over Republican incumbent Kemp Hannon's 48% in Senate District 6, which includes a portion of Nassau County.</p> <p>-Democrat Anna Kaplan won with 53.7% over Republican incumbent Elaine Phillips' 44.5% in Senate District 7, which a portion of Nassau County.</p> <p>-Democrat incumbent John Brooks successfully defended his seat, with 53% against Republican Jeff Pravato's 44% in Senate District 8, which includes Eastern Nassau and Western Suffolk counties.</p> <p>-Democrat James Skoufis won with 52% over Republican Tom Basile's 45% in Senate District 39, which includes parts of Rockland, Orange, and Ulster counties.</p> <p>-Democrat Pete Harckham won with 49.9% over&nbsp;Republican incumbent Terrence Murphy's 48% in Senate District 40, which includes Yorktown and Putnam, Westchester and Dutchess counties.&nbsp;</p> <p>-Republican incumbent Sue Serino won with 50% over Democrat Karen Smythe's 48% in Senate District 41, which includes parts of Dutchess County.</p> <p>-Democrat Jen Metzger won with 50% over Republican Ann Rabbitt's 47.4% in Senate District 42, includes parts of Delaware, Orange, Sullivan, and Ulster counties.&nbsp;</p> <p>-Republican Daphne Jordan won with 52.1% over Democrat Aaron Gladd's 44.2% in Senate District 43, which includes parts of Saratoga, Rensselaer, Columbia, Washington counties.&nbsp;</p> <p>-Republican incumbent George Amedore Jr. won with 55% over Democrat Pat Strong's 42.2% in Senate District 46, which includes Montgomery and Greene counties and portions of Schenectady, Albany and Ulster counties.&nbsp;</p> <p>-Republican Robert Antonacci won with 50.4% over Democrat John Mannion's 48% in Senate District 50, which includes Syracuse and the surrounding area.</p> <p>In competitive House of Representatives races, the results included:&nbsp;</p> <p>-Democrat Max Rose won with 52% against Republican incumbent Dan Donovan's 46% in Congressional District 11, which includes Staten Island and parts of South Brooklyn.&nbsp;</p> <p>-Democrat Antonio Delgado won with 49.2% against Republican incumbent John Faso's 46.4% in Congressional District 19, which includes the Hudson Valley and Catskills region.</p> <p>-Democrat Anthony Brindisi led with 49.5% against Republican incumbent Claudia Tenney's 48.9% in Congressional District 22, which includes parts of Chenango, Cortland, Madison, and Oneida counties.</p> <p>-Republican Incumbent John Katko won with 52.2% against&nbsp;Democrat Dana Balter's 46% in Congressional District 24, which includes pats of Cayuga, Onondaga, and Wayne counties.</p> <p>- Republican incumbent Chris Collins, who is under indictment for insider trading, received 48.1% over Democrat&nbsp;Nate McMurray's 47.1% in Congressional&nbsp;District 27, which includes Orleans, Genesee, Wyoming, and Livingston counties. McMurray's campaign has called for a recount.</p> <p>

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by Ben Max, Gotham Gazette
     

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</p> <p>Samar Khurshid contributed to this article.</p> <p>Note - This article has been updated.</p>
<p><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/images/graphics/2018/and-cuomo-nov.png" alt="and cuomo nov" width="600" height="431" /></p> <p>Gov. Cuomo votes (photo: @andrewcuomo)</p> <hr /> <p>Democrats will take full control of New York state government in 2019 thanks to the reelection of Governor Andrew Cuomo and other candidates for statewide office, as well as wins in the state Senate that flipped control of the upper chamber. Democrats continue to hold a wide majority in the state Assembly. With help from New York, Democrats also flipped the U.S. House of Representatives.</p> <p>The state Senate and <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/state/7928-ahead-of-primary-cuomo-gives-limited-insight-into-third-term-agenda" target="_blank" rel="noopener">gubernatorial</a> victories open the door for Democrats to move <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/state/8024-two-tiered-agenda-for-democrats-if-they-take-state-senate" target="_blank" rel="noopener">a sweeping policy agenda</a> that has been blocked by Republicans, some items for years, in areas such as voting, campaign finance, and criminal justice reform, women's reproductive rights, alterations to rent regulations, and more. While some results are still to be finalized, Democrats may have 39 seats in the 63-seat chamber come January.</p> <p>Cuomo won a third term on Tuesday, easily defeating Republican challenger Marc Molinaro and three other candidates, while his running-mate Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul won a second term alongside the governor.</p> <p>Letitia James, currently the New York City Public Advocate, was elected Attorney General and is the first woman of color elected to a statewide position in New York. She's also the first woman and first person of color elected to become New York Attorney General.</p> <p>The other Democrats running for statewide positions were also victorious, with U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli both winning reelection by wide margins, as expected.</p> <p>New York City and State races also contributed to a Democratic takeover of the U.S. House of Representatives.</p> <p>And, in New York City, <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/city/7912-mayoral-charter-revision-commission-puts-three-questions-on-november-ballot" target="_blank" rel="noopener">the three ballot proposals from Mayor de Blasio’s charter revision commission</a> were all approved by wide margins, ushering in campaign finance reform, a new civic engagement commission, and term limits for community board members.</p> <p>In the overall race for control of the state Senate, Democrats claimed a majority, and seemed on their way to winning at least 36 and up to 39 seats while several remained neck-and-neck and could also tilt their way, according to unofficial state Board of Elections results.&nbsp;With Democrats in control, Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins will become the first woman of color majority leader of the state Senate. "I am confident our majority will grow even larger after all results are counted, and we will finally give New Yorkers the progressive leadership they have been demanding," she&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/AndreaSCousins/status/1060017117838348289">tweeted</a>&nbsp;Tuesday night.</p> <p>Much of the action was on Long Island, but one of the few Republican-held seats in New York City was also hotly-contested and appears to be a Democratic pick-up for Andrew Gounardes, though Senator Marty Golden has not conceded.</p> <p>In the open race for District 3, Democrat Monica Martinez defeated Republican Dean Murray. In District 5, Democrat James Gaughran won by more than 9 points against Republican Carl Marcellino. In District 39, Democrat James Skoufis beat Republican Tom Basile. Kevin Thomas, the Democrat in District 6, closely defeated Republican Kemp Hannon. In District 7, Democrat Anna Kaplan defeated Republican Elaine Phillips with an almost ten-point margin.</p> <p>In two other open races, however, Democrats lost to their Republican opponents. In District 43, Aaron Gladd was defeated by Republican Daphne Jordan, and in District 50, John Mannion was defeated by Bob Antonacci.</p> <p>The current Republican majority leader, Senator John Flanagan, said in a statement, "This election is over, but our mission is not. Senate Republicans will never stop advocating for the principles we believe in or the agenda that New Yorkers and their families deserve."</p> <p>Along with competitive races for state Senate seats, many eyes were on potential swing districts for New York seats in the House of Representatives, part of the national picture whereby Democrats flipped the chamber to secure some control of government in Washington, D.C. and a significant leverage point regarding legislation, funding, and oversight of President Trump and his administration. That effort was aided by outcomes in New York, including an upset in New York City.</p> <p>In the one city-based congressional seat held by a Republican, Rep. Dan Donovan lost to Democrat Max Rose, who will go to the House to represent New York’s 11th congressional district of Staten Island and part of southern Brooklyn. In the 19th congressional district covering parts of the Hudson Valley and Catskills, <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/state/8044-antonio-delgado-makes-final-pitch-in-bid-to-swing-new-york-19" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Democrat Antonio Delgado</a> defeated incumbent Republican Rep. John Faso. And in Central New York's District 22, Democratic candidate Anthony Brindisi was ahead by a razor-thin margin over incumbent Republican Rep. Claudia Tenney, in a race that seems too close to call. In Congressional District 27, though Democrat Nate McMurray had conceded to Republican incumbent Rep. Chris Collins, McMurray's campaign later called for a recount when the margin between the two was only one point.</p> <p>Back in the five boroughs, of the three ballot proposals passing, Mayor de Blasio said in an election night statement, “Tonight we took a big step toward becoming the fairest big city in America. The question in front of voters was simple: are we going to be a city that works for everyone? New Yorkers answered with a resounding ‘YES, YES, YES!’ They voted to set a historic new direction for campaigns in our city by getting big money out of politics. They voted to give voters more power over their tax dollars. They voted to bring new voices into our democracy. The end result of the charter revision process that began nine months ago at the State of City is a democracy that can work for all of us – not just the wealthy and well-connected.”</p> <p>In terms of specific outcomes in important New York races, as of 2 a.m. on election night, initial results and tentative margins included:</p> <p>-Governor Cuomo was reelected with about 58% to 36% for Molinaro, while Green Party nominee Howie Hawkins received 1.7%, Libertarian Larry Sharpe won 1.6%, and Stephanie Miner of the Serve America Movement got less than 1%. Both Sharpe and Miner earned their parties automatic ballot access for the next four years (Cuomo on the Women's Equality Party line and Molinaro on the Reform Party line did not get enough votes on those lines and parties will lose their automatic ballot lines.</p> <p>-James won the attorney general office with 60% over Republican Keith Wofford, who received 34.3%, and other candidates splitting 2.3%.</p> <p>-DiNapoli was reelected comptroller with 64.4%, while Republican nominee Jonathan Trichter got about 31%, and other candidates split 1.7%.</p> <p>-Gillibrand won 64.5% of the vote, while Republican Chele Farley received 32.5%.</p> <p>In competitive state Senate races, the results included:</p> <p>-Democrat Andrew Gounardes appears to have won with 49.8% over Republican Senator Marty Golden's 48% in Senate District 22</p> <p>-Democrat&nbsp;Monica Martinez won with 52.2% over Republican incumbent Dean Murray's 47.5% in Senate District 3, which includes parts of Suffolk County.</p> <p>-Republican Phil Boyle won with 50.4% over Democrat&nbsp;Louis D’Amaro's 46.7% in Senate District 4, which also includes parts of Suffolk County.</p> <p>-Democrat James Gaughran won with 53.23% over Republican incumbent Carl Marcellino's 44.7% in Senate District 5, which includes parts of Suffolk County.</p> <p>-Democrat Kevin Thomas won with 49.2% over Republican incumbent Kemp Hannon's 48% in Senate District 6, which includes a portion of Nassau County.</p> <p>-Democrat Anna Kaplan won with 53.7% over Republican incumbent Elaine Phillips' 44.5% in Senate District 7, which a portion of Nassau County.</p> <p>-Democrat incumbent John Brooks successfully defended his seat, with 53% against Republican Jeff Pravato's 44% in Senate District 8, which includes Eastern Nassau and Western Suffolk counties.</p> <p>-Democrat James Skoufis won with 52% over Republican Tom Basile's 45% in Senate District 39, which includes parts of Rockland, Orange, and Ulster counties.</p> <p>-Democrat Pete Harckham won with 49.9% over&nbsp;Republican incumbent Terrence Murphy's 48% in Senate District 40, which includes Yorktown and Putnam, Westchester and Dutchess counties.&nbsp;</p> <p>-Republican incumbent Sue Serino won with 50% over Democrat Karen Smythe's 48% in Senate District 41, which includes parts of Dutchess County.</p> <p>-Democrat Jen Metzger won with 50% over Republican Ann Rabbitt's 47.4% in Senate District 42, includes parts of Delaware, Orange, Sullivan, and Ulster counties.&nbsp;</p> <p>-Republican Daphne Jordan won with 52.1% over Democrat Aaron Gladd's 44.2% in Senate District 43, which includes parts of Saratoga, Rensselaer, Columbia, Washington counties.&nbsp;</p> <p>-Republican incumbent George Amedore Jr. won with 55% over Democrat Pat Strong's 42.2% in Senate District 46, which includes Montgomery and Greene counties and portions of Schenectady, Albany and Ulster counties.&nbsp;</p> <p>-Republican Robert Antonacci won with 50.4% over Democrat John Mannion's 48% in Senate District 50, which includes Syracuse and the surrounding area.</p> <p>In competitive House of Representatives races, the results included:&nbsp;</p> <p>-Democrat Max Rose won with 52% against Republican incumbent Dan Donovan's 46% in Congressional District 11, which includes Staten Island and parts of South Brooklyn.&nbsp;</p> <p>-Democrat Antonio Delgado won with 49.2% against Republican incumbent John Faso's 46.4% in Congressional District 19, which includes the Hudson Valley and Catskills region.</p> <p>-Democrat Anthony Brindisi led with 49.5% against Republican incumbent Claudia Tenney's 48.9% in Congressional District 22, which includes parts of Chenango, Cortland, Madison, and Oneida counties.</p> <p>-Republican Incumbent John Katko won with 52.2% against&nbsp;Democrat Dana Balter's 46% in Congressional District 24, which includes pats of Cayuga, Onondaga, and Wayne counties.</p> <p>- Republican incumbent Chris Collins, who is under indictment for insider trading, received 48.1% over Democrat&nbsp;Nate McMurray's 47.1% in Congressional&nbsp;District 27, which includes Orleans, Genesee, Wyoming, and Livingston counties. McMurray's campaign has called for a recount.</p> <p>

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by Ben Max, Gotham Gazette
     

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</p> <p>Samar Khurshid contributed to this article.</p> <p>Note - This article has been updated.</p>
The 3 Big Reasons Why Elections in New York City are So Poorly Run 2018-11-07T05:00:00+00:00 2018-11-07T05:00:00+00:00 http://www.gothamgazette.com/city/8053-the-3-big-reasons-why-elections-in-new-york-city-are-so-poorly-run Ben Max <p><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/images/graphics/2018/and-cuomo-nov2.jpg" alt="and cuomo nov2" width="600" height="399" /></p> <p>Gov. Cuomo votes (photo: Kevin P. Coughlin/Office of the Governor)</p> <hr /> <p>Election Day in New York City was, as City Council Speaker Corey Johnson <a href="https://twitter.com/CoreyinNYC/status/1059871915727376384" target="_blank" rel="noopener">wrote on Twitter</a>, “like Groundhog Day,” where yet again, voters were forced to wait in long lines as ballot scanners across the city broke down, a sign of the abysmal election administration that New Yorkers have come to expect every time they visit the polls.</p> <p>The past few elections -- city, state, and federal -- conducted in New York City have repeatedly shown instances of failure on the part of the New York City Board of Elections, an entity whose name belies the fact that it is a state-created agency charged with administering several elections each year. City BOE Executive Director Michael Ryan -- who is hired by the board’s ten commissioners and reports to them -- suggested on Tuesday, <a href="https://twitter.com/LindseyChrist/status/1059849434945806343" target="_blank" rel="noopener">in a brief video</a> posted to Twitter by NY1 reporter Lindsey Christ, that the cause of the latest debacle was a combination of higher turnout, an unwieldy two-page ballot (owing to three ballot questions on the back) and wet ballots because of voters coming in from rainy weather.</p> <p>The BOE’s problems, long recognized by government reformers, some elected officials, and of course voters, came urgently to the forefront after the 2016 presidential primary, in which more than 117,000 voters were improperly purged from the rolls in Brooklyn, the city’s most populated borough. The purge, <a href="https://www.wnyc.org/story/city-board-elections-admits-it-broke-law-accepts-reforms/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">originally reported by WNYC</a>, led to a federal lawsuit against the BOE, which later opted for a settlement in which it admitted that it broke the law. But while the settlement prompted improvements to voter roll management, the BOE’s inability to smoothly run elections has stretched far beyond that one area or even the last few years.</p> <p>“I think there’s many different problems at many different levels that lead to a day like this,” said Alex Camarda, senior policy advisor at Reinvent Albany, a government reform group.</p> <p>In a statement, Assemblymember Jeffrey Dinowitz, who serves on the Rules, Judiciary, Health and Election Law committees, said, “Today’s problems should have been prevented. Rainy weather and high voter turnout should not be impediments to a functional election system.”</p> <p>So why is the New York City Board of Elections so dysfunctional? What is standing in the way of New Yorkers and easy voting experiences?</p> <p><strong>A Structural Problem</strong><br />Part of the reason for the BOE’s continued failures is the agency’s structure itself. Though the agency is funded by the city, and the City Council conducts regular oversight of its function after each election, it is a creation of the state. Its commissioners are chosen by county party committees according to state law -- by the top two vote-getting political parties in the five boroughs, which, for all intents and purposes, means Democrats and Republicans. Each party selects one commissioner from each borough who is then confirmed by the City Council to make up the ten-member board, which decides on everything from election management procedures to candidates’ inclusion on the ballot.</p> <p>The entire process is rife with patronage, with not only the commissioners, but most of the BOE’s staff employees appointed by county chairs along party lines. The board has been resistant to efforts by the city to professionalize its ranks, pushing back against City Council legislation that would require appointments akin to civil service jobs. Broadly speaking, criticism of the board boils down to the belief that it is more concerned about keeping the county party leaders happy than it is about delivering good service to voters, and that it is not necessarily well-prepared to deliver top-notch service even if that was the main focus.</p> <p>Immediately following the 2016 election snafu, Mayor Bill de Blasio even <a href="https://www1.nyc.gov/office-of-the-mayor/news/389-16/mayor-de-blasio-make-20-million-available-city-board-elections-vital-reforms" target="_blank" rel="noopener">offered</a> the BOE an additional $20 million to implement reforms including hiring an outside consultant and creating a blue ribbon panel to conduct a top-to-bottom review of systemic issues, providing more transparency in hiring, and new methods of communication with voters. The BOE, however, refused the offer. &nbsp;</p> <p>Speaker Johnson, who called for Ryan’s resignation on Tuesday, said in a phone interview that there is a dire need for reforms at the state level. But, he insisted, “Until that happens, we need competent leadership at the staff level from the Board of Elections.”</p> <p>Johnson said the reasons Ryan gave in the video on Twitter, including the rainy weather and higher turnout, were “predictable” factors. “Those aren’t valid reasons to have hundreds of machines breaking down...That did not give me confidence in him understanding the depth of anger that New Yorkers felt at the polls,” he said. &nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Voting and electoral laws</strong><br />New York employs what good government groups call “passive voter suppression” with election and voting laws that tend to discourage turnout. The state is one of 13 that does not have early voting, which means that the nearly 13 million registered voters across the state must cast their ballots in a 15-hour period on the day of the general election (During the September primary, poll sites were only open for nine hours in 49 out of 62 counties). Besides depressing turnout, the lack of early voting also forces the BOE to resolve issues as they arise at the ballot box on election day rather than be able to preempt them.</p> <p>“On the one hand, the problem today seems to be with the scanners, the hardware and software,” Camarda said. “But obviously if reforms had been passed like early voting, that would’ve provided a dry run to prevent these kinds of issues from occurring.”</p> <p>The state has also failed to pass common-sense voting reforms such as no-excuse absentee ballots, mail-in ballots, electronic poll books or consolidating primary election dates. Case in point, New York held two primaries this year, one in June for congressional seats and the second in September for state candidates. In terms of voting, the state also does not allow same-day voter registration and has one of the longest deadlines for switching party registration.</p> <p>The Democrat-led State Assembly has repeatedly passed many of those reforms and Democratic leaders, including Governor Andrew Cuomo, have blamed Republicans who control the State Senate for blocking them in turn. Though Cuomo has often said he supports that broad reform platform, he has put little capital behind it and has been promising this year to advance them if the Democrats flip control of the Senate, which they did on Election Day. Senate Democratic leaders have listed voting and election reform as a top priority for early 2019.</p> <p><strong>Overworked, Underpaid and Untrained Poll Workers</strong><br />Though there have been efforts in the Assembly to provide raises to poll workers, who are volunteers, and reduce the long shifts that they are required to serve, most workers continue to be underpaid and overworked. Poll worker training is also seen is inadequate and often causes some of the issues seen on election day, contributing to long lines, confusion, and frustration.</p> <p>The mayor’s funding offer would have required the BOE to provide a plan to improve both&nbsp;poll worker pay and training, including bonuses for those who volunteered at multiple elections in a year. Electronic poll books may also aid efforts to run elections more quickly and smoothly, they are on the list of potential reforms.</p> <p>Many of the less-controversial reforms are long overdue. An <a href="https://comptroller.nyc.gov/newsroom/stringer-audit-board-of-elections-failures-jeopardize-new-yorkers-right-to-vote/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">audit</a> released by New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer in November last year found that in three elections since 2016, out of 156 polling sites, 90 percent showed significant breakdowns ranging from mishandling of affidavit ballots and inadequate staffing to a lack of assistance for voters with disabilities. “After a thorough review of the agency, it’s clear the voter purge is a reflection of larger, systemic, day-to-day breakdowns,” Stringer said in a statement at the time. “Elections matter, and every vote must be counted in every election. That’s why the BOE needs to fundamentally change its operations.”</p> <p>Camarda’s group has for years advocated for a municipal poll worker program. “The executive director of the Board of Elections has a very difficult job because you’re managing a temporary workforce of roughly 35,000 people across some 1,300 poll sites,” he said. “If you want to have qualified people to do these jobs, you’ve got to pay them.”</p> <p>

***
by Samar Khurshid, Senior reporter, Gotham Gazette
     

Read more by this writer.

</p>
<p><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/images/graphics/2018/and-cuomo-nov2.jpg" alt="and cuomo nov2" width="600" height="399" /></p> <p>Gov. Cuomo votes (photo: Kevin P. Coughlin/Office of the Governor)</p> <hr /> <p>Election Day in New York City was, as City Council Speaker Corey Johnson <a href="https://twitter.com/CoreyinNYC/status/1059871915727376384" target="_blank" rel="noopener">wrote on Twitter</a>, “like Groundhog Day,” where yet again, voters were forced to wait in long lines as ballot scanners across the city broke down, a sign of the abysmal election administration that New Yorkers have come to expect every time they visit the polls.</p> <p>The past few elections -- city, state, and federal -- conducted in New York City have repeatedly shown instances of failure on the part of the New York City Board of Elections, an entity whose name belies the fact that it is a state-created agency charged with administering several elections each year. City BOE Executive Director Michael Ryan -- who is hired by the board’s ten commissioners and reports to them -- suggested on Tuesday, <a href="https://twitter.com/LindseyChrist/status/1059849434945806343" target="_blank" rel="noopener">in a brief video</a> posted to Twitter by NY1 reporter Lindsey Christ, that the cause of the latest debacle was a combination of higher turnout, an unwieldy two-page ballot (owing to three ballot questions on the back) and wet ballots because of voters coming in from rainy weather.</p> <p>The BOE’s problems, long recognized by government reformers, some elected officials, and of course voters, came urgently to the forefront after the 2016 presidential primary, in which more than 117,000 voters were improperly purged from the rolls in Brooklyn, the city’s most populated borough. The purge, <a href="https://www.wnyc.org/story/city-board-elections-admits-it-broke-law-accepts-reforms/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">originally reported by WNYC</a>, led to a federal lawsuit against the BOE, which later opted for a settlement in which it admitted that it broke the law. But while the settlement prompted improvements to voter roll management, the BOE’s inability to smoothly run elections has stretched far beyond that one area or even the last few years.</p> <p>“I think there’s many different problems at many different levels that lead to a day like this,” said Alex Camarda, senior policy advisor at Reinvent Albany, a government reform group.</p> <p>In a statement, Assemblymember Jeffrey Dinowitz, who serves on the Rules, Judiciary, Health and Election Law committees, said, “Today’s problems should have been prevented. Rainy weather and high voter turnout should not be impediments to a functional election system.”</p> <p>So why is the New York City Board of Elections so dysfunctional? What is standing in the way of New Yorkers and easy voting experiences?</p> <p><strong>A Structural Problem</strong><br />Part of the reason for the BOE’s continued failures is the agency’s structure itself. Though the agency is funded by the city, and the City Council conducts regular oversight of its function after each election, it is a creation of the state. Its commissioners are chosen by county party committees according to state law -- by the top two vote-getting political parties in the five boroughs, which, for all intents and purposes, means Democrats and Republicans. Each party selects one commissioner from each borough who is then confirmed by the City Council to make up the ten-member board, which decides on everything from election management procedures to candidates’ inclusion on the ballot.</p> <p>The entire process is rife with patronage, with not only the commissioners, but most of the BOE’s staff employees appointed by county chairs along party lines. The board has been resistant to efforts by the city to professionalize its ranks, pushing back against City Council legislation that would require appointments akin to civil service jobs. Broadly speaking, criticism of the board boils down to the belief that it is more concerned about keeping the county party leaders happy than it is about delivering good service to voters, and that it is not necessarily well-prepared to deliver top-notch service even if that was the main focus.</p> <p>Immediately following the 2016 election snafu, Mayor Bill de Blasio even <a href="https://www1.nyc.gov/office-of-the-mayor/news/389-16/mayor-de-blasio-make-20-million-available-city-board-elections-vital-reforms" target="_blank" rel="noopener">offered</a> the BOE an additional $20 million to implement reforms including hiring an outside consultant and creating a blue ribbon panel to conduct a top-to-bottom review of systemic issues, providing more transparency in hiring, and new methods of communication with voters. The BOE, however, refused the offer. &nbsp;</p> <p>Speaker Johnson, who called for Ryan’s resignation on Tuesday, said in a phone interview that there is a dire need for reforms at the state level. But, he insisted, “Until that happens, we need competent leadership at the staff level from the Board of Elections.”</p> <p>Johnson said the reasons Ryan gave in the video on Twitter, including the rainy weather and higher turnout, were “predictable” factors. “Those aren’t valid reasons to have hundreds of machines breaking down...That did not give me confidence in him understanding the depth of anger that New Yorkers felt at the polls,” he said. &nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Voting and electoral laws</strong><br />New York employs what good government groups call “passive voter suppression” with election and voting laws that tend to discourage turnout. The state is one of 13 that does not have early voting, which means that the nearly 13 million registered voters across the state must cast their ballots in a 15-hour period on the day of the general election (During the September primary, poll sites were only open for nine hours in 49 out of 62 counties). Besides depressing turnout, the lack of early voting also forces the BOE to resolve issues as they arise at the ballot box on election day rather than be able to preempt them.</p> <p>“On the one hand, the problem today seems to be with the scanners, the hardware and software,” Camarda said. “But obviously if reforms had been passed like early voting, that would’ve provided a dry run to prevent these kinds of issues from occurring.”</p> <p>The state has also failed to pass common-sense voting reforms such as no-excuse absentee ballots, mail-in ballots, electronic poll books or consolidating primary election dates. Case in point, New York held two primaries this year, one in June for congressional seats and the second in September for state candidates. In terms of voting, the state also does not allow same-day voter registration and has one of the longest deadlines for switching party registration.</p> <p>The Democrat-led State Assembly has repeatedly passed many of those reforms and Democratic leaders, including Governor Andrew Cuomo, have blamed Republicans who control the State Senate for blocking them in turn. Though Cuomo has often said he supports that broad reform platform, he has put little capital behind it and has been promising this year to advance them if the Democrats flip control of the Senate, which they did on Election Day. Senate Democratic leaders have listed voting and election reform as a top priority for early 2019.</p> <p><strong>Overworked, Underpaid and Untrained Poll Workers</strong><br />Though there have been efforts in the Assembly to provide raises to poll workers, who are volunteers, and reduce the long shifts that they are required to serve, most workers continue to be underpaid and overworked. Poll worker training is also seen is inadequate and often causes some of the issues seen on election day, contributing to long lines, confusion, and frustration.</p> <p>The mayor’s funding offer would have required the BOE to provide a plan to improve both&nbsp;poll worker pay and training, including bonuses for those who volunteered at multiple elections in a year. Electronic poll books may also aid efforts to run elections more quickly and smoothly, they are on the list of potential reforms.</p> <p>Many of the less-controversial reforms are long overdue. An <a href="https://comptroller.nyc.gov/newsroom/stringer-audit-board-of-elections-failures-jeopardize-new-yorkers-right-to-vote/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">audit</a> released by New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer in November last year found that in three elections since 2016, out of 156 polling sites, 90 percent showed significant breakdowns ranging from mishandling of affidavit ballots and inadequate staffing to a lack of assistance for voters with disabilities. “After a thorough review of the agency, it’s clear the voter purge is a reflection of larger, systemic, day-to-day breakdowns,” Stringer said in a statement at the time. “Elections matter, and every vote must be counted in every election. That’s why the BOE needs to fundamentally change its operations.”</p> <p>Camarda’s group has for years advocated for a municipal poll worker program. “The executive director of the Board of Elections has a very difficult job because you’re managing a temporary workforce of roughly 35,000 people across some 1,300 poll sites,” he said. “If you want to have qualified people to do these jobs, you’ve got to pay them.”</p> <p>

***
by Samar Khurshid, Senior reporter, Gotham Gazette
     

Read more by this writer.

</p>
Antonio Delgado Makes Final Pitch in Bid to Swing New York-19 2018-11-04T04:00:00+00:00 2018-11-04T04:00:00+00:00 http://www.gothamgazette.com/state/8044-antonio-delgado-makes-final-pitch-in-bid-to-swing-new-york-19 Ben Max <p><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/images/delgadotownhall_audience.jpg" alt="Antonio Delgado town hall" width="600" height="288" /></p> <p>Antonio Delgado at Friday's town hall (photo: Brianna Zimmerman)</p> <hr /> <p>Hyde Park, New York —&nbsp;In one of the most critical battleground races of the Congressional midterm elections, Democrat Antonio Delgado held the last town hall of his campaign in Dutchess County on Friday, seeking to cement his relationship with constituents and drive home his message of unity and solutions-based leadership. Delgado is attempting to swing New York’s 19th Congressional District out of Republican hands, part of Democrats’ national effort to win back the House of Representatives this fall. He’s facing incumbent Republican Rep. John Faso, who is seeking a second term representing parts of the state including the Catskills and Hudson Valley, north of New York City.</p> <p>The race appears close in a swing district with nearly even Democratic and Republican voter enrollment. It voted for Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012, then went for Donald Trump in 2016. <a href="https://ballotpedia.org/New_York's_19th_Congressional_District" target="_blank" rel="noopener">The district is nearly 90% white</a>, and is characterized by small towns, a large constituency of farmers, small businesses, and the working poor, with huge infrastructure projects running through it like the Metro North rail line and the Taconic Parkway. Winning what was then an open seat due to the retirement of former Rep. Chris Gibson, a moderate Republican, Faso beat Zephyr Teachout in 2016 by a 9% margin as Trump won the district and the presidency.</p> <p>Tuesday’s polls showed this year’s Faso-Delgado race to have razor-thin margins, though Delgado was up by 5 points in <a href="https://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2018/house/ny/new_york_19th_district_faso_vs_delgado-6350.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener">the most recent Monmouth survey</a>, other polls show Faso leading. Outside money has poured into the race, with both candidates receiving support from the national campaign committees of the two major parties, though controversy has accompanied ads paid for by Republicans.</p> <p>Both candidates have expressed support for bipartisanship in Congress, for local farmers, for bringing businesses back into the region, for protecting the gorgeous upstate environment, and for combating the opioid epidemic. They differ along party lines on other central issues to the campaign like gun rights, abortion, immigration, military funding, and healthcare.</p> <p>Over the course of an hour and a half on Friday night at St. James Episcopal Church in Hyde Park, Delgado spoke of his youth growing up in Schenectady and and his wife’s background in Woodstock, saying that coming from working-class families meant they were both raised with an idea of what it meant to “grow up before greed.” He pitched a return to the values of his youth, when the working poor was not the largest growing class in America and teachers and education and labor were, according to him, valued differently.</p> <p>“We were the last generation to really benefit from that old economic model,” the 41-year-old said. “And we were standing —&nbsp;we still stand —&nbsp;on those values: integrity, honesty, decency, service, compassion, love, because that’s how we were raised.”</p> <p>Delgado’s central message to the roughly 100 people gathered — some of whom were clearly already supporters —&nbsp;was that his style of leadership and representation would emphasize accountability to his constituents and a higher moral standard for political leaders. At times prompted by questions and at times not, he repeatedly pitched a vision for the district that includes bipartisan infrastructure investment and decriminalized substance abuse, as well as job growth while preserving the environment. He emphasized civil discourse.</p> <p>“It’s important to set the example, for ourselves and the community beyond, of what democracy ought to look like and feel like,” Delgado said early in the evening, sounding more like Obama than Trump. “That we can disagree and do so agreeably. That we can be respectful towards each other, and be civil, and ground our conversation in intellectual honesty, and decency.”</p> <p>Delgado, who is African-American, is running against Faso, who is white, on a liberal platform in what has been a heated campaign where race has been a significant factor and racism has boiled to the surface. Should Delgado win, he would be the first person of color to represent New York’s 19th district in Congress.</p> <p>But Delgado hasn’t focused on race in his campaign — rather the need for a set of elected officials who can find common ground when dealing with diverse views and perspectives. Even as the National Republican Congressional Committee has run a series of ads highlighting the Harvard-trained lawyer and Rhodes scholar’s past foray into rap music, which <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/18/opinion/editorials/john-faso-antonio-delgado-congress-19th.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener">many have called</a> racialized or racist.</p> <p>At Friday’s town hall, Delgado joked about the ads, saying, “My parents were a little bemused by that choice not ‘cause of what I was saying but because they thought — well, you might want to use your law degree.”</p> <p>Delgado’s focus on issues he sees as unifying a divided constituency was clear as he sought to make his closing pitch, win votes, and inspire volunteers in the final days before the election. He gave charismatic oratory and detailed answers to questions about complex problems throughout the night.</p> <p>President Trump is <a href="https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1058762842629984256" target="_blank" rel="noopener">supporting</a> Faso, while former President Obama has endorsed Delgado. The race has received national attention both due to its closeness, as well as the amount of money raised and spent by both sides, and the controversial ads.</p> <p>While the attacks have flown, both candidates have also preached bipartisanship, understanding that the path to victory is through voters in the middle, perhaps many of them unaffiliated with any party.</p> <p>“Rebuilding and remaking this country anew, economically speaking, is where we can meet across the aisle,” Delgado said on Friday to a round of applause.</p> <p>For his part, Faso has run his campaign on promises to work on bipartisan legislation on healthcare, fixing immigration policy, climate change, and infrastructure.</p> <p>While Delgado applauded Faso’s support of the STOP Act, which deals with opioid abuse, on Friday he criticized several of Faso’s first term choices. Delgado disavowed Faso’s vote for the Financial Support Act, which he said enables risky lending practices for large banks, among others, and accused him of being swayed in office due to donations from big pharmaceutical companies. In contrast Delgado asked those in attendance to remember that his campaign has not taken any money from those drug companies.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>“We don’t owe anybody in D.C. anything, no one brought me up, no one recruited me,” Delgado said to those gathered. “Only folks I care about and are beholden to, day in and day out, are you. And we need to restore that bar [for elected officials].”</p> <p>Faso voted against the Trump-led <a href="https://www.investopedia.com/taxes/trumps-tax-reform-plan-explained/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">tax overhaul</a> and voted for the Trump-supported <a href="https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/1628" target="_blank" rel="noopener">American Health Care Act of 2017</a>, which peeled back aspects of the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare.</p> <p>After beating out seven other Democrats in the June primary and earning 22% of the vote, Delgado has been able to raise significant funds and excite audiences with his speeches, but while polls show a close race, only Tuesday will tell whether he’s been able to capture enough of his primary opponents’ supporters and earn the confidence of thousands of other voters in this swing district.</p> <p>In New York and across the country, every seat in the House of Representatives is on the ballot this year, and as Democrats attempt to swing the chamber and take some control of government in Washington, the Delgado-Faso race is seen by some as one of the most critical bellwethers. If Democrats are going to take the House, it is the type of race they need to win.</p> <p>On the ground in Hyde Park before the town hall, constituents expressed very different needs and takes on the race, in which there are two other candidates: Steven Greenfield is the Green Party nominee, and Diane Neil is running as an independent.</p> <p>Lesley Pinto, the 20-year-old owner of El Guacamole in Hyde Park, plans to vote for Delgado in the hope that her two small local businesses will receive tax breaks, allowing her to buy a house with her husband, Carlos Pinto. She also likes his stance on immigration laws, as both her parents and many friends and family are Mexican immigrants.</p> <p>A 71-year-old man and his wife who own a small jewelry store in Hyde Park are firm Faso supporters. They spoke of their concern that social welfare programs are cutting into their profits as the minimum wage rises and tax breaks don’t favor them -- and they expressed doubts about Delgado’s promises to help small businesses. Episcopalians, they support Faso’s anti-abortion stance and, gun owners, appreciate his opposition to more gun regulations.</p> <p>Toward the end of the town hall, Delgado was asked how he would maintain his moral compass in office in the current political climate.</p> <p>“You,” Delgado said. “I’m gonna do the work for everyday Americans. I’m gonna come back and host town halls, just like this. I’m gonna show up and listen and be accountable.”</p> <p>***<br />by Brianna Zimmerman for Gotham Gazette</p> <p><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/images/delgadotownhall_audience.jpg" alt="Antonio Delgado town hall" width="600" height="288" /></p> <p>Antonio Delgado at Friday's town hall (photo: Brianna Zimmerman)</p> <hr /> <p>Hyde Park, New York —&nbsp;In one of the most critical battleground races of the Congressional midterm elections, Democrat Antonio Delgado held the last town hall of his campaign in Dutchess County on Friday, seeking to cement his relationship with constituents and drive home his message of unity and solutions-based leadership. Delgado is attempting to swing New York’s 19th Congressional District out of Republican hands, part of Democrats’ national effort to win back the House of Representatives this fall. He’s facing incumbent Republican Rep. John Faso, who is seeking a second term representing parts of the state including the Catskills and Hudson Valley, north of New York City.</p> <p>The race appears close in a swing district with nearly even Democratic and Republican voter enrollment. It voted for Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012, then went for Donald Trump in 2016. <a href="https://ballotpedia.org/New_York's_19th_Congressional_District" target="_blank" rel="noopener">The district is nearly 90% white</a>, and is characterized by small towns, a large constituency of farmers, small businesses, and the working poor, with huge infrastructure projects running through it like the Metro North rail line and the Taconic Parkway. Winning what was then an open seat due to the retirement of former Rep. Chris Gibson, a moderate Republican, Faso beat Zephyr Teachout in 2016 by a 9% margin as Trump won the district and the presidency.</p> <p>Tuesday’s polls showed this year’s Faso-Delgado race to have razor-thin margins, though Delgado was up by 5 points in <a href="https://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2018/house/ny/new_york_19th_district_faso_vs_delgado-6350.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener">the most recent Monmouth survey</a>, other polls show Faso leading. Outside money has poured into the race, with both candidates receiving support from the national campaign committees of the two major parties, though controversy has accompanied ads paid for by Republicans.</p> <p>Both candidates have expressed support for bipartisanship in Congress, for local farmers, for bringing businesses back into the region, for protecting the gorgeous upstate environment, and for combating the opioid epidemic. They differ along party lines on other central issues to the campaign like gun rights, abortion, immigration, military funding, and healthcare.</p> <p>Over the course of an hour and a half on Friday night at St. James Episcopal Church in Hyde Park, Delgado spoke of his youth growing up in Schenectady and and his wife’s background in Woodstock, saying that coming from working-class families meant they were both raised with an idea of what it meant to “grow up before greed.” He pitched a return to the values of his youth, when the working poor was not the largest growing class in America and teachers and education and labor were, according to him, valued differently.</p> <p>“We were the last generation to really benefit from that old economic model,” the 41-year-old said. “And we were standing —&nbsp;we still stand —&nbsp;on those values: integrity, honesty, decency, service, compassion, love, because that’s how we were raised.”</p> <p>Delgado’s central message to the roughly 100 people gathered — some of whom were clearly already supporters —&nbsp;was that his style of leadership and representation would emphasize accountability to his constituents and a higher moral standard for political leaders. At times prompted by questions and at times not, he repeatedly pitched a vision for the district that includes bipartisan infrastructure investment and decriminalized substance abuse, as well as job growth while preserving the environment. He emphasized civil discourse.</p> <p>“It’s important to set the example, for ourselves and the community beyond, of what democracy ought to look like and feel like,” Delgado said early in the evening, sounding more like Obama than Trump. “That we can disagree and do so agreeably. That we can be respectful towards each other, and be civil, and ground our conversation in intellectual honesty, and decency.”</p> <p>Delgado, who is African-American, is running against Faso, who is white, on a liberal platform in what has been a heated campaign where race has been a significant factor and racism has boiled to the surface. Should Delgado win, he would be the first person of color to represent New York’s 19th district in Congress.</p> <p>But Delgado hasn’t focused on race in his campaign — rather the need for a set of elected officials who can find common ground when dealing with diverse views and perspectives. Even as the National Republican Congressional Committee has run a series of ads highlighting the Harvard-trained lawyer and Rhodes scholar’s past foray into rap music, which <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/18/opinion/editorials/john-faso-antonio-delgado-congress-19th.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener">many have called</a> racialized or racist.</p> <p>At Friday’s town hall, Delgado joked about the ads, saying, “My parents were a little bemused by that choice not ‘cause of what I was saying but because they thought — well, you might want to use your law degree.”</p> <p>Delgado’s focus on issues he sees as unifying a divided constituency was clear as he sought to make his closing pitch, win votes, and inspire volunteers in the final days before the election. He gave charismatic oratory and detailed answers to questions about complex problems throughout the night.</p> <p>President Trump is <a href="https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1058762842629984256" target="_blank" rel="noopener">supporting</a> Faso, while former President Obama has endorsed Delgado. The race has received national attention both due to its closeness, as well as the amount of money raised and spent by both sides, and the controversial ads.</p> <p>While the attacks have flown, both candidates have also preached bipartisanship, understanding that the path to victory is through voters in the middle, perhaps many of them unaffiliated with any party.</p> <p>“Rebuilding and remaking this country anew, economically speaking, is where we can meet across the aisle,” Delgado said on Friday to a round of applause.</p> <p>For his part, Faso has run his campaign on promises to work on bipartisan legislation on healthcare, fixing immigration policy, climate change, and infrastructure.</p> <p>While Delgado applauded Faso’s support of the STOP Act, which deals with opioid abuse, on Friday he criticized several of Faso’s first term choices. Delgado disavowed Faso’s vote for the Financial Support Act, which he said enables risky lending practices for large banks, among others, and accused him of being swayed in office due to donations from big pharmaceutical companies. In contrast Delgado asked those in attendance to remember that his campaign has not taken any money from those drug companies.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>“We don’t owe anybody in D.C. anything, no one brought me up, no one recruited me,” Delgado said to those gathered. “Only folks I care about and are beholden to, day in and day out, are you. And we need to restore that bar [for elected officials].”</p> <p>Faso voted against the Trump-led <a href="https://www.investopedia.com/taxes/trumps-tax-reform-plan-explained/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">tax overhaul</a> and voted for the Trump-supported <a href="https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/1628" target="_blank" rel="noopener">American Health Care Act of 2017</a>, which peeled back aspects of the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare.</p> <p>After beating out seven other Democrats in the June primary and earning 22% of the vote, Delgado has been able to raise significant funds and excite audiences with his speeches, but while polls show a close race, only Tuesday will tell whether he’s been able to capture enough of his primary opponents’ supporters and earn the confidence of thousands of other voters in this swing district.</p> <p>In New York and across the country, every seat in the House of Representatives is on the ballot this year, and as Democrats attempt to swing the chamber and take some control of government in Washington, the Delgado-Faso race is seen by some as one of the most critical bellwethers. If Democrats are going to take the House, it is the type of race they need to win.</p> <p>On the ground in Hyde Park before the town hall, constituents expressed very different needs and takes on the race, in which there are two other candidates: Steven Greenfield is the Green Party nominee, and Diane Neil is running as an independent.</p> <p>Lesley Pinto, the 20-year-old owner of El Guacamole in Hyde Park, plans to vote for Delgado in the hope that her two small local businesses will receive tax breaks, allowing her to buy a house with her husband, Carlos Pinto. She also likes his stance on immigration laws, as both her parents and many friends and family are Mexican immigrants.</p> <p>A 71-year-old man and his wife who own a small jewelry store in Hyde Park are firm Faso supporters. They spoke of their concern that social welfare programs are cutting into their profits as the minimum wage rises and tax breaks don’t favor them -- and they expressed doubts about Delgado’s promises to help small businesses. Episcopalians, they support Faso’s anti-abortion stance and, gun owners, appreciate his opposition to more gun regulations.</p> <p>Toward the end of the town hall, Delgado was asked how he would maintain his moral compass in office in the current political climate.</p> <p>“You,” Delgado said. “I’m gonna do the work for everyday Americans. I’m gonna come back and host town halls, just like this. I’m gonna show up and listen and be accountable.”</p> <p>***<br />by Brianna Zimmerman for Gotham Gazette</p> Tax Issues at Center of State Elections, Albany Year to Come 2018-11-04T04:00:00+00:00 2018-11-04T04:00:00+00:00 http://www.gothamgazette.com/state/8047-tax-issues-at-center-of-new-york-elections-albany-year-to-come Ben Max <p><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/images/27652181388_e68bd4c1b7_z.jpg" alt="Cuomo taxes" width="600" height="400" /></p> <p>Gov. Cuomo (photo:&nbsp;Don Pollard/Governor's Office)</p> <hr /> <p>When the dust settles on the 2018 elections, whoever is governing the state will be faced with problems like what to do about&nbsp;<a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/city/7978-at-brooklyn-town-hall-angry-nycha-residents-told-to-vote-as-a-bloc">NYCHA</a>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/city/8008-8-steps-to-fix-new-york-transit-and-get-new-yorkers-moving-again">the MTA</a>, and&nbsp;<a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/state/8028-climate-change-and-what-to-do-about-it-largely-missing-from-governor-s-race">how New York should respond to climate change</a>, among many others. Another pressing issue that has been an area of focus in many campaigns around the state, from the governor’s race through those for the state Senate, is taxes, and what the next governor and Legislature will or won’t do about them in a number of ways, including the ongoing question of how New York must adjust to the new federal tax code.</p> <p>Though proposals and arguments have often been hazy, the issue of taxes has been among the most discussed this election season and will be a topic of significant debate when the new state government starts doing business in January. The contours of those discussions and the actual proposals put forward will vary greatly depending on the outcomes of the governor’s race and which party controls the state Senate (the Assembly is home to an overwhelming Democratic majority).</p> <p>Marc Molinaro, the Republican nominee for governor, has pitched his candidacy largely based on a plan that he says will lead to a 30 percent reduction in property taxes for New Yorkers over five years, but the party’s state Senate conference, hoping to cling to a one-seat majority during a promising year for the opposition, has mostly stuck to arguing that Democrats will increase taxes to previously unseen levels if given full control of state government.</p> <p>For their part, Democrats have been quieter on taxes, with Governor Andrew Cuomo promising to extend the state’s property tax cap and keep state spending to two percent annual increases, even as some members of his party’s Senate slate push for things like state-run single-payer healthcare and a polluter’s tax -- neither of which Cuomo supports. Running for a third term, Cuomo has said little else about taxes, despite the fact that his attempts to thwart the impact of the federal tax reform have thus far not panned out, the state’s current millionaires tax is set to expire next year, the state is facing upcoming budget gaps, and the state-run MTA is in need of tens of billions of dollars to get the New York City subway system functioning properly.</p> <p>Molinaro has made broad tax reform&nbsp;<a href="https://molinaroforny.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/Empire-State-Freedom-Plan-9-28-18-1.pdf">one of the centerpieces of his campaign</a>, along with restoring trust in government and generally being a governor who isn’t followed by corruption investigations. His tax plan proposes reductions across the board, from the end of the millionaires tax to an expansion of the earned income tax credit to childless workers and noncustodial parents and the indexing the state’s income tax brackets, standard deduction and dependent exemptions to inflation (a move that Molinaro says prevents a filer’s tax bracket increasing due to inflation without any real change in their earning power).</p> <p>Molinaro wants to limit annual state spending increases to three percent, but wants that cap codified into state law, unlike Cuomo’s two percent cap, which is self-imposed and the governor, despite his claims to the contrary, has not completely kept to.</p> <p>The Dutchess county executive’s plan has “a lot of good elements in it and establishes some very worthy and desirable goals,” according to E.J. McMahon, the founder and research director of the conservative Empire Center of New York, although McMahon said he didn’t think the math behind the plan added up to the promised 30 percent reduction in property taxes. Asked repeatedly throughout the campaign, Molinaro has not laid out exactly how he would get there, only promising in broad terms to modernize state government, find efficiencies, and more effectively deliver services.</p> <p>On the Democratic side, clarity also doesn’t come easy. Cuomo’s priorities on socially liberal but fiscally moderate governance can be seen most clearly in something like his&nbsp;<a href="https://www.andrewcuomo.com/news/governor-cuomo-and-long-island-senate-candidates-propose-nine-point-plan-make-long-island">Long Island Senate Democratic Agenda</a>, but even that plan lacks specifics and has seemingly competing priorities. On the one hand, the agenda lays out a promise to keep the two percent property tax cap and the two percent spending cap going, while also promising “historic tax cuts.” On the other hand, there are promises to include Long Island in increased infrastructure, education, and economic development funding.</p> <p>Cuomo has resisted calls for a New York City-based addition to the millionaires tax, recently pitting his philosophy against Mayor Bill de Blasio in sarcastic terms, saying, “'[W]ell, ideally we would like to have a millionaires tax.' Yes, I wish I could be an elected official who lived in the ideal,”&nbsp;<a href="https://www.governor.ny.gov/news/video-audio-photos-rush-transcript-governor-cuomo-announces-13-billion-plan-transform-jfk-world">at a gathering of the Association for A Better New York</a>, a business group. He also explicitly cast himself as a different kind of politician than legislators and local politicians “who like to spend”&nbsp;<a href="https://www.governor.ny.gov/news/video-photos-rush-transcript-governor-cuomo-delivers-remarks-business-council-new-york-states-0">at a speech in front of the Business Council of New York</a>, boasting that he has overseen lower year-over-year state spending increases than previous governors including Republicans and his father.</p> <p>Part of the lack of clarity on the Democratic side has to do with the uncertainty of where the party will be after the general election. A newly won Senate majority may rely on seats outside New York City, which would require a collaboration of city, suburban, and upstate interests that don’t always align perfectly. And even as Democrats in swing districts&nbsp;<a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/state/7995-despite-lack-of-support-from-cuomo-democrats-in-swing-districts-run-on-not-from-single-payer-health-care">run on platforms that include single-payer healthcare</a>&nbsp;in New York, they are pledging not to increase the taxes that would fund it, and many are seeking to represent high-tax Long Island and north-of-the-city areas very sensitive to any additional tax increases and another election right around the corner in 2020, when all the seats in the Legislature will again be on the ballot.</p> <p>“I think out of the gate you're gonna see a Senate Democratic Conference that's gonna correct some of the wrongs, the missed opportunities by the Senate Republicans like voting reform and gun control, women's health,” Democratic state Senate spokesperson Mike Murphy told Gotham Gazette, suggesting the party would focus on progressive social issues at the beginning of the 2019 session if in the majority. And even as the New York Health Act that would establish state single-payer health care emerged as a hot issue for New York City progressives, among other Democrats, they will have the&nbsp;<a href="https://www.crainsnewyork.com/article/20180323/OPINION/180329956/op-ed-state-must-patch-holes-in-city-s-rent-regulation">state’s expiring laws around rent control to deal with next year</a>, and candidates outside of the city, like the Hudson Valley’s Pete Harckham, want much of a full two-year term to work out how a single-payer program would look, or to craft a universal health insurance program compromise with Cuomo.</p> <p>On the issues of the new federal limitations on state and local tax (SALT) deductions, which dramatically affects high-tax states like New York, the state has joined with other Democratic states&nbsp;<a href="http://www.nystateofpolitics.com/2018/07/new-york-sues-feds-over-tax-laws-salt-cap/">to sue the federal government</a>&nbsp;over the $10,000 cap that was included in federal tax reform efforts, in part on the grounds that they were targeted after not voting for Donald Trump for president. At the same time, the IRS has blocked efforts by New York and other states to get around the deduction cap by&nbsp;<a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-08-23/irs-blocks-new-york-new-jersey-plans-to-bypass-state-tax-cap">limiting the federal tax credit</a>&nbsp;taxpayers would get by “donating” their property tax payments to charitable organizations designed to accept the taxes.</p> <p>Cuomo has been otherwise quiet about how he would solve the issue of the SALT deduction problem, which is likely to most acutely hurt high earners as well as suburban middle and upper middle class property owners, though he has said one goal is for Democrats to recapture control of the federal government and repeal the deduction cap.</p> <p>The governor has been silent on the question of whether the millionaires tax will be allowed to sunset next year as its currently designed to -- it has been extended multiple times under Cuomo, in partnership with a split Legislature, and there is a significant question around how the state would make up for the revenue if it is not extended. On the other hand, it affects many individuals and families that will be paying higher taxes given the new SALT cap, and Cuomo and others have expressed concern about high-income individuals leaving the state. Cuomo’s campaign did not provide an answer to multiple Gotham Gazette inquiries about the governor’s stance on the millionaires tax.</p> <p>Molinaro has said he would let the millionaires tax expire.</p> <p>His plan on the SALT deduction cap is to get rid of New York’s “<a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2003/05/12/nyregion/highest-tax-will-apply-at-one-rate.html">tax benefit recapture” policy</a>, a practice that charges the highest marginal tax rate for taxpayers above a certain income band, for New Yorkers making between $107,650 and $323,200, thus addressing some of the lost deductions for those earners.</p> <p>Tax shifts rather than cuts or increases are the most common kinds of plans on the table from both parties. On the Democratic side, Long Island’s John Brooks, running for reelection in a swing district, has offered up a plan that he says would allow areas like Long Island to get out from under high property tax bills related to education spending by capping the amount of school funding coming from property taxes at 50 percent, with any budget needs above 50 percent picked up by the state.</p> <p>“What Brooks is saying is we need to lower your taxes by finding someone else to pay them. But if you're in Long Island, there is no ‘someone else,’ it's you, you have the higher average incomes,” McMahon said in reaction to the proposal.</p> <p>For Republicans, requiring the state government to pick up Medicaid costs from local governments is something that Molinaro and&nbsp;<a href="https://www.tom4ny.com/news/basile-unveils-property-tax-reform-plan">state Senate Republicans</a>&nbsp;are running on (<a href="https://www.syracuse.com/opinion/index.ssf/2018/10/editorial_endorsements_robert_antonacci_rachel_may_for_ny_state_senate.html">to the delight of local editorial boards</a>). It would cost $7 to $8 billion, and require either new or higher taxes or a reduction in the actual delivered services&nbsp;<a href="https://cbcny.org/research/still-poor-way-pay-medicaid">according to a Citizens Budget Commission study on the shift</a>&nbsp;(Cuomo has mocked it as an unserious proposal). But the state Senate conference&nbsp;<a href="https://www.nysenate.gov/newsroom/press-releases/senate-majority-continues-efforts-make-new-york-more-affordable-cutting-0">has also endorsed the idea</a>&nbsp;of exempting seniors from paying property taxes, arguing that since they don’t make use of the schools, they shouldn’t pay to keep them running. It’s a proposition McMahon&nbsp;<a href="https://www.empirecenter.org/publications/the-ny-senate-gops-bankrupt-blueprint/">has panned before</a>&nbsp;and he compared it unfavorably to Brooks’ plan as irresponsible and unfeasible. “How is that fair to a working couple with three or four kids living paycheck to paycheck, and the retired couple next door get to pay no property tax? Are you kidding?”</p> <p>

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by Dave Colon, Gotham Gazette
     

Read more by this writer.

</p>
<p><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/images/27652181388_e68bd4c1b7_z.jpg" alt="Cuomo taxes" width="600" height="400" /></p> <p>Gov. Cuomo (photo:&nbsp;Don Pollard/Governor's Office)</p> <hr /> <p>When the dust settles on the 2018 elections, whoever is governing the state will be faced with problems like what to do about&nbsp;<a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/city/7978-at-brooklyn-town-hall-angry-nycha-residents-told-to-vote-as-a-bloc">NYCHA</a>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/city/8008-8-steps-to-fix-new-york-transit-and-get-new-yorkers-moving-again">the MTA</a>, and&nbsp;<a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/state/8028-climate-change-and-what-to-do-about-it-largely-missing-from-governor-s-race">how New York should respond to climate change</a>, among many others. Another pressing issue that has been an area of focus in many campaigns around the state, from the governor’s race through those for the state Senate, is taxes, and what the next governor and Legislature will or won’t do about them in a number of ways, including the ongoing question of how New York must adjust to the new federal tax code.</p> <p>Though proposals and arguments have often been hazy, the issue of taxes has been among the most discussed this election season and will be a topic of significant debate when the new state government starts doing business in January. The contours of those discussions and the actual proposals put forward will vary greatly depending on the outcomes of the governor’s race and which party controls the state Senate (the Assembly is home to an overwhelming Democratic majority).</p> <p>Marc Molinaro, the Republican nominee for governor, has pitched his candidacy largely based on a plan that he says will lead to a 30 percent reduction in property taxes for New Yorkers over five years, but the party’s state Senate conference, hoping to cling to a one-seat majority during a promising year for the opposition, has mostly stuck to arguing that Democrats will increase taxes to previously unseen levels if given full control of state government.</p> <p>For their part, Democrats have been quieter on taxes, with Governor Andrew Cuomo promising to extend the state’s property tax cap and keep state spending to two percent annual increases, even as some members of his party’s Senate slate push for things like state-run single-payer healthcare and a polluter’s tax -- neither of which Cuomo supports. Running for a third term, Cuomo has said little else about taxes, despite the fact that his attempts to thwart the impact of the federal tax reform have thus far not panned out, the state’s current millionaires tax is set to expire next year, the state is facing upcoming budget gaps, and the state-run MTA is in need of tens of billions of dollars to get the New York City subway system functioning properly.</p> <p>Molinaro has made broad tax reform&nbsp;<a href="https://molinaroforny.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/Empire-State-Freedom-Plan-9-28-18-1.pdf">one of the centerpieces of his campaign</a>, along with restoring trust in government and generally being a governor who isn’t followed by corruption investigations. His tax plan proposes reductions across the board, from the end of the millionaires tax to an expansion of the earned income tax credit to childless workers and noncustodial parents and the indexing the state’s income tax brackets, standard deduction and dependent exemptions to inflation (a move that Molinaro says prevents a filer’s tax bracket increasing due to inflation without any real change in their earning power).</p> <p>Molinaro wants to limit annual state spending increases to three percent, but wants that cap codified into state law, unlike Cuomo’s two percent cap, which is self-imposed and the governor, despite his claims to the contrary, has not completely kept to.</p> <p>The Dutchess county executive’s plan has “a lot of good elements in it and establishes some very worthy and desirable goals,” according to E.J. McMahon, the founder and research director of the conservative Empire Center of New York, although McMahon said he didn’t think the math behind the plan added up to the promised 30 percent reduction in property taxes. Asked repeatedly throughout the campaign, Molinaro has not laid out exactly how he would get there, only promising in broad terms to modernize state government, find efficiencies, and more effectively deliver services.</p> <p>On the Democratic side, clarity also doesn’t come easy. Cuomo’s priorities on socially liberal but fiscally moderate governance can be seen most clearly in something like his&nbsp;<a href="https://www.andrewcuomo.com/news/governor-cuomo-and-long-island-senate-candidates-propose-nine-point-plan-make-long-island">Long Island Senate Democratic Agenda</a>, but even that plan lacks specifics and has seemingly competing priorities. On the one hand, the agenda lays out a promise to keep the two percent property tax cap and the two percent spending cap going, while also promising “historic tax cuts.” On the other hand, there are promises to include Long Island in increased infrastructure, education, and economic development funding.</p> <p>Cuomo has resisted calls for a New York City-based addition to the millionaires tax, recently pitting his philosophy against Mayor Bill de Blasio in sarcastic terms, saying, “'[W]ell, ideally we would like to have a millionaires tax.' Yes, I wish I could be an elected official who lived in the ideal,”&nbsp;<a href="https://www.governor.ny.gov/news/video-audio-photos-rush-transcript-governor-cuomo-announces-13-billion-plan-transform-jfk-world">at a gathering of the Association for A Better New York</a>, a business group. He also explicitly cast himself as a different kind of politician than legislators and local politicians “who like to spend”&nbsp;<a href="https://www.governor.ny.gov/news/video-photos-rush-transcript-governor-cuomo-delivers-remarks-business-council-new-york-states-0">at a speech in front of the Business Council of New York</a>, boasting that he has overseen lower year-over-year state spending increases than previous governors including Republicans and his father.</p> <p>Part of the lack of clarity on the Democratic side has to do with the uncertainty of where the party will be after the general election. A newly won Senate majority may rely on seats outside New York City, which would require a collaboration of city, suburban, and upstate interests that don’t always align perfectly. And even as Democrats in swing districts&nbsp;<a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/state/7995-despite-lack-of-support-from-cuomo-democrats-in-swing-districts-run-on-not-from-single-payer-health-care">run on platforms that include single-payer healthcare</a>&nbsp;in New York, they are pledging not to increase the taxes that would fund it, and many are seeking to represent high-tax Long Island and north-of-the-city areas very sensitive to any additional tax increases and another election right around the corner in 2020, when all the seats in the Legislature will again be on the ballot.</p> <p>“I think out of the gate you're gonna see a Senate Democratic Conference that's gonna correct some of the wrongs, the missed opportunities by the Senate Republicans like voting reform and gun control, women's health,” Democratic state Senate spokesperson Mike Murphy told Gotham Gazette, suggesting the party would focus on progressive social issues at the beginning of the 2019 session if in the majority. And even as the New York Health Act that would establish state single-payer health care emerged as a hot issue for New York City progressives, among other Democrats, they will have the&nbsp;<a href="https://www.crainsnewyork.com/article/20180323/OPINION/180329956/op-ed-state-must-patch-holes-in-city-s-rent-regulation">state’s expiring laws around rent control to deal with next year</a>, and candidates outside of the city, like the Hudson Valley’s Pete Harckham, want much of a full two-year term to work out how a single-payer program would look, or to craft a universal health insurance program compromise with Cuomo.</p> <p>On the issues of the new federal limitations on state and local tax (SALT) deductions, which dramatically affects high-tax states like New York, the state has joined with other Democratic states&nbsp;<a href="http://www.nystateofpolitics.com/2018/07/new-york-sues-feds-over-tax-laws-salt-cap/">to sue the federal government</a>&nbsp;over the $10,000 cap that was included in federal tax reform efforts, in part on the grounds that they were targeted after not voting for Donald Trump for president. At the same time, the IRS has blocked efforts by New York and other states to get around the deduction cap by&nbsp;<a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-08-23/irs-blocks-new-york-new-jersey-plans-to-bypass-state-tax-cap">limiting the federal tax credit</a>&nbsp;taxpayers would get by “donating” their property tax payments to charitable organizations designed to accept the taxes.</p> <p>Cuomo has been otherwise quiet about how he would solve the issue of the SALT deduction problem, which is likely to most acutely hurt high earners as well as suburban middle and upper middle class property owners, though he has said one goal is for Democrats to recapture control of the federal government and repeal the deduction cap.</p> <p>The governor has been silent on the question of whether the millionaires tax will be allowed to sunset next year as its currently designed to -- it has been extended multiple times under Cuomo, in partnership with a split Legislature, and there is a significant question around how the state would make up for the revenue if it is not extended. On the other hand, it affects many individuals and families that will be paying higher taxes given the new SALT cap, and Cuomo and others have expressed concern about high-income individuals leaving the state. Cuomo’s campaign did not provide an answer to multiple Gotham Gazette inquiries about the governor’s stance on the millionaires tax.</p> <p>Molinaro has said he would let the millionaires tax expire.</p> <p>His plan on the SALT deduction cap is to get rid of New York’s “<a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2003/05/12/nyregion/highest-tax-will-apply-at-one-rate.html">tax benefit recapture” policy</a>, a practice that charges the highest marginal tax rate for taxpayers above a certain income band, for New Yorkers making between $107,650 and $323,200, thus addressing some of the lost deductions for those earners.</p> <p>Tax shifts rather than cuts or increases are the most common kinds of plans on the table from both parties. On the Democratic side, Long Island’s John Brooks, running for reelection in a swing district, has offered up a plan that he says would allow areas like Long Island to get out from under high property tax bills related to education spending by capping the amount of school funding coming from property taxes at 50 percent, with any budget needs above 50 percent picked up by the state.</p> <p>“What Brooks is saying is we need to lower your taxes by finding someone else to pay them. But if you're in Long Island, there is no ‘someone else,’ it's you, you have the higher average incomes,” McMahon said in reaction to the proposal.</p> <p>For Republicans, requiring the state government to pick up Medicaid costs from local governments is something that Molinaro and&nbsp;<a href="https://www.tom4ny.com/news/basile-unveils-property-tax-reform-plan">state Senate Republicans</a>&nbsp;are running on (<a href="https://www.syracuse.com/opinion/index.ssf/2018/10/editorial_endorsements_robert_antonacci_rachel_may_for_ny_state_senate.html">to the delight of local editorial boards</a>). It would cost $7 to $8 billion, and require either new or higher taxes or a reduction in the actual delivered services&nbsp;<a href="https://cbcny.org/research/still-poor-way-pay-medicaid">according to a Citizens Budget Commission study on the shift</a>&nbsp;(Cuomo has mocked it as an unserious proposal). But the state Senate conference&nbsp;<a href="https://www.nysenate.gov/newsroom/press-releases/senate-majority-continues-efforts-make-new-york-more-affordable-cutting-0">has also endorsed the idea</a>&nbsp;of exempting seniors from paying property taxes, arguing that since they don’t make use of the schools, they shouldn’t pay to keep them running. It’s a proposition McMahon&nbsp;<a href="https://www.empirecenter.org/publications/the-ny-senate-gops-bankrupt-blueprint/">has panned before</a>&nbsp;and he compared it unfavorably to Brooks’ plan as irresponsible and unfeasible. “How is that fair to a working couple with three or four kids living paycheck to paycheck, and the retired couple next door get to pay no property tax? Are you kidding?”</p> <p>

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by Dave Colon, Gotham Gazette
     

Read more by this writer.

</p>
Keep the Party Dedicated to Women’s Equality Alive in New York 2018-11-04T04:00:00+00:00 2018-11-04T04:00:00+00:00 http://www.gothamgazette.com/130-opinion/8050-keep-the-party-dedicated-to-women-s-equality-alive-in-new-york Ben Max <p><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/images/21740828424_bbb20b8709_z.jpg" alt="Cuomo women's equality" width="600" height="406" /></p> <p>Gov. Cuomo signs legislation (photo:&nbsp;Kevin P. Coughlin/Governor's Office)</p> <hr /> <p>Never has the time to stand up against the attacks on women and people of all races and religions been more important. Since the election of Donald Trump, it has been critically important to protect women’s rights against the barrage of attacks including assaults on reproductive rights, attempts to restrict access to healthcare, verbal abuse towards women, and the fight for representation on the Supreme Court.</p> <p>The President of the United States publicly mocks victims of sexual assault. The Majority Leader of the U.S. Senate calls survivors of sexual assault and rape “clowns!”</p> <p>Did you know one in five women will be raped and one in three women will experience some form of sexual violence in their lifetime? Annually, rape costs the U.S. $127 billion, more than any other crime. Nearly three women are murdered every day in the U.S. by current or former romantic partners. More than half of female homicide victims were killed in connection to violence by an intimate partner. During their lifetimes, 81% of women will experience some form of sexual harassment, with more than three out of four women experiencing verbal harassment.</p> <p>During his first week in office, President Trump began issuing executive orders that reinstated the ‘Global Gag Rule.’ This Reagan-era policy bans international organizations that receive U.S. funding from providing abortion services or offering information about the procedure.</p> <p>Last week, the Trump administration announced that it was expanding protections for doctors, nurses and other health care workers who have a moral or religious objection to performing abortion services. President Trump has appointed prominent anti-choice activists to high-level positions within the administration, and, of course, the appointments of anti-choice judges to the Supreme Court is the greatest threat to women’s right to choose.</p> <p>But this is not just an anti-choice attack. The repercussions are serious and wide-ranging: rollbacks on no-copay contraception and maternity care are already taking place, and accessible health care for low-income children is at risk. Planned Parenthood is sometimes the only women’s health care provider in rural counties, offering maternal care, cancer screenings, and more. Those life-saving services are now being threatened.</p> <p>Never before has the Women’s Equality Party of New York State been more critical. New York State Election Law provides that a party will exist if it receives at least 50,000 votes for its gubernatorial candidate on its party line. Four years ago, Governor Cuomo created the Women’s Equality Party (WEP) and received 53,000 votes on its line. The most important thing New Yorkers can do to ensure the continued existence of the Women’s Equality Party, the only women’s party in the nation, is to vote for Governor Cuomo on the WEP line this year, and help toward more than <a href="https://www.dropbox.com/s/qlbip8044mhnv0i/Count%20Your%20Blessings_2.mp4?dl=0" target="_blank" rel="noopener">50,000 votes on Election Day</a>.</p> <p>The Cuomo administration’s Women’s Equality Agenda advanced critical policies to protect domestic violence victims and prevent sexual assault on college campuses, legislation to remove guns from domestic abusers and to close a loophole in state law that will ensure domestic abusers are required to surrender all firearms, not just handguns.</p> <p>The passage of the SAFE Act helps our children be safer in school during a time of mass school shootings.</p> <p>The passage of an increased minimum wage and paid family leave is critical in lifting up the millions of women and children living in poverty, among many other New Yorkers.</p> <p>These issues, along with others of importance to women and children, are detailed on the Women’s Equality Party <a href="https://nywomensequalityparty.org">newly launched website</a>, which I encourage you to review ahead of casting your ballot on Tuesday.</p> <p>The WEP aims to fight the policies designed to take back hard-fought rights gained over years of organizing and legislative battles. We need your help to keep our voice strong and in the fight. All of the WEP-endorsed federal, state, and local candidates will fight to protect women and children.</p> <p>The 100th anniversary of women’s right to vote is in 2020. Women fought long and hard at great personal sacrifice to win this right. Now, in New York, women finally have a ballot line dedicated to their issues. We need to preserve this ballot status and grow our voice. We will march, speak up, and win political office. We will break glass ceilings everywhere. Most importantly – we will never go back!</p> <p>***<br /> Susan Zimet is Chair of the Women’s Equality Party of New York State.</p> <p>

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<p><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/images/21740828424_bbb20b8709_z.jpg" alt="Cuomo women's equality" width="600" height="406" /></p> <p>Gov. Cuomo signs legislation (photo:&nbsp;Kevin P. Coughlin/Governor's Office)</p> <hr /> <p>Never has the time to stand up against the attacks on women and people of all races and religions been more important. Since the election of Donald Trump, it has been critically important to protect women’s rights against the barrage of attacks including assaults on reproductive rights, attempts to restrict access to healthcare, verbal abuse towards women, and the fight for representation on the Supreme Court.</p> <p>The President of the United States publicly mocks victims of sexual assault. The Majority Leader of the U.S. Senate calls survivors of sexual assault and rape “clowns!”</p> <p>Did you know one in five women will be raped and one in three women will experience some form of sexual violence in their lifetime? Annually, rape costs the U.S. $127 billion, more than any other crime. Nearly three women are murdered every day in the U.S. by current or former romantic partners. More than half of female homicide victims were killed in connection to violence by an intimate partner. During their lifetimes, 81% of women will experience some form of sexual harassment, with more than three out of four women experiencing verbal harassment.</p> <p>During his first week in office, President Trump began issuing executive orders that reinstated the ‘Global Gag Rule.’ This Reagan-era policy bans international organizations that receive U.S. funding from providing abortion services or offering information about the procedure.</p> <p>Last week, the Trump administration announced that it was expanding protections for doctors, nurses and other health care workers who have a moral or religious objection to performing abortion services. President Trump has appointed prominent anti-choice activists to high-level positions within the administration, and, of course, the appointments of anti-choice judges to the Supreme Court is the greatest threat to women’s right to choose.</p> <p>But this is not just an anti-choice attack. The repercussions are serious and wide-ranging: rollbacks on no-copay contraception and maternity care are already taking place, and accessible health care for low-income children is at risk. Planned Parenthood is sometimes the only women’s health care provider in rural counties, offering maternal care, cancer screenings, and more. Those life-saving services are now being threatened.</p> <p>Never before has the Women’s Equality Party of New York State been more critical. New York State Election Law provides that a party will exist if it receives at least 50,000 votes for its gubernatorial candidate on its party line. Four years ago, Governor Cuomo created the Women’s Equality Party (WEP) and received 53,000 votes on its line. The most important thing New Yorkers can do to ensure the continued existence of the Women’s Equality Party, the only women’s party in the nation, is to vote for Governor Cuomo on the WEP line this year, and help toward more than <a href="https://www.dropbox.com/s/qlbip8044mhnv0i/Count%20Your%20Blessings_2.mp4?dl=0" target="_blank" rel="noopener">50,000 votes on Election Day</a>.</p> <p>The Cuomo administration’s Women’s Equality Agenda advanced critical policies to protect domestic violence victims and prevent sexual assault on college campuses, legislation to remove guns from domestic abusers and to close a loophole in state law that will ensure domestic abusers are required to surrender all firearms, not just handguns.</p> <p>The passage of the SAFE Act helps our children be safer in school during a time of mass school shootings.</p> <p>The passage of an increased minimum wage and paid family leave is critical in lifting up the millions of women and children living in poverty, among many other New Yorkers.</p> <p>These issues, along with others of importance to women and children, are detailed on the Women’s Equality Party <a href="https://nywomensequalityparty.org">newly launched website</a>, which I encourage you to review ahead of casting your ballot on Tuesday.</p> <p>The WEP aims to fight the policies designed to take back hard-fought rights gained over years of organizing and legislative battles. We need your help to keep our voice strong and in the fight. All of the WEP-endorsed federal, state, and local candidates will fight to protect women and children.</p> <p>The 100th anniversary of women’s right to vote is in 2020. Women fought long and hard at great personal sacrifice to win this right. Now, in New York, women finally have a ballot line dedicated to their issues. We need to preserve this ballot status and grow our voice. We will march, speak up, and win political office. We will break glass ceilings everywhere. Most importantly – we will never go back!</p> <p>***<br /> Susan Zimet is Chair of the Women’s Equality Party of New York State.</p> <p>

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Vote Yes Three Times to Improve New York City Democracy 2018-11-05T05:00:00+00:00 2018-11-05T05:00:00+00:00 http://www.gothamgazette.com/130-opinion/8052-vote-yes-three-times-to-improve-new-york-city-democracy Ben Max <p><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/images/29371579580_504746f976_z.jpg" alt="three voting booths" width="600" height="400" /></p> <p>(photo: Mayor's Office)</p> <hr /> <p>A political awakening is sweeping New York City. Voter turnout during the last election spiked nearly 300 percent. More New Yorkers are speaking out and looking to engage in the civic life and democracy of their city.</p> <p>Earlier this year, hundreds of New Yorkers, many of them everyday people who gave up their personal time to attend a public hearing, voiced their concerns to a New York City Charter Revision Commission appointed by Mayor Bill de Blasio traveling the five boroughs. The Charter Commission boiled down hundreds of hours of public testimony into three proposals that will be on the back of Election Day ballots, each in the form of a yes/no question.</p> <p>Voting "yes" on all three proposals will give New Yorkers new opportunities to channel their rising political energy and hopes for a more diverse and representative government.&nbsp;</p> <p>A "yes" vote on Question 1 will empower everyday New Yorkers by amplifying their voices in political campaigns for local office. New Yorkers making contributions to candidates will have their small donations matched with $8 in public funds for every $1 donated. A $10 contribution will grow to $90; a $100 donation multiplied to $900. And, the influence of big money will be further slashed by reducing the maximum individual contribution by a third. This proposal will also enable more New Yorkers to run for office themselves by raising small donations from their friends and neighbors. A "yes" vote on Question 1 is backed by Reinvent Albany and the New York Public Interest Research Group (NYPIRG), among others.</p> <p>On Question 2, a "yes" vote will enable all New Yorkers to vote directly on a slice of the city’s budget to beautify a local park, make a pedestrian crossing safer, or any number of other ideas that come from local communities. A Commission would be created to organize and connect New Yorkers to volunteer opportunities in government and the private sector, among other responsibilities to foster civic engagement and make the city better. This proposal is strongly supported by leaders in the worldwide Participatory Budgeting movement, which this proposal will expand.</p> <p>A "yes" vote on Question 3 will open up opportunities for more New Yorkers to serve on community boards. Community boards provide advice on local land use, neighborhood quality of life issues, and the city budget, and serve as the level of government closest to the people. Yet, according to community board and census data, many boards consist of members who have served for decades, and do not reflect the diverse makeup and viewpoints of their neighborhoods.</p> <p>By requiring community board members step down from their positions for two years after serving eight years, everybody in the community will have an opportunity to participate and have their voices heard. This proposal is strongly supported by citywide, grassroots groups like Transportation Alternatives that have decades of experience working with community boards.</p> <p>A yes, yes, yes vote on the three ballot proposals will collectively harness the heightened activism of New Yorkers as robust participants in their democracy and their city. Find the questions on the back of your ballot and approve them for a stronger New York City.</p> <p>***<br />Alex Camarda is&nbsp;Senior Policy Advisor for Reinvent Albany. On Twitter <a href="https://twitter.com/alex_camarda" target="_blank" rel="noopener">@alex_camarda</a> &amp; <a href="https://twitter.com/ReinventAlbany" target="_blank" rel="noopener">@ReinventAlbany</a>.</p> <p>

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<p><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/images/29371579580_504746f976_z.jpg" alt="three voting booths" width="600" height="400" /></p> <p>(photo: Mayor's Office)</p> <hr /> <p>A political awakening is sweeping New York City. Voter turnout during the last election spiked nearly 300 percent. More New Yorkers are speaking out and looking to engage in the civic life and democracy of their city.</p> <p>Earlier this year, hundreds of New Yorkers, many of them everyday people who gave up their personal time to attend a public hearing, voiced their concerns to a New York City Charter Revision Commission appointed by Mayor Bill de Blasio traveling the five boroughs. The Charter Commission boiled down hundreds of hours of public testimony into three proposals that will be on the back of Election Day ballots, each in the form of a yes/no question.</p> <p>Voting "yes" on all three proposals will give New Yorkers new opportunities to channel their rising political energy and hopes for a more diverse and representative government.&nbsp;</p> <p>A "yes" vote on Question 1 will empower everyday New Yorkers by amplifying their voices in political campaigns for local office. New Yorkers making contributions to candidates will have their small donations matched with $8 in public funds for every $1 donated. A $10 contribution will grow to $90; a $100 donation multiplied to $900. And, the influence of big money will be further slashed by reducing the maximum individual contribution by a third. This proposal will also enable more New Yorkers to run for office themselves by raising small donations from their friends and neighbors. A "yes" vote on Question 1 is backed by Reinvent Albany and the New York Public Interest Research Group (NYPIRG), among others.</p> <p>On Question 2, a "yes" vote will enable all New Yorkers to vote directly on a slice of the city’s budget to beautify a local park, make a pedestrian crossing safer, or any number of other ideas that come from local communities. A Commission would be created to organize and connect New Yorkers to volunteer opportunities in government and the private sector, among other responsibilities to foster civic engagement and make the city better. This proposal is strongly supported by leaders in the worldwide Participatory Budgeting movement, which this proposal will expand.</p> <p>A "yes" vote on Question 3 will open up opportunities for more New Yorkers to serve on community boards. Community boards provide advice on local land use, neighborhood quality of life issues, and the city budget, and serve as the level of government closest to the people. Yet, according to community board and census data, many boards consist of members who have served for decades, and do not reflect the diverse makeup and viewpoints of their neighborhoods.</p> <p>By requiring community board members step down from their positions for two years after serving eight years, everybody in the community will have an opportunity to participate and have their voices heard. This proposal is strongly supported by citywide, grassroots groups like Transportation Alternatives that have decades of experience working with community boards.</p> <p>A yes, yes, yes vote on the three ballot proposals will collectively harness the heightened activism of New Yorkers as robust participants in their democracy and their city. Find the questions on the back of your ballot and approve them for a stronger New York City.</p> <p>***<br />Alex Camarda is&nbsp;Senior Policy Advisor for Reinvent Albany. On Twitter <a href="https://twitter.com/alex_camarda" target="_blank" rel="noopener">@alex_camarda</a> &amp; <a href="https://twitter.com/ReinventAlbany" target="_blank" rel="noopener">@ReinventAlbany</a>.</p> <p>

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