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Poor Bill Weld


Former College President and candidate for Governor Bill Weld probably thought he had a full proof way to jump start his sinking campaign. Propose a stupendous tax cut and Republican & Conservative base would swoon. After all it worked before for Reagan, Pataki, Tom Kean, Christie Whitman & both Bushes among others. But poor Bill, the normal cheerleaders for any tax cut are complaining his numbers don’t add up. Funny the fact that the numbers didn’t add up any better for the before mentioned candidates didn’t seem to matter before.  But Bill is being criticized. See Wednesday & today’s NY Sun. If former editors of the Wall St. Journal won’t salute a tax cur it’s time for Bill to quit the race. Maybe he can use his experience as a educator and go back to Massachusetts and apply for the Harvard Presidency.

The First Borough versus the 6th Borough


Not so long ago, New York politicos used to refer to the State of Israel as the 6th Borough. Changing demographics, among other factors, have rendered this truism a little less true with age. But, while changing times have greatly shaken Israeli politics, in Brooklyn, our 1st Borough, we often take years to adjust to any new realities.

This week’s elections in Israel served to illustrate this dichotomy.

Who votes? – first in a series


In response to numerous requests (actually just one), I plan to periodically publish reports on who the likely voters are in the upcoming "hot" elections. 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. Here we go with the 11th CD Democratic Primary, the seat being vacated by Major Owens.

Likely Primary Voters Estimated Percentages

Blacks    60%

Jewish   15%

Question for Rudy


Mayor Mike’s tough testimony in DC concerned a bill that prevents the City and others from getting gun trace data. According to the Times, the restrictions began as a result of a law suit againt gun manufacturers & dealers started by Rudy’s administation. Wouldn’t it be a good idea for reporters to ask Rudy about this? Does he still support holding manufacturers & dealers responsible for gun violence? Does he agree with Mike’s rhetoric? Will he stop raising money for pro-gun Republicans?

Nice Guys Don’t Always Run Last


Guess who ended up as David Patterson’s Campaign Manager for his Lt. Governor run (coronation)?       

YES, you guessed it:  LUTHER SMITH.                                                         The former chief-of -staff to C.Viriginia Fields ( ex-Manhattan Beep ) was last seen working on Freddie Ferrer’s Mayoral campaign, as a Special-Assistant to the candidate himself (post-primary). This likeable, hard-working and competent guy, was rumored to have hooked up with Bill Lynch’s consulting firm.  From where we stand at this  moment in time, it looks like a ‘piece of cake " for Luther. Score one for the nice-guys.                                               

Tom Suozzi Makes The Brooklyn Rounds Today


Gubernatorial candidate Tom Suozzi is in Brooklyn today making the rounds. Among those he is scheduled to meet are Wellington Sharpe  ( announced candidate for the 58th AD), and NYC councilmember Charles Barron- who is  running for Congress in the 10th Congressional District.

Suozzi whose candidacy is considered a longshot  by many,  has a lot of catching-up to do against  his opponent AG Elliot Spitzer, relative to the black vote. Polls show him as a relatively unknown amongst black voters. He will be well advised to work very hard in Brooklyn.

Cop Killers, Funerals & Hyprocrites


Remember back in December when a New York City police officer was murdered? The Post made a big stink about Shelly Silver saying he wouldn’t attend the funeral. At the time, I wondered if the Post was going to be responsible for a new policy – that state legislative leaders like Jow Bruno & Shelly would now be attacked for not attending funerals for all law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty. I now learn, thanks to today’s Albany Times-Union that 2 officers in NY State were killed in the last month. Looking back I find no stories or editorials in the Post demanding Bruno & Silver attend the funerals. Can anyone come up with a reason that the Post doesn’t seem to care anymore? Of can it be that they got their cheap shot in at Shelly and didn’t need to do it again?

Andrew Cuomo – Serial Liar?


You all probably remember the controversy over Andrew Cuomo and the Vote for Cuomo not the Homo signs. To quickly sum up, at a meeting of the Stonewall Dem Club, Andrew was asked about his role in distributing such signs in the 1977 Ed Koch-Mario Cuomo race. Andrew used the phrase "urban legend" about the signs. Some folks took that to mean that Andrew was saying there never were such signs. He (Andrew) later said he meant the urban legend was that he or any officials in the Mario Cuomo campaign were responsible. Most in the media and Ed Koch accepted Andrew’s explanation. This despite the fact that Andrew in 2002 was quoted as saying there never were such signs.

Out To Launch


Nat Hentoff's notes to Bob Dylan's 2nd album, written when he was still worth reading, say, in part: "'Hard Rain" adds Dylan "is a desparate kind of song". It was written during the Cuban missile crisis … when those who allowed themselves to think …were chilled by the immenence of oblivion. "Every line in it is actually the start of a whole song. But when I wrote it, I thought I wouldn't have enough time…to write all those songs so I put all I could into this one."

Excited as all of us who are participating in the launch of Room 8 are to be part of this brave new endeavor, with visions of long belated recognition and sugarplumbs dancing in our heads, it is hard not to feel a little chilled by the immenence of what may lie ahead. So, on the eve of our launch, I write a desparate kind of column; every line is the start of a new column, but when I wrote it, I thought I'd never have the time to write all those columns, so I put it all into this one. Bob Dylan certainly did better, but I think it might be more fun to read than Hentoff's 675th remembrance of A.J. Muste (admittedly not much to aspire to).