While the NBC TV show “New Amsterdam” a census theme in last night’s show, the Republican National Committee is “frugging” the census through a fundraising mailer that looks like a census form. Michael Gormley writes about it in Newsday “(a) new mailer labeled “2019 Congressional District Census” that asks voters if they plan to vote for President Donald Trump is actually a Republican-sponsored fundraising appeal.
The mailing, which has been seen nationally as well as in the 1st Congressional District on Long Island, at first glance appears to be census-related. But it also clearly states it is “commissioned by the Republican Party” and says its findings will be used by GOP leaders and the White House.
The political term for such mailings is FRUGing, short for “fundraising under the guise of research,” and Democrats have done it, too. “
Michael Gormley covered the debate over the future of minor parties and fusion voting in Newsday recently:
“A centuries-old practice called fusion voting, which has been credited with defeating New York’s corrupt Tammany Hall in 1911, is now threatened by the effort to publicly finance campaigns to fight corruption today.
The Public Finance Reform Commission was created by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and the State Legislature in April to implement a $100 million system to subsidize political campaigns with public money as a way to curb the influence of big-money donors and special interests. But the commission already faces lawsuits from the left and right over its order from Cuomo and legislative leaders to also consider the fate of fusion voting.”
In State of Politics, from Nick Reisman “A member of Congress under indictment runs for re-election and wins. But soon after winning another term, he’s out of office when pleading guilty to a corruption charge.
Sound familiar? It’s not the story of former Rep. Chris Collins in western New York, but Michael Grimm, who represented a Staten Island district until his ouster in 2015.
Grimm’s resignation, just days after he was due to start his new term, triggered a court fight over filling his seat.
Republicans filed a federal lawsuit meant to push Gov. Andrew Cuomo to declare a special election — a stance a federal judge ultimately backed.”
From Ethan Geringer-Sameth in the Gotham Gazette “With just one month before New York rolls out early voting for the first time, it is unclear exactly where the city’s Board of Elections stands on acquiring and readying new technology considered essential to the new voting system.
BOE commissioners and staff have been discussing the acquisition of electronic poll books at board meetings since January, when the State Legislature passed and Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a law establishing early voting and authorizing counties to purchase the new tech, which enables implementation of early voting. In June, the State Board of Elections approved three vendors that counties could contract with, and the same month the city BOE appeared to have chosen one.”
Ben Yee writes in the Gotham Gazette “This past Thursday, the Manhattan Democratic Party announced its bi-annual “Organization Meeting” for this coming Thursday, October 3. This gathering of the party’s over 2,000 County Committee members is a critical moment when those newly elected representatives of Democratic voters set the course for the Democratic Party going into 2020.
Or so everyone thought.
Disregarding the exceedingly short notice, which is sent by mail and won’t reach most County Committee members until mere days before the meeting, nobody even knows who will be allowed to vote.”
In State of Politics, Nick Reisman reports on the effort to move the state forward with Census 2020 efforts. He writes “State lawmakers on Thursday pushed for funding to be made available to help the state ensure a full count in the upcoming 2020 Census.
A letter released by Assemblyman Felix Ortiz’s office and backed by 24 lawmakers in the Assembly, urged the money be allocated soon.
The $20 million set aside for the Census in New York would aid state support efforts, including outreach efforts for community-based organizations, local governments and libraries.”
The letter can be accessed here: Final Sign on Letter to the Governor Regarding Census Funding
Senator Zellnor Myrie also organized a letter to the Governor requesting $4 million of the state’s $20 million census appropriation for Brooklyn. The letter was highlighted by Kelly Mena in an article by the Brooklyn Eagle (an embedded copy of the letter can be found at the bottom of the article).
While a state complete count advisory commission held hearings around the state that were completed in July, the commission has not met since the last hearing. A report is expected some time in the near future making recommendations on how the state’s $20 million should be spent. In the meantime, New York City has just allocated $19 million for community based organizations to promote census outreach efforts.
The White Plains Patch reports “County Executive George Latimer kicked off a Nonprofit Westchester-sponsored 2020 US Census seminar declaring that participation in the census is essential if Westchester County is going to get its fair share of the more than $850 billion that the federal government will allocate in more than 320 vital programs. Latimer also pointed out the critical role that nonprofit organizations play in helping ensure that everyone counts. “