Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Non-partisan elections, we have 'em!

Hi all,

Thanks Nancy for inviting me on to contribute. First an introduction. I'm Randy Miller and my first and only visit to NY was last January for the CUIP national conference. I live in Syracuse, Utah (I hear New York has a Syracuse too) and I am active in trying to consolidate the independent movement out in these parts.

So, yes, we have non-partisan municpal elections here in Utah. For city offices, council, mayor, chief of police etc., those positions are non-partisan and it works well I think. The net effect is that there is an outreach to the community. The parties still organize their meet the candidate nights, but so do other organizations and undecided citizens. I've been plenty active in partisanship in years past, but not too involved in politics until the last few years. Consequently, I have been double blind to how good we have it to enjoy a non-partisan system for a portion of our public offices.

Part II, corruption
I have had an interesting exchange that has been buried in the comment pile regarding a corruption investigation for a, let's say a large sum, of Bloomberg's money. And there has been an allegation that the Independence Party of New York City is or may be involved in some sort of corruption in connection with the missing money. As a non-New Yorker, let me make a couple of observations:
    1. The money is flowing the wrong way for this to be a corruption issue. As I understand it, Mayor Bloomberg spent North of $100 million in his last campaign (which was extreme overkill, but I'll get into that another time) and the amount involved in this alleged corruption is less than 1% of that entire campaign expense. 2. I see from the stands that the Independence Party of New York City does not have the numbers that the Big 2 have. So it is puzzling to me what big carrot IPNYC has to dangle in front of Bloomberg in exchange for dollars.
And if it was such a big game changer, for heaven's sake, the guy was stingy, he doled out less than 1% to the outfit that 'fixed' things for him (allegedly). The justice system has a way of ferreting out the truth. If IPNYC is swimming in Bloomberg Bucks, I think I can reasonably assume that CUIP will stop hitting me up for fundraising. But I am also fair-minded, so if anyone out there has some good quality contrasting journalism, please send it my way.

I'll see you all on the CUIP conference call tomorrow evening.

1 comment:

mikey said...

Hey Randy--
If you had 1000 bucks sitting on your kitchen table, and I reached in the window and snatched a 10 spot, would that not be robbery because its only 1% of what was there? If I go out and spend 1000 dollars today, and 10 bucks goes for a bag of heroin, am I not guilty because it was only 1% of what I spent today? If I spend a hundred gazillion on reelection, and 1 gazillion is found to be going toward paying off a loyal party hack, is there no corruption because its only 1% of the 100 gazillion? C'mon now.

If you are wondering "what carrot IPNYC has to dangle in front of Bloomberg in exchange for dollars," you can check the New York Times in 2009 reporting that "In both the 2001 and 2005 elections, at least 60,000 New Yorkers cast votes for Mr. Bloomberg on the Independence Party line, providing a political cushion that could prove crucial."

You might also note that a month earlier in the same newspaper, Bloomberg appeared up a creek without a paddle, with the NYCIP's leader quoted as saying "He regarded us as a group of people he needed, could use, and then he could walk away from." But a month later, after "weeks of secret negotiations" with the NYCIP's bosses at their home (so much for opposition to back room wheeling and dealing) Bloomberg appeared assured of the NYCIP's backing, with the NYCIP leaders assured "we will have access to his resources."

But, of course, this is the same NYC Independence Party that has given "anti-corruption awards" to, among others, some of the finest politicians that money can buy , not to mention a certain former NY state governor.

I can't guarantee you "good contrasting journalism," Randy, but I can guarantee you that, as always with NY politics, it will be interesting.