Bronx Assemblyman Michael Benjamin, who declined to run for re-election this year, took great interest in our earlier post about the pushback among D.C. Democrats for the the Koch/Cuomo independent redistricting panel idea commission.
He sent over a long email with some thoughtful analysis and historical perspective, parts of which we reprint below. His opinion Read More
ALBANY—Assemblyman Michael Benjamin has an idea to help the state through its $2.1 billion midyear deficit: resurrect the mixed martial arts bill.
"It's a barbaric sport," Benjamin, who had opposed the bill, told me by phone. "If we're stuck with these awful deficits, then I think we can use some of Read More
Yesterday, Bill Thompson failed to qualify for matching funds from the city's Board of Election, which oversees the city's public financing of campaigns.
Michael Bloomberg's campaign, which is threatening to make that program irrelevant (at least for the mayor's race) due to its record-setting spending, sent out a statement this morning belittling Thompson's fund-raising Read More
ALBANY—The State Senate's chapter amendments to the school governance bill will get a fair–if firm–shake in the Assembly, several members said.
"In my crystal ball, none of the rubric of what they have suggested, I wouldn't expect, will be a problem with my colleagues," said Assemblyman Danny O'Donnell, a Manhattan Democrat. Read More
In his second and final campaign event of the evening of July 20, Michael Bloomberg visited a steaming hot volunteer headquarters in Riverdale, where he talked about his attempts to narrow the achievement gap between minority and white students.
He was troubled.
“People said you couldn’t do anything about it in the last Read More
ALBANY—When the State Senate returns on Wednesday, it will take up a school governance bill passed by the Assembly as well as a separate bill amending it.
This means that the Assembly bill—which David Paterson has said he will sign—would become law, and any changes or input that Read More
ALBANY—Assembly Democrats met behind closed doors for over three hours last night, where Speaker Sheldon Silver presented a plan for school governance.
"It basically preserves mayoral control, with tweaks," Assemblyman Michael Benjamin said afterward.
The plan would allow the mayor to continue to appoint the majority of he Panel for Educational Policy. Silver's Read More
ALBANY—A new poll by Quinnipiac University finds New Yorkers are split on the issue of same-sex marriage, 46 to 46, but shows some revealing cross tabs:
– Jews support same-sex marriage 61 to 34 percent.
– Catholics oppose same-sex marriage 53-39 percent.
–Protestants oppose it 55-38 percent.
– Voters over 55 oppose Read More
Some Democratic lawmakers I spoke with yesterday collectively shrugged their shoulders at the coverage of Andrew Cuomo’s plans for 2010.
In response to (incontrovertibly plausible) assertions that the attorney general is "eyeing a race for governor," Democratic State Senator Jose Serrano of the Bronx said, "I want us to Read More
ALBANY—For Assemblyman Adriano Espaillat, the stances Senator Kirsten Gillibrand has taken cut personally: He was once an undocumented immigrant.
"I will not support anybody who has a position for English only," he said. "I'm an immigrant myself, and someone who came here with no papers. If I were to come here today, and Read More