* The NYC Mayoral Race Heats Up 2021
#1 Andrew Yang Slipping in Polls, #2 Eric Adams Holds / Moves up on Yang, Already #3 or #4 - Scott Stringer Now Accused of Sexual Harassment, Plus a Bit of News on the Four Candidates Trailing the Leaders & the Mysterious Impact of Ranked Choice Voting
Weather. It's going to be a fairly rainy week, starting late afternoon / early Monday evening ending Tuesday morning. Tuesday looks to be cloudy, but not a lot of rain until Tuesday evening, which will last through Wednesday. Thursday looks to be winner [sunny & dry] and then Friday afternoon less rain returns. Temperature lows will be in the 50's and temperature highs in the 60's on Monday, Thursday and Friday, and in the 70's on Tuesday and Wednesday.
NYC Mayoral Primary is Tuesday, June 22nd
The NYC Mayoral Primary is only seven weeks away. So it's time for voters to begin doing their homework on the candidates in order to make an informed choice. As of the most recent poll, there are at best, about seven viable candidates for the Democratic primary. The viable candidates include Andrew Yang, Eric Adams, Scott Stringer, Maya Wiley, Raymond McGuire, Shaun Donovan, Dianne Morales and Kathryn Garcia.
While there are another five candidates who qualified for the race, they do not appear to have much popular support nor competitive financial backing. So those five, who include Art Chang, Aaron Foldenauer, Paperboy Love Prince, Joycelyn Taylor and Isaac Wright, Jr., have just received all the mention I intend to give them prior to the election.
Brief NYC Mayoral Candidate Look - See at Most Competitive Candidates including Andrew Yang, Eric Adams, Scott Stringer, Maya Wiley, Raymond McGuire, Shaun Donovan, Dianne Morales and Kathryn Garcia
With More Depth to Come Prior to the Primary / Decision Day
I. Andrew Yang has been polling as the leading candidate for the longest time, but his support appears to be fading as voters become more familiar with him as well as the other candidates. What likely drove Yang's early poll numbers was his high name recognition at the beginning of the race. Yang had gained name recognition by virtue of his failed run for president in 2020.
It's worth noting that Yang has not held publicly elected office, and prior to his run for president, was best known for a non-profit venture that gained some national attention from the Obama Administration. In a February 10, 2021 Politico report, Yang was the top choice of 28% of respondents in a poll conducted by Core Decision Analytics which is a lobbying firm. According to an April 29, 2021 report in Politico, a recent simulation poll by StudentsFirstNY, showed Yang's support at 26%.
Yang is generally perceived as a left leaning progressive, who sparks creative discussions about what ifs. However, given his limited track record professionally and operationally, it's difficult to tell what a Yang Administration would look like in reality, since he's not held publicly elected office and his claim to fame was only a six million non-profit venture. NYC operates on about a $90 billion budget each year and it's important to have someone familiar with the operations of the city prior to assuming office. Donald Trump comes to mind here, in that he had no prior experience that qualified him for the presidency. In Andrew Yang's case, his experience vis a vis NYC government, is miniscule at best.
EDITOR'S NOTE. Please note that the poll numbers cited in this report come from two different sources whose polling methods likely differed, and which may have some sort of poltical agenda, even though both poll reports were published in Politico, an online political web magazine.
Brooklyn Borough President - Eric Adams
II. Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams has held the second place in polls, and his support seems to be solidifying and possibly growing. While Yang had about 84% name recognition going into the race, the next best known contestants - Eric Adams and Scott Stringer - came in at about 60% and 66% name recognition, respectively. Adams was supported by 17% in the February 2021 poll, and inched up to 20% in the StudentsFirstNY simulation poll in April 2021.
Eric Adams has been the Brooklyn Borough President since 2013. Prior to that he was an NYS State Senator for four terms. And prior to that, Adams spent two decades as first a transit police officer and then as a member of the NYPD. While seeming to start from a conservative vantage point early in life, Adams appears to have moved steadily toward a moderate, even progressive stance, favoring gay marriage, calling for more dialogue about race and policing as early as 2004, advocating for the first two years of public college to be free and wanting developers to do more for the communities in which they operate.
But there are critical areas where it's unclear as to what an Adams Mayoralty may look like as he has taken in more real estate development cash than any other candidate. Also, the charter schools companies, that make a lot of money by privatizing the best part of the public school system, leaving the rest behind in the hands of the government and unions, while they rake in the cash and the accolades have also contributed a fair amount of cash to the Adams campaign. The private charter schools essentially ravage the public school system in a manner not unlike how insurance companies used to recruit the healthy, leaving the sick in the hands of the public or on their own.
Adams is perceived to be a moderate - but that needs a qualifier - in that Adams appears to be a moderate per the Democratic party in NYC.
This Weekend Things To Do NYC
Giddyap. As CoVid Abates, More Semblances of Normality Return, 5 Boro Bike Ride to be Rescheduled, Some Live Events in Manhattan & Queens, More Reopenings, Upcoming Fairs & Festivals, Curfews, CoVid, Falling Rents & Mayoral Race
Weekend Weather. The temperature highs will rise from about 70 on Friday and Saturday to about 80 on Sunday. The temperature lows will rise from the mid 40's to the high 50's on Saturday and Sunday. Humidity will be about 40% on Friday and Saturday, rising to 40% to 60% on Sunday. The wind will fall from 20 mph on Friday to 10 - 15 on Saturday to 5 - 10 on Sunday. No rain is expected this weekend.
CoVid Vaccinations by Seniors Now at 80%
A full 80% of the most vulnerable segment of the American population - those aged 65 and older - have been vaccinated. That is probably the single biggest contributor to the declining death and hospitalization rates around the nation.
Both Moderna and Pfizer have been testing vaccines on children below age 16 [down to 12 years of age] and the results of those tests are expected soon. Children represent about 20% of the American population.
There are now 17 people who encountered blood clotting problems after taking the J&J vaccine. All were women, except one. Between 8 and 9 million people have received the J&J vaccine, so the risk to the general population is very small.
The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines reportedly appear to present no greater risk to pregnant mothers than the general population, but it's unclear to me whether that risk assessment also applies to the children they are carrying. It could be too early to tell.
Governor Cuomo Accelerates Removal of the CoVid Controls
Bars and restaurants can now seat folks at the bar, effective Monday, May 3rd.
The curfew for outdoor dining ends on Monday, May 17th and the curfew for indoor dining ends on Monday, May 31st.
Effective May 15th, gyms will be able to use 50% of their capacity, up from 33% - but this is only outside of NYC. Casinos and gaming facilities will be able to increase the use of their capacity from 25% to 50%.
The Governor also announced that Offices can begin using 75% of their capacity, up from 50%, effective May 15th.
On Wednesday, May 19th outdoor sports / events venues like stadiums, can increase capacity to 33% from the current 20% level.
Mayor de Blasio Expects NYC to be Fully Reopened by July 1st
The Mayor announced this week that he expects NYC to be fully reopened by July 1st, including the resumption of 24/7 subway service. Not long after the pandemic began, the subways were closed down from 12 midnight to 5 am [later shortened to 1 am to 5 am] for deep cleaning.
On Monday, May 3, 2021 the remaining 80,000 of 180,000 municipal workers will return to their offices. According to CBS News the municipal office workers have been vaccinated and $200 million was spent preparing the offices for the workers' return. The municipal office employees' work environment has been compared to that of teachers, although an activist group that arose out of the pandemic, says it's unsafe to do so.
The Mayor also had some good news on the public library front, telling us that effective Monday, May 10th, 2021 folks will be able to visit the libraries and rsvp computer time there. Book borrowing limits will be loosened from curbside pickup.
The Mayor reminded folks that any adult can now obtain a vaccination without scheduling an appointment, by showing up at one of the vaccincations sites - which include many pharmacies - with proper identification / insurance info.
The Mayor said that 6.4 million vaccine doses have been injected into New Yorkers' arms. Nationally about a third of the population has been fully vaccinated, and about 43% have received at least one dose. Remember, children are a fifth of the population, so we're about half way home for those eligible to be vaccinated.
The Sexual Harassment Allegations Against Cuomo
The Sheer Number of Allegations Appears to Indicate Something is Not Right
But This Report is Not About Judging Cuomo, Either Way, but Urging People to Let Due Process Play Out
I'm going to explore each accuser's allegations while providing a bit of background on each of them. I have found some of Cuomo's accusers more credible than others, in what I would call the integrity of the whole situation. That said, the sheer number of allegations certainly lends credence to the notion that something is not right in how Cuomo is managing his staff at the Capitol and in the Governor's mansion.
One's attractiveness to the opposite sex, can cut both ways. It can be used: 1) as a powerful tool to obtain special favors, wage increases and promotions one didn't earn, or 2) it can attract unwanted advances that feel threatening to one's person and livelihood. In the former case (#1), one's co-workers or competitors are often the victims by being passed over for promotions, travel and other opportunities. In the latter case (#2), one is a victim / target of unwanted sexual advances by virtue of their god given beauty.
While in Business School, one of my very best friends - who coincidentally was named Murdoch [but no relation to Rupert] - told me that his father had told him that
"... it was more important to be respected, than liked ..."
We both had to seriously contemplate this advice, as this friend was immensely popular. He had asked me to help him unravel what seemed his father's riddle. Ultimately In due time I concluded that my friend's father was right - it is more important to be respected than liked.
I think that is also good advice for women in the workforce, and provides a compass for how one should conduct oneself. Not every man out there is a gentleman, and oftentimes successful men are also the badly behaved men, some can even be assholes like - let's say - Donald Trump. And as we've seen over the past four year presidency, both the men and women who reported into him were certainly psychologically abused. And I won't even begin to contemplate Melania's situation.
So with that in mind, let's take a brief look at each of Cuomo's accusers and their allegations regarding the Governor.
I. Lindsey Boylan (36) - Deputy Secretary for Economic Development & Special Advisor to the Governor
Lindsay Boylan was the first woman to come forward and charge Andrew Cuomo with sexual harrassment in a tweet in December of 2020. She worked for Cuomo from 2015 - 2018 as the Governor's Deputy Secretary and Advisor, during which time she alleges she was continually harassed. Boylan is now running for Manhattan Borough President.
In the accounts of Boylan's claims I've seen published she indicated Cuomo would touch or brush against her arm or leg, compare her to an ex-girlfriend, make unwanted sexually charged statements or inquiries, and on one occasion kissed her on the lips without her permission following the award of a promotion.
Boylan first went public with her claims in December 2020, telling the world that she was speaking out now, because she felt that the public should know this, as Andrew Cuomo was up for consideration for the position of the U.S. Attorney General. This seemed reminiscent of Christine Blasey Ford stepping forth in 2018 with allegations of attempted rape by Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. But attempted rape is a far more serious allegation than harassment / inappropriate workplace behavior.
At the time Boylan said she didn't want to speak to any journalists about the explosive claims. This set off my spidey sense, because it seems unfair to think that you can make such explosive, career busting allegations without expecting reporters to want to dig deeper for the full context of the story.
Cuomo denied the allegations.
Last year  Boylan was beaten in the Democratic congressional primary. It would seem to be a fair question to ask whether she is angry / blames Cuomo for her loss, believing that perhaps he did not help her enough? One might also ponder whether she is she using the explosive claims of sexual harassment against Cuomo to gain publicity for her current campaign for Manhattan Borough President, while simultaniously by capitalizing on / reaching out to the #MeToo movement?
In what appeared Cuomo pushback, some of Boylan's personnel files were disclosed to the press, indicating there may have been some issues surrounding to her departure from the Cuomo Administration, regarding her management of employees working for her. Boylan says this is part of a Cuomo intimidation / smear campaign.
Boylan said she was harrassed most or many of the nearly four years she worked for Cuomo [2015 - 2018]. Like many women, she hesitated and waited until [two] years after her departure before going public.
The #MeToo movement advocates that all women's sexual harassment claims should be believed, as for centuries women's sexual harrassment claims have been discredited and ignored.
Yet not long after she went public, she threatened to start a women's PAC to torch Schumer and other New York politicians who did not come out to support her in her allegations sooner. The gap in her announcement and in Schumer and other politicians' speaking out in her favor, was about two and a half months [late Dec 2020 to early Mar 2021]. Boylan also published a threatening tweet castigating both President Biden & Vice President Kamala Harris for withholding judgment as well, before she deleted it.
Boylan's vehement 'PAC fundraising' response, caused me to stop to ponder the full nature of Boylan's nearly four relationship with Cuomo, which seems to have greatly benefitted her with promotions and travel, until it did not. I was also reminded of how Donald Trump and Senators Josh Hawley and Ted Cruz opportunistically used 'Stop the Steal' to fundraise PAC money for themselves off of an emotional, voter 'patriotism' hot button issue.
As with Janice Dean's allegations / crusade / soft gubernatiorial campaign launch, where Shakespeare's quote in Hamlet "The lady doth protest too much me thinks" seemed to resonate, as I again found myself asking if this quote also has some relevance to Boylan's case. See prior report for full explanation regarding Janice Dean.
Boylan's allegations would be given due consideration in an investigation. And we may learn much more about hers and Cuomo's relationship ... and it's possible that it could be highly toxic to both of them.
Media Monopoly Billionaire, Rupert Murdoch, Incites Another Mob & Pushes a VIGILANTE 'Rush to Justice' through his Propaganda Outlets
A Closer Look at Janice Dean's Vitriolic Accusations that Andrew Cuomo Mishandled the Corona Virus Pandemic in Nursing Homes & the Multiple Allegations of Harassment
We left off last week with Janice Dean telling us 'Our Family's Losses are Not Political' and she appears to do a soft launch of her campaign for NYS Governor in 2022 with what seems the unbridled media support aka propaganda of Australian born billionaire Rupert Murdoch.
Rupert Murdoch controls Fox News, the NY Post, the Wall St Journal, Harper Collins Book Publishing and he is the largest shareholder of Disney / ABC. Allowing one person, especially this one, to control this much share of America's media is harmful to this nation because he appears to use his mass media outlets propagandistically to control who gets elected.
Why Murdoch's 21st Century Fox FCC licenses aren't legally challenged for spreading all of the distorted truths to outright lies about gender and race - is incomprehensible to me.
The NY Post graphic at right was used to try to incite and railroad Democrats to oust Cuomo in one of Murdoch's many fascist efforts to bypass rule of law and due process, to enable another of his power grabs in our governmment. I did what the editor of that poorly edited Murdoch media outlet should have done, and turned it back around to feature Murdoch in place of Cuomo.
This is Nazi style management of media and government, as oftentimes the pols Murdoch propagandistically pushes out of office wouldn't bend to his will, and those he ushers in, seem to give him whatever he wants, that they can either hide from the public or con the public into believing is good for them. This is how Goebbels and Hitler usurped the people's power in the budding German democracy in the late 1920's and early 1930's.
Rupert Murdoch & Janice Dean Want You to Believe She's Sunshine, but her Tweets & Vicious Comments Reveal the Opposite
Dean Claims She's Not Politically Motivated, while Seeming to do a 'Soft Launch' of Her Campaign 2022 for NYS Governor on 'Free' Murdoch Media Infommercials
See the report posted on March 12, 2021 for a look into Janice Dean's soft campaign launch for NYS Governor and probe into some of her possible motives for launching such vehement attacks on Andrew Cuomo. Here we pick up on more Janice Dean contradictions where the Fox News host and weather person seem guilty in some measure of doing the same things of which they're accusing Governor Cuomo.
A December 12, 2020 report in the Wrap tells us that Janice Dean tweeted the following,
" ... Nothing wrong with criticizing a politician who likes to profit off the deaths of New Yorkers. (He wrote a book too about ‘leadership’ during a pandemic) You’re right, I don’t like the governor because his policies help kill my husbands parents... "
In the Friday, March 12, 2021 report I probe the guilt that oftentimes afflicts families that place their parents [in this case it's Janice Dean's in-laws] in nursing homes, and explore some possible personal motivations for placing or shifting the blame for their deaths at the feet of Governor Cuomo. There's also a brief timeline of the events in question and less so of the nursing home reporting aftermath.
Weekend Update & A Different Perspective on Andrew Cuomo's Troubles
The Weather Returns to Seasonal, Daylight Savings Time Springs Ahead Sunday, People Vaccinated Growing Rapidly & Has Raging Rupert Incited Another Rioting Mob?
This past week, we experienced a few enjoyable weather days this week, with temperatures in the 60's and 70's. But alas, all good things must come to an end, so starting tonight the temperature will fall back into the 30's and we'll return to seasonal weather for the next week or so.
Weather. The temperature high will be about 70 on Friday, returning to the 50's on Saturday and Sunday. The temperature lows will fall to the mid 30's tonight and Saturday and then fall to the mid 20's on Sunday night. No rain is in the forecast and the humidity will remain low at about 30% throughout the weekend. The wind will range from 10 - 18 mph on Friday, 5 - 10 mph Saturday and rise back up to 18 mph on Sunday.
Daylight Savings Time, where you 'spring ahead' by setting your clock ahead an hour ahead, begins early Sunday morning at 2 am. At present it gets light about 6 am, so following the change it will become light out around 7 am, and currently it gets dark around 6 pm, and following the change it will then get dark around 7 pm.
The number of New Yorkers and Americans vaccinated continues to grow quickly. As of this post some 65 million Americans or about 20% of the nation has received at least one shot. New York is staying abreast with the rest of the nation, with four million New Yorkers [state] having received at least one shot, which is 20% of the state population of about 20 million. New York City has vaccinted 1.8 million people which is also about 20% of the 8.4 million New York City residents.
And the pace of vaccinations continues to accelerate, because just this past week, in New York State over a million doses were administered. President Biden wants everyone to be eligible to receive the vaccine by early May, so that come Independence Day, we can celebrate together is a post pandemic normalcy. The nation's production of vaccine continues to grow, and the vaccine distribution / administration capability which is handled at the state and municipal level, appear to be in place to handle the growing demand.
Children are not among those eligible to be vaccinated. This is because most children do not appear to become severely ill. There are tests being conducted on vaccinating younger children ages 16 - 18, as well as some kids as young as 12, and plans are being discussed regarding vaccinating children 5 - 11.
Did Raging Rupert Murdoch's Mass Media Riot Machine Incite Another Mob by Distorting & Using #MeToo?
March 12, 2021 / US Politics / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.
While watching the story of Governor Cuomo's troubles unfold, they triggered my 'spidey sense', or as it used to be called, my newsman's nose. In either case something smells rotten in NYS and as oftentimes is the case, it seems to be coming from Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century & Newscorp - which includes the NY Post, the Wall Street Journal, Fox News, his Harper Collins Publishing Company and possibly with an assist from Disney / ABC News where he has become the largest shareholder and where he seems to be making behind-the-scense personnel moves in the news division.
Even more than Trump, Rupert Murdoch is a trojan horse threat to our democracy. He has already turned both Australia and Britain into banana republics where he appears to change prime ministers at the drop of a hat and unfortunately most of the natives of those lands don't even seem to be aware that they're living in a mediacracy - which is a state controlled by one man's mass media holdings. Both Britain and Australia have been through at least four prime ministers within the past five years, because it seems Murdoch couldn't get exactly what he wanted on the first three tries.
Why do I think the stench is coming from Murdoch's 21st Century & Newscorp and not the Governor's mansion? Because Murdoch's gang of mendacious multi-millionaire minions too often seem not to give a damn about reporting the truth - but rather about distorting and even fictionalizing it to stoke the ratings busting fires of discontent - by attacking government officials who seem not to give Murdoch what he wants from them.
Murdoch's portfolio of wealthy teleprompter actors and actresses, seem to feign anger and outrage, in order to stoke the hyper ventillating audiences of reality contortionists Hannity, Ingraham, Pirro and Tucker into a ratings driven profit frenzy ... which the Australian born billionaire cashes in on, but also uses to brow beat those government officials who won't obey him and use our governmental apparatus to enhance Murdoch's wealth and power.
Earlier this year Murdoch's mass media appeared to help stoke the mob that stormed the U.S. Capitol by feeding their audiences misinformation about the integrity of the election results and of the voting apparatus. Murdoch's mendacious minions did such a colossal job of disinforming the American public, that they are now the defendants in a $2.7 multi-BILLION dollar lawsuit filed by Smartmatic, one of the voting machine companies.
Murdoch appeared to fire Fox News host Lou Dobbs in order to pretend Fox News doesn't tolerate that sort of thing [disinforming their audience], just like they fired Bill O'Reilly and Roger Ailes - BUT only after years of reported sexual harassment transgressions when it became too big to ignore, and activists started boycotting Fox advertisers and the greedy 'little man' billionaire started losing money on them. Then came the "I didn't know" and yet another Murdoch inspired phony act of the most insincere contrition.
Remorseful Rupert Murdoch's quintessential phony act of contrition was performed in Britain in 2012, during the investigation into his company's [or ies'] phone hacking of ordinary British citizens for sadistic pleasure and profit. Murdoch's company reportedly hacked the phones of private citizens in order to sensationalize their personal trauma and tragedy on the front pages of Murdoch's British tabloids and TV outlets. Revealing the personal and private pain of private citizen(s) appeared to be great for Murdoch's newspaper sales, great for Rupert's TV ratings and great for rapacious Rupert Murdoch's insatiable appetite for ever more money. It was all part of his life-long, predatory power grab from the ignorant people who get their 'news' from his outlets, and make their voting decisions based on it.
So let's take a look at how the Cuomo story / stories unfolded, in search of truth - not ratings, and in search of a more behind-the-scenes account of things [also known as asking why] - not by partaking in a superficial, broadcast mass media induced, modern day virtual mob lynching, which is what appears to be happening as we speak. The virtual mob won't hang Cuomo's real life carcass like a Mussolini, but rather they will hang his reputation out to dry, based entirely on - as of yet - unsubstantiated allegations made in some cases by people who haven't even revealed themselves and to date have remained fully anonymous. The broadcast TV mass media induced mob will leave Cuomo for politically dead ... which appears exactly what the perennially angry, mean, old man - Rupert Keith Murdoch - wants. Assuming of course, that the actions and words of so many of Murdoch's apparently dishonest minions, represents his the 'Triump of the Will' or the Goebbels-like Media Fuhrer's wishes.
Step aside Atticus Finch - there's a new mindless mob in town - and it appears to be incited by the Australian born propagandist, Herr Rupert Murdoch, America's 21st century Goebbels.
NYS Primary Elections Today
The Presidential and Congressional Primaries are Today
June 23, 2020 / NYC Neighborhoods / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.
The long delayed NYS primary election is today. On the ballot is the presidential primary featuring Joe Biden and I believe others - but the others have suspended their campaigns and Joe Biden has already won enough electoral votes to secure the nomination. So in the presidential primary you can strengthen Biden's hand by casting your vote for him, or strenghten someone else's hand in influencing the Democratic platform that Joe will run on.
There are also a number of congressional races which I'll have more on by or before 12 noon today. See Manhattan Buzz, Queens Buzz, Bronx Buzz, Staten Buzz and Brooklyn BLVD for details.
Click the link for the poll finder website, so you can easily find where to vote in your neighborhood. Remember this is the land of the free and the home of the brave and many of our ancestors died for our right to vote. So try to be brave, but also be careful.
The New York City election is Tuesday June 23rd and polls are open from 6 am - 9 pm.
**** CSS **** Corona Virus News Briefs NYC & NYS
Corona Virus Pandemic New Briefs for New York City & NY State
CLICK to view this special section is dedicated to informing the public about the Corona Virus news briefs in NYC and NYS.
Queens District Attorney Debate
Includes Video of Highlights from the Debate in Jamaica
In May I had the opportunity to attend the Queens District Attorney debate at the Jamaica Performing Arts Center. It was the second event, featuring the candidates running for the Queens District Attorney's office, that I attended. This time I focused more intently how well versed each candidate was on the issues to be addressed by the person winning that position, and what qualifications, experience and vision they might bring to the office.
I have noted my first impressions below, which were gleaned while attending a forum in April, to which all candidates were invited to participate at the Jackson Heights Jewish Center. In the second debate, some of these impressions were altered and some of them were confirmed.
The photo above shows the two leading candidates [based on endorsements] running for the Queens District Attorney office - Melinda Katz and Tiffany Caban. The photo below shows the other two leading candidates running for the Queens District Attorney office - Gregory Lasak and Rory Lancman.
Tiffany Caban has, by far, received donations from more small contributors than any of the candidates. Melinda Katz leads in fundraising, with strong support from the real estate development community for which she spent years [2009 - 2013] working as a lobbyist.
Gregory Lasak and Rory Lancman have also been competitive fundraisers - but neither matching Tiffany Caban's small donor support, nor Melinda Katz's big donor support.
The following video captures about 17 minutes of highlights from the three hour long debate. I decided not to give equal time because many of the statements made were either repetitive or laden with platitudes. Thus former Justice Gregory Lasak and Public Defender Tiffany Caban received the most air time, as they provided real world anecdotes, as well as real world insights into how our criminal justice system functions and how it can be reformed.
Jumaane Williams Wins Public Advocate Election
Williams Bests 16 Other Candidates to Take Second in Succession to Mayor
Jumaane Williams appears to have won the election for Public Advocate. According to Ballotpedia, with 88% of the precincts reporting, Williams had received 120,000 or 33% of the vote.
The sole Republican, Eric Ulrich, received 70,000 votes or 19%, which was the second highest total of votes. The other Democrats included former NYC Council Speaker, Melissa Mark-Viverito, who received 40,000 or 11% of the votes, was followed by Michael Blake with 29,000 or 8%, Ydanis Rodriguez with 22,000 or 6%, Dawn Smalls with 15,000 or 4%, Rafael Espinal 12,000 or 3%, Ron Kim 11,000 or 3%, Daniel O'Donnell 11,000 or 3% and the others each had less than 10,000 votes with 88% of the precincts reporting.
Jumaane Williams is shown in the photo at right in June 2018, campaigning on the steps of the New York Public Library in Midtown Manhattan, for Lieutenant Governor. Williams lost that election in November, but quickly rebounded, winning the position for NYC Public Advocate in February of 2019.
According to a NY Times report Jumaane has eight months before he's up for election again, as this special election - to replace Tish James because she was elected NYS Attorney General - only lasts until the next regularly scheduled election. Congratulations Jumaane.
De Blasio Delivers State of the City Address 2019
The Mayor Recounts a Year of Accomplishment & Seems to Push the Envelope
On Thursday, January 10th, Mayor Bill de Blasio delivered his fifth State of the City Address at Symphony Space on the Upper West Side. To date the Mayor has delivered the address in three of the five boroughs, and this was the third delivered in Manhattan [at Apollo Theater in Harlem in 2017 and Baruch in 2015]. He delivered the third address in 2016 at Lehman College in the Bedford Park neighborhood of the Bronx and his fourth at Kings Theatre in the Flatbush Ditmas neighborhood of Brooklyn in 2018. Queens and Staten Island have yet to host the Mayor's State of the City Address, but he has a couple more years in which to make that happen, should he choose to do deliver his address in all five boroughs.
I arrived on a cold January morning. There was a crowd lined up outside, waiting to pass through security, even though it was well over a half hour before the address was to begin. Inside there was a large crowd mingling, and eventually it looked like it was a full house.
There were the usual warm up speeches and performances, including the Invocation by the NYPD Chaplain, Rabbi Alvin Kass, the singing of 'God Bless America' by NYFD vocalist Regina Wilson and an introductory speech by the First Lady Chirlane McCray.
NYC Public Advocate Candidates in Election 2019
Melissa Mark-Viverito, Jumaane Williams, Daniel O'Donnell, Rafael Espinal, Eric Ulrich, Nomiki Konst, Ron Kim, Michael Blake & 9 Others are Running for this Office
Tomorrow, Tuesday, February 26th, 2019 a few New Yorkers will go to the polls to select the next NYC Public Advocate.
Brief NYC Public Advocate History
The position was created in 1993, by renaming the office of the President of the City Council, which up until 1989, had held a seat on the New York City Board of Estimate until it was abolished that year.
The Public Advocate has a relatively small budget [under $4 million per year], a small department as measured by headcount and no voting power except in the cases where a deciding vote needs to be cast in the City Council. The real power of the Public Advocate is in that person's ability to influence the conversation regarding policy priorities and urgency.
Second in Line to Mayor de Blasio
And with Mayor de Blasio considering a run for the presidency - while quite a long shot at this point - the Public Advocate would be next in line to succeed him. There have been only four Public Advocates since the post was created, starting with Mark Green who made a run for Mayor and lost. Betsy Gotbaum followed Green, and she was followed by Bill de Blasio who managed to use the position as a spring board to win the Mayoralty. Letitia James succeeded de Blasio and she is now the NYS Attorney General. The City Council Speaker has been the interim Public Advocate since James took office in January 2019, and will give up the post following this election.
Public Advocate Election - Tuesday 2/26 - Please Vote
The New York Public Advocate election is tomorrow - Tuesday, February 26th.
The polling booths will be open from 6 am to 9 pm Tuesday.
To find your poll location click on the graphic above.
Once on the website, input your address, and then click the icon to the right of it to get the results of the search. You have to look for the super-tiny icon near the lower right corner of the screen.
Trump Suffers Huge Losses in Midterms
Americans Sharply Reprimand the Un-Reality TV President
The American people have spoken.
Now what the voters have said, by virtue of their votes, is already being spun by Donald Trump's and Rupert Murdoch's propaganda spin machines in order to further their self-serving agendas.
But before we look at the spin, let's look at the facts, as the electoral outcome is a measure of the American people's endorsement - or lack thereof - of the presidency of Donald J. Trump and by association, Rupert Murdoch, the multi-billionaire, global propagandist who was instrumental in helping Trump take the White House.
Republicans Gain 2 Senate Seats - One from Pence's Home State of Indiana & one from Donald's 2nd Home State of Florida
The Republican Party strengthened its already firm grip on the Senate by picking up three [North Dakota, Missouri & Indiana] maybe four [Florida] Democratic Senate seats, while losing two Republican seats [Nevada and Arizona], leaving them with a net gain of two seats.
So, assuming that the follow on election in Mississippi goes to Republicans, and the current tiny lead in Florida is not overwhelmed with absentee ballots, the Senate tally will change from the current 49 Democrats - 51 Republicans to 47 Democrats - 53 Republicans. Of note is that Republicans had only six seats to defend, while Democrats had 27 seats up for grabs.
At the moment there are two unresolved Senate races, one of which has been Republican [Mississippi] and the second of which is Florida [Democratic incumbent], so this tally could change.
Home States Advantage. It's worth mentioning that one of the seats picked up by the Republicans came from Indiana, the home state of Vice President Mike Pence, and the possibility of another comes from Florida, which I categorize as the second home state of President Donald Trump, given how much property he owns / manages there and how often he golfs there.
Republicans Lose Control of the House & Lose Control of 7 State Capitals
As of this report the Republican Party lost 27 and likely more seats in the House, thus relinquishing their majority in that body for the first time in eight years. And for the first time during the Trump presidency, the opposition Democrats have an opportunity to play a real role in governing again. The Democrats now have subpoena power, they have the power to impeach, and no legislation can be passed without Democratic signatures. At present count the Democrats have won 222 seats [218 provides majority rule] to the Republicans 194 seats, and there are 17 races that have not yet been officially announced, so the net loss / gain tallies will change, as the remaining 19 contests are settled. There are 435 congressional representatives.
Ballot Questions Tuesday
Most Pols Urge Folks to Vote Yes - I Respectfully Disagree
Tomorrow on your ballot you will find three ballot initiatives which appear designed to encourage participation in the electoral process. One pol informed me that NY State had the 8th lowest turnout in the nation in 2016 and these ballot initiatives are an effort to engage the public.
Most NYC public officials have come out in favor of the initiatives, with their rationale being that it will encourage participation by the electorate. While I applaud their initiative and efforts, I disagree with the specific proposals.
#1. Campaign Finance. To increase public matching from 6:1 to 8:1. To reduce the maximum campaign contribution from up to $5,100 for Mayor to $2,000 and from $3,950 to $1,500 for city council members. To reduce the requirements to qualify for those funds. And to make those funds available earlier in the campaign.
I like the idea of increasing the matching from 6:1 to 8:1 as an incentive to increase voter participation in elections. But that's where my support for this proposal ends. If my reading of the ruling of the Supreme Court in 2009 / 2010 in the Citizens United Case is correct that part of the ballot proposal is unconstitutional. While I don't know the specifics of how they've loosened the requirements to qualify for matching public funds or exactly how soon a candidate can access them - I've yet to hear of any major viable candidate complaining that their inability to qualify for or access public matching funds caused them to drop out of or lose a race. So making it easier for political candidates to obtain public money doesn't seem like a good idea to me - but I certainly understand why it would seem like a good idea to pols.
#2. A Civic Engagement Commission. To establish a civic engagement commission of 15 members, with 8 appointed by the Mayor, 2 by the City Council Speaker, 1 by each of the five Borough Presidents. The Commission Chair would be appointed by the Mayor and given a staff. The mission of this group would be to encourage civic engagement in the budgeting process by working with local groups and setting up translators at local poll sites.
How different is this from the role played by the Community Boards? The NYC.gov website states,
"The purpose of each New York City Community Board is to encourage and facilitate the participation of citizens within City government within their communities, and the efficient and effective organization of agencies that deliver municipal services in local communities and boroughs."
This seems redundantly bureaucratic to me. Instead of adding layers of bureaucracy, they should be working to make the existing government apparatus more meaningful and effective.
#3. Set Term Limits For Community Boards & Require Borough Presidents to Seek out Diversity. They want to limit Community Board members to four consecutive two year terms. And require Borough Presidents to seek out diverse people to serve as board members.
The only place I like term limits is in the Executive branch - because that's where most of the real power is vested. I don't like term limiting council members, assembly members, congress[wo]men or Senators because they are the locus of institutional knowledge. So I don't like seeing community board members term limited because they understand how the system works, and by the time the new ones move up the learning curve, term limits forces them from office, leaving those who lobby these groups with most of the control.
As for diversity - I'm all for it - but there are plenty of anti-discrimination laws already in place. At some point people have to begin to organize and stand up for themselves. Based upon the last eleven years of local reporting, the people of NYC appear to be pretty good at doing that. And if people feel they are being discriminated against, I suggest seeing a non-profit or for profit attorney about pressing your case.
Has the Democratic Party Tipped the Scales ... Again?
Democratic Machine Releases Direct Mail Ad, Falsely Attacking Cynthia Nixon
A Democratic Machine Big Lie?
Over the weekend, the NYS Democratic Party Committee, sent out a mailer which falsely claims that,
"... inexperienced Cynthia Nixon. Who won't stand strong for our Jewish communities."
The claim in this Democratic Party mailer is akin to Hitler's Big Lie. Hitler's Big Lie, according to Wikipedia is,
"... [Hitler's] 1925 book Mein Kampf, [talks] about the use of a lie so "colossal" that no one would believe that someone "could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously".
It's a big lie because Cynthia Nixon is a mother to three Jewish children with whom she attends a local synagogue.
Andrew Cuomo's Implausible Denial?
"I didn't know about the mailer. I haven't seen the mailer."
The New York Times wasn't buying it. After having endorsed Cuomo less than a week earlier, on September 4th, the Times Editorial Board in a September 9th opinion said the following,
"Sorry, Mr. Cuomo, but that strains credulity."
They went on to note that,
"Mr. Cuomo dominates the state Democratic Party. It acts ethically or abominably at his direction, or at the very least, with his campaign's blessing."
Byron Brown - NYS Democratic Party Chair & Cuomo Ally
It's worth noting that the new Chair of the New York State Democratic [Party] Committee is Byron Brown. Brown was appointed to the post on May 23, 2016, and is a Cuomo political confidant. So it would seem Cuomo's ignorance of the mailer is either extreme incompetence - or more likely - an outright lie. Let's briefly examine the facts.
Democratic Party Chair Byron Brown was born and raised in Queens in the 1950's, as was Andrew Cuomo. Brown went on to become the Mayor of Buffalo from 2005 - 2017, and as early as 2006, when Andrew Cuomo began campaigning for NYS Attorney General, Byron Brown was described in a November 23, 2006 New York Times report as a "political confidant" of Andrew Cuomo's.
A May 30, 2006 report in the Buffalo News states that Byron,
"... seconded Cuomo's nomination [for NYS Attorney General] at the convention on May 30, 2006."
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