Thursday, November 8, 2007

Joel, The Marathon Man

As I've written before, City Council Majority Leader Joel Rivera had spent the past few months training to run in the marathon over the weekend. For your enjoyment, Rivera's office has provided this picture of the probable 2009 borough presidential candidate greeting his fans in his native Bronx on Sunday. He finished the race in about five hours.

A politician running. Oh, the metaphors!

Election '07: What It Means In Westchester

A trusted Westchester source-in-the-know sends over this detailed analysis of just what Tuesday's results mean for Westchester County. Here's the report:


The big victory by Mayor Phil Amicone (R) over Councilmember Dennis Robertson (D) is a major defeat for allies of former Mayor (and former candidate for US Senate) John Spencer (R). Spencer and his allies were strongly for Robertson. Amicone governs as an apolitical technocrat and works well with most figures in both parties.

Amicone is term limited and therefore a lame duck. Expect Ken Jenkins (Democratic chair in Yonkers and a County Legislator) to begin grooming a strong Democrat for mayor, but not City Council Chuck Lesnick, who many see as a cross between a loose canon and a light weight.

Amicone himself must consider whether to run for County Executive in four years. His reputation as being on the level in hilly and crooked Yonkers would serve him well; but Democrats have a big edge in registration in Westchester. Amicone would have no difficulty picking up private employment.

Also in Yonkers, people are talking about how relatively close the Spreckman-Christiana race turned out: Incumbent Republican Bernice Spreckman 3,900, Democratic challenger Ger Christiana 2,900. Christiana's campaign appeared non-existent and those 2,900 votes pure hard core Democratic voters. Word is a Democrat who is known and willing to campaign vigorously could put the seat in play. This creates an interesting scenario for Spreckman. She is perceived as a reliable vote to support the programs and priorities of County Executive Andy Spano in part because her son has a patronage job with the county administration. But if she stays a Republican, Spreckman may well attract a strong Democratic challenger. If she switches to the Dems [previously she switched from the Dems to the GOP -- when the Republican County Executive (now Judge) Andy O'Rourke put the Spreckman heir on the payroll], then County Executive Spano could help preclude a primary. Anyway, the seat is seen in play.

Mount Vernon

The county Democratic organization rallied 'round the official Democratic candidate, County Legislator Clinton Young who won handily. Incumbent Ernie Davis lost the Democratic primary, continued the race to November, and got more than one third of the vote on the Independence and Conservative lines. This is a very Democratic city, but with 88% of the districts reporting, 42% of the voters voted otherwise than with the Democratic candidate. Republican County chairman Doug Colety will be looking at those numbers to see if an appropriately charismatic candidate could do well there as a County Executive race. Most observers see this deviation as a one shot incident with a powerful incumbent mayor using the power of incumbency to draw votes.

New Rochelle

Democratic Mayor Noam Bramson was re-elected with two thirds of the vote and appeared to have no coat-tails. Republicans held their one seat on the seven member council, won a second, and are (as of now) leading in a third district by seven votes.

County Board

Democrats picked up two seats on the 17 member board bringing their total to 14 and a half (Spreckman). That gives the Democrats the so-called super majority needed for bond acts. Most members of the 17 member board were unopposed, but two Republican incumbents faced strong campaigns. Minority Leader George Oros won re-election from northwest Westchester (Peekskill and environs) by 300 votes out of 9,300 votes cast.

Conservative Suzanne Swanson lost to Democrat John Nonna 44% to 56% in a central Westchester district centered around Pleasantville. It is expected that former legislator Rob Astorino will be more visible within the district and try to recapture it for the GOP in two years.

Republican Ursula LaMotte and Democrat Clinton Young were the only legislators not to seek re-election. Young will face the trials of being mayor of Mount Vernon and will be replaced on the county board by Mount Vernon City Council Member Lyndon Williams (D). LaMotte will face the trials of grandmother-hood and will be replaced by businessman Peter Harckham (D). Harckham defeated Republican Peter Michaelas 52% -- 48%, an indication that this high income area is becoming more and more Democratic.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Poll: No One Likes The Spitzer Plan

A new Rasmussen poll finds 77% of all Americans oppose any plan that would give drivers' licenses to illegal immigrants.

The opposition has no real party affiliation. Republicans do have a greater distaste (88%) for such a plan, but Democrats (68%) and independents (75%) are pretty strongly against it, too.

I guess Eliot Spitzer won't be able to use the issue as the backbone for a presidential run anytime soon.

More here.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

The Unbearable Sadness of Off-Year Voting

In AD 36/ED 35 in Astoria I was just voter number 36 at 5:20 p.m.

Sigh. Let's hope low turnout doesn't keep Long Lake from getting its water.

Monday, November 5, 2007

More Satellite Radio Merger Support

A number of new individuals and organizations, including former New Jersey Senator and New York Knicks legend Bill Bradley, have come out in support of the impending Sirius/XM Radio merger.

"Merger synergies will decrease duplicative programming and result in expanded variety and more unique content unavailable anywhere else. Additionally, these synergies will also allow the companies to offer new programming options -- customers will be able to select packages that include content from both XM and SIRIUS. For the first time ever in subscription media, consumers will also have the option of a la carte programming, where they can truly tailor their radio to fit their listening tastes," wrote Bradley in a letter to the FCC.

More here.

Friday, November 2, 2007

What Does This Mean?

From the Ron Paul for President request form for New York delegates to the Republican convention:

I support Ron Paul for President and agree to vote for him on every ballot at the Republican Convention until released by him from that obligation, regardless of any laws or rules to the contrary.

The full form is here (hat tip: Azi).

Vallone: Con Ed Wants Dollars, Has No Sense

Queens City Councilman Peter Vallone is asking an interesting question today: why does Con Edison need the 18% rate hike it has requested from the Public Service Commission when it's quarterly financial report shows it has increased earnings 34% in the last quarter?

"We already pay the highest rates in the country, resulting in huge profits for Con Ed. Now, they are asking for even higher rates," Vallone said. "Con Ed asking for higher rates is like Bill Gates asking to be on welfare."

Con Edison has reported earnings of $312 million in the third quarter, higher than the $231 million it reported in the third quarter of last year. More on those earnings here.


Via Azi.

And Karol.

Illegal Immigrants Yes, Legal Guns No

That's the message being sent by Hillary Clinton, according to a particularly harsh statement released by the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms (CCRKBA). The organization is blasting Clinton for supporting Governor Eliot Spitzer's proposal to give illegal immigrants drivers' licenses while she opposes concealed-carry laws for legal, law-abiding residents of these United States.

"Based on her comments during Tuesday night's debate," said CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb, "Sen. Clinton must think people in this country illegally are entitled to greater rights than citizens and others who are here legally. Maybe it's because she knows that illegal aliens would vote for her, while law-abiding American gun owners won't."

Gottlieb added, "It is clear she wants special privileges for illegal immigrants, yet she opposes allowing American citizens to carry firearms to protect themselves from illegal aliens and others who commit violent crimes."

Viola Plummer Wants Your Help

It's a little old, but pictured below is shot of an advertisement in an edition of the Black Star News from a few weeks ago (that I just picked up), in which City Council Speaker Christine Quinn is described as a "white supremacist."

The ad is taken in defense of Viola Plummer, the former chief of staff to Brooklyn City Councilman Charles Barron, who was removed from that position by Quinn following her behavior during the "Sonny Carson street renaming" dust up.

The ad is signed by the December 12th Movement, a group Plummer chairs. In it Plummer is defended as the latest target of "white supremacy in New York City," and that her lawsuit seeking her reinstatement as Barron's chief of staff is "challenging the racism of City Council Speaker Christine Quinn."

There's more. The ad goes on to state that Council member Leroy Comrie, who Plummer stated should be "assassinated" following the street renaming vote (that statement cause her firing by Quinn in the first place), broke his promise to other council members to support the renaming. It also describes Quinn's rule at the City Council as a "de facto dictatorship" and declares her lawsuit as an effort to prove "the First Amendment still applies to Black people."

The ad closes with a plea for contributions to the "Viola Plummer Defense Fund," noting that her lawsuit will probably cost $15,000 to implement.

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