New Yorkers can help Democrats Win Every Monday

If you were wondering what you could be doing to defeat Republicans…here is an excellent suggestion. Don’t be complacent. Help get the job done!

Four Freedoms member Monica Atiya will be hosting phone banks at her Union Square office, now through election day. Check out the schedule below and sign up to make calls for some great Democratic candidates!

Midterm 2014 Phone Banks!
Monica’s Union Square Office
27 Union Square West, Suite 302
New York, NY 10003

Monday, September 29
Monday, October 06
Monday, October 20
Monday, October 27
Time: 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM

Saturday, November 01
Sunday, November 02
Time: 10:00 AM – 8:00 PM

Directions: Take trains to 14th St/Union Sq. Walk to 27 Union Sq.W. between E.15th and E.16th Sts.

There are over 20 landlines at our disposal, but please also bring your charged cell phones. Light snacks. Come to one! Come to all! RSVP soon!

New Yorkers Can Help Elect Democratic Senators Sat, Sun and Tues.

Spread the word!

Important NYC Action: Make calls with MoveOn into key Senate races

While CREDO SuperPAC is organizing volunteers to make calls and knock on doors in some of the closest races in the Senate, our friends at MoveOn have opened an office near you and are organizing grassroots activists to make phone calls to progressive voters in these senate battleground states.

They’re holding phone banks this weekend and on Tuesday so that progressive volunteers like you can start making a difference this November.

What: New York City: Make calls with MoveOn into key Senate races
When: 10 a.m on Saturday, 6 p.m. on Sunday, 6 p.m. on Tuesday
Where: MoveOn Manhattan Office, 39 W. 14th Street, Suite 305, New York, NY 10011


Calling all Dems…THIS year we can win the State Senate. Are you with us?

One of the fundamental problems with Albany politics, whether it is in the past with the Four Amigos, or currently with the IDC, is that Dems don’t act like Dems. This has meant that even when we control both houses of the legislature, incompetence and/or personal ego swings control back to the Greedy Oil Party.

From Senator Valesky earlier this year:

The 29 current Republican senators share control of the upper house thanks to the five rogue IDC members who caucus with them. Another Democrat, who is unaffiliated with the IDC— Simcha Felder of Brooklyn—also caucuses with the Republicans, giving the coalition a 35-member voting majority….

“For the Republicans this race is existential. They’re in a fight for their lives. They can’t afford to lose anything,” said Larry Levy, the dean of Hofstra’s National Center for Suburban Studies. “That adds a level of energy and effort on the Republican side that you may not see on the Democrats’ side. Even if they pick up seats, there is still no guarantee that they will control the house on the possibility that they would lose the Independent Caucus to the Democrats.”

So we HAVE to treat this as our best chance to defeat the Republicans and marginalize the IDC. THIS is the year that could bring the Dems back in power.

That is the bottom line. Whatever dancing the folks who are elected as Dems but caucus with the Repubs do, the bottom line is that there have been times when they could have given the majority to the Dems but refused to do so. They are currently saying they will now, but I am a cynic and doubt them, and I also figure they got something in a back room deal to entice them to switch. That kind of dealing didn’t work well when it was the Four Amigos, and I am cynical about it working now. PLUS there are weird, potentially illegal deals going on to actually strengthen the Dems who caucus with the Republicans.

So,  the IDC is untrustworthy. I would love if if they did the right thing, but prefer not to rely on their integrity. We failed to defeat the IDC in primaries. Well, that is our failure and kudos to them.

But it leaves us with ONE AND ONLY ONE route to reforming Albany. And anyone who has complained about Albany has to get on board and fight. We have to flip some Greedy Oil Party seats to Dem. If we do that we marginalize the IDC, improve our position in Albany, and may well force the people elected as Dems who caucus as Repubs to caucus with the party that elected them.

Reform is not a magic word. It is a goal that takes a fuck load of effort to achieve. THIS is what we need to do RIGHT NOW if we want to talk reform. Make the IDC obsolete!

These are the race we need to win…and you can donate to them through my Reform Albany 2014 Act Blue site.

Dave Denenberg NY-SD-08

Endorsed by Social Justice PAC, Empire State Pride Agenda, National Organization of Women, New York League of Conservation Voters,Human Rights Campaign, Planned Parenthood Advocates of New York, Naral Pro-Choice, and UAW.

James Kemmerer NY-SD-22

Image of James Kemmerer

Jamie Kemmerer is running against Republican Marty Golden. This is one of our top chances to flip a State Senate seat from Repub to Dem and Kemmerer is already building a strong campaign. I have met Jamie Kemmerer and found him intelligent, articulate, and very much ready to take on the corrupt Marty Golden.

Jamie has been endorsed by NYC Americans for Democratic Action, Democracy for New York City, Brooklyn Young Democrats, Brooklyn-Queens NOW PAC, 504 Democrats (disabled rights), Lambda Independent Democrats, Empire State Pride Agenda, NOW, Planned Parenthood, NARAL, and Jim Owls Democratic Club. This is our next step to making Albany actually functional!

Find out more on Jamie’s website:

Donate to Jamie Kemmerer’s run for State Senate.


Cecilia Tkaczyk, NY-SD-46

Image of Cecilia Tkaczyk

Endorsed by League of Conservation Voters, Sierra Club, New York State Nurses Association, Planned Parenthood, and

Donate to Cecilia Tkacxyk for State Senate.

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I Just Heard Jesse Hamilton Almost Admit to a Crime

I have been told that the happenings at local political clubs are of too narrow interest to readers, but often some pretty interesting things come up at these meetings. Tonight at the Central Brooklyn Independent Democrats we were supposed to be having a victory party because just about every endorsement we made won big. And indeed all the winning candidates showed up. But a funny thing happened…the questions asked at our victory party were just as hard or harder than our questions during endorsement meetings.

And one nominee for State Senate (in my district) came just about to the point of admitting making deals with unions and the IDC in exchange for campaign contributions. This nominee, Jesse Hamilton, was only prevented from publicly admitting to what might be an actual crime by the very pointed intervention of saner heads. More on that nearly fatal blunder later…

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Tim Wu Discovers the Faux Progressive Demagogues

One of the main lessons from the Sept. 9th Democratic Primary is that you have to be really careful before you trust someone who uses the word “progressive” on dozens of expensive, glossy mailings paid for by large donations from out of district. Because “progressive” has lost it’s meaning. Cuomo, WFP, and Bill de Blasio have corrupted the word locally, to the point where I just want to go back to the old fashioned word “liberal.” Of course they have different roots, and hence different meanings, but they have come to be considered synonyms where liberal is used by those with guts and a real dedication to liberal values, while “progressive” is used by people who are wimpy when it comes to actual, traditional American liberal values and/or who just talk the talk while walking with big money interests over the interests of the working and middle class.

People are starting to see through these faux progressives. A perfect example is this from a Capital News interview with Tim Wu:



CAPITAL: What about [Mayor] Bill de Blasio? Was his backing of Hochul just politics?

WU: I guess I’d have to draw a comparison between Eric Schneiderman and Bill de Blasio. I think Eric Schneiderman handled himself with dignity. He sort of voiced one of these lukewarm party endorsements. … De Blasio, there was a progressive candidate and a conservative candidate in the race, and de Blasio went to war against the progressive candidate and all but ensured the conservative victory. I find it challenging to respect that decision. Even if it wasn’t me. It was me, but I find that challenging. People had said that about de Blasio before, and I had refused to believe it. I had held out more faith in him. I no longer hold out that faith.

I could have told Tim Wu, once you know Bill de Blasio, you quickly lose faith in him. Those of us who dealt with Bill de Blasio back in his City Council days knew this a long time ago and haven’t trusted him for years. But slowly it is becoming clearer to more people.

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A Postmortem of New York’s Primary Election: The Good, the Bad, and the Indicted

Yesterday, and the lead up to it, was quite a whirlwind. I did some very hard and interesting poll work. Helping residents of a nursing home vote absentee was very rewarding and gave me a chance to observe voting patterns passively as a non-partisan part of our democracy. Working the polls on election day was one of the hardest days of work I have done, but also was rewarding. Not only helping people vote, but helping them with a smile so they felt good about being part of democracy. Being used to being in the thick of the fight, it was nice to be able to stand back and simply make sure the whole process went smoothly and fairly. Maybe I will have recovered enough by November to do it again in the general election.

But yesterday there were also lessons for many people who participated in the brawl of the fight and the outcomes thereof. Here is my summary of what I saw in the races I focused on the most.

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I am getting up 4 AM tomorrow to work 18 hours so people can vote

Tomorrow I will be a poll worker in NYC’s primary election. I spent a whole day getting trained. It was intense and tomorrow will be intense. I already have done one day as a poll worker helping residents in a nursing home vote absentee. I was very rewarding. But not too hard. It took patience and a good smile, but not too taxing. Tomorrow could be an 18 hour day…I will get up at 4 AM to be there at 5 AM ready to go. I won’t be done until probably after 10 PM. In some years when the same machines were first being used people worked much longer. I have to be prepared for that.

All so you all can vote.

I have been pushing hard for some candidates I consider excellent. Once I go to bed tonight (very soon!) I will give up my advocacy, because for all day tomorrow I will not be advocating for any candidate. I will simply serve every voter, facilitating the democratic process. I am looking forward to it.

All New Yorkers, PLEASE VOTE. Turnout will be low and will be dominated by the wealthy and powerful unless we all go out and vote. So get out and vote, folks. It is as simple as that. GET OUT AND VOTE TOMORROW. No excuses. Period.

As my parting shot (Parthian shot…) I leave you, below the fold, with a reminder of the key endorsements I have gathered in key races.

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NY State Democratic Primary Sept. 9th–Major Endorsement Rundown

Next Tuesday is an important primary day in NY State. I have been following several key races (Gov., Lt. Gov., State Senate, Assembly, and one Civil Court race). There are a couple of other key primaries I have not been following, so I can try adding if people want. But below are key endorsements for these key races. I pick a variety of organizations: LGBT, Choice, education, environment, Howard Dean inspired clubs, ethnic papers and organizations, reform clubs (fighting corruption within the Democratic Party), etc.

I hope this helps people make choices. Please spread the word.

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Bombshell: Special counsel to Moreland Commish endorses Zephyr Teachout

Via Daily Kos:

When I joined the Commission to Investigate Public Corruption (“the Moreland Commission”) as special counsel during the summer of 2013, I knew Albany’s history of corruption, and relished the opportunity to investigate it and offer ideas for reform.  Like many of those who participated in or followed our work, I found hotbeds of scandal, apathy and mediocrity beyond even my low expectations.  The person who disappointed me most during my time on the Commission was Governor Andrew Cuomo.

The opportunity that has been lost by the Commission’s neutering, then disbandment, is more significant than most people realize, and the level of the governor’s interference more pervasive than press accounts suggest.  And while ethics may seem like a single issue in a large and complicated state, what I observed showed me what little regard Governor Cuomo and his senior staff have for the press, the public, and people with integrity who work in government.   Their disdain for ethics colors the way they govern the entire state.[...]

When voting on September 9th, Democratic primary voters will have a choice between two competing visions of democracy, corruption and progressivism.   It would be great vindication to Commissioners and Commission staff denied the opportunity to finish their corruption investigations if voters could deliver the mandate for reform that the Commission’s work could not be.  That’s why this former special counsel to the Commission is voting Zephyr Teachout for Governor on September 9th.

Go read the whole thing.

What are you doing to win right now? We need all hands on deck!

A lot of people talk about what gets attention on a blog. But the truth is BLOGS don’t win elections. Money and footwork does. This blog is NOTHING if it doesn’t get people actually HELPING OUT with money or time. We may influence a few votes by blogging, but fundamentally, it takes cash and feet to win an election, not space on a blog. Blogs can help do that, but if they ignore the down-to-earth efforts, that blog will not be significant.

What are you doing to help reform candidates win next week? What are you doing to win nationally in November? If your only answer ignores spending some dollars or hours of your time, then your impact is minimal. Now is the time to get busy. If you can do cash then donate cash. If you can do a c0uple hours of time then do so. If you THINK you can’t do either, you are probably wrong and should find the dollars and couple of hours you can put in. Or at least try to recruit others who will.

I am “lucky.” I am currently unemployed, so I have some time on my hands. But I also feel like everyone who spends any time posting on blogs probably could be doing more towards winning for reform, progressive, liberal, democratic/Democratic victories in primaries and in the general election. What are you doing? Can you do more?

I am job hunting and being stay-at-home father for my son (age almost 10 and a handful with ASD but also wonderful). My main source of income is unemployment with occasional supplements from folk like you who buy from my Amazon Store (yes, it does help a little), or from folk who hire me freelance for tutoring/resume writing/etc. ( really helpful) or for science editing  (D. Michaelson). I am loving spending so much time with my son, but I also am dedicating time towards advancing reform and liberal politics both locally and nationally.

Below is what I am doing. What are you doing and how can people help? Can anyone help the efforts I am pushing? It is easy to post online and denigrate the efforts of local organizations. But the truth is, feet on the ground and dollars are what win elections. What are you doing to provide these critical resources to the candidates you support? We have one week to reform Albany and about 2 months to win nationally…and I am sure you have some stuff to add. So add it here. We can all help each other. See below for what I am doing and my challenge for you to beat me.

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