What Does The Election Mean for New York?
For New Yorkers who voted 3 to 1 in favor of Democrat John Kerry on Election Day, the initial reaction to George W. Bush's reelection was one of shock, frustration, and anger.
In lower Manhattan, a woman wept on the street corner as she watched Kerry's concession speech through a bar window. Internet message boards and blogs flooded with angry postings questioning how people in the Midwest could rank terrorism and the war in Iraq as less important than "moral values." Some wondered out loud if they could move to Canada.
Even politicians, who are rarely at a loss for words, were dumbfounded. When asked about the election result, City Council Speaker Gifford Miller swallowed hard like he had been hit in the gut and said, "It was a bad day."
Not all New Yorkers shared in the sense of the collective mourning -- "The demographic center of power keeps shifting to the West," said Fred Siegel, a professor at Cooper Union. "Come to grips with it." -- but even Siegel concedes that with a huge deficit, a war in Iraq, and increased spending on anti-terrorism, there is little money for domestic issues: "We're in a bad position in Washington regardless of who's in power."
But George W. Bush is in power. And his administration's policies will surely affect the daily life of New Yorkers.
When the Republicans came to New York for their national convention this summer, each day featured a different general theme, such as "A Safer World," "Opportunity," and "People of Compassion." Just how those feel-good slogans will translate into policies presents many unanswered questions about what President Bush will or will not do for New York over the next four years.
- How Will the Election Affect the Economy?
- When Will New York Get the Help Promised After 9/11?
- Will New York Get its Share of Anti-Terrorism Funding?
- Will the Schools Improve or Get Worse?
- Will Bush Overhaul the Supreme Court?
- Are New Yorkers' Civil Rights at Risk?
- How Does Bloomberg Fit In?
- Related Links
New York's economy is fueled by many different sources: Wall Street and large corporations, middle-class workers, small business owners, and the working poor. What President Bush thinks is good for one segment of the city's economy is, of course, not always good for the rest of it.
Two days after the election, President George W. Bush outlined plans for his next term and promised to continue $1.9 trillion worth of tax cuts over the next 10 years, overhaul the tax system, and push for the partial privatization of Social Security, which would allow people to invest a portion of their Social Security in the stock market.
Wall Street loved it. The Dow Jones industrials gained more than 177 points for its best day of the year, and the S&P 500 closed at its highest level since 2002.
"The reelection of George W. Bush is a tremendously good thing for New York," said E.J. McMahon of the Manhattan Institute. "His policies favor investment."
In New York, the general rule is that when Wall Street does well, so does the city; every $1 billion in Wall Street profits translates to $77 million in tax revenue for the New York, according to the mayor's office. Many of the city's gains of the 1990's - more police, cleaner streets, and improved parks - resulted from money made in the stock market boom.
Still exactly how the president plans to implement his economic plans remains unclear.
On the privatization of Social Security, Bush has not said how he will continue to pay for benefits of retirees if taxes of current workers are diverted to private accounts. The president said he would begin the process by having Congress consider a report on the private accounts, which was authored by the former New York Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan.
For the time being, Wall Street seems glad that the election - and the uncertainty - is over. And those who support Bush's pro-business economic agenda argue that New York businesses will much better under Bush than they would have under John Kerry.
"New York's long-term economic fate remains in its own hands," McMahon wrote in the New York Sun. "Four more years of Mr. Bush will at least ensure that the federal government is a help, not a hindrance, to New York's prospects for growth."
How Will the Election Affect the City Economy? - The Middle-Class
Taxpayer President George W. Bush has made two distinct campaign promises that are likely to complicate and further compromise our city and national fiscal condition. One is the simplification of the tax code and the other is making his tax cuts permanent.
Both will further increase the federal budget deficit, add to the national debt, and squeeze discretionary domestic spending that could help New York.
Bush has not said exactly how he plans to simplify the tax code.
For most conservatives, tax simplification means replacing progressive taxes, like the federal personal income tax, with a regressive "flat tax," often some kind of national sales tax. (The newly elected Republican senator from South Carolina has proposed a 23 percent national sales tax.)
In the past, the president has supported the idea of a national sales tax, but that will only be one of the options that will be considered. Such a tax would be consistent with the premise of Bush's basic tax policy - redistributing the nation's tax burden from the wealthy to the middle and working classes - but is only one of the options reportedly being considered.
The impact of Bush's first-term tax cut policy was outlined in a January Gotham Gazette article, "Bush Tax Cuts and New York": In 2001 and 2003 Bush tax cuts produced over $1 trillion in benefits over six years, but - because the president borrowed to pay for the tax cuts - largely contributed to budget deficits now over $400 billion a year, skyrocketing national debt now at $7.4 trillion, and an increasing gap between rich and poor (especially in New York).
Since then, two other tax cut bills have been signed into law that exacerbate the deficit and debt problems. The September extension of some of the first-term tax cuts was also paid for with more borrowing ($146 billion over 10 years) and benefits the wealthy more than the middle-class, according to the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities.
In addition, the October $210 billion corporate tax cut bill, a pork-barrel bonanza, will not protect its primary target -- manufacturing jobs - and won't pay for itself as promised, says a recent Citizens for Tax Justice report. (in pdf format)
It's in this budget-busting, debt-financing context that President Bush now promises a simpler system. But the current tax policy looks all too simple already: It's a radical, fiscally irresponsible tax policy that serves corporate and wealthy America very well, but has yet to serve any useful social or economic purpose.
How Will the Election Affect the Economy? - The Poor and Working Class
Neither President George W. Bush nor Senator John Kerry spent much time on the campaign trail discussing how to help the poorest Americans. Now, though, Congress and the Bush administration will have no choice but to act.
Given the limited amount of funds available for domestic programs and the Bush administration's record on social issues, advocates for the poor are worried.
"Overall the looming deficit is going to put - as it was intended to put - increased pressure to cut domestic programs, particularly social programs" such as welfare, housing and Food Stamps, said Nancy Rankin, director of policy, research and advocacy for the Community Service Society.
With about 1.5 million New Yorkers living in poverty, these programs have a big impact on the city.
Welfare will certainly be on the agenda. Congress has tried since 2002 to reauthorize the sweeping 1996 welfare reform act and failed to reach an agreement. Many of the disputes have been along party lines, with Democrats in the Senate trying to hike funding for childcare and, earlier this fall, to link the welfare bill to an increase in the minimum wage.
The increased Republican majority could make it easier for Republicans to pass their version of a welfare bill. President Bush has proposed putting additional requirements on welfare recipients, such as making them work more hours, but also called for increasing the average amount of money a family on public assistance would receive. Republicans have proposed tighter requirements on what constitutes work - something opponents say would make it more difficult for welfare recipients to go to school or get job training - and want to encourage welfare recipients to get married.
With its high housing costs, federal housing programs are particularly important to New York. The administration backed away from several measures that would have cut housing aid to the city - particularly the Housing voucher plan known as Section 8 - earlier this year. The program helps pay the rent for 220,000 New Yorkers, but three times that number are eligible.
But, as Joe Lamport reported in Gotham Gazette, "the housing voucher program will still face significant cuts next year, advocates fear, particularly if President George W. Bush is reelected."
Some of these changes may be hard to detect. "HUD is doing its best using administrative changes to cut aid," said Rankin. "It's a stealth tactic. You donâ€št say openly, 'Let's cut spending.' You just make these administrative changes," such as altering the formula for determining market value rents under Section 8.
One proposal has been to pay for the cost of the Section 8 housing program by cutting other housing initiatives like block grants, supportive living, and public housing. "The administration is rewriting 80 years of federal housing policy," said Joe Weisbord of the group Housing First.
Faith Based Initiatives
For his part, Bush has vowed to continue his policies of supporting religious groups that do charity work.
This could help some of the many religious groups in New York that provide services such as shelters and food programs. But the impact of faith-based initiative programs may be less than its supporters would like.
A recent report by the Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government found that federal and state budget crunches have put a crimp in funding for such efforts.
Beyond specific poverty programs, a number of other, broader policies have a disproportionate effect on low income New Yorkers. These include certain health care programs, the minimum wage, some tax policies and family and medical leave plans.
Bush has opposed any increase in the minimum wage for now. "This is still a recovering economy and you don't want to do anything to weaken it, so the president knows we need to be careful and cautious," said John Bailey, deputy policy director for the Bush-Cheney campaign, told the Detroit Press in October.
As long as the federal minimum wage remains where it has been since 1997 - at $5.15 an hour - pressure grows on New York State to increase its own minimum wage. This year, the legislature increased the wage, but Governor George Pataki vetoed the raise.
How Will The Election Affect the Economy?
Small Businesses and Neighborhood Development
Small business development played a prominent role in this presidential season as both candidates struggled to explain how they would create jobs in an economy that continues to under perform in employment terms. Both George W. Bush and John Kerry ran on platforms in which tax incentives, reduced regulatory impediments and lower business-related insurance costs were all promised to the small business community.
Unfortunately, New York was not counted among Bush's red state constituency. More importantly, battle ground states, areas which have not yet successfully made the transition from a manufacturing-based economy to a "new economy", have become the prime focus of domestic agenda discussions, especially those regarding job "outsourcing."
In a political environment like this, it will be difficult for community development concerns in New York to receive much attention during the next four years, especially when Bush will be under increasing pressure to reduce the deficit while maintaining his promise to continue cutting taxes.
Whereas former President Bill Clinton directed capital into poor urban (and rural) areas such as Harlem through initiatives like the Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) fund and Empowerment Zones, Bush's newly conceived "Opportunity Zones" explicitly reference and cater to "economies in transition." Perhaps most conspicuously, Opportunity Zones are big on tax incentives for small businesses, but fail to make investment capital available, something New York-based businesses routinely clamor for.
This reliance on tax incentives, not to mention free-market forces, deregulation, and corporate self-policing, defines the Bush community-building approach. The "Ownership Society" that he invokes is one in which socio-economic safety nets are privatized and the government for the most part gets out of the way of the individual's pursuit of the American dream.
Most notably, Bush has cut funding for Section 8 housing vouchers and the Small Business Administration and is supportive of the weakening of the Community Reinvestment Act.
While fair banking advocates might at first glance be encouraged by Bush's vow to fight predatory lending practices, they will be disappointed to discover that his prescriptions are limited to home ownership counseling. As a point of comparison, Kerry had promised to maintain funding for low-income housing; build a permanent trust fund for affordable housing production; create a 170 million small business investment fund; oppose the weakening of Community Reinvestment Act and support national legislation to fight predatory lending practices.
In his victory speech, Bush declared he would reach across the aisle and try to find common ground with those who did not vote for him There are many, particularly those in low- and moderate-income neighborhoods here in New York, who hope this comes true.
Before President George W. Bush fulfills any new campaign promises, some New Yorkers say he should make good on the ones he made in the last term.
In the days following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, President Bush promised $20 billion in federal aid to help rebuild New York and its economy.
The $20 billion, which came in the form of cash, grants, bonds, and tax relief, was divided roughly with: -$6.3 billion in emergency response funding in the immediate weeks after the attack -$4.4 billion in economic recovery grants -$9.7 billion for long term rebuilding projects.
By this summer, it looked as if Bush had delivered.
The federal government had allocated about $18 billion in promised aid and a few weeks before the Republican National Convention, President Bush, at the urging of politicians like Governor George Pataki, supported a plan to let the city use the remaining $2 billion in tax relief to help build a rail link between Lower Manhattan and John F. Kennedy airport.
However, when it came time to vote on the measure, House Republicans opposed it. New York Senators Charles Schumer and Hillary Clinton blamed the White House for the bill's demise.
"I hope this was more than a pre-convention gimmick and that next year the White House will persuade the House to go along with it," said Schumer.
A spokesperson for the White House said at the time that the administration was still working on the issue and "make sure the president's full $20 billion commitment to New York is met."
Schumer has said that the measure is popular enough to pass if the president backs it. But some question if the Republicans, who already enjoyed their summer party in New York, have any incentive to come to the aid of the city.
"I'm not sure we're going to able to count on getting a lot of support from President Bush or this Congress," said Jonathan Bowles of the think-tank Center for an Urban Future.
New York State currently ranks 49th among the 50 states in per capita Homeland Security funding. In 2004, New York State received $5.47 per capita in Homeland Security grants, while North Dakota received $30.42 per capita and Wyoming received $38.31.
And the city's funding has been cut from $188 million in 2003 to approximately $96 million in 2004, according to Commissioner Joseph Bruno of the city's Office of Emergency Management. At that time, Bruno said that city agencies had identified $1 billion in funding needs.
City and state politicians have been lobbying for New York to receive a greater share of federal money, arguing that the city faces a much greater terrorism threat, but those efforts have yet to pay off, tied up in broader homeland security legislation.
Last month, bi-partisan legislation in the Senate and House, drafted primarily to create a new national intelligence director and implement some reforms recommended by the 9/11 commission, included as amendments changes to the formula used to allocate federal funding.
New York Senator Charles Schumer touted an amendment that would allow federal funding to flow directly to New York, bypassing state authorities.
In the House, however, 11 of the 13 representatives from the city voted against a similar intelligence reform bill that included an amendment, which would have boosted funding for the city. They cited concerns about parts of the bill that would have tightened immigration laws and expanded the Patriot Act. The bill passed anyway, and efforts to reach a compromise between the two bills (the Senate bill says less about expanding the Patriot Act) failed before the election, leading some observers to argue that the reforms recommended by the 9/11 Commission are simply a non-issue for many Americans. (Each of the city Democrats who voted against the House bill won reelection.)
Now that the election is over, it would seem likely that some reforms based on the 9/11 Commission may have a chance of passing, and the politics involved in whittling a compromise would seem to bode well for efforts to get New York more homeland security dollars - unless partisan intransigency carries the day.
- Jaime Adame
When George W. Bush ran for president in 2000, he pledged that he would be "the education president." And on the campaign trail this year, he repeatedly cited his No Child Left Behind law - a federal measure aimed at setting standards for the nation's public elementary and middle schools - as one of the key achievements of his first term. But Bush set out few, if any, new initiatives for education in this year's campaign.
One thing the president has indicated he would like to do is extend No Child Left Behind's standards - set by states and measured by standardized tests - to high schools. "As we make progress, we will require a rigorous exam before graduation," Bush said in his acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention in September.
But Joseph Viteritti, a Hunter College professor and expert on education policy, expects any such change to have little impact in New York City, home of the nation's largest school system.
"New York has already moved pretty far in that area," he said. "The state commission has already been very aggressive about implementing standards for high school graduation."
No Child Left Behind passed with bipartisan support, but criticism of it has increased as it has gone into effect. For example, the law says that children who attend failing schools - called schools "in need of improvement" - may transfer to other schools. But in New York City, where about a third of schools are failing, this has proved to be virtually impossible - there simply are not enough good schools to accommodate all the children entitled to attend them.
Schools are deemed failing not only if their overall student body performs poorly, but also if their African American, Latino, low-income, English-language learners and disabled students score badly. If schools cannot show they are making progress with each group, they can be determined to be failing. Some educators complain this puts the stigma of failing on good schools. And some states - although not New York - have been faulted for setting overly lax standards.
In light of this, many experts expect that No Child Left Behind will get some fine-tuning. "I think the question is no longer shall the law be changed," Rog Weaver, president of the National Education Association, which endorsed Senator John Kerry for president, told Education Week. "I think the question is how it should be changed."
Sandy Kress, a former Bush education adviser, agrees. While praising No Child Left Behind, he told Education Week, "That's not to say administratively and legislatively, there won't be opportunities to improve and strengthen and make things work better and smarter."
With few specific proposals out there, though, it remains unclear how any changes would affect New York.
One possibility, according to Viteritti, might be an increased emphasis on charter schools - schools that are privately run but publicly funded - to provide alternatives to failing public schools. But, again, he said, this might not have much effect of New York, which has already embraced charter schools.
Vouchers, which parents can use to send their children to private or public schools, have been proposed as another way to provide alternatives in education. Although many conservatives favor them, Viteritti does not think a second Bush administration will bring vouchers to New York City.
"There's a reasonable policy argument for [vouchers] even though people in New York are ideologically opposed to itâ€š" Viteritti said, "but I can't see them fighting that battle." The administration might try an experiment with vouchers - similar to one already conducted in the District of Columbia - but any such test would take place in more sympathetic territory than New York, he said.
Educators have complained that No Child Left Behind has set requirements on them without giving them enough funding to meet those requirements. The administration counters that it increased federal spending for education during the past four years. Whatever the merits of each side's argument, the huge federal deficit seems to rule against any new infusion of money into the nation's schools, including its largest public school system.
In the next four years, at least one vacancy on the Supreme Court is almost assured with the illness of Chief Justice William Rehnquist. This is President George. W. Bush's chance to remake the high court for a generation and he has given every indication that he will appoint hard-line conservatives (what he would call "strict constructionists") as he has to virtually every federal court in the country - jurists hostile to advancing the rights of women, racial minorities, and gay people.
One of the most prominent people standing in the way of Bush's quest for a more conservative judiciary is New York's Democratic Senator Charles Schumer who was just re-elected with a record-breaking 72 percent of the vote. Schumer has been the Democrats' point person in Senate battles to block the confirmation of judges they see as "out of the mainstream" on issues of civil rights and liberties, particularly a woman's right to choose an abortion.
While the Democrats are down to 44 seats in the Senate (often joined by lone Independent Jim Jeffords of Vermont), it is likely he will continue to use the filibuster to stop Bush's more extreme appointments, denying nominees an up-or-down vote by requiring 60 votes to end the debate on their confirmations. While both Democrat and Republican Judiciary Committees have blocked nominees in past years, Schumer was the first to use the tactic of a filibuster against them.
Pennsylvania's Republican Senator Arlen Specter, who will likely chair the Senate Judiciary Committee next year, may aid Schumer in his quest for more moderate judges. In an interview just after his reelection, Specter said that the current Supreme Court lacks "legal giants" and warned the president about trying to appoint judges who would overturn a woman's right to choose. His impending accession to the chairmanship of the Judiciary Committee has made conservatives furious.
The Bush Administration's agenda on civil rights and civil liberties won't be changed much by the president's re-election. What has changed is the political momentum for advancing that agenda with an outright victory for Bush and the election of a Congress that is not just more Republican, but more deeply conservative. This agenda will not sit well with New Yorkers who strongly opposed Bush's reelection and sent relatively liberal Democrats to Congress in all but the Staten Island/South Brooklyn district.
Will Rudy Giuliani Replace John Ashcroft?
With conservative John Ashcroft expected to step down as Attorney General due to health reasons, much will depend on who will replace him at the helm of Department of Justice.
One of those mentioned most frequently as a successor to Attorney General due to health reasons, much will depend on who will replace him at the helm of Department of Justice.
One of those mentioned most frequently as a successor to Ashcroft is former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, who was one of the most visible partisans for Bush’s reelection this year. Giuliani is opposed in conservative Republican circles for his unwavering support for abortion rights (including late-term abortion) and at least partial support for lesbian and gay rights (though not the right to marry). But of concern to civil libertarians is the contempt Giuliani showed for the First Amendment as mayor, whether it was banning demonstrations and even press conferences in front of City Hall or telling the Brooklyn Museum what art they could and could not display. In those cases and more, civil liberties groups sued Giuliani and beat him. The former mayor’s lack of respect for the rights of criminal suspects and victims of police brutality was also decried during his City Hall years.
New York is also home to a large Muslim and South Asian population, those who have suffered most from the misuse of provisions of the post-9/11 Patriot Act. The first Patriot Act was supported by both of New York’s Senators, Schumer and Hillary Clinton, also a Democrat, as well as the vast majority of the city’s Congressional delegation. Manhattan Democrat Rep. Jerry Nadler has been leading the charge against the excesses of the Patriot Act and Patriot Act II on the table in Congress, but with increased Republican majorities in both houses, Nadler is unlikely to be able to succeed.
Same-sex marriage was a huge issue in the 2004 campaign, with a constitutional ban on it promoted by Bush and 13 states barring it through their state constitutions this year. This election will give new life to the failed effort to pass the Federal Marriage Amendment, but that is likely going nowhere unless and until a federal court orders a state that doesn’t want to recognize a legal same-sex marriage from Canada or Massachusetts to do so. Then all bets are off.
New York is making steady progress toward recognizing same-sex marriages. Just last month, State Comptroller Alan Hevesi ruled http://gaycitynews.com/gcn_342/mayorgaymarriagegain.html that the state pension system will treat gay New York couples married in Canada as legal spouses. Governor George Pataki also recently signed a bill giving domestic partners the right to visit each other in the hospital. Several lawsuits are working their way through the state courts seeking the right of same-sex couples to marry. And it does not appear, with Democratic gains in the State Senate and Assembly, that the New York State legislature will pass a law banning same-sex marriage as all but a handful of states have done.
- Andy Humm
Unlike the majority of New Yorkers, Mayor Michael Bloomberg voted for George W. Bush for president. But few believe the city will greatly benefit from Bloomberg’s support for Bush.
While Mayor Bloomberg did support the Republican National Convention and donate $7 million of his own money to help pay for it, the mayor â€“ who faces 2005 reelection in an overwhelmingly Democratic city â€“ was not an active campaigner for the president.
The mayor has also spent a considerable amount of time attacking Congress for shortchanging the city. In June, Bloomberg even barred Ohio Congressman Bob Ney from a lunch at his house because the mayor said that Ney blocked homeland security funding from coming to the city.
"Mike Bloomberg spent much of the summer hiding from Bush," said Douglas Muzzio, a political science professor at Baruch College. "The mayor has done everything humanly possible to NOT be a Republican, both politically and on policy issues.”
The mayor will also be unable to overcome the lack of an urban agenda in Washington. New York City’s overwhelmingly Democratic delegation to Congress (which includes only one Republican) will be vastly outnumbered.
Democrats interested in challenging Bloomberg next year are already placing some of the blame for Kerry’s loss on the mayor.
“George Bush has not been a good president for this city,” said City Council Speaker Gifford Miller, who is a possible mayoral candidate. “I think New Yorkers at least recognize that, and I wish our mayor and governor did.”
U.S. Rep. Anthony Wiener, who is also considering a run, put it more bluntly; the day after the election he issued a statement that read; "New Yorkers turned out in record numbers to defend their city. Mike Bloomberg was fighting on the other side."
- Mark Berkey-Gerard
Wall Street Economy
Wall Street's Future (Gotham Gazette)
Transcript of George W. Bush 11/04 Press Conference (NY Times)
Bush Tax Cuts and New York (Gotham Gazette)
New York’s Gains from Federal Tax Cuts (Manhattan Institute Report)
Many Middle Class Will End Up Net Losers In Tax Cut Legislation(Center on Budget Priorities Report)
$210 Million in Corporate Tax Cuts (in pdf format) (Citizens for Tax Justice) Report) The Poor and Working Class
Combined Impact of the Federal, New York State and New York City Income Tax Changes (in pdf format) (Fiscal Policy Institute Report)
Milking the Middle Class (Drum Major Institute)
Poor and Working Class
Bush's Welfare Reform Plans(Gotham Gazette)
Compassion in Action: The Bush Campaign Information on Poverty Reforming Welfare Reform (American Prospect)
Women and Welfare Reform: How Policies Have Women and Children (Women's Enews)
The Challenge of Achieving High Work Participation
Married to the Solution: Marriage as a Way to Fight Child Poverty(National Review)
Helping Pay The Rent: Section 8 Saved (Gotham Gazette)
Fiscal Pressures Face Expansion of Faith-Based Social Service Programs(Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government)
Arguments for Raising Minimum Wage (AFL-CIO report)
Arguments Against Raising Minimum Wage (Free Market Net Spotlight)
Small Businesses and Neighborhood Development
President Bush's Opportunity Zones (The White House)
Opportunity Zones: An Empty OZ (Gotham Gazette)
U.S. Set to Alter Rules for Bank Lending to Poor (NY Times)
Anti-Terrorism Funding Office of Emergency Management Testimony to 9/11 Commission (NYC.gov)
U.S. Senate Bill to Bring Homeland Security Aid Directly to Cities
Department of Homeland Security Fact Sheet
Operation Atlas and the Security of New York (Gotham Gazette)
Homeland Security Funding by Rep. Joseph Crowley (Gotham Gazette)
Bush to Seek Accountability in High School (Education Week)
New York's Children Left Behind? (Gotham Gazette)
How New York Public Schools Have Fared (Gotham Gazette)
Bush Education Agenda Headed for Renewal (Education Week)
SchoolChoice Info: Web Site About Support for Vouchers
Private School Vouchers Remain Bad Public Policy (Democratic Policy Committee)
Nation's Charter Schools Lagging Behind (NY Times)
Charters Schools Institute, State University of New York How A Bigger Education Budget Became Less Money for Schools (in pdf format) (Independent Budget Office Report)
Civil Rights Text of U.S.A Patriot Act
ACLU Resources on Patriot Act
Debating the Patriot Act (Gotham Gazette)
State Comptroller Rules that Pension Plan Will Recognize Gay Marriages from Canada (Gay City News)
Civil Liberties and Police Surveillance (Gotham Gazette)