The recent political chatter about “Obamacare” before the Supreme Court of the United States got a great deal of media attention. President Obama added fuel to the fire when he declared, “Ultimately, I am confident the Supreme Court will not take what would be an unprecedented, extraordinary step of overturning a law that was passed by a strong majority of a democratically elected Congress.”
For someone who was a law professor those words were absurd. Even if a bill passed unanimously in the house and senate, it could still be overturned – if the law was in violation of the Constitution.
Five state legislators do the perp walk on criminal charges in five weeks, with maybe more on the way.
I always try to look at the bright side. One of these legislators wore a wire for three years and there haven’t been nearly as many arrests or indictments as some might have figured. Another silver lining is that a bunch of the charges really aren’t about corrupting government functions, but about political greed and personal sleaze. So we’ve got all of that going for us. Call me Mr. Sunshine.
There is no quicker way for a county legislator to generate a headline than to accuse the county executive or the county comptroller of not doing his or her job. But what happens when the governmental official who comes under legislative fire is vindicated?
If the accused party is a Republican who is up for re-election this year, such as Comptroller George Maragos, county legislators move on to another target and hope their next round of allegations have merit. After all, if a county governmental agency is doing its job, that’s not news, right?
Written by Mike Barry Friday, 20 April 2012 00:00New York State’s registered Republicans will go to the polls on Tuesday, April 24, to choose who they’d like to see as the GOP’s presidential nominee, even though the outcome is no longer in doubt.
The news last week that former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania was suspending his campaign gives former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney a clear path to the nomination, although Long Islanders who pick up a ballot at their regular polling place on April 24 will see four candidates’ names listed. Besides Santorum and Romney, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich of Georgia and Rep. Ron Paul of Texas also filed delegate slates in each of the state’s 29 Congressional Districts (CDs).
Nassau is home to all, or parts of, four CDs, including Rep. Steven Israel’s 2nd CD, Rep. Peter King’s 3rd CD, Rep. Carolyn McCarthy’s 4th CD, and Rep. Gary Ackerman’s 5th CD, with each Republican presidential candidate backed by two delegates. The presidential candidate receiving the most votes in any given CD is awarded both of the CD’s delegates, according to the state board of elections’ website. This group of 58 delegates will be joined at the Republican National Convention in late August 2012 in Tampa, FL by the at-large delegates chosen under rules governed by the state Republican committee.
Having been elected a presidential delegate pledged to U.S. Senator John McCain of Arizona in 2000’s New York Republican primary (from the 4th CD), I was pleased to see the state GOP return to the CD-oriented delegate selection process. This system allows presidential candidates who don’t win the statewide vote to secure delegates if they carry certain CDs in New York State. Senator McCain, for instance, lost the statewide race to then-Governor George W. Bush in New York in 2000 but McCain had widespread support among Republicans on Long Island and parts of upstate, too, thereby picking up 20-plus delegates. The state GOP wasn’t pleased 12 years ago with this outcome because they subsequently changed the delegate allocation rules, a decision that came back to haunt the party’s leadership.
New York State’s Republicans in 2008, for example, made the presidential primary a “winner- take-all” affair. In other words, whichever presidential candidate won the popular vote in New York’s GOP primary statewide would be awarded all of the state’s publicly elected delegates. Every establishment figure in New York who wanted to attend the 2008 Republican National Convention as a delegate eagerly lined up behind former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani. In a scenario few could have imagined in late 2007, when most of the delegate slates were finalized, Senator McCain easily won the 2008 New York GOP presidential primary. As such, all of the McCain delegates, not just a few of them, became the publicly-elected members of the New York convention delegation four years ago.
I believe Governor Romney is a terrific candidate, by the way, and I’ll find ways in the months ahead to highlight, or counteract, some of the unrelentingly hostile coverage Romney has received in the media. One laughable example: The New York Times published one of its own editorials under this headline in February: “Romney Wins, the Middle Class Loses.”