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/taxes 2018-02-25T07:24:19+00:00 Webmaster webmaster@gothamgazette.com State Leaders Must Blunt Impact of Federal Tax Reform on New York Nonprofits and the People Who Rely on Us 2018-01-28T05:00:00+00:00 2018-01-28T05:00:00+00:00 http://www.gothamgazette.com/?id=7445:state-leaders-must-blunt-impact-of-federal-tax-reform-on-new-york-nonprofits-and-the-people-who-rely-on-us Ben Max <p><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/images/graphics/2018/37749459904_8287feee00_z.jpg" alt="37749459904 8287feee00 z" width="600" height="400" /></p> <p>(photo via The Governor's Office)</p> <hr /> <p>The recently passed federal tax law will deepen inequality and jeopardize the health and wellbeing of families and individuals across our state. This legislation penalizes New Yorkers by capping the state and local tax (SALT) deduction and will create deficits that are likely to result in catastrophic cuts to the programs they depend on. These tax “cuts” will drive up the national deficit, which will then be cynically used as a rationale for slashing investments in critical programs such as food assistance, public housing, and affordable healthcare.</p> <p>Our state leaders must take action to ensure that we can weather this storm.</p> <p>Federal aid accounts for one-third of the New York State budget and directly accounts for 8-10% of the New York City budget. The state is already facing a deficit that will be exacerbated by any federal cuts to state assistance or Medicaid spending.&nbsp; For example, homelessness is a major problem in our city and two-thirds of the New York City Housing Authority’s budget comes from federal aid. Cuts in aid to states would also have a significant impact on our children as 41% of the budget for the Administration for Children’s Services and 8% of the Department of Youth &amp; Community Development funding comes from the federal government. Lack of funds at these agencies would impact foster care, adoption services, after-school programs, and Head Start. When direct aid is cut, families and individuals will rely even more heavily on nonprofit human services organizations. Our nonprofits deliver essential programs through contracts with city and state governments that support people through every stage of life, including early child education, elder care, shelter for people experiencing homelessness, job placement, and nutrition assistance. However, these government contracts rarely cover the full cost of providing services, which has resulted in a chronically underfunded sector.</p> <p>At the same time, this federal legislation dis-incentivizes charitable giving.</p> <p>Private fundraising has been an important (but insufficient) tool for filling the deficit that comes with government contracts. The tax bill raises the standard deduction, and with that increase many people will not itemize anymore, meaning that they will not see a tax benefit in making charitable donations. According to the&nbsp;Indiana University School of Philanthropy in a <a href="https://philanthropy.iupui.edu/news-events/news-item/tax-policy-proposals-would-reduce-charitable-giving,-new-study-finds.html?id=227" target="_blank" rel="noopener">report commissioned by Independent Sector</a>, 82 percent of charitable giving comes from people who itemize their tax return, and it is estimated that charitable giving will go down by about $13 billion.</p> <p>Too many organizations are already at a breaking point. In New York City, 18% of nonprofit human services organizations are insolvent. This tax bill could push them over the edge at the exact moment when they are needed most. While we know this is a difficult budget year, given the deficit and uncertainty at the federal level, it is now more important than ever that we make sure our nonprofits are financially strong and resilient.</p> <p>We are asking the state to make investments in our workforce and our infrastructure to ensure we are strong enough to continue serving communities well into the future.&nbsp;The underfunding of human services is not a new issue, but we need the Governor to lead in this area and 1) fund the minimum wage for human services workers contracted by the State, 2) continue the Nonprofit Capital Infrastructure Fund – a highly sought after grant program that assists nonprofits in making crucial improvements to their buildings and technology, and 3) fund a wage adjustment for a workforce that has gone without a salary increase in over eight years.</p> <p>The Governor’s Executive Budget recognizes the federal threats to New York and includes an impressive agenda, which requires the close collaboration of human services providers across the state who are threatened not only by federal policies, but also by years of state policies and funding decisions that have jeopardized their ability to serve as anchors for their communities. Our organizations are dedicated to elevating the human potential of our families and communities, and we were gravely disappointed that some of our representatives did not act in the best interests of our state in passing this damaging tax legislation. However, New York now has an opportunity to be a progressive leader for the country by making investments in the human services sector. In times of challenge and uncertainty, nonprofits are our communities’ first line of defense and careful planning and adequate financial resources from the city and state are needed to protect these essential services.</p> <p>***<br /> Center for New York City Affairs<br /> Fiscal Policy Institute<br /> FPWA<br /> Human Services Council of New York<br /> United Neighborhood Houses</p> <p>

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

</p> <p>Note: this column has been updated to correctly identify Independent Sector as the funder of the Indiana University study, not the United Way as originally written.</p>
<p><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/images/graphics/2018/37749459904_8287feee00_z.jpg" alt="37749459904 8287feee00 z" width="600" height="400" /></p> <p>(photo via The Governor's Office)</p> <hr /> <p>The recently passed federal tax law will deepen inequality and jeopardize the health and wellbeing of families and individuals across our state. This legislation penalizes New Yorkers by capping the state and local tax (SALT) deduction and will create deficits that are likely to result in catastrophic cuts to the programs they depend on. These tax “cuts” will drive up the national deficit, which will then be cynically used as a rationale for slashing investments in critical programs such as food assistance, public housing, and affordable healthcare.</p> <p>Our state leaders must take action to ensure that we can weather this storm.</p> <p>Federal aid accounts for one-third of the New York State budget and directly accounts for 8-10% of the New York City budget. The state is already facing a deficit that will be exacerbated by any federal cuts to state assistance or Medicaid spending.&nbsp; For example, homelessness is a major problem in our city and two-thirds of the New York City Housing Authority’s budget comes from federal aid. Cuts in aid to states would also have a significant impact on our children as 41% of the budget for the Administration for Children’s Services and 8% of the Department of Youth &amp; Community Development funding comes from the federal government. Lack of funds at these agencies would impact foster care, adoption services, after-school programs, and Head Start. When direct aid is cut, families and individuals will rely even more heavily on nonprofit human services organizations. Our nonprofits deliver essential programs through contracts with city and state governments that support people through every stage of life, including early child education, elder care, shelter for people experiencing homelessness, job placement, and nutrition assistance. However, these government contracts rarely cover the full cost of providing services, which has resulted in a chronically underfunded sector.</p> <p>At the same time, this federal legislation dis-incentivizes charitable giving.</p> <p>Private fundraising has been an important (but insufficient) tool for filling the deficit that comes with government contracts. The tax bill raises the standard deduction, and with that increase many people will not itemize anymore, meaning that they will not see a tax benefit in making charitable donations. According to the&nbsp;Indiana University School of Philanthropy in a <a href="https://philanthropy.iupui.edu/news-events/news-item/tax-policy-proposals-would-reduce-charitable-giving,-new-study-finds.html?id=227" target="_blank" rel="noopener">report commissioned by Independent Sector</a>, 82 percent of charitable giving comes from people who itemize their tax return, and it is estimated that charitable giving will go down by about $13 billion.</p> <p>Too many organizations are already at a breaking point. In New York City, 18% of nonprofit human services organizations are insolvent. This tax bill could push them over the edge at the exact moment when they are needed most. While we know this is a difficult budget year, given the deficit and uncertainty at the federal level, it is now more important than ever that we make sure our nonprofits are financially strong and resilient.</p> <p>We are asking the state to make investments in our workforce and our infrastructure to ensure we are strong enough to continue serving communities well into the future.&nbsp;The underfunding of human services is not a new issue, but we need the Governor to lead in this area and 1) fund the minimum wage for human services workers contracted by the State, 2) continue the Nonprofit Capital Infrastructure Fund – a highly sought after grant program that assists nonprofits in making crucial improvements to their buildings and technology, and 3) fund a wage adjustment for a workforce that has gone without a salary increase in over eight years.</p> <p>The Governor’s Executive Budget recognizes the federal threats to New York and includes an impressive agenda, which requires the close collaboration of human services providers across the state who are threatened not only by federal policies, but also by years of state policies and funding decisions that have jeopardized their ability to serve as anchors for their communities. Our organizations are dedicated to elevating the human potential of our families and communities, and we were gravely disappointed that some of our representatives did not act in the best interests of our state in passing this damaging tax legislation. However, New York now has an opportunity to be a progressive leader for the country by making investments in the human services sector. In times of challenge and uncertainty, nonprofits are our communities’ first line of defense and careful planning and adequate financial resources from the city and state are needed to protect these essential services.</p> <p>***<br /> Center for New York City Affairs<br /> Fiscal Policy Institute<br /> FPWA<br /> Human Services Council of New York<br /> United Neighborhood Houses</p> <p>

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

</p> <p>Note: this column has been updated to correctly identify Independent Sector as the funder of the Indiana University study, not the United Way as originally written.</p>
What’s The [Data] Point? $14.3 Billion, with Robert Mujica and Dean Fuleihan 2018-01-25T05:00:00+00:00 2018-01-25T05:00:00+00:00 http://www.gothamgazette.com/?id=7438:what-s-the-data-point-14-3-billion-with-robert-mujica-and-dean-fuleihan Ben Max <p><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/images/graphics/2017/whats-the-data-point.jpg" alt="whats the data point" width="600" height="600" /></p> <hr /> <p><strong>What's The Data Point? Episode 28</strong><strong> -- $14.3 Billion, with Robert Mujica and Dean Fuleihan [You can download What's The [Data] Point? wherever you get your podcasts, including on iTunes] </strong></p> <p><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/images/graphics/2017/podcast/robert-mujica-cbc-panel-jan23.jpg" alt="robert mujica cbc panel jan23" width="277" height="143" style="margin-right: 10px; float: left;" /></p> <p>State Budget Director Robert Mujica and New York City First Deputy Mayor Dean Fuleihan spoke at a CBC event on Wednesday, January 24 to discuss the implications of the recently-passed federal tax reform on the state and city. Mujica and Fuleihan discussed how the state and city are responding, with a great deal of budget fallout to come. Ben and Maria were there and provide an intro and brief discussion of the speeches, and this episode then brings you the full remarks from Mujica and Fuleihan, with enlightening audience Q&amp;A after each. You can also catch the video of the entire event, which included two-panel discussions, at the CBC website.</p> <p>Listen to the conversation and let us know what you think: Ben Max of GG (<a href="https://twitter.com/TweetBenMax" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">@TweetBenMax</a>), Maria Doulis of CBC (<a href="https://twitter.com/MariaDoulis" target="_blank" rel="noopener">@MariaDoulis</a>). Listen below or download wherever you get your podcasts!</p> <p><iframe src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/389133219&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="170" 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/2017/whats-the-data-point.jpg" alt="whats the data point" width="600" height="600" /></p> <hr /> <p><strong>What's The Data Point? Episode 28</strong><strong> -- $14.3 Billion, with Robert Mujica and Dean Fuleihan [You can download What's The [Data] Point? wherever you get your podcasts, including on iTunes] </strong></p> <p><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/images/graphics/2017/podcast/robert-mujica-cbc-panel-jan23.jpg" alt="robert mujica cbc panel jan23" width="277" height="143" style="margin-right: 10px; float: left;" /></p> <p>State Budget Director Robert Mujica and New York City First Deputy Mayor Dean Fuleihan spoke at a CBC event on Wednesday, January 24 to discuss the implications of the recently-passed federal tax reform on the state and city. Mujica and Fuleihan discussed how the state and city are responding, with a great deal of budget fallout to come. Ben and Maria were there and provide an intro and brief discussion of the speeches, and this episode then brings you the full remarks from Mujica and Fuleihan, with enlightening audience Q&amp;A after each. You can also catch the video of the entire event, which included two-panel discussions, at the CBC website.</p> <p>Listen to the conversation and let us know what you think: Ben Max of GG (<a href="https://twitter.com/TweetBenMax" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">@TweetBenMax</a>), Maria Doulis of CBC (<a href="https://twitter.com/MariaDoulis" target="_blank" rel="noopener">@MariaDoulis</a>). Listen below or download wherever you get your podcasts!</p> <p><iframe src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/389133219&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="170" frameborder="no" scrolling="no"></iframe></p> <p>

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by Ben Max, Gotham Gazette
     

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</p>
State Faces Budget Deficit Ahead of Possible Gut Punch from Washington 2017-12-17T05:00:00+00:00 2017-12-17T05:00:00+00:00 http://www.gothamgazette.com/?id=7370:state-faces-budget-deficit-ahead-of-possible-gut-punch-from-washington Ben Max <p><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/images/graphics/2017/reset_1/33773687321_7405b0322a_z.jpg" alt="Cuomo top aides budget" width="600" height="400" /></p> <p>Gov. Cuomo and top aides (photo: The Governor's Office)</p> <hr /> <p>With the state facing a larger than usual expected budget shortfall for its next fiscal year, Governor Andrew Cuomo has been railing against the devastating impact proposed federal tax reforms would have on New York state finances.</p> <p>The controversial reform plan that is still being negotiated in Washington, D.C. would either modify or completely eliminate the ability of New Yorkers to deduct state and local taxes from federal tax burdens and likely have deep economic impact for heavily Democratic states like New York, which typically have higher state and local taxes. As of Thursday, Republicans in the House and Senate say they have agreed on a tentative deal that would cap deductions at $10,000, <a href="https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/congress/democrats-push-stall-gop-tax-vote-so-jones-can-take-n829351" target="_blank" rel="noopener">reports NBC News</a>. While negotiations are ongoing, Congress is expected to vote on a final deal this week.</p> <p>Cuomo, a Democrat entering the final year of his second term, <a href="http://www.lohud.com/story/news/politics/politics-on-the-hudson/2017/12/05/andrew-cuomo-gop-tax-bill/108335004/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">has said</a> that the tax plan would “rape and pillage” New York at a time when the state is already faced with a $4.5 billion budget deficit -- the largest since Cuomo took office in 2011 -- and the governor has called on congressional Republicans from New York who support the tax plan to resign.</p> <p>“There is no taxpayer in this state that lives in a congressional district that won't be hurt,” said Cuomo. “Because there's only one state budget. And we start with the $4 billion deficit. You put the state at a structural disadvantage. The taxes would go up on everyone. And that's not complicated math.”</p> <p>In January, Cuomo will outline both his 2018 policy agenda in his State of the State speech as well as his executive budget proposal. The new state fiscal year begins April 1. As Cuomo and his team prepare that budget, there are troubling signs at both the state and federal levels.</p> <p>State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli has projected lower-than-expected tax revenue for the current and upcoming fiscal years. State operating funds receipts will be $1.8 billion lower than projections in the Division of Budget’s August financial plan for this fiscal year, which ends March 31, and $2.8 billion lower in 2018-19, according to a November report by DiNapoli’s office. The $4.5 billion gap may be exacerbated in the coming fiscal year by fallout from federal tax reforms.</p> <p>But, if the administration continues to adhere to Cuomo’s self-imposed 2 percent limit on annual growth in state operating spending -- and it intends to, according to a spokesperson for Cuomo’s Division of the Budget -- the deficit the state will be facing drops to $1.7 billion for next fiscal year. Federal reforms could make budget negotiations even more challenging. If New Yorkers lose most of their state and local tax deductibility, there will almost certainly be more calls for the state to cut taxes.</p> <p>Additionally, <a href="https://www.politico.com/states/new-york/albany/story/2017/12/08/feds-may-stop-paying-portion-of-states-essential-plan-139591" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Politico New York has reported</a> that another $1 billion hole may be carved into the budget if the federal government defunds a portion of the state’s Essential Plan, sometimes called the Basic Health Plan, which provides low-cost health insurance to residents earning less than twice the federal poverty level. And, in March, the state will run out funds for Children’s Health Insurance Plan (CHIP), a joint state-federal healthcare program, if it is not renewed by Congress. The state relies on $1 billion in federal CHIP funds to insure 330,000 children.</p> <p>“His problem is compounded because he'll have to go to battle over healthcare spending for the first time in history,” said E.J. McMahon, research director at the Empire Center for Public Policy, speaking of Gov. Cuomo. “It's going to be the most pressured budget since his first year in office -- easily.”</p> <p>Cuomo, who is running for reelection in 2018 and has presidential ambitions, has prided himself on passing on-time budgets and restoring fiscal order to Albany. He has <a href="http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/cuomo-warns-state-pols-pass-budget-time-no-pay-raise-article-1.3684667" target="_blank" rel="noopener">already said</a> he would link any pay raises for legislators, which are long overdue, to whether or not a budget deal is reached in a timely manner. This year’s $153-billion budget for fiscal year 2017-2018 <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/state/6862-cuomo-announces-153-billion-state-budget-deal" target="_blank" rel="noopener">was passed nine days late</a>.&nbsp;</p> <p>To address the existing budget gap, the state must either cut spending or increase taxes. Cuomo’s office is now tasked with devising a financial plan that will not cripple agencies or end needed programs, but that will also not drive out the state’s highest income earners, whose taxes provide 40 percent of New York’s operational funding.</p> <p>It is unclear to what extent the final federal tax bill -- if passed -- <a href="http://www.osc.state.ny.us/reports/budget/2017/federal-tax-framework.pdf" target="_blank" rel="noopener">will affect New York</a> and its taxpayers, but some fear it could provide additional motivation for the state’s top 1 percent to take residency elsewhere. Passage <a href="http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/n-y-millionaire-tax-hike-drop-trump-bill-passes-article-1.3690749" target="_blank" rel="noopener">would likely dash</a> any Democratic hopes for an expanded millionaire’s tax, such as the policy advocated by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.</p> <p>If millionaires and billionaires leave the state, “the burden then falls to everyone else: the middle class and the working families,” Cuomo said Wednesday in Albany at the awards ceremony for his 10 Regional Economic Development Councils.</p> <p>Federal tax policy aside, experts say the widening gap between the state’s anticipated tax revenue and receipts is unusual given what is, overall, a well-performing economy and a booming stock market. While there are certain indications that suggest state personal income tax receipts have been depressed this year by taxpayer behavior in light of possible federal tax changes, the extent of any such impact is difficult to estimate, <a href="http://www.osc.state.ny.us/reports/budget/2017/quick-start-report.pdf" target="_blank" rel="noopener">according to the comptroller’s office</a>.</p> <p>There is some debate as to how to handle the upcoming budget deficit, which Cuomo has acknowledged is likely to significantly impact education funding, which may not see the typical annual increases of recent years.</p> <p>Comptroller DiNapoli has repeatedly urged that the state take steps to eliminate projected budget gaps and achieve structural budget balance, including, for example, minimizing use of one-time resources to support recurring spending and avoiding the use of administrative or accounting actions that lower the appearance of spending but do not eliminate the state’s obligation.</p> <p>These recommendations are echoed by the fiscal watchdog group Citizens Budget Commission (CBC), which <a href="https://cbcny.org/newsroom/cbc-cuomo-uses-gimmicks-low-ball-spending-growth" target="_blank" rel="noopener">has highlighted</a> how the state has created the appearance of meeting the 2 percent cap on spending increases by shifting certain personnel expenses to the capital budget.</p> <p>"Education, Medicaid, and personnel are the three things that he could target. We certainly think a lot of the economic development spending should be curtailed, but that's a slightly smaller pot," said David Friedfel, director of state studies at CBC.</p> <p>Cuomo’s administration often touts spending restraint and disputes the CBC’s characterization of its spending patterns. A spokesperson for the Division of the Budget said that the positions in question had been categorized as capital expenses because they had been associated with capital projects.</p> <p>“Governor Cuomo has been rigorous and effective in constraining State spending growth, achieving more fiscally responsible results than those of his predecessors. The current year’s budget holds spending growth to historically low levels for the seventh consecutive year while balancing the budget and lowering taxes for all New Yorkers.” said Morris Peters, of the state’s Division of the Budget.</p> <p>Legislative leaders are divided on how to approach the budget and looming deficit. Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan, a Republican from Long Island, has opposed increasing taxes on high-income earners.</p> <p>"Senator Flanagan believes we must continue to strictly adhere to the two percent spending cap, which would cut the Governor's projected deficit in half, and review every single dollar the state spends," said Scott Reif, spokesperson for Flanagan, in a statement.</p> <p>Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, a Bronx Democrat, did not express much concern when speaking to reporters last week, noting that when Cuomo was first elected to office the state was forced to wrestle with a $10 billion budget deficit. “But we’re New Yorkers and we’ll find our way through it,” he said.</p> <p>Cuomo’s budget director Robert Mujica is asking agencies to keep their budgets stagnant and others are questioning whether Cuomo’s signature infrastructure projects or economic development programs should see cuts, or perhaps <a href="http://www.lohud.com/story/news/politics/politics-on-the-hudson/2017/12/07/measure-would-end-nys-film-tax-credit-program/108407074/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">a controversial tax break</a> for the film and television industry that has cost the state $31 million since 2010.</p> <p>While many have praised Cuomo for keeping the deficit relatively low since taking office, according to McMahon, the state’s fiscal situation in 2010 and next year are not necessarily comparable.</p> <p>“In 2010, there was low-hanging fruit then that is not low-hanging now,” said McMahon, noting that Cuomo’s office significantly restructured state personnel. “The first place they will go is school aid. Medicaid is more complicated because there are three levels of payment and it is controlled by federal law.”</p> <p>Education advocates pushed back on the suggestion that cutting education funding was the way to address the deficit. Instead, the state should reinstate the millionaires’ and billionaires’ tax to levels they were at before Cuomo took office and end tax loopholes for hedge-fund and private-equity billionaires, according to Billy Easton, executive director for Alliance for Quality Education of New York, a teachers-union-allied nonprofit.</p> <p>“They shouldn’t say the outcome is we’re going to increase the deficit in educational opportunity for black, brown, and low-income kids,” said Easton.</p> <p>The governor, meanwhile, has vowed to continue to challenge the federal government and members of congress who support the cuts. “I will fight this economic civil war every day that I am governor of the State of New York,” he said on Wednesday.</p> <p>

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by Rachel Silberstein, State government reporter, Gotham Gazette
     

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</p>
<p><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/images/graphics/2017/reset_1/33773687321_7405b0322a_z.jpg" alt="Cuomo top aides budget" width="600" height="400" /></p> <p>Gov. Cuomo and top aides (photo: The Governor's Office)</p> <hr /> <p>With the state facing a larger than usual expected budget shortfall for its next fiscal year, Governor Andrew Cuomo has been railing against the devastating impact proposed federal tax reforms would have on New York state finances.</p> <p>The controversial reform plan that is still being negotiated in Washington, D.C. would either modify or completely eliminate the ability of New Yorkers to deduct state and local taxes from federal tax burdens and likely have deep economic impact for heavily Democratic states like New York, which typically have higher state and local taxes. As of Thursday, Republicans in the House and Senate say they have agreed on a tentative deal that would cap deductions at $10,000, <a href="https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/congress/democrats-push-stall-gop-tax-vote-so-jones-can-take-n829351" target="_blank" rel="noopener">reports NBC News</a>. While negotiations are ongoing, Congress is expected to vote on a final deal this week.</p> <p>Cuomo, a Democrat entering the final year of his second term, <a href="http://www.lohud.com/story/news/politics/politics-on-the-hudson/2017/12/05/andrew-cuomo-gop-tax-bill/108335004/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">has said</a> that the tax plan would “rape and pillage” New York at a time when the state is already faced with a $4.5 billion budget deficit -- the largest since Cuomo took office in 2011 -- and the governor has called on congressional Republicans from New York who support the tax plan to resign.</p> <p>“There is no taxpayer in this state that lives in a congressional district that won't be hurt,” said Cuomo. “Because there's only one state budget. And we start with the $4 billion deficit. You put the state at a structural disadvantage. The taxes would go up on everyone. And that's not complicated math.”</p> <p>In January, Cuomo will outline both his 2018 policy agenda in his State of the State speech as well as his executive budget proposal. The new state fiscal year begins April 1. As Cuomo and his team prepare that budget, there are troubling signs at both the state and federal levels.</p> <p>State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli has projected lower-than-expected tax revenue for the current and upcoming fiscal years. State operating funds receipts will be $1.8 billion lower than projections in the Division of Budget’s August financial plan for this fiscal year, which ends March 31, and $2.8 billion lower in 2018-19, according to a November report by DiNapoli’s office. The $4.5 billion gap may be exacerbated in the coming fiscal year by fallout from federal tax reforms.</p> <p>But, if the administration continues to adhere to Cuomo’s self-imposed 2 percent limit on annual growth in state operating spending -- and it intends to, according to a spokesperson for Cuomo’s Division of the Budget -- the deficit the state will be facing drops to $1.7 billion for next fiscal year. Federal reforms could make budget negotiations even more challenging. If New Yorkers lose most of their state and local tax deductibility, there will almost certainly be more calls for the state to cut taxes.</p> <p>Additionally, <a href="https://www.politico.com/states/new-york/albany/story/2017/12/08/feds-may-stop-paying-portion-of-states-essential-plan-139591" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Politico New York has reported</a> that another $1 billion hole may be carved into the budget if the federal government defunds a portion of the state’s Essential Plan, sometimes called the Basic Health Plan, which provides low-cost health insurance to residents earning less than twice the federal poverty level. And, in March, the state will run out funds for Children’s Health Insurance Plan (CHIP), a joint state-federal healthcare program, if it is not renewed by Congress. The state relies on $1 billion in federal CHIP funds to insure 330,000 children.</p> <p>“His problem is compounded because he'll have to go to battle over healthcare spending for the first time in history,” said E.J. McMahon, research director at the Empire Center for Public Policy, speaking of Gov. Cuomo. “It's going to be the most pressured budget since his first year in office -- easily.”</p> <p>Cuomo, who is running for reelection in 2018 and has presidential ambitions, has prided himself on passing on-time budgets and restoring fiscal order to Albany. He has <a href="http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/cuomo-warns-state-pols-pass-budget-time-no-pay-raise-article-1.3684667" target="_blank" rel="noopener">already said</a> he would link any pay raises for legislators, which are long overdue, to whether or not a budget deal is reached in a timely manner. This year’s $153-billion budget for fiscal year 2017-2018 <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/state/6862-cuomo-announces-153-billion-state-budget-deal" target="_blank" rel="noopener">was passed nine days late</a>.&nbsp;</p> <p>To address the existing budget gap, the state must either cut spending or increase taxes. Cuomo’s office is now tasked with devising a financial plan that will not cripple agencies or end needed programs, but that will also not drive out the state’s highest income earners, whose taxes provide 40 percent of New York’s operational funding.</p> <p>It is unclear to what extent the final federal tax bill -- if passed -- <a href="http://www.osc.state.ny.us/reports/budget/2017/federal-tax-framework.pdf" target="_blank" rel="noopener">will affect New York</a> and its taxpayers, but some fear it could provide additional motivation for the state’s top 1 percent to take residency elsewhere. Passage <a href="http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/n-y-millionaire-tax-hike-drop-trump-bill-passes-article-1.3690749" target="_blank" rel="noopener">would likely dash</a> any Democratic hopes for an expanded millionaire’s tax, such as the policy advocated by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.</p> <p>If millionaires and billionaires leave the state, “the burden then falls to everyone else: the middle class and the working families,” Cuomo said Wednesday in Albany at the awards ceremony for his 10 Regional Economic Development Councils.</p> <p>Federal tax policy aside, experts say the widening gap between the state’s anticipated tax revenue and receipts is unusual given what is, overall, a well-performing economy and a booming stock market. While there are certain indications that suggest state personal income tax receipts have been depressed this year by taxpayer behavior in light of possible federal tax changes, the extent of any such impact is difficult to estimate, <a href="http://www.osc.state.ny.us/reports/budget/2017/quick-start-report.pdf" target="_blank" rel="noopener">according to the comptroller’s office</a>.</p> <p>There is some debate as to how to handle the upcoming budget deficit, which Cuomo has acknowledged is likely to significantly impact education funding, which may not see the typical annual increases of recent years.</p> <p>Comptroller DiNapoli has repeatedly urged that the state take steps to eliminate projected budget gaps and achieve structural budget balance, including, for example, minimizing use of one-time resources to support recurring spending and avoiding the use of administrative or accounting actions that lower the appearance of spending but do not eliminate the state’s obligation.</p> <p>These recommendations are echoed by the fiscal watchdog group Citizens Budget Commission (CBC), which <a href="https://cbcny.org/newsroom/cbc-cuomo-uses-gimmicks-low-ball-spending-growth" target="_blank" rel="noopener">has highlighted</a> how the state has created the appearance of meeting the 2 percent cap on spending increases by shifting certain personnel expenses to the capital budget.</p> <p>"Education, Medicaid, and personnel are the three things that he could target. We certainly think a lot of the economic development spending should be curtailed, but that's a slightly smaller pot," said David Friedfel, director of state studies at CBC.</p> <p>Cuomo’s administration often touts spending restraint and disputes the CBC’s characterization of its spending patterns. A spokesperson for the Division of the Budget said that the positions in question had been categorized as capital expenses because they had been associated with capital projects.</p> <p>“Governor Cuomo has been rigorous and effective in constraining State spending growth, achieving more fiscally responsible results than those of his predecessors. The current year’s budget holds spending growth to historically low levels for the seventh consecutive year while balancing the budget and lowering taxes for all New Yorkers.” said Morris Peters, of the state’s Division of the Budget.</p> <p>Legislative leaders are divided on how to approach the budget and looming deficit. Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan, a Republican from Long Island, has opposed increasing taxes on high-income earners.</p> <p>"Senator Flanagan believes we must continue to strictly adhere to the two percent spending cap, which would cut the Governor's projected deficit in half, and review every single dollar the state spends," said Scott Reif, spokesperson for Flanagan, in a statement.</p> <p>Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, a Bronx Democrat, did not express much concern when speaking to reporters last week, noting that when Cuomo was first elected to office the state was forced to wrestle with a $10 billion budget deficit. “But we’re New Yorkers and we’ll find our way through it,” he said.</p> <p>Cuomo’s budget director Robert Mujica is asking agencies to keep their budgets stagnant and others are questioning whether Cuomo’s signature infrastructure projects or economic development programs should see cuts, or perhaps <a href="http://www.lohud.com/story/news/politics/politics-on-the-hudson/2017/12/07/measure-would-end-nys-film-tax-credit-program/108407074/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">a controversial tax break</a> for the film and television industry that has cost the state $31 million since 2010.</p> <p>While many have praised Cuomo for keeping the deficit relatively low since taking office, according to McMahon, the state’s fiscal situation in 2010 and next year are not necessarily comparable.</p> <p>“In 2010, there was low-hanging fruit then that is not low-hanging now,” said McMahon, noting that Cuomo’s office significantly restructured state personnel. “The first place they will go is school aid. Medicaid is more complicated because there are three levels of payment and it is controlled by federal law.”</p> <p>Education advocates pushed back on the suggestion that cutting education funding was the way to address the deficit. Instead, the state should reinstate the millionaires’ and billionaires’ tax to levels they were at before Cuomo took office and end tax loopholes for hedge-fund and private-equity billionaires, according to Billy Easton, executive director for Alliance for Quality Education of New York, a teachers-union-allied nonprofit.</p> <p>“They shouldn’t say the outcome is we’re going to increase the deficit in educational opportunity for black, brown, and low-income kids,” said Easton.</p> <p>The governor, meanwhile, has vowed to continue to challenge the federal government and members of congress who support the cuts. “I will fight this economic civil war every day that I am governor of the State of New York,” he said on Wednesday.</p> <p>

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by Rachel Silberstein, State government reporter, Gotham Gazette
     

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</p>
Federal Tax Reform Could Turn City’s Housing Crisis into a Humanitarian Disaster 2017-12-11T05:00:00+00:00 2017-12-11T05:00:00+00:00 http://www.gothamgazette.com/?id=7364:federal-tax-reform-could-turn-city-s-housing-crisis-into-a-humanitarian-disaster Ben Max <p><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/images/graphics/2017/picture_the_homeless_vacant_lots.jpg" alt="picture the homeless vacant lots" width="600px" /></p> <p>protesting unused vacant property (via @pthny)</p> <hr /> <p>In New York City, the demand for affordable housing<a href="https://www1.nyc.gov/site/housing/about/problem.page" target="_blank" rel="noopener"> far exceeds supply</a>.<a href="http://www1.nyc.gov/assets/hra/downloads/pdf/news/publications/Turning_the_Tide_on_Homelessness.pdf" target="_blank" rel="noopener"> Seventy percent</a> of the city’s homeless shelter residents are families. Families who should be in homes.</p> <p>Now, as the United States House of Representatives and Senate look to the conference committee to reconcile their respective<a href="https://www.novoco.com/comparison-house-and-senate-finance-committee-approved-tax-reform-bills" target="_blank" rel="noopener"> tax reform bills</a>, the housing crisis that began in the 1980s will become a catastrophe unless we, the people, intervene.</p> <p>On paper, both the House and Senate plans retain the Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) — which funds<a href="https://www.reis.com/cre-news-and-resources/bisnow-lihtc-program-now-funds-about-90-percent-of-us-affordable-housing-projects" target="_blank" rel="noopener"> 90 percent</a> of the nation’s affordable housing developments. However, the House tax bill<a href="https://www.novoco.com/notes-from-novogradac/tax-reform-bill-would-eliminate-future-supply-nearly-1-million-affordable-rental-housing-units" target="_blank" rel="noopener"> eliminates tax-exempt private activity bonds</a> (PABs) that fund half of all LIHTC projects.</p> <p>Although the<a href="https://www.novoco.com/notes-from-novogradac/senate-tax-reform-bill-would-reduce-affordable-rental-housing-production-nearly-300000-homes" target="_blank" rel="noopener"> Senate bill</a> retains PABs, both bills cut the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 20 percent, dramatically<a href="https://www.novoco.com/notes-from-novogradac/tax-reform-bill-would-eliminate-future-supply-nearly-1-million-affordable-rental-housing-units" target="_blank" rel="noopener"> reducing the value of tax credits</a> that fund the remainder of LIHTC projects.</p> <p>Also included in the Senate bill is an amendment that imposes what amounts to an<a href="https://www.novoco.com/notes-from-novogradac/senate-approves-tax-cuts-and-jobs-act-some-changes-committee-passed-version" target="_blank" rel="noopener"> international alternative minimum tax</a> on any corporation with significant foreign operations. As a result, some large corporate investors might be deterred from claiming the LIHTC.</p> <p>No matter how the reconciliation pans out, it is clear that, if passed, federal tax reform will devastate<a href="https://www1.nyc.gov/site/housing/about/problem.page" target="_blank" rel="noopener"> more than a million low-income New Yorkers</a> searching for homes. And this isn’t the first federal policy to squeeze out affordable housing.</p> <p>Under President Reagan, government spending on subsidized housing was slashed from<a href="http://www.sfweekly.com/news/the-great-eliminator-how-ronald-reagan-made-homelessness-permanent/" target="_blank" rel="noopener"> $26 billion to $8 billion</a>, contributing to a<a href="https://www.thenation.com/article/reagans-real-legacy/" target="_blank" rel="noopener"> dramatic spike in homelessness</a>. As a private sector solution, Reagan signed the LIHTC into law in 1986 to counterbalance the cuts to direct federal spending.</p> <p>LIHTC’s market-based answer to affordable housing was<a href="https://ncsha.org/advocacy-issues/housing-credit" target="_blank" rel="noopener"> successful enough</a> that subsequent administrations maintained the program while<a href="http://www.sfweekly.com/news/the-great-eliminator-how-ronald-reagan-made-homelessness-permanent/" target="_blank" rel="noopener"> continuing to whittle away at Housing and Urban Development (HUD) funds</a>. LIHTC became the best — or rather, only — hope for Americans in need. But in cities like New York, LIHTC wasn’t enough to mitigate the surge and suffering of homelessness.</p> <p>Although<a href="http://www.nychdc.com/content/pdf/ProjectAdvertisements/NY%20LIHTC%20and%20Homelessness%20Report%20final.pdf" target="_blank" rel="noopener"> LIHTC helped develop or preserve approximately 122,000 affordable properties</a> in New York City from 1994 to 2014, the city still endured a<a href="http://www1.nyc.gov/assets/hra/downloads/pdf/news/publications/Turning_the_Tide_on_Homelessness.pdf" target="_blank" rel="noopener"> net loss of 150,000</a> rent stabilized apartments, leaving tens of thousands of New Yorkers with nowhere to go but the street or a shelter. &nbsp;</p> <p>Mayor Bill de Blasio responded to this crisis with a<a href="https://www.amny.com/news/politics/affordable-housing-plan-1.14990989" target="_blank" rel="noopener"> pledge to add 100,000 affordable units</a> by 2020. But experts at Novogradac &amp; Company estimate that, if the House tax bill passes, that number could<a href="https://www.novoco.com/notes-from-novogradac/tax-reform-bill-would-eliminate-future-supply-nearly-1-million-affordable-rental-housing-units" target="_blank" rel="noopener"> fall by two thirds</a>.</p> <p>Even if PABs are retained in the reconciled bill, the corporate tax rate reduction alone will result in the loss of around<a href="https://www.novoco.com/notes-from-novogradac/senate-tax-reform-bill-would-reduce-affordable-rental-housing-production-nearly-300000-homes" target="_blank" rel="noopener"> 300,000 affordable units</a> nationally.</p> <p>By squeezing the funding pipeline for affordable housing tighter than ever before, both bills crush the supply of affordable housing and the low-income families that rely on it.</p> <p>This cannot happen — not on our watch, not in our city, and not in our country. This isn’t a partisan issue, it’s a moral one. We have a duty, to our city and our neighbors, to speak out against any provision that would threaten the supply of affordable housing at this most critical time in our country’s history.</p> <p>Although the House and Senate have approved their respective bills, the final version has yet to be agreed upon. Now is the time to urge our representatives to reject any final bill that removes the tax-exempt status of PABs and cuts the corporate tax rate.</p> <p>***<br /> George McDonald is founder and president of The Doe Fund. On Twitter at <a href="https://twitter.com/georgetmcdonald?lang=en" target="_blank" rel="noopener">@GeorgeTMcDonald</a> and <a href="https://twitter.com/thedoefund?lang=en" target="_blank" rel="noopener">@TheDoeFund</a>.</p> <p>

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

</p>
<p><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/images/graphics/2017/picture_the_homeless_vacant_lots.jpg" alt="picture the homeless vacant lots" width="600px" /></p> <p>protesting unused vacant property (via @pthny)</p> <hr /> <p>In New York City, the demand for affordable housing<a href="https://www1.nyc.gov/site/housing/about/problem.page" target="_blank" rel="noopener"> far exceeds supply</a>.<a href="http://www1.nyc.gov/assets/hra/downloads/pdf/news/publications/Turning_the_Tide_on_Homelessness.pdf" target="_blank" rel="noopener"> Seventy percent</a> of the city’s homeless shelter residents are families. Families who should be in homes.</p> <p>Now, as the United States House of Representatives and Senate look to the conference committee to reconcile their respective<a href="https://www.novoco.com/comparison-house-and-senate-finance-committee-approved-tax-reform-bills" target="_blank" rel="noopener"> tax reform bills</a>, the housing crisis that began in the 1980s will become a catastrophe unless we, the people, intervene.</p> <p>On paper, both the House and Senate plans retain the Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) — which funds<a href="https://www.reis.com/cre-news-and-resources/bisnow-lihtc-program-now-funds-about-90-percent-of-us-affordable-housing-projects" target="_blank" rel="noopener"> 90 percent</a> of the nation’s affordable housing developments. However, the House tax bill<a href="https://www.novoco.com/notes-from-novogradac/tax-reform-bill-would-eliminate-future-supply-nearly-1-million-affordable-rental-housing-units" target="_blank" rel="noopener"> eliminates tax-exempt private activity bonds</a> (PABs) that fund half of all LIHTC projects.</p> <p>Although the<a href="https://www.novoco.com/notes-from-novogradac/senate-tax-reform-bill-would-reduce-affordable-rental-housing-production-nearly-300000-homes" target="_blank" rel="noopener"> Senate bill</a> retains PABs, both bills cut the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 20 percent, dramatically<a href="https://www.novoco.com/notes-from-novogradac/tax-reform-bill-would-eliminate-future-supply-nearly-1-million-affordable-rental-housing-units" target="_blank" rel="noopener"> reducing the value of tax credits</a> that fund the remainder of LIHTC projects.</p> <p>Also included in the Senate bill is an amendment that imposes what amounts to an<a href="https://www.novoco.com/notes-from-novogradac/senate-approves-tax-cuts-and-jobs-act-some-changes-committee-passed-version" target="_blank" rel="noopener"> international alternative minimum tax</a> on any corporation with significant foreign operations. As a result, some large corporate investors might be deterred from claiming the LIHTC.</p> <p>No matter how the reconciliation pans out, it is clear that, if passed, federal tax reform will devastate<a href="https://www1.nyc.gov/site/housing/about/problem.page" target="_blank" rel="noopener"> more than a million low-income New Yorkers</a> searching for homes. And this isn’t the first federal policy to squeeze out affordable housing.</p> <p>Under President Reagan, government spending on subsidized housing was slashed from<a href="http://www.sfweekly.com/news/the-great-eliminator-how-ronald-reagan-made-homelessness-permanent/" target="_blank" rel="noopener"> $26 billion to $8 billion</a>, contributing to a<a href="https://www.thenation.com/article/reagans-real-legacy/" target="_blank" rel="noopener"> dramatic spike in homelessness</a>. As a private sector solution, Reagan signed the LIHTC into law in 1986 to counterbalance the cuts to direct federal spending.</p> <p>LIHTC’s market-based answer to affordable housing was<a href="https://ncsha.org/advocacy-issues/housing-credit" target="_blank" rel="noopener"> successful enough</a> that subsequent administrations maintained the program while<a href="http://www.sfweekly.com/news/the-great-eliminator-how-ronald-reagan-made-homelessness-permanent/" target="_blank" rel="noopener"> continuing to whittle away at Housing and Urban Development (HUD) funds</a>. LIHTC became the best — or rather, only — hope for Americans in need. But in cities like New York, LIHTC wasn’t enough to mitigate the surge and suffering of homelessness.</p> <p>Although<a href="http://www.nychdc.com/content/pdf/ProjectAdvertisements/NY%20LIHTC%20and%20Homelessness%20Report%20final.pdf" target="_blank" rel="noopener"> LIHTC helped develop or preserve approximately 122,000 affordable properties</a> in New York City from 1994 to 2014, the city still endured a<a href="http://www1.nyc.gov/assets/hra/downloads/pdf/news/publications/Turning_the_Tide_on_Homelessness.pdf" target="_blank" rel="noopener"> net loss of 150,000</a> rent stabilized apartments, leaving tens of thousands of New Yorkers with nowhere to go but the street or a shelter. &nbsp;</p> <p>Mayor Bill de Blasio responded to this crisis with a<a href="https://www.amny.com/news/politics/affordable-housing-plan-1.14990989" target="_blank" rel="noopener"> pledge to add 100,000 affordable units</a> by 2020. But experts at Novogradac &amp; Company estimate that, if the House tax bill passes, that number could<a href="https://www.novoco.com/notes-from-novogradac/tax-reform-bill-would-eliminate-future-supply-nearly-1-million-affordable-rental-housing-units" target="_blank" rel="noopener"> fall by two thirds</a>.</p> <p>Even if PABs are retained in the reconciled bill, the corporate tax rate reduction alone will result in the loss of around<a href="https://www.novoco.com/notes-from-novogradac/senate-tax-reform-bill-would-reduce-affordable-rental-housing-production-nearly-300000-homes" target="_blank" rel="noopener"> 300,000 affordable units</a> nationally.</p> <p>By squeezing the funding pipeline for affordable housing tighter than ever before, both bills crush the supply of affordable housing and the low-income families that rely on it.</p> <p>This cannot happen — not on our watch, not in our city, and not in our country. This isn’t a partisan issue, it’s a moral one. We have a duty, to our city and our neighbors, to speak out against any provision that would threaten the supply of affordable housing at this most critical time in our country’s history.</p> <p>Although the House and Senate have approved their respective bills, the final version has yet to be agreed upon. Now is the time to urge our representatives to reject any final bill that removes the tax-exempt status of PABs and cuts the corporate tax rate.</p> <p>***<br /> George McDonald is founder and president of The Doe Fund. On Twitter at <a href="https://twitter.com/georgetmcdonald?lang=en" target="_blank" rel="noopener">@GeorgeTMcDonald</a> and <a href="https://twitter.com/thedoefund?lang=en" target="_blank" rel="noopener">@TheDoeFund</a>.</p> <p>

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

</p>
City Council Members, with Notable Exceptions, Send Letter to MTA Supporting De Blasio Tax Plan 2017-10-26T04:00:00+00:00 2017-10-26T04:00:00+00:00 http://www.gothamgazette.com/?id=7278:city-council-members-with-notable-exceptions-send-letter-to-mta-supporting-de-blasio-tax-plan Ben Max <p><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/images/graphics/2017/reset_1/35262821353_c6f7cf023c_z.jpg" alt="de Blasio subway tax" width="600" height="399" /></p> <p>De Blasio on the train (Edwin J. Torres/Mayor's Office)</p> <hr /> <p>Amid an ongoing feud -- between the Mayor Bill de Blasio on one side and Governor Andrew Cuomo and the MTA on the other -- over funding for mass transit infrastructure in New York City, 27 New York City Council Members on Thursday announced support for the mayor’s proposal to tax wealthy New Yorkers to raise money for subway and bus improvements.</p> <p>The mayor has pitched a tax increase on the top-most earners in the city as part of his “Fair Fix” plan, which would raise about $700 million in 2018 from 32,000 city residents, according to the de Blasio administration. That figure would rise to $820 million annually by 2022, according to city estimates, by increasing the highest income tax rate from 3.876 percent to 4.41 percent for individuals making more than $500,000 a year and couples making more than $1 million.</p> <p>The revenue would be used for the subways and buses, but also to fund the “fair fares” plan to subsidize half-priced MetroCards for the city’s lowest-income residents, something de Blasio has expressed support for in principle, but refused to fund out of city budget money while saying it should be the responsibility of the state-controlled MTA.</p> <p>More than half the 51-member City Council, including five of the seven members running to be the next speaker, backed the plan in a letter to MTA Chair Joe Lhota and the MTA board, on which the New York City Mayor has four appointees of the 14 seats (the Governor has a plurality of six and also appoints the chair). However, two leading speaker contenders did not sign, nor did current Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, though she has expressed support for de Blasio’s plan.</p> <p>“It’s called the Fair Fix because rather than ask working New Yorkers already feeling the pressure of rising fares and bad service to foot the bill on their own, we are asking the millionaires and billionaires in our city to chip in a little extra to help move our transit system that helps make them some of the wealthiest people in the world,” reads the letter, which was sent out by Council Majority Leader Jimmy Van Bramer’s office. “This plan is the right approach and it must advance without delay.”</p> <p>“We need more cost-effective capital construction for the MTA and must think of ways to generate more revenue for the exclusive purpose of bringing our mass transit system to the 21st-century,” said Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez, chair of the transportation committee, in a statement Thursday. “I am confident that Fair Fix, along with other plans proposed at the city and state levels, would raise desperately needed funds for a sustainable plan of improvements.”</p> <p>Of the new revenue raised from the mayor’s proposal, $500 million would be dedicated each year to capital infrastructure improvements and the city estimates that it would allow them to borrow about $8 billion more for upgrades. At least $250 million would help provide half-price MetroCards for 800,000 low-income New Yorkers, which is based on the “Fair Fares” proposal created by a group of transit advocates who insisted that the city fund those MetroCards in the budget this year. De Blasio refused to add Fair Fares to the budget, even eschewing a smaller pilot proposal made by the City Council, but included it later in his tax increase proposal, insisting throughout that the state should bear the burden.</p> <p>Any tax increases are seen as unlikely to move through Albany, especially during a state-level election year, which 2018 is, due to opposition from both Gov. Cuomo, a Democrat, and the Republican-controlled state Senate. De Blasio and all 27 signers of the new letter are Democrats.</p> <p>The 27 Council Members who support that notion include most of the Council’s Progressive Caucus, with a few notable exceptions. Speaker Mark-Viverito did not sign the letter, nor did Council Members Corey Johnson and Mark Levine, both of whom are prominent speaker candidates. Robin Levine, a spokesperson for Mark-Viverito, said in an email, “The MTA is in need of immediate fixing and the Speaker has long supported both the millionaire’s and commuter taxes.”</p> <p>A spokesperson for Council Member Johnson did not return a request for comment on why he did not sign the letter.</p> <p>“I'm fully supportive of the millionaires tax as I believe we desperately need new revenue for the transportation system, which is also why I support congestion pricing,” said Levine in an email. “I didn't sign on to the letter because Joe Lhota and the MTA board don't control the income tax rate.”</p> <p>De Blasio has been an ardent opponent of a congestion pricing scheme, some version of which Cuomo has indicated he will offer in January when he unveils his executive budget proposal and the state’s legislative session begins. Congestion pricing typically includes mechanisms to raise money for mass transit while altering the city’s toll system and implementing measures to reduce street congestion in Manhattan.</p> <p>The fate of de Blasio’s proposal is largely uncertain. It would have to be approved by the state Legislature, and Republicans who control the state Senate and have an acrimonious relationship with the progressive Democratic mayor have already thrown cold water on any tax increases. At the same time, the governor and MTA’s Lhota continue to pressure de Blasio to fund half of a $836 million emergency action plan for the city’s subways that Lhota unveiled shortly after retaking the helm at the MTA at a crisis point in subway service. De Blasio has refused, citing money that Cuomo has raided from the MTA and offering his tax plan.</p> <p>Cuomo has set up a task force to explore congestion pricing but did not initially invite de Blasio, or any other elected official from New York City, to join it. Cuomo made an invitation to de Blasio during a recent NY1 interview, which de Blasio shot down, with his spokesperson calling the task force a “charade” and the mayor saying it is set up for the governor’s own purposes. De Blasio has consistently rejected congestion pricing as a “regressive tax” that would hurt outer borough commuters, despite the facts that while the most prominent plan, Move New York, would institute tolls on the now-free East River bridges, it would also lower tolls on some bridges, and that car owners tend to be wealthier than those who solely rely on public transportation.</p> <p>“New Yorkers want real solutions and that's why they're rallying around the mayor's plan to ask the wealthiest 1% to chip in a little extra," said Austin Finan, a mayoral spokesman, in a statement when asked for a response to the City Council members’ letter.</p> <p>

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by Samar Khurshid, City government reporter, Gotham Gazette
     

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</p>
<p><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/images/graphics/2017/reset_1/35262821353_c6f7cf023c_z.jpg" alt="de Blasio subway tax" width="600" height="399" /></p> <p>De Blasio on the train (Edwin J. Torres/Mayor's Office)</p> <hr /> <p>Amid an ongoing feud -- between the Mayor Bill de Blasio on one side and Governor Andrew Cuomo and the MTA on the other -- over funding for mass transit infrastructure in New York City, 27 New York City Council Members on Thursday announced support for the mayor’s proposal to tax wealthy New Yorkers to raise money for subway and bus improvements.</p> <p>The mayor has pitched a tax increase on the top-most earners in the city as part of his “Fair Fix” plan, which would raise about $700 million in 2018 from 32,000 city residents, according to the de Blasio administration. That figure would rise to $820 million annually by 2022, according to city estimates, by increasing the highest income tax rate from 3.876 percent to 4.41 percent for individuals making more than $500,000 a year and couples making more than $1 million.</p> <p>The revenue would be used for the subways and buses, but also to fund the “fair fares” plan to subsidize half-priced MetroCards for the city’s lowest-income residents, something de Blasio has expressed support for in principle, but refused to fund out of city budget money while saying it should be the responsibility of the state-controlled MTA.</p> <p>More than half the 51-member City Council, including five of the seven members running to be the next speaker, backed the plan in a letter to MTA Chair Joe Lhota and the MTA board, on which the New York City Mayor has four appointees of the 14 seats (the Governor has a plurality of six and also appoints the chair). However, two leading speaker contenders did not sign, nor did current Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, though she has expressed support for de Blasio’s plan.</p> <p>“It’s called the Fair Fix because rather than ask working New Yorkers already feeling the pressure of rising fares and bad service to foot the bill on their own, we are asking the millionaires and billionaires in our city to chip in a little extra to help move our transit system that helps make them some of the wealthiest people in the world,” reads the letter, which was sent out by Council Majority Leader Jimmy Van Bramer’s office. “This plan is the right approach and it must advance without delay.”</p> <p>“We need more cost-effective capital construction for the MTA and must think of ways to generate more revenue for the exclusive purpose of bringing our mass transit system to the 21st-century,” said Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez, chair of the transportation committee, in a statement Thursday. “I am confident that Fair Fix, along with other plans proposed at the city and state levels, would raise desperately needed funds for a sustainable plan of improvements.”</p> <p>Of the new revenue raised from the mayor’s proposal, $500 million would be dedicated each year to capital infrastructure improvements and the city estimates that it would allow them to borrow about $8 billion more for upgrades. At least $250 million would help provide half-price MetroCards for 800,000 low-income New Yorkers, which is based on the “Fair Fares” proposal created by a group of transit advocates who insisted that the city fund those MetroCards in the budget this year. De Blasio refused to add Fair Fares to the budget, even eschewing a smaller pilot proposal made by the City Council, but included it later in his tax increase proposal, insisting throughout that the state should bear the burden.</p> <p>Any tax increases are seen as unlikely to move through Albany, especially during a state-level election year, which 2018 is, due to opposition from both Gov. Cuomo, a Democrat, and the Republican-controlled state Senate. De Blasio and all 27 signers of the new letter are Democrats.</p> <p>The 27 Council Members who support that notion include most of the Council’s Progressive Caucus, with a few notable exceptions. Speaker Mark-Viverito did not sign the letter, nor did Council Members Corey Johnson and Mark Levine, both of whom are prominent speaker candidates. Robin Levine, a spokesperson for Mark-Viverito, said in an email, “The MTA is in need of immediate fixing and the Speaker has long supported both the millionaire’s and commuter taxes.”</p> <p>A spokesperson for Council Member Johnson did not return a request for comment on why he did not sign the letter.</p> <p>“I'm fully supportive of the millionaires tax as I believe we desperately need new revenue for the transportation system, which is also why I support congestion pricing,” said Levine in an email. “I didn't sign on to the letter because Joe Lhota and the MTA board don't control the income tax rate.”</p> <p>De Blasio has been an ardent opponent of a congestion pricing scheme, some version of which Cuomo has indicated he will offer in January when he unveils his executive budget proposal and the state’s legislative session begins. Congestion pricing typically includes mechanisms to raise money for mass transit while altering the city’s toll system and implementing measures to reduce street congestion in Manhattan.</p> <p>The fate of de Blasio’s proposal is largely uncertain. It would have to be approved by the state Legislature, and Republicans who control the state Senate and have an acrimonious relationship with the progressive Democratic mayor have already thrown cold water on any tax increases. At the same time, the governor and MTA’s Lhota continue to pressure de Blasio to fund half of a $836 million emergency action plan for the city’s subways that Lhota unveiled shortly after retaking the helm at the MTA at a crisis point in subway service. De Blasio has refused, citing money that Cuomo has raided from the MTA and offering his tax plan.</p> <p>Cuomo has set up a task force to explore congestion pricing but did not initially invite de Blasio, or any other elected official from New York City, to join it. Cuomo made an invitation to de Blasio during a recent NY1 interview, which de Blasio shot down, with his spokesperson calling the task force a “charade” and the mayor saying it is set up for the governor’s own purposes. De Blasio has consistently rejected congestion pricing as a “regressive tax” that would hurt outer borough commuters, despite the facts that while the most prominent plan, Move New York, would institute tolls on the now-free East River bridges, it would also lower tolls on some bridges, and that car owners tend to be wealthier than those who solely rely on public transportation.</p> <p>“New Yorkers want real solutions and that's why they're rallying around the mayor's plan to ask the wealthiest 1% to chip in a little extra," said Austin Finan, a mayoral spokesman, in a statement when asked for a response to the City Council members’ letter.</p> <p>

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by Samar Khurshid, City government reporter, Gotham Gazette
     

Read more by this writer.

</p>
The Tax Day March Is Not Just About Trump’s Taxes 2017-04-13T04:00:00+00:00 2017-04-13T04:00:00+00:00 http://www.gothamgazette.com/?id=6870:the-tax-day-march-is-not-just-about-trump-s-taxes Ben Max <p><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/images/graphics/2017/womens_march.jpg" alt="womens march" width="600" height="400" /></p> <p dir="ltr">(<a href="https://twitter.com/womensmarch/status/836777543596396545" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">photo: @womensmarch</a>)</p> <hr /> <p dir="ltr">On Tax Day, hundreds of thousands of protesters will take to the streets to demand President Trump release his tax returns and hold the wealthy accountable for taxes that the rest of us pay every year.</p> <p dir="ltr">Our group, the<a href="https://populardemocracy.org/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer"> Center for Popular Democracy</a>, will be among those calling for a tax system that ensures everyone contributes their fair share to our country so that all Americans, regardless of socioeconomic status, have the opportunity to reach their highest potential. We cannot allow Wall Street banks and billionaires to use their wealth and power to repeatedly shortchange us.</p> <p dir="ltr">The nine largest banks in America, for example, have used loopholes and other tax dodging schemes to lower their tax rate from the official rate of 35 percent to just 18.6 percent, a lower rate than what millions of middle class families pay. That tax dodge alone has allowed the banks to avoid paying some $80 billion in taxes between 2008 and<a href="http://inequality.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/Republican-Tax-Giveaways-to-Wall-Street-April-11.pdf" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer"> 2015</a>.</p> <p dir="ltr">These figures do not include offshore tax havens, where Fortune 500 companies have stashed $2.6 trillion in profits on which they owe $767 billion in taxes. That's enough to pay the cost of Bernie Sanders' debt-free college plan and more. They also do not account for the taxes dodged using the "carried interest" loophole which makes it possible for one hedge fund manager who makes $4.6 million per day to pay a tax rate lower than what a teacher or firefighter might pay.</p> <p dir="ltr">These billions of dollars could have been used to fund public programs that provide critical services that millions of New Yorkers rely on, like public housing, healthcare, and education.</p> <p dir="ltr">In fact, even some of New York’s wealthiest residents agree. In March,<a href="http://nypost.com/2017/03/21/rich-new-yorkers-ask-cuomo-to-raise-their-taxes/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer"> 80 wealthy</a> New Yorkers wrote to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, urging him to increase taxes on the rich to provide infrastructure services that benefit all New Yorkers. “We need to invest in pathways out of poverty and up the economic ladder for all of our fellow citizens, including strong public education from pre-K to college. And, we need to invest in the fragile bridges, tunnels, waterlines, public buildings, and roads that we all depend on” they wrote.</p> <p dir="ltr">The state also recently passed its state budget which included a two-year extension on the “millionaires’ tax” expected to “offset the state’s $3.5 billion deficit and fund income tax cuts for people making under $300,000,” as reported by<a href="http://fortune.com/2017/04/10/new-york-budget-college-tuition/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer"> Reuters</a>.</p> <p dir="ltr">New York should lead the way forward by making the “millionaires’ tax” permanent and closing loopholes that have allowed Trump’s donors and the wealthiest executives on Wall Street to avoid paying huge sums in taxes in recent years.</p> <p dir="ltr">Most Americans know that our current tax laws are steeply slanted in favor of the rich and powerful – and they are not happy about it. A Pew Research poll<a href="http://www.people-press.org/2015/03/19/federal-tax-system-seen-in-need-of-overhaul/"> found</a> that roughly two-thirds (64 percent) of Americans “are bothered a lot by the feeling that some corporations aren’t paying what’s fair in federal taxes, and 61 percent say the same about some wealthy people.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Trump has his own<a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/02/us/politics/donald-trump-taxes.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer"> sordid</a> history with the IRS. The New York Times obtained documents showing Trump reported a staggering loss of nearly one billion dollars in 1995, which could have allowed him to legally avoid paying federal taxes for 18 years.</p> <p dir="ltr">In 1789 Benjamin Franklin wrote, “In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” Almost three centuries later, only one of these things is certain and the other is unfairly avoided by those with wealth and privilege.</p> <p dir="ltr">Unlike Donald Trump, most Americans don't mind paying their taxes. What they object to is letting the rich and powerful avoid paying theirs. It’s time for the one percent to step up to the plate.</p> <p dir="ltr">***<br />Tony Perlstein is Deputy Director of Campaigns for the <a href="https://populardemocracy.org/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Center for Popular Democracy</a>. On Twitter <a href="https://twitter.com/popdemoc" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">@popdemoc</a>.</p> <p>

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

</p>
<p><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/images/graphics/2017/womens_march.jpg" alt="womens march" width="600" height="400" /></p> <p dir="ltr">(<a href="https://twitter.com/womensmarch/status/836777543596396545" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">photo: @womensmarch</a>)</p> <hr /> <p dir="ltr">On Tax Day, hundreds of thousands of protesters will take to the streets to demand President Trump release his tax returns and hold the wealthy accountable for taxes that the rest of us pay every year.</p> <p dir="ltr">Our group, the<a href="https://populardemocracy.org/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer"> Center for Popular Democracy</a>, will be among those calling for a tax system that ensures everyone contributes their fair share to our country so that all Americans, regardless of socioeconomic status, have the opportunity to reach their highest potential. We cannot allow Wall Street banks and billionaires to use their wealth and power to repeatedly shortchange us.</p> <p dir="ltr">The nine largest banks in America, for example, have used loopholes and other tax dodging schemes to lower their tax rate from the official rate of 35 percent to just 18.6 percent, a lower rate than what millions of middle class families pay. That tax dodge alone has allowed the banks to avoid paying some $80 billion in taxes between 2008 and<a href="http://inequality.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/Republican-Tax-Giveaways-to-Wall-Street-April-11.pdf" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer"> 2015</a>.</p> <p dir="ltr">These figures do not include offshore tax havens, where Fortune 500 companies have stashed $2.6 trillion in profits on which they owe $767 billion in taxes. That's enough to pay the cost of Bernie Sanders' debt-free college plan and more. They also do not account for the taxes dodged using the "carried interest" loophole which makes it possible for one hedge fund manager who makes $4.6 million per day to pay a tax rate lower than what a teacher or firefighter might pay.</p> <p dir="ltr">These billions of dollars could have been used to fund public programs that provide critical services that millions of New Yorkers rely on, like public housing, healthcare, and education.</p> <p dir="ltr">In fact, even some of New York’s wealthiest residents agree. In March,<a href="http://nypost.com/2017/03/21/rich-new-yorkers-ask-cuomo-to-raise-their-taxes/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer"> 80 wealthy</a> New Yorkers wrote to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, urging him to increase taxes on the rich to provide infrastructure services that benefit all New Yorkers. “We need to invest in pathways out of poverty and up the economic ladder for all of our fellow citizens, including strong public education from pre-K to college. And, we need to invest in the fragile bridges, tunnels, waterlines, public buildings, and roads that we all depend on” they wrote.</p> <p dir="ltr">The state also recently passed its state budget which included a two-year extension on the “millionaires’ tax” expected to “offset the state’s $3.5 billion deficit and fund income tax cuts for people making under $300,000,” as reported by<a href="http://fortune.com/2017/04/10/new-york-budget-college-tuition/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer"> Reuters</a>.</p> <p dir="ltr">New York should lead the way forward by making the “millionaires’ tax” permanent and closing loopholes that have allowed Trump’s donors and the wealthiest executives on Wall Street to avoid paying huge sums in taxes in recent years.</p> <p dir="ltr">Most Americans know that our current tax laws are steeply slanted in favor of the rich and powerful – and they are not happy about it. A Pew Research poll<a href="http://www.people-press.org/2015/03/19/federal-tax-system-seen-in-need-of-overhaul/"> found</a> that roughly two-thirds (64 percent) of Americans “are bothered a lot by the feeling that some corporations aren’t paying what’s fair in federal taxes, and 61 percent say the same about some wealthy people.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Trump has his own<a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/02/us/politics/donald-trump-taxes.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer"> sordid</a> history with the IRS. The New York Times obtained documents showing Trump reported a staggering loss of nearly one billion dollars in 1995, which could have allowed him to legally avoid paying federal taxes for 18 years.</p> <p dir="ltr">In 1789 Benjamin Franklin wrote, “In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” Almost three centuries later, only one of these things is certain and the other is unfairly avoided by those with wealth and privilege.</p> <p dir="ltr">Unlike Donald Trump, most Americans don't mind paying their taxes. What they object to is letting the rich and powerful avoid paying theirs. It’s time for the one percent to step up to the plate.</p> <p dir="ltr">***<br />Tony Perlstein is Deputy Director of Campaigns for the <a href="https://populardemocracy.org/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Center for Popular Democracy</a>. On Twitter <a href="https://twitter.com/popdemoc" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">@popdemoc</a>.</p> <p>

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

</p>
On the Issues: Presidential Candidate Comparison 2016-10-31T04:00:00+00:00 2016-10-31T04:00:00+00:00 http://www.gothamgazette.com/?id=6601:presidential-candidate-comparison Ben Max <p><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/images/graphics/2016/election-candidates.png" alt="election candidates" width="600" height="399" /></p> <p><strong><a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/#fullissue" target="_self" style="background-color: #02619c; border-radius: 25px; color: #fff; cursor: pointer; font-weight: bolder; margin: 2px; padding: 5px;" title="Click here to see the full list">Click here to see the full list</a></strong></p> <p> </p> <section> <article> <a id="fullissue"></a> <div id="hidden1" class="issues-list"> <h1>Vice President</h1> <div id="hclinton"> <table> <tbody> <tr> <td style="width: 75px; max-height: 129px;"><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/election2016/includes/imgs/hillary-clinton2.png" alt="" style="margin-right: 8px; width: 75px;" align="left" /></td> <td style="vertical-align: top;"><span class="header">Vice President</span><br style="margin-bottom: 7px;" /> <span id="hc-positions">Tim Kaine of Virginia. U.S. Senator, former Governor of Virginia, former Mayor of Richmond.</span></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </div> <div id="dtrump"> <table> <tbody> <tr> <td style="width: 75px; max-height: 129px;"><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/election2016/includes/imgs/donald-trump2.png" alt="" style="margin-right: 8px; width: 75px;" align="left" /></td> <td style="vertical-align: top;"><span class="header">Vice President</span><br style="margin-bottom: 7px;" /> <span id="dt-positions">Mike Pence of Indiana. Governor of Indiana, former member of the United States House of Represenatatives, where he was a leader of the Tea Party movement.</span></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </div> <div id="gjohnson"> <table> <tbody> <tr> <td style="width: 75px; max-height: 129px;"><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/election2016/includes/imgs/gary-johnson2.png" alt="" style="margin-right: 8px; width: 75px;" align="left" /></td> <td style="vertical-align: top;"><span class="header">Vice President</span><br style="margin-bottom: 7px;" /> <span id="gj-positions">William Weld of Massachusetts. Former Republican governor of Massachusetts 1991, former U.S. Senate candidate.</span></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </div> <div id="jstein"> <table> <tbody> <tr> <td style="width: 75px; max-height: 129px;"><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/election2016/includes/imgs/jill-stein2.png" alt="" style="margin-right: 8px; width: 75px;" align="left" /></td> <td style="vertical-align: top;"><span class="header">Vice President</span><br style="margin-bottom: 7px;" /> <span id="js-candidates">Ajamu Baraka of Georgia. Human rights activist, founding executive director of the U.S. Human Rights Network.</span></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </div> <!-- CLEAR --> <h1>&nbsp;</h1> <h1>Bio</h1> <div id="hclinton"> <table> <tbody> <tr> <td style="width: 75px; max-height: 129px;"><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/election2016/includes/imgs/hillary-clinton2.png" alt="" style="margin-right: 8px; width: 75px;" align="left" /></td> <td style="vertical-align: top;"><span class="header">Bio</span><br style="margin-bottom: 7px;" /> <span id="hc-positions">Hillary Clinton, born in 1947, is most notable for serving as First Lady of the United States (1993-2001), a United States Senator from New York (2001-2009), and the United States Secretary of State from 2009 to 2013. She's known for, among other things, her push for national health care reform in 1993-1994 as First Lady.</span></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </div> <div id="dtrump"> <table> <tbody> <tr> <td style="width: 75px; max-height: 129px;"><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/election2016/includes/imgs/donald-trump2.png" alt="" style="margin-right: 8px; width: 75px;" align="left" /></td> <td style="vertical-align: top;"><span class="header">Bio</span><br style="margin-bottom: 7px;" /> <span id="dt-positions">Donald Trump, born in 1946, is a businessman, real estate mogul, and television personality. He has built further on the buisness empire started by his father and made a national name for his real estate and casino businesses, and as the host of The Apprentice.</span></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </div> <div id="gjohnson"> <table> <tbody> <tr> <td style="width: 75px; max-height: 129px;"><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/election2016/includes/imgs/gary-johnson2.png" alt="" style="margin-right: 8px; width: 75px;" align="left" /></td> <td style="vertical-align: top;"><span class="header">Bio</span><br style="margin-bottom: 7px;" /> <span id="gj-positions">Gary Johnson, born in 1953, founded what became one of the largest construction companies in New Mexico. Former governor of New Mexico, winning his longshot 1994 bid, serving two terms. Has long-favored small government. Also ran for President as the Libertarian Party nominee in 2012. He got 0.99% of the national vote that year.</span></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </div> <div id="jstein"> <table> <tbody> <tr> <td style="width: 75px; max-height: 129px;"><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/election2016/includes/imgs/jill-stein2.png" alt="" style="margin-right: 8px; width: 75px;" align="left" /></td> <td style="vertical-align: top;"><span class="header">Bio</span><br style="margin-bottom: 7px;" /> <span id="js-candidates">Jill Stein, born in 1950, is a physician and activist whose biggest focus has been environmental and health issues. She was the Green Party Candidate for Governor of Massachusetts in 2002 and 2010, and the Green Party Candidate for President in 2012. She received 0.36% of the national vote that year.</span></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </div> <!-- CLEAR --> <h1>&nbsp;</h1> <h1>Campaign Websites</h1> <div id="hclinton"> <table> <tbody> <tr> <td style="width: 75px; max-height: 129px;"><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/election2016/includes/imgs/hillary-clinton2.png" alt="" style="margin-right: 8px; width: 75px;" align="left" /></td> <td style="vertical-align: top;"> <p><span class="header"></span><span id="hc-positions"><a href="https://www.hillaryclinton.com">Campaign Website</a></span></p> <p><a href="https://twitter.com/HillaryClinton">Twitter</a></p> <p><a href="https://www.facebook.com/hillaryclinton">Facebook</a></p> <p><a href="https://www.youtube.com/hillaryclinton">YouTube</a></p> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </div> <div id="dtrump"> <table> <tbody> <tr> <td style="width: 75px; max-height: 129px;"><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/election2016/includes/imgs/donald-trump2.png" alt="" style="margin-right: 8px; width: 75px;" align="left" /></td> <td style="vertical-align: top;"> <p><span id="dt-positions"><a href="https://www.donaldjtrump.com">Campaign Website</a></span></p> <p><a href="https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump">Twitter</a></p> <p><a href="https://www.facebook.com/DonaldTrump">Facebook</a></p> <p><a href="https://www.youtube.com/donaldtrump">YouTube</a></p> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </div> <div id="gjohnson"> <table> <tbody> <tr> <td style="width: 75px; max-height: 129px;"><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/election2016/includes/imgs/gary-johnson2.png" alt="" style="margin-right: 8px; width: 75px;" align="left" /></td> <td style="vertical-align: top;"> <p><span id="gj-positions"><a href="https://www.johnsonweld.com">Campaign Website</a></span></p> <p><a href="http://www.twitter.com/govgaryjohnson">Twitter</a></p> <p><a href="http://www.facebook.com/govgaryjohnson">Facebook</a></p> <p><a href="https://www.youtube.com/c/govgaryjohnson">YouTube</a></p> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </div> <div id="jstein"> <table> <tbody> <tr> <td style="width: 75px; max-height: 129px;"><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/election2016/includes/imgs/jill-stein2.png" alt="" style="margin-right: 8px; width: 75px;" align="left" /></td> <td style="vertical-align: top;"> <p><a href="http://www.jill2016.com/">Campaign Website</a></p> <p><a href="https://twitter.com/drjillstein">Twitter</a></p> <p><a href="https://www.facebook.com/drjillstein">Facebook</a></p> <p><a href="https://www.youtube.com/jill2016">YouTube</a></p> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </div> <!-- CLEAR --> <h1>&nbsp;</h1> <h1>Jobs</h1> <div id="hclinton"> <table> <tbody> <tr> <td style="width: 75px; max-height: 129px;"><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/election2016/includes/imgs/hillary-clinton2.png" alt="" style="margin-right: 8px; width: 75px;" align="left" /></td> <td style="vertical-align: top;"><span class="header">Jobs</span><br style="margin-bottom: 7px;" /> <span id="hc-positions">Clinton wants to invest in infrastructure to bolster the economy, including in clean energy. She is also focused on modernizing the economy through manufacturing and technology. She advocates for an increase in the minimum wage to $12 an hour nationally, with room for states to go higher, and she wants equal pay for equal work. </span></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </div> <div id="dtrump"> <table> <tbody> <tr> <td style="width: 75px; max-height: 129px;"><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/election2016/includes/imgs/donald-trump2.png" alt="" style="margin-right: 8px; width: 75px;" align="left" /></td> <td style="vertical-align: top;"><span class="header">Jobs</span><br style="margin-bottom: 7px;" /> <span id="dt-positions">Trump believes that lower taxes and less regulation, as a whole, will bolster the economy. He believes the U.S. has agreed to bad trade deals, which he promises to renegotiate, that have led to lost American jobs to countries like Mexico and China. He promised to keep companies in the U.S. and to make American manufacturing great again.</span></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </div> <div id="gjohnson"> <table> <tbody> <tr> <td style="width: 75px; max-height: 129px;"><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/election2016/includes/imgs/gary-johnson2.png" alt="" style="margin-right: 8px; width: 75px;" align="left" /></td> <td style="vertical-align: top;"><span class="header">Jobs</span><br style="margin-bottom: 7px;" /> <span id="gj-positions">Johnson generally favors less regulation, though any regulation which reigns in harmful actors will stay, he says. He also believes that out-of-control spending has hurt the U.S. economy, and that this spending needs to be reigned in. He believes smaller and less government will allow the economy to flourish.</span></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </div> <div id="jstein"> <table> <tbody> <tr> <td style="width: 75px; max-height: 129px;"><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/election2016/includes/imgs/jill-stein2.png" alt="" style="margin-right: 8px; width: 75px;" align="left" /></td> <td style="vertical-align: top;"><span class="header">Jobs</span><br style="margin-bottom: 7px;" /> <span id="js-candidates">Stein believes in "living-wage jobs for every American who needs work." Government would be the last resort employer under this plan. She also believes in a $15 minimum wage and the breaking up of banks that are "too big to fail." Key to Stein's, and the Green Party's, platform is a "Green New Deal," which aims to create jobs through the building of clean energy infrastructure, so that America relies on 100% clean energy by 2030.</span></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </div> <!-- CLEAR --><br /><br /> <h1>Taxes</h1> <div id="hclinton"> <table> <tbody> <tr> <td style="width: 75px; max-height: 129px;"><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/election2016/includes/imgs/hillary-clinton2.png" alt="" style="margin-right: 8px; width: 75px;" align="left" /></td> <td style="vertical-align: top;"><span class="header">Taxes</span><br style="margin-bottom: 7px;" /> <span id="hc-positions">"Hillary will implement a "fair share surcharge" on multi-millionaires and billionaires." She will also fight for measures like the Buffett Rule, so that wealthier individuals pay their fair share of taxes, she says. She also looks to close up any loopholes which benefit Wall Street, cut taxes for small businesses, and "provide tax relief to working families from the rising costs they face." A Clinton Administration will look to tax high-frequency trading on Wall Street.</span></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </div> <div id="dtrump"> <table> <tbody> <tr> <td style="width: 75px; max-height: 129px;"><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/election2016/includes/imgs/donald-trump2.png" alt="" style="margin-right: 8px; width: 75px;" align="left" /></td> <td style="vertical-align: top;"><span class="header">Taxes</span><br style="margin-bottom: 7px;" /> <span id="dt-positions">Trump believes lower taxes will help the economy. In particular, he believes that business taxes are too high, and that they need to be lowered so that they are competitive with the rest of the world. He believes that a simplified tax system will help. Like many Democrats, Trump believes in closing the carried interest loophole. </span></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </div> <div id="gjohnson"> <table> <tbody> <tr> <td style="width: 75px; max-height: 129px;"><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/election2016/includes/imgs/gary-johnson2.png" alt="" style="margin-right: 8px; width: 75px;" align="left" /></td> <td style="vertical-align: top;"><span class="header">Taxes</span><br style="margin-bottom: 7px;" /> <span id="gj-positions">Johnson proposes getting rid of tax loopholes, as well as double taxes on small businesses. He favors "the replacement of all income and payroll taxes with a single consumption tax that determines your tax burden by how much you spend, not how much you earn."</span></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </div> <div id="jstein"> <table> <tbody> <tr> <td style="width: 75px; max-height: 129px;"><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/election2016/includes/imgs/jill-stein2.png" alt="" style="margin-right: 8px; width: 75px;" align="left" /></td> <td style="vertical-align: top;"><span class="header">Taxes</span><br style="margin-bottom: 7px;" /> <span id="js-candidates">Stein wants Wall Street corporations to pay their fair share in taxes. Also believes in a tax on companies that pollute. She believes in higher taxes for the wealthy, and lower taxes for the poor and middle class.</span></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </div> <h1>&nbsp;</h1> <h1>National Debt</h1> <div id="hclinton"> <table> <tbody> <tr> <td style="width: 75px; max-height: 129px;"><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/election2016/includes/imgs/hillary-clinton2.png" alt="" style="margin-right: 8px; width: 75px;" align="left" /></td> <td style="vertical-align: top;"><span class="header">National Debt</span><br style="margin-bottom: 7px;" /> <span id="hc-positions">"From the Democratic Party Platform: ""We believe that by making those at the top and the largest corporations pay their fair share we can pay for ambitious progressive investments that create good-paying jobs and offer security to working families without adding to the debt."""</span></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </div> <div id="dtrump"> <table> <tbody> <tr> <td style="width: 75px; max-height: 129px;"><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/election2016/includes/imgs/donald-trump2.png" alt="" style="margin-right: 8px; width: 75px;" align="left" /></td> <td style="vertical-align: top;"><span class="header">National Debt</span><br style="margin-bottom: 7px;" /> <span id="dt-positions">"You never have to default because you print the money," Trump said at one time. He has also suggested at times that borrowing is not a problem and that the U.S. could renegotiate its debt. </span></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </div> <div id="gjohnson"> <table> <tbody> <tr> <td style="width: 75px; max-height: 129px;"><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/election2016/includes/imgs/gary-johnson2.png" alt="" style="margin-right: 8px; width: 75px;" align="left" /></td> <td style="vertical-align: top;"><span class="header">National Debt</span><br style="margin-bottom: 7px;" /> <span id="gj-positions">Johnson plans to veto any bill which results in deficit spending. He also touts his record of vetoing many bills as governor of New Mexico, vetos he said helped balance New Mexico's budget. </span></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </div> <div id="jstein"> <table> <tbody> <tr> <td style="width: 75px; max-height: 129px;"><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/election2016/includes/imgs/jill-stein2.png" alt="" style="margin-right: 8px; width: 75px;" align="left" /></td> <td style="vertical-align: top;"><span class="header">National Debt</span><br style="margin-bottom: 7px;" /> <span id="js-candidates">Stein said on her campaign website in 2012 that she would reduce "the budget deficit by restoring full employment, cutting the bloated military budget, and cutting private health insurance waste."</span></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </div> <!-- CLEAR --> <h1>&nbsp;</h1> <h1>Trade</h1> <div id="hclinton"> <table> <tbody> <tr> <td style="width: 75px; max-height: 129px;"><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/election2016/includes/imgs/hillary-clinton2.png" alt="" style="margin-right: 8px; width: 75px;" align="left" /></td> <td style="vertical-align: top;"><span class="header">Trade</span><br style="margin-bottom: 7px;" /> <span id="hc-positions">Clinton has moved in her support for trade deals, and has a new rubric for them, saying they must provide jobs for Americans, not sacrifice U.S. security, and be good for American national and international priorities. She supported NAFTA in the past, but admits to troubling outcomes for American jobs, and after supporting the Trans-Pacific Partnership as it was in development, she has come out against the version put forward by the Obama Administration. On trade, she says she's held deals to "the same test. Will they create jobs in America? Will they raise incomes in America? And are they good for our national security?" </span></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </div> <div id="dtrump"> <table> <tbody> <tr> <td style="width: 75px; max-height: 129px;"><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/election2016/includes/imgs/donald-trump2.png" alt="" style="margin-right: 8px; width: 75px;" align="left" /></td> <td style="vertical-align: top;"><span class="header">Trade</span><br style="margin-bottom: 7px;" /> <span id="dt-positions">Trump has campaigned vocally against NAFTA, other past trade deals, and TPP. His vews on trade and the United States is best reflected in what he said at the Republican National Convention--"Americanism, not globalism, will be our credo."</span></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </div> <div id="gjohnson"> <table> <tbody> <tr> <td style="width: 75px; max-height: 129px;"><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/election2016/includes/imgs/gary-johnson2.png" alt="" style="margin-right: 8px; width: 75px;" align="left" /></td> <td style="vertical-align: top;"><span class="header">Trade</span><br style="margin-bottom: 7px;" /> <span id="gj-positions">Johnson generally supports NAFTA, TPP, and any other free trade agreements. He believes that any jobs lost to NAFTA while he was Governor of New Mexico were jobs that New Mexico didn't want anyway.</span></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </div> <div id="jstein"> <table> <tbody> <tr> <td style="width: 75px; max-height: 129px;"><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/election2016/includes/imgs/jill-stein2.png" alt="" style="margin-right: 8px; width: 75px;" align="left" /></td> <td style="vertical-align: top;"><span class="header">Trade</span><br style="margin-bottom: 7px;" /> <span id="js-candidates">Stein believes that NAFTA and other similar agreements takes away jobs, hurts wages, and overall has negative economic impacts on Americans. She wants to "enact fair trade laws that benefits local workers and communities."</span></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </div> <!-- CLEAR --> <h1>&nbsp;</h1> <h1>Immigration</h1> <div id="hclinton"> <table> <tbody> <tr> <td style="width: 75px; max-height: 129px;"><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/election2016/includes/imgs/hillary-clinton2.png" alt="" style="margin-right: 8px; width: 75px;" align="left" /></td> <td style="vertical-align: top;"><span class="header">Immigration</span><br style="margin-bottom: 7px;" /> <span id="hc-positions">There are two major facets to Clinton's immigration plan: protect families and provide a pathway to citizenship. She says that comprehensive immigration reform is desperately needed.</span></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </div> <div id="dtrump"> <table> <tbody> <tr> <td style="width: 75px; max-height: 129px;"><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/election2016/includes/imgs/donald-trump2.png" alt="" style="margin-right: 8px; width: 75px;" align="left" /></td> <td style="vertical-align: top;"><span class="header">Immigration</span><br style="margin-bottom: 7px;" /> <span id="dt-positions">Trump promises no amnesty to undocumented immigrants and promises mass deportations, though at times he has appeared to soften some of his stances. His major campaign promise is to end illegal immigration and to institute "extreme vetting" of individuals, especially refugees, seeking entrance into the country. He talks about having a secure border and promises to build a wall along the southern border that he promises Mexico will pay for. He has also questioned birthright citizenship.</span></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </div> <div id="gjohnson"> <table> <tbody> <tr> <td style="width: 75px; max-height: 129px;"><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/election2016/includes/imgs/gary-johnson2.png" alt="" style="margin-right: 8px; width: 75px;" align="left" /></td> <td style="vertical-align: top;"><span class="header">Immigration</span><br style="margin-bottom: 7px;" /> <span id="gj-positions">Johnson desn't believe that immigration is as simple as building a wall. "We should focus on creating a more efficient system of providing work visas, conducting background checks, and incentivizing non-citizens to pay their taxes, obtain proof of employment, and otherwise assimilate with our diverse society," his website says. </span></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </div> <div id="jstein"> <table> <tbody> <tr> <td style="width: 75px; max-height: 129px;"><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/election2016/includes/imgs/jill-stein2.png" alt="" style="margin-right: 8px; width: 75px;" align="left" /></td> <td style="vertical-align: top;"><span class="header">Immigration</span><br style="margin-bottom: 7px;" /> <span id="js-candidates">"Create a welcoming path to citizenship for immigrants" is posted on Stein's website. Past policy positions also indicates that she is not in favor of the mass deportation of people which has happened under President Obama and promised to a greater degree by Trump.</span></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </div> <!-- CLEAR --> <h1>&nbsp;</h1> <h1>Health Care</h1> <div id="hclinton"> <table> <tbody> <tr> <td style="width: 75px; max-height: 129px;"><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/election2016/includes/imgs/hillary-clinton2.png" alt="" style="margin-right: 8px; width: 75px;" align="left" /></td> <td style="vertical-align: top;"><span class="header">Health Care</span><br style="margin-bottom: 7px;" /> <span id="hc-positions">Clinton wants to defend, tweak, and expand, but not repeal, Obamacare. She praises how many more people have become insured, but she wants to get costs down.</span></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </div> <div id="dtrump"> <table> <tbody> <tr> <td style="width: 75px; max-height: 129px;"><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/election2016/includes/imgs/donald-trump2.png" alt="" style="margin-right: 8px; width: 75px;" align="left" /></td> <td style="vertical-align: top;"><span class="header">Health Care</span><br style="margin-bottom: 7px;" /> <span id="dt-positions">Trump promises to repeal Obamacare, and replace it with something far better. He says health care companies must be allowed to sell policies across state lines. He also wants transparency with health care costs and providers, and to "allow individuals to fully deduct health insurance premium payments from their tax returns under the current tax system." He argues for increased competitive, not government regulation of health care. Trump has also said that everyone deserves health care.</span></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </div> <div id="gjohnson"> <table> <tbody> <tr> <td style="width: 75px; max-height: 129px;"><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/election2016/includes/imgs/gary-johnson2.png" alt="" style="margin-right: 8px; width: 75px;" align="left" /></td> <td style="vertical-align: top;"><span class="header">Health Care</span><br style="margin-bottom: 7px;" /> <span id="gj-positions">Generally speaking, Johnson is in favor of repealing Obamacare. He believes that free market competition will do the best job of covering health care for people.</span></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </div> <div id="jstein"> <table> <tbody> <tr> <td style="width: 75px; max-height: 129px;"><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/election2016/includes/imgs/jill-stein2.png" alt="" style="margin-right: 8px; width: 75px;" align="left" /></td> <td style="vertical-align: top;"><span class="header">Health Care</span><br style="margin-bottom: 7px;" /> <span id="js-candidates">Stein believes in a Medicare for All system.</span></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </div> <!-- CLEAR --> <h1>&nbsp;</h1> <h1>The Environment</h1> <div id="hclinton"> <table> <tbody> <tr> <td style="width: 75px; max-height: 129px;"><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/election2016/includes/imgs/hillary-clinton2.png" alt="" style="margin-right: 8px; width: 75px;" align="left" /></td> <td style="vertical-align: top;"><span class="header">The Environment</span><br style="margin-bottom: 7px;" /> <span id="hc-positions">Clinton will encourage clean energy: "Launch a $60 billion Clean Energy Challenge to partner with states, cities, and rural communities to cut carbon pollution and expand clean energy, including for low-income families." "Invest in clean energy infrastructure, innovation, manufacturing and workforce development to make the U.S. economy more competitive and create good-paying jobs and careers." </span></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </div> <div id="dtrump"> <table> <tbody> <tr> <td style="width: 75px; max-height: 129px;"><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/election2016/includes/imgs/donald-trump2.png" alt="" style="margin-right: 8px; width: 75px;" align="left" /></td> <td style="vertical-align: top;"><span class="header">The Environment</span><br style="margin-bottom: 7px;" /> <span id="dt-positions">Trump does not discuss the environment much. He has called climate change a hoax. And, he believes that the Environmental Protection Agency has too many regulations.</span></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </div> <div id="gjohnson"> <table> <tbody> <tr> <td style="width: 75px; max-height: 129px;"><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/election2016/includes/imgs/gary-johnson2.png" alt="" style="margin-right: 8px; width: 75px;" align="left" /></td> <td style="vertical-align: top;"><span class="header">The Environment</span><br style="margin-bottom: 7px;" /> <span id="gj-positions">Johnson places emphasis on protection of National Parks and wants the Environmental Protection Agency to "focus on its true mission." He also believes in regulations to protect from pollutors, but also believes that the government meddles too much in deciding which companies determine the future of clean energy.</span></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </div> <div id="jstein"> <table> <tbody> <tr> <td style="width: 75px; max-height: 129px;"><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/election2016/includes/imgs/jill-stein2.png" alt="" style="margin-right: 8px; width: 75px;" align="left" /></td> <td style="vertical-align: top;"><span class="header">The Environment</span><br style="margin-bottom: 7px;" /> <span id="js-candidates">Stein and the Green Party are, historically, especially focused on the environment. The Green New Deal looks to have the U.S. be on 100% clean energy by 2030. Stein wants to end use of fossil fuels and any support thereof. She places a special emphasis on protecting ecosystems, and strengthening environmental justice laws.</span></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </div> <!-- CLEAR --> <h1>&nbsp;</h1> <h1>Foreign Policy</h1> <div id="hclinton"> <table> <tbody> <tr> <td style="width: 75px; max-height: 129px;"><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/election2016/includes/imgs/hillary-clinton2.png" alt="" style="margin-right: 8px; width: 75px;" align="left" /></td> <td style="vertical-align: top;"><span class="header">Foreign Policy</span><br style="margin-bottom: 7px;" /> <span id="hc-positions">Clinton believes that the United States should defend its allies, push for diplomacy whenever possible, and be firm but not overaggressive with rivals such as China, Russia, and Iran. She is known as an interventionist, but has also spent time negotiating peace deals as Secretary of State. Her vote in favor of the Iraq War as a U.S. Senator is one that she has long been criticized for and has herself called a mistake.</span></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </div> <div id="dtrump"> <table> <tbody> <tr> <td style="width: 75px; max-height: 129px;"><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/election2016/includes/imgs/donald-trump2.png" alt="" style="margin-right: 8px; width: 75px;" align="left" /></td> <td style="vertical-align: top;"><span class="header">Foreign Policy</span><br style="margin-bottom: 7px;" /> <span id="dt-positions">Trump has an "America First" foreign policy, based on protecting the interests of the United States above all else, not meddling in other countries' affairs, protecting American security and jobs, seemingly no matter what it takes to do so. Trump has promised an aggressive approach with Mexico and illegal immigration, China and currency manipulation, and the Middle East and wars in the region. Trump has been criticized and questioned for an apparent coziness with Vladimir Putin of Russia, which he has denied.</span></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </div> <div id="gjohnson"> <table> <tbody> <tr> <td style="width: 75px; max-height: 129px;"><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/election2016/includes/imgs/gary-johnson2.png" alt="" style="margin-right: 8px; width: 75px;" align="left" /></td> <td style="vertical-align: top;"><span class="header">Foreign Policy</span><br style="margin-bottom: 7px;" /> <span id="gj-positions">Johnson believes that the U.S. meddles too much in foreign affairs and wars, and that needs to stop. He believes in fixing the problems that exist at home, while at the same time building relationships with allies abroad. Johnson has struggled with discussing foreign affairs on the campaign trail.</span></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </div> <div id="jstein"> <table> <tbody> <tr> <td style="width: 75px; max-height: 129px;"><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/election2016/includes/imgs/jill-stein2.png" alt="" style="margin-right: 8px; width: 75px;" align="left" /></td> <td style="vertical-align: top;"><span class="header">Foreign Policy</span><br style="margin-bottom: 7px;" /> <span id="js-candidates">Stein wants to focus on diplomacy whenever possible, but also the punishment of abusers of human rights. Those human rights abusers include Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Israel, she says.</span></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </div> <!-- CLEAR --> <h1>&nbsp;</h1> <h1>Combatting ISIS</h1> <div id="hclinton"> <table> <tbody> <tr> <td style="width: 75px; max-height: 129px;"><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/election2016/includes/imgs/hillary-clinton2.png" alt="" style="margin-right: 8px; width: 75px;" align="left" /></td> <td style="vertical-align: top;"><span class="header">ISIS</span><br style="margin-bottom: 7px;" /> <span id="hc-positions">Clinton looks to support counter-terrorism law enformcement with the tools they need, and an increase of the airstrike campaign against ISIS in the Middle East. She has called for an "intelligence surge" to help the U.S. in its efforts against ISIS and other foreign threats.</span></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </div> <div id="dtrump"> <table> <tbody> <tr> <td style="width: 75px; max-height: 129px;"><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/election2016/includes/imgs/donald-trump2.png" alt="" style="margin-right: 8px; width: 75px;" align="left" /></td> <td style="vertical-align: top;"><span class="header">ISIS</span><br style="margin-bottom: 7px;" /> <span id="dt-positions">Generally speaking, Trump calls for a very aggressive military approach to ISIS, at times using expletives to explain his plan to bomb its forces and strongholds. He has repeatedly called for destroying oil fields that ISIS may have access to. But it is unclear to what extent he will pursue these strategies because he has not released as many plans regarding ISIS. Trump says U.S. leaders are foolish in telegraphing their military plans and that he will not divulge his. He has repeatedly insulted both U.S. political and military leaders.</span></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </div> <div id="gjohnson"> <table> <tbody> <tr> <td style="width: 75px; max-height: 129px;"><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/election2016/includes/imgs/gary-johnson2.png" alt="" style="margin-right: 8px; width: 75px;" align="left" /></td> <td style="vertical-align: top;"><span class="header">ISIS</span><br style="margin-bottom: 7px;" /> <span id="gj-positions">Johnson believes that the "meddling" of past administrations, Republican and Democrat, have created the monster that is ISIS. He has not shown a particular adeptness at discussing foreign affairs or presenting a plan to help eliminate threats from ISIS.</span></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </div> <div id="jstein"> <table> <tbody> <tr> <td style="width: 75px; max-height: 129px;"><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/election2016/includes/imgs/jill-stein2.png" alt="" style="margin-right: 8px; width: 75px;" align="left" /></td> <td style="vertical-align: top;"><span class="header">ISIS</span><br style="margin-bottom: 7px;" /> <span id="js-candidates">Stein says little about ISIS, but overall she is calling for the U.S. to not be engaged in war and foreign intervention.</span></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </div> <!-- CLEAR --> <h1>&nbsp;</h1> <h1>Gun Control</h1> <div id="hclinton"> <table> <tbody> <tr> <td style="width: 75px; max-height: 129px;"><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/election2016/includes/imgs/hillary-clinton2.png" alt="" style="margin-right: 8px; width: 75px;" align="left" /></td> <td style="vertical-align: top;"><span class="header">Gun Control</span><br style="margin-bottom: 7px;" /> <span id="hc-positions">Clinton has made gun control a focus of her campaign; calling for expanding background checks, and keeping "guns out of the hands of domestic abusers, other violent criminals, and the severely mentally ill." Clinton has said she believes in the Second Amendment and responsible gun ownership, but that she wants to do more to keep guns out of the wrong hands.</span></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </div> <div id="dtrump"> <table> <tbody> <tr> <td style="width: 75px; max-height: 129px;"><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/election2016/includes/imgs/donald-trump2.png" alt="" style="margin-right: 8px; width: 75px;" align="left" /></td> <td style="vertical-align: top;"><span class="header">Gun Control</span><br style="margin-bottom: 7px;" /> <span id="dt-positions">Trump is pro-gun ownership and has promised to defend the Second Amendment. He believes that current gun regulations are a failure, and that background checks need to be fixed because it seems like criminals don't go through background checks. </span></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </div> <div id="gjohnson"> <table> <tbody> <tr> <td style="width: 75px; max-height: 129px;"><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/election2016/includes/imgs/gary-johnson2.png" alt="" style="margin-right: 8px; width: 75px;" align="left" /></td> <td style="vertical-align: top;"><span class="header">Gun Control</span><br style="margin-bottom: 7px;" /> <span id="gj-positions">Johnson does not believe in increasing gun regulations. He is of the mind that if you take guns away only outlaws and criminals will have guns.</span></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </div> <div id="jstein"> <table> <tbody> <tr> <td style="width: 75px; max-height: 129px;"><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/election2016/includes/imgs/jill-stein2.png" alt="" style="margin-right: 8px; width: 75px;" align="left" /></td> <td style="vertical-align: top;"><span class="header">Gun Control</span><br style="margin-bottom: 7px;" /> <span id="js-candidates">Stein believes that the ownership of guns should be regulated for the sake of public safety.</span></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </div> <!-- CLEAR --> <h1>&nbsp;</h1> <h1>Justice Reform</h1> <div id="hclinton"> <table> <tbody> <tr> <td style="width: 75px; max-height: 129px;"><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/election2016/includes/imgs/hillary-clinton2.png" alt="" style="margin-right: 8px; width: 75px;" align="left" /></td> <td style="vertical-align: top;"><span class="header">Justice Reform</span><br style="margin-bottom: 7px;" /> <span id="hc-positions">Clinton supports legislation to end any form of racial profiling. She wants law enforcement to focus on violent crimes and not petty ones like possession of marijuana. National guidelines should be brought in on use of force, she says, and body cameras should be provided to every police department in the United States. She has regularly spoken about the need to improve community-police relationships and about incidents of police brutality against people of color. And, she believes in ending the use of private prisons.</span></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </div> <div id="dtrump"> <table> <tbody> <tr> <td style="width: 75px; max-height: 129px;"><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/election2016/includes/imgs/donald-trump2.png" alt="" style="margin-right: 8px; width: 75px;" align="left" /></td> <td style="vertical-align: top;"><span class="header">Justice Reform</span><br style="margin-bottom: 7px;" /> <span id="dt-positions">Trump calls himself the "Law and Order candidate," though as to what that means in terms of policy is unclear, though he has advocated for a robust stop-and-frisk policy nationwide based on what he sees as its success in New York City. Trump often talks about the need to support and respect police.</span></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </div> <div id="gjohnson"> <table> <tbody> <tr> <td style="width: 75px; max-height: 129px;"><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/election2016/includes/imgs/gary-johnson2.png" alt="" style="margin-right: 8px; width: 75px;" align="left" /></td> <td style="vertical-align: top;"><span class="header">Justice Reform</span><br style="margin-bottom: 7px;" /> <span id="gj-positions">Johnson believes that all unnecessary laws should be taken out so that not as many things are criminalized. He also believes that there should be an end to the "War on Drugs."</span></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </div> <div id="jstein"> <table> <tbody> <tr> <td style="width: 75px; max-height: 129px;"><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/election2016/includes/imgs/jill-stein2.png" alt="" style="margin-right: 8px; width: 75px;" align="left" /></td> <td style="vertical-align: top;"><span class="header">Justice Reform</span><br style="margin-bottom: 7px;" /> <span id="js-candidates">Stein wants to end police brutality and de-militarize the police. She, like Johnson, wants to end the War on Drugs. She also proposes that drug addictions are treated like a health problem, not a criminal one.</span></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </div> <!-- CLEAR --> <h1>&nbsp;</h1> <h1>Education</h1> <div id="hclinton"> <table> <tbody> <tr> <td style="width: 75px; max-height: 129px;"><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/election2016/includes/imgs/hillary-clinton2.png" alt="" style="margin-right: 8px; width: 75px;" align="left" /></td> <td style="vertical-align: top;"><span class="header">Education</span><br style="margin-bottom: 7px;" /> <span id="hc-positions">Clinton supports the Common Core learning standards. She also believes in universal pre-kindergarten, college education that is debt free, and free tuition at all community colleges. She also looks to end overly punitive policies against students at schools and has discussed doing more for English Language Learners.</span></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </div> <div id="dtrump"> <table> <tbody> <tr> <td style="width: 75px; max-height: 129px;"><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/election2016/includes/imgs/donald-trump2.png" alt="" style="margin-right: 8px; width: 75px;" align="left" /></td> <td style="vertical-align: top;"><span class="header">Education</span><br style="margin-bottom: 7px;" /> <span id="dt-positions">Trump rejects Common Core and believes that education decisions, as a whole, should be left up to states. He therefore wants to completely abolish the Department of Education.</span></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </div> <div id="gjohnson"> <table> <tbody> <tr> <td style="width: 75px; max-height: 129px;"><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/election2016/includes/imgs/gary-johnson2.png" alt="" style="margin-right: 8px; width: 75px;" align="left" /></td> <td style="vertical-align: top;"><span class="header">Education</span><br style="margin-bottom: 7px;" /> <span id="gj-positions">Johnson rejects Common Core and believes that education decisions should be left to the states. He also wants to abolish the Department of Education because he believes that the federal government has no right to be involved with education decisions.</span></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </div> <div id="jstein"> <table> <tbody> <tr> <td style="width: 75px; max-height: 129px;"><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/election2016/includes/imgs/jill-stein2.png" alt="" style="margin-right: 8px; width: 75px;" align="left" /></td> <td style="vertical-align: top;"><span class="header">Education</span><br style="margin-bottom: 7px;" /> <span id="js-candidates">Stein is not supportive of Common Core or standardized testing (and thinks curricula should be designed by educators). She prefers evaluation of teachers done by fellow professionals. She supports tuition-free, and debt-free, education through all four years of college. </span></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </div> <!-- CLEAR --> <h1>&nbsp;</h1> <h1>LGBTQ Rights</h1> <div id="hclinton"> <table> <tbody> <tr> <td style="width: 75px; max-height: 129px;"><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/election2016/includes/imgs/hillary-clinton2.png" alt="" style="margin-right: 8px; width: 75px;" align="left" /></td> <td style="vertical-align: top;"><span class="header">LGBTQ Rights</span><br style="margin-bottom: 7px;" /> <span id="hc-positions">Clinton pushes for full rights for LGBTQ people, in the United States and around the world. Clinton has 'evolved' fairly quickly on related issues, like marriage equality.</span></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </div> <div id="dtrump"> <table> <tbody> <tr> <td style="width: 75px; max-height: 129px;"><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/election2016/includes/imgs/donald-trump2.png" alt="" style="margin-right: 8px; width: 75px;" align="left" /></td> <td style="vertical-align: top;"><span class="header">LGBTQ Rights</span><br style="margin-bottom: 7px;" /> <span id="dt-positions">Trump vows to protect LGBTQ citizens and has had several particularly significant moments, including at the Republican National Convention, around promoting and protecting LGBTQ rights. He has not stated personal support for same-sex marriage, but says that it is the law of the land and that it should be protected as such.</span></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </div> <div id="gjohnson"> <table> <tbody> <tr> <td style="width: 75px; max-height: 129px;"><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/election2016/includes/imgs/gary-johnson2.png" alt="" style="margin-right: 8px; width: 75px;" align="left" /></td> <td style="vertical-align: top;"><span class="header">LGBTQ Rights</span><br style="margin-bottom: 7px;" /> <span id="gj-positions">Johnson believes that the government should not be in the business of telling people who to marry. He therefore does not look to restrict same-sex marriage, and in fact he cites this non-government interference idea as a major reason why he supported same-sex marriage before many liberals did the same.</span></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </div> <div id="jstein"> <table> <tbody> <tr> <td style="width: 75px; max-height: 129px;"><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/election2016/includes/imgs/jill-stein2.png" alt="" style="margin-right: 8px; width: 75px;" align="left" /></td> <td style="vertical-align: top;"><span class="header">LGBTQ Rights</span><br style="margin-bottom: 7px;" /> <span id="js-candidates">Stein says that she will seek to end all forms of discrimination against the LGBTQ community.</span></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </div> <!-- CLEAR --> <h1>&nbsp;</h1> <h1>Abortion</h1> <div id="hclinton"> <table> <tbody> <tr> <td style="width: 75px; max-height: 129px;"><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/election2016/includes/imgs/hillary-clinton2.png" alt="" style="margin-right: 8px; width: 75px;" align="left" /></td> <td style="vertical-align: top;"><span class="header">Abortion</span><br style="margin-bottom: 7px;" /> <span id="hc-positions">Clinton looks to protect the reproductive rights of all women and protecting a woman's right to choose to have an abortion. She is also proud of her endorsement from Planned Parenthood.</span></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </div> <div id="dtrump"> <table> <tbody> <tr> <td style="width: 75px; max-height: 129px;"><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/election2016/includes/imgs/donald-trump2.png" alt="" style="margin-right: 8px; width: 75px;" align="left" /></td> <td style="vertical-align: top;"><span class="header">Abortion</span><br style="margin-bottom: 7px;" /> <span id="dt-positions">Trump calls himself "pro-life" and at times has called for the defunding of Planned Parenthood. However he has at times touted a number of services that Planned Parenthood provides, and earlier in his life he considered himself "pro-choice." He has explained an 'evolution' on the issue. Trump has said that if he appoints several Supreme Court justices it is likely that Roe v. Wade is overturned.</span></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </div> <div id="gjohnson"> <table> <tbody> <tr> <td style="width: 75px; max-height: 129px;"><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/election2016/includes/imgs/gary-johnson2.png" alt="" style="margin-right: 8px; width: 75px;" align="left" /></td> <td style="vertical-align: top;"><span class="header">Abortion</span><br style="margin-bottom: 7px;" /> <span id="gj-positions">Johnson believes that abortion is a deeply personal choice, and that as such the governnment should not be in the business of deciding who does or does not get abortions. </span></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </div> <div id="jstein"> <table> <tbody> <tr> <td style="width: 75px; max-height: 129px;"><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/election2016/includes/imgs/jill-stein2.png" alt="" style="margin-right: 8px; width: 75px;" align="left" /></td> <td style="vertical-align: top;"><span class="header">Abortion</span><br style="margin-bottom: 7px;" /> <span id="js-candidates">Stein views reproductive freedom as a key facet of tackling women's rights issues. She also wants to expand access to the "morning after" pill.</span></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </div> <!-- CLEAR --> <h1>&nbsp;</h1> <h1>Supreme Court Vacancies</h1> <div id="hclinton"> <table> <tbody> <tr> <td style="width: 75px; max-height: 129px;"><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/election2016/includes/imgs/hillary-clinton2.png" alt="" style="margin-right: 8px; width: 75px;" align="left" /></td> <td style="vertical-align: top;"><span class="header">Supreme Court Vacancies</span><br style="margin-bottom: 7px;" /> <span id="hc-positions">The Supreme Court, in Clinton's eyes, should help protect women's rights and LGBTQ rights, and overturn the Citizens United case. She has not committed to renominate President Obama's SCOTUS pick, Merrick Garland, for the currently vacant seat.</span></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </div> <div id="dtrump"> <table> <tbody> <tr> <td style="width: 75px; max-height: 129px;"><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/election2016/includes/imgs/donald-trump2.png" alt="" style="margin-right: 8px; width: 75px;" align="left" /></td> <td style="vertical-align: top;"><span class="header">Supreme Court Vacancies</span><br style="margin-bottom: 7px;" /> <span id="dt-positions">Trump has stressed that the Supreme Court must protect the Second Amendment in particular, as it would be under threat, he says, if Clinton is elected President. Trump's SCOTUS nominees would be pro-life and more conservative in nature, he has said, pointing to recently-deceased Justice Antonin Scalia as a model.</span></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </div> <div id="gjohnson"> <table> <tbody> <tr> <td style="width: 75px; max-height: 129px;"><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/election2016/includes/imgs/gary-johnson2.png" alt="" style="margin-right: 8px; width: 75px;" align="left" /></td> <td style="vertical-align: top;"><span class="header">Supreme Court Vacancies</span><br style="margin-bottom: 7px;" /> <span id="gj-positions">Johnson would use potential nominees' positions on cases such as Kelo v. City of New London (a 2005 case on the issue of eminent domain) and others related to key issues for Libertarians to determine who he might nominate to the SCOTUS.</span></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </div> <div id="jstein"> <table> <tbody> <tr> <td style="width: 75px; max-height: 129px;"><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/election2016/includes/imgs/jill-stein2.png" alt="" style="margin-right: 8px; width: 75px;" align="left" /></td> <td style="vertical-align: top;"><span class="header">Supreme Court Vacancies</span><br style="margin-bottom: 7px;" /> <span id="js-candidates">Stein would nominate justices to the SCOTUS who would overturn Citizens United and help restrict the flow of corporate money into politics.</span></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </div> <!-- CLEAR --> <h1>&nbsp;</h1> <h1>Campaign Finance Reform</h1> <div id="hclinton"> <table> <tbody> <tr> <td style="width: 75px; max-height: 129px;"><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/election2016/includes/imgs/hillary-clinton2.png" alt="" style="margin-right: 8px; width: 75px;" align="left" /></td> <td style="vertical-align: top;"><span class="header">Campaign Finance Reform</span><br style="margin-bottom: 7px;" /> <span id="hc-positions">Clinton supports an overturn of Citizens United to limit the impact of money in politics. She also wants legislation which will "require outside groups to publicly disclose significant political spending." Her other piece of suggested reform is to start a "small-donor matching system for presidential and congressional elections to give small donors greater influence."</span></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </div> <div id="dtrump"> <table> <tbody> <tr> <td style="width: 75px; max-height: 129px;"><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/election2016/includes/imgs/donald-trump2.png" alt="" style="margin-right: 8px; width: 75px;" align="left" /></td> <td style="vertical-align: top;"><span class="header">Campaign Finance Reform</span><br style="margin-bottom: 7px;" /> <span id="dt-positions">Trump has described Political Action Committees (PACs) as a "horrible thing" because he feels that PACs lack transparency. Trump has also claimed that politicians do favors for donors, citing his own experience as a donor. He does not promote, though, public financing of campaigns.</span></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </div> <div id="gjohnson"> <table> <tbody> <tr> <td style="width: 75px; max-height: 129px;"><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/election2016/includes/imgs/gary-johnson2.png" alt="" style="margin-right: 8px; width: 75px;" align="left" /></td> <td style="vertical-align: top;"><span class="header">Campaign Finance Reform</span><br style="margin-bottom: 7px;" /> <span id="gj-positions">Johnson believes that spending in campaigns, including from unions and corporations, is perfectly allowable. Any restrictions on campaign finance would be a limit to free speech, in Johnson's opinion.</span></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </div> <div id="jstein"> <table> <tbody> <tr> <td style="width: 75px; max-height: 129px;"><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/election2016/includes/imgs/jill-stein2.png" alt="" style="margin-right: 8px; width: 75px;" align="left" /></td> <td style="vertical-align: top;"><span class="header">Campaign Finance Reform</span><br style="margin-bottom: 7px;" /> <span id="js-candidates">Stein wants an overturn of the 2010 Citizens United Supreme Court case. She believes that corporations should not be allowed to fund political campaigns, but believes that there should instead be public funding of campaigns.</span></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </div> <!-- CLEAR --> <div>***<br />by Brendan Birth and Ben Max<br /><a href="https://twitter.com/GothamGazette" target="_blank">@GothamGazette</a></div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Feedback? Email Ben at bmax@gothamgazette.com</div> <!-- CLEAR --> </div> </article> </section> <p><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/images/graphics/2016/election-candidates.png" alt="election candidates" width="600" height="399" /></p> <p><strong><a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/#fullissue" target="_self" style="background-color: #02619c; border-radius: 25px; color: #fff; cursor: pointer; font-weight: bolder; margin: 2px; padding: 5px;" title="Click here to see the full list">Click here to see the full list</a></strong></p> <p> </p> <section> <article> <a id="fullissue"></a> <div id="hidden1" class="issues-list"> <h1>Vice President</h1> <div id="hclinton"> <table> <tbody> <tr> <td style="width: 75px; max-height: 129px;"><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/election2016/includes/imgs/hillary-clinton2.png" alt="" style="margin-right: 8px; width: 75px;" align="left" /></td> <td style="vertical-align: top;"><span class="header">Vice President</span><br style="margin-bottom: 7px;" /> <span id="hc-positions">Tim Kaine of Virginia. U.S. Senator, former Governor of Virginia, former Mayor of Richmond.</span></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </div> <div id="dtrump"> <table> <tbody> <tr> <td style="width: 75px; max-height: 129px;"><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/election2016/includes/imgs/donald-trump2.png" alt="" style="margin-right: 8px; width: 75px;" align="left" /></td> <td style="vertical-align: top;"><span class="header">Vice President</span><br style="margin-bottom: 7px;" /> <span id="dt-positions">Mike Pence of Indiana. Governor of Indiana, former member of the United States House of Represenatatives, where he was a leader of the Tea Party movement.</span></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </div> <div id="gjohnson"> <table> <tbody> <tr> <td style="width: 75px; max-height: 129px;"><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/election2016/includes/imgs/gary-johnson2.png" alt="" style="margin-right: 8px; width: 75px;" align="left" /></td> <td style="vertical-align: top;"><span class="header">Vice President</span><br style="margin-bottom: 7px;" /> <span id="gj-positions">William Weld of Massachusetts. Former Republican governor of Massachusetts 1991, former U.S. Senate candidate.</span></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </div> <div id="jstein"> <table> <tbody> <tr> <td style="width: 75px; max-height: 129px;"><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/election2016/includes/imgs/jill-stein2.png" alt="" style="margin-right: 8px; width: 75px;" align="left" /></td> <td style="vertical-align: top;"><span class="header">Vice President</span><br style="margin-bottom: 7px;" /> <span id="js-candidates">Ajamu Baraka of Georgia. Human rights activist, founding executive director of the U.S. Human Rights Network.</span></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </div> <!-- CLEAR --> <h1>&nbsp;</h1> <h1>Bio</h1> <div id="hclinton"> <table> <tbody> <tr> <td style="width: 75px; max-height: 129px;"><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/election2016/includes/imgs/hillary-clinton2.png" alt="" style="margin-right: 8px; width: 75px;" align="left" /></td> <td style="vertical-align: top;"><span class="header">Bio</span><br style="margin-bottom: 7px;" /> <span id="hc-positions">Hillary Clinton, born in 1947, is most notable for serving as First Lady of the United States (1993-2001), a United States Senator from New York (2001-2009), and the United States Secretary of State from 2009 to 2013. She's known for, among other things, her push for national health care reform in 1993-1994 as First Lady.</span></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </div> <div id="dtrump"> <table> <tbody> <tr> <td style="width: 75px; max-height: 129px;"><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/election2016/includes/imgs/donald-trump2.png" alt="" style="margin-right: 8px; width: 75px;" align="left" /></td> <td style="vertical-align: top;"><span class="header">Bio</span><br style="margin-bottom: 7px;" /> <span id="dt-positions">Donald Trump, born in 1946, is a businessman, real estate mogul, and television personality. He has built further on the buisness empire started by his father and made a national name for his real estate and casino businesses, and as the host of The Apprentice.</span></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </div> <div id="gjohnson"> <table> <tbody> <tr> <td style="width: 75px; max-height: 129px;"><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/election2016/includes/imgs/gary-johnson2.png" alt="" style="margin-right: 8px; width: 75px;" align="left" /></td> <td style="vertical-align: top;"><span class="header">Bio</span><br style="margin-bottom: 7px;" /> <span id="gj-positions">Gary Johnson, born in 1953, founded what became one of the largest construction companies in New Mexico. Former governor of New Mexico, winning his longshot 1994 bid, serving two terms. Has long-favored small government. Also ran for President as the Libertarian Party nominee in 2012. He got 0.99% of the national vote that year.</span></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </div> <div id="jstein"> <table> <tbody> <tr> <td style="width: 75px; max-height: 129px;"><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/election2016/includes/imgs/jill-stein2.png" alt="" style="margin-right: 8px; width: 75px;" align="left" /></td> <td style="vertical-align: top;"><span class="header">Bio</span><br style="margin-bottom: 7px;" /> <span id="js-candidates">Jill Stein, born in 1950, is a physician and activist whose biggest focus has been environmental and health issues. She was the Green Party Candidate for Governor of Massachusetts in 2002 and 2010, and the Green Party Candidate for President in 2012. She received 0.36% of the national vote that year.</span></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </div> <!-- CLEAR --> <h1>&nbsp;</h1> <h1>Campaign Websites</h1> <div id="hclinton"> <table> <tbody> <tr> <td style="width: 75px; max-height: 129px;"><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/election2016/includes/imgs/hillary-clinton2.png" alt="" style="margin-right: 8px; width: 75px;" align="left" /></td> <td style="vertical-align: top;"> <p><span class="header"></span><span id="hc-positions"><a href="https://www.hillaryclinton.com">Campaign Website</a></span></p> <p><a href="https://twitter.com/HillaryClinton">Twitter</a></p> <p><a href="https://www.facebook.com/hillaryclinton">Facebook</a></p> <p><a href="https://www.youtube.com/hillaryclinton">YouTube</a></p> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </div> <div id="dtrump"> <table> <tbody> <tr> <td style="width: 75px; max-height: 129px;"><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/election2016/includes/imgs/donald-trump2.png" alt="" style="margin-right: 8px; width: 75px;" align="left" /></td> <td style="vertical-align: top;"> <p><span id="dt-positions"><a href="https://www.donaldjtrump.com">Campaign Website</a></span></p> <p><a href="https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump">Twitter</a></p> <p><a href="https://www.facebook.com/DonaldTrump">Facebook</a></p> <p><a href="https://www.youtube.com/donaldtrump">YouTube</a></p> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </div> <div id="gjohnson"> <table> <tbody> <tr> <td style="width: 75px; max-height: 129px;"><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/election2016/includes/imgs/gary-johnson2.png" alt="" style="margin-right: 8px; width: 75px;" align="left" /></td> <td style="vertical-align: top;"> <p><span id="gj-positions"><a href="https://www.johnsonweld.com">Campaign Website</a></span></p> <p><a href="http://www.twitter.com/govgaryjohnson">Twitter</a></p> <p><a href="http://www.facebook.com/govgaryjohnson">Facebook</a></p> <p><a href="https://www.youtube.com/c/govgaryjohnson">YouTube</a></p> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </div> <div id="jstein"> <table> <tbody> <tr> <td style="width: 75px; max-height: 129px;"><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/election2016/includes/imgs/jill-stein2.png" alt="" style="margin-right: 8px; width: 75px;" align="left" /></td> <td style="vertical-align: top;"> <p><a href="http://www.jill2016.com/">Campaign Website</a></p> <p><a href="https://twitter.com/drjillstein">Twitter</a></p> <p><a href="https://www.facebook.com/drjillstein">Facebook</a></p> <p><a href="https://www.youtube.com/jill2016">YouTube</a></p> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </div> <!-- CLEAR --> <h1>&nbsp;</h1> <h1>Jobs</h1> <div id="hclinton"> <table> <tbody> <tr> <td style="width: 75px; max-height: 129px;"><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/election2016/includes/imgs/hillary-clinton2.png" alt="" style="margin-right: 8px; width: 75px;" align="left" /></td> <td style="vertical-align: top;"><span class="header">Jobs</span><br style="margin-bottom: 7px;" /> <span id="hc-positions">Clinton wants to invest in infrastructure to bolster the economy, including in clean energy. She is also focused on modernizing the economy through manufacturing and technology. She advocates for an increase in the minimum wage to $12 an hour nationally, with room for states to go higher, and she wants equal pay for equal work. </span></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </div> <div id="dtrump"> <table> <tbody> <tr> <td style="width: 75px; max-height: 129px;"><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/election2016/includes/imgs/donald-trump2.png" alt="" style="margin-right: 8px; width: 75px;" align="left" /></td> <td style="vertical-align: top;"><span class="header">Jobs</span><br style="margin-bottom: 7px;" /> <span id="dt-positions">Trump believes that lower taxes and less regulation, as a whole, will bolster the economy. He believes the U.S. has agreed to bad trade deals, which he promises to renegotiate, that have led to lost American jobs to countries like Mexico and China. He promised to keep companies in the U.S. and to make American manufacturing great again.</span></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </div> <div id="gjohnson"> <table> <tbody> <tr> <td style="width: 75px; max-height: 129px;"><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/election2016/includes/imgs/gary-johnson2.png" alt="" style="margin-right: 8px; width: 75px;" align="left" /></td> <td style="vertical-align: top;"><span class="header">Jobs</span><br style="margin-bottom: 7px;" /> <span id="gj-positions">Johnson generally favors less regulation, though any regulation which reigns in harmful actors will stay, he says. He also believes that out-of-control spending has hurt the U.S. economy, and that this spending needs to be reigned in. He believes smaller and less government will allow the economy to flourish.</span></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </div> <div id="jstein"> <table> <tbody> <tr> <td style="width: 75px; max-height: 129px;"><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/election2016/includes/imgs/jill-stein2.png" alt="" style="margin-right: 8px; width: 75px;" align="left" /></td> <td style="vertical-align: top;"><span class="header">Jobs</span><br style="margin-bottom: 7px;" /> <span id="js-candidates">Stein believes in "living-wage jobs for every American who needs work." Government would be the last resort employer under this plan. She also believes in a $15 minimum wage and the breaking up of banks that are "too big to fail." Key to Stein's, and the Green Party's, platform is a "Green New Deal," which aims to create jobs through the building of clean energy infrastructure, so that America relies on 100% clean energy by 2030.</span></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </div> <!-- CLEAR --><br /><br /> <h1>Taxes</h1> <div id="hclinton"> <table> <tbody> <tr> <td style="width: 75px; max-height: 129px;"><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/election2016/includes/imgs/hillary-clinton2.png" alt="" style="margin-right: 8px; width: 75px;" align="left" /></td> <td style="vertical-align: top;"><span class="header">Taxes</span><br style="margin-bottom: 7px;" /> <span id="hc-positions">"Hillary will implement a "fair share surcharge" on multi-millionaires and billionaires." She will also fight for measures like the Buffett Rule, so that wealthier individuals pay their fair share of taxes, she says. She also looks to close up any loopholes which benefit Wall Street, cut taxes for small businesses, and "provide tax relief to working families from the rising costs they face." A Clinton Administration will look to tax high-frequency trading on Wall Street.</span></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </div> <div id="dtrump"> <table> <tbody> <tr> <td style="width: 75px; max-height: 129px;"><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/election2016/includes/imgs/donald-trump2.png" alt="" style="margin-right: 8px; width: 75px;" align="left" /></td> <td style="vertical-align: top;"><span class="header">Taxes</span><br style="margin-bottom: 7px;" /> <span id="dt-positions">Trump believes lower taxes will help the economy. In particular, he believes that business taxes are too high, and that they need to be lowered so that they are competitive with the rest of the world. He believes that a simplified tax system will help. Like many Democrats, Trump believes in closing the carried interest loophole. </span></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </div> <div id="gjohnson"> <table> <tbody> <tr> <td style="width: 75px; max-height: 129px;"><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/election2016/includes/imgs/gary-johnson2.png" alt="" style="margin-right: 8px; width: 75px;" align="left" /></td> <td style="vertical-align: top;"><span class="header">Taxes</span><br style="margin-bottom: 7px;" /> <span id="gj-positions">Johnson proposes getting rid of tax loopholes, as well as double taxes on small businesses. He favors "the replacement of all income and payroll taxes with a single consumption tax that determines your tax burden by how much you spend, not how much you earn."</span></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </div> <div id="jstein"> <table> <tbody> <tr> <td style="width: 75px; max-height: 129px;"><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/election2016/includes/imgs/jill-stein2.png" alt="" style="margin-right: 8px; width: 75px;" align="left" /></td> <td style="vertical-align: top;"><span class="header">Taxes</span><br style="margin-bottom: 7px;" /> <span id="js-candidates">Stein wants Wall Street corporations to pay their fair share in taxes. Also believes in a tax on companies that pollute. She believes in higher taxes for the wealthy, and lower taxes for the poor and middle class.</span></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </div> <h1>&nbsp;</h1> <h1>National Debt</h1> <div id="hclinton"> <table> <tbody> <tr> <td style="width: 75px; max-height: 129px;"><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/election2016/includes/imgs/hillary-clinton2.png" alt="" style="margin-right: 8px; width: 75px;" align="left" /></td> <td style="vertical-align: top;"><span class="header">National Debt</span><br style="margin-bottom: 7px;" /> <span id="hc-positions">"From the Democratic Party Platform: ""We believe that by making those at the top and the largest corporations pay their fair share we can pay for ambitious progressive investments that create good-paying jobs and offer security to working families without adding to the debt."""</span></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </div> <div id="dtrump"> <table> <tbody> <tr> <td style="width: 75px; max-height: 129px;"><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/election2016/includes/imgs/donald-trump2.png" alt="" style="margin-right: 8px; width: 75px;" align="left" /></td> <td style="vertical-align: top;"><span class="header">National Debt</span><br style="margin-bottom: 7px;" /> <span id="dt-positions">"You never have to default because you print the money," Trump said at one time. He has also suggested at times that borrowing is not a problem and that the U.S. could renegotiate its debt. </span></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </div> <div id="gjohnson"> <table> <tbody> <tr> <td style="width: 75px; max-height: 129px;"><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/election2016/includes/imgs/gary-johnson2.png" alt="" style="margin-right: 8px; width: 75px;" align="left" /></td> <td style="vertical-align: top;"><span class="header">National Debt</span><br style="margin-bottom: 7px;" /> <span id="gj-positions">Johnson plans to veto any bill which results in deficit spending. He also touts his record of vetoing many bills as governor of New Mexico, vetos he said helped balance New Mexico's budget. </span></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </div> <div id="jstein"> <table> <tbody> <tr> <td style="width: 75px; max-height: 129px;"><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/election2016/includes/imgs/jill-stein2.png" alt="" style="margin-right: 8px; width: 75px;" align="left" /></td> <td style="vertical-align: top;"><span class="header">National Debt</span><br style="margin-bottom: 7px;" /> <span id="js-candidates">Stein said on her campaign website in 2012 that she would reduce "the budget deficit by restoring full employment, cutting the bloated military budget, and cutting private health insurance waste."</span></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </div> <!-- CLEAR --> <h1>&nbsp;</h1> <h1>Trade</h1> <div id="hclinton"> <table> <tbody> <tr> <td style="width: 75px; max-height: 129px;"><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/election2016/includes/imgs/hillary-clinton2.png" alt="" style="margin-right: 8px; width: 75px;" align="left" /></td> <td style="vertical-align: top;"><span class="header">Trade</span><br style="margin-bottom: 7px;" /> <span id="hc-positions">Clinton has moved in her support for trade deals, and has a new rubric for them, saying they must provide jobs for Americans, not sacrifice U.S. security, and be good for American national and international priorities. She supported NAFTA in the past, but admits to troubling outcomes for American jobs, and after supporting the Trans-Pacific Partnership as it was in development, she has come out against the version put forward by the Obama Administration. On trade, she says she's held deals to "the same test. Will they create jobs in America? Will they raise incomes in America? And are they good for our national security?" </span></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </div> <div id="dtrump"> <table> <tbody> <tr> <td style="width: 75px; max-height: 129px;"><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/election2016/includes/imgs/donald-trump2.png" alt="" style="margin-right: 8px; width: 75px;" align="left" /></td> <td style="vertical-align: top;"><span class="header">Trade</span><br style="margin-bottom: 7px;" /> <span id="dt-positions">Trump has campaigned vocally against NAFTA, other past trade deals, and TPP. His vews on trade and the United States is best reflected in what he said at the Republican National Convention--"Americanism, not globalism, will be our credo."</span></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </div> <div id="gjohnson"> <table> <tbody> <tr> <td style="width: 75px; max-height: 129px;"><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/election2016/includes/imgs/gary-johnson2.png" alt="" style="margin-right: 8px; width: 75px;" align="left" /></td> <td style="vertical-align: top;"><span class="header">Trade</span><br style="margin-bottom: 7px;" /> <span id="gj-positions">Johnson generally supports NAFTA, TPP, and any other free trade agreements. He believes that any jobs lost to NAFTA while he was Governor of New Mexico were jobs that New Mexico didn't want anyway.</span></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </div> <div id="jstein"> <table> <tbody> <tr> <td style="width: 75px; max-height: 129px;"><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/election2016/includes/imgs/jill-stein2.png" alt="" style="margin-right: 8px; width: 75px;" align="left" /></td> <td style="vertical-align: top;"><span class="header">Trade</span><br style="margin-bottom: 7px;" /> <span id="js-candidates">Stein believes that NAFTA and other similar agreements takes away jobs, hurts wages, and overall has negative economic impacts on Americans. She wants to "enact fair trade laws that benefits local workers and communities."</span></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </div> <!-- CLEAR --> <h1>&nbsp;</h1> <h1>Immigration</h1> <div id="hclinton"> <table> <tbody> <tr> <td style="width: 75px; max-height: 129px;"><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/election2016/includes/imgs/hillary-clinton2.png" alt="" style="margin-right: 8px; width: 75px;" align="left" /></td> <td style="vertical-align: top;"><span class="header">Immigration</span><br style="margin-bottom: 7px;" /> <span id="hc-positions">There are two major facets to Clinton's immigration plan: protect families and provide a pathway to citizenship. She says that comprehensive immigration reform is desperately needed.</span></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </div> <div id="dtrump"> <table> <tbody> <tr> <td style="width: 75px; max-height: 129px;"><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/election2016/includes/imgs/donald-trump2.png" alt="" style="margin-right: 8px; width: 75px;" align="left" /></td> <td style="vertical-align: top;"><span class="header">Immigration</span><br style="margin-bottom: 7px;" /> <span id="dt-positions">Trump promises no amnesty to undocumented immigrants and promises mass deportations, though at times he has appeared to soften some of his stances. His major campaign promise is to end illegal immigration and to institute "extreme vetting" of individuals, especially refugees, seeking entrance into the country. He talks about having a secure border and promises to build a wall along the southern border that he promises Mexico will pay for. He has also questioned birthright citizenship.</span></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </div> <div id="gjohnson"> <table> <tbody> <tr> <td style="width: 75px; max-height: 129px;"><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/election2016/includes/imgs/gary-johnson2.png" alt="" style="margin-right: 8px; width: 75px;" align="left" /></td> <td style="vertical-align: top;"><span class="header">Immigration</span><br style="margin-bottom: 7px;" /> <span id="gj-positions">Johnson desn't believe that immigration is as simple as building a wall. "We should focus on creating a more efficient system of providing work visas, conducting background checks, and incentivizing non-citizens to pay their taxes, obtain proof of employment, and otherwise assimilate with our diverse society," his website says. </span></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </div> <div id="jstein"> <table> <tbody> <tr> <td style="width: 75px; max-height: 129px;"><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/election2016/includes/imgs/jill-stein2.png" alt="" style="margin-right: 8px; width: 75px;" align="left" /></td> <td style="vertical-align: top;"><span class="header">Immigration</span><br style="margin-bottom: 7px;" /> <span id="js-candidates">"Create a welcoming path to citizenship for immigrants" is posted on Stein's website. Past policy positions also indicates that she is not in favor of the mass deportation of people which has happened under President Obama and promised to a greater degree by Trump.</span></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </div> <!-- CLEAR --> <h1>&nbsp;</h1> <h1>Health Care</h1> <div id="hclinton"> <table> <tbody> <tr> <td style="width: 75px; max-height: 129px;"><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/election2016/includes/imgs/hillary-clinton2.png" alt="" style="margin-right: 8px; width: 75px;" align="left" /></td> <td style="vertical-align: top;"><span class="header">Health Care</span><br style="margin-bottom: 7px;" /> <span id="hc-positions">Clinton wants to defend, tweak, and expand, but not repeal, Obamacare. She praises how many more people have become insured, but she wants to get costs down.</span></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </div> <div id="dtrump"> <table> <tbody> <tr> <td style="width: 75px; max-height: 129px;"><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/election2016/includes/imgs/donald-trump2.png" alt="" style="margin-right: 8px; width: 75px;" align="left" /></td> <td style="vertical-align: top;"><span class="header">Health Care</span><br style="margin-bottom: 7px;" /> <span id="dt-positions">Trump promises to repeal Obamacare, and replace it with something far better. He says health care companies must be allowed to sell policies across state lines. He also wants transparency with health care costs and providers, and to "allow individuals to fully deduct health insurance premium payments from their tax returns under the current tax system." He argues for increased competitive, not government regulation of health care. Trump has also said that everyone deserves health care.</span></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </div> <div id="gjohnson"> <table> <tbody> <tr> <td style="width: 75px; max-height: 129px;"><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/election2016/includes/imgs/gary-johnson2.png" alt="" style="margin-right: 8px; width: 75px;" align="left" /></td> <td style="vertical-align: top;"><span class="header">Health Care</span><br style="margin-bottom: 7px;" /> <span id="gj-positions">Generally speaking, Johnson is in favor of repealing Obamacare. He believes that free market competition will do the best job of covering health care for people.</span></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </div> <div id="jstein"> <table> <tbody> <tr> <td style="width: 75px; max-height: 129px;"><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/election2016/includes/imgs/jill-stein2.png" alt="" style="margin-right: 8px; width: 75px;" align="left" /></td> <td style="vertical-align: top;"><span class="header">Health Care</span><br style="margin-bottom: 7px;" /> <span id="js-candidates">Stein believes in a Medicare for All system.</span></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </div> <!-- CLEAR --> <h1>&nbsp;</h1> <h1>The Environment</h1> <div id="hclinton"> <table> <tbody> <tr> <td style="width: 75px; max-height: 129px;"><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/election2016/includes/imgs/hillary-clinton2.png" alt="" style="margin-right: 8px; width: 75px;" align="left" /></td> <td style="vertical-align: top;"><span class="header">The Environment</span><br style="margin-bottom: 7px;" /> <span id="hc-positions">Clinton will encourage clean energy: "Launch a $60 billion Clean Energy Challenge to partner with states, cities, and rural communities to cut carbon pollution and expand clean energy, including for low-income families." "Invest in clean energy infrastructure, innovation, manufacturing and workforce development to make the U.S. economy more competitive and create good-paying jobs and careers." </span></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </div> <div id="dtrump"> <table> <tbody> <tr> <td style="width: 75px; max-height: 129px;"><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/election2016/includes/imgs/donald-trump2.png" alt="" style="margin-right: 8px; width: 75px;" align="left" /></td> <td style="vertical-align: top;"><span class="header">The Environment</span><br style="margin-bottom: 7px;" /> <span id="dt-positions">Trump does not discuss the environment much. He has called climate change a hoax. And, he believes that the Environmental Protection Agency has too many regulations.</span></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </div> <div id="gjohnson"> <table> <tbody> <tr> <td style="width: 75px; max-height: 129px;"><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/election2016/includes/imgs/gary-johnson2.png" alt="" style="margin-right: 8px; width: 75px;" align="left" /></td> <td style="vertical-align: top;"><span class="header">The Environment</span><br style="margin-bottom: 7px;" /> <span id="gj-positions">Johnson places emphasis on protection of National Parks and wants the Environmental Protection Agency to "focus on its true mission." He also believes in regulations to protect from pollutors, but also believes that the government meddles too much in deciding which companies determine the future of clean energy.</span></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </div> <div id="jstein"> <table> <tbody> <tr> <td style="width: 75px; max-height: 129px;"><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/election2016/includes/imgs/jill-stein2.png" alt="" style="margin-right: 8px; width: 75px;" align="left" /></td> <td style="vertical-align: top;"><span class="header">The Environment</span><br style="margin-bottom: 7px;" /> <span id="js-candidates">Stein and the Green Party are, historically, especially focused on the environment. The Green New Deal looks to have the U.S. be on 100% clean energy by 2030. Stein wants to end use of fossil fuels and any support thereof. She places a special emphasis on protecting ecosystems, and strengthening environmental justice laws.</span></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </div> <!-- CLEAR --> <h1>&nbsp;</h1> <h1>Foreign Policy</h1> <div id="hclinton"> <table> <tbody> <tr> <td style="width: 75px; max-height: 129px;"><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/election2016/includes/imgs/hillary-clinton2.png" alt="" style="margin-right: 8px; width: 75px;" align="left" /></td> <td style="vertical-align: top;"><span class="header">Foreign Policy</span><br style="margin-bottom: 7px;" /> <span id="hc-positions">Clinton believes that the United States should defend its allies, push for diplomacy whenever possible, and be firm but not overaggressive with rivals such as China, Russia, and Iran. She is known as an interventionist, but has also spent time negotiating peace deals as Secretary of State. Her vote in favor of the Iraq War as a U.S. Senator is one that she has long been criticized for and has herself called a mistake.</span></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </div> <div id="dtrump"> <table> <tbody> <tr> <td style="width: 75px; max-height: 129px;"><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/election2016/includes/imgs/donald-trump2.png" alt="" style="margin-right: 8px; width: 75px;" align="left" /></td> <td style="vertical-align: top;"><span class="header">Foreign Policy</span><br style="margin-bottom: 7px;" /> <span id="dt-positions">Trump has an "America First" foreign policy, based on protecting the interests of the United States above all else, not meddling in other countries' affairs, protecting American security and jobs, seemingly no matter what it takes to do so. Trump has promised an aggressive approach with Mexico and illegal immigration, China and currency manipulation, and the Middle East and wars in the region. Trump has been criticized and questioned for an apparent coziness with Vladimir Putin of Russia, which he has denied.</span></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </div> <div id="gjohnson"> <table> <tbody> <tr> <td style="width: 75px; max-height: 129px;"><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/election2016/includes/imgs/gary-johnson2.png" alt="" style="margin-right: 8px; width: 75px;" align="left" /></td> <td style="vertical-align: top;"><span class="header">Foreign Policy</span><br style="margin-bottom: 7px;" /> <span id="gj-positions">Johnson believes that the U.S. meddles too much in foreign affairs and wars, and that needs to stop. He believes in fixing the problems that exist at home, while at the same time building relationships with allies abroad. Johnson has struggled with discussing foreign affairs on the campaign trail.</span></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </div> <div id="jstein"> <table> <tbody> <tr> <td style="width: 75px; max-height: 129px;"><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/election2016/includes/imgs/jill-stein2.png" alt="" style="margin-right: 8px; width: 75px;" align="left" /></td> <td style="vertical-align: top;"><span class="header">Foreign Policy</span><br style="margin-bottom: 7px;" /> <span id="js-candidates">Stein wants to focus on diplomacy whenever possible, but also the punishment of abusers of human rights. Those human rights abusers include Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Israel, she says.</span></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </div> <!-- CLEAR --> <h1>&nbsp;</h1> <h1>Combatting ISIS</h1> <div id="hclinton"> <table> <tbody> <tr> <td style="width: 75px; max-height: 129px;"><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/election2016/includes/imgs/hillary-clinton2.png" alt="" style="margin-right: 8px; width: 75px;" align="left" /></td> <td style="vertical-align: top;"><span class="header">ISIS</span><br style="margin-bottom: 7px;" /> <span id="hc-positions">Clinton looks to support counter-terrorism law enformcement with the tools they need, and an increase of the airstrike campaign against ISIS in the Middle East. She has called for an "intelligence surge" to help the U.S. in its efforts against ISIS and other foreign threats.</span></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </div> <div id="dtrump"> <table> <tbody> <tr> <td style="width: 75px; max-height: 129px;"><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/election2016/includes/imgs/donald-trump2.png" alt="" style="margin-right: 8px; width: 75px;" align="left" /></td> <td style="vertical-align: top;"><span class="header">ISIS</span><br style="margin-bottom: 7px;" /> <span id="dt-positions">Generally speaking, Trump calls for a very aggressive military approach to ISIS, at times using expletives to explain his plan to bomb its forces and strongholds. He has repeatedly called for destroying oil fields that ISIS may have access to. But it is unclear to what extent he will pursue these strategies because he has not released as many plans regarding ISIS. Trump says U.S. leaders are foolish in telegraphing their military plans and that he will not divulge his. He has repeatedly insulted both U.S. political and military leaders.</span></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </div> <div id="gjohnson"> <table> <tbody> <tr> <td style="width: 75px; max-height: 129px;"><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/election2016/includes/imgs/gary-johnson2.png" alt="" style="margin-right: 8px; width: 75px;" align="left" /></td> <td style="vertical-align: top;"><span class="header">ISIS</span><br style="margin-bottom: 7px;" /> <span id="gj-positions">Johnson believes that the "meddling" of past administrations, Republican and Democrat, have created the monster that is ISIS. He has not shown a particular adeptness at discussing foreign affairs or presenting a plan to help eliminate threats from ISIS.</span></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </div> <div id="jstein"> <table> <tbody> <tr> <td style="width: 75px; max-height: 129px;"><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/election2016/includes/imgs/jill-stein2.png" alt="" style="margin-right: 8px; width: 75px;" align="left" /></td> <td style="vertical-align: top;"><span class="header">ISIS</span><br style="margin-bottom: 7px;" /> <span id="js-candidates">Stein says little about ISIS, but overall she is calling for the U.S. to not be engaged in war and foreign intervention.</span></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </div> <!-- CLEAR --> <h1>&nbsp;</h1> <h1>Gun Control</h1> <div id="hclinton"> <table> <tbody> <tr> <td style="width: 75px; max-height: 129px;"><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/election2016/includes/imgs/hillary-clinton2.png" alt="" style="margin-right: 8px; width: 75px;" align="left" /></td> <td style="vertical-align: top;"><span class="header">Gun Control</span><br style="margin-bottom: 7px;" /> <span id="hc-positions">Clinton has made gun control a focus of her campaign; calling for expanding background checks, and keeping "guns out of the hands of domestic abusers, other violent criminals, and the severely mentally ill." Clinton has said she believes in the Second Amendment and responsible gun ownership, but that she wants to do more to keep guns out of the wrong hands.</span></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </div> <div id="dtrump"> <table> <tbody> <tr> <td style="width: 75px; max-height: 129px;"><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/election2016/includes/imgs/donald-trump2.png" alt="" style="margin-right: 8px; width: 75px;" align="left" /></td> <td style="vertical-align: top;"><span class="header">Gun Control</span><br style="margin-bottom: 7px;" /> <span id="dt-positions">Trump is pro-gun ownership and has promised to defend the Second Amendment. He believes that current gun regulations are a failure, and that background checks need to be fixed because it seems like criminals don't go through background checks. </span></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </div> <div id="gjohnson"> <table> <tbody> <tr> <td style="width: 75px; max-height: 129px;"><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/election2016/includes/imgs/gary-johnson2.png" alt="" style="margin-right: 8px; width: 75px;" align="left" /></td> <td style="vertical-align: top;"><span class="header">Gun Control</span><br style="margin-bottom: 7px;" /> <span id="gj-positions">Johnson does not believe in increasing gun regulations. He is of the mind that if you take guns away only outlaws and criminals will have guns.</span></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </div> <div id="jstein"> <table> <tbody> <tr> <td style="width: 75px; max-height: 129px;"><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/election2016/includes/imgs/jill-stein2.png" alt="" style="margin-right: 8px; width: 75px;" align="left" /></td> <td style="vertical-align: top;"><span class="header">Gun Control</span><br style="margin-bottom: 7px;" /> <span id="js-candidates">Stein believes that the ownership of guns should be regulated for the sake of public safety.</span></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </div> <!-- CLEAR --> <h1>&nbsp;</h1> <h1>Justice Reform</h1> <div id="hclinton"> <table> <tbody> <tr> <td style="width: 75px; max-height: 129px;"><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/election2016/includes/imgs/hillary-clinton2.png" alt="" style="margin-right: 8px; width: 75px;" align="left" /></td> <td style="vertical-align: top;"><span class="header">Justice Reform</span><br style="margin-bottom: 7px;" /> <span id="hc-positions">Clinton supports legislation to end any form of racial profiling. She wants law enforcement to focus on violent crimes and not petty ones like possession of marijuana. National guidelines should be brought in on use of force, she says, and body cameras should be provided to every police department in the United States. She has regularly spoken about the need to improve community-police relationships and about incidents of police brutality against people of color. And, she believes in ending the use of private prisons.</span></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </div> <div id="dtrump"> <table> <tbody> <tr> <td style="width: 75px; max-height: 129px;"><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/election2016/includes/imgs/donald-trump2.png" alt="" style="margin-right: 8px; width: 75px;" align="left" /></td> <td style="vertical-align: top;"><span class="header">Justice Reform</span><br style="margin-bottom: 7px;" /> <span id="dt-positions">Trump calls himself the "Law and Order candidate," though as to what that means in terms of policy is unclear, though he has advocated for a robust stop-and-frisk policy nationwide based on what he sees as its success in New York City. Trump often talks about the need to support and respect police.</span></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </div> <div id="gjohnson"> <table> <tbody> <tr> <td style="width: 75px; max-height: 129px;"><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/election2016/includes/imgs/gary-johnson2.png" alt="" style="margin-right: 8px; width: 75px;" align="left" /></td> <td style="vertical-align: top;"><span class="header">Justice Reform</span><br style="margin-bottom: 7px;" /> <span id="gj-positions">Johnson believes that all unnecessary laws should be taken out so that not as many things are criminalized. He also believes that there should be an end to the "War on Drugs."</span></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </div> <div id="jstein"> <table> <tbody> <tr> <td style="width: 75px; max-height: 129px;"><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/election2016/includes/imgs/jill-stein2.png" alt="" style="margin-right: 8px; width: 75px;" align="left" /></td> <td style="vertical-align: top;"><span class="header">Justice Reform</span><br style="margin-bottom: 7px;" /> <span id="js-candidates">Stein wants to end police brutality and de-militarize the police. She, like Johnson, wants to end the War on Drugs. She also proposes that drug addictions are treated like a health problem, not a criminal one.</span></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </div> <!-- CLEAR --> <h1>&nbsp;</h1> <h1>Education</h1> <div id="hclinton"> <table> <tbody> <tr> <td style="width: 75px; max-height: 129px;"><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/election2016/includes/imgs/hillary-clinton2.png" alt="" style="margin-right: 8px; width: 75px;" align="left" /></td> <td style="vertical-align: top;"><span class="header">Education</span><br style="margin-bottom: 7px;" /> <span id="hc-positions">Clinton supports the Common Core learning standards. She also believes in universal pre-kindergarten, college education that is debt free, and free tuition at all community colleges. She also looks to end overly punitive policies against students at schools and has discussed doing more for English Language Learners.</span></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </div> <div id="dtrump"> <table> <tbody> <tr> <td style="width: 75px; max-height: 129px;"><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/election2016/includes/imgs/donald-trump2.png" alt="" style="margin-right: 8px; width: 75px;" align="left" /></td> <td style="vertical-align: top;"><span class="header">Education</span><br style="margin-bottom: 7px;" /> <span id="dt-positions">Trump rejects Common Core and believes that education decisions, as a whole, should be left up to states. He therefore wants to completely abolish the Department of Education.</span></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </div> <div id="gjohnson"> <table> <tbody> <tr> <td style="width: 75px; max-height: 129px;"><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/election2016/includes/imgs/gary-johnson2.png" alt="" style="margin-right: 8px; width: 75px;" align="left" /></td> <td style="vertical-align: top;"><span class="header">Education</span><br style="margin-bottom: 7px;" /> <span id="gj-positions">Johnson rejects Common Core and believes that education decisions should be left to the states. He also wants to abolish the Department of Education because he believes that the federal government has no right to be involved with education decisions.</span></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </div> <div id="jstein"> <table> <tbody> <tr> <td style="width: 75px; max-height: 129px;"><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/election2016/includes/imgs/jill-stein2.png" alt="" style="margin-right: 8px; width: 75px;" align="left" /></td> <td style="vertical-align: top;"><span class="header">Education</span><br style="margin-bottom: 7px;" /> <span id="js-candidates">Stein is not supportive of Common Core or standardized testing (and thinks curricula should be designed by educators). She prefers evaluation of teachers done by fellow professionals. She supports tuition-free, and debt-free, education through all four years of college. </span></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </div> <!-- CLEAR --> <h1>&nbsp;</h1> <h1>LGBTQ Rights</h1> <div id="hclinton"> <table> <tbody> <tr> <td style="width: 75px; max-height: 129px;"><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/election2016/includes/imgs/hillary-clinton2.png" alt="" style="margin-right: 8px; width: 75px;" align="left" /></td> <td style="vertical-align: top;"><span class="header">LGBTQ Rights</span><br style="margin-bottom: 7px;" /> <span id="hc-positions">Clinton pushes for full rights for LGBTQ people, in the United States and around the world. Clinton has 'evolved' fairly quickly on related issues, like marriage equality.</span></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </div> <div id="dtrump"> <table> <tbody> <tr> <td style="width: 75px; max-height: 129px;"><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/election2016/includes/imgs/donald-trump2.png" alt="" style="margin-right: 8px; width: 75px;" align="left" /></td> <td style="vertical-align: top;"><span class="header">LGBTQ Rights</span><br style="margin-bottom: 7px;" /> <span id="dt-positions">Trump vows to protect LGBTQ citizens and has had several particularly significant moments, including at the Republican National Convention, around promoting and protecting LGBTQ rights. He has not stated personal support for same-sex marriage, but says that it is the law of the land and that it should be protected as such.</span></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </div> <div id="gjohnson"> <table> <tbody> <tr> <td style="width: 75px; max-height: 129px;"><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/election2016/includes/imgs/gary-johnson2.png" alt="" style="margin-right: 8px; width: 75px;" align="left" /></td> <td style="vertical-align: top;"><span class="header">LGBTQ Rights</span><br style="margin-bottom: 7px;" /> <span id="gj-positions">Johnson believes that the government should not be in the business of telling people who to marry. He therefore does not look to restrict same-sex marriage, and in fact he cites this non-government interference idea as a major reason why he supported same-sex marriage before many liberals did the same.</span></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </div> <div id="jstein"> <table> <tbody> <tr> <td style="width: 75px; max-height: 129px;"><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/election2016/includes/imgs/jill-stein2.png" alt="" style="margin-right: 8px; width: 75px;" align="left" /></td> <td style="vertical-align: top;"><span class="header">LGBTQ Rights</span><br style="margin-bottom: 7px;" /> <span id="js-candidates">Stein says that she will seek to end all forms of discrimination against the LGBTQ community.</span></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </div> <!-- CLEAR --> <h1>&nbsp;</h1> <h1>Abortion</h1> <div id="hclinton"> <table> <tbody> <tr> <td style="width: 75px; max-height: 129px;"><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/election2016/includes/imgs/hillary-clinton2.png" alt="" style="margin-right: 8px; width: 75px;" align="left" /></td> <td style="vertical-align: top;"><span class="header">Abortion</span><br style="margin-bottom: 7px;" /> <span id="hc-positions">Clinton looks to protect the reproductive rights of all women and protecting a woman's right to choose to have an abortion. She is also proud of her endorsement from Planned Parenthood.</span></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </div> <div id="dtrump"> <table> <tbody> <tr> <td style="width: 75px; max-height: 129px;"><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/election2016/includes/imgs/donald-trump2.png" alt="" style="margin-right: 8px; width: 75px;" align="left" /></td> <td style="vertical-align: top;"><span class="header">Abortion</span><br style="margin-bottom: 7px;" /> <span id="dt-positions">Trump calls himself "pro-life" and at times has called for the defunding of Planned Parenthood. However he has at times touted a number of services that Planned Parenthood provides, and earlier in his life he considered himself "pro-choice." He has explained an 'evolution' on the issue. Trump has said that if he appoints several Supreme Court justices it is likely that Roe v. Wade is overturned.</span></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </div> <div id="gjohnson"> <table> <tbody> <tr> <td style="width: 75px; max-height: 129px;"><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/election2016/includes/imgs/gary-johnson2.png" alt="" style="margin-right: 8px; width: 75px;" align="left" /></td> <td style="vertical-align: top;"><span class="header">Abortion</span><br style="margin-bottom: 7px;" /> <span id="gj-positions">Johnson believes that abortion is a deeply personal choice, and that as such the governnment should not be in the business of deciding who does or does not get abortions. </span></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </div> <div id="jstein"> <table> <tbody> <tr> <td style="width: 75px; max-height: 129px;"><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/election2016/includes/imgs/jill-stein2.png" alt="" style="margin-right: 8px; width: 75px;" align="left" /></td> <td style="vertical-align: top;"><span class="header">Abortion</span><br style="margin-bottom: 7px;" /> <span id="js-candidates">Stein views reproductive freedom as a key facet of tackling women's rights issues. She also wants to expand access to the "morning after" pill.</span></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </div> <!-- CLEAR --> <h1>&nbsp;</h1> <h1>Supreme Court Vacancies</h1> <div id="hclinton"> <table> <tbody> <tr> <td style="width: 75px; max-height: 129px;"><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/election2016/includes/imgs/hillary-clinton2.png" alt="" style="margin-right: 8px; width: 75px;" align="left" /></td> <td style="vertical-align: top;"><span class="header">Supreme Court Vacancies</span><br style="margin-bottom: 7px;" /> <span id="hc-positions">The Supreme Court, in Clinton's eyes, should help protect women's rights and LGBTQ rights, and overturn the Citizens United case. She has not committed to renominate President Obama's SCOTUS pick, Merrick Garland, for the currently vacant seat.</span></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </div> <div id="dtrump"> <table> <tbody> <tr> <td style="width: 75px; max-height: 129px;"><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/election2016/includes/imgs/donald-trump2.png" alt="" style="margin-right: 8px; width: 75px;" align="left" /></td> <td style="vertical-align: top;"><span class="header">Supreme Court Vacancies</span><br style="margin-bottom: 7px;" /> <span id="dt-positions">Trump has stressed that the Supreme Court must protect the Second Amendment in particular, as it would be under threat, he says, if Clinton is elected President. Trump's SCOTUS nominees would be pro-life and more conservative in nature, he has said, pointing to recently-deceased Justice Antonin Scalia as a model.</span></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </div> <div id="gjohnson"> <table> <tbody> <tr> <td style="width: 75px; max-height: 129px;"><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/election2016/includes/imgs/gary-johnson2.png" alt="" style="margin-right: 8px; width: 75px;" align="left" /></td> <td style="vertical-align: top;"><span class="header">Supreme Court Vacancies</span><br style="margin-bottom: 7px;" /> <span id="gj-positions">Johnson would use potential nominees' positions on cases such as Kelo v. City of New London (a 2005 case on the issue of eminent domain) and others related to key issues for Libertarians to determine who he might nominate to the SCOTUS.</span></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </div> <div id="jstein"> <table> <tbody> <tr> <td style="width: 75px; max-height: 129px;"><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/election2016/includes/imgs/jill-stein2.png" alt="" style="margin-right: 8px; width: 75px;" align="left" /></td> <td style="vertical-align: top;"><span class="header">Supreme Court Vacancies</span><br style="margin-bottom: 7px;" /> <span id="js-candidates">Stein would nominate justices to the SCOTUS who would overturn Citizens United and help restrict the flow of corporate money into politics.</span></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </div> <!-- CLEAR --> <h1>&nbsp;</h1> <h1>Campaign Finance Reform</h1> <div id="hclinton"> <table> <tbody> <tr> <td style="width: 75px; max-height: 129px;"><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/election2016/includes/imgs/hillary-clinton2.png" alt="" style="margin-right: 8px; width: 75px;" align="left" /></td> <td style="vertical-align: top;"><span class="header">Campaign Finance Reform</span><br style="margin-bottom: 7px;" /> <span id="hc-positions">Clinton supports an overturn of Citizens United to limit the impact of money in politics. She also wants legislation which will "require outside groups to publicly disclose significant political spending." Her other piece of suggested reform is to start a "small-donor matching system for presidential and congressional elections to give small donors greater influence."</span></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </div> <div id="dtrump"> <table> <tbody> <tr> <td style="width: 75px; max-height: 129px;"><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/election2016/includes/imgs/donald-trump2.png" alt="" style="margin-right: 8px; width: 75px;" align="left" /></td> <td style="vertical-align: top;"><span class="header">Campaign Finance Reform</span><br style="margin-bottom: 7px;" /> <span id="dt-positions">Trump has described Political Action Committees (PACs) as a "horrible thing" because he feels that PACs lack transparency. Trump has also claimed that politicians do favors for donors, citing his own experience as a donor. He does not promote, though, public financing of campaigns.</span></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </div> <div id="gjohnson"> <table> <tbody> <tr> <td style="width: 75px; max-height: 129px;"><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/election2016/includes/imgs/gary-johnson2.png" alt="" style="margin-right: 8px; width: 75px;" align="left" /></td> <td style="vertical-align: top;"><span class="header">Campaign Finance Reform</span><br style="margin-bottom: 7px;" /> <span id="gj-positions">Johnson believes that spending in campaigns, including from unions and corporations, is perfectly allowable. Any restrictions on campaign finance would be a limit to free speech, in Johnson's opinion.</span></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </div> <div id="jstein"> <table> <tbody> <tr> <td style="width: 75px; max-height: 129px;"><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/election2016/includes/imgs/jill-stein2.png" alt="" style="margin-right: 8px; width: 75px;" align="left" /></td> <td style="vertical-align: top;"><span class="header">Campaign Finance Reform</span><br style="margin-bottom: 7px;" /> <span id="js-candidates">Stein wants an overturn of the 2010 Citizens United Supreme Court case. She believes that corporations should not be allowed to fund political campaigns, but believes that there should instead be public funding of campaigns.</span></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </div> <!-- CLEAR --> <div>***<br />by Brendan Birth and Ben Max<br /><a href="https://twitter.com/GothamGazette" target="_blank">@GothamGazette</a></div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Feedback? Email Ben at bmax@gothamgazette.com</div> <!-- CLEAR --> </div> </article> </section> The Week That Was in New York Politics, Feb. 8-12 2016-02-12T17:39:16+00:00 2016-02-12T17:39:16+00:00 http://www.gothamgazette.com/?id=6167:the-week-that-was-in-new-york-politics-feb-8-12 Carmen Russo <p><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/images/graphics/2014/03/week_in_review_bus_readers.jpg" alt="week in review bus readers" width="600" height="409" /></p> <p><span style="font-size: 10pt;"><a href="http://blog.mcny.org/2012/04/24/a-ride-on-the-subway-in-1946-with-stanley-kubrick/" target="_blank">photo</a>: Stanley Kubrick via Museum of the City of New York</span></p> <hr /> <p>Gotham Gazette's Week in Review, Friday February 12</p> <p><strong>PHOTOS OF THE WEEK:&nbsp;</strong>Mayor de Blasio participates in the HOPE Count of homeless people living on the street, via Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office; Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito delivers her State of the City speech, via William Alatriste.</p> <p><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/images/graphics/2014/03/24543708329_ba71f6563e_z.jpg" alt="bdb hope count" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" width="400" height="267" /></p> <p><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/images/graphics/2014/03/24598444509_d872dc962a_z.jpg" alt="mmv sotc" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" width="400" height="267" /></p> <p><strong>TOP FIVE STORIES OF THE WEEK:</strong><br /><strong>1. Housing Hearings:</strong> The City Council held two lengthy hearings this week <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/government/6157-at-hearings-city-council-to-examine-mayors-zoning-proposals" target="_blank">examining</a> critical components of Mayor de Blasio’s housing plan, Mandatory Inclusionary Housing and Zoning for Quality and Affordability, which aim to adjust the city’s zoning codes and were <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/government/6143-planning-commission-sends-mayors-zoning-proposals-to-city-council" target="_blank">approved</a> by the City Planning Commission. At the hearings, Council members grilled de Blasio administration officials and expressed support for the goals of the plan, but made it clear they want to see more affordable units reserved for lower-income residents, and increased protections for workers who will build the new housing. [Read: <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/government/6157-at-hearings-city-council-to-examine-mayors-zoning-proposals" target="_blank">At Hearings, City Council to Examine Mayor's Zoning Proposals</a>]</p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>2. “More Justice”:</strong> City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito gave her second annual State of the City address on Thursday, titled “More Justice,” outlining a vast agenda centered on <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/government/6164-mark-viverito-doubles-down-on-criminal-justice-reform-in-state-of-the-city" target="_blank">criminal justice reform</a>, increasing civic engagement, <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/government/6163-in-state-of-the-city-mark-viverito-outlines-civic-engagement-voter-empowerment-plans" target="_blank">empowering voters</a>, and protecting immigrant communities, among others. Many proposals, including clearing old summons warrants and improving rehabilitation and reentry services, aim to minimize the number of people who end up in the city’s jail, in the hope that once the number of inmates on Rikers decreases, a plan for closing the notorious jail complex could be enacted. [Read: <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/government/6163-in-state-of-the-city-mark-viverito-outlines-civic-engagement-voter-empowerment-plans" target="_blank">In State of the City, Mark-Viverito Outlines Civic Engagement, Voter Empowerment Plans</a> &amp; <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/government/6164-mark-viverito-doubles-down-on-criminal-justice-reform-in-state-of-the-city" target="_blank">Mark-Viverito 'Doubles Down' on Criminal Justice Reform in State of the City</a>]</p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>3. Budget Analysis:</strong> Comptroller Scott Stringer released his <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/government/6162-comptroller-raises-several-flags-in-budget-analysis" target="_blank">analysis</a> of Mayor de Blasio’s preliminary fiscal year 2017 budget on Wednesday, pointing out several areas of concern in an overall positive financial outlook for the city. Stringer said savings the Mayor has allocated are insufficient to prepare for an economic downturn and wants the city to implement a <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/government/6072-majority-of-council-members-urge-mayor-to-identify-budget-savings" target="_blank">PEG</a> requiring city agencies to identify a certain percentage of potential savings. [Read: <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/government/6162-comptroller-raises-several-flags-in-budget-analysis" target="_blank">Comptroller Raises Several Flags in Budget Analysis</a>]</p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>4. Renewed Homelessness Scrutiny:</strong> Following the <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/11/nyregion/staten-island-hotel-stabbing.html?rref=collection/sectioncollection/nyregion&amp;action=click&amp;contentCollection=nyregion&amp;region=rank&amp;module=package&amp;version=highlights&amp;contentPlacement=2&amp;pgtype=sectionfront&amp;mtrref=undefined&amp;gwh=44B563D2C8D52DA61AF53BCB931C7206&amp;gwt=pay" target="_blank">fatal stabbing</a> of a woman and two of her infant daughters Wednesday at a Ramada Inn on Staten Island, which was being used as a temporary homeless shelter, Mayor de Blasio announced plans to provide hotels used as temporary shelters with <a href="http://www.capitalnewyork.com/article/city-hall/2016/02/8590744/after-stabbing-de-blasio-promises-more-security-hotels-being-used-" target="_blank">increased security</a>. The incident comes <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/29/nyregion/suspect-flees-after-fatally-stabbing-roommate-at-harlem-shelter-police-say.html" target="_blank">less than two weeks</a> after a mentally ill man slit another resident’s throat at a homeless shelter in Harlem, which also prompted promises of increased security at shelters. The State quickly responded to the Staten Island incident, instructing the City to increase security, which the City said it had already done.</p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>5. Tax Plan:</strong> Assembly Democrats renewed support for their recently-unveiled plan to extend and expand a millionaire’s tax just one day after Governor Cuomo dismissed the plan, <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/government/6158-heastie-takes-to-twitter-to-respond-to-cuomo-on-tax-plan" target="_blank">saying</a> there was no “reason or appetite to take up taxes this year.” Republican Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan reiterated his opposition to higher taxes on millionaires and said changes to the cap this year are unlikely, though Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie has maintained his support for the plan. [Read: <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/government/6158-heastie-takes-to-twitter-to-respond-to-cuomo-on-tax-plan" target="_blank">Heastie Takes to Twitter to Respond to Cuomo on Tax Plan</a>]</p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>THIS WEEK’S NUMBERS:</strong></p> <ul> <li dir="ltr"><strong>$10,000</strong> fine for failing to safeguard crawler crane equipment, up from $4,800, following the fatal crane collapse in downtown Manhattan last Friday, the <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/08/nyregion/de-blasio-announces-new-safety-measures-after-fatal-crane-collapse.html?rref=collection/sectioncollection/nyregion&amp;action=click&amp;contentCollection=nyregion&amp;region=stream&amp;module=stream_unit&amp;version=latest&amp;contentPlacement=5&amp;pgtype=sectionfront" target="_blank">Times</a> reports.</li> <li dir="ltr"><strong>3,500</strong> volunteers canvassed New York City on Monday for the city’s annual HOPE count, a one-night count of all the homeless people living on the streets, the <a href="http://abc7ny.com/news/nyc-holds-annual-counting-of-citys-homeless-overnight/1192693/" target="_blank">Associated Press</a> reports - results will not be known for a few weeks.</li> <li dir="ltr"><strong>200</strong> people signed up to testify at the City Council’s hearing on MIH on Tuesday, <a href="http://www.wnyc.org/story/city-council-weighs-affordable-housing-plan/" target="_blank">WNYC</a> reports.</li> <li dir="ltr"><strong>41</strong> hotels are being used as temporary homeless shelters to house more than 2,600 homeless adults and children across New York City, <a href="http://www.capitalnewyork.com/article/city-hall/2016/02/8590744/after-stabbing-de-blasio-promises-more-security-hotels-being-used-" target="_blank">Politico</a> reports.</li> <li dir="ltr"><strong>1.1 million</strong> summons warrants for offenses like being in the park after dark or having an open container of alcohol contribute to the city’s backlog of open arrest warrants, <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/government/6164-mark-viverito-doubles-down-on-criminal-justice-reform-in-state-of-the-city" target="_blank">Gotham Gazette</a> reports.</li> <li dir="ltr"><strong>8%</strong> increase in state agency overtime pay, the <a href="http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/n-y-state-agency-overtime-pay-8-3-article-1.2528621" target="_blank">Daily News</a> reports.</li> <li dir="ltr"><strong>125</strong> high schools will have student voter registration, up from 56, with increased funding from the City Council, <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/government/6163-in-state-of-the-city-mark-viverito-outlines-civic-engagement-voter-empowerment-plans" target="_blank">Gotham Gazette</a> reports.</li> <li dir="ltr"><strong>46%</strong> increase over two years in the amount of money spent by the city on homeless services, up to $1.7 billion across three agencies, <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/government/6162-comptroller-raises-several-flags-in-budget-analysis" target="_blank">Gotham Gazette</a> reports.</li> </ul> <p dir="ltr"><strong>THE GLORY AND THE GOAT:</strong><br /><strong>It was a good week for LGBT New Yorkers, advocates and allies</strong>, as Governor Cuomo announced a series of regulations Saturday that will prohibit health care insurers from covering "<a href="http://www.capitalnewyork.com/article/albany/2016/02/8590387/cuomo-announces-regulations-ban-conversion-therapy" target="_blank">conversion therapy</a>" in New York and stop mental health facilities from using the method on minors. &nbsp;</p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>It was a bad week for the NYPD</strong>, with officers facing two trials this week for the deaths of unarmed black men in two separate incidents, and a <a href="http://interactive.nydailynews.com/2016/02/nypd-nuisance-abatement-actions-boot-hundreds/" target="_blank">joint investigation</a> by ProPublica and the Daily News into the NYPD’s use of the nuisance abatement law alleging the NYPD often uses the law to force people out of their homes. On Thursday, officer Peter Liang was found <a href="http://www.capitalnewyork.com/article/city-hall/2016/02/8590909/police-officer-peter-liang-found-guilty-death-akai-gurley" target="_blank">guilty of manslaughter</a> in the 2014 shooting death of Akai Gurley, and on Wednesday, a federal grand jury began hearing evidence in the case of <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/11/nyregion/federal-grand-jury-begins-hearing-evidence-in-eric-garner-case.html?rref=collection/sectioncollection/nyregion&amp;action=click&amp;contentCollection=nyregion&amp;region=rank&amp;module=package&amp;version=highlights&amp;contentPlacement=1&amp;pgtype=sectionfront" target="_blank">Eric Garner</a>, who died after a Staten Island police officer put Garner in a chokehold.</p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>And, it was a bad week for Success Academy Charter Schools</strong>, after a video published by the New York Times shows a Success Academy teacher <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/13/nyregion/success-academy-teacher-rips-up-student-paper.html?rref=collection/sectioncollection/nyregion&amp;action=click&amp;contentCollection=nyregion&amp;region=rank&amp;module=package&amp;version=highlights&amp;contentPlacement=1&amp;pgtype=sectionfront" target="_blank">belittling a student</a> for failing to answer a question correctly. The accompanying Times story shares similar stories from current and former employees, prompting renewed scrutiny for the charter school network.</p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>THE FLASH:</strong><br /><strong>Around this time 100 years ago</strong>, on February 11, 1916, Emma Goldman was arrested in New York City just before giving a lecture on <a href="http://daily.jstor.org/emma-goldman/" target="_blank">family planning</a>, which was considered illegal under the 1873 Comstock Act that banned “obscene” literature, including information about contraception.</p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>GOTHAM GAZETTE HIGHLIGHTS OF THE WEEK</strong><br /><a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/government/6162-comptroller-raises-several-flags-in-budget-analysis">Comptroller Raises Several Flags in Budget Analysis</a>, by Ben Max</p> <p dir="ltr"><a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/government/6150-everyones-talking-about-paid-family-leave-only-compromise-will-yield-a-deal">Everyone's Talking About Paid Family Leave, Only Compromise Will Yield a Deal</a>, by David Howard King</p> <p dir="ltr"><a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/government/6163-in-state-of-the-city-mark-viverito-outlines-civic-engagement-voter-empowerment-plans">In State of the City, Mark-Viverito Outlines Civic Engagement, Voter Empowerment Plans</a>, by Samar Khurshid</p> <p dir="ltr"><a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/government/6164-mark-viverito-doubles-down-on-criminal-justice-reform-in-state-of-the-city">Mark-Viverito 'Doubles Down' on Criminal Justice Reform in State of the City</a>, by Meg O’Connor</p> <p dir="ltr"><a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/government/6166-assembly-reform-group-nears-release-of-49-recommendation-report">Assembly Reform Group Nears Release of 49-Recommendation Report</a>, by David Howard King</p> <p dir="ltr"><a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/government/6158-heastie-takes-to-twitter-to-respond-to-cuomo-on-tax-plan">Heastie Takes to Twitter to Respond to Cuomo on Tax Plan</a>, by David Howard King</p> <p dir="ltr"><a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/government/6155-in-albany-bharara-challenges-lawmakers-to-act-not-enable">In Albany, Bharara Challenges Lawmakers to Act, Not Enable</a>, by David Howard King</p> <p dir="ltr"><a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/government/6154-bharara-visits-capital-he-upended">Bharara Visits Capital He Upended</a>, by David Howard King</p> <p dir="ltr"><a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/government/6160-after-new-hampshire-debates-a-voting-dates-until-new-york">After New Hampshire: Debates &amp; Voting Dates Until New York</a>, by Ben Max</p> <p dir="ltr"><a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/opinion/6161-next-steps-the-state-must-make-to-create-and-maintain-affordable-housing">Next Steps the State Must Make to Create and Maintain Affordable Housing</a>, by Nicole Bramstedt (opinion)</p> <p dir="ltr"><a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/opinion/6156-real-affordable-housing-for-our-communities">Real Affordable Housing for Our Communities</a>, by Susana Salas (opinion)</p> <p dir="ltr"><a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/opinion/6159-time-for-nycha-to-stop-wasting-our-money">Time for NYCHA to Stop Wasting Our Money</a>, by Brian Sampson (opinion)</p> <p dir="ltr"><a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/opinion/6165-get-the-facts-straight-on-nycha-attacks">Get the Facts Straight on NYCHA Attacks</a>, by Michael Kelly (opinion)</p> <p dir="ltr"><a href="http://citylimits.org/2016/02/09/the-10-concerns-councilmembers-had-about-mayors-inclusionary-housing-proposal/">The 10 Concerns Council Members Had About Mayor’s Inclusionary Housing Proposal</a>, by Jarrett Murphy (City Limits)</p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>MORE FOR THE WEEKEND:</strong><br />Gotham Gazette’s executive editor Ben Max and City Limit’s executive editor Jarrett Murphy discuss <a href="http://citylimits.org/2016/02/11/max-murphy-on-housingwhere-does-the-de-blasio-zoning-push-head-next/" target="_blank">key takeaways</a> after two days of marathon City Council hearings on Mayor de Blasio’s citywide zoning proposals.</p> <p dir="ltr">In a rare visit to Albany on Monday, U.S. Attorney <a href="http://wamc.org/post/critical-corruption-bharara-addresses-wamc-audience-rare-albany-stop" target="_blank">Preet Bharara</a> spoke to the need for honest politicians and others in state government to call out corruption when they see it in an interview with WAMC co-sponsored by Citizens Union and other good government groups.</p> <p dir="ltr">Mayor de Blasio spoke with Errol Louis on NY1 and defended the new Police Department training course, “<a href="http://www.ny1.com/nyc/all-boroughs/politics/2016/02/8/mayor-sits-down-for-ny1-interview-with-errol-louis.html?cid=twitter_InsideCityHall" target="_blank">implicit bias</a>” training, designed to combat officers’ prejudices, and also defended MIH and ZQA.</p> <p dir="ltr">City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito appeared on NY1 to discuss her <a href="http://www.ny1.com/nyc/all-boroughs/city-hall-newsmakers/2016/02/11/ny1-online--council-speaker-melissa-mark-viverito-talks-her-state-of-the-city-address.html" target="_blank">State of the City</a> address.</p> <p dir="ltr">Errol Louis discussed the <a href="http://www.ny1.com/nyc/all-boroughs/inside-city-hall/2016/02/11/ny1-online--panel-discusses-40th-anniversary-of-city-limits-magazine.html" target="_blank">40th anniversary</a> of City Limits magazine with Jarrett Murphy, executive editor and publisher of City Limits, and two contributors, Brooke Williams and Tom Robbins on NY1.&nbsp;</p> <p><em>***<br />NOTE TO READERS: we hope you enjoy this new Gotham Gazette weekly feature - please share it if you do; on Twitter, use our handle&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/GothamGazette" target="_blank">@GothamGazette</a>.</em></p> <p><em>If you have feedback on this feature for us, you can email editor Ben Max:&nbsp;<a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com"></a><a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com"></a><a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com"></a><a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com">bmax@gothamgazette.com</a></em></p> <p><em>Watch Sunday evening for our latest Week Ahead in New York Politics, which gives you a preview of key issues and events to be aware of for the week about to start. In the meantime, catch up on&nbsp;<a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/government" target="_blank">the latest original reporting from Gotham Gazette here</a>. And have a great weekend!</em></p> <p><em>***</em><br />by Meg O'Connor and Ben Max</p> <p><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/images/graphics/2014/03/week_in_review_bus_readers.jpg" alt="week in review bus readers" width="600" height="409" /></p> <p><span style="font-size: 10pt;"><a href="http://blog.mcny.org/2012/04/24/a-ride-on-the-subway-in-1946-with-stanley-kubrick/" target="_blank">photo</a>: Stanley Kubrick via Museum of the City of New York</span></p> <hr /> <p>Gotham Gazette's Week in Review, Friday February 12</p> <p><strong>PHOTOS OF THE WEEK:&nbsp;</strong>Mayor de Blasio participates in the HOPE Count of homeless people living on the street, via Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office; Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito delivers her State of the City speech, via William Alatriste.</p> <p><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/images/graphics/2014/03/24543708329_ba71f6563e_z.jpg" alt="bdb hope count" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" width="400" height="267" /></p> <p><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/images/graphics/2014/03/24598444509_d872dc962a_z.jpg" alt="mmv sotc" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" width="400" height="267" /></p> <p><strong>TOP FIVE STORIES OF THE WEEK:</strong><br /><strong>1. Housing Hearings:</strong> The City Council held two lengthy hearings this week <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/government/6157-at-hearings-city-council-to-examine-mayors-zoning-proposals" target="_blank">examining</a> critical components of Mayor de Blasio’s housing plan, Mandatory Inclusionary Housing and Zoning for Quality and Affordability, which aim to adjust the city’s zoning codes and were <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/government/6143-planning-commission-sends-mayors-zoning-proposals-to-city-council" target="_blank">approved</a> by the City Planning Commission. At the hearings, Council members grilled de Blasio administration officials and expressed support for the goals of the plan, but made it clear they want to see more affordable units reserved for lower-income residents, and increased protections for workers who will build the new housing. [Read: <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/government/6157-at-hearings-city-council-to-examine-mayors-zoning-proposals" target="_blank">At Hearings, City Council to Examine Mayor's Zoning Proposals</a>]</p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>2. “More Justice”:</strong> City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito gave her second annual State of the City address on Thursday, titled “More Justice,” outlining a vast agenda centered on <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/government/6164-mark-viverito-doubles-down-on-criminal-justice-reform-in-state-of-the-city" target="_blank">criminal justice reform</a>, increasing civic engagement, <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/government/6163-in-state-of-the-city-mark-viverito-outlines-civic-engagement-voter-empowerment-plans" target="_blank">empowering voters</a>, and protecting immigrant communities, among others. Many proposals, including clearing old summons warrants and improving rehabilitation and reentry services, aim to minimize the number of people who end up in the city’s jail, in the hope that once the number of inmates on Rikers decreases, a plan for closing the notorious jail complex could be enacted. [Read: <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/government/6163-in-state-of-the-city-mark-viverito-outlines-civic-engagement-voter-empowerment-plans" target="_blank">In State of the City, Mark-Viverito Outlines Civic Engagement, Voter Empowerment Plans</a> &amp; <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/government/6164-mark-viverito-doubles-down-on-criminal-justice-reform-in-state-of-the-city" target="_blank">Mark-Viverito 'Doubles Down' on Criminal Justice Reform in State of the City</a>]</p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>3. Budget Analysis:</strong> Comptroller Scott Stringer released his <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/government/6162-comptroller-raises-several-flags-in-budget-analysis" target="_blank">analysis</a> of Mayor de Blasio’s preliminary fiscal year 2017 budget on Wednesday, pointing out several areas of concern in an overall positive financial outlook for the city. Stringer said savings the Mayor has allocated are insufficient to prepare for an economic downturn and wants the city to implement a <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/government/6072-majority-of-council-members-urge-mayor-to-identify-budget-savings" target="_blank">PEG</a> requiring city agencies to identify a certain percentage of potential savings. [Read: <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/government/6162-comptroller-raises-several-flags-in-budget-analysis" target="_blank">Comptroller Raises Several Flags in Budget Analysis</a>]</p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>4. Renewed Homelessness Scrutiny:</strong> Following the <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/11/nyregion/staten-island-hotel-stabbing.html?rref=collection/sectioncollection/nyregion&amp;action=click&amp;contentCollection=nyregion&amp;region=rank&amp;module=package&amp;version=highlights&amp;contentPlacement=2&amp;pgtype=sectionfront&amp;mtrref=undefined&amp;gwh=44B563D2C8D52DA61AF53BCB931C7206&amp;gwt=pay" target="_blank">fatal stabbing</a> of a woman and two of her infant daughters Wednesday at a Ramada Inn on Staten Island, which was being used as a temporary homeless shelter, Mayor de Blasio announced plans to provide hotels used as temporary shelters with <a href="http://www.capitalnewyork.com/article/city-hall/2016/02/8590744/after-stabbing-de-blasio-promises-more-security-hotels-being-used-" target="_blank">increased security</a>. The incident comes <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/29/nyregion/suspect-flees-after-fatally-stabbing-roommate-at-harlem-shelter-police-say.html" target="_blank">less than two weeks</a> after a mentally ill man slit another resident’s throat at a homeless shelter in Harlem, which also prompted promises of increased security at shelters. The State quickly responded to the Staten Island incident, instructing the City to increase security, which the City said it had already done.</p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>5. Tax Plan:</strong> Assembly Democrats renewed support for their recently-unveiled plan to extend and expand a millionaire’s tax just one day after Governor Cuomo dismissed the plan, <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/government/6158-heastie-takes-to-twitter-to-respond-to-cuomo-on-tax-plan" target="_blank">saying</a> there was no “reason or appetite to take up taxes this year.” Republican Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan reiterated his opposition to higher taxes on millionaires and said changes to the cap this year are unlikely, though Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie has maintained his support for the plan. [Read: <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/government/6158-heastie-takes-to-twitter-to-respond-to-cuomo-on-tax-plan" target="_blank">Heastie Takes to Twitter to Respond to Cuomo on Tax Plan</a>]</p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>THIS WEEK’S NUMBERS:</strong></p> <ul> <li dir="ltr"><strong>$10,000</strong> fine for failing to safeguard crawler crane equipment, up from $4,800, following the fatal crane collapse in downtown Manhattan last Friday, the <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/08/nyregion/de-blasio-announces-new-safety-measures-after-fatal-crane-collapse.html?rref=collection/sectioncollection/nyregion&amp;action=click&amp;contentCollection=nyregion&amp;region=stream&amp;module=stream_unit&amp;version=latest&amp;contentPlacement=5&amp;pgtype=sectionfront" target="_blank">Times</a> reports.</li> <li dir="ltr"><strong>3,500</strong> volunteers canvassed New York City on Monday for the city’s annual HOPE count, a one-night count of all the homeless people living on the streets, the <a href="http://abc7ny.com/news/nyc-holds-annual-counting-of-citys-homeless-overnight/1192693/" target="_blank">Associated Press</a> reports - results will not be known for a few weeks.</li> <li dir="ltr"><strong>200</strong> people signed up to testify at the City Council’s hearing on MIH on Tuesday, <a href="http://www.wnyc.org/story/city-council-weighs-affordable-housing-plan/" target="_blank">WNYC</a> reports.</li> <li dir="ltr"><strong>41</strong> hotels are being used as temporary homeless shelters to house more than 2,600 homeless adults and children across New York City, <a href="http://www.capitalnewyork.com/article/city-hall/2016/02/8590744/after-stabbing-de-blasio-promises-more-security-hotels-being-used-" target="_blank">Politico</a> reports.</li> <li dir="ltr"><strong>1.1 million</strong> summons warrants for offenses like being in the park after dark or having an open container of alcohol contribute to the city’s backlog of open arrest warrants, <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/government/6164-mark-viverito-doubles-down-on-criminal-justice-reform-in-state-of-the-city" target="_blank">Gotham Gazette</a> reports.</li> <li dir="ltr"><strong>8%</strong> increase in state agency overtime pay, the <a href="http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/n-y-state-agency-overtime-pay-8-3-article-1.2528621" target="_blank">Daily News</a> reports.</li> <li dir="ltr"><strong>125</strong> high schools will have student voter registration, up from 56, with increased funding from the City Council, <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/government/6163-in-state-of-the-city-mark-viverito-outlines-civic-engagement-voter-empowerment-plans" target="_blank">Gotham Gazette</a> reports.</li> <li dir="ltr"><strong>46%</strong> increase over two years in the amount of money spent by the city on homeless services, up to $1.7 billion across three agencies, <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/government/6162-comptroller-raises-several-flags-in-budget-analysis" target="_blank">Gotham Gazette</a> reports.</li> </ul> <p dir="ltr"><strong>THE GLORY AND THE GOAT:</strong><br /><strong>It was a good week for LGBT New Yorkers, advocates and allies</strong>, as Governor Cuomo announced a series of regulations Saturday that will prohibit health care insurers from covering "<a href="http://www.capitalnewyork.com/article/albany/2016/02/8590387/cuomo-announces-regulations-ban-conversion-therapy" target="_blank">conversion therapy</a>" in New York and stop mental health facilities from using the method on minors. &nbsp;</p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>It was a bad week for the NYPD</strong>, with officers facing two trials this week for the deaths of unarmed black men in two separate incidents, and a <a href="http://interactive.nydailynews.com/2016/02/nypd-nuisance-abatement-actions-boot-hundreds/" target="_blank">joint investigation</a> by ProPublica and the Daily News into the NYPD’s use of the nuisance abatement law alleging the NYPD often uses the law to force people out of their homes. On Thursday, officer Peter Liang was found <a href="http://www.capitalnewyork.com/article/city-hall/2016/02/8590909/police-officer-peter-liang-found-guilty-death-akai-gurley" target="_blank">guilty of manslaughter</a> in the 2014 shooting death of Akai Gurley, and on Wednesday, a federal grand jury began hearing evidence in the case of <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/11/nyregion/federal-grand-jury-begins-hearing-evidence-in-eric-garner-case.html?rref=collection/sectioncollection/nyregion&amp;action=click&amp;contentCollection=nyregion&amp;region=rank&amp;module=package&amp;version=highlights&amp;contentPlacement=1&amp;pgtype=sectionfront" target="_blank">Eric Garner</a>, who died after a Staten Island police officer put Garner in a chokehold.</p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>And, it was a bad week for Success Academy Charter Schools</strong>, after a video published by the New York Times shows a Success Academy teacher <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/13/nyregion/success-academy-teacher-rips-up-student-paper.html?rref=collection/sectioncollection/nyregion&amp;action=click&amp;contentCollection=nyregion&amp;region=rank&amp;module=package&amp;version=highlights&amp;contentPlacement=1&amp;pgtype=sectionfront" target="_blank">belittling a student</a> for failing to answer a question correctly. The accompanying Times story shares similar stories from current and former employees, prompting renewed scrutiny for the charter school network.</p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>THE FLASH:</strong><br /><strong>Around this time 100 years ago</strong>, on February 11, 1916, Emma Goldman was arrested in New York City just before giving a lecture on <a href="http://daily.jstor.org/emma-goldman/" target="_blank">family planning</a>, which was considered illegal under the 1873 Comstock Act that banned “obscene” literature, including information about contraception.</p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>GOTHAM GAZETTE HIGHLIGHTS OF THE WEEK</strong><br /><a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/government/6162-comptroller-raises-several-flags-in-budget-analysis">Comptroller Raises Several Flags in Budget Analysis</a>, by Ben Max</p> <p dir="ltr"><a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/government/6150-everyones-talking-about-paid-family-leave-only-compromise-will-yield-a-deal">Everyone's Talking About Paid Family Leave, Only Compromise Will Yield a Deal</a>, by David Howard King</p> <p dir="ltr"><a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/government/6163-in-state-of-the-city-mark-viverito-outlines-civic-engagement-voter-empowerment-plans">In State of the City, Mark-Viverito Outlines Civic Engagement, Voter Empowerment Plans</a>, by Samar Khurshid</p> <p dir="ltr"><a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/government/6164-mark-viverito-doubles-down-on-criminal-justice-reform-in-state-of-the-city">Mark-Viverito 'Doubles Down' on Criminal Justice Reform in State of the City</a>, by Meg O’Connor</p> <p dir="ltr"><a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/government/6166-assembly-reform-group-nears-release-of-49-recommendation-report">Assembly Reform Group Nears Release of 49-Recommendation Report</a>, by David Howard King</p> <p dir="ltr"><a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/government/6158-heastie-takes-to-twitter-to-respond-to-cuomo-on-tax-plan">Heastie Takes to Twitter to Respond to Cuomo on Tax Plan</a>, by David Howard King</p> <p dir="ltr"><a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/government/6155-in-albany-bharara-challenges-lawmakers-to-act-not-enable">In Albany, Bharara Challenges Lawmakers to Act, Not Enable</a>, by David Howard King</p> <p dir="ltr"><a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/government/6154-bharara-visits-capital-he-upended">Bharara Visits Capital He Upended</a>, by David Howard King</p> <p dir="ltr"><a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/government/6160-after-new-hampshire-debates-a-voting-dates-until-new-york">After New Hampshire: Debates &amp; Voting Dates Until New York</a>, by Ben Max</p> <p dir="ltr"><a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/opinion/6161-next-steps-the-state-must-make-to-create-and-maintain-affordable-housing">Next Steps the State Must Make to Create and Maintain Affordable Housing</a>, by Nicole Bramstedt (opinion)</p> <p dir="ltr"><a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/opinion/6156-real-affordable-housing-for-our-communities">Real Affordable Housing for Our Communities</a>, by Susana Salas (opinion)</p> <p dir="ltr"><a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/opinion/6159-time-for-nycha-to-stop-wasting-our-money">Time for NYCHA to Stop Wasting Our Money</a>, by Brian Sampson (opinion)</p> <p dir="ltr"><a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/opinion/6165-get-the-facts-straight-on-nycha-attacks">Get the Facts Straight on NYCHA Attacks</a>, by Michael Kelly (opinion)</p> <p dir="ltr"><a href="http://citylimits.org/2016/02/09/the-10-concerns-councilmembers-had-about-mayors-inclusionary-housing-proposal/">The 10 Concerns Council Members Had About Mayor’s Inclusionary Housing Proposal</a>, by Jarrett Murphy (City Limits)</p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>MORE FOR THE WEEKEND:</strong><br />Gotham Gazette’s executive editor Ben Max and City Limit’s executive editor Jarrett Murphy discuss <a href="http://citylimits.org/2016/02/11/max-murphy-on-housingwhere-does-the-de-blasio-zoning-push-head-next/" target="_blank">key takeaways</a> after two days of marathon City Council hearings on Mayor de Blasio’s citywide zoning proposals.</p> <p dir="ltr">In a rare visit to Albany on Monday, U.S. Attorney <a href="http://wamc.org/post/critical-corruption-bharara-addresses-wamc-audience-rare-albany-stop" target="_blank">Preet Bharara</a> spoke to the need for honest politicians and others in state government to call out corruption when they see it in an interview with WAMC co-sponsored by Citizens Union and other good government groups.</p> <p dir="ltr">Mayor de Blasio spoke with Errol Louis on NY1 and defended the new Police Department training course, “<a href="http://www.ny1.com/nyc/all-boroughs/politics/2016/02/8/mayor-sits-down-for-ny1-interview-with-errol-louis.html?cid=twitter_InsideCityHall" target="_blank">implicit bias</a>” training, designed to combat officers’ prejudices, and also defended MIH and ZQA.</p> <p dir="ltr">City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito appeared on NY1 to discuss her <a href="http://www.ny1.com/nyc/all-boroughs/city-hall-newsmakers/2016/02/11/ny1-online--council-speaker-melissa-mark-viverito-talks-her-state-of-the-city-address.html" target="_blank">State of the City</a> address.</p> <p dir="ltr">Errol Louis discussed the <a href="http://www.ny1.com/nyc/all-boroughs/inside-city-hall/2016/02/11/ny1-online--panel-discusses-40th-anniversary-of-city-limits-magazine.html" target="_blank">40th anniversary</a> of City Limits magazine with Jarrett Murphy, executive editor and publisher of City Limits, and two contributors, Brooke Williams and Tom Robbins on NY1.&nbsp;</p> <p><em>***<br />NOTE TO READERS: we hope you enjoy this new Gotham Gazette weekly feature - please share it if you do; on Twitter, use our handle&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/GothamGazette" target="_blank">@GothamGazette</a>.</em></p> <p><em>If you have feedback on this feature for us, you can email editor Ben Max:&nbsp;<a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com"></a><a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com"></a><a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com"></a><a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com">bmax@gothamgazette.com</a></em></p> <p><em>Watch Sunday evening for our latest Week Ahead in New York Politics, which gives you a preview of key issues and events to be aware of for the week about to start. In the meantime, catch up on&nbsp;<a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/government" target="_blank">the latest original reporting from Gotham Gazette here</a>. And have a great weekend!</em></p> <p><em>***</em><br />by Meg O'Connor and Ben Max</p> The Numbers on NYC's Property Tax Non-Problem 2016-01-27T22:56:51+00:00 2016-01-27T22:56:51+00:00 http://www.gothamgazette.com/?id=6121:the-numbers-on-nycs-property-tax-non-problem Super User <p><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/images/graphics/2014/03/city_limits_tax_rates_graph.jpg" alt="city limits tax rates graph" width="600" height="380" /></p> <hr /> <p>When Mayor de Blasio arrived in Albany on Tuesday, he had a lot to talk about: aid to CUNY, cost-sharing for Medicaid, mayoral control of the schools and more. Instead, upstate lawmakers wanted to talk about a property tax cap. New York City is the only place in the state that doesn't have one, and apparently that irks Republicans.</p> <p>The property tax is one of the few revenue lines that the city controls on its own. If it wants to raise other taxes, like the income tax, it has to go to Albany for approval. That fact is probably not unrelated to the push to get the mayor to surrender his authority to raise the property levy.</p> <p>The property tax accounts for about 40 percent of the city's revenue each year, twice as much as the personal income tax (about 20 percent) or sales tax (roughly 14 percent). Mayor Bloomberg oversaw a significant increase to close the post September 11 budget gap, a move that hurt his first-term popularity a lot. As the chart above indicates, growth in the tax rate has been modest; it actually dropped last year on "class 1" properties. Since property tax revenue grows with property values, those numbers (in the chart below) rise a little more, especially for some classes of properties.</p> <p>Read more about NYC's property tax non-problem <a href="http://citylimits.org/2016/01/27/the-numbers-on-nycs-property-tax-non-problem/" target="_blank">from City Limits here</a>.</p> <p><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/images/graphics/2014/03/city_limits_tax_rates_graph.jpg" alt="city limits tax rates graph" width="600" height="380" /></p> <hr /> <p>When Mayor de Blasio arrived in Albany on Tuesday, he had a lot to talk about: aid to CUNY, cost-sharing for Medicaid, mayoral control of the schools and more. Instead, upstate lawmakers wanted to talk about a property tax cap. New York City is the only place in the state that doesn't have one, and apparently that irks Republicans.</p> <p>The property tax is one of the few revenue lines that the city controls on its own. If it wants to raise other taxes, like the income tax, it has to go to Albany for approval. That fact is probably not unrelated to the push to get the mayor to surrender his authority to raise the property levy.</p> <p>The property tax accounts for about 40 percent of the city's revenue each year, twice as much as the personal income tax (about 20 percent) or sales tax (roughly 14 percent). Mayor Bloomberg oversaw a significant increase to close the post September 11 budget gap, a move that hurt his first-term popularity a lot. As the chart above indicates, growth in the tax rate has been modest; it actually dropped last year on "class 1" properties. Since property tax revenue grows with property values, those numbers (in the chart below) rise a little more, especially for some classes of properties.</p> <p>Read more about NYC's property tax non-problem <a href="http://citylimits.org/2016/01/27/the-numbers-on-nycs-property-tax-non-problem/" target="_blank">from City Limits here</a>.</p> Corruption, Elections Loom Over Lengthy 2016 Legislative Agenda 2016-01-06T22:17:26+00:00 2016-01-06T22:17:26+00:00 http://www.gothamgazette.com/?id=6067:corruption-elections-loom-over-2016-legislative-agenda Super User <p><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/images/graphics/2014/03/24195066305_18221d13db_z.jpg" alt="Cuomo announcement infrastructure" height="393" width="600" /></p> <p>Cuomo (photo:&nbsp;Kevin P. Coughlin/Office of the Governor)</p> <hr /> <p>Lawmakers returning to Albany this week to kick off the 2016 legislative session are faced with a litany of unresolved issues from last year and the spectre of the recent convictions of two former legislative leaders.</p> <p>Add to that impending elections for all 213 legislative seats, some of which will be critical for the future of state Senate control and the prospect of future indictments hinted at by U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara and you have a recipe for potential paralysis.</p> <p>Familiar issues like raising the minimum wage, paid family leave, juvenile justice and criminal justice reforms are all on the table. Newer issues like regulating fantasy sports gambling and tweaks to the state's health insurance marketplace will also be up for discussion.</p> <p>Complicating some issues will be Gov. Andrew Cuomo's repeated 2015 use of executive action, which irked some legislators and, according to some advocates, let the air out of pushes for major legislation. But the elephant in the room remains how to deal with the plague of corruption that has dogged the capitol for years.</p> <p>There is a little extra motivation for the legislature to move on more comprehensive ethics fixes - when session ended in June, former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and former Majority Leader Dean Skelos had merely been indicted on federal corruption charges, six months later both men have been convicted and will soon face sentencing. Further, their trials exposed how major donors are able to exploit the state's campaign finance system and how both Silver and Skelos were able to use their influence to pressure entities with business before the state to provide them and their associates with financial benefit.</p> <p>Cuomo has promised that ethics reform will be at the top of his 2016 agenda.</p> <p>Aside from the unprecedented legislative scandal, both houses of the legislature will also be preparing for an election season that many see as do or die for control of the state Senate, currently led by Republicans. Upcoming electoral contests could motivate leaders from both houses to compromise, or it could create more strife, legislative paralysis, and a blame game that will play out in the elections.</p> <p>Still, there are a variety of major policy issues at play as 2016 session begins, including:</p> <p><strong>Full-Time Legislature</strong><br />A number of good government groups, as well as Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and even U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, have posited that a better paid, full-time legislature might reduce certain kinds of corruption. Better pay might reduce the temptation to take bribes and with outside income banned it would be much harder for legislators to hide any ill-gotten gains.</p> <p>A number of Assembly Democrats say their conference has seriously discussed the possibility of advocating for a full-time legislative body. In a Dec. 7 <a href="http://www.bronxnet.org/tv/bronxtalk/viewvideo/6546/bronxtalk/bronxtalk--dec-7th-2015" target="_blank">interview</a> with Gary Axelbank of BronxTalk, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie said he wanted to see how stricter income disclosure rules passed last year work before he advocates a total ban on outside income.</p> <p>Heastie told Axelbank a full-time legislature would have to be paid considerably more. "Is the public ready to pay legislators $150,000-$160,000 a year?" Heastie asked. "If you're going to have people go full time, there's going to have to be a hefty pay raise from $79,500." Legislators haven't had a raise in 15 years, though a new commission is examining the rates and will issue recommendations.</p> <p>Majority Leader John Flanagan has repeatedly said he is steadfastly opposed to a full-time legislature. He said it on Wednesday's first session day, and last month he <a href="http://www.nystateofpolitics.com/2015/12/flanagan-remains-opposed-to-full-time-legislature/" target="_blank">told reporters</a>, "We are ostensibly supposed to have, or legally supposed to have, a citizen Legislature or a part-time Legislature. I want the people with a depth of background. I think it's useful to have people from varying walks of life."</p> <p>Still, upon replacing Skelos, Flanagan gave up his second job, a move he explained Wednesday as important because of his time commitment as Senate leader, which comes with a stipend.</p> <p>Gov. Andrew Cuomo has noted that the constitution calls for a part-time legislature and Republican opposition to going full-time, but called the idea "something worth talking about." It's more likely that legislators compromise on a significant cap on outside income and additional rules.</p> <p><strong>LLC Loophole</strong><br />The now-infamous LLC loophole was featured during the Silver and Skelos corruption trials, but has been a cause of consternation among reformers for quite some time. In practice, the loophole allows anyone to game the campaign finance system by setting up multiple LLCs, or limited liability corporations, from which to donate to candidates for office.</p> <p>Cries to close the loophole reached fever pitch last session, but in the wake of the Silver and Skelos trials have become even louder. Glenwood Management, a Manhattan real estate firm at the center of the Silver and Skelos cases, used the loophole to subvert the state's campaign donation limits by creating a number of front companies. The firm has been the largest contributor in the state for years. The Assembly moved to close the loophole last year but the Senate refused to vote on the issue. The Assembly is poised to move again on the issue but it appears that they might face opposition not only from Senate Republicans but from Cuomo as well.</p> <p>Speaking with reporters in Manhattan on Dec. 13, Cuomo said that closing the LLC Loophole was "a priority." However, on Dec. 21, Cuomo said in a WNYC radio interview that closing the loophole would be ineffective because of the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision, which allows for independent expenditures on behalf of candidates.</p> <p>"You need people in office who are going to use their best judgment in office," Cuomo said on WNYC, "because you're not going to change the campaign finance system because of Citizens United."</p> <p>Cuomo also refused to return over a million dollars in donations from Glenwood Management. "If I believed that I could be influenced by a million dollars, or a thousand dollars, or fifty dollars, then I'm in the wrong place and I should resign immediately," <a href="http://www.newsday.com/news/region-state/cuomo-plans-ethics-bills-but-won-t-close-llc-loophole-1.11251226" target="_blank">he explained</a>.</p> <p><strong>Minimum Wage Hike</strong><br />Cuomo kicked off the rollout of his 2016 agenda with another rally for an eventual $15 hourly statewide minimum wage and by extending a path toward $15 per hour to 28,000 SUNY employees. Cuomo has promised to push the legislature to adopt his plan to get all workers across the state to at least $15 per hour over the next several years.</p> <p>Cuomo rapidly evolved his position on the minimum wage last year after opposing a hike to $13 per hour proposed by Democratic legislators. But, he utilized the state's wage board provision to boost the minimum wage plan for fast food workers to an eventual $15 per hour and has rallied across the state to push the legislature to support the same figure.</p> <p>The Assembly pushed for an eventual $15 minimum wage for New York City in its single-house budget last year and is expected to support Cuomo's push. There are some Democratic members from Upstate and Western New York who are concerned about backlash from business groups. Republican Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan has not written off the possibility of a path toward a $15 minimum wage and there are some who think he will look to compromise with Cuomo on the timeline for full implementation of the raise as a way to take the debate off the table before election season.</p> <p>Cuomo has already begun outlining tax reform, especially to reduce the burden on small businesses, which many see as part of the plan to get the minimum wage hike passed. A heightened minimum wage is popular around the state and has endeared the governor with many of his erstwhile liberal friends.</p> <p><strong>Tax on the Rich</strong><br />With one sentence of his remarks on the opening day of session, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie changed the expected dynamics of negotiations to come. "We will fight for a tax structure that promotes fairness, equity, common sense," Heastie said, adding that he wanted tax cuts for the working class and to ask "wealthy New Yorkers" to pay their "fair share."</p> <p>Cuomo has repeatedly rejected calls for a tax on the highest earners over the last few years - especially when the calls came from Mayor Bill de Blasio in 2014. It isn't clear how hard Heastie will push on the issue but if it takes off it could eventually be used as leverage toward enacting a full minimum wage increase.</p> <p><strong>Criminal Justice Reform</strong><br />Last month the Cuomo administration made good on a promised executive action when it unveiled a plan to move 16- and 17-year-old inmates with medium and minimum security classifications to a juvenile facility in Hudson. The move is expected to impact up to 100 inmates. However, advocates are not satisfied. New York is still one of two states to treat 16- and 17-year-olds as adults upon arrest.</p> <p>Criminal justice experts want the entire process changed in state law, something Cuomo has backed and tried to enact last year to no avail.</p> <p>While advocates plan to continue to push, and held a press conference on the first day of session to resume doing so, Cuomo's executive action may have reduced the legislature's appetite to act. A number of Senate Republicans were concerned about housing teens in adult prisons but are not convinced the entire criminal justice process should be altered. Meanwhile, Cuomo and Democrats from the Senate and Assembly have disagreed on exactly how the 16- and 17-year-olds should be processed by the courts.</p> <p>Meanwhile, having failed to build a consensus with the legislature on how to revamp the criminal justice system to address concerns about how police shootings of citizens are investigated, Cuomo issued an executive order last summer allowing the Attorney General to name a special prosecutor in such cases.</p> <p>The move angered some district attorneys and members of law enforcement but gave the governor a boost with progressive activists. However, Cuomo promised to evaluate how the order worked and return to the legislature with a plan to change the law.</p> <p>Members of the Assembly Majority are anxious to tackle the issue but Senate Republicans are unlikely to want to touch it - especially in an election year. A good gauge of where the issue stands in the pecking order will be to see what kind of mention it gets, if any, in Cuomo's State of the State address. A number of legislators say they expect Cuomo to declare victory on both of these criminal justice issues by pointing to his executive actions and thereby avoid any major legislative battles.</p> <p><strong>Car Service Apps</strong><br />In 2015, Mayor Bill de Blasio decided he wanted to limit the expansion of Uber, the most popular car-service app, citing concerns about congestion. It was as if the mayor stepped on a landmine. Uber quickly mobilized its drivers and users and rolled out an effective public relations campaign, even enlisting Cuomo - who may not have needed much prodding to contradict de Blasio.</p> <p>The mayor walked away limping but with plans to return to the issue. Now the state has to decide how to handle Uber and Lyft's push to be allowed in New York, including in upstate cities. In late October, Cuomo indicated that he thinks the state should issue regulations as a whole. "You can't do Uber city by city," <a href="http://www.capitalnewyork.com/article/albany/2015/10/8580407/cuomo-hints-new-de-blasio-fight-time-over-uber" target="_blank">Cuomo said</a>. Cuomo's former top advisor Matt Wing is now in charge of communications for Uber in the Northeast.</p> <p>Localities would need to give up oversight of transportation insurance and allow Uber to pool insurance for its drivers. The taxi industry, which is steadfastly opposed to Uber, is currently regulated city by city.</p> <p><strong>Fantasy Sports Gambling</strong><br />A number of Assembly Democrats are chomping at the bit to address the issue of fantasy sports betting sites like Draftkings and FanDuel, which were recently sued by AG Schneiderman for being illegal gambling in violation of New York law. Schneiderman then amended the suit to ask the companies to return all money it made from New Yorkers. Democratic Assemblymember Gary Pretlow told Gotham Gazette that he plans to come up with regulations, oversight, and consumer protections that could keep the sites alive should they be found illegal in the court battle.</p> <p>Meanwhile, a number of Senate Republicans are interested in ending any ambiguity about the legality of the sites by passing a bill stating that it is a game of skill and not of chance. Sen. Michael Ranzenhofer introduced such a bill in December. He told The Buffalo News in November that he hadn't spoken to representatives of the sites but was motivated by what he saw as Schneiderman's "overreach."</p> <p>"It's just once again. New York shouldn't have Uber, shouldn't have mixed martial arts, or sports betting. When all this commerce and activities is allowed in many other states, it just seems like one issue after another in New York," Ranzenhofer <a href="http://www.buffalonews.com/city-region/state/ranzenhofer-bill-would-make-fantasy-sports-legal-in-new-york-20151116" target="_blank">told the Buffalo News</a>.</p> <p><strong>A Variety of Others</strong><br />Expect a major push from both houses of the legislature to restore education funding cuts.</p> <p>The Ultimate Fighting Championship is advancing a court case to force New York to allow them to hold events in the state and has even booked a spring date at Madison Square Garden to hold its mixed martial arts bouts (MMA). The legislature could intercede before the case is settled.</p> <p>Cuomo has already revealed a number of infrastructure related plans. Senate Republicans are looking to increase investment in the state's roads and bridges upstate while a number of city-based Democrats want to see the governor better invest in the MTA and do more to relieve congestion.</p> <p>A number of Assembly Democrats are looking for partners in the Senate Majority for <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/government/5950-as-cuomo-pushes-for-federal-action-on-guns-new-york-measures-await-his-support" target="_blank">bills that would encourage guns are stored safely</a>. There are several other bills that address implementing employee training and stricter checks and balances for gun stores as well as ones that would allow police to take away guns belonging to perpetrators of domestic violence.</p> <p>Cuomo has been focused on national solutions to gun violence as of late but some Assembly Democrats think there is room <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/government/5950-as-cuomo-pushes-for-federal-action-on-guns-new-york-measures-await-his-support" target="_blank">to pass smaller pieces of legislation</a> this year.</p> <p>The Gender Expression Non Discrimination Act, or GENDA, appears to have lost a great deal of momentum after Cuomo enacted a number of its tenets through executive order earlier this fall. The Empire State Pride Agenda, which had been backing the bill, announced it is closing its policy operations because it feels it has completed much of its work, but some advocates point out that Cuomo's GENDA order could quickly be undone by the next governor.</p> <p>The DREAM Act is another long-standing Democratic priority that many are unsure of its place in this year's agenda, which may be determined by whether Cuomo features it in his State of the State and budget.</p> <p>The Assembly and Senate majorities and the Independent Democratic Conference will have to settle their differences over how to implement paid family leave before they look to negotiate a final bill with the governor. "I'm always optimistic," IDC head Sen. Jeff Klein said of a resolution on paid family leave in November. "It is an extremely important issue resonates with residents across the state." Klein brought the policy up again in his opening remarks on the Senate floor, and Flanagan said a conversation would happen, but that the details must be determined. Heastie said the Assembly would again bass a paid family leave bill this year, as it has several years in a row.</p> <p>Generally speaking, Flanagan succinctly summed up his conference's priorities with his opening remarks on Wednesday, saying its focus will be "jobs, jobs, and jobs."</p> <p>***<br />by David King, Albany editor, Gotham Gazette<br /><a href="https://twitter.com/DavidHowardKing" target="_blank">@DavidHowardKing</a></p> <p><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/images/graphics/2014/03/24195066305_18221d13db_z.jpg" alt="Cuomo announcement infrastructure" height="393" width="600" /></p> <p>Cuomo (photo:&nbsp;Kevin P. Coughlin/Office of the Governor)</p> <hr /> <p>Lawmakers returning to Albany this week to kick off the 2016 legislative session are faced with a litany of unresolved issues from last year and the spectre of the recent convictions of two former legislative leaders.</p> <p>Add to that impending elections for all 213 legislative seats, some of which will be critical for the future of state Senate control and the prospect of future indictments hinted at by U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara and you have a recipe for potential paralysis.</p> <p>Familiar issues like raising the minimum wage, paid family leave, juvenile justice and criminal justice reforms are all on the table. Newer issues like regulating fantasy sports gambling and tweaks to the state's health insurance marketplace will also be up for discussion.</p> <p>Complicating some issues will be Gov. Andrew Cuomo's repeated 2015 use of executive action, which irked some legislators and, according to some advocates, let the air out of pushes for major legislation. But the elephant in the room remains how to deal with the plague of corruption that has dogged the capitol for years.</p> <p>There is a little extra motivation for the legislature to move on more comprehensive ethics fixes - when session ended in June, former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and former Majority Leader Dean Skelos had merely been indicted on federal corruption charges, six months later both men have been convicted and will soon face sentencing. Further, their trials exposed how major donors are able to exploit the state's campaign finance system and how both Silver and Skelos were able to use their influence to pressure entities with business before the state to provide them and their associates with financial benefit.</p> <p>Cuomo has promised that ethics reform will be at the top of his 2016 agenda.</p> <p>Aside from the unprecedented legislative scandal, both houses of the legislature will also be preparing for an election season that many see as do or die for control of the state Senate, currently led by Republicans. Upcoming electoral contests could motivate leaders from both houses to compromise, or it could create more strife, legislative paralysis, and a blame game that will play out in the elections.</p> <p>Still, there are a variety of major policy issues at play as 2016 session begins, including:</p> <p><strong>Full-Time Legislature</strong><br />A number of good government groups, as well as Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and even U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, have posited that a better paid, full-time legislature might reduce certain kinds of corruption. Better pay might reduce the temptation to take bribes and with outside income banned it would be much harder for legislators to hide any ill-gotten gains.</p> <p>A number of Assembly Democrats say their conference has seriously discussed the possibility of advocating for a full-time legislative body. In a Dec. 7 <a href="http://www.bronxnet.org/tv/bronxtalk/viewvideo/6546/bronxtalk/bronxtalk--dec-7th-2015" target="_blank">interview</a> with Gary Axelbank of BronxTalk, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie said he wanted to see how stricter income disclosure rules passed last year work before he advocates a total ban on outside income.</p> <p>Heastie told Axelbank a full-time legislature would have to be paid considerably more. "Is the public ready to pay legislators $150,000-$160,000 a year?" Heastie asked. "If you're going to have people go full time, there's going to have to be a hefty pay raise from $79,500." Legislators haven't had a raise in 15 years, though a new commission is examining the rates and will issue recommendations.</p> <p>Majority Leader John Flanagan has repeatedly said he is steadfastly opposed to a full-time legislature. He said it on Wednesday's first session day, and last month he <a href="http://www.nystateofpolitics.com/2015/12/flanagan-remains-opposed-to-full-time-legislature/" target="_blank">told reporters</a>, "We are ostensibly supposed to have, or legally supposed to have, a citizen Legislature or a part-time Legislature. I want the people with a depth of background. I think it's useful to have people from varying walks of life."</p> <p>Still, upon replacing Skelos, Flanagan gave up his second job, a move he explained Wednesday as important because of his time commitment as Senate leader, which comes with a stipend.</p> <p>Gov. Andrew Cuomo has noted that the constitution calls for a part-time legislature and Republican opposition to going full-time, but called the idea "something worth talking about." It's more likely that legislators compromise on a significant cap on outside income and additional rules.</p> <p><strong>LLC Loophole</strong><br />The now-infamous LLC loophole was featured during the Silver and Skelos corruption trials, but has been a cause of consternation among reformers for quite some time. In practice, the loophole allows anyone to game the campaign finance system by setting up multiple LLCs, or limited liability corporations, from which to donate to candidates for office.</p> <p>Cries to close the loophole reached fever pitch last session, but in the wake of the Silver and Skelos trials have become even louder. Glenwood Management, a Manhattan real estate firm at the center of the Silver and Skelos cases, used the loophole to subvert the state's campaign donation limits by creating a number of front companies. The firm has been the largest contributor in the state for years. The Assembly moved to close the loophole last year but the Senate refused to vote on the issue. The Assembly is poised to move again on the issue but it appears that they might face opposition not only from Senate Republicans but from Cuomo as well.</p> <p>Speaking with reporters in Manhattan on Dec. 13, Cuomo said that closing the LLC Loophole was "a priority." However, on Dec. 21, Cuomo said in a WNYC radio interview that closing the loophole would be ineffective because of the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision, which allows for independent expenditures on behalf of candidates.</p> <p>"You need people in office who are going to use their best judgment in office," Cuomo said on WNYC, "because you're not going to change the campaign finance system because of Citizens United."</p> <p>Cuomo also refused to return over a million dollars in donations from Glenwood Management. "If I believed that I could be influenced by a million dollars, or a thousand dollars, or fifty dollars, then I'm in the wrong place and I should resign immediately," <a href="http://www.newsday.com/news/region-state/cuomo-plans-ethics-bills-but-won-t-close-llc-loophole-1.11251226" target="_blank">he explained</a>.</p> <p><strong>Minimum Wage Hike</strong><br />Cuomo kicked off the rollout of his 2016 agenda with another rally for an eventual $15 hourly statewide minimum wage and by extending a path toward $15 per hour to 28,000 SUNY employees. Cuomo has promised to push the legislature to adopt his plan to get all workers across the state to at least $15 per hour over the next several years.</p> <p>Cuomo rapidly evolved his position on the minimum wage last year after opposing a hike to $13 per hour proposed by Democratic legislators. But, he utilized the state's wage board provision to boost the minimum wage plan for fast food workers to an eventual $15 per hour and has rallied across the state to push the legislature to support the same figure.</p> <p>The Assembly pushed for an eventual $15 minimum wage for New York City in its single-house budget last year and is expected to support Cuomo's push. There are some Democratic members from Upstate and Western New York who are concerned about backlash from business groups. Republican Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan has not written off the possibility of a path toward a $15 minimum wage and there are some who think he will look to compromise with Cuomo on the timeline for full implementation of the raise as a way to take the debate off the table before election season.</p> <p>Cuomo has already begun outlining tax reform, especially to reduce the burden on small businesses, which many see as part of the plan to get the minimum wage hike passed. A heightened minimum wage is popular around the state and has endeared the governor with many of his erstwhile liberal friends.</p> <p><strong>Tax on the Rich</strong><br />With one sentence of his remarks on the opening day of session, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie changed the expected dynamics of negotiations to come. "We will fight for a tax structure that promotes fairness, equity, common sense," Heastie said, adding that he wanted tax cuts for the working class and to ask "wealthy New Yorkers" to pay their "fair share."</p> <p>Cuomo has repeatedly rejected calls for a tax on the highest earners over the last few years - especially when the calls came from Mayor Bill de Blasio in 2014. It isn't clear how hard Heastie will push on the issue but if it takes off it could eventually be used as leverage toward enacting a full minimum wage increase.</p> <p><strong>Criminal Justice Reform</strong><br />Last month the Cuomo administration made good on a promised executive action when it unveiled a plan to move 16- and 17-year-old inmates with medium and minimum security classifications to a juvenile facility in Hudson. The move is expected to impact up to 100 inmates. However, advocates are not satisfied. New York is still one of two states to treat 16- and 17-year-olds as adults upon arrest.</p> <p>Criminal justice experts want the entire process changed in state law, something Cuomo has backed and tried to enact last year to no avail.</p> <p>While advocates plan to continue to push, and held a press conference on the first day of session to resume doing so, Cuomo's executive action may have reduced the legislature's appetite to act. A number of Senate Republicans were concerned about housing teens in adult prisons but are not convinced the entire criminal justice process should be altered. Meanwhile, Cuomo and Democrats from the Senate and Assembly have disagreed on exactly how the 16- and 17-year-olds should be processed by the courts.</p> <p>Meanwhile, having failed to build a consensus with the legislature on how to revamp the criminal justice system to address concerns about how police shootings of citizens are investigated, Cuomo issued an executive order last summer allowing the Attorney General to name a special prosecutor in such cases.</p> <p>The move angered some district attorneys and members of law enforcement but gave the governor a boost with progressive activists. However, Cuomo promised to evaluate how the order worked and return to the legislature with a plan to change the law.</p> <p>Members of the Assembly Majority are anxious to tackle the issue but Senate Republicans are unlikely to want to touch it - especially in an election year. A good gauge of where the issue stands in the pecking order will be to see what kind of mention it gets, if any, in Cuomo's State of the State address. A number of legislators say they expect Cuomo to declare victory on both of these criminal justice issues by pointing to his executive actions and thereby avoid any major legislative battles.</p> <p><strong>Car Service Apps</strong><br />In 2015, Mayor Bill de Blasio decided he wanted to limit the expansion of Uber, the most popular car-service app, citing concerns about congestion. It was as if the mayor stepped on a landmine. Uber quickly mobilized its drivers and users and rolled out an effective public relations campaign, even enlisting Cuomo - who may not have needed much prodding to contradict de Blasio.</p> <p>The mayor walked away limping but with plans to return to the issue. Now the state has to decide how to handle Uber and Lyft's push to be allowed in New York, including in upstate cities. In late October, Cuomo indicated that he thinks the state should issue regulations as a whole. "You can't do Uber city by city," <a href="http://www.capitalnewyork.com/article/albany/2015/10/8580407/cuomo-hints-new-de-blasio-fight-time-over-uber" target="_blank">Cuomo said</a>. Cuomo's former top advisor Matt Wing is now in charge of communications for Uber in the Northeast.</p> <p>Localities would need to give up oversight of transportation insurance and allow Uber to pool insurance for its drivers. The taxi industry, which is steadfastly opposed to Uber, is currently regulated city by city.</p> <p><strong>Fantasy Sports Gambling</strong><br />A number of Assembly Democrats are chomping at the bit to address the issue of fantasy sports betting sites like Draftkings and FanDuel, which were recently sued by AG Schneiderman for being illegal gambling in violation of New York law. Schneiderman then amended the suit to ask the companies to return all money it made from New Yorkers. Democratic Assemblymember Gary Pretlow told Gotham Gazette that he plans to come up with regulations, oversight, and consumer protections that could keep the sites alive should they be found illegal in the court battle.</p> <p>Meanwhile, a number of Senate Republicans are interested in ending any ambiguity about the legality of the sites by passing a bill stating that it is a game of skill and not of chance. Sen. Michael Ranzenhofer introduced such a bill in December. He told The Buffalo News in November that he hadn't spoken to representatives of the sites but was motivated by what he saw as Schneiderman's "overreach."</p> <p>"It's just once again. New York shouldn't have Uber, shouldn't have mixed martial arts, or sports betting. When all this commerce and activities is allowed in many other states, it just seems like one issue after another in New York," Ranzenhofer <a href="http://www.buffalonews.com/city-region/state/ranzenhofer-bill-would-make-fantasy-sports-legal-in-new-york-20151116" target="_blank">told the Buffalo News</a>.</p> <p><strong>A Variety of Others</strong><br />Expect a major push from both houses of the legislature to restore education funding cuts.</p> <p>The Ultimate Fighting Championship is advancing a court case to force New York to allow them to hold events in the state and has even booked a spring date at Madison Square Garden to hold its mixed martial arts bouts (MMA). The legislature could intercede before the case is settled.</p> <p>Cuomo has already revealed a number of infrastructure related plans. Senate Republicans are looking to increase investment in the state's roads and bridges upstate while a number of city-based Democrats want to see the governor better invest in the MTA and do more to relieve congestion.</p> <p>A number of Assembly Democrats are looking for partners in the Senate Majority for <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/government/5950-as-cuomo-pushes-for-federal-action-on-guns-new-york-measures-await-his-support" target="_blank">bills that would encourage guns are stored safely</a>. There are several other bills that address implementing employee training and stricter checks and balances for gun stores as well as ones that would allow police to take away guns belonging to perpetrators of domestic violence.</p> <p>Cuomo has been focused on national solutions to gun violence as of late but some Assembly Democrats think there is room <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/government/5950-as-cuomo-pushes-for-federal-action-on-guns-new-york-measures-await-his-support" target="_blank">to pass smaller pieces of legislation</a> this year.</p> <p>The Gender Expression Non Discrimination Act, or GENDA, appears to have lost a great deal of momentum after Cuomo enacted a number of its tenets through executive order earlier this fall. The Empire State Pride Agenda, which had been backing the bill, announced it is closing its policy operations because it feels it has completed much of its work, but some advocates point out that Cuomo's GENDA order could quickly be undone by the next governor.</p> <p>The DREAM Act is another long-standing Democratic priority that many are unsure of its place in this year's agenda, which may be determined by whether Cuomo features it in his State of the State and budget.</p> <p>The Assembly and Senate majorities and the Independent Democratic Conference will have to settle their differences over how to implement paid family leave before they look to negotiate a final bill with the governor. "I'm always optimistic," IDC head Sen. Jeff Klein said of a resolution on paid family leave in November. "It is an extremely important issue resonates with residents across the state." Klein brought the policy up again in his opening remarks on the Senate floor, and Flanagan said a conversation would happen, but that the details must be determined. Heastie said the Assembly would again bass a paid family leave bill this year, as it has several years in a row.</p> <p>Generally speaking, Flanagan succinctly summed up his conference's priorities with his opening remarks on Wednesday, saying its focus will be "jobs, jobs, and jobs."</p> <p>***<br />by David King, Albany editor, Gotham Gazette<br /><a href="https://twitter.com/DavidHowardKing" target="_blank">@DavidHowardKing</a></p>