Is This Really The Best Use Of His Time?


DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff participates in a 10:00 am ET panel sponsored by the Heritage Foundation: "’24’ and America’s Image in Fighting Terrorism: Fact, Fiction or Does it Matter?" The three "24" cast members who are expected to participate: Mary Lynn Rajskub (Chloe O’Brian), Carlos Bernard (Tony Almeida), and Gregory Itzin (President Charles Logan). Rush Limbaugh takes the day off from the radio show to moderate.

State Assembly Disses Knick Fans


New York Legislature honors Pat Riley as homegrown star

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) _ The Miami Heat’s Pat Riley was honored Wednesday by the New York Assembly as a homegrown New York star a day after he won his fifth NBA championship as head coach.

"I fondly remember the days many years ago, playing basketball with Pat, and working basketball summer camps with him," said Assembly Minority Leader James Tedisco, who grew up in Schenectady with Riley.

Riley was a basketball and football star at Schenectady’s Linton High School. With Riley, "The state of New York and its citizens," reads the proclamation, "offer good wishes, admiration and congratulations."

Off To The Races


Now that we are two weeks into the petitioning process, we have a pretty good idea of who is running for what in the upcoming NYC Primaries for public office.

What follows is an incomplete list, based on sightings of petitions being circulated.

I’m sure I’m leaving candidates out who may even be serious contenders. I welcome any additions, subtractions, corrections or biographical information about candidates.


Besides the already well know cast of characters running in the Major Owens & Ed Towns districts, the only other Primary for Congress that I’m aware of is against Eliot Engel. Jessica Flagg, who challenged Eliot 2 years ago on anti-war platform is running again and has aligned herself with Jonathan Tasini, Hillary Clinton’s opponent.

Democratic State Committee Facts


Before and since the recent State conventions, there have been many comments on The Politicker and Daily Politics blog about who votes at the Democratic State Convention –   asking  who they are, how they are chosen , are dissidents purged, etc.

(For some reason, there is really letter comment about who votes at Republican conventions)

Many of the questions and comments reflected the fact that most people, even political junkies, don’t know a lot about this position.  Here are some facts:

The members of the State Committee are not delegates like those who pick Presidential candidates.  Delegates are selected to take in part in a single convention.

Statewide Primaries – Are They Bad?


On the eve of the State Democratic & Republican conventions, pundits are exclaiming that the polls predicting a decisive fight for the Republican nomination for Governor and an easy win for Eliot Spitzer among Democrats means that the GOP is doomed this year.

Without getting into whether polls this early should be believed, I’d like to look back and try to see if hard-fought Statewide Primaries for Governor or Senator have hurt, helped or made no difference to candidates.

1968 – Democrats chose Paul O’Dwyer in a 3-way Primary to face Republican Senator Jacob Javits, who did not have Primary. Javits was considered the overwhelming favorite all year and the Democratic Primary had a low-turnout and not very exciting.  Javits did win by over 1 million votes.

Prime News News


Every spring for the last 15 years, my company, Prime New York, has mailed to @1,000 politicos, our newsletter – Prime News. It lists the previous year’s election results for public & party office plus information about enhancements to our voter file. This year’s edition should be hitting the mail this week.

But if you can’t wait or if you don’t normally get it, it’s now available on-line at our brand new Prime New York website.

You can get this year’s Prime News here and you can access the website here.

Election Turnout & Ethnic Politics


Rock Hackshaw has asked me a few times on this blog my opinion about election turnout in New York and the US. There are as many theories about this as there are theorists but one theory that I believe has a lot going for it regards ethnic politics.

Put simply, ethnic or racially polarized election contests increase turnouts!

There has been no Presidential election since then that has had a higher percentage turnout than the 1960 Kennedy-Nixon election. The reason put forward by many is that this first election where a Catholic had a serious chance of being elected President increased the turnout of both Catholics and anti-Catholics.

Who Votes – David Paterson Senate District


Continuing an irregular series on who the likely voters are in the upcoming "hot" elections, I turn today to the 30th State Senate District in Manhattan being vacated by David Paterson.  These percentages are based on data in the Prime New York voter file and these reports come with the usual caveats – ethnic data is based on last names so are not 100% accurate, past voting behavior is not always predicative, etc.

Likely Primary Voters Estimated Percentages

Blacks    55%

Hispanics 20%

Jewish   15%

Seniors    28%

Statewide Primaries – Where Are the Votes?


A political consultant recently asked me if it was true that 70% of the vote in a statewide Democratic Primary came from New York City and it’s suburbs. I responded that I have heard and believe that was true for years but have not recently checked.

So I decided to look into past primary turnout and here it was I found.

I looked at the Democratic enrollment and the turnout from the last two statewide primaries – 2000 & 2004. Neither of these years are great because the primaries were pretty ho-hum – in 2000 Hillary had a minor Primary opponent and in 2002 Andrew Cuomo withdrew right before the Primary. But I thought it was better to use them rather going back 8 years.

Electing Judges – A Primer


Most New Yorkers only notice local judges when there is a very high profile case. Which partially explains why so few voters take part in the only elections where they have a direct say in choosing judges. Over the years, I’ve found that even many people working in politics are poorly informed about the election of Civil Court Judges and the many ways it differs from other elections.

So, here’s a  primer on the confusing system.

There are five types of local judges in New York City. Only the Civil Court and Surrogate Court judges are selected directly by voters in Party primaries and then in General Elections. Surrogate judges are so few (just 7 in NYC) and their elections are even more different than others that I’m only going to write about Civil Court here.