Revenge of the Nerds Meets the CILF



The purpose of this piece is to announce an event featuring David Weprin and David Yassky. Despite this, I ask you to read on. A friend asked that I do this announcement, and made one request along with it:


No, the event is not a contest for the nerdiest looking member of the City Council — Alan Gerson will not be attending (Is Gerson Yassky without the charisma, or is Yassky the hipster‘s version of Gerson? Wasn’t he in “The Forty Year Old Virgin”? Is there really a mathematical formula that says Schumer – Weiner = Yassky? And would Weprin be more exciting if he took dance lessons, so he’d be cutting a rug instead of wearing it? )

Yes, Can We?


While this week is of course one of new beginnings, it also brings the political year 2008 to a very happy ending.

Can any New York City Democrat not already on Mayor Bloomberg's campaign payroll (as of this date, still the majority of us, but give it time) say the same concerning the likely outcome of 2009?

It is time for us to hold auditions, and take the likely prospects out for a spin. On Thursday, January 22, 2009 at 7:30 PM, the 41st Assembly District Democratic Club, headed by Councilman Lew Fidler (probably the Mayor's least favorite Councilmember among those who voted in favor of modifying the term limits law), will begin its 2009 Guest Speaker Series, with perhaps Bloomberg's strongest potential opponent, City Comptroller Bill Thompson.    

A Referendum on Mayoral Control of the Schools


“There’s no question that mayoral control has done really positive great things.”—-Dan Squadron

“We need to get parents back in the process in a real way; we need to empower them. I feel the legislature was mislead by this Mayor…”—State Senator Marty Connor

As Mike Bloomberg moves towards creating a Charter Commission to extend his tenure in the Mayor’s Office to lives in being plus 21 years, by expanding the public‘s right to return him to office, he does nothing to allow voters to actually express their opinion on the real issues that impact their lives.

Next year, the legislature will vote on the crucial issue of whether to extend the experiment of absolute monarchial Mayoral control over the public school system. And yet, in all the City there is only one opportunity this year for voters to express a clear cut choice on this matter of monumental consequence. As such, it is likely that all eyes will be on the race for State Senate between incumbent Marty Connor and upstart Dan Squadron to gauge whether the much ballyhooed public anger over the manner in which school are run is really of much political consequence. 

Buzz Lightyear and Fievel Mousekewitz (Corrected)


At 21, Danny Squadron decided he wanted to own a bar, so he bought one, with the sort of money raised from the sort of contacts one makes when you’re an Prep School-Ivy League  trustafarian; as a sanitized version of the story noted at the time, it was a “Yale Fairy Tale”. The real fairy tale was a bit more Grimm, and the business closed nine months after it was opened, but boy did they have fun while it lasted. Sort of like Dubya and the Texas Rangers.  

Danny’s Environmental Untruth Squadron: Organic Fertilizer or Toxic Waste?


According to “EPL/Environmental Advocates”, which publishes “New York’s Only Environmental Scorecard for State Lawmakers”, the “Bigger Better Bottle Bill” (BBBB) expands the definition of “beverage” in the current bottle deposit law to include non-carbonated drinks other than milk and liquor, and to direct unclaimed deposits to the Environmental Protection Fund.

EPL classifies BBBB as one of its five “Super Bills”, a term it uses to describe their legislative priorities, chosen by their “Green Panel”, which includes representatives from New York State’s leading environmental groups. “Super Bills” are deemed by EPL to be so important that they are counted in their legislative ratings, even if they were not voted on—a phenomenon all too common in Albany.

The Governor Blinks


It’s like déjà vu all over again.


For a while it did not seem thus. Through an infortuitous concatenation of events, for fourteen long and agonizing months of tumult and confrontation, it sometimes appeared that the line it had been drawn, and the curse had been cast, with the old order rapidly fading.

FDR You Serious?


In their enthusiasm to be rid of Eliot Spitzer, many news outlets have overstated the firsts in David Paterson’s, and his father Basil’s, biographies.

As has already been widely note, Paterson is not the nation’s first legally blind Governor, that distinction belongs to Bob Reilly of Arkansas.

And Basil Paterson was not the first black man to be nominated for statewide office by a major party. That would be Edward Dudley who was the Democrat-Liberal candidate for Attorney General in 1962, years before Basil Paterson even entered the State Senate.

And surely Basil was not, as Herb Boyd stated last night on NY One, the first African-American to serve in the NY State Senate, although Basil did succeed the first African-American woman, Constance Baker Motley, who’d left to replace Dudley and become the third African American to serve as Manhattan Borough President (the first was Hulan Jack, elected in 1949), as well as the first woman of any color to serve on the old Board of Estimate.

The City Mouthpiece and the Country Mouthpiece


The story is told of a Court Street personal injury lawyer, eating lunch at Mr. Souvlaki and running into a former law school classmate now practicing in Suffolk County who's trying a PI case in Brooklyn.

“I’m trying this case and I’m winning it”, said the Country Mouthpiece, “but I know I’ll be reversed by the Appellate Division because the record’s a mess; I think the judge has Alzheimer’s”.

“So”, said the City Mouthpiece, “you’re in front of Ruditzky.”

Political junkies will have field day with the details of Wayne Barrett’s expose of alleged judgeship buying in Brooklyn. Barrett's article has practically every salacious detail of the sale of a judgeship in 2001 to brain dead hack Howard Ruditzky. Every detail but one.

Common Sense in Remission


An article in today’s Village Voice contained this startling passage:

“Blindness is something in which Paterson has an intensely personal stake. The 51-year-old State Senator is legally blind…but his interest in the issue stands out for other reasons. Paterson represents Upper Manhattan, including Harlem, an area that includes some of the city's poorest areas…There are many with visual handicaps in Paterson’s district, but these diseases don't strike residents in the area any more often than those in the rest of the city, health studies show. The biggest local health problem, according to a 2006 survey by the city's department of health, is asthma: Hospitalization rates for asthma attacks suffered by both children and adults in the area are double that of the rest of Manhattan, as well as the city as a whole. Infant mortality rates are also higher than the city average, the study found.”