Tag Archives: Ed Koch

Koch at the Pearly Gates

4 Feb

Almost Heaven for Ed Koch

Courtesy Marquil at EmpireWire.com


Mayor Ed Koch

1 Feb

It’s being reported that former New York City Mayor Ed Koch died this morning at the age of 88 from congestive heart failure. Koch served as Mayor from 1978 until 1989 and quite literally helped save the city from the brink of financial ruin, helped to restore its greatness, and reversed years of decline. 

Koch was a tough-as-nails political centrist who suffered no fools, and always remembered who he was and why he was there – his signature quip was to greet people with a “how’m I doing?” 

While Giuliani is remembered as “America’s mayor” thanks to his leadership during 9/11 at the end of his term, and because of his focus on quality of life crimes, he famously got rid of the squeegee guys and the panhandlers, but Koch was always New York’s mayor. A mensch. 

Thanks, Mayor Koch. 

Call Your Albany Gerrymanderers

7 Jul

Last year, many state legislators running for office in New York made a big deal out of a pledge being pushed by former New York Mayor Ed Koch’s “New York Uprising“. The full text of the pledge is available here, and the signatories are pledging to push and vote for ethics reform, more transparency in financial disclosure, and independent redistricting. Signatories were touted as “heroes” of reform, while those who didn’t were labeled “enemies” of reform.

The redistricting piece is up for discussion now in Albany, and it’s not happening independently. It’s happening with as much self-righteous and entitled partisanship as the current, broken process in Erie County.

The Buffalo News’ Tom Precious wrote a story about it and a handful of Albany pols were quoted. For instance,

“Ed Koch is pretty irrelevant to the process, in my opinion,” said Assemblyman John J. McEneny, an Albany Democrat who is the other co-chairman of the redistricting task force.

Yes, he is technically irrelevant, but the good government group he leads pressed lawmakers throughout 2010 to sign the pledge for independent redistricting. Here’s McEneny’s page at NYUprising:

So, he signed the pledge and is now reneging on it. Regardless of what you think about Ed Koch or NY Uprising, that’s pretty despicable behavior.

And another:

“We’ve long since run out of time for that process,” said Sen. Michael F. Nozzolio, a Finger Lakes-area Republican and co-chairman of the Legislative Task Force on Demographic Research and Reapportionment.

Here’s Nozzolio’s signed pledge. It appears that he was called an “enemy” due to his refusal to release information about his outside income.

Redistricting is important because it’s been used as a political tool through gerrymandering to guarantee incumbents’ re-election. The incumbency rate in Albany of over 90% is the net result of a politicized process. The despicable joke that is the redundant Erie County Legislature has placed on full display the perils of a hyperpoliticized redistricting process. This stuff is important – it happens once a decade and has much to do with how your government behaves, and what it does in the ensuing years.

Call your legislators in Albany – in both the Assembly and Senate – and demand independent redistricting. Tell them you’re paying attention and that you support Governor Cuomo’s threat to veto any redistricting that results from a politicized gerrymandering process.

Monday Morning Reading

20 Sep

1. If the opinion and thoughts of Carl McCall, Ed Koch, and Al D’Amato were so silly and inconsequential, then the criticism directed at them and their letter was ZOMG OVERKILL.

2. One of Paladino’s latest “policy recommendations” is this :

Mr. Paladino believed that up to 60 percent of the cost of long-term care could be reduced by training and paying family members to take care of patients.

3. Shorter Donn Esmonde:  I have a crush on Brian Higgins again.

4. The New York State Democratic Committee’s attempts to fight back against Paladino are pathetic and weak, and get more so each day.

5. The execrable Antoine Thompson has allocated $400,000 member item to Howard Milstein‘s Niagara Falls “Redevelopment”, which sits on undeveloped land in Niagara Falls, does nothing with it, and can’t be touched.  Seriously, NFR has existed for about a decade and its holdings include huge swaths of undeveloped land in and around the Falls and the Seneca Niagara Casino, as well as the “Turtle” and the old Nabisco plant.  NFR has neither developed nor redeveloped a thing.

6. Artvoice’s Geoff Kelly takes a look at the Hoyt/Golombek recount, and notes that it doesn’t look good for Golombek.  But this is particularly interesting:

It is close, however, and Golombek certainly should pursue a recount. On the other hand, I don’t think he should throw around terms like “chicanery and fraud,” as he did at his press conference on Wednesday, unless he can back them up on the spot. To do so without evidence is irresponsible and threatens to damage to his opponent and election officials. And perhaps that was his intention.

Nor do I think that Byron Brown and Darius Pridgen had any business standing with Golombek at his press conference on Wednesday. The mayor’s a politician, of course, and therefore partisan, and how he feels about Hoyt is no secret. But for the sake of the office, he ought to try to appear above the fray. As for Pridgen: The primary had ended fewer than 24 hours earlier, and his vaunted independence seemed to have abandoned him. If Brown and Pridgen wanted to complain about the conduct of the election in general, they ought to have held their own press conference, so as not to be seen as supporting the cause of a single candidate.

But, of course, that was not the point: They were there to help Golombek.

7. Last year, people used to mock me on Facebook for doing things with my family while the Bills were on the tee vee.  It’s simple, really – live your life like the Bills have already left Buffalo.  There are loads of fun things to do on a Sunday afternoon, and thanks to the football game being on, lots of places that you’d generally think of as crowded, aren’t. If you really need to know whether they played well or poorly, and what the ultimate result was, all of that is readily available during the news.

8. Paladino pwns the Empire Zone program. Millions in incentives and tax breaks for little net result.

New York Uprising

5 May

At the Democratic Rural Conference in Niagara Falls last weekend, State Senate President pro tem Malcolm Smith said,

“With the Democrats in control of the State Senate, we are going to draw the lines so that Republicans will be in oblivion in the state of New York for the next 20 years”

Former New York City Mayor Ed Koch replied thusly:

What he said was absolutely dumb — dumb even for himself…I mean if he was going to do it you don’t announce it.”

Koch is exactly right. Redistricting shouldn’t be controlled by Republicans or Democrats, and it shouldn’t be done to further political ends. Koch runs a group called “New York Uprising” and is lobbying for nonpartisan redistricting in Albany. (Twitter) (Facebook)

Smith’s deliberate choice of words, which he now tries to downplay, don’t reveal everything that’s wrong with Albany politics, because Albany’s failure is more widespread and quite bipartisan. But it was a pull-back-the-curtain moment and shames them all.