Monday, August 09, 2010

Nonpartisan Elections in New York City: The Media, the Mayor and the Message

NY1 ran an "exclusive" (that's media talk for high market value spin) today saying that sources say that Mayor Bloomberg's people say that the Mayor won't push the Charter Revision Commission to put nonpartisan elections on the ballot. Some sources told the NY Daily News something similar (they got the same spin but got it an hour later.)

The Mayor has not been quoted directly or made a public statement in the past 24 hours, but he is on record as supporting nonpartisan elections for New York City municipal elections since at least 2001.

Nonpartisan elections and open primaries has been gaining steady support over the past 2 years, ever since independents sent Barack Obama to the White House. (And of course it was independents who put Mike Bloomberg in office twice, uh, make that three times...)

Chris Bragg asked Fred Newman (the NYC-based "controversial psychotherapist, philosopher, playwright and political activist,") about this last week in City Hall News, and it went like this:
"CH: Do you wish the mayor would weigh in a little more in support of non-partisan elections? 
FN: His promise, his statement was to assure that he would do what he could do to make sure that it was considered. He created the commission, so he fulfilled that commitment. He didn’t make a commitment to work for it or be outspoken for it, although he has been before on the record. If you asked me subjectively today, would I have wanted him to do more, I suppose it would have been helpful. But I don’t think he has violated any promises...."
Speaking as an independent, frankly we've never depended on the kindness of politicians.

The recommendation last month to the NYC Charter Revision Commission by the 105 year old penultimate good government group Citizens Union, now headed up by executive director Dick Dadey, to put nonpartisans on the ballot in November turned the 10-year fight for democracy and inclusiveness in the electoral arena in New York City on its head.

The Hankster will cover the press conference tomorrow being held by Lenora Fulani and the NYC Independence Party and hope to bring you video at 11.

Ladies and gentlemen, the fight continues!

For video of citizen and expert testimony in favor of nonpartisan elections at the NYC Charter Revision Commission hearings, see Hankstertube.

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