Monthly Archives: March 2016

Guide To The NY Constitutional Convention Process

NYPIRG and the League of Women Voters have published a handy short guide to the state constitutional convention process. It’s worth a read and a download. You can access it here:

Click to access con_con_merged_final.pdf

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Sheldon Silver Resigns As Democratic Super Delegate

Aaron Short reports in the New York Post reports that Sheldon Silver, the convicted former Assembly Speaker, has resigned as a super delegate to the 2016 Democratic Convention. Silver had been a New York member of the Democratic National Committee and all DNC members become automatic delegates. It’s assumed Silver is no longer a DNC member.

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LLC Loophole Appeal Expected

We can expect an appeal of the  “court ruling on Wednesday that dismissed a case seeking to do away with the so-called “LLC loophole” in election law.

That’s according to Lawrence Norden, deputy director of the Brennan Center for Justice’s Democracy Program. The Brennan Center, which is part of New York University Law School, is the lead plaintiff in the case.

“We still have to discuss it with our all clients, but we believe there is a good chance on appeal,” Norden said via phone. Norden said that the Brennan Center and a law firm that’s also a party in the case, Emery, Celli and Brinckerhoff, are “raring to go.” Other supporting parties seeking to do with the LLC loophole include SUNY New Paltz Prof. Gerald Benjamin, and three New York City Democrats.”

 

Read more in Chris Bragg’s coverage.

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Ted Cruz Challenge Back In Court Next Week

Chris Bragg reported yesterday that “litigants seeking to kick Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz off the Republican primary presidential ballot, arguing that he is not a “natural born” citizen and thus cannot be president, have filed an expedited appeal in the case.

According to an attorney for the petitioners, Roger Bernstein, arguments are expected to be heard Wednesday Mar. 23 at 1 p.m. in the appellate division of  the Third Judicial Department.

Bernstein also noted via email that a Harvard Law professor, Einer Elhauge, has now submitted a brief backing up the argument that Cruz, who was born in Canada but whose mother was an American citizen, does not qualify to be president. The court will decide next Monday whether the friend of the court brief can be taken into account, Bernstein said.”

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Assy. Crespo Seeks To Improve Census 2020

Assembly Member Marcos Crespo has introduced a bill to create a state commission to combat the state’s chronic undercount of minority residents. Covered by Rick Karlin in the Times Union, the bill would “begin the process to prepare New York State for a proper count during the 2020 Census. Undercounts during the 2000 and 2010 Census have cost New York two congressional seats and a loss of tens of billions in federal aid for a range of programs from education to housing to transportation. The legislation begins a multi-year planning process to ensure that state, local and nonprofit sectors are better prepared to ensure a proper count and will prevent future funding losses, including the now projected loss of one more congressional member due to a combination of slow population growth and chronic undercounting of New York State residents.

“With rampant growth in child poverty rates and among our elderly and families, New York can ill afford another census undercount. It has already cost us tens of billions in lost federal aid which could have been used to strengthen our communities and economy. It has also cost us political clout in Washington as we continue to lose members of Congress as other states gain members. My legislation begins the process to ensure a proper count and bring billions in needed aid to communities across New York,” stated Assemblyman Marcos A. Crespo.”

The article does not mention that the census is also the basis for state legislative and local redistricting or that chronic undercounting also skews legislative redistricting by favoring areas with more accurate counts. The proposed commission would also need a budget and funding.

 

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Hoylman: Hold Both Primaries On The Same Day

Senator Brad Hoylman penned a column for the Times Union, making the case  that  “there are plenty of reasons for the Legislature to get its act together to avoid holding two separate primaries this summer — 25 million of them, to be exact.

Taxpayers will save $25 million — the cost of printing ballots and paying poll workers — if the Senate and Assembly agree on a combined date to hold both the federal and state primaries.

Unless they agree on a new date, New York will be holding a federal primary June 28 and a state primary Sept. 13.

Of course, it would be only logical to hold one primary. But this is Albany, folks, and once again, dysfunction and partisan gridlock trump reason.”

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Court Dismisses Lawsuit To Close ‘LLC Loophole’

Chris Bragg reports in the Times Union on today’s court decision dismissing “a lawsuit against the state Board of Elections seeking to do away with the so-called “LLC loophole,” which has allowed real estate developers and other interests to give huge campaign contributions in New York elections.

The LLC loophole is the result of a 1996 state Board of Elections decision, which allows each limited liability company controlled by a developer to each give up to $150,000 annually in New York elections, the same amount an individual can give.”

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