Tag Archive: investigation

Oct 04 2012

Behar says two years later and Albany is still a mess!

For interesting and thought provoking political commentary check out www.boycottevil.com

Steve Behar, a former candidate for Assembly and campaign manager for James Sanders’ primary victory, is calling shenanigans on so-called “independent reform” candidates.

Behar’s blog, www.boycottevil.com is a must read for political enthusiasts. In his most recent article (which caught my eye), names were omitted, however I’m willing to bet the farm he was referring to State Assemblyman Ed Braunstein (and other candidates too) who rode into office touting reform platforms and two years later have failed to deliver on any of their promises.

Legislative reform bills are also suggested and worth further exploration. I know they are mere suggestions but it’s more than most politicians have done in their first term(s).

Anyway, hope is not lost as another essay contest from disgraced ex-Assemblywoman Ann-Margaret Carrozza’s protege may very well clean up the cesspool in Albany.

Check out the article below:

From BoycottEvil: Very soon voters in New York State will once again head to the polls to vote in the upcoming Election.  While I am NOT a candidate for office this year, the season brings me back to 2010 when I was a candidate for the New York State Assembly.  It also reminds me of how dysfunctional our state government still is and how hard it will be to fix it.

In the two years since I ran for the Assembly, our state government in Albany has once again been a miserable failure and remains a cesspool of corruption.  Two years ago nearly every candidate from Montauk to Buffalo was a self-proclaimed “Independent Reformer.”  These charlatans promised to reign in the lobbyists and special interests, to institute independent redistricting and pass ethics laws to curb the corruption in Albany.  None of that happened in the last session of the legislature.

Lobbyists and special interests still buy and own our politicians.   Many times it’s not the most informed candidates who win an election.  It’s also not the most well-intentioned candidates who win elections.  Instead, most of the time it’s the candidate who is best at selling his or her soul to the monied lobbyists and special interests who get elected.  Once these rascals get to Albany, instead of writing and passing legislation for the betterment of their communities and our state, they push legislation and push contracts that support their financial backers.

Regarding independent redistricting, while in 2010 nearly every candidate signed Mayor Koch’s pledge to pass an independent redistricting law, once they got to Albany the same folks forgot their pledge and saddled our state with hideous, politically motivated districts for the next ten years. Instead of having an independent commission draw district lines that are concise and compact and keep communities together, we once again have politically motivated districts that snake through and divide communities in order to protect the incumbent representative’s re-election prospects.

The worst act of insult was the legislatures passage of a joke of an ethics law.  The law did nothing to stop the corruptive influence of dirty money in Albany.  No one cared to pass campaign finance laws to stop the corruption.  No one cared to close the loopholes that monied interests use to by-pass the current campaign finance laws.  No one passed any laws to stop the revolving door between government officials and the lobbyists.

My suggestion to the winners of the 2012 state elections is to go to Albany and actually do something!  I suggest you start with three important pieces of legislation.

1.     It’s time to pass real campaign finance reform that eliminates the strangle hold that lobbyists and special interests have on our politicians. Arizona, Maine and Connecticut each have enacted public financing of elections laws that have worked.   It is time to create such a program for New York.  It’s time that politicians answer to the people that vote for them and not the people who finance their political campaigns.

2.   While it won’t help for until the next decade, Albany must pass an independent redistricting law now so that we don’t have to deal with the political shenanigans that we witnessed this year.

…. For the full article visit the site.

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Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2012/10/behar-says-albany-is-still-a-mess-reform-is-dead/

Oct 14 2011

In Light Of Dubious Allegations John Liu Is Still The American Dream

Here I am watching a Poll site in Flushing, a few hours before John Liu would become Comptroller of the City of New York. I stand by my guy.

An article in the New York Times  raised some scathing questions about the source  of contributions listed on Comptroller Liu’s disclosure reports with the city’s Campaign Finance Board. What do I think? I say this is a waste of time. I’ll let Liu speak for himself:

Liu responds in Michael Howard Sauls article in The Wall Street Journal,

“If there is anything that is not fully above board, I don’t want those contributions, and I don’t need those contributions,” Mr. Liu said in an interview. “What we do is try to dot every I and cross every T.”

Let me tell you a thing or two about John Liu. He is the American dream incarnate. Liu is an effective legislator. During his tenure as Council Member, he would travel everywhere.

I live in Auburndale which is part of greater Flushing and outside his old Council District, but that did not stop him from being everywhere and helping everyone. His staff is fast and responsive and they tend to stick around.  He is a Queens man at heart, he went to Bronx High School of Science and graduated Suny Binghampton with a B.A in Mathematical Physics, whatever that is.

He’s not blue blood. I used to see him on the 7 train headed to City Hall.  I’m sure deep down inside that he feels most comfortable here. It would be nice to have a guy like this as Mayor. Really, it’s true.

Take a look at my new street light. Take a look at my new stop signs by my house. It’s all thanks to John Liu.

As Comptroller, Liu’s audits have recovered millions of dollars while saving 700,000 individual pension benefits. He’s also an advocate of LGBT rights. Many of his accomplishments tend to go under the radar, that’s because the nature of his position as Chief Financial officer. He’s a number cruncher that works on behalf of tax payers – to make sure we get the most out of our buck.

Liu has the responsibility for auditing city agencies, city contracts, and advising the mayor and city council about the city’s financial situation.

For a full list of his legislative accomplishments click here. 

I live across the street from a car lot. Sometimes they get neglected. Sometimes they become a dump. With one phone call, John Liu tracked down the owner and had the entire place cleaned up.

When John Liu ran his campaign – I volunteered on it – he tapped immigrant communities yearning for a voice in government. They helped him win the election.

I feel a little bit of xenophobia going around especially  when I mentally picture NYTimes journalists in downtown Flushing on Farrington or Prince Street at dusk for an ‘investigation.’  

If you don’t know the neighborhood, then you don’t know the neighborhood.  I think it will blow over soon and we’ll be calling him Mayor, especially if I have anything to do with it.

John C. Liu is the 43rd Comptroller of the City of New York, the first asian-american to hold a city-wide office, independently elected and sworn into office on January 1st 2010.

 

Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2011/10/johnliu/


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