A Look At The Dizzy World Of Politics
By MICHAEL SCHENKLER
Figure This One Out
Republicans eat their young. Or so it seems.
A Republican in the New York City Council is a rare thing indeed, where they’ve averaged less than a handful – that’s fewer than 5 – since the new 51-member Council was formed by Charter Revision in 1990.
On the other hand, through the magic of gerrymandering, the Republicans manage to hold on to a very slim majority in the State legislature. Since 1965, there have been only two years where the Dems regained the majority and proceeded to flub it all as four horsemen – Espada, Kruger, Diaz, and Monserratte – sold their souls back to the GOP.
Every single seat in the State Senate has real value. So when the Republicans have a chance to capture a new one or one they recently lost, you’d imagine that all of their resources would go towards that effort.
Not so in Queens.
Bright, aggressive and dynamic City Councilman Eric Ulrich has been convinced by the Senate Republican Leadership – read Dean Skelos – to challenge State Senator Joe Addabbo Jr. the man who once represented his Council District for the seat once held by GOP Serf Maltese.
This swing seat, newly redrawn to favor Ulrich-who political insiders believe will outwork and outspend Addabbo-should be at the top of the Statewide list of GOP “A” seats.
And while the State Republicans are prepared to pour resources into the race, the Queens Republican Party is prepared to try to upset the State GOP applecart.
As part of the ongoing war between the Rugusa and Haggerty Republicans, the “official” Party has set out to Primary popular Ulrich with Juan Reyes.
Just when Queens can return to the glory days of having a member in the powerful GOP caucus – remember Frank Padavan brought home the bacon — the Queens GOP would rather continue its internal war than advance the party or the Senate Majority.
Call it leadership?
Call it loyalty?
Call it stupidity?
Call it eating their young.
From the Wall Street Journal’s Washington Wire:
“Gary Ackerman Discloses ‘Priceless’ Gift.
Buried beneath individual retirement accounts, dividend income and an ownership stake in the Queens Tribune on retiring Congressman Gary Ackerman’s final financial-disclosure form, which became public Thursday, was a gift.
Its source, the Democrat from Long Island wrote, was the people. He described the gift as ‘the blessed opportunity for 30 years to pay back, in some small measure, the good things that happened to me.’ Under value, Mr. Ackerman wrote ‘priceless.’
Mr. Ackerman, 69 years old, is a colorful figure, wearing a carnation to Capitol Hill every day and living on a houseboat called Unsinkable II. (The original Unsinkable sank.) He announced plans to retire earlier this year. In April, he gave an emotional speech to the Nassau County Democratic Party expressing his gratitude for being allowed to serve in Congress for three decades.”
Here Comes Anthony?
With none of the large group of NYC Mayoral wannabes appearing to gain traction or have magic, and the pundits playing the name game with a list of imaginary candidates including Ray Kelly and Meryl Tisch, we should watch for the rehabilitation of Anthony Weiner.
Yes, the man who a year ago was brought down by his name and tweets and quietly disappeared into the New York cityscape is stirring anew. Watch for his name and listen for his passionate voice as the once most-outspoken advocate of Obamacare now has the opportunity to recall his roll and polish off the mantle.
A year ago, after bobbing and weaving trying to hold onto his seat, Weiner was pressured out by the Democratic leadership who paid the price by choosing banishment over rehabilitation for Weiner and wound up with a longtime Democratic seat going to the GOP’s Bob Turner. Not only could Weiner have held that seat, he could have been a player.
New York City veteran pundit Prime New York’s Jerry Skurnick may have summed up a new attitude towards Weiner in a Daily Beast piece: “I still can’t get over a guy resigning over a sex scandal without sex... It’s like putting someone in prison for stealing Monopoly money.”
But as long as there is a vacuum in the Mayoral race and no one filling it, the former Congressman who, like his mentor Chuck Schumer, never met a microphone or camera he did not like, must be attracted by the spotlight. He was just a little over a year ago the clear front-runner to replace Mike Bloomberg as Mayor.
If there is an opening for Anthony, the time is now. Once the energetic former Congressman gets his foot in the door, there is no telling where it may lead. The path to Gracie Mansion must still be on his mind.
Keep your eye on him, once he gets started, watch for the headline: “Weiner On A Roll”.
A recent Facebook post
Cuomo v. Bloomberg
It’s been a strained relationship at best between New York’s two super powerful politicians: Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Mike Bloomberg.
Bloomberg, who by his personal largesse had for a number of years acquired the ability to rely on the Republican Senate to insure that the State legislature would not take action in contradiction of one of his major initiatives.
But a combination of the omnipotent UFT and the Bloomberg effect wearing thin as the lame duck mantle erodes the Blooms magic.
As the legislative session was drawing to a close, Cuomo introduced a bill on the controversial Teacher Evaluations, which played to the teacher union and in opposition to the Bloomberg position.
Gov. Cuomo said the legislation was a compromise and included “important points” raised by the teachers union and “reflects much of [Bloomberg’s] perspective.”
Mayor Bloomberg said, “I believe that parents have a right to full disclosure when it comes to information about their child’s education, and I am disappointed that this bill falls short of that goal.”
Count the UFT owing a biggie to Cuomo as he looks to the future and perhaps a statement about the Mayor, who apparently has no political future.
Republican control of the House has brought us more than a movement trying to role the clock back legislatively.
It has brought us Styrofoam, according to a recent article in The Hill which began:
“The House rejected a Democratic proposal on Friday that would have prevented the House from spending appropriated money on polystyrene foam food and beverage containers in its cafeterias.
Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va.) offered this proposal as an amendment to the 2013 Legislative Branch appropriations bill, but Republican opposition led to its defeat in a 178-229 vote. Only 10 Republicans joined Democrats in supporting it.
Moran’s amendment is the latest of several Democratic attempts to bring cardboard or other more environmentally friendly containers back to House dining areas.