Friday, January 07, 2011

Salute to Abel Maldonado; Principles or Plots in NY State Senate?

A salute to California's out-going Lt. Gov Abel Maldonado, a leader who has continued to stand by his constituents -- THE VOTERS! -- and buck the party system. And now, what's all that jockeying going on in Albany NY???


INDEPENDENT VOTERS
  • Ruy Teixeira: Make government more effective, not smaller (Orange County Register) Voters in November, independents included, were primarily concerned with the state of the economy and the government’s perceived failure to improve it. This is particularly true of bona fide swing voters—independents who are not disguised partisans of one party or the other.

OPEN PRIMARIES
  • Did Arnold deliver? (Chico News Review) Let’s first roll the credits: a $42 billion package of infrastructure improvements; the toughest auto-emissions law in the country; establishment of a redistricting commission and voter approval of an open-primary system...
  • ‘Top-two’ isn’t ‘open’ (LETTER Chico News Review) This article would be improved if it referred to Proposition 14 as the “top-two” election system.
  • Idaho GOP lawmakers have closed primary bill ready (Associated Press, KHQ - Boise) Idaho Republican lawmakers have a measure ready for the 2011 Legislature to close their primary elections to registered Democratic voters, but are still awaiting a federal judge's ruling in the case.


ELECTORAL COLLEGE

REDISTRICTING
  • State Supreme Court to hear redistricting case (By HOWARD FISCHER, Capitol Media Services, Yuma Sun) The two GOP legislators contend that two of the Republicans on the list of nominees, Mark Schnepf and Steven Sossaman, are not entitled to serve because they are members of irrigation district boards. The 2000 law precludes anyone holding “public office” from serving on the redistricting commission.
  • Cuomo calls for ethics reforms (Hudson Valley Times Herald-Record) Gov. Andrew Cuomo called for campaign finance reform that includes public financing for elections and contribution limits, an independent redistricting commission, independent monitoring and enforcement of ethics laws…

2012
  • White Flight - President Obama’s path to a second term may rely on states shaped by the same social forces he embodies. (By Ronald Brownstein, National Journal) Minorities were almost exactly twice as likely as whites to say that life would be better for the next generation than for their own; whites were considerably more likely to say that it would be more difficult.
  • POLITICS AND MOTHER NATURE (by LARRY MENDTE, Philadelphia Magazine/The Philly Post) The national press has been so bad for Bloomberg that his Independent run for president now seems doubtful. At least he made it back to New York from his home in Bermuda to deal with the blizzard.
  • Memories of reform (LETTER News Observer - Triangle NC) Now in the minority, Hackney has suddenly gotten religion, jumping on a bipartisan bandwagon as he chastises Republican leaders and calls for enactment of redistricting reform.

CALIFORNIA
  • Opinion: Maldonado did well – despite a miniscule staff and red-ink budget (By Amanda Fulkerson, CAPITOL WEEKLY) Everyone knows Maldonado is the god father of the open primary system, but couple that with his other successful proposition, 2009's 1F that chastised legislators by giving voters the opportunity to take away their pay increases while they fail to do their job and you can imagine the distain party bosses feel for him.
  • Yes, Maldonado would become governor (By Malcolm Maclachlan, CAPITOL WEEKLY) “If Brown is struck by lightning, Abel would become Governor for his term,” said Amanda Fulkerson, Maldonado’s chief of staff. “By constitution, he’s still Lieutenant Governor and we’re still here toiling away.”

NEW YORK
  • Savino throws New York Senate Democratic leaders a curveball, joins breakaway coalition (By Judy L. Randall, Staten Island Advance) Four maverick Democratic state senators -- including Staten Island's Diane Savino -- yesterday broke with their minority leadership to form an "independent" coalition, one that aims to work with Republicans in the majority.
  • Ferrer Supports Indy Dem Caucus (By David Freedlander, NY Observer/Politicker) For one thing, as Dan Janison noted yesterday, the new group quickly earned the moniker "The Caucasian Caucus," since it featured only white members of a conference that is mostly Black and Hispanic. Ferrer, who aimed to the be first Puerto Rican mayor of New York can give them some ethnic cred.
  • Four freshman stand by Senate Dem leadership (by Casey Seiler, Capitol bureau chief, Albany Times Union/Capitol Confidential) After Mike Gianaris, Tim Kennedy, Gustavo Rivera and Tony Avella introduced themselves to the assembled press, the first question was obvious: What’s it like to join a conference that just lost four of its members?
  • Dissension in the Senate ranks (by Jay Jochnowitz, Editorial page editor, Albany Times Union/The Observation Deck) Today’s editorial: For a change, some constructive dissent in the Senate. If only all rank and file members held the leadership on both sides to account.

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