Jun 16th - 8:40 pm
As the effort to pass same-sex marriage in the Senate remains gridlocked, Gov. Andrew Cuomo met privately with three Republican lawmakers this evening: Sens. Kemp Hannon, Steve Saland and Andrew Lanza.
Hannon, who was originally considered undecided vote until, has said he’s a firm no vote on the measure. Saland, a Poughkeepsie lawmaker, won’t say how he’ll vote.
Both Hannon and Saland wouldn’t speak to reporters after meeting with Cuomo.
But Lanza said the discussion with the governor concerned developing broader religious exemptions. And he suggested that research was being done into tweaking some of the language in the bill.
“We are talking in broad strokes right now, so there’s no specific language,” he said. “We just want to go over the case law.”
Still, he refused to say if the governor would be interested in changing the bill’s language.
“We talked about the concepts and the subject,” Lanza said. “There’s no middle ground, we want to get it right,” he added.
Lanza said that the exemptions were a “line in the sand” on whether he would vote for the bill.
Another publicly undecided Republican, Sen. Greg Ball of the Hudson Valley, has also said broader protections for religious institutions are needed.
Supporters of the governor’s bill have argued that current exemptions already exist in the human rights law.
Jun 16th - 6:49 pm
Father’s Day in Albany and “beyond”?
DailyKos: Republicans are a real threat to win Anthony Weiner’s seat.
In defense of Weiner.
He still has some supporters in his district, too.
Did he have a choice?
Alex Baldwin (via Twitter): “Weiner’s actions: unconscionable. But reaction is unsettling. Too much of Blog-America are hate filled McCarthyites.”
The Post is asking readers to vote for their favorite Weinergate wood.
Weiner didn’t give President Obama a heads-up.
More press at Weiner’s resignation announcement than Ben Smith has seen at a NY political event in 10 years.
NYC Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley for Weiner’s seat?
He coulda been a contender.
Larry Flynt wants to hire Weiner.
Third special election caused by a sex scandal in a single year.
The state GOP is already raising for the expected special election in NY-9.
The Cook Political Report says NY-9 is “likely Democatic,” which means it’s not considered competitive at the moment but could become “engaged.”
The Villager doesn’t believe the governor would be pushing so hard for gay marriage if he didn’t think the votes were there to pass it.
Sen. Marty Golden (a “no” vote) predicts: “I think gay marriage comes to the floor. I think it’s definitely coming to the floor.”
Former state GOP Chairman Alexander “Sandy” Treadwell has had a change of heart on gay marriage.
Lady Gaga vs. Sen. Mark Grisanti, the sequel.
Jun 16th - 5:40 pm
House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi has now weighed in on the resignation of Congressman Weiner. Last Saturday, Pelosi became one of the first prominent Democrats to suggest he should step down, and was quickly followed by Rep. Steve Israel and DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman-Schultz.
“Today, with the love of his family, the confidence of his constituents and the recognition of his need for help, Congressman Weiner has announced that he will resign from Congress.
“Congressman Weiner exercised poor judgment in his actions and poor judgment in his reaction to the revelations. Today, he made the right judgment in resigning.
“I pray for him and his family and wish them well.”
Jun 16th - 5:29 pm
Sen. Greg Ball’s 2010 election opponent, Westchester County Legislator Michael Kaplowitz sent the Hudson Valley Republican a scathing open letter criticizing him for recent statements on Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s same-sex marriage bill.
Kaplowitz, a Democrat, writes that Ball has chosen the path of a “right-wing extremists.”
Namely, Kaplowitz calls him out for seeking broader exemptions in the bill for religious institutions and businesses. Ball has said he would vote no on the bill unless it’s changed.
You miss the point by suggesting that such language should be in the bill, which simply seeks to extend the civil rights the State offers. You are proposing, instead, that the bill should force New York backwards by taking away some of those rights. This right-wing extremism has no place in the great state of New York, a leader in equality.
Jun 16th - 4:32 pm
Election Law attorney Jerry Goldfeder, a former aide to Gov. Andrew Cuomo back when he was in the AG’s office, emailed to address questions of whether the governor is required to call a special election to fill the seat left vacant by today’s resignation of ex-Rep. Anthony Weiner.
“According to the United States Constitution, the governor is required to issue ‘writs of election’ when there is a vacancy in the House – unlike when there is a vacancy in the United States Senate, which allows gubernatorial appointment,” Goldfeder wrote.
“We can expect, then, that the governor will soon issue a proclamation for a special election for Congressman Weiner’s seat. The speculation is that the special will occur at the same time as the specials for the vacant Assembly seats, and that they will be on primary day, September 13th.”
“If true, this would make sense because the Board of Elections is already out and working; so, it is convenient and, importantly, cost-effective. Furthermore, the law was recently changed so that the issuance of a proclamation must be between 70 and 80 days before the special. So, if you do the math, we have a little time before the governor issues a proclamation.”
“Besides, the Governor is obviously quite busy as the legislative session draws to a close.”
Jun 16th - 3:31 pm
Four Assembly Democrats – Keith Wright, Danny O’Donnell, Robert Rodriguez and Guillermo Linares – just released a harshly-worded statement slamming the “actions, or inactions” of the Senate on the now-expired rent laws, saying the move by their colleagues in the upper house leaves “much to be desired, namely: the much needed protections for 2.1 million tenants.”
“The Senators who voted against a bill that would have extended the current law by 39 hours voted politically rather than practically,” the quartet continued.
“While their votes may have been based upon future negotiating tactics, we find it totally irresponsible to leave these tenants without protection for even one minute, and now that rent regulations have expired, these tactics are without footing.”
“It is absolutely ridiculous that these Senators chose not to extend the current law in order to make a political statement while at the same time claiming to be the champions of tenants in New York City.”
“Penny wise and pound foolish, throwing the baby out with the bath water, whatever analogy you choose, we should all hope and pray that not one tenant has been affected by the grandstanding of our State Senators.”
Woah. Democrats turning on Democrats = not condusive for getting a deal done, although one could chalk this up in part to the overheated end-of-session atmosphere, in which everyone is operating on too little sleep, too much coffee and an overdose of jellybeans from Wayne Jackson’s candy bowl.
Still, this doesn’t help the Senate Democrats’ cause much. They’ve been trying to spin their decision to tank the three-way rent regs extension deal last night as a tactical move that was supported by the advocacy community and improves their chances at strengthening the laws, not merely seeing them continue to exist in their current incarnation.
Jun 16th - 3:20 pm
It’s only been about an hour, so we didn’t really expect that Governor Cuomo would have set a date for the special election to replace Anthony Weiner – especially considering there is still no deal on rent regulations, a property tax cap, or same-sex marriage.
Cuomo spokesman Josh Vlasto did issue this statement though.
“The Governor will take the appropriate steps to ensure New Yorkers in the 9th district are fairly represented in Congress.”
Jun 16th - 3:07 pm
Here’s the press conference video in full. It’s just over four minutes long – and that’s in spite of the fact that Anthony Weiner was repeatedly interrupted by hecklers.
He was (again) not accompanied by his wife, Huma Abedin, although he twice apologized to her and also to his constituents.
As we noted earlier, Weiner chose to hold this event at a Brooklyn senior center – the exact same location where he announced his first-ever run for elected office: NYC Council, 1992. He then went on to run for, and win, the House seat vacated by his former boss, Chuck Schumer, when he won a squeaker election against then-GOP Sen. Alfonse D’Amato.
UPDATE1: As per the comments section, I stand corrected. The results were 55% to 45% for Schumer, according to Wikipedia, which is no squeaker by any sense.
UPDATE2: According to Ben Smith, the man I mischaracterized as a “heckler” was actually a “Howard Stern association who stood up three times to ask questions.”
Jun 16th - 2:57 pm
Now that we have an official resignation statement from former Rep. Anthony Weiner, speculation has reached a fever pitch over who will replace him and just how the election to fill his Brooklyn/Queens seat (NY-9) will be held.
The list of names to date, appearing here in no particular order, includes:
- Former NYC Councilman Eric Gioia, (D). His name was floated early on, but is now being downplayed by Queens Democratic insiders. Gioia doesn’t live in the district, although that’s not a requirement to run. He ran an unsuccessful campaign for NYC public advocate in 2009 and had to give up his seat.
- Former NYC Councilwoman Melinda Katz, (D). She ran an unsuccessful campaign for NYC comptroller (lone woman in the field) in 2009 and had to give up her seat. So far, she’s the only woman being mentioned as a potential Weiner replacement. Also, a reader notes Katz ran against Weiner for Schumer’s old House seat in 1998 and lost to him by just 489 votes.
- NYC Councilman Mark Weprin, (D). He’s a freshman member of the Council, and is being pushed hard by some fellow Queens Dems to run. (Either he or Katz would likely do well with the Jewish voters in the district). I called him earlier today and left a message. He emailed back: “Nice to hear from you, but I have nothing to say at this time.” Note: That is not a denial of interest.
- NYC Councilman Eric Ulrich, (R). Perhaps the strongest of the potential GOP challengers. He’s being urged to run by former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani.
Political numbers cruncher Jerry Skurnik called Ulrich the “strongest” of the contenders mentioned so far, noting about 50,000 to 60,000 of the voters in his Council district also live in NY-9. He’s an up-and-comer in the GOP, and has been floated for higher office almost since he arrived at the Council in 2009.
Jun 16th - 2:44 pm
Sen. Andrew Lanza, R-Staten Island, isn’t taking The Daily Show’s send up of his equivocating on same-sex marriage too personally.
Host Jon Stewart in a segment Wednesday night said Lanza was in danger of being referred to as the “Staten Island fairy” if he votes yes.
“I guess gay marriage rests on whether this guy is willing to be called the Staten Island fairy for the rest of his life. But you know what? It’s good news.”
Lanza said he hadn’t seen the segment, but from what he heard the joke sounded funny.
“I’m a big fan of the Jon Stewart show,” Lanza said. “He’s got a great, biting sense of humor. He’s very good at what he does. You know, it’s par for the course being out there on an issue that’s important. I think it’s a healthy to laugh about anything we can laugh about.”