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State Legislature

State Legislature

  • Cuomo and De Blasio Outline Priorities for a Democratic Senate, with A Lot In Common

    cuomo de blasio chelsea

    Cuomo & de Blasio in Chelsea (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    In typical fashion, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio are saying a lot of the same things, but doing so nowhere near each other and without mentioning the other.

    In a role reversal from 2014, during the current election season Cuomo is actively pushing for Democrats to win key swing seats and take control of the State Senate, Republicans’ last bastion of power in statewide government, while de Blasio is on the sideline.

    But if you listen closely,

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  • It's Time for Wholesale Ethics Reform

    Kaminsky1

    Sen. Todd Kaminsky, the author (photo: @toddkaminsky)


    The headline is the same. The names are interchangeable.

    And yet, the laws and attitudes stay the same.

    The most recent indictment of Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano and Oyster Bay Supervisor John Venditto should serve as a wakeup call to elected officials and taxpayers alike. The corruption within our governments is pervasive and isn’t going anywhere until we implement comprehensive ethics reform. No one is above the law.

    Having put away both corrupt Democrats and Republicans as a former

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  • Key Congressional & State Senate Races in New York Will Shape Chamber Control

    Teachout Faso

    Zephyr Teachout (D), left, & John Faso (R), debate in NY19


    As Election Day draws near, presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have debated three times and are in the home stretch of the campaign -- as are Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson and Green Party candidate Jill Stein. This election has shaped up to be like none other. When another round of revelations about Trump’s past

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  • With Chamber Control at Stake, No Democratic Challenger to Republican Senator from Brooklyn

    golden nypd

    Sen. Marty Golden (photo: @NYPDAuxilary)


    With a great deal on the line for New York City, Democrats are trying to flip the State Senate and a handful of races across the state will make the difference. One Brooklyn district has a significant Democratic voter registration advantage and an incumbent Republican, yet no one is challenging Senator Martin Golden. In 2012, a Democratic challenger won 42% of the vote against Golden.

    In the overwhelmingly Blue state of New York, and an even Bluer New York City, a Democratic challenge to an incumbent

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  • New York’s Young Adult Unemployment Crisis Needs A Strategy

    NYCEDC pic students tour

    Students on a tour (photo via NYCEDC)


    Starting one’s adult life in poverty and without a job has serious long-term economic consequences that negatively impact future job prospects, earnings, and wealth. Young people are scaling one of the toughest jobs cliffs in recent memory, and the situation is a looming threat to economic growth in our state. We need to combat New York’s young adult unemployment crisis with a robust strategy, and now.

    One analysis found that a young person who is unemployed for six months can expect to

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  • Limited Down Ballot Choices for New Yorkers Come November 8

    Sample BK ballot for Nov 2016 short

    sample ballot


    When New Yorkers go to the polls November 8, they’ll be facing a big choice at the top of the ballot, with four presidential candidates to choose from. Further down the ballot, however, there will be much more limited choice for many given the number of uncontested general election races for state legislative seats.

    New York City residents are represented by 91 seats in the New York State Legislature. Of those, 26 are in the 63-seat Senate and 65 in the 150-seat Assembly.

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  • DiNapoli, Seeking Restored Power, Points Finger at Only the System

    DiNapoli speech charts

    Comptroller DiNapoli (photo: @NYSComptroller)


    Comptroller Tom Dinapoli is not interested in pointing fingers at any of his fellow elected officials when it comes to the massive scheme alleged to have corrupted major state economic development programs under the noses of Governor Andrew Cuomo and state legislators.

    In the wake of corruption charges brought against nine individuals by U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, DiNapoli was given multiple opportunities Friday during a radio interview, but he declined to criticize either Cuomo or the

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  • How Jeff Klein Became New York’s New Power Broker

    Klein and co

    State Sen. Jeff Klein, center-right & other Bronx electeds (@RepEliotEngle)


    In January 2011, State Senator Jeff Klein declared himself leader of a group of four breakaway Democrats who were united in their dissatisfaction with the recent dysfunction of their conference’s leadership. They created the Independent Democratic Conference, or IDC, despite the fact that Klein had been deputy leader of the Senate Democrats and was in control of the New York State Democratic Senate Campaign Committee during the 2010 elections, all through the now legendary strife

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  • Keeping a Republican State Senate Majority is Essential for New York

    Flanagan and co

    Senate Leader Flanagan & other GOP Senators (photo via NYS Senate)


    Whether it’s at the state or federal level, recent history has demonstrated that when one party controls government, checks and balances go out the window. Recent history has some important lessons as we approach this year’s crucial elections.

    In 2008 Democrats took control of Congress and along with the election of President Barack Obama, controlled the executive and legislative branches in Washington. In Albany, for the first time since 1964, Democrats gained a

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  • 2016 Again Highlights New York ‘Incumbency Protection Machine’

    NYC BOE photo voting machines cropped

    (photo via NYC Board of Elections)


    New York City residents are represented in the state Legislature by a total of 91 seats, 26 in the state Senate and 65 in the state Assembly. Among them, 60 are held by incumbents who were uncontested in their party primary elections that took place Tuesday, September 13.

    In these just-completed primaries, 66 percent -- or about two-thirds -- of the city’s state legislative seats saw no intra-party competition. Twenty-four New York City-based

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  • Democrats Must Control the State Senate

    ASC and other Sen Dems

    Sen. Stewart-Cousins and fellow Senate Democrats (photo: @AndreaSCousins)


    This November millions of New Yorkers will head to the polls on Election Day. While our state legislative races receive far less media attention than the Presidential race, they are still critically important. Today, much of the dysfunction in our state, and our government’s failure to address the real needs of working people, young and old, is a direct result of continued Republican control of the State Senate.

    Now that the primaries are over, it is essential

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  • New York State Legislative Primary Results

    Marisol Alcantara winner Lis Smith photo

    Marisol Alcantara and company celebrate (photo by Lis Smith on Twitter)


    On New York’s third primary night of this election year, state legislative races in New York City were almost all Democratic and many incumbents did not face intra-party challenges.

    In several state Senate and Assembly races across the city, Democratic primary winners were selected in fairly low voter turnout affairs and most will easily cruise to election in November - some won’t even have

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  • The Week Ahead in New York Politics, September 12

    New York City Hall

    New York City Hall


    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    This week Sunday was the 15th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Mayor Bill de Blasio, his predecessors, Governor Andrew Cuomo, and many others remembered the victims, honored the first responders, and commemorated the day at the September 11 Commemoration Ceremony at the World Trade Center. De Blasio, Cuomo, and others also participated in other commemorative events, with Cuomo announcing

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  • Assembly Candidates Turn Down Televised Debates

    Errol No Debate

    NY1 Anchor Errol Louis (NY1 screenshot)


    New York City’s premiere political television news show, NY1’s Inside City Hall, has been hosting candidate debates in the weeks leading up to the September 13 state legislative primaries, as it has ahead of past elections.

    NY1 has been home to many debates over the years, including earlier this year, when it hosted seven Democratic candidates seeking to replace retiring Rep. Charles Rangel and the NY1-CNN presidential primary

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  • Crowded Assembly Field Looks to Quickly Unseat Silver Replacement

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    AD65 candidates at a debate (photo: @FilAmDems)


    In a world where U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara hadn’t turned his eye toward public corruption in state government, Sheldon Silver would likely be running for his 21st term in the Assembly and easily extending by another two years his 40-year reign over Manhattan’s 65th Assembly District.

    In the real world, Silver, who had already resigned the powerful Assembly speakership he held for almost 20 years, was automatically stripped of

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  • Corruption in Albany: Will Anything Really Change?

    Cuomo 2016 State of the State side stage

    Gov. Cuomo (photo via The Governor's Office on Flickr)


    Can legal restrictions halt corruption in the state Legislature? History suggests that they are necessary but limited.

    A new ethics law, more of the same
    Several state legislators have been charged with corrupt practices in recent years and the leaders of both houses of the Legislature found guilty of violating federal laws. Sheldon Silver and Dean Skelos are headed to prison unless their appeals succeed. The

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  • Races to Watch in State Legislative Primaries

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    State Senate candidate Marisol Alcantara & BX BP Diaz Jr. (photo: @NYAlcantara31)


    With state legislative party primaries rapidly approaching, there are several races New Yorkers should keep a close eye on, both in the city and across the state, including some that could play key roles in deciding majority power in the state Senate, which is currently under Republican leadership.

    The September 13 vote in some races, especially in Democrat-heavy New York City, will likely determine the winner in November. Still other races have little

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  • Two Very Different Democratic Assembly Primaries in Brooklyn

    Pam Harris voting via Facebook

    Assemblymember Harris votes (photo via Facebook)


    Among the upcoming legislative primary elections, two Brooklyn State Assembly races with very different storylines are intensifying. Unusual electoral circumstances in the 44th and 46th Assembly Districts make the contests races to watch. Located in Downtown Brooklyn, the 44th seat, which is opening up due to the retirement of the longtime incumbent, is home to a short, frenzied primary race among three Democrats. In the 46th, an embattled short-term incumbent and an

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  • Education-Focused Super PAC Spends on Additional Legislative Races

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    screenshot of CM Cabrera, left, & Sen. Rivera from NY1


    A Super PAC backed by the education reform lobby and a number of wealthy out-of-state donors has earned the enmity of establishment Democrats by pouring hundreds of thousands of dollars into races in the Bronx, Brooklyn, and Long Island in an effort to unseat Democrat incumbents. The group, New Yorkers for Independent Action, now appears to be adjusting its strategy by supporting some incumbents.

    The PAC is at least partially focused on

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  • 5 Things to Watch For at State ‘Water Contamination’ Hearings

    Cuomo DOH Hoosick Falls

    photos via The Governor's Office on Flickr


    After months of refusal and delay, the state Legislature is set to begin a series of hearings on drinking water contamination in New York. It became clear many months ago that the water in Hoosick Fall had been contaminated by a chemical known as PFOA and the first of three scheduled hearings will take place Tuesday in the village.

    Tuesday’s hearing is a joint one by two state Senate committees, health and environmental conservation. The other two hearings are set to be joint Senate

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  • The Week Ahead in New York Politics, August 29

    New York City Hall

    New York City Hall


    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    This pre-Labor Day weekend week is looking like a fairly quiet one in New York politics, though there are a few things to watch for. Mayor Bill de Blasio is due to return Sunday evening from a vacation week traveling throughout New England with his family and could have an active week. The mayor starts the week with one public event on his schedule: he'll be in Queens Monday evening to deliver remarks at the

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  • Manhattan GOP Sees Hope on Upper East Side

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    Rebecca Harary with supporters (photo via @TeamHarary)


    When it comes to the New York State Legislature, most electoral attention is paid to the Senate, which Republicans control by a thin majority and only because an elected Democrat caucuses with them and they have a power-sharing agreement with a five-member faction of breakaway “independent” Democrats. This November’s elections will determine control of the chamber.

    In the State Assembly, however, the balance of power is not close. Republicans have been at a massive

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  • In Race to Replace Espaillat, Ramifications for Senate Control, His Power, and More

    Espaillat Alcantara

    Espaillat, center, & Alcantara, right of center (photo: @Espaillat4NY)


    Marisol Alcantara, a labor organizer who ran a successful insurgent campaign for district leader in 2010, is seen by many in her Uptown district as a liberal firebrand. As Alcantara now pursues election to the New York State Senate, she is also fighting a proxy war for Senator Adriano Espaillat, who is about to be elected to Congress and Alcantara hopes to replace. The hotly contested Democratic primary for Espaillat’s Senate seat is becoming a test of his power and that

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  • New Study is Latest Salvo in Airbnb Lobbying Fight as Governor Weighs Bill

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    photo: Sofie Hecht for Gotham Gazette


    As Governor Andrew Cuomo weighs whether to sign it, a high-stakes fight continues over legislation to regulate Airbnb, the popular home-sharing service. Before and since the state Legislature passed the bill this Spring, the related lobbying battle has touched on various socioeconomic factors including tech entrepreneurship, the sharing economy, affordable housing, organized labor, and more.

    Airbnb is now entering into the fray ...

  • Trump Could Tip Key Races for State Senate Control

    Trump NY GOP

    photo: @NewYorkGOP


    New York State Senate Democrats have picked up seats in every presidential year in the past two decades. They’ve been chomping at the bit for Hillary Clinton, a former New York Senator, to head the presidential ticket, telling anyone who would listen that she would bolster turnout for them and win them swing districts, thereby securing them control of the chamber, perhaps for good.

    What the Senate minority didn’t count on was the Republican presidential candidate being toxic to black and Hispanic voters and alienating a

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