Tag Archives: Independent Democratic Conference

40 Days to Go — Klein Has a Lot More $$, but a Lot Less Contributors (Uh, Supporters) than Biaggi

4 Aug

As Cindy Lauper sang, “Money Changes Everything.”

Right? Well, in terms of local elections, particularly the ones this year, it’s a little more complicated than that.

Incumbent State Senator Jeff Klein, founder of the Independent Democratic Conference, which handed Senate power over to Republicans, raised $1.8 million for his campaign. Alessandra Biaggi, on the other hand, has raised only $314,000, according to the investigative website Sludge. So, sounds like she doesn’t have much of a chance to defeat Klein, right?

Well, no, because what matters even more than money in local politics is people, and Biaggi has gathered a lot of them. The number of  her contributors and volunteers outweigh Klein’s significantly. Sludge reports she already has 4,108 contributors. He has only 932. Meanwhile, for Biaggi, 400+ volunteers are on the streets, knocking on doors, making calls, sending post cards and more.

The average donations to Klein are $1,915 and come larger from company’s and PACs. Biaggi’s donation averages are $76. So, thanks to a big pile of corporate donors, his current cash count is over 25 times larger than hers. (You can check out his top corporate donors in a City Limits article by Jeanmarie Evelly, a great reporter I worked with at the Norwood News and Bronx News Network.)

For detailed reports of what each candidate in this race and all state races are raising, and from whom, just go to this contribution database on the  New York State Board of Elections site.  If it isn’t clear already from this and previous posts, you’ll learn from that database that I support Biaggi. Happily. (If you’d like to do the same, go here.)

Have a great weekend, everyone!

 

 

 

 

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42 Days to Go — Taking Down Members of Bronx-Born IDC (Independent Democratic Conference)

2 Aug

8.2.18 – I wrote about Bronx politics and critical local issues for almost 20 years, when I was reporter and editor of the Norwood News (in Community Board 7) and the Bronx News Network. One thing I rarely witnessed were Democratic incumbents (all were Dems except for Guy Velella during my tenure) facing primary challengers with a good shot of winning. During my time on the job, except when corrupt incumbents were defeated or stepped down (State Senator Pedro Espada, Councilman Pedro G. Espada, State Senator Efrain Gonzalez, Councilman Larry Seabrook, Nelso Castro, Eric Stevenson, Israel Ruiz, etc., etc.) few if any vets of the City Council, state Assembly, or state Senate, faced significant challengers.

But times have changed. If there’s one thing to be grateful to Trump and his seemingly corrupt victory for, it is this: excellent and energized freshmen progressive candidates are taking it to the streets along with big teams of dedicated volunteers. They are acting on the fact that state and local elections are as – and even more in many cases – critical to democracy and local issues as presidential elections. What happens – or doesn’t happen – locally has a dramatic impact on national politics as well. Even big-shot former U.S. House Speaker Tip O’Neill famously said, “All politics is local.”

And it is not just local in terms of issues affecting Bronx residents and neighborhoods, but residents and towns of the entire Empire State.

And that’s because of the IDC, a team of eight “Democrats” who sided with Republicans in the State Senate, handed over all of the real power of Democrats to the GOP. That’s blocked every essential bill on critical issues like voting rights, school funding, a Health Care Act, and the DREAM Act from passing in the State Senate and joining forces with the Assembly, vastly controlled by Democrats.

State Senator Jeff Klein, of the Bronx, formed the IDC in 2011. It wouldn’t have existed without him. (Technically, it no longer exists since Cuomo made them shut it down earlier this year, but Klein and his team are being told to pay $1.4  million they received from the Independence Party. Like almost all other IDC incumbents, Klein faces a strong challenge from Alessandra Biaggi, who already has 400 volunteers on her team taking it to the streets, knocking on doors, phone banking, writing post cards, contributing whatever they can. Here’s her recent video.

Bronx Democrats (including me) have moaned and groaned for years that our votes don’t  count for much, particularly in presidential elections. But this is a Democratic primary with epic issues (local, state and national) at stake. Your vote – and participation – matters. Big time.

So learn more and volunteer for Biaggi (or any of the other challengers to IDC incumbents ) right now! There are only six weeks to go! The primary is on Thursday (yes, Thursday!) September 13.

Oh, and if you’d like to learn more about the IDC, check out this excellent, brief video Zephyr Teachout did last year.

 

Care About the Bronx and Beyond? Watch This Brief Video on How a Group of Fake ‘Democrats’ Has Handed the State Senate Over to Republicans and Learn What You Can Do.

19 Mar

A Look Back at Jeff Klein from Grade School to Now

6 Feb

City & State profiles Bronx State Senator Jeff Klein, technically a Democrat, but more of a powerful partner with Senate Republicans. Definitely worth a read. 

How So-Called Bronx Democrat Jeff Klein and Colleagues Have Handed Over the State Senate to Republicans

30 Jan

The IDC (Independent Democratic Conference) is a group of 8 “Democratic” state senators who have fled their former party colleagues in Albany to work with Republicans and give them full power of the legislative body, thereby blocking critical progressive legislation. It especially gives Bronxite State Senator Jeff Klein, the IDC’s founder and leader, the power to join his pal, Senate Republican and “majority leader” John Flanagan, in disabling Democrats from passing critical bills. (Simcha Felder of Brooklyn isn’t part of IDC, but is essentially a Democrat who works closely with Republicans nonetheless, so he, too, is a GOP pal.)

This critical political reality has been in city and state newspapers and websites a little bit lately, but hasn’t yet sufficiently spread among New Yorkers statewide, like say, how Trump’s attacks on Obamacare or DACA have done all over the planet. Time to change that. A couple of months ago, Zephyr Teachout, a law professor and Democratic activist who ran for governor against Cuomo in the 2014 Democratic primary (snatching a significant 36% of the vote) posted this excellent brief video explaining just what’s going on and what we need to do to change it. Check it out below. (And check out the sites of two Democratic candidates challenging Klein in the 34th Senate District: https://www.biaggi4ny.com and https://www.lewiskny.com.)

Some Bronx Matters for Today 6.16.14

16 Jun
Roosevelt Dime was one of many bands at NYBG yesterday. Photo by J. Moss

Roosevelt Dime was one of many bands at NYBG yesterday. Photo by J. Moss

Happy post-Father’s Day to all Bronx dads. (OK, not just Bronx dads.) If you did anything in the Bronx for Father’s Day and have a good pic, please share (bronxmatters@gmail.com), and I’ll try to post some. My wife and daughter took me to the NY Botanical Garden for it’s Big Backyard BBQ and Music Festival (photo of great band, Roosevelt Dime, above).

As stated in my last post, debate on Democratic Congressional race in District 13 is on TV tonight at 9 p.m. Charlie Rangel didn’t show up for it.

Speaking of which, here’s two pics of Rangel’s most recent campaign mailing. On the second page, it has four attacks on Espaillat’s record, one with a footnote no. 4, but there is no actual footnote for “4” listed below. And accusing him for failing to pass the DREAM Act, something Espaillat supports, ignores arguments that the Independent Democratic Conference (led by state Senator Jeffrey Klein) put it to a quick vote before it could secure sufficient Republican support to pass it. Espaillat did, however, take part (as did Klein) in the highly unpopular repeal of a tax for commuters to NYC and told the Daily News that he regrets it .

Congressman Charlie Rangel's latest campaign mailing attacks his main competitor, Adriano Espaillat, on several issues. Photos by J. Moss

Congressman Charlie Rangel’s latest campaign mailing attacks his main competitor, Adriano Espaillat, on several issues. Photos by J. Moss

rangel mailing 2

Working Families Party Endorses Koppell

2 Jun

The Working Families Party endorsed Oliver Koppell yesterday in his bid to unseat State Senator Jeffrey Klein in the Bronx’s District 34. Even though this election is significant statewide, there was virtually no coverage of WFP’s support of the political veteran — who recently left the Council after 12 years due to term limits (he also had been a 20-year Assemblyman, and a brief state attorney general).

Klein is co-founder of the Independent Democratic Conference, which often partners with Republicans on critical issues. Usually, the state Senate leader, the Assembly speaker and the governor control state political power, but Klein was added to the leadership when IDC partnered with the Republican side of the Senate. Essentially, Klein and Republican Dean Skelos are Senate c0-leaders.

Local races like this are rarely relevant for the entire Empire State, but if Koppell defeats Klein (still a tough uphill pursuit), that may help WFP disable IDC depending how each party fares in other key races. The primary is in September.

Aside from a brief mention of the endorsement (WFP’s support of Cuomo, following a party battle, dominated coverage) in Capital New York, there doesn’t appear to be another news source that covered it today.

5.30.14 — Bronx News that Matters

30 May

Busy day, but here are a few articles that quickly got my attention this morning:

Bronx Times editor Bob Kappstatter reports on why the borough president is not participating in The Bronx’s Puerto Rican Day Parade on Sunday.

This Capital New York article reports that Gov. Cuomo may “declare the Senate Coalition,” that is the Republicans partnering up with the Independent Democratic Conference (which Bronx Sen. Jeff Klein leads), a “failure.” That’s because he wants them to pass legislation for “a publicly financed campaign system for statewide candidates,” and that’s not happening. Will this help Oliver Koppell’s challenge against Klein? We’ll see what Cuomo actually does.

Juan Gonzalez of the Daily News reports on how much more public dough Donald Trump is getting from the city for his Bronx golf course compared to all the others.

Bronx Times editor Bob Kappstatter reports on why the borough president is not participating in The Bronx’s Puerto Rican Day Parade on Sunday.

And this is relevant to every neighborhood in the city: The New York Times reports on legislation the City Council is pushing forward to avoid traffic deaths.