Author Archive

Setting the Agenda: Good Government

Written by Stephen Witt on . Posted in Campaigns/Elections, Government Operations, Trials/Hearings

The New York State Capitol in Albany. (Photo: Looks Eeseen) The opinions of lawmakers and government watchdog groups regarding good-governance reforms in Albany’s recently completed 2013 legislative session have a lot in common with the perception of beauty: They are all in the eye of the beholder. While several measures aimed at cleaning up government were proposed and debated separately in both cham-bers of the statehouse, none came close to becoming law. However, Gov. Andrew Cuomo has convened a Moreland… [More]

Union Man? GOP Congressman Michael Grimm Makes Inroads with Labor

Written by Stephen Witt on . Posted in Campaigns/Elections, Labor/Unions, Uncategorized

Rep. Michael Grimm (center left), with Geraldo Rivera and NYPD and FDNY members last fall. Grimm, a Republican, has made inroads among labor groups. (Source: Grimm Flickr page) The Democratic Party’s grip on organized labor remains strong in New York City. But as the two major political parties gear up for City Councilman Domenic Recchia’s challenge to Republican Staten Island congressman Michael Grimm, Grimm’s courtship of the unions has been paying dividends—both monetarily and politically. According to the website OpenSecrets.… [More]

District Leader Claims Hynes and Seddio Signed Off On Parolees Campaigning For Community Service

Written by Stephen Witt on . Posted in Campaigns/Elections, News

Campaign for Democrats and it will count as time served! According to a Democratic district leader in Brooklyn, that is the message Kings County District Attorney Charles “Joe” Hynes and Kings County Democratic Party boss Frank Seddio are conveying in one assembly district to parolees seeking a way to fulfill community service. “[The parolees] are participating in the campaigns across the 57th Assembly District,” said Renee Collymore, the Kings County Democratic Party treasurer and female leader in the district. “This… [More]

Ballot Barristers: Inside The Select World Of New York City Election Attorneys

Written by Stephen Witt on . Posted in Campaigns/Elections

With only a small select group of attorneys specializing in election law in New York City and an overabundance of candidates seeking office in 2013, the demand far outstrips the supply. As a result, election lawyers can amass a stable of clients who may find each other strange bedfellows. Much of this legal work falls on the old guard of mainly white male attorneys who were around City Hall in the 1980s when the nonpartisan Campaign Finance Board was established… [More]

Anybody But Quinn

Written by Stephen Witt on . Posted in Campaigns/Elections

It’s the evening rush hour on the Upper West Side, and while a street corner saxophonist blows a familiar melody across the street, about 20 protesters are handing out “Anybody but Christine Quinn for Mayor” fliers to straphangers streaming out of the 72nd Street subway station. The anti-Quinn contingent is led by animal rights activist Donny Moss, who first clashed with the Council speaker as early as 2007, when she did not support then Councilman Tony Avella’s proposal to ban… [More]

Chinese-Language Media Tell A Different Story Of Liu’s Ordeal

Written by Stephen Witt on . Posted in Campaigns/Elections

Since late 2011, when a New York Times report sparked a federal probe of City Comptroller John Liu’s fund-raising for his mayoral campaign—an investigation that has since led to two arrests—the city’s tabloids and many political observers have largely written off Liu’s once-promising bid to become the city’s first Asian-American mayor. But if you were to go to Flushing, Queens, Sunset Park in Brooklyn or Manhattan’s Chinatown and pick up the Chinese-language newspapers that dominate these heavily Chinese-American areas, you… [More]

Permit Parking Splits Brooklyn Politicians

Written by Stephen Witt on . Posted in Other News, Transportation

Fences might make for good neighbors, but residential permit parking makes for interesting political bedfellows—particularly in space-starved Brooklyn, where the issue is blurring political allegiances and pitting former allies against each other. The squabbling comes after the City Council’s recent 40–8 home rule message to support permit parking on New York City streets, paving the way for the state Legislature to take up the issue in a proposal introduced jointly by Sen. Daniel Squadron and Assemblywoman Joan Millman. The bill… [More]

Permit Parking Splits Brooklyn Politicians

Written by Stephen Witt on . Posted in Other News, Transportation

Fences might make for good neighbors, but residential permit parking makes for interesting political bedfellows—particularly in space-starved Brooklyn, where the issue is blurring political allegiances and pitting former allies against each other. The squabbling comes after the City Council’s recent 40–8 home rule message to support permit parking on New York City streets, paving the way for the state Legislature to take up the issue in a proposal introduced jointly by Sen. Daniel Squadron and Assemblywoman Joan Millman. The bill… [More]

On Cloud 9th

Written by Stephen Witt on . Posted in Campaigns/Elections, News & Features

New York’s Ninth Congressional District faces an existential crisis: The seat is empty now, and is likely to vanish after next year. So perhaps it’s fitting that Ninth District voters face an existential crisis of their own: How can they pick their next congressman when the election has nothing to do with their neighborhoods? The Democrats picked an organization man, Assemblyman David Weprin, as their candidate in what had always been a solid district for them. Then Republican Tea Party… [More]