Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio told reporters today that a substantial, organized campaign would soon be launched to ensure the State Legislature approves the centerpiece of his policy agenda: a tax hike on the city’s high income earners to fund universal pre-kindergarten and expanded after-school programs.
Though he was reportedly expected to plead guilty to federal corruption charges today, Assemblyman William Boyland Jr. instead pleaded not guilty, setting up a trial date for December or January.
A pot grower in Albany was killed last weekend when he set off his own booby trap.
Daniel Ricketts, 50, was almost decapitated after setting off a piano wire trap on his property.
The Times Union reported that Mr. Rickets set off the trap, which he had placed to protect his marijuana plants, Read More
Former Gov. Eliot Spitzer, felled by a prostitution scandal five years ago, found a forgiving crowd in Staten Island this morning during the third official campaign stop of his surprise bid to become the city’s next comptroller.
“No matter what happened, you know, he is a good politician,” said Emely Gutierrez on her way to work as a personal assistant in Manhattan. “I’ve read about him a lot, many Spanish people like him, me and my friends all like him. The other guy, he doesn’t have the experience.”
Assemblywoman Deborah Glick is dismissing as “fiction” a report alleging she is leading a coup of female lawmakers to depose Shelly Silver as Assembly speaker.
The New York Post’s Fred Dicker reported this morning that Mr. Silver is facing a “serious leadership threat’’ from 30 Democratic Assemblywomen fed up after being forced to defend him in the wake of the Vito Lopez sexual harassment scandal.
State Senator Roy McDonald of Saratoga County apparently has decided not to run an aggressive re-election campaign on the Independence Party line after losing a closely-contested primary for the Republican nomination.
What a shame. We need more people like Senator McDonald in Albany, and in every facet of civic life.
The Committee to Save New York has a number of laudable goals in mind, goals that this page shares. Committee members, many of whom are well-placed among New York’s civic and business leaders, have sought to win public support for political and fiscal reform in Albany, reforms desperately needed if New York is going to prosper in the 21st century.
It’s clear that the committee has struck a nerve—it was able to raise $17 million last year, and it spent $12 million. No doubt you’ve seen the committee’s television ads, and if they seem like campaign commercials for Gov. Andrew Cuomo, well, that’s not a coincidence. Many of the committee’s leaders, including co-chair Rob Speyer, have close ties to the governor. The governor’s agenda and the committee’s are one and the same.
Here’s the problem: If the committee truly is serious about changing the dysfunctional culture of state government, if it is, in fact, in favor of greater transparency in political decision-making, if it really wants to set an example, it simply cannot continue to play by the old rules.
But it is doing just that.
Parks funding is something of an obsession around these parts, particularly those open spaces The Observer has deemed libertarian parks, spaces ranging from Brooklyn Bridge Park to the High Line, which are either built or maintained with outside funds. On the one hand, these parks might never have been created without private investment.
On the other, it shows a troubling lack of respect and appreciation for the public trust—where would the city be if the same we-just-can’t-afford-’em attitude of today persisted in the past? Central Park, Prospect Park, Pelham Bay Park, even the controversial work of Robert Moses, would any of it have happened if it had been undertaken by private interests?
Hudson River Park, first proposed in the 1980s, launched a decade later and by all accounts the first libertarian park, has been facing funding shortfalls for years now, hindering the ability of parks officials to finish construction of many of the piers and maintaining the ones it has already redeveloped.
For the past few weeks, longshot “Occupy” Senate candidate Scott Noren has been at war with the state politics blog and TV show Capital Tonight with angry ads on Albany politics sites and supposedly plans to fly a plane over the capitol. Today, Mr. Noren published a series of emails he claims inspired the feud. Mr. Noren became enraged with Capital Tonight host Liz Benjamin, one of the pre-eminent reporters on the Albany beat, after receiving what he described as a “less than professional” response from her following “several attempts to get media coverage on Capital Tonight.”
“You have come across as the most arrogant local newscaster I have ever encountered,” Mr. Noren wrote in the missive he released today.
Governor Andrew Cuomo says that if the teachers union continues to obstruct the implementation of a new, robust evaluation system for teachers and principals by Thursday, he’ll act on his own and impose a system. That’s precisely what he ought to do.
The showdown still was underway at press time, but regardless of whether or not the governor and the union reach an agreement, a larger point remains: Once again, the teachers union, emboldened by its allies in the Democratic-controlled State Assembly, has resisted efforts to bring accountability into the classroom.
Unlike his fellow Democrats in the Assembly, Mr. Cuomo has shown that he understands the reactionary role the teachers union continues to play against the effort to bring much-needed reform to poor-performing school districts. Mr. Cuomo is acting on behalf of poorly served students and their parents. The union, of course, is simply trying to protect incompetent teachers.