I posted this yesterday but new polls show that this is even MORE
critical than it was when I first posted. The latest poll shows
Sestak, the progressive candidate, within the margin of error against
the Tea Party candidate Toomey. That means we can win this one if we
try. So, let me REPOST what I said yesterday with renewed urgancy:
My friend from the Independent Neighborhood Democrats has been
organizing bus trips to Pennsylvania for GOTV efforts since 2006. In
2008 he and a handful of others from New York almost doubled the
efforts of an understaffed local Dem Party in Pennsylvania’s 8th
Congressional District and seriously helped energize the Democratic
vote. He is doing it again this year, though not on the scale he did
in 2008. But it still could do wonders for Pennsylvania's Senate race.
Here is the info:
Please join me Saturday, October 30th, for a day trip to
Pennsylvania’s 8th Congressional District to help preserve our
Democratic majority in Congress, and further President Obama’s agenda
It hasn’t been easy, and the forces of the status quo are baying read more »
is supposed to be easier to read than this:
And yes, am being totally biased in the making of these signs. I actually find the imposed new style more difficult to read from a car. I blame that in part to tradition: I expect New York City traffic signs to be in all caps. Yet I also blame it on the descenders of the lower case letters: the "tail end" of the G, J and Y become more of a distraction to me on signs. And the assymetric spacing in the rectangle gets all thrown to shit when you mix upper and lower cases.
By the way, this goes to the fontards: I know I should have used Frutiger for the signs. For some bizarre reason my computer doesn't have it.
Anyway, I find this imposed change completely ridiculous.
My kids' teachers asked for paper towels and toilet paper because supposedly the schools couldn't pay for it. One of the schools also wants $125 for each after school class because allegedly budget cuts have gutted the after school program.
Yet the feds have $26 million to throw on small-caping traffic signs because allegedly they are easier to read? From New Yorkers outraged as bureaucrats order city to change lettering on every single street sign:
Street names will change from all capital letters to a combination of upper and lower case on roads across the country thanks to the pricey federal regulation, officials said Wednesday.
The Federal Highway Administration says the switch will improve safety because drivers identify the words more quickly when they're displayed that way - and can sooner return their eyes to the road.
So what do you think? Is the change worth 26 million dollars?
Wow...Carl "Ride my Pony" Paladino and his campaign manager Michael Caputo show what nasty, petty little thugs they are. When a journalist (for the NY Post no less) asks Paladino to cite evidence for his accusations against Cuomo (probably even softballing him to keep Right Wing lies in the media) Paladino and Caputo go berserk and THREATEN him:
My friend from the Independent Neighborhood Democrats has been organizing bus trips to Pennsylvania for GOTV efforts since 2006. In 2008 he and a handful of others from New York almost doubled the efforts of an understaffed local Dem Party in Pennsylvania’s 8th Congressional District and seriously helped energize the Democratic vote. He is doing it again this year, though not on the scale he did in 2008. But it still could do wonders for Pennsylvania's Senate race. Here is the info:
Please join me Saturday, October 30th, for a day trip to Pennsylvania’s 8th Congressional District to help preserve our Democratic majority in Congress, and further President Obama’s agenda for change.
It hasn’t been easy, and the forces of the status quo are baying like wounded animals, but we have the opportunity to prove the pundits wrong. Governor Deval Patrick of Massachusetts recently said, “The 2008 election was about changing the guard; 2010 is about guarding the change.” read more »
[EDITOR'S NOTE: We have enormous respect for Rock here. But it has to be said that O'Hara and his supporters are pretty much a bunch of homophobic liars, so my personal position on this is that O'Hara probably deserves his fate in prison. Innocent people don't usually lie and make homophobic accusations against their opponents...so my take at this point is that O'Hara is guilty]
I am told that one has to officially get in a pardon request before October 1st, 2010; so let me write this column as a formal request to our present governor David Paterson. I want to go on record as another who joined the chorus: PARDON JOHN O'HARA; PLEASE. read more »
It's raining here in New York City. From my window, all I see is The Empire State Building blanketed by fog.
read more »
INSIDE JOB: A documentary that will surely launch the Economic Crisis of 2008's own Truther movement
From Academy Award® nominated filmmaker, Charles Ferguson ("No End In Sight"), comes INSIDE JOB, the first film to expose the shocking truth behind the economic crisis of 2008. The global financial meltdown, at a cost of over $20 trillion, resulted in millions of people losing their homes and jobs. Through extensive research and interviews with major financial insiders, politicians and journalists, INSIDE JOB traces the rise of a rogue industry and unveils the corrosive relationships which have corrupted politics, regulation and academia. Narrated by Academy Award® winner Matt Damon, INSIDE JOB was made on location in the United States, Iceland, England, France, Singapore, and China.
If there is just one finance blog I would consider required reading to understand the depth of corruption in Wall Street, it is naked capitalism. It was created by Yves Smith, the author of ECONNED: How Unenlightened Self-Interest Undermined Democracy and Corrupted Capitalism.
In her book she describes how going back to the 1970s, there was a push by free-marketeers to use Economics, not Finance, to not just create policy but to develop the trading tools that has created the hydra of the 1980s S&L and the current banking collapse, the sub-prime mortage orgy and the derivatives unicorn and rainbows markets.
Smith is ruthless when it comes to denouncing Economics as a discipline that is not qualified to provide policy advice and she has no problems calling out free-marketeers as looters. To say I deeply admire the breath of her financial knowledge and her fearless activism is to put it mildly.
It's why, when she says a documentary about the crisis is good, I take notice. From naked capitalism - Inside Job: A Movie Wall Street is Sure to Hate read more »
[EDITOR'S NOTE: Seeing the attacks on Rock on Room 8 I want to emphasize that anyone is welcome to comment and disagree around here...but I will delete comments that are personal attacks. If you want to make a point, leave out a personal attack.--mole333]
Brooklyn's minority voters have a history of puzzling votes: no doubt. You can go back to the days of Shirley Chisholm, Vander Beatty and Waldaba Stewart, to find some strange results recorded: yes indeed.. There were times when you could only scratch your head and wonder what the motivations were, when voters elected certain folks (some repeatedly). And as time went by one hoped that minority voters in Brooklyn would evolve into rational-actor voter-models: demonstrating a higher level of critical-scrutiny for wannabee electeds. One hoped that the vetting process would be rigorous and extensive, and that the standards would be set real high for office-applicants. One hoped that qualified, educated, competent, capable, intelligent candidates would emerge to lead some of these districts sorely in need of dynamic leadership. Leaders who could articulate their way out of a phone booth; who could think creatively while they chew gum and walk straight. People of integrity. People with impeccable character traits and with very little or no “personal baggage”. People that can be examples for our hungry minority youth: too many of whom are grappling with the “missing-father syndrome”. People who could go to high places and make the case for better government-action more beneficial to the needy. People who could build coalitions and minimize isolation and alienation. People who could aspire, inspire and perspire, not disappoint and corruptly conspire. Alas, it seems as though one can only dream for the day when minority voters in Brooklyn would make better choices and be consistent in their reasoning: but we dream on; nonetheless. read more »
A list muslim scholars, clerics and artists have signed a letter of support of Free Speech to all victims of religious radicals including Molly Norris, Matt Stone and Trey Parker. From The American Muslim (TAM):
A DEFENSE OF FREE SPEECH BY AMERICAN AND CANADIAN MUSLIMS
We, the undersigned, unconditionally condemn any intimidation or threats of violence directed against any individual or group exercising the rights of freedom of religion and speech; even when that speech may be perceived as hurtful or reprehensible.
We are concerned and saddened by the recent wave of vitriolic anti-Muslim and anti-Islamic sentiment that is being expressed across our nation.
We are even more concerned and saddened by threats that have been made against individual writers, cartoonists, and others by a minority of Muslims. We see these as a greater offense against Islam than any cartoon, Qur'an burning, or other speech could ever be deemed.
We affirm the right of free speech for Molly Norris, Matt Stone, Trey Parker, and all others including ourselves.
As Muslims, we must set an example of justice, patience, tolerance, respect, and forgiveness.
The Qur'an enjoins Muslims to:
* bear witness to Islam through our good example (2:143);
* restrain anger and pardon people (3:133-134 and 24:22);
* remain patient in adversity (3186);
* stand firmly for justice (4:135);
* not let the hatred of others swerve us from justice (5:8);
* respect the sanctity of life (5:32);
* turn away from those who mock Islam (6:68 and 28:55);
* hold to forgiveness, command what is right, and turn away from the ignorant (7:199);
* restrain ourselves from rash responses (16:125-128);
* pass by worthless talk with dignity (25:72); and
* repel evil with what is better (41:34).
Islam calls for vigorous condemnation of both hateful speech and hateful acts, but always within the boundaries of the law. It is of the utmost importance that we react, not out of reflexive emotion, but with dignity and intelligence, in accordance with both our religious precepts and the laws of our country.
We uphold the First Amendment of the US Constitution and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Both protect freedom of religion and speech, because both protections are fundamental to defending minorities from the whims of the majority. read more »
Yes, this is the guy that is funding a "little people's movement" that demands we don't tax the wealthy. This is that guy.
From Carl Paladino's web site:
Even drastic [spending] cuts will still leave us behind governments in our neighboring states - Ohio and Pennsylvania - which spend about 70 cents to the New York dollar. So I will work tirelessly each and every day of my administration to make more spending and tax cuts to provide New Yorkers the relief they need.
This is - and more - long, long overdue.
There are apparently two Carl Paladinos. One of them is running for governor of New York and has a problem with Jews, Muslims and, I hope just so I'm not left out, gays as well. This Carl Paladino proposes to slash state taxation and spending much as you might mow your lawn.
The other Carl Paladino is a multi-millionaire developer sucking energetically at the public teat. Michael Daly in today's Daily News has the numbers:
Just cut the $5,251,415 in rent you collect each year on 28 leases with 17 state agencies.
How about 20%?
That's your target for cutting the budget.
Surely, you can slice that much off your annual take from the Office of Temporary & Disability Assistance ($454,363), the Office of Mental Retardation & Developmental Disabilities ($128,425) and the Office of Children & Family Services ($362,028).
There's also the Office of Vocational & Educational Services for Individuals with Disabilities ($337,606). You scored big using that agency as the anchor tenant needed to develop a shuttered Buffalo department store into a mixed-use complex you grandly named the Belesario.
I don't think anyone has a problem with smarter state spending. It just seems rather self-serving to hang from the rafters screaming about it with one hand and taking literally millions of dollars every year from the state with the other.
It is now official. Lincoln Restler is the new District Leader/State Committee member from the 50th Assembly District, beating Vito Lopez's candidate by 120 votes. The reform movement wins another one and the Vito Lopez machine loses a tad more control.
Lincoln Restler with Councilwoman Diana Reyna (from the New Kings Democrats Website)
(Yes, I like the photo because it shows two people who stood up to Vito and won)
Vito Lopez has had a REALLY bad September.
Lincoln Restler is one of the founders of the New Kings Democrats, which was specifically founded to chip away at the Vito Lopez machine in exactly the way they just did. From the Village Voice:
Williamsburg's young political upstart, Lincoln Restler, walked into the offices of (currently embattled) Brooklyn Democrat party boss Vito Lopez's office a while back, wanting to get involved with politics on a local level and help institute changes he believed in. Lopez tossed him out and told him to kiss the ring of his establishment. Well, Restler just told Lopez to kiss his ass, by winning an election, and possibly putting him out of business for good...
fter the counting of absentee ballots, Lincoln Restler has defeated he pro-Lopez Warren Cohn -- son of legacy state committeeman Steve Cohn -- by a count of 3639 to 3519: 120 votes. The results will take a week to be certified, but the significance of this election is that Restler may end up, incidentally, being the tipping point for the end of Vito Lopez's iron reign on Brooklyn's democrats.
For those who are interested, the next meeting of the New Kings Democrats is:
Wed, October 6, 7pm – 9pm
St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, 334 S. 5th St. (btwn Keap & Rodney St.), Brooklyn, NY
And if you REALLY want to help keep the reform coming, give New Kings Democrats a small donation."
Since 2004 my wife and I have had the dubious pleasure of being elected (let me emphasize elected, not appointed) members of the Kings County Democratic County Committee and been privy every 2 years to the circus of the Brooklyn Machine's inner workings...or should I say the shoddy facade to those inner workings which are actually reserved mainly for the Party Boss and his Cronies alone.
Our first County Committee meeting was then Party Boss Clarence Norman's last before going to jail. My son, Jacob, was nearly born during those proceedings. He was already overdue and my wife went into labor soon after. My wife regrets that Norman's last County Committee meeting wasn't upstaged by her going into labor...she imagines the machine chastising her for not following the script (yes, there is a real script people read off of). read more »
Racism and anti-Semitism rhetoric has become increasingly acceptable among the right wing. Intolerance has become an accepted value among all too many Republicans. The latest example of this is Republican nominee for NY Governor Carl Paladino. It seems this guy isn't just infamous for his racism and love for bestiality videos (I kid you not!) but also his anti-Semitism and trivializing the Holocaust.
From the Huffington Post:
"If I could ever describe a person who would fit the bill of an Antichrist or a Hitler, this guy is it," Paladino said. "I'm sure Chris had no -- absolutely no -- intention whatsoever of insulting the Jewish faith or the ethnic group or religion."--Carl Paladino
Of course this comes in addition to Paladino's blatant racism:
Paladino has sent emails that include: read more »
POST-PRIMARY MUSINGS: The fingerprints of Vito Lopez; Evans v. Barron; plus some other interesting tidbits.
Whenever I endorse a candidate on either the Room Eight New York Politics, or on the Daily Gotham blog-sites, what I am saying is simply that if I had a vote in that race, this is how my vote will go. At no point am I predicting that the person I am endorsing is going to win the race -unless I so specify. In actuality, there are many times I feel strongly that my endorsed candidate will lose the race. I even said so in one of my recent endorsement columns (see comments-section also) regarding one candidate (Nelson Denis).
Thus, it was a bit frustrating (after I did my last two endorsement columns) for me to field a bunch of
e-mails, phone calls, text and verbal messages, plus subtle warnings from various individuals: including electeds, their minions, staffers, operatives and the like. In fact, I had intended to write a follow up column explaining at length, the reasoning behind my endorsements: but alas, I did not. I hated all the bitching that was coming my way, and I felt another column would only exacerbate the situation. And you all know that I am a non-controversial kinda guy. Right? read more »
WATCH: Chuck Schumer's and Kirsten Gillibrand's disgraceful response to Lady Gaga's call to repeal DONT ASK DONT TELL
You know what's the difference between "queer loving" celebrities and Lady Gaga. When Lady Gaga says, "I love the gays" it doesn't mean, "I love the gays' MONEY". She does put herself out there as a crusader for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people; regardless of social economic or, for that matter, citizenship status.
This is an amazing piece of activism. Well thought out, well articulated and beautifully written. And wait until you see what happens when she calls the offices of Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand. A disgrace that proves the point of why it is important to lay responsibility for this piece of legislation on the shoulder of all US Senators, especially those who pay lip service to queer politics but don't pick up the phone. read more »
Well, the new voting machines had problems. I didn't even get to vote on one since they weren't working when I went to vote...I had to do an "emergency ballot." But that is par for the course. The machines are new and people aren't used to them so it is to be expected that there are glitches...hell ALL elections have glitches. It is how the glitches are worked out that makes all the difference.
In Brooklyn there is an obscure race that will be the first test case for how glitches are dealt with with these new machines and this test case has to be, MUST BE, done right. The race is the male district leader race in the 50th Assembly District where newcomer and reformer Lincoln Restler is beating the Vito Lopez machine candidate Warren Cohn by a mere 20 votes...and there were glitches with the machines in this district.
Newly elected District Leader and State Committee member Chris Owens is already proving his worth, publicly calling Vito Lopez's latest scandal "obscene."
Seems Vito Lopez is running his so-called no profits for the personal gain of his cronies. Of course this should surprise NO ONE familiar both with Vito Lopez and with the way these highly politicized "non-profits" are run in NYC. From the Brooklyn Paper:
Vito’s ‘Money Honeys’ get big salaries — subsidized by you
By Aaron Short - The Brooklyn Paper - 9/16/10
Assemblyman Vito Lopez, Brooklyn’s powerful Democratic party leader, steered more than three-quarters of a million dollars to both his campaign treasurer and his girlfriend, who work at the nonprofit he founded.
The treasurer, Christiana Fisher, is also the executive director of Ridgewood Bushwick Senior Citizens Council, a Bushwick-based social services organization that Lopez founded. Last year, she nearly tripled her salary, earning $659,591 compared with $234,234, almost six times the amount of her peer executive nonprofit leaders in Brooklyn. read more »
These are the new folks who won last night who are going to give Party Boss Vito Lopez some headaches (relative sizes of photos mere coincidence...not indicative of anything but how the photos were from the original websites...Guess CBID has small photos).
Chris Owens, from the 52nd (where he is teamed up with incumbent reform district leader Jo Anne Simon)
Chris Owens with Velmanette Montgomery (from the Central Brooklyn Independent Democrats Website)
Lincoln Restler, from the 50th:
Lincoln Restler with the lovely Councilwoman Diana Reyna (from the New Kings Democrats Website)
Kevin Carroll, from the 60th: (I stayed neutral in this race)
I mean SERIOUSLY? Paladino? Horse Sex Paladino? Is Rick Lazio such a loser that he can be so soundly beaten by blatant and proud racist and bestiality admirer Paladino?
Last night the New York Republican Party nominated one of the most disgusting teabagger candidates for Governor. Carl "Palomino" Paladino, the darling of the teabaggers, makes former Republican Congressman Vito "Two Family Values" Fossella look moral by comparison.
Back in April, Republican Paladino was caught gleefully forwarding emails that included racist pictures, called blacks "niggers," and had bestiality videos.
The new "morality" of the teabagger Republican Party in NY State is racism, pornography and bestiality. This is what Republicans nominated in NY State last night.
Remember when Republicans wanted to impeach President Clinton because he had consensual sex with a woman other than his wife? They portrayed themselves as champions of morality. Well, that facade is long shot away by people like Newt Gingrich (abandoning his wife for a younger woman while his wife was ill with cancer), Congressman Don Sherwood (abusing and attempting to choke the woman he was having an extra-marital affair with), Congressman Mark Foley (soliciting sex with a 16-year old man), well...need I continue? For the strong of stomach, here is a list of Republican sex scandals, almost all of which make Bill Clinton's consensual affair look very tame by comparison.
Well, here in NY State Republican gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino was in the habit of emailing racist emails and videos as well as videos of bestiality and pornography. (as well as an email I saw this morning), Paladino has sent emails that include: read more »
Now I turn from my own neighborhood to the wider city. Ding dong the witch is dead! Pedro Espada and "How can I miss you if you won't go away" Hiram Monserrate both lost BIG TIME.
Hiram "Slasher" Monserrate was ousted from the State Senate after slashing his girlfriend's face. Seems that's what you gotta do to be unacceptable in Albany. Well, at least they have SOME standards. Monserrate, Pedro Espada and Rubin Diaz were all at times part of the stupid coup in Albany that stopped real reform in Albany. Monserrate was ousted. Then he ran for his old seat...and lost. Now he ran for Assembly...and lost to Francisco Moya. I think we can now add to his nicknames. He isn't just "Slasher" he is also "Loser" Monserrate. I have to admit I forgot about this race when I did my endorsements. So I don't really know much about Moya. But thank god he isn't Monserrate. read more »
Over the years I have cataloged the decline and then recovery of corrupt Party Boss Vito Lopez. His big ticket judicial candidates (e.g. both Surrogate Judge positions) lost to candidates backed by the reform movement that seeks to be Vito's nemesis, though probably is usually more of a nuisance to Vito because it serves as its own nemesis. Vito's prominent judicial race losses seemed to signify a decline in his fortunes. That decline seemed halted last year when self-nemesising reformers basically handed Vito one of their city council seats right in the heart of reform territory. Vito's boy Steve Levin seemed to lead a Vito comeback. Of course behind the smiles at Levin's win for the corrupt side was Vito's big loss when he tried to take out former ally turned independent-minded woman Diana Reyna. He lost that one and I bet it still rankles. His hatred for his former ally was so great he even endorsed the WFP candidate over the Democratic candidate (Reyna) even though he is SUPPOSED to be the Democratic Party leader. His hatred for Reyna was even so great he began to threaten other allies who didn't follow his lead against Reyna (like Lew Fidler) with challenges. read more »
Bill says it best (via email):
Bronx, NY – Today Bronx voters sent a clear message to Albany lawmakers with the defeat of disgraced incumbent State Senator Pedro Espada. Voters are fed up with the corrupt practices of Albany and want lawmakers to fundamentally change the way they conduct business on behalf of the people. That is why they elected New Roosevelt Initiative-endorsed candidate Gustavo Rivera. New Yorkers want to see real reform enacted immediately and are willing to send young, bright progressive-minded candidates to Albany who will get the job done.
Many said defeating Pedro Esapda, the incumbent State Senator, would be an uphill battle. New Roosevelt was the first organization to endorse Rivera, in a crowded primary field, more than two months ago and saw him as the best shot to beat Espada and bring reform to Albany. New Roosevelt built from scratch a field organization totally devoted to Albany reform and executed a targeted field and mail operation directed at Bronx primary voters as well as polling and get out the vote efforts. We are proud to help make the defeat of Espada a reality.
With this victory we are sending a message to both Republicans and Democrats that if major reform measures are not in enacted soon, they may face the same fate as Espada in 2012.
Rivera's victory comes at the end of a day apparently filled with campaign shenanigans by the disgraced loser - sounds sweet, doesn't it? - and can safely be considered a necessary step to draining the Albany swamp.
Seems two of the infamous Three Amigos may be skirting illegality in their attempts to win today's primary. I already reported emails coming in reporting Pedro Espada and his supporters possibly violating election laws...now I am getting a press release about Ruben Diaz, Sr. doing the same kind of crap. Here is the letter to the Board of Elections reporting irregularities possibly on the part of the Diaz campaign:
September 14, 2010
Dear Board of Election,
We write in an effort to give you advance notice of what has been a consistent and serious problem we have witnessed with widespread irregularities at polling stations throughout the 32nd New York State Senate District. We believe these irregularities specifically disenfranchise voters and the campaign of Carlos "Charlie" Ramos.
In specific, a team of legal observers visited well over half a dozen polling sites from the period of 10am to 3pm. The team spent approximately 20 to 35 minutes at each site observing and reviewing the polling practices. At every site without exception, there were serious breaches of procedure including but not limited to the following: read more »
(Updated) Reports of Voter Intimidation and Vote Tampering in the Bronx: Pedro Espada Breaking the Law?
Reports are coming in from the Bronx of voter harassment, tampering and intimidation by Pedro Espada and his supporters. Some reports indicate that Espada himself may be breaking the law, though this is not confirmed. Reports of handing out campaign lit INSIDE a polling place, tires slashed, etc. Really sleazy shit even for Espada.
The Albany Project has posted a call for poll watchers who can help stop Espada's anti-democratic escapades:
Just received a request for Poll Watchers in the Bronx !!!!
There are reports of apparently Espada led voter intimidation and tampering.
We need people in the area to help out as poll watchers. You don't need to be an attorney.
Let's not let Espada steal this one.
Contact me @ brian at thealbanyproject dot com and I'll get you in touch with the proper folks.
Help if you can.
I knew Pedro Espada was scum...but this seems worse than usual.