[EM] To Marquette, to Marquette ...

Dave Ketchum davek at clarityconnect.com
Tue Feb 4 19:13:38 PST 2003

On Fri, 31 Jan 2003 17:10:00 -0500 Narins, Josh wrote:

> The neatest thing about McCall was his 2000 election run for State
> Comptroller.

Oops - You have to mean 1998, when there was general ENTHUSIASM over 
McCall's performance in the previous 4 years.

> He ran many commercials.
> Commericals which said he was the pick of both the Democrat and Republican
> parties.
> Quite odd, from the outsider's perspective.
> Albany is a _very_, _very_ old school government.  Recently at least two
> assembly people _admitted_ to taking bribes from Correction Corporation of
> America.
> It's one of the few states without C-SPAN like coverage of the assembly or
> senate.
> Generally, budgets are hashed out between three people in a series of
> private meetings (Gov, Speaker of Assembly and Senate Majority leader)
> Budgets are routinely several to many, many months past due.

One thing that complicates this is need to agree before calling budget done.

Another is that the governor can cross out budget items before signing. 
Couple years ago (just before 911) the legislature came up with a defense:
      Old way:  Supposedly agree on a budget, pass it in legislature and 
send to governor, legislature's items get crossed out before governor signs.
      New way:  Bare bones budget goes to governor - he cannot 
ddouble-crosslegislature since they got there first.  Not clear to me what 
next step would have been without 911.

> Since half of the State's population of ~19 million is in New York City, and
> the second biggest city is Buffalo (pop. 200,000), the constant struggle is
> between the city and upstate.
> Interestingly? my Assemblyman is the Speaker and my state Senator is the
> Minority Leader.
> I've decided not to run against them in 2004 :)

Mixed in to this is that districting for New York County (Manhattan) is 
gerrymandered by state Assembly and Senate rather than by county 
government.  Would not matter much there, with great majority of 
Democrats, but matters more when some counties are Republican.

What we have is that Democrats, owning the Assembly, gerrymander to make 
this majority permanent.  Note that state Constitution FORBIDS this - 
Constitution does districting for low population counties and gives county 
governments exclusive power to do this in high population counties.

Partner #1 - state Senate, where Republicans cooperate while doing their 
own gerrymandering.

Partner #2 - one-man-one-vote activists who, enlisting the US Supreme 
Court for muscle, got the Constitution declared to be invalid.  In over 30 
years since then, legislature could have proposed constitution words the 
Supreme Court would tolerate and which might also actually work toward 
one-man-one-vote, rather than too-many-men-no-votes.
  davek at clarityconnect.com    http://www.clarityconnect.com/webpages3/davek
   Dave Ketchum    108 Halstead Ave, Owego, NY  13827-1708    607-687-5026
              Do to no one what you would not want done to you.
                    If you want peace, work for justice.

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