Tag Archive: Mike Scala

May 04 2012

Scala Challenges Opponents

Put your dukes up, Scala is ready to debate.

Mike Scala, a candidate for New York’s 5th Congressional District, has issued a challenge to all his opponents and it’s time for the civics and political clubs to walk the walk.

The 2012 election will mark the first time in fourteen years there will be a choice in the Democratic primary, according to Scala.

Scala said he has a vision for the future of the district and he’s yearning to put his ideas up for public scrutiny.

“We may all be Democrats, but we may also have very different plans for the future. For example, I believe funding for education should be restored, essential programs on which everyday people rely should be preserved, and we should be creating instead of cutting jobs. The voters deserve to know how the candidates differ.”

NY-5 now contains southeast Queens, including the entire Rockaway Peninsula, and parts of Nassau County.

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Stay tuned to Queens-Politics.com for an official date and time.

Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2012/05/scala-challenges-opponents-olay/

Mar 29 2012

Candidate For Congress Explains Why Primaries are Important

Mike Scala, a Democratic candidate for NY’s 5th CD discusses primary elections; makes numerous sports analogies.

By Mike Scala: When you watch the news, you probably get the sense that all that matters when it comes to a congressional seat is whether it is occupied by a Democrat or a Republican.  It’s not surprising:  the balance of power in this country is largely determined by which party holds more seats.  Additionally, it’s an easy sell to present politics as a sporting event.  Right now, the red team leads the blue team 242 to 192.  A primary election doesn’t change the score, so the media doesn’t find it sexy.  The problem, however, with reducing democracy to a numbers game is that it disregards the players.  Congressional approval is at an all-time low because people aren’t satisfied with the individuals who represent us.  Instead of focusing solely on Ds and Rs, let’s start looking at who the actual candidates are.

To continue the sports analogy, a primary determines whom each team puts in the game.  While a coaching decision may not be as exciting as a slam dunk, it absolutely impacts the result.  Jeremy Lin couldn’t have led the Knicks to seven straight wins if he were kept on the bench.  The Republicans have more seats in Congress because the Democrats continue to nominate weak candidates who refuse to fight for the people’s needs.  It’s astonishing how many times I’ve heard people say, “I don’t agree with the Republicans on most issues, but at least they have a spine.”  There are potential all-stars in the Democratic Party, but first we need to be given the ball.

A primary also keeps candidates honest.  Most obviously prefer to forego the primary process because it’s one less election they have to win.  More than that, though, no primary means they get to ride the party wave with no personal accountability.  Many districts are not swing districts.  People have their ideologies, and come Election Day they’re going to vote along party lines.  A primary forces the candidates to take a stand.  It’s easy to regurgitate party talking points, but multiple candidates vying for the same party’s nomination compels nuanced discussion.  It makes incumbents defend their records and challengers explain what they’d do differently than others in their party.  Without it, there really is no meaning behind who belongs to what party anyway.  Candidates could claim the popular party and govern as if they belonged to the other.  And that essentially renders the scoreboard meaningless.

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Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2012/03/candidate-for-congress-explains-why-primaries-are-important/

Dec 06 2011

Congressional Candidate Endorses NAACP Redistricting Proposal

Say it ain't so, Mike.

Mike Scala is running for Congress in NY-6, and he wants the new district lines drawn to be reflective of ethnic populations.

In his press release Scala quotes, “In order to maintain the district’s black majority, the new map would extend the eastern border into western Nassau County… Let me stop you right there Mike. Queens-Politics does not support a redistricting system based on ethnic division. The NAACP and many other other advocacy organizations like the Asian American Legal Defense continually push for district lines to be drawn to maximize the electability of a candidate from a select ethnic background, but this is an inherently problematic endeavor.

While it’s critically important to have a parity in Congressional politics, changing the lines to be reflective of anything other than geography is not the right thing to do because it dilutes the electoral process.

While the process is far from perfect, the idea of drawing lines to be inclusive of some and exclusive to others is not democracy. It’s calling our voters vacuous and presuming that the issues don’t matter and they will vote based solely on skin color or religion, which is the dumbest thing I have ever heard considering the electoral results of the past four years.

The press release goes on: “The northern and western boundaries of the district would also be modified.  NAACP State President Hazel Dukes stated that the proposal would help “preserve New York’s black congressional districts and black New Yorkers’ voting rights.”

So you want to gerrymander the district, again? It’s still gerrymandering even if a renowned advocacy organization introduces the proposal.

In a perfect world, the best candidate should win on the issues not because of their sexual identification, religion, or ethnicity. 

In Reynolds V. Sims Chief Justice Earl Warren said, “Legislators represent people, not trees or acres. Legislators are elected by voters, not farms or cities or economic interests.” This means it’s one person, one vote.

When a lack of quality candidates exists are the district lines to be blamed?

The NAACP’s redistricting plan attempts to establish a political advantage for their group. This is an admirable cause,  but their plan will inevitably protect incumbents and will eliminate the chance for competition, or at  the very least it will stifle the competition based on factors other than policy positions.

Are the districts gerrymandered as is? Probably, but how will another gerrymandered district fix anything?

Geography is the key to fair redistricting, so is competition.

Advocating the development of a potential tyranny of the majority in every district is not in the voters best interest. It bears a striking resemblance to racial steering whereby real estate agents define neighborhood boundaries and limit housing opportunities for select ethnic groups.

This is an illegal and unethical methodology, but it’s still common practice. Does that mean it should continue?

If defining an area by excluding one group over the other in real estate practice is illegal, why on Earth would we condone the practice in the polis?

That’s politics for you.

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Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2011/12/congressional-candidate-endorses-naacp-redistricting-proposal/


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