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Mole's Progressive Democrat

The Progressive Democrat Newsletter grew out of the frustration of the 2004 election. Originally intended for New York City progressives, its readership is now national. For anyone who wants to be alerted by email whenever this newsletter is updated (usually weekly), please send your email address and let me know what state you live in (so I can keep track of my readership).

Location: Brooklyn, New York, United States

I am a research biologist in NYC. Married with two kids living in Brooklyn.

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  • Saturday, September 11, 2010

    New York State Focus: (Final?) Roundup of Endorsements

    Adding another couple of organization's/individual's endorsements to the previous round up. Adding some other comments of my own for why I am not endorsing in a couple of races.


    State Attorney General: Sean Coffey or Eric Schneiderman. I have decided to vote for Sean Coffey (probably), as has my wife. I think he has the best resume for the job and has the best chance to win both up and downstate. I like him. Eric Schneiderman is my second choice and he has been endorsed by most progressives out there.

    12th Congressional District: Nydia Velasquez
    Other Congressional races: I don't find any challengers compelling enough to endorse over incumbents. In a couple of cases this is my personal laziness...I have been overwhelmed with non-political things and had to triage my own personal political activities. But below I do have endorsements from various organizations that include other Congressional endorsements.

    State Senate: (some of the most important races this year!)
    SD 10 (Queens) – Lynn Nunes (D), Challenger
    SD 11 (Queens) – Tony Avella (D), Challenger
    SD 18 (Brooklyn) – Velmanette Montgomery (D), Incumbent (The BEST State Senator we have...wish we had more like her. Her opponent is a shill for the Hedge Fund CEOs).
    SD 22 (Brooklyn) - Michael DiSanto (D), Challenger (general election)
    SD 32 (Bronx) – Carlos Ramos (D), Challenger
    I have opted to not endorse in other State Senate races. Either the incumbents have no real opposition or I don't know enough about the challengers to judge. Again, see below for the recommendations of others.

    State Assembly:
    AD 26 (Queens) – Steve Behar (D), Challenger
    AD 52 (Brooklyn) - I am not endorsing here. There are two candidates. The incumbent, Joan Millman, is one of the most popular Assembly members and someone I know to be a good person. But she has allied with some people I don't trust whose main political agenda was to build up the Gowanus Canal with inadequate clean up and oversight and have been very vengeful in their pursuit of their Gowanus Dream (which most considered a nightmare). The efforts those people went to to take revenge on those who opposed them alienated many former allies...myself included. Joan, by siding with them, has made it hard for those alienated by the Gowanus faction to ally with her. The challenger, Doug Biviano, has been a bull in a China Shop when it comes to his entry into politics and has endeared himself to almost no one. He seems to have gone out of his way to alienate everyone who might have liked him. He teamed up for petitioning with Mark Pollard (the challenger to Velmanette Montgomery) whose only interest is to serve the Hedge Fund CEOs. Biviano tries to dismiss this as an alliance of convenience, but to many reformers it stank. So both candidates are basically good folk with similar political stands on issues who have allied with unpleasant interests. So I can't bring myself to endorse either this time around.

    Brooklyn District Leaders:
    50th AD Female District Leader: Kate Zidar
    50th AD Male District Leader: Lincoln Restler
    52nd AD Female District Leader: Jo Anne Simon
    52nd AD Male District Leader: Chris Owens
    57th AD Female District Leader: Olanike Alabi

    CENTRAL BROOKLYN INDEPENDENT DEMOCRATS: This is probably THE most liberal, idealistic and reform-minded club in NYC and their endorsements are very carefully thought out and debated. I highly recommend taking their endorsements into account and checking out their candidate questionnaires.

    Attorney General: Sean Coffey [NOTE: Sean Coffey has also been endorsed by Al Franken]

    12th Congressional District
    Nydia Velazquez

    10th Congressional District
    Kevin Powell

    18th State Senate District
    Velmanette Montgomery

    20th State Senate District
    Eric Adams

    25th State Senate District
    Daniel Squadron

    44th Assembly District
    James Brennan

    52nd Assembly District
    Joan Millman

    44th AD Male District Leader
    Jacob Gold

    44th AD Female District Leader
    Lori Knipel

    52nd AD Male District Leader
    Chris Owens

    52nd AD Female District Leader
    Jo Anne Simon

    Civil Court Judge
    Harriet Thompson

    LAMBDA INDEPENDENT DEMOCRATS: one of NYC's strongest and most active LGBT clubs.

    United States Senate:
    Kirsten Gillibrand

    NY State Comptroller:
    Thomas DiNapoli

    NY State Attorney General:
    Eric Schneiderman

    U.S. House (8th Congressional Dist.):
    Jerrold Nadler

    U.S. House (10th Congressional Dist.):
    Kevin Powell

    U.S. House (11th Congressional Dist.):
    Yvette Clarke

    U.S. House (12th Congressional Dist.):
    Nydia Velazquez

    Civil Court, County-wide:
    Harriet Thompson

    Civil Court, 7th District:
    Betty Joyce Williams

    NY State Senate:
    18 – Velmanette Montgomery
    20 – Eric Adams
    21 – Kevin Parker
    22 – Michael DiSanto
    23 – Diane Savino
    25 – Daniel Squadron
    27 – Igor Oberman

    NY State Assembly:
    44 – Jim Brennan
    46 – Alec Brook-Krasny
    52 – Joan Millman
    55 – William Boyland
    57 – Hakeem Jeffries

    District Leader/State Committee:
    41 Male – Lew Fidler
    44 Female – Lori Citron Knipel
    44 Male – Jacob Gold
    50 Male – Lincoln Restler
    52 Female – Jo Anne Simon
    52 Male – Chris Owens
    57 Female – Olanike Alabi
    57 Male – Walter Moseley
    60 Male – Ralph Perfetto

    DEMOCRACY FOR NYC: (The Local Branch of Howard Dean's Democracy for America)

    Attorney General: Eric Schneiderman

    Congress, District 10: Kevin Powell

    Congress, District 14: Carolyn Maloney

    Congress, District 15: Jonathan Tasini

    State Senate, District 10: Lynn Nunez

    State Senate, District 27: Igor Oberman (dropped out)

    State Senate, District 30: Bill Perkins

    State Senate, District 32: Charlie Ramos Jr.

    State Senate, District 33: Desiree Hunter (dropped out)

    State Assembly, District 26: Steve Behar

    DOWNTOWN INDEPENDENT DEMOCRATS: I include them partly because they cover some things I leave out.

    This year’s Primary election on September 14 will be relatively quiet. Most local incumbents are not facing any challengers, so your mailbox and voice-mail won’t be as full as some years. The ballot itself will have few candidates since there are few contests.

    As a Reform club, we have met and interviewed the candidates in open, public meetings. After debate and deliberation, our grassroots members have decided the following candidates deserve your vote.


    Our current senator, Kirsten Gillibrand, who was appointed by Governor Paterson, has a challenger in her bid to be actually elected senator. The challenger, Gail Goode, is a lawyer and legal administrator from the Bronx. Goode is challenging Gillibrand, saying, "New Yorkers have a right to a Democratic primary."

    We agree.

    Although there was initial concern and controversy regarding Gillibrand’s ascendancy to the Senate seat, she does have a proven legislative record and her positions have undergone a pragmatic transformation, bringing them more in line with voters downstate.

    Nevertheless, it would be healthy for Gillibrand to actually be elected to office. While we applaud her challenger’s spunk, WE ENDORSE KIRSTEN GILLIBRAND for US Senate.


    There are five contenders to replace Andrew Cuomo as attorney general. Eric Schneiderman, state senator from the Upper West Side, is our pick.

    Schneiderman has been a leader in fighting both corporate and governmental abuse and corruption. He authored the most sweeping ethics reforms in decades and led the charge to expel corrupt Senator Hiram Monserrate after he was convicted of a domestic violence crime. Schneiderman led the fight to end the Rockefeller drug laws and took on the MTA when it was wasting our tax dollars.

    On the other hand, Assemblymember Richard Brodsky is an effective legislator, but his abrasive and aggressive style does not befit the position he is seeking.

    Eric Dinallo, a former assistant attorney general and the state insurance superintendent, has an impressive record, but lacks the fire in the belly that Schneiderman has displayed.

    Sean Coffey is a successful trial attorney, but has little public service experience and we are unsure of his stand on many important issues.

    Kathleen Rice is a Nassau County district attorney with little public service - and even less political experience. So little political experience in fact that after registering as a Republican in 1984, she did not bother to vote in a single local or national election until 2002! It wasn't until she changed her enrollment from Republican to Democrat to run in the Nassau County race for District Attorney in 2005 that she found her way into a voting booth again. Furthermore, although admitting to youthful cocaine use, Rice nevertheless was a vocal opponent against reforming the unjust and draconian Rockefeller drug law.

    Weighing all the candidates’ pros and cons, WE ENDORSE ERIC SCHNEIDERMAN for attorney general.


    On the East Side of our district, Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney is facing a challenge from a well-financed, young opponent, Reshma Saujani. Ivy-League educated, Saujani worked in several Wall Street hedge funds, as well as serving as a fundraiser for John Kerry.

    However, she is simply too inexperienced to serve us the way Carolyn Maloney has. In fact, she just moved into the district last summer, in what some see as opportunism. Further, Saujani herself admits, "Maloney and I are probably going to agree or vote the same on 80 or 90 percent of the issues."

    So why is she running to unseat a champion of women's rights who has seniority in the House, a progressive and powerful legislator who has delivered billions in Federal money to our district for 9/11 victims and the Second Avenue subway, and who has championed the overhaul of credit card regulations - to list just a few of Maloney’s accomplishments?

    Maloney has proven for two decades that she can deliver for us. It simply makes no sense for an ambitious, young candidate to challenge a competent elected official who has consistently delivered for us.

    WE ENDORSE CAROLYN MALONEY for re-election to the East Side’s 14th Congressional District.


    In the general election on November 2 (not this September’s Democratic Primary election), voters will revisit Term Limits, as well as a bundle of other issues packed into two controversial proposed City Charter amendments drafted by a Charter Revision Commission, whose members are all appointed by Mayor Bloomberg.

    The first yes/no question asks voters whether to reinstate term limits for City offices to two terms, from the current three terms that was enacted last year by the City Council.

    A very powerful mayor's office can easily overpower neophyte councilmembers. Restricting the Council to two terms is putting further power into the mayor's hands.

    However, should the electorate vote for a return to a two-term limit, the proposal paradoxically would allow the "Bloomberg amendment" to continue for incumbents. Incumbents would still be given three terms, again defeating the will of the people.

    Another section of this yes/no question would bar the City Council from altering the term-limit rules in the future. Well, the courts have already affirmed the Council's ability to rewrite term limits - no matter what the Charter says.

    We urge you to vote NO on Question #1 in November.

    The second yes/no question on the ballot would shoehorn campaign financing, conflicts-of-interest, zoning, ballot access, voter-assistance functions, City tribunal and advisory-body administration, and other issues into another single yes/no vote.

    Our executive committee was unanimous in feeling that the mayor's hasty rewriting of the Charter was a flawed procedure. Combining so many important issues into a yes/no question doesn't help.

    We urge you to vote NO on Question #2.

    Vote NO on both Charter proposals. They aren't reforms. Send the Commission back to do its homework.

    EMPIRE STATE PRIDE AGENDA: Another LGBT organization, this time statewide.

    New York State Senate

    Primary Election -
    SD 10 (Queens) – Lynn Nunes (D), Challenger
    SD 16 (Queens) – Toby Ann Stavisky (D), Incumbent
    SD 32 (Bronx) – Carlos Ramos (D), Challenger
    SD 46 (Albany) – Neil Breslin (D), Incumbent
    SD 58 (Buffalo) – Tim Kennedy (D), Challenger

    General Election –
    SD 1 (North & South Fork of Long Island) – Regina Calcaterra (D), Challenger
    SD 3 (Brookhaven) – Brian Foley (D), Incumbent
    SD 6 (Nassau County) – Dave Mejias (D), Challenger
    SD 7 (Nassau County) – Craig Johnson (D), Incumbent
    SD 11 (Queens) – Tony Avella (D), Challenger
    SD 12 (Queens) – Michael Gianaris (D), Open
    SD 23 (Staten Island) – Diane Savino (D), Incumbent
    SD 26 (Manhattan) – Liz Krueger (D), Incumbent
    SD 29 (Manhattan) – Thomas Duane (D), Incumbent
    SD 34 (Bronx, Westchester) – Jeffrey Klein (D), Incumbent
    SD 37 (Westchester) – Suzi Oppenheimer (D), Incumbent
    SD 40 (Northern Westchester/Putnam) – Michael Kaplowitz (D), Open
    SD 41 (Columbia/Dutchess counties) – DiDi Barrett (D), Challenger
    SD 44 (Schenectady) – Susan Savage (D), Challenger
    SD 49 (Onondaga/Oneida/Madison counties) – David Valesky (D), Incumbent
    SD 50 (Syracuse) – Kathleen Joy (D), Challenger
    SD 56 (Rochester) – Robin Wilt (D), Challenger
    SD 60 (Buffalo) – Antoine Thompson (D), Incumbent

    New York State Assembly

    Primary & General Election –
    AD 39 (Queens) – Francisco Moya (D), Open
    AD 114 (Plattsburgh/North Country) – Janet Duprey (R), Incumbent
    AD 119 (Syracuse) – Phillip LaTessa (D), Open
    AD 131 (Rochester) – Harry Bronson (D), Open

    General Election –
    AD 1 (Suffolk) – Mark Alessi (D), Incumbent
    AD 4 (Suffolk) – Steven Englebright (D), Incumbent
    AD 11 (Suffolk) – Robert Sweeney (D), Incumbent
    AD 13 (Nassau) – Charles Lavine (D), Incumbent
    AD 16 (Nassau) – Michelle Schimel (D), Incumbent
    AD 25 (Queens) – Rory Lancman (D), Incumbent
    AD 36 (Queens) – Aravella Simotas (D), Open
    AD 52 (Brooklyn) – Joan Millman (D), Incumbent
    AD 60 (Staten Island/Brooklyn) – Janele Hyer-Spencer (D), Incumbent
    AD 61 (Staten Island) – Matthew Titone (D), Incumbent
    AD 65 (Manhattan) – Micah Kellner (D), Incumbent
    AD 66 (Manhattan) – Deborah Glick (D), Incumbent
    AD 67 (Manhattan) – Linda Rosenthal (D), Incumbent
    AD 69 (Manhattan) – Daniel O’Donnell (D), Incumbent
    AD 73 (Manhattan) – Jonathan Bing (D), Incumbent
    AD 81 (Bronx) – Jeffrey Dinowitz (D), Incumbent
    AD 95 (Rockland County) – Ellen Jaffee (D), Incumbent
    AD 101 (Ulster/Columbia counties) – Kevin Cahill (D), Incumbent
    AD 102 (Ulster/Dutchess counties) – Joel Miller (R), Incumbent
    AD 104 (Albany) – John McEneny (D), Incumbent
    AD 106 (Albany, Rensselaer) – Ronald Canestrari (D), Incumbent
    AD 120 (Syracuse) – William Magnarelli (D), Incumbent
    AD 122 (North Country) – Brian McGrath (D), Open
    AD 126 (Binghamton) – Donna Lupardo (D), Incumbent
    AD 135 (Monroe County) – David Koon (D), Incumbent
    AD 144 (Buffalo) – Sam Hoyt (D), Incumbent

    NEW KINGS DEMOCRATS: A new reform club that grew out of the local 2008 Obama Campaign

    U.S. Congress- District 12: Nydia Velazquez
    New York State Senate- District 25: Daniel Squadron
    New York State Assembly- District 52: Joan Millman
    Female State Committee District Leader- District 50: Kate Zidar
    Male State Committee District Leader- District 50: Lincoln Restler
    Female State Committee District Leader- District 52: Jo Anne Simon
    Female State Committee District Leader- District 53: Barbara Medina
    Male State Committee District Leader- District 53: Esteban Duran

    ROCK HACKSHAW'S ENDORSEMENTS: Rock is a fellow blogger who I respect though don't always agree with. This year I respect but don't always agree with his endorsements (compare them with mine at the top). But I feel it proper to include them in my round up.


    10th Congressional District: ED TOWNS. (I am hoping and praying that Ed retires after this race, since it’s time for him to give it up. Had Tish James, Hakeem Jeffries or Eric Adams challenged him this year, he would have been history. Kevin Powell is no option).

    18th Senatorial District: MARK POLLARD. (It’s time for new blood here).

    21st Senatorial District: WELLINGTON SHARPE. (Need I explain?)

    40th Assembly District: KENNETH EVANS. (He would out-perform Inez Barron in this role. He is very knowledgeable on health issues).

    42nd Assembly District: MICHELE ADOLPHE. (After 32 years it’s time for a change here. Michele has shown tenacity and that should count for something).

    50th Assembly District: ANDRE SOLEIL. (New energy needed here).

    52nd Assembly District: DOUGLAS BOVIANO. (Change is good sometimes).


    40th AD (f): INEZ BARRON. (She is better suited to this role).

    42nd AD (f): NO ENDORSEMENT HERE. (A very interesting race: both Natasha Holiday and her opponent Rodeneyes Bichotte are impeccably qualified -academically and professionally. Natasha presents herself well, but Ms. Bichotte has lots of grassroots support. I am told that assembly-member Rhoda Jacobs supports Holiday; while councilmember Jumanee Williams supports Bichotte. A very good contest on paper.)

    52nd AD (f): JOANNE SIMON. (She is both capable and reliable).

    52nd AD (m): CHRIS OWENS. (He is the obvious choice here).

    55th AD (f): DARLENE MEALY. (Her heart is in the right place, and I hate “gang-bangs”: which is exactly what some of Mealy’s fellow-electeds are trying to do to her again. Too many of them are endorsing her opponent -Latrice Walker- and this both strange and suspicious. There is something else going on here).

    57th AD (f): NO ENDORSEMENT. (Both candidates are capable: challenger Renee Collymore is homegrown and energetic; Olanike “Ola” Alabi has strong union support. So far, she has functioned relatively well in her role as female leader).

    58th AD (m): CORY PROVOST. (“Ya gotta make way for the young folks” Weyman Carey: no hard feelings please).

    Non-Brooklyn Races:

    anhattan. Only one endorsement here: I support Robert J. Rodriguez to fill the vacancy in the 68th Assembly district. He comes from a political family whose service to this area is legendary. In this district, we have an open seat, since the present incumbent Adam Clayton Powell jnr. has foolishly decided to challenge Charlie Rangel for Congress (again). It’s not that “old Charlieboy” shouldn’t be primaried (he definitely should); it’s just that Junior has offered us nothing but his father’s last name. After all this time in politics -and at various elected positions to booth- has Junior ever offered us an original idea that made us scratch out collective heads and say “umm”?

    In this race to replace Adam Clayton Powell jnr., at least seven candidates filed petitions. From my sources, I am told that John Ruiz is one of those with a good chance of winning here; so too district leader Marion Bell. This is one of those competitive races usually lacking in this city. I expect a good turnout in this district, bucking the expectations city- wide. Keep your eyes on this one.

    What the playboy-wannabee (Adam jnr.) has essentially done (pretty successfully) is ride his father’s legacy of good-looks and good last name, to chase skirts and pussy. Charlie Rangel is going to whip him like an egg in an omelet: and that’s unfortunate; since Charlie’s time is past. Charlie needs to gracefully step down, step off and hand the baton to some young whipper-snapper prepared to go to Congress and do real hard work, for real change in this country. I will not endorse anyone in this congressional race.

    In the Bronx, there are a few exciting races going on (thank God): one involves state senator Pedro Espada. He has turned out to be a major disappointment and I cannot endorse him; but I do remember -back in the day- when his family was as progressive as they come. Look, if he loses his seat I will shed no tears. There are also some competitive races for district leader just as in Brooklyn: this augurs well for the future.

    In Queens, the Jeff Aubrey (black) v. Anthony Miranda (Hispanic) contest seems lively. The changing demographics in Elmhurst seem to give ex-cop Miranda winning chances; but as you all know, it is rather difficult to remove incumbents: so don’t go betting the rent on this one.

    The Shirley Huntley v. Lyn Nunes race is another one getting some attention. My sources are telling me that the old girl (Shirley) is going to win this one; but again I caution you not to bet the rent. The Nunes campaign has been busy at the doors of likely voters lately. I know the gays have targeted Huntley for voting against the same-sex marriage bill, so this could be a close race folks. Nunes ran a strong race for city council last year, and normally the second race (back to back) is usually a better one result-wise.

    After city council member Tom White died recently, word on the street was that Nunes would abandon his campaign to concentrate on replacing White in the city council. This hasn’t been confirmed at this point in time: so expect a competitive contest here.


    Anonymous Tammy Sun said...

    Hi Mole333 - this is Tammy Sun, with Sean Coffey. I just wanted to thank you for your endorsement! Also, thank you for noting the importance of the Central Brooklyn Independent Dems, which also endorsed Coffey. You are right that they are serious and reform minded. Thanks again and please remember to vote on Tuesday. If you're interested in helping the campaign in the final days, please contact our Brooklyn field office manager. Nick Boskovich at 718-640-0641 or nick@coffey2010.com. Thanks again.

    12:35 AM  

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