Gotham Gazette

The Place for New York Policy and politics

Letitia James

Letitia James

  • attg l pd

    NY Attorney General Letitia James (photo: @NewYorkStateAG)


    It’s been over six months since my younger brother Matthew Felix was unjustly and needlessly murdered by the Nassau County police. Over 190 days of those officers not being held accountable for robbing him of his life the week before his 20th birthday. On February 25, 2020, the Nassau police department believed my brother to be the alleged perpetrator of a carjacking and proceeded to

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    NYPD officers; the department remains under multiple investigations (photo: Edwin J. Torres/Mayor's Office)


    The New York City Department of Investigation (DOI) and Law Department have missed the August 31 benchmark set by Mayor Bill de Blasio to submit a final report in their joint investigation into the NYPD's response to summer protests that broke out in the aftermath of the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police.

    Officers' frequently violent engagement with demonstrators marching against police racism and brutality led to hundreds of allegations

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  • 3 census app research

    A pre-pandemic Census press conference (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    With less than a month left till the U.S. Census Bureau intends to end its constitutionally-mandated decennial population count, elected officials and advocates issued a dire warning to New Yorkers on Tuesday to fill out the Census questionnaire or risk losing crucial funding for a raft of federal programs as well as political representation in Congress.

    Last month, the Trump administration moved up the deadline for the 2020 Census from October 31 to September 30,

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  • 2 very pathetic

    Charles, left, & Inez Barron, right, at a ceremony with the Mayor & others (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    Anything short of a revolution won’t satisfy Charles and Inez Barron, the married Brooklynites who hold seats in the State Assembly and City Council, respectively, and the police reforms and city budget passed in the wake of recent widespread Black Lives Matter protests serve merely as a distraction to their radical idea of Black-led politics. 

    Assemblymember Charles Barron and City Council Member Inez Barron, both Democrats, have a

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  • ydanis rod ste levin rec

    Taxi driver-owners protest at City Hall (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    Last May I wrote a column criticizing the practice of including taxi medallion sales revenue in the city’s operating budget and pointed out the perverse incentive it creates to encourage high sales prices. My comments were triggered by the publication of a compelling investigative series on the New York City taxi medallion market ...

  • council finance dromm johnson mbdblasio fiscal budget

    (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photo Office)


    Mayor Bill de Blasio and other top city officials have remained mostly quiet about their positions on a set of proposed changes to city government and elections, which are set to go before voters when early voting begins on Saturday. The five “yes” or “no” ballot questions include 19 distinct proposals from the 2019 Charter Revision Commission, whose members were appointed by the mayor, comptroller, public advocate, City Council speaker, and five borough

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  • let james att

    NY AG Letitia James (photo: @NewYorkStateAG)


    For a company of only a few dozen employees, the Trump Organization has accumulated an astonishing rap sheet of fraud, crime, and other corporate misconduct over the years. And since its owner came to occupy the Oval Office, the company has sunk to new depths as a vehicle for influence and corruption by supplicants from corporate lobbies and foreign governments.

    Now that federal prosecutors have ...

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    The Shinnecock billboard on Route 27 (photo via a Shinnecock Nation member)


    New York State Attorney General Letitia James earned a reputation as a relentless fighter for working people in the Brooklyn gentrification struggles of the early 21st century. Representing parts of Fort Greene, Clinton Hill, Crown Heights, Prospect Heights, and Bedford-Stuyvesant in the early 2000s, City Council Member James insisted that low-income and working people must have a place and a future in Brooklyn.

    Block by block, James helped community members keep their

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  • charter2019nyc pub adv

    (photo: @Charter2019NYC)


    Three former New York City Public Advocates argued for strengthening the powers of the office. Former and current Law Department officials defended the agency’s independence. Experts on city government argued for and against expanding the powers of non-mayoral elected officials. And a Board of Elections official detailed the logistics of implementing ranked-choice voting in New York City.

    Those were the broad themes of a Monday night hearing held at the City Council chambers by the 2019 Charter Revision Commission,

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  • Corey Johnson Tish James

    Corey Johnson, Laurie Cumbo, Tish James (photo: Emil Cohen/City Council)


    A charter-mandated city commission meant to help New Yorkers access information about their government sputtered to a stop in 2016 owing to a lack of funding, barely three years after being revived by former Public Advocate Letitia James. Now, City Council Speaker Corey Johnson, who is also acting public advocate for the next several weeks, is taking up James’ unfinished business and attempting to raise the commission from its grave.

    The Commission on

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  • tish james becomes attorney general

    AG Tish James (photo: New York Attorney General website)


    In 2018 Letitia James won a historic election to become the first woman of color to hold statewide office in New York and the first woman to be elected Attorney General. Filling a seat vacated by Eric Schneiderman (a misogynist playing women’s champion by day), James pledged to be a new kind of people’s lawyer, “unbossed and unbought” by Governor Andrew Cuomo

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    Tish James voting (photo via Gotham Gazette)


    Updated as of January 29.

    In February, New Yorkers will have the opportunity to cast a ballot for a new public advocate in the first-ever special election for a citywide office. The current vacancy was created when the most recent officeholder, Letitia James, was officially sworn in as the state’s attorney general, a position she won in the November general election.

    The public advocate is the people’s representative, a watchdog and ombudsperson, with a post that has little direct influence over city

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  • Cuomo de Blasio Amazon

    Cuomo & de Blasio celebrate Amazon to NY (photo: Kevin P. Coughlin/Governor's Office)


    1. Will Kirsten Gillibrand and/or Michael Bloomberg run for President?

    2. Will Andrew Cuomo explore a presidential run?

    3. How will Chuck Schumer perform as Senate minority leader amid a new power dynamic in Washington? What impact will Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez have as she officially takes office and the year progresses? What other New York representatives will make significant impact in the new Washington, especially given

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  • 10 candidates

    (l-r) Tish James, Ydanis Rodriguez, Melissa Mark-viverito, Jumaane Williams, Latrice Walker
    Rafael Espinal, Danny O'Donnell, Michael Blake, Erich Ulrich, Ron Kim


    There are roughly two dozen candidates who have officially declared or indicated they are exploring a run in the February special election for New York City Public Advocate, which will take place Tuesday, February 26.

    Attorney General-elect Letitia James officially vacates the office of New York City Public Advocate on January 1, setting off the next steps of the process, whereby Mayor Bill de

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  • and cuomo nov

    Gov. Cuomo votes (photo: @andrewcuomo)


    Democrats will take full control of New York state government in 2019 thanks to the reelection of Governor Andrew Cuomo and other candidates for statewide office, as well as wins in the state Senate that flipped control of the upper chamber. Democrats continue to hold a wide majority in the state Assembly. With help from New York, Democrats also flipped the U.S. House of Representatives.

    The state Senate and ...

  • Cuomo voting New York

    (photo: The Governor's Office)


    New Yorkers will head to the polls on Tuesday, November 6, to vote for federal and state candidates in an election that could radically alter the direction of the state and the entire nation. Every seat in the state Legislature is on the ballot, as are the joint ticket of governor-lieutenant governor, the positions of state comptroller and attorney general, New York’s 27 seats in the House of Representatives, and one U.S. Senate position.

    Democrats, hoping to ride a surge of engagement in the aftermath of Donald Trump’s

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  • wofford podium

    Kieth Wofford (photo via @Wofford4AG)


    Keith Wofford, the Republican nominee for Attorney General, appears to have a simple campaign message: he’ll make it harder for corrupt government officials to waste taxpayer money and make it easier for New York businesses to thrive.

    The first-time candidate for political office who has made a highly-lucrative career for himself as a attorney says that if elected the state’s top legal officer, he would step back what he calls the over-prosecution of corporations, especially financial institutions that have so often been the focus

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  • james wofford debate

    Letitia James and Keith Wofford at NY1 (Michelle V. Agins/The New York Times - pool)


    The two leading candidates to become New York State’s next Attorney General faced off in the sole televised debate of the race on Tuesday night, going back and forth about the role of the state’s top legal officer and the degree to which political considerations might affect the way they handle their duties.

    New York City Public Advocate Letitia James, a Democrat, is the frontrunner in the race competing against Republican Keith Wofford, a Buffalo-native attorney who is

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  • Mayor de Blasio

    Mayor de Blasio (photo: Benjamin Kanter/Mayor's Office)


    Mayor Bill de Blasio is seeking to make a lasting impact on city governance through a charter revision commission that would transform the city’s campaign finance system, promote greater civic involvement in city affairs, and inject new blood into local community boards. But prominent elected officials, most of whom are Democrats like de Blasio, don’t agree with the proposals the mayor’s commission has put on the November 6 ballot and are urging New Yorkers to reject them.

    The mayor’s commission put ...

  • michael blake pub adv city

    Michael Blake (photo via Blake campaign)


    Michael Blake wants to bring his experience in federal and state government to city government as the next Public Advocate of New York City. Currently a member of the state Assembly from the Bronx, Blake worked in the administration of President Barack Obama before he became a political consultant and successfully ran for Assembly, defeating the chosen candidate of the political machine in his home borough thanks to a variety of factors, including his national network and fundraising prowess.

    With the

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  • heastie w cuomo and morelle

    Speaker Heastie, with Gov. Cuomo and Assemblymember Morelle (Governor's Office)


    New York State Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie’s eponymous political action committee has continued to donate to Democrats in competitive races this year, recently making new contributions to Public Advocate Letitia James’ attorney general campaign and Assembly Member James Skoufis’ bid for State Senate.    

    The latest campaign finance filings with the State Board of Elections showed that Speaker Heastie PAC spent about $26,000 between September 21 and

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  • mxm logo

    Ben Max, left, of Gotham Gazette, and Jarrett Murphy, right, of City Limits


    October 10, 2018 - Max & Murphy Podcast: Republican Attorney General Nominee Keith Wofford

    keith wofford wbai 277Keith Wofford, the Republican nominee for Attorney General, joined the show to discuss his platform for assuming the role of the state's chief legal officer, outlining a vision very different from his main

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  • peace exist sussman

    photo via Sussman campaign on Twitter


    A 19-year-old from Flatbush, Brooklyn sat in the Iron Forge, a middle-eastern restaurant on Q Street in Washington, D.C., and looked around. He had started his internship with the Democratic National Committee, and was given the opportunity to choose from a group of candidates whose campaign he wanted to work on. He saw the men around him, who he would work with in the coming months, the fall of 1973: Georgians Hamilton Jordan, Jodi Powell, Bert Lance, and Griffin Bell, along with the governor, Jimmy Carter.

    The young

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  • vote here large


    How far and how deep did the Russian government and Russian nationals go to influence United States elections? While hacking and manipulation of social media have garnered significant attention from both the media and the Mueller investigation, it’s also clear that Russian money was being funneled through some surprising channels, such as the National Rifle Association (NRA).

    When Citizens United opened the floodgates for corporations to spend unlimited amounts in our elections, it also blasted open a loophole for foreign money to be used to influence U.S. elections. Earlier

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  • govandrewcuomo office

    Photo: Mike Groll/Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo)


    Governor Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat running for reelection to a third term, successfully claimed the Democratic Party nomination earlier this month after a bitter primary battle against actor and education activist Cynthia Nixon. But the victory came at significant cost as Cuomo spent more than $20 million this year alone, nearly ten times what Nixon spent in total as she attempted to unseat him.

    Cuomo, who won with 64.4 percent of the vote to Nixon’s 34.4 percent in the September 13 primary, is headed into the

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