2016-03-02 / Political Page

Super Tuesday! Bonanza Or Bust?

Yesterday was Super Tuesday, the day that 22 presidential primary elections were held in the U.S. – 11 by Democrats and 11 by Republicans

At the end of a very busy day, there was a good chance that voters in 22 states had cast ballots that resulted with Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump emerging as the Democratic and Republican candidates for President of the United States in this year’s election in November.

The groundwork had been laid for this possible outcome as both Clinton and Trump had recorded earlier victories in caucuses or primaries in other states, with the finishing touch applied by the elections yesterday in Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont and Virginia.

Both Trump and Clinton had built up momentum for yesterday’s contests, Trump with convincing victories in New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina. Republican Ted Cruz had scored a victory in Iowa, and Bernie Sanders, Clinton’s opponent, won in New Hampshire.

But Trump’s mastery over opponents Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz came easily, without challenge. Clinton meanwhile, started the primary season with a very narrow victory over Sanders in Iowa, followed by an impressive Sanders victory in New Hampshire. Clinton then followed with consecutive easy victories in Nevada and a very impressive score last Saturday in South Carolina, where she collected about 75 percent of the vote and Sanders the remaining 25 percent.

Riding the momentum of her impressive score in South Carolina, where she benefited from the support of black voters and women voters, she and Sanders would have to contend with similar demographics in close to half of the states involved with Super Tuesday contests.

We won’t know the outcomes of those battles because the Wednesday edition was being prepared for publication between Tuesday and Wednesday, so we’ll be reviewing Tuesday’s voting in time for the March 9 issue.

Meanwhile, judging from the easy manner with which Trump has won victories in New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina, we see no reason why he shouldn’t have been able to meet most of his tests on Super Tuesday. The usual polls on the Republican challenges he would be facing in the 11 contests on the menu reveal he would have some easy ones and some difficult ones.

Judging from several polls we’ve seen, the easy-appearing shape-ups don’t appear to be much of a problem. Trump’s match-ups against Rubio in Massachusetts, Virginia, Alabama, Georgia, and Vermont should be comparatively easy wins.

However, in the Tennessee race, Trump and Carson, are not very far apart. And Trump-Rubio is very close in Minnesota.

Trump’s match-ups with Cruz appeared to be the frontrunner’s toughest assignments. In Texas, Cruz hometown, Cruz is ahead, but not by much. In Arkansas, polls make it a toss-up with Cruz at 27 points and Trump and Rubio at 23 points each. In Oklahoma it was Trump 30 and Cruz 23. In Alaska, it was Trump 28, Cruz 24. If Cruz is holding a hot hand he could do a lot of trouble for the frontrunner.

That’s it for today. Can’t wait to see the results from these races.

CROWLEY: ‘IT’S TIME FOR THE POLITICS, FALSE ACCUSATIONS AND UGLY RHETORIC TO STOP’: Congressman Joseph Crowley (D–Queens/The Bronx), Vice Chair of the Democratic Caucus, issued the following statement, last week in reaction to the current debate surrounding the proposed homeland security cuts in the Administration’s FY 2017 budget:

“It’s time for the politics, false accusations, and ugly rhetoric to stop.

“In recent years, the Administration’s budget has included proposed cuts or consolidation of federal homeland security grant programs. And, every single time the New York Congressional Delegation has successfully worked to counteract these cuts through the Congressional appropriations process, ensuring that this critical funding remains available to New York.

“The White House was out of line when it used its podium to question the credibility of our senior Senator, especially considering his position is shared by many in Congress. Further, any notion that the Administration’s proposal was motivated by any one person or in retribution for a particular vote is outlandish, not to mention offensive and dismissive of both the facts and the rest of our delegation who have all been strong, bipartisan champions for our city and these programs.

“It’s time to put personalities and politics aside. I am confident that when the budget process is complete, we will have secured New York the funds it needs to continue to protect our city and state – not to mention the country.”

BACKGROUND: For each of the past four years, Crowley and Rep. Peter King (R-NY) have led a bipartisan letter from New York’s Congressional Delegation urging the House Appropriations Committee to appropriate levels for New York’s homeland security needs in the wake of proposed cuts or consolidation to federal Homeland Security Grants Programs in the Administration’s budget. Specifically, the letters have included requests for the Appropriations Committee to support full funding through various state and local grants programs, including restoring national programs such as the Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI), State Homeland Security Grant Program, Port Security Grant Program and Transit Security Grant Program as well as establishing more realistic time frames for the allocation of funds. These programs are important pieces of the national effort to strengthen homeland security preparedness, including the security of critical transportation and port infra- structure, and are an essential investment in New York’s ongoing counter-terrorism operations and preparedness efforts.

PLEA TO FUND NYC’S HOMELAND SECURITY NEEDS: For each of the past four years, Congressmembers Joseph Crowley and Peter King have relied on their bipartisanship to win homeland security funding for New York City when meeting resistance from committee officials.

So Crowley (D–Queens/The Bronx) and King (R–LI.) resorted to their old method last week and, backed up by 16 members of New York’s congressional delegation, petitioned the House Appropriations Committee once again. The lawmakers emphasized that proposed cuts to critical programs could severely hinder our counter-terrorism and preparedness efforts.

They also reminded them that the city’s position as a top target for terrorism should make the case for NYC’s “unique security needs.”

ADDABBO SAYS USE APP IN ANTI-TERRORISM CAMPAIGN: State Senator Joseph Addabbo Jr. (D–Howard Beach) is encouraging his constituents to check out a mobile phone app, known as “See Something, Send Something,” that can help New Yorkers report suspicious activity or information to the New York State Intelligence Center for review and possible action.

“This app provides all New York residents with mobile phones the opportunity to act as valuable eyes and ears against possible terrorist plots and plans,” said Addabbo. “The app allows users to take and send photos of activities or items that set off their suspicion, and to also forward written tips to authorities that can then be assessed for possible investigation.”

If a photo or written note is sent via “See Something, Send Something” to the New York State Intelligence Center, officials there – if they believe the tip is credible – will send the information to appropriate law enforcement agencies around the state for review and action. Those who use the app should only utilize it to focus on safety issues, such as photographing unattended luggage or other suspicious items left in public places, and not to report activities unrelated to terrorism or other criminal activity. The app does not replace the 911 system, and should not be used to request immediate police action or to report emergencies and imminent threats. These occurrences, as always, should be reported to 911 operators.

The Senator discussed the See Something, Send Something app and program at a recent Albany budget hearing with the State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services (DHSES). “In the face of continued terrorist threats to New York State and its residents, we have an obligation to work together to keep all of us safe from those who would do us harm,” said Addabbo, the ranking Democratic member of the Senate Committee on Veterans, Homeland Security and Military Affairs. “This new app gives us just one more weapon in our efforts to thwart terrorism and work together to alert authorities to potential threats.” According to the DHSES, the app has been downloaded more than 40,000 times.

To learn more about the app and download opportunities, interested New York residents can visit www.ny.gov/programs/see-something-send-something. In addition, those who wish to report suspicious activity can call the New York State Terrorism Tip Line at 1-866-SAFENYS or 1-866- 723-3697.

KIM, ACTIVISTS RALLY FOR EQUAL JUSTICE: New York Assemblyman Ron Kim (D-Flushing) joined thousands of activists in Brooklyn on February 20, to support the families of Akai Gurley and former NYPD Police Officer Peter Liang in a fight for equal justice. Kim wrote:

“Today marks a critical moment for all marginalized communities in our city, state, and country. Indeed as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We simply cannot afford to look the other way and allow Peter Liang to be persecuted under a different set of standards and to be used as a scapegoat for the institutional racism and failures of our system. We must take a stand and raise our voices so that our children will someday not have to bear the crushing weight of a tilted scale of justice.

My heart is heavy for the family of Akai Gurley and the family of Officer Peter Liang. I do not believe true justice prevailed. Our system failed Gurley and it failed Liang. It pitted the unjust death of an innocent young black man against the unjust scapegoating of a young Asian police officer who was frightened, poorly trained, and who committed a terrible accident. It is critical now to move forward as a united community, race aside, to address the institutional failures that have led to the tragic circumstances.”

CROWLEY, STAVISKY EULOGIZE CLARK: Congressman Joseph Crowley and state Senator Toby Ann Stavisky offered condolences on the passing of Assemblywoman Barbara M. Clark (D–Queens) who died recently at her home in Queens. She was 76. Clark, whose key issue was education, served for three decades in the Assembly. In 1998, she ran unsuccessfully against former Congressman Rev. Floyd M. Flake (D–St. Albans).

Crowley (D–Queens/The Bronx) Vice Chair of the Democratic Caucus and Chairman of the Queens Democrats Party, said in a statement, “I am incredibly saddened to learn of the passing of Assemblywoman Barbara Clark and I offer my most heartfelt condolences to her family during this very difficult time. We were both elected to the NYS Assembly 30 years ago and it was an honor to serve alongside her and see firsthand her unwavering commitment to the people of Queens. She will be remembered as a tireless public servant and will be sorely missed by our entire community.”

Senator Stavisky issued the following statement regarding Clark: “I was so saddened to hear of the passing of my friend Barbara Clark. Barbara was a dedicated and concerned legislator who genuinely cared about everyone and everything. At dinner in Albany, we would talk about educational issues, but also her life growing up in West Virginia. She was so proud of her family – her mother, husband, daughters, son and grandchildren. She was a loyal friend to so many and represented everything that was good in a public official.”

At her death, Ms. Clark was the Assembly’s Deputy Majority Whip and had previously led the New York State Legislative Women’s Caucus and the Assembly Standing Committee on Aging.

Ms. Clark was born on June 12, 1939, in Beckley, West Virginia, the daughter of a coal miner. Her Queens district included Bellerose, Cambria Heights and St. Albans.

CROWLEY STRONGLY OPPOSES DOCTORS DOING ‘A TYPE OF’ GENITAL MUTILATION: Congressman Joseph Crowley, the author of the zero tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) legislation, declared last week he was “extremely troubled” by a paper published in a medical journal “suggesting” that doctors should be permitted to perform a “small cut… as a compromise” to his legislation.

Crowley responded, “Mutilation is mutilation, no matter what you label it.”

Expanding on that, the Queens lawmaker added, “I am extremely troubled by the suggestion that some sort of compromise can be reached on female genital mutilation… condoning FGM at any level of severity is a step backward in the fight against this harmful practice. What has been proposed is not a compromise – its capitulation.”

Crowley released his statement in response to a paper published in the Journal on Medical Ethics recently suggesting that doctors be permitted to perform a type of FGM, such as a small cut, or nick, as a “compromise.”

But Crowley, the Vice Chair of the Democratic Caucus, replied, “FGM has been acknowledged worldwide as a violation of human rights, including by the United Nations. I have been proud to add my voice to those of survivors, health practitioners, and government leaders in these communities that have spoken out against FGM.

“FGM can be ended in a generation, but what we need are solutions, not distraction from the real and harmful effects of FGM. I urge the authors of this paper to reconsider their position, and instead use their voices to call for an end to FGM in all forms.”

Crowley continued, “This is not the first time these suggestions have been made, and then discredited. In 2010, the American Academy of Pediatrics issued a policy statement which said that a certain type of FGM – which it called a “prick” – could be conducted by doctors in the U.S. as a way of preventing girls from being taken abroad for the purposes of FGM. The Academy described its proposal as a “compromise” that could potentially prevent other types of FGM. Following outcry from Rep. Crowley and advocacy groups, the AAP reversed its decision only a month later.

Banned in the U.S. since 1996, the practice of FGM is defined by the World Health Organization as “procedures that involve partial or total removal of the external female genitalia, or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons.” This harmful practice is carried out on an estimated 125 million girls and women around the world. In 2012, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution that acknowledged FGM as a violation of human rights and called for countries to develop national strategies to end FGM. The same year, the U.S. Congress adopted the language of Crowley’s The Girls Protection Act, closing a critical loophole in U.S. law that allowed families to transport minors overseas for the purposes of FGM and finally putting the law firmly on the side of girls.

Crowley concluded, in January, the Centers for Disease Control released its first study on FGM in nearly 20 years, which updated previous estimates and found that 513,000 women and girls live at risk of FGM in the U.S. Crowley and Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX), authors of the Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) Act, urged the government to undertake such a study as part of their call on the federal government to develop a comprehensive plan to address FGM in the U.S. In addition to a national study, the legislation calls for establishing a multi-agency strategy to bring the practice to an end. Such a strategy could include the establishment of an emergency hotline for girls seeking assistance; the provision of resources to help those on the frontlines, such as educators, healthcare workers, and law enforcement; implementation of a public awareness campaign; and appropriate funding to support these efforts.

VAN BRAMER EXPLAINS VOTE TO LANDMARK PEPSI COLA SIGN: Following the New York City Landmark Preservation Commission’s vote to prioritize the Pepsi-Cola sign on the Long Island City waterfront for designation as an official city landmark, City Council Majority Leader Jimmy Van Bramer (D–Sunnyside) issued the following statement:

“I’m pleased and proud that the Landmark Preservation Commission listened to our community’s requests to move forward in recognizing The Pepsi-Cola sign as the New York City landmark that it is. The Pepsi-Cola sign has been an iconic part of the Long Island City landscape since 1936. This staggering piece of pop art brings character to our neighborhood and reminds current residents of Queens’ history as an industrial powerhouse.”

LANDMARK HEARING ON FLUSHING CHURCH: Councilman Peter Koo (D–Flushing) sounded hopeful and optimistic that the Bowne Street Community Church would gain the coveted approval of the Landmark Preservation Commission following its hearing last week. Koo, who chair the City Council’s Landmarks Committee, stated:

“For more than a decade, the community has waited for a decision regarding the Bowne Street Community Church. Yesterday we finally took one long-awaited step closer to realizing actual landmark status for one of Flushing’s most historical buildings. With a landmark designation, we will ensure the Bowne Street Community Church will not be lost to future generations. I look forward to expressing my support at the upcoming hearing.”

ADDABBO: DEAL WITH S. QUEENS FLOODING’: After major flooding covered parts of his South Queens district last week, state Senator Joseph Addabbo Jr. was looking for a solution from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to help in dealing with the situation.

Addabbo (D–Howard Beach), in a letter to the federal agency last week, said the frequent flooding occurs near waterfront communities when heavy rains strike Howard Beach, Hamilton Beach, Broad Channel and parts of Rockaway. The calls for assistance are becoming more frequent, he said, as homeowners suggest dredging and other actions to get relief. The lawmaker suggested dredging the waterway extending from Jamaica Bay and the Hawtree Basin Canal, where there hasn’t been any dredging for a long period.

Addabbo stated: “The flooding that we saw last week, while unfortunately a norm for many residents in my district, highlights the need for some form of relief for homeowners in this part of the borough. While I understand we can’t completely stop the flow of water, water levels have grown higher and higher over the years, turning residents into powerless victims who can do little, but to sit and watch their homes be flooded day after day. It is time for qualified, professional engineers to take a serious look at what can be done to help. Whether it be dredging or some other project that can help ease the flooding in these communities, something must be done to help protect the residents and their properties.”

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