Gotham Votes 2013 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/gotham-votes 2017-10-21T23:08:36+00:00 Webmaster webmaster@gothamgazette.com Post-Election Day Reads 2013-11-06T20:01:27+00:00 2013-11-06T20:01:27+00:00 http://www.gothamgazette.com/gotham-votes/4709-post-election-day-reads David Howard King dking@gothamgazette.com <p>If you are anything like us, you are still nursing that Election Night hangover —&nbsp;the kind you get from an overdose of voter data, political theater, electioneering, and the conclusion of months if not years of work in a single blur of a day.</p> <p class="feed-readmore"><a target="_blank" href ="/gotham-votes/4709-post-election-day-reads">Read More ...</a></p> <p>If you are anything like us, you are still nursing that Election Night hangover —&nbsp;the kind you get from an overdose of voter data, political theater, electioneering, and the conclusion of months if not years of work in a single blur of a day.</p> <p class="feed-readmore"><a target="_blank" href ="/gotham-votes/4709-post-election-day-reads">Read More ...</a></p> Bill de Blasio Is First Democrat Elected Mayor In 20 Years 2013-11-06T06:35:54+00:00 2013-11-06T06:35:54+00:00 http://www.gothamgazette.com/gotham-votes/4707-bill-de-blasio-is-first-democrat-elected-mayor-in-20-years Chester Soria csoria@gothamgazette.com <p><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/images/de-blasio-election-night.jpg" alt="de-blasio-election-night" height="283" width="400" /></p> <p>NEW YORK — Bill de Blasio, a seasoned political operative from Brooklyn, proclaimed that the city had chosen a “progressive path” as he became the first Democrat to be elected mayor in more than 20 years on Tuesday.</p> <p>Riding a campaign that tapped into widespread discontent with the direction of the city under Mayor Michael Bloomberg, de Blasio trounced his main rival for the job, Republican Joe Lhota. It was, in many ways, a stunning victory for a candidate who only months earlier was best known, if at all, as the city’s public advocate, a relatively powerless position that serves as a gadfly to the mayor.</p> <p class="feed-readmore"><a target="_blank" href ="/gotham-votes/4707-bill-de-blasio-is-first-democrat-elected-mayor-in-20-years">Read More ...</a></p> <p><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/images/de-blasio-election-night.jpg" alt="de-blasio-election-night" height="283" width="400" /></p> <p>NEW YORK — Bill de Blasio, a seasoned political operative from Brooklyn, proclaimed that the city had chosen a “progressive path” as he became the first Democrat to be elected mayor in more than 20 years on Tuesday.</p> <p>Riding a campaign that tapped into widespread discontent with the direction of the city under Mayor Michael Bloomberg, de Blasio trounced his main rival for the job, Republican Joe Lhota. It was, in many ways, a stunning victory for a candidate who only months earlier was best known, if at all, as the city’s public advocate, a relatively powerless position that serves as a gadfly to the mayor.</p> <p class="feed-readmore"><a target="_blank" href ="/gotham-votes/4707-bill-de-blasio-is-first-democrat-elected-mayor-in-20-years">Read More ...</a></p> Cuomo Wins Big With Casino Ballot Measure 2013-11-06T06:16:09+00:00 2013-11-06T06:16:09+00:00 http://www.gothamgazette.com/gotham-votes/4706-cuomo-wins-big-with-casino-ballot-measure David Howard King dking@gothamgazette.com <p>Gov. Andrew Cuomo scored a huge victory at the polls on Tuesday — and his name wasn’t even on the ballot.</p> <p>Cuomo may not have had his name on the ballot but a measure to allow casino gambling in the state, which was approved by voters with a margin of about 57 to 43, was largely the governor’s making. After all, he spent two years shepherding the bill through the state Legislature while his administration helped write the glowing language that voters read before filling in the ‘yes’ or ‘no’ boxes on Election Day.</p> <p class="feed-readmore"><a target="_blank" href ="/gotham-votes/4706-cuomo-wins-big-with-casino-ballot-measure">Read More ...</a></p> <p>Gov. Andrew Cuomo scored a huge victory at the polls on Tuesday — and his name wasn’t even on the ballot.</p> <p>Cuomo may not have had his name on the ballot but a measure to allow casino gambling in the state, which was approved by voters with a margin of about 57 to 43, was largely the governor’s making. After all, he spent two years shepherding the bill through the state Legislature while his administration helped write the glowing language that voters read before filling in the ‘yes’ or ‘no’ boxes on Election Day.</p> <p class="feed-readmore"><a target="_blank" href ="/gotham-votes/4706-cuomo-wins-big-with-casino-ballot-measure">Read More ...</a></p> Complaints About Tiny Type On Ballots, Broken Machines On Election Day 2013-11-05T22:48:07+00:00 2013-11-05T22:48:07+00:00 http://www.gothamgazette.com/gotham-votes/4704-nypirg-reports-from-the-polls David Howard King dking@gothamgazette.com <p><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/images/votehere.jpg" alt="votehere" height="298" width="445" /></p> <p>Small print on ballots and broken optical scanning machines were among the problems reported by voters to a helpline set up by the New York Public Interest Research Group. The good-government group also surveyed 31 poll sites and found malfunctioning scanners at 19 of them.</p> <p class="feed-readmore"><a target="_blank" href ="/gotham-votes/4704-nypirg-reports-from-the-polls">Read More ...</a></p> <p><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/images/votehere.jpg" alt="votehere" height="298" width="445" /></p> <p>Small print on ballots and broken optical scanning machines were among the problems reported by voters to a helpline set up by the New York Public Interest Research Group. The good-government group also surveyed 31 poll sites and found malfunctioning scanners at 19 of them.</p> <p class="feed-readmore"><a target="_blank" href ="/gotham-votes/4704-nypirg-reports-from-the-polls">Read More ...</a></p> Voters Squint As They Choose New Mayor 2013-11-05T19:12:15+00:00 2013-11-05T19:12:15+00:00 http://www.gothamgazette.com/gotham-votes/4703-voters-squint-as-they-choose-new-mayor Chester Soria csoria@gothamgazette.com <p><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/images/de-blasio-general-election.jpg" alt="de-blasio-general-election" height="299" width="400" /></p> <p>The <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/eye-opener/4701-todays-lead-de-blasio-leads-in-poll">polls might have predicted a winner</a> long ago, but both of the two leading mayoral candidates were smiling as they headed into their voting booths on Election Day.</p> <p>Like on the day of the primary, Democrat Bill de Blasio again cast his vote at the Park Slope public library with his wife Chirlane. Unlike last time, however, they were joined by son Dante and daughter Chiara. The family showed up later than the campaign planned but with good reason.</p> <p>Chiara, who is going to college in California, surprised them at the family’s front door after telling her candidate father that she couldn’t join the family on election night.</p> <p>“It turned out it was all a clever ruse from my family,” said the outgoing public advocate. He added that he “was not sleeping in,” <a href="http://politicker.com/2013/11/bill-de-blasio-admits-hes-not-a-morning-person/">in reference to recent stories that he was over an hour late to a campaign event</a> because he had overslept. “Sorry, Joe Lhota,” de Blasio said.</p> <p class="feed-readmore"><a target="_blank" href ="/gotham-votes/4703-voters-squint-as-they-choose-new-mayor">Read More ...</a></p> <p><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/images/de-blasio-general-election.jpg" alt="de-blasio-general-election" height="299" width="400" /></p> <p>The <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/eye-opener/4701-todays-lead-de-blasio-leads-in-poll">polls might have predicted a winner</a> long ago, but both of the two leading mayoral candidates were smiling as they headed into their voting booths on Election Day.</p> <p>Like on the day of the primary, Democrat Bill de Blasio again cast his vote at the Park Slope public library with his wife Chirlane. Unlike last time, however, they were joined by son Dante and daughter Chiara. The family showed up later than the campaign planned but with good reason.</p> <p>Chiara, who is going to college in California, surprised them at the family’s front door after telling her candidate father that she couldn’t join the family on election night.</p> <p>“It turned out it was all a clever ruse from my family,” said the outgoing public advocate. He added that he “was not sleeping in,” <a href="http://politicker.com/2013/11/bill-de-blasio-admits-hes-not-a-morning-person/">in reference to recent stories that he was over an hour late to a campaign event</a> because he had overslept. “Sorry, Joe Lhota,” de Blasio said.</p> <p class="feed-readmore"><a target="_blank" href ="/gotham-votes/4703-voters-squint-as-they-choose-new-mayor">Read More ...</a></p> In Round 3, Neither Mayoral Candidate Lands a Knockout 2013-10-31T08:46:42+00:00 2013-10-31T08:46:42+00:00 http://www.gothamgazette.com/gotham-votes/4695-in-round-3-neither-mayoral-candidate-lands-a-knockout Chester Soria csoria@gothamgazette.com <p><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/images/mayoral-debate-oct-31.jpg" alt="mayoral-debate-oct-31" height="250" width="400" /></p> <p>In the final mayoral debate between the two leading candidates, Joe Lhota likened himself to Rocky Balboa and rival Bill de Blasio to Soviet boxer Ivan Drago.</p> <p>But instead of the climactic knockdown fight of 1985’s Rocky III, last night’s match between the Republican and Democratic candidates was more like Waiting for Godot.</p> <p>Rehashing much of the past seven weeks of back and forth between the two candidates, Lhota and de Blasio ran through the motions of where they stand on many of the same issues they had previously sparred over: union contract negotiations, resiliency post-Superstorm Sandy, stop-and-frisk, charter schools and more.</p> <p class="feed-readmore"><a target="_blank" href ="/gotham-votes/4695-in-round-3-neither-mayoral-candidate-lands-a-knockout">Read More ...</a></p> <p><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/images/mayoral-debate-oct-31.jpg" alt="mayoral-debate-oct-31" height="250" width="400" /></p> <p>In the final mayoral debate between the two leading candidates, Joe Lhota likened himself to Rocky Balboa and rival Bill de Blasio to Soviet boxer Ivan Drago.</p> <p>But instead of the climactic knockdown fight of 1985’s Rocky III, last night’s match between the Republican and Democratic candidates was more like Waiting for Godot.</p> <p>Rehashing much of the past seven weeks of back and forth between the two candidates, Lhota and de Blasio ran through the motions of where they stand on many of the same issues they had previously sparred over: union contract negotiations, resiliency post-Superstorm Sandy, stop-and-frisk, charter schools and more.</p> <p class="feed-readmore"><a target="_blank" href ="/gotham-votes/4695-in-round-3-neither-mayoral-candidate-lands-a-knockout">Read More ...</a></p> Court Ruling Clears Way For Unlimited PAC Spending For Lhota 2013-10-24T19:53:26+00:00 2013-10-24T19:53:26+00:00 http://www.gothamgazette.com/gotham-votes/4674-court-ruling-clears-way-for-unlimited-pac-spending-for-lhota Chester Soria csoria@gothamgazette.com <p><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/images/lhota-pac.jpg" alt="lhota-pac" height="308" width="400" /></p> <p>A PAC supporting Republican mayoral candidate Joe Lhota can now receive donations that exceed the $150,000 limit under state law.</p> <p>A three-judge panel today overturned a lower court’s decision preventing the New York Progress and Protection PAC from receiving contributions that exceed the state’s maximum. As a result, the political action committee can now make unlimited independent expenditures in the mayoral race. By law, PACs can’t coordinate with candidates.</p> <p class="feed-readmore"><a target="_blank" href ="/gotham-votes/4674-court-ruling-clears-way-for-unlimited-pac-spending-for-lhota">Read More ...</a></p> <p><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/images/lhota-pac.jpg" alt="lhota-pac" height="308" width="400" /></p> <p>A PAC supporting Republican mayoral candidate Joe Lhota can now receive donations that exceed the $150,000 limit under state law.</p> <p>A three-judge panel today overturned a lower court’s decision preventing the New York Progress and Protection PAC from receiving contributions that exceed the state’s maximum. As a result, the political action committee can now make unlimited independent expenditures in the mayoral race. By law, PACs can’t coordinate with candidates.</p> <p class="feed-readmore"><a target="_blank" href ="/gotham-votes/4674-court-ruling-clears-way-for-unlimited-pac-spending-for-lhota">Read More ...</a></p> Lhota and De Blasio Attack Each Other in 2nd Debate 2013-10-23T04:12:04+00:00 2013-10-23T04:12:04+00:00 http://www.gothamgazette.com/gotham-votes/4667-lhota-and-de-blasio-attack-each-other-in-2nd-debate Gotham Gazette Staff ggstaff@gothamgazette.com <p>In a blistering second debate last night, Bill de Blasio and Joe Lhota attacked each other on public safety, taxes and the legacies of the mayors they once served.</p> <p>“When you go to vote on Nov. 5,” asked Republican and former subways chief Lhota in his closing statement, “do you want your vote to be safe or sorry?”</p> <p>Democrat De Blasio, the outgoing public advocate, finessed his parting thoughts differently.</p> <p>“We need a safe city and we need a fair city,” de Blasio said.</p> <p class="feed-readmore"><a target="_blank" href ="/gotham-votes/4667-lhota-and-de-blasio-attack-each-other-in-2nd-debate">Read More ...</a></p> <p>In a blistering second debate last night, Bill de Blasio and Joe Lhota attacked each other on public safety, taxes and the legacies of the mayors they once served.</p> <p>“When you go to vote on Nov. 5,” asked Republican and former subways chief Lhota in his closing statement, “do you want your vote to be safe or sorry?”</p> <p>Democrat De Blasio, the outgoing public advocate, finessed his parting thoughts differently.</p> <p>“We need a safe city and we need a fair city,” de Blasio said.</p> <p class="feed-readmore"><a target="_blank" href ="/gotham-votes/4667-lhota-and-de-blasio-attack-each-other-in-2nd-debate">Read More ...</a></p> It Ain’t Easy Being Green 2013-10-22T20:54:24+00:00 2013-10-22T20:54:24+00:00 http://www.gothamgazette.com/gotham-votes/4665-it-aint-easy-being-green David Howard King dking@gothamgazette.com <p><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/images/fists-in-air.jpg" alt="fists-in-air" height="396" width="600" /></p> <p>ALBANY, N.Y. — In a country nearly 8,000 miles away from the United States, being a member of the Green Party carries no stigma, no automatic dismissal by the press or pollsters, no brushoff from other parties.</p> <p>Instead, what set Lynne Serpe apart in New Zealand, where she worked as a national voting reform coordinator, was her American accent. It made her so recognizable she didn’t have to introduce herself on the phone. But it wasn’t just the novelty of being an American that made her an important player in politics.</p> <p>Serpe said that New Zealand regularly has five political parties at the negotiating table — including the one she belongs to: the Green Party. “And they get things done,” said Serpe, who helped set up instant runoff voting in the island nation and did advocacy for Green Party legislators.</p> <p>Serpe hopes her work on community initiatives — not her accent — will help her stand out to voters in Queens’ 22nd City Council District as she <a href="http://www.serpeforcouncil.org">campaigns</a> as the Green Party candidate to replace Peter Vallone. Serpe is involved in a number of grassroots initiatives, food scrap recycling programs, works as a consultant to the Queens Library and already ran for the seat in 2009, garnering nearly 34 percent of the vote.</p> <p class="feed-readmore"><a target="_blank" href ="/gotham-votes/4665-it-aint-easy-being-green">Read More ...</a></p> <p><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/images/fists-in-air.jpg" alt="fists-in-air" height="396" width="600" /></p> <p>ALBANY, N.Y. — In a country nearly 8,000 miles away from the United States, being a member of the Green Party carries no stigma, no automatic dismissal by the press or pollsters, no brushoff from other parties.</p> <p>Instead, what set Lynne Serpe apart in New Zealand, where she worked as a national voting reform coordinator, was her American accent. It made her so recognizable she didn’t have to introduce herself on the phone. But it wasn’t just the novelty of being an American that made her an important player in politics.</p> <p>Serpe said that New Zealand regularly has five political parties at the negotiating table — including the one she belongs to: the Green Party. “And they get things done,” said Serpe, who helped set up instant runoff voting in the island nation and did advocacy for Green Party legislators.</p> <p>Serpe hopes her work on community initiatives — not her accent — will help her stand out to voters in Queens’ 22nd City Council District as she <a href="http://www.serpeforcouncil.org">campaigns</a> as the Green Party candidate to replace Peter Vallone. Serpe is involved in a number of grassroots initiatives, food scrap recycling programs, works as a consultant to the Queens Library and already ran for the seat in 2009, garnering nearly 34 percent of the vote.</p> <p class="feed-readmore"><a target="_blank" href ="/gotham-votes/4665-it-aint-easy-being-green">Read More ...</a></p> Campaign Trail: Weekend Update 2013-10-21T17:13:06+00:00 2013-10-21T17:13:06+00:00 http://www.gothamgazette.com/gotham-votes/4663-campaign-trail-weekend-update-sp-80077042 Gotham Gazette Staff ggstaff@gothamgazette.com <p>Republican mayoral candidate Joe Lhota has a lot of ground to cover before the general election in two weeks, and some GOP observers aren’t confident that the former MTA chief’s campaign has the political wherewithal to pull it off. [<a href="http://www.nydailynews.com/news/election/lhota-campaign-disaster-gop-article-1.1490647">NYDN</a>]</p> <p>Lhota disagreed, adding that “comments from the cheap seats mean nothing.” [<a href="http://www.nydailynews.com/news/election/lhota-campaign-fine-article-1.1491200">NYDN</a>]</p> <p>Meanwhile, Lhota also tweeted to another Daily News report that his Democratic rival Bill de Blasio had a front row seat to the Crown Heights riots in 1991, when de Blasio was an aide in Mayor David Dinkins’ administration. [<a href="http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/bill-de-blasio-front-row-seat-crown-heights-riots-article-1.1490764">NYDN</a>]</p> <p>“It doesn't appear from the Daily News piece that de Blasio played any major part in the city's response to the riots,” wrote the Village Voice. [<a href="http://blogs.villagevoice.com/runninscared/2013/10/joe_lhota_bill_de_blasio_crown_heights_riots_orthodox_jewish.php">Village Voice</a>]</p> <p>Political consultant and former Koch advisor Luis Miranda told WNYC that Indepdendece Party candidate Adolfo Carrion’s dragging campaign for mayor belies his former political promise: “ I just thinking leaving the Democratic party killed his chances of being in elected office.” [<a href="http://www.wnyc.org/story/adolfo-carrions-independent-streak/">WNYC</a>]</p> <p>Republican mayoral candidate Joe Lhota has a lot of ground to cover before the general election in two weeks, and some GOP observers aren’t confident that the former MTA chief’s campaign has the political wherewithal to pull it off. [<a href="http://www.nydailynews.com/news/election/lhota-campaign-disaster-gop-article-1.1490647">NYDN</a>]</p> <p>Lhota disagreed, adding that “comments from the cheap seats mean nothing.” [<a href="http://www.nydailynews.com/news/election/lhota-campaign-fine-article-1.1491200">NYDN</a>]</p> <p>Meanwhile, Lhota also tweeted to another Daily News report that his Democratic rival Bill de Blasio had a front row seat to the Crown Heights riots in 1991, when de Blasio was an aide in Mayor David Dinkins’ administration. [<a href="http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/bill-de-blasio-front-row-seat-crown-heights-riots-article-1.1490764">NYDN</a>]</p> <p>“It doesn't appear from the Daily News piece that de Blasio played any major part in the city's response to the riots,” wrote the Village Voice. [<a href="http://blogs.villagevoice.com/runninscared/2013/10/joe_lhota_bill_de_blasio_crown_heights_riots_orthodox_jewish.php">Village Voice</a>]</p> <p>Political consultant and former Koch advisor Luis Miranda told WNYC that Indepdendece Party candidate Adolfo Carrion’s dragging campaign for mayor belies his former political promise: “ I just thinking leaving the Democratic party killed his chances of being in elected office.” [<a href="http://www.wnyc.org/story/adolfo-carrions-independent-streak/">WNYC</a>]</p> De Blasio Tries To Link Lhota To Nat'l GOP In Mayoral Debate 2013-10-16T05:20:58+00:00 2013-10-16T05:20:58+00:00 http://www.gothamgazette.com/gotham-votes/4656-de-blasio-tries-to-link-lhota-to-natl-gop-in-mayoral-debate Gotham Gazette Staff ggstaff@gothamgazette.com <p>In their first televised mayoral debate, Democratic candidate Bill de Blasio tried to link rival Republican Joe Lhota to the national GOP brand that has been attacked for its role in the federal government shutdown.</p> <p>Throughout the hour-long debate at WABC-TV studios on the Upper West Side on Tuesday night, de Blasio put Lhota on the defensive about the rival candidate’s ties to the national Republican Party. Lhota tried to beat back.</p> <p class="feed-readmore"><a target="_blank" href ="/gotham-votes/4656-de-blasio-tries-to-link-lhota-to-natl-gop-in-mayoral-debate">Read More ...</a></p> <p>In their first televised mayoral debate, Democratic candidate Bill de Blasio tried to link rival Republican Joe Lhota to the national GOP brand that has been attacked for its role in the federal government shutdown.</p> <p>Throughout the hour-long debate at WABC-TV studios on the Upper West Side on Tuesday night, de Blasio put Lhota on the defensive about the rival candidate’s ties to the national Republican Party. Lhota tried to beat back.</p> <p class="feed-readmore"><a target="_blank" href ="/gotham-votes/4656-de-blasio-tries-to-link-lhota-to-natl-gop-in-mayoral-debate">Read More ...</a></p> You May Have To Squint To Read The Ballot 2013-10-16T03:34:05+00:00 2013-10-16T03:34:05+00:00 http://www.gothamgazette.com/gotham-votes/4655-you-may-have-to-squint-to-read-novembers-ballot Gotham Gazette Staff ggstaff@gothamgazette.com <p>The ballots for November's election will be printed in 6-point font, the smallest size ever used by the city's Board of Elections.</p> <p>The font size is so small that board officials say they may offer anyone struggling to read the ballot specialized devices typically used by people who are visually impaired.</p> <p>“This was the best decision we could make in this election cycle considering the challenges we were facing with the complexity of the ballot,” Board of Elections Executive Director Michael Ryan said at the meeting.</p> <p class="feed-readmore"><a target="_blank" href ="/gotham-votes/4655-you-may-have-to-squint-to-read-novembers-ballot">Read More ...</a></p> <p>The ballots for November's election will be printed in 6-point font, the smallest size ever used by the city's Board of Elections.</p> <p>The font size is so small that board officials say they may offer anyone struggling to read the ballot specialized devices typically used by people who are visually impaired.</p> <p>“This was the best decision we could make in this election cycle considering the challenges we were facing with the complexity of the ballot,” Board of Elections Executive Director Michael Ryan said at the meeting.</p> <p class="feed-readmore"><a target="_blank" href ="/gotham-votes/4655-you-may-have-to-squint-to-read-novembers-ballot">Read More ...</a></p>