Looks Like Giuliani Could Be Running For President
In the early scrambling for the Republican nomination for president in the still distant 2012 election, about a dozen would be candidates have dropped their names into the mix without stirring up much enthusiasm, except for real estate mogul/TV host Donald Trump, who already has left the field.
But last week, a familiar name—Rudy Giuliani—suddenly emerged as the winner of a poll that included everybody, announced or considering possibly running, and it stirred up some interest.
Buoyed by topping the CNN survey, which found 16 percent of those voting favoring the former twotime New York City mayor, Giuliani is reportedly seriously considering running in 2012 and is headed for New Hampshire where the first GOP presidential primary will be held next February.
Giuliani will be there tomorrow and will host a state GOP fundraiser and meet with Republican activists. Adding a presidential primary flavor to the day’s outing, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney will formally announce his presidential candidacy in the Granite State.
Back in 2008, Giuliani was a disappointing fourth in the New Hampshire primary. Elsewhere in this year’s race, Palin has ramped up her schedule and is presently on a bus tour of patriotic sites which might wind up in Iowa. Eventually, she’s expected to enter the primary field.
CUOMO EXPRESS STILL ON SCHEDULE: In Albany last week, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced a deal with state Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver to pass a tax cap and extend rent controls, which pretty much keeps the new governor on schedule with the first-year program he announced at the beginning of the year.
The two-percent real estate tax cap has already been passed by the state senate, but Republican Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos, caught off-guard by the Cuomo-Silver announcement, issued a conflicting statement as to whether he approved going along with the tax cap. The Republicans might expect trouble to arise with Long Island school teachers, who oppose the cap, but homeowners on the island are strongly in favor of it. So in the end, Skelos and the GOP will probably go along with it.
The same applies to the rent control law extension, which was linked to the tax cap. There shouldn’t be any problem getting Skelos to agree with the rent control extension, as long as no attempt is made to change other parts of the bill, as Silver has said he wants to do.
On the tax cap, Cuomo had pledged to do something about the soaring property tax because it was driving both homeowners and businesses out of the state.
Following his announcement on the tax cap with Silver, the governor stated:
“This issue is probably the most powerful and persuasive issue across the state. People in New York City don’t feel it, but I can’t tell you how many times somebody has come up to me and said, “You have to do something about property taxes, I just can’t afford to stay in my home anymore.”
These two issues must still be approved by the legislature and the mechanics of doing that is already underway. This will still leave ethics reform and same sex marriage on Cuomo’s to do list and he continues working on them assiduously.
DEMS TAKE UPSTATE HOUSE SEAT: Cuomo and Democrats from New York to Washington and California were reveling last Tuesday night as the returns in a special election for a congressional seat streamed in and capped the Democratic candidate as the surprise winner.
Democrat Kathy Hochul eked out a narrow victory over Republican Jane Corwin in the Republican stronghold 26th district which was vacated by GOPer Chris Lee under scandalous circumstances and the generally accepted reason for it was Corwin’s support of the House Republican leadership’s announced plans to drastically reform Medicare.
An ebullient U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer said after the vote was in, “There are two reasons we won tonight, Kathy Hochul is a great candidate and New Yorkers of all political persuasions do not want to destroy Medicare.”
Democrats, looking ahead to the 2012 elections, planned to make the fight to keep Medicare unchanged their key weapon in winning back some of the seats lost in the disastrous 2010 elections.
Hochul’s victory was set up when Corwin announced her support for the proposal by Congressmember Paul D. Ryan, to overhaul Medicare as part of his campaign to reduce spending dramatically on many government financed programs.
MALONEY PLEASED WITH SEAWALL PROJECT ADVANCE: After more than a decade of trying to get meaningful progress on repairing the seawall near the Queensbridge Houses in Long Island City, Congressmember Carolyn Maloney (D–Queens/Manhattan) applauded Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe as he issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) to begin the process of repairing the seawall.
The RFP solicits proposals for testing the site to determine the extent to which there are contaminents in the soil around the decaying seawall. Under the RFP, testing should begin later this month and should be completed 12 weeks later, Maloney stated.
Present for Maloney’s announcement were Borough President Helen Marshall, state Senator Michael Gianaris, (D–Astoria), Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer (D–Sunnyside) and Bishop Mitchell Taylor.
ACKERMAN STAUNCHLY SUPPORTS NETANYAHU: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech to Congress last week was strongly supported by Congressmember Gary Ackerman (D–Bayside/L.I.)
Ackerman, who had a private meeting with Netanyahu, stated that the speech was “absolutely a home run, as he declared in unmistakable terms his desire and readiness to make peace with the Palestinians and acknowledged plainly that painful compromises will be necessary to achieve an agreement”.
The lawmaker, the top Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Middle East and South Asia, continued: “The Prime Minister made clear that Israel is not opposed to Palestinian statehood and that it seeks direct negotiations with the Palestinian leadership without delay. [He] couldn’t have been clearer that real, lasting peace between Israel and an independent Palestinian state is truly his goal.”
Ackerman said, “What I truly found remarkable, and what I think people really should know, is that following the speech, at a luncheon with a small group of congressional leaders, the Prime Minister stated, without a moment’s hesitation, that he is prepared to go to Ramallah and to offer the same commitments to a Palestinian audience that he made today in Washington.”
ADDABBO ACTS TO STRENGTHEN CRIMINAL LAWS: In separate actions last week, state Senator Joseph Addabbo (D–Howard Beach) voted to strengthen the Son of Sam Law and also to increase penalties for those convicted of offenses while driving.
In voting to strengthen the Son of Sam law, which was designed to prevent criminals from profiting from their crimes, Addabbo voted to pass an amendment to include criminals who were found to be mentally afflicted also will be prevented from commercial exploitation of their stories.
Addabbo said this bill passed the senate in May and is yet to be introduced in the Assembly.
In the other matter, seeking to make roads safer and to protect the safety of all law-abiding drivers, Addabbo introduced a bill amending existing laws to increase penalties for driving with a suspended or revoked license.
HALLORAN GETS BELL BLVD. REPAVED: Responding to concerns expressed by the Bayside Business Improvement District (BID), Councilmember Dan Halloran (D–Whitestone) contacted Queens Department of Transportation (DOT) Commissioner Maura McCarthy in April requesting that Bell Boulevard be repaved from Northern Boulevard and 35th Avenue in Bayside to improve very bad road conditions.
McCarthy approved the request and work will start in August. It will be done on overnight shifts to minimize business interruptions.
“This project will make life better for the countless businesses of all stripes on Bell Boulevard and the thousands of New Yorkers who traverse this street every day for work and play,” Halloran said. He also thanked McCarthy for “getting the project underway nearly a year earlier than originally projected”.
WEPRIN TO DOE ‘STOP INSANE OBSESSION WITH TESTING’: The announcement by the city’s Department of Education (DOE) that it plans to use $64 million of federal funds for 16 new standardized tests for public school kids really was the last straw for Councilmember Mark Weprin (D–Oakland Gardens).
“Enough is enough,” barked Weprin. “It’s time for parents to rise up and give the DOE a wakeup call. Stop the insane obsession with testing.”
Weprin pointed out that as the result of the recession, in recent years many schools have lost art, music, physical education and sports programs. Worse still, he added, the DOE “is planning to lay off teachers”. Yet the DOE wants to add more testing that will “do nothing to improve education in our public schools”.
Adding insult to injury, Weprin added, the tests would be given for the sole purpose of evaluating teachers and will have no impact on students. He urged parents to write to Chancellor Dennis Walcott to make it clear we are fed up with the extreme emphasis on tests.
MENG PROTESTS LIBRARY CLOSINGS: Commenting on reports that budget cuts will lead to library cutbacks and closings, Assemblymember Grace Meng (D–Flushing) protested that the Queens library is a vital institution that becomes much more critical in challenging economic times.
Citing all the vital programs that would be lost if the library in Flushing is closed, Meng stated: “My colleagues and I will continue working tirelessly to ensure that the budget does not get balanced on the backs of the thousands of people who have been hit hardest.”
BILLS PASSED TO PROTECT VULNERABLE: The senate, with strong support from state Senator Toby Ann Stavisky (D–Whitestone) has passed a package of bills designed to strengthen and expand protections for New York’s most vulnerable individuals, including abuse victims and senior citizens, Stavisky announced.
If enacted into law, the three bills will increase penalties for stalking, provide real time notification to crime victims on protection orders and develop and promote senior center-based domestic violence programs.
The lawmaker declared: “Protecting our vulnerable citizens is one of government’s most important duties. These bills make current law stronger and also take the appropriate steps to expand on existing programs to make sure they work efficiently for those who need our help.
“Most importantly, this set of bills makes our communities safer for all citizens throughout the year.”