Issues: Ethics

State Senate’s top Republican predicts addition of 1 member

BuffaloNews.com wrote an article about the redistricting process and the Senate Republican's unreasonable effort to maintain their thin majority, which Senator Gianaris believes is despicable.

Despite the state’s anemic population growth, the Senate’s top Republican said his legislative chamber is likely to grow by one senator, to a total of 63, during this year’s redistricting process.

Senate Democrats immediately dismissed the move as an illegal bid by the Republicans merely to maintain their thin majority. Senate Republicans pushed through a similar one-seat increase 10 years ago to help keep control of the Senate.

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January 18, 2012
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Gianaris: Republicans 'decided to play chicken with the governor' on redistricting

Capital NY wrote an editorial that talks about Governor Cuomo's position on independent redistricting. Although Cuomo did not address redistricting in his State of the State speech, Senator Gianaris states that Cuomo didn't have to because he has already been very clear in his support of an independent redistricting process.

Governor Andrew Cuomo didn't talk about redistricting in his State of the State speech Thursday in Albany.

Democratic state senator Michael Gianaris, who has been perhaps the loudest and longest-standing advocate of redistricting reform in the legislature (where it is generally not popular), said Cuomo didn't have to.

January 18, 2012
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Cuomo's State Address May Touch On Budget Gap, Expanded Gambling

This NY1 video includes comments from Senator Gianaris on how Senate Republicans are attempting to submit an unconstitutional plan to add a 63rd Senate seat. 

Watch the video here.

January 18, 2012
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Skelos: 63rd legislative district likely result of redistricting

NCPR's Karen DeWitt speaks to Senator Michael Gianaris about redistricting and the unconstitutional attempt by Senate Republicans to keep in control of the chamber. 

Listen to the audio here.

January 18, 2012
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Call them on it, Mr. Cuomo

Timesunion.com wrote an editorial that exposes the Senate Republicans broken promise on independent redistricting and urges Governor Cuomo to take action.

When state Senate Republicans were asking voters in 2010 to restore their majority, they unanimously and unambiguously promised to support creating an independent body to draw new legislative district lines. Even the most casual observer of state government might have rightly asked, “What’s the catch?”

It turns out the catch was as obvious, not to mention cynical, as any escape clause one could imagine: They lied.

Read the full article here.

January 18, 2012
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Gianaris Blasts Possible GOP Plan to Increase State Senate Size

An editorial by Politicker NY reports on Senator Gianaris' reaction to the unconstitutional attempt by the Senate GOP to add a 63rd Senate seat. Gianaris believes this is a despicable power grab to keep their part in the majority

State Senator Mike Gianaris, who heads the Senate Democrats electoral efforts, was sharply critical of a plan Republican Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos floated yesterday, saying there’s a “good chance” the total number of New York State Senators will increase from 62 to 63 for the decennial process of redrawing district lines.

Senator Gianaris said that the “desperate” Republican conference was “brazenly violating the constitution.”

January 18, 2012
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Legislature prepares for session with elections looming

The Ithaca Journal wrote an article that highlights the Senate Republicans rejection of the formation of an independent redistricting task force, which was proposed by Senate Democrats. Senator Gianaris believes that redistricting reform is an urgent matter and that Senate Republicans have abandoned their promise to fix it.

Lawmakers and Gov. Andrew Cuomo have spent recent months touting their legislative accomplishments in 2011: an on-time budget, a 2 percent property tax cap, a revamped income tax code and a sense of renewed collegiality in a Capitol long known for its partisanship.

That doesn't mean, however, that there isn't plenty on the table for 2012.

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January 18, 2012
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STATEMENT FROM SENATOR MICHAEL GIANARIS PRAISING SLA DENIAL OF LIC STRIP CLUB APPLICATION

“I am thrilled the State Liquor Authority stood with the Long Island City community today when it voted against the Gypsy Rose liquor license application. This neighborhood is no place for a sex-based business, and today’s vote brings us one step closer to ensuring the wholesome, family-friendly environment in which an increasing number of people live and work. It is clear the SLA takes community input to heart and I commend the board for today’s decision.”

January 18, 2012
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ASTORIA LEADERS FIGHT TO PROTECT RATEPAYERS

Queens, NY – Continuing their efforts to protect energy ratepayers, Senator Michael Gianaris and Council Member Peter F. Vallone, Jr. are pushing a federal judge to reject the proposed settlement for an illegal price-fixing case involving Morgan Stanley and two western Queens power plants that caused ratepayers to lose nearly $300 million in two years.

January 17, 2012
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STATEMENT FROM SENATOR MICHAEL GIANARIS ON LEGACY OF MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR.

"Today, we honor the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. and are reminded of the power of perseverance and the importance of helping others. As a representative of one of the most diverse communities in the world, I am humbled by the ability of different peoples to live side-by-side and create a respectful, loving environment in which our children can grow up understanding the inherent nature of dignity for all. None of this would be possible without the sacrifices made by Martin Luther King, Jr. We are forever indebted to him."

January 16, 2012
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Schumer, Gianaris Calling For TSA Passenger Advocates

The Queens Gazette wrote an article about the announcement made by Senator Gianaris and Senator Schumer, which called on the TSA to designate on-duty passenger advocates at airports in order to resolve disputes between passengers and agents over screening issues. 

“While the safety and security of our flights must be a top priority, we need to make sure that flying does not become a fear-inducing, degrading, and potentially humiliating experience,” Schumer said. “Right now, passengers who feel that their rights are about to be violated have nowhere to turn, but by training passenger advocates at each of our airports, the TSA can finally give passengers a voice.”

January 13, 2012
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Senator Gianaris speaks at a rally opposing the granting of a liquor license to the Gypsy Rose gentlemen's club

Senator Gianaris speaking at a rally opposing the granting of a liquor license to the Gypsy Rose strip club in LIC, a flourishing, family-oriented neighborhood where a strip club does not belong.

January 13, 2012
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Senator Kennedy Calls Senate Republicans’ Plan to Increase the Size of the Senate ‘Government Waste’, ‘Political Ploy’

ALBANY, N.Y. – Senator Timothy M. Kennedy, D-58th District, called Senate Republicans’ proposal to increase the size of the Senate a clear example of “government waste” and a “hypocritical political ploy” intended to serve the Republican Majority politicians at the expense of New York taxpayers.

January 10, 2012
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Independent Democratic Conference Releases 2012 Legislative Agenda

 

NEW YORK, NY - The Independent Democratic Conference  released its 2012 legislative agenda Thursday aimed at strengthening this state's economy, improving the lives of New York residents, and preserving New York's progressive tradition.

The agenda was released on the anniversary of the IDC's formation and after a successful year that saw many of the conference's 2011 priorities made into law.

January 8, 2012
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Statement From Senator Patrick M. Gallivan on the Governor’s State of the State Address

Senator Patrick M. Gallivan (R,C,I - 59th District) was selected by his Senate colleagues today to give official notification to Governor Andrew M. Cuomo that the Senate is standing at ready to conduct its business for 2012. Gallivan notified the Governor prior to the annual State of the State address this afternoon, which Gallivan applauded for “its strong vision for New York State’s future” while stressing the importance of building upon the cooperation and collegiality that enabled last year’s progress.

January 4, 2012
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SENATOR SQUADRON STATEMENT IN SUPPORT OF GOVERNOR'S CALL FOR FOOD STAMP ACCESS AND CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORM

In his State of the State address, the Governor laid out a vision to build on the progress of the past year and continue to move New York forward. Two priorities in particular that he laid out - an end to the practice of fingerprinting food stamp recipients and reforming our campaign finance system - are ready for immediate passage.

January 4, 2012
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OFFICE OF ATTORNEY GENERAL UNVEILS YEAR-END REVIEW

Review Cites Progress For New York On Taxpayer Protection, Public Safety, Economic Justice, Public Integrity, Civil Rights & Environmental Protection

The Office of Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today issued an end-of-the-year review detailing many of its accomplishments in areas including public safety, economic justice, taxpayer protection, public integrity, civil rights and environmental protection.

December 29, 2011
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GOVERNOR CUOMO AND LEGISLATIVE LEADERS APPOINT MEMBERS TO THE JOINT COMMISSION ON PUBLIC ETHICS

Independent Commission Has Broad New Enforcement Powers to Investigate Legislative and Executive Branches

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and legislative leaders today announced their appointments to the new Joint Commission on Public Ethics (JCOPE).  JCOPE is an independent enforcement unit with broad oversight of New York State government. The Commission has robust enforcement powers to investigate violations of law and financial disclosure requirements for all elected officials and their employees in both the executive and legislative branches. JCOPE also has expanded powers to oversee lobbyists due to newly expanded disclosure rules and a broader definition of lobbying.

December 13, 2011
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Statement by Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos on the Creation of the Joint Commission on Public Ethics

"Today's creation of the Joint Commission on Public Ethics is another step forward in restoring the public's trust in state government. While the vast majority of people enter public service for all the right reasons, this bipartisan commission will ensure that every legislator continues to be accountable to the people they work for. I am confident that former Senator Rath, Justice Covello and George Weismann will do outstanding work alongside Chairwoman DiFiore and the other representatives of this commission."

December 12, 2011
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TSA Denies Grandmother Was Strip Searched at JFK

FOX News reported on the recent string of controversies surrounding TSA's strip searches of elderly women and their later denial of such happenings. Senator Gianaris was interviewed byLisa Evers of Fox 5about the need for an investigation into what actually happened.

An 85-year-old grandmother says Transportation Security Administration (TSA) agents at John F. Kennedy Airport in New York humiliated her by strip searching her earlier this week and she plans to sue, the New York Daily News reported.

But the TSA denies that ever happened.

Lenore Zimmerman, from Long Beach, N.Y., says she was pulled into a private screening room by security Tuesday who then proceeded to take off her clothes, the newspaper reported.

December 6, 2011
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