Jan
30
2015
--

Meet Carl Heastie, the (likely) new New York Assembly Speaker…

…same as the old Assembly Speaker: “The Bronx Democrat on the verge of becoming the next Assembly speaker paid his baby mama $2,500 from his campaign treasury — raising ethical concerns following disgraced Sheldon Silver’s corruption bust, The [New York] Post has learned.” It’s a fairly picayune, yet hardly uncommon, maneuver: take someone who you’d like to give some money and hire him/her to do a specific job. S/he doesn’t know how to do it? Well, subcontract it out! If you’ve thought ahead then you’ve already overpaid him/her by enough that s/he can just hire somebody to actually do the job at the regular market rate and still come out ahead on the deal. Best part of all? If you do it with campaign money, it doesn’t count. (more…)

Jan
27
2015
2

Sheldon Silver being (theoretically) ousted from New York state Speaker position.

Oh my droogies, the knives are now out: “Assembly Democrats emerged this evening and announced that Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver will vacate his position as of Monday and Assembly Majority Leader Joseph Morelle will serve as speaker until Feb. 10, when an election would be held.” Basically, it’s a quit, or be ousted moment; they apparently don’t actually have a commitment from Silver that he’ll go quietly. Which means if Sheldon Silver does not care to go quietly… (more…)

Jan
27
2015
2

Sounds like the Democrats running New York fornicated the canine.

Because I am a deeply, deeply unfair man, I will only link to this funny Onion eye-roll – “As a major winter storm continued its advance toward New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio advised residents Monday to make peace with whatever higher power they call God, for all shall meet their death in the coming tempest.” – and note that maybe Democratic New York governor Andrew Cuomo should have kept the NYC subways running last night, GIVEN THAT THEY HAD TO RUN LAST NIGHT ANYWAY.  Sheesh.  These people.

Mind you, I’m debating whether to spend the morning yelling at my county government for shutting down all the schools again. On the one hand, most of my county is fairly rural. On the other hand, ‘fairly rural’ should mean ‘decent at adapting to weather.’ On the gripping hand, my county and state just elected Republicans to the top executive positions, so it’s my civic duty to keep my party’s politicians on the straight and narrow, no?

Jan
22
2015
10

I am not a lawyer, nor am I advising Sheldon Silver. :pause: BUT…

…if I was advising Sheldon Silver and the subject of him trading testimony to the feds in exchange for immunity / a reduced sentence came up, this would be my advice.

Come on, Shelly.  You’re seventy years old.  You wanna spend the rest of your life in jail?  – Because you know all the good stories. Democrat, Republican, WFP, Liberal, Conservative, Independent, The Rent Is Too Damn High… lots of fingers, lots of pies, and the feds have plenty of video recorders. This could be your moment to be remembered forever.

Jan
22
2015
4

New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver (D) to be indicted.

The New York Times is apparently a master of understatement: “Federal authorities are expected to arrest Sheldon Silver, the powerful speaker of the New York State Assembly, on corruption charges on Thursday, people with knowledge of the matter said, in a case that is likely to throw Albany into disarray.” …Yes. Yes, I imagine that indicting Speaker Silver will cause a certain amount of confusion and delay, as the philosopher once said.  In much the same way that removing a queen ant from her anthill can disrupt the anthill’s normal operating work environment.

Background here: the short version is that Sheldon Silver is probably going to be formally accused of using a law firm to more or less sanitize payoffs via ‘consulting.’ The weird part? Speaker Silver didn’t report the income he was getting via ‘consulting.’  If I were to hazard a guess, it’d be that Silver decided that he was invulnerable, and started acting accordingly.  That never works out well, in the long run. (more…)

Jan
07
2015
1

Chris Gibson looking reallllly likely to run for NY-GOV in 2018.

Either Governor, or Senator.

Republican Rep. Chris Gibson of Kinderhook said Tuesday he’ll leave Congress after his current term expires and explore running for statewide office in 2018.

Gibson said in an interview he wouldn’t be able to effectively represent the 19th Congressional District while running a statewide campaign.

“If I am trying to be a statewide candidate going around 62 counties, I don’t think that in the 11 counties that comprise the district, I would be the kind of congressman they deserve,” he said.

By retiring in 2016 Gibson won’t have to worry about re-election, the NY GOP will have plenty of time to find a replacement candidate, and the Congressman will have effectively two extra years to network.  Heck, it even lets him keep his term limit promise.  As to whether Chris Gibson can win… well. I would say that Governor seems a somewhat easier path for Gibson that Senator, but both are reasonably within reach.  A multi-term Congressman would make for a much stronger candidate than perhaps New York State is used to seeing from the NY GOP lately…

Via @kerpen.

Dec
30
2014
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New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver (D) under federal investigation.

Ooo.  This should be fun: “Federal authorities are investigating substantial payments made to the State Assembly speaker, Sheldon Silver, by a small law firm that seeks real estate tax reductions for commercial and residential properties in New York City, according to people with knowledge of the matter.” To summarize the article: one way to hide payoffs to politicians is via the venerable “consulting/contract work” method.  You pay a guy a salary, he picks up the paycheck, and understandings are reached.  In this particular case, apparently Silver wasn’t reporting the income in question – which, truth be told, sounds a bit weird: that seems to be a rookie corruption mistake. The point is that Silver is taking a lot of revenue from a law firm that specializes in a type of tax law that Silver reportedly has no professional experience in, and has been doing so for some time. (more…)

Dec
27
2014
7

Oof: Bill de Blasio spurned by NYPD at Rafael Ramos funeral.

I don’t know what de Blasio was hoping to accomplish with his presence, but this probably wasn’t it: “Hundreds of police officers turned their backs on a screen showing New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio as he spoke at the funeral of one of two officers killed last week in what has been called an “assassination.”” On the other hand, I don’t really know what de Blasio could have done that would have been the smart move, here*: his options are kind of limited at this moment.  On the gripping hand, they’re limited by his own deeds, so expect my sympathy to be limited.

As to what de Blasio will do next… it’s a good question.  The Mayor is almost certainly going to continue to resist any and all calls to resign, not least because his own staff would be infuriated.  It’s unkind to suggest that every person working for de Blasio these days is equivalent to Rachael Noerdlinger, but the truth of the matter is that the Mayor owes a lot to the Working Families Party for his support.  And the WFP is remarkably forthright in its opposition to the cops (sorry for those two links to hate sites).  I suppose that de Blasio’s best hope right now is that the controversy dies down; if there are no further incidents, maybe things will get less tense.

Maybe. (more…)

Oct
31
2014
13

Jonathan Coulton did, indeed, get threatened by the Democratic party of New York state.

Just because it’s a bluff doesn’t mean it’s not a threat.

This is… interesting.

Quick background on this: Jonathan Coulton is a songwriter and performer who is popular in the science fiction and fantasy community, particularly the section of it that goes to conventions. He does a lot of stuff that’s gaming- and geek-themed, and he’s one of the people who makes his living via using the (air quotes) ‘Internet’ pretty much exclusively. And if you’re wondering why any of that matters, let me put it this way: a nontrivial percentage of the people in your IT department can sing along to RE: Your Brains*.

And Mr. Coulton just told over a hundred thousand people that the Democrats threatened him. (more…)

Oct
30
2014
2

Staten Island Advance endorses… Michael Grimm (R, New York-11).

Why then, this is Hell: nor is the Staten Island Advance out of it.

There are, on occasion, electoral races in which both candidates are of high quality and high integrity and conduct a tough but fair campaign about the issues.

Fair-minded voters have a difficult choice, but they can know that, no matter who is elected, they’ll be well represented by someone who won’t embarrass their community.

The election for the House of Representatives seat in the 11th New York Congressional District is nothing like that.

(more…)

Oct
20
2014
3

Sean Eldridge puts another half-million in his Congressional cosplay experience*.

Don’t think of it as stuffing money down a hole in the ground, Sean Eldridge.

Facebook spouse and carpet-bagging Democrat Sean Eldridge poured another half-million dollars into his own New York congressional campaign this month.

Eldridge, the husband of Facebook co-founder and New Republic owner Chris Hughes, has now donated $1.84 million to his own campaign.

Think of it as stuffing money down a hole in the ground while we laugh at you.

Moe Lane

*Well, it certainly wasn’t a viable political campaign, was it?

Oct
03
2014
1

Sierra Club endorses Martha Robertson (D CAND, NY-23) and sues to kill jobs in… NY-23.

I believe that the technical term for this is ‘oops.’

The Sierra Club is suing the state Public Service Commission over plans to re-power the Dunkirk power plant. Those plans call for the plant to be converted from coal to natural gas.

The lawsuit will delay the switch-over, and that is not sitting well with some lawmakers in the Southern Tier.

“They claim that the environmental baseline should be no plant at all. None. No jobs, no energy, no revenue, no tax base,” says Chautauqua County Assemblyman Andy Goodell.

Remember when Greenies loved natural gas? …Yeah, turns out that that was only because the Greenies didn’t think that people would go for that. Or else that was because people underestimated just how much natural gas was actually available: your average environmentalist-theocrat just loves boutique, high-cost energy sources. For the right sort of people, of course. (more…)

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