Friday, June 4, 2010

What About Reforming New York's Democratic Party?

Breaking News
Judge Rules MTA Cannot Layoff Subway Booth Workers

New Democratic Party Spin

What About Reforming New York's Democratic Party?
In the past 60 years, only two people have truly dared to reform New York City politics. In both instances, their motivations were not so much altruistic, as they were fueled by personal ambition and attempts to gain greater power over their party.

As the Democrats fight the mayor on non partisan elections it is an idea time to look at the sorry state of the city's Democratic Party elected officials have taken over the party positions with the sole purpose of centralizing power and using it resources to help in their reelection campaigns. The party has no agenda or issue it pushes beside fighting the mayor's non partisan voting proposal. Most of the people in party positions have never been challenged. It function more like the old soviet union then a democratic institution. It is even allow according to the U.S. Supreme Court to use politics to pick judges. Lopez Torres v. NYS Bd of Elections.

It has been 50 years since anyone has tried to reform New York's Democratic Party. In the mid 60's Robert Kennedy who defeated the democratic machine to become senator set his sights on cleaning up the state's Democratic Party. Kennedy tried to clean up Manhattan’s Surrogate Court, which to this day remains a piggy bank for party patronage, calling the Court "a political toll booth exacting tribute from widows and orphans." He took aim at cronyism in Albany and fought to strengthen home rule of New York City. He also proposed nonpartisan redistricting, a move aimed at eliminating one of the main tools party leaders use to keep their incumbents in office for decades. Fiercely battled by a faction of the Democratic machine, Kennedy’s attempts to take over Albany were ultimately repulsed with the help of the Republicans, who were as deeply invested in maintaining the status quo as the old-line Democrats.

The first wave of reform came under Carmine De Sapio, the last head of Tammany Hall. In 1954, DeSapio campaigned against Franklin D. Roosevelt Jr., the late President’s son, eventually persuading Roosevelt to abandon his run for Governor. Eleanor Roosevelt, the former first lady and Franklin’s mother, blamed De Sapio for derailing her son’s political ambitions and vowed revenge. Using her enormous political influence, over the next seven years Eleanor Roosevelt battled to oust De Sapio from his post as Manhattan’s Democratic county leader. He ended up serving 2 years in jail.

What is truly interesting, though, is that in the course of his battle with Roosevelt it was actually De Sapiowho became the reformer. De Sapio calculated that his best chance to stay in control of his party was to recast himself as the real reformer and open up the Democratic Party to as many people as possible. It was De Sapio who first welcomed women, African-Americans, and Latinos into New York City’s Democratic Party. He named the first Puerto Rican district leader in Manhattan, Anthony Mendez, and pushed Hulan Jack as New York City’s first African-American borough president.

De Sapio also fought for rent control and lowering the voting age to 18. He even changed the Democratic Party’s rules to allow for the direct elections of district leaders. Prior to De Sapio’s reform, district leaders were selected by the county committee and the county leader in the same kind of shady backroom deals in which the county leaders are still chosen today. * A Brooklyn Democratic district leader was busted for practicing law without a license.

Bad Job Numbers Out Today

Jobs Growth Slows In Private SectorThe U.S. economy added 431,000 jobs in May, nearly all from census hiring. The private sector added only 41,000 jobs. The unemployment rate fell to 9.7%.

Cuomo WFP Dance Cuomo won't seek Working Families gov nomination (NYP) * Andrew's half-step serving notice that he will not accept the nomination of the union-controlled, ethically challenged, under-federal-investigation Working Families Party.Yet.(NYP Ed) * Cuomo in Rift With Working Families Party (NYT) * Cuomo Eschews Minor Party Nod (WSJ) * Cuomo the cute: Andrew wrongly refuses to rule out Working Families Party nod (DN Ed) * The WFP will be nominating its “best available” candidate for governor (who is not AG Andrew Cuomo) at its convention this weekend in hopes he’ll change his mind about accepting its line. * WFP Faces Perils In Picking Placeholder Post-Cuomo Pass On Line (City Hall News) * The Times says Cuomo has pushed the WFP to install placeholder candidates so he can decide later whether or not to accept the nomination of the party, which is under federal investigation for its activities during the 2009 city elections.(DN)

Election 2010
New York G.O.P. Selects Candidate for U.S. Senate * GOP Sets a Primary Fight in Gillibrand Race (WSJ) * Paladino Continues Run For Governor As Blakeman Becomes GOP Senate Designee (NY1) * The GOP Fold Up Its Tent (NY1)

President Bloomberg Again Can he fix the leak?

New York Economic Meltdown Principals Scramble to Find Cuts Bloomberg's Plan to Avoid Teacher Layoffs Has Administrators Looking at Overtime, Aides, Textbooks (WSJ) *$340K in raises doled out by Education Dept. (DN) * Schools' Petty Cash Tapped for $640,000 (WSJ) *Theft bares lax security at Ed Dept.* Nonprofits Lose Funding Albany has cut off funding to thousands of nonprofits across the state and both sides remain unsure if and when the spigot will turn back on. * Gonzalez: CityTime continues to eat up city money (DN) * It's pre-K rationing (NYP) * Gov. David Paterson and Mayor Bloomberg convened an emergency summit at Gracie Mansion with congressional delegation members over an FMAP funding cut by the House * The Assembly Democrats are considering going along with Paterson’s proposed $300 million cut in aid to NYC * As the city moves to freeze teacher salaries, the Department of Education has quietly handed out raises to a group of bureaucrats, the Daily News has learned. * Trash piles removed by NYC sanitation department at Co-op City (NYP) * Walder: I Was Lied to About MTA Woes (Fox 5) * Bloomberg: 'Very Serious Cuts' Without Medicaid Funds from Congress * The Budget Hole Gets Deeper (Gotham Gezette)

Gulf Oil Spill Affects Seafood Supply (Fox 5)

Memo to the City Council:
Some Used Underware is OK

Did you know the council banned chain stores from leaking free air conditioning to the masses in summer? That a member tried to limit the number of hours kids must spend on homework? And the council worked like greasy-palmed pornographers to put the kibosh on selling used undergarments -- thongs were a no-no, but bras were OK? Double trouble from useless City Council (NYP)

Police Numbers Game?
City Police Commissioner and Councilman Clash A police officer’s description of manipulated crime reports, quotas and street-stop tactics set off a testy exchange. The Village Voice last month reported on secret taps of the 81 Precinct that reveal that precinct bosses threaten street cops if they don't make their quotas of arrests and stop-and-frisks, but also tell them not to take certain robbery reports in order to manipulate crime statistics. The tapes also refer to command officers calling crime victims directly to intimidate them about their complaints. The NYPD Tapes: Inside Bed-Stuy's 81st Precinct (Village Voice) * A Day on the NYPD Shooting Range for the City Council (WSJ) * NYC Councilman Al Vann is at war with NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly.

Dumb Ways to Run NYC
Defense to Cite Operator Error in Fallen Crane (NYT)* Scope of Unread Heart Tests in Harlem Hospital Widens (NYT) * Investigation Finds 7,000 Heart Tests Went Unread At Harlem Hospital

Standing in a Giant Tunnel’s Path, and Forced to Leave A number of tenants on the West Side of Manhattan are being warned that they will be displaced by the construction of a Hudson River tunnel. (NYT)

MetroCard machines increasingly getting jammed by crafty crooks

Dog Fight
Whiz-bang brawl in B'klyn It was a cat fight over a dog. A pair of pee-brained women viciously assaulted each other after one woman's dog urinated in front of the other's (NYP)

Law and Order Hookers swipe SI Yankees coach's Series ring from hotel room (NYP) *Yankees coach: I lost Worl Series ring to women, booze (DN) * Ex-cop sent back to prison for 1996 Westchester murder (NYP) *Kirsten Dunst purse burglar trial goes to jury (NYP)*City to Pay $9.9 Million Over Man’s Imprisonment (NYT) * Innocent Man Imprisoned for 19 Years Gets Millions From City (WSJ) * Funeral Held For Woman Attacked In Queens Alley (NY1) * Officials: $640,000 Stolen from NYC Education Dept. (WINS) * Widow faces sentencing in 1990 contract slaying (NYP) Update Jimenez convicted in Kiristen Dunst purse-robbing case (NYP) * State parole board votes to release 1973 cop killer (NYP) * Nearly 40 Gang Members To Be Arraigned In Connection With Bronx Shooting (NY1)

Cancerous Lung ADs Suit Against City
Anti-Tobacco Ads Face Challenge (WSJ) * Tobacco giants claim graphic city posters go too far (DN) * Tobacco Giants File Suit Against City Smoking Ads (NY1)

Gay Pairs Say 'I Meh' to City Partnership Ceremony (WSJ)

Terrorism Myanmar seeking nuclear weapons, getting help from North Korea: Army defector

White House's Chicago Politics
The White House Employment Agency President Obama should make it clear that he does not tolerate his political operatives offering government jobs to influence elections. (NYT Ed)

Oil slick reaches Fla. beaches, darkening tourist season(DN)

Media and New Tech OK! Magazine's Owners Are OK With Losing $787,000 on Every Issue * New York Times Circulation Holding Up to WSJ Assault (Bloomberg News