Saturday, November 4, 2006

Follow the Leader 11/4/2006

From Follow the Leader:

Latino Power Plays

Maybe I was wrong to sit on the fence when it came to Hiram Monserrate in September?

Monserrate will lead a Working Families Party "get out the vote" rally tomorrow, urging Latino voters to pick Eliot Spitzer on "Row E," rather than the Democratic line. Monserrate is the only elected official named in the release announcing the event, which would lead one to think that the WFP feels his future is as bright as ever.

Tomorrow will also see the return of another well-known Latino to the political ring. Along with Fernando Ferrer, musician/activist Willie Colon will take part in an uptown rally for Spitzer's campaign.

Colon is an interesting figure, since he has a tendency to cross party lines when itcomes to backing his candidates. Last year, Colon was out in front for Mayor Mike Bloomberg's reelection campaign, and this year he is publicly backing Spitzer.

Does Colon have a future in elected office? It is rumoured that he is interested in Ferrer's old Bronx Borough President seat, once Adolfo Carrion is forced out through term limits. Colon had initially run for the office in 2001, but changed his mind and ran for public advocate instead.

Though he lost that race, he did handily win his home borough of The Bronx, winning all but one Assembly district, in what was a crazy, seven-way race that saw the election of Betsy Gotbaum.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Follow the Leader 10/11/2006

From Follow the Leader:

Baseball Recap, Leaving The Boroughs

At the start of the season, I asked some of you for your baseball picks (look here, here and here).

So many people exhibited great courage and picked Mets/Yankees, so I'm not going to give anyone credit for that pick just yet. But as for people who stepped outside of New York to make their pick, a few are standing out. They are:

Scott Gastel, Sheinkopf Communications: Yankees/Cardinals

Rebecca Gale, communications director, Rep. Eliot Engel: Reds/Tigers.

Scott Sala, Urban Elephants: Yankees/Cardinals.

Steve Perez, organizer, Working Families Party: A's/Cardinals (best one yet).

William Weitz, chief of staff, Rep. Eliot Engel: Yankees/Cardinals.

I know my stuff.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Daily Kos 8/21/2006

From Daily Kos:
Open Thread and Diary Rescue

Steve WFP's National Journal rankings shows New York is the swing state takes a look at the latest National Journal rankings of House races and provides some analysis.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Follow the Leader 6/28/2006

From Follow the Leader:

Why We Lost, Why We Fight

The Working Families Party has issued its own recap on why the "Fair Share for Health Care" Act failed to pass this year, promising to come back for the same fight next year. Quote:

"People will still be getting sick next year. And the fact that nearly three million New Yorkers don't have health insurance will still be a disgrace. In 2007, the state will release a study showing to the dollar the cost that large low-road employers are shirking. Our task is to make sure that our new Governor understands that it is long past time for a comprehensive approach to health care, and such an approach will necessarily require an end to freeloading by large employers."

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Follow the Leader 6/14/2006

From Follow the Leader:

Shut Up, Grover

The Working Families Party takes on Americans for Tax Reform President Grover Norquist's analysis of the "Fair Share for Health Care" Act here.

And I do think my headlines are charming.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Follow the Leader 6/13/2006

From Follow the Leader:

Die, Fair Share, Die!

Americans for Tax Reform are taking their own shots at the Working Families' Party-backed "Fair Share for Health Care" Act.

"When the government tells businesses what to do and how much to do it for, workers and consumers bear the brunt by losing jobs and facing higher prices. The '"Fair Share' bill is like prescribing leeches to cure a fever. In removing the 'problem' of having some part-time jobs without health care, you also remove the 'problem' of having jobs, the lifeblood of economic growth," said ATR President Grover Norquist.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Follow the Leader 5/23/2006

From Follow the Leader:

WFP Fires Back

Pointing out that the Employment Policies Institute is a think tank funded by the restaurant industry, the Working Families Party has sent me a response to this item. In brief, here it is directly from their release:

1. Rhetoric: The Fair Share for Health Care bill will cost nearly 100,000 jobs.

Reality: This is exactly the argument that was made about minimum wage; it wasn't true then, and it's not true now...

2. Rhetoric: Fair Share for Health Care will not cover 83% of New York's uninsured.

Reality: The legislation does not purport to be a comprehensive solution to the crisis of New York’s uninsured. But it is a significant and practical first step that will cover more than 400,000 New Yorkers who work at large firms but are currently uninsured, as well as another 193,000 who work for large firms but receive health care through Medicaid and Family Health Plus.

3. Rhetoric: The bill makes health care more expensive for New York employers.

Reality: The bill makes health care less expensive for employers already providing decent, affordable benefits...

4. Rhetoric: The Fair Share bill will hurt New York's business climate.

Reality: The Fair Share bill will benefit New York businesses by:

- Reducing the burden on state and local taxpayers by nearly $1 billion annually as by shifting health care costs away from taxpayer-subsidized programs like Medicaid and back to employers who have tried to game the system by shifting these costs.

- Providing a level playing field for responsible local businesses that struggle to compete with multi-billion dollar corporations like Wal-Mart that do not offer decent, affordable benefits to their workers.

- Reducing the cost of health care for responsible employers.

Follow the Leader 5/23/2006

From Follow the Leader:
Not So Fair Share

The Employment Policies Institute is taking issue with the "Fair Share for Health Care" Act, which has become the agenda centerpiece of the Working Families Party and is being discussed on the floor of the Assembly today. Read their report here.

EPI's report claims that the bill would cost State businesses $9.2 billion, destroy 100,000 jobs and ignore 83 percent of those who are currently uninsured anyway.

"Proponents of this measure are actually trying to claim that increased labor costs will create more jobs," said Mike Flynn, EPI's director of legislative affairs. "As far as the laws of economics go, this is tantamount to saying water runs uphill."

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Follow the Leader 5/11/2006

From Follow the Leader:

Citizen Feedback

The Working Families Party is allowing interested parties to post on their Web site why they support the Fair Share for Health Care Act. Some highlights:

"The purpose of legislation is justice."

"My 19 year old Grandson is living alone and supporting himself. He is loosing all his teeth and has indured numerous illnesses without a Doctor's visit. He needs some kind of health care as do so many in the country without it."

"Admittedly this is not the answer to all health care problems, but it is a solid, just and necessary step along the way to universal health care."

"Corporations need to take care of their workers and not continue to pass on these expenses to the taxpayer! Add some pennies to your prices and deduct some from your profits - do the right thing!"

"This bill is a win-win for us. If large outside chains decide to leave rather than comply, smaller local businesses will be able to move into the void."

"If you can offer free health care to non-citizens then you MUST take care of our own citizens!!! Send the illegal aliens home and the money that is saved could pay for our own citizens. That is if the big tax cuts don't backrupt us first."

Wednesday, May 3, 2006

Follow the Leader 5/3/2006

From Follow the Leader:
WFP For Perkins

The Harlem branch of the Working Families Party has endorsed Bill Perkins to succeed David Paterson in the State Senate.

"He’s a proven legislator who has been fearless in tackling the problems our community faces," said WFP leader Ramona McFarlan.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Simply Left Behind 4/27/2006

From Simply Left Behind:

Weh-hell, It Looks Like New York Dems ARE Relevant, After All!

Democrats Look to Clinton and Spitzer for Help in Winning House

April 21 (Bloomberg) -- The Democrats' prospects for winning control of the U.S. House of Representatives in November may rest with two high-powered New York politicians who aren't even running for seats: Hillary Rodham Clinton and Eliot Spitzer.

Clinton, who's likely to win easy re-election to the Senate, and Spitzer, the state attorney general who is leading in polls to become the next governor, might help the Democrats pick up as many as six New York congressional seats -- more than one-third of the 15 they need nationally to gain a House majority.

The two are so strong politically that they may lift Democratic candidates across the state, said Lee Miringoff, director of the Institute for Public Opinion at Marist College in Poughkeepsie. Spitzer, 46, led potential Republican candidates by margins ranging from 18 to 66 percentage points in a Qunnipiac University poll last month; a Marist poll earlier this year found that 54 percent of New Yorkers ``definitely'' plan to vote for Clinton, 58.

"It could turn into a Democratic year in New York, which might then have an impact on down-ballot races for Congress,'' Miringoff said.
Interesting. Let's see how this works:
House Democratic candidates such as Kirsten Gillibrand are campaigning on the theme that their Republican opponents are too closely tied to President George W. Bush's policies.

Gillibrand is seeking the Democratic nomination in New York's 20th District to challenge four-term incumbent Republican Representative John Sweeney.

Democrats are also targeting seats held by Republicans Sherwood Boehlert, Randy Kuhl, Tom Reynolds, James Walsh, and Sue Kelly, said Representative Rahm Emanuel of Illinois, chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. He said Democrats may have an advantage because of a flagging economy in upstate New York, and will be helped by the candidates at the top of the ticket.
Now, Boehlert has already announced he will not seek re-election. He's been in Congress for 24 years now, and one imagines that, as a moderate Republican, he's probably had enough of the nonsense that passes for a legislative agenda.
Kuhl won a first term in Congress in 2004 with just 51 percent of the vote, making his southwestern New York district a top target this year. He will probably face off in November against Democrat Eric Massa, a former Navy officer and special assistant to General Wesley Clark.
That he pulled 51% of the vote as a newbie in New York State in a year when Bush couldn't be seen on the political radar (except for his appearance at the RNC, see below) is no small matter, but he replaced Republican Amo Houghton, one of the genuinely nice guys and smart guys in Congress (I know, I've spoken with him at length). My suspicion is, coupled with his....shall we say, less than spotless marital record?...he might be a bit vulnerable on his record, or lack thereof.
Reynolds, the chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, is being challenged by his 2004 opponent, businessman Jack Davis, who won 44 percent of the vote in the Buffalo suburban district last time
Now, Reynolds is running in a district that sees Tim Russert regularly, and during the 2000 Senatorial campaign, you may recall that Buffalo hosted the infamous Lazio manuever during a debate, when Republican Rick Lazio assaulted Hillary Clinton.

What you may not recall from that debate was the strong note made regarding the lackluster economy in the Buffalo area. Some progress has been made, based on a recent trip I took up that way, but clearly more can and should be done to improve what has always been a fine working class town. It's cities like Buffalo that deserve America's attention.
Walsh's leading Democratic challenger, former House Ways and Means Committee aide Dan Maffei, has raised $207,000 so far, compared with the $381,000 raised by the nine-term lawmaker. The Syracuse district gave Kerry 50 percent of its vote in 2004 to 48 percent for Bush.
You might be noticing a pattern here: all of these seats are in western New York state. The demographics up there have altered somewhat over the past six years, and certainly more rapidly over the past two. Kerry won the district. Gore won the district, but by a slightly larger margin. Could be a toss-up.
The Cook Political Report, a nonpartisan Washington newsletter, has Kelly's race on a watch list because the district gave Bush only 53 percent of the vote in 2004. As many as six Democrats may face off in a September primary to take Kelly on in November. The front-runner, lawyer Judith Aydelott, has raised $466,000 to Kelly's $1 million.
Hey now! Where's John Hall in all this??? He's "Still the One"!

More in-depth info at, and a hat tip to, the Working Families Party Journal