Issues: Ethics

The Capitol Pressroom for January 27, 2012

The Capitol Pressroom's Susan Arbetter did an interview with Senator Gianaris discussing the redistricting maps. 

Listen to the interview here

January 30, 2012
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LATFOR React-o-Mat: outraged Senate Dems edition

Capitol Confidential posted an article that highlights the many issues resulting from the state Senate Republican's redistricting proposal, which Senator Gianaris feels should not be tolerated by the people of New York.

Because we’re expecting several of them, we’re posting a separate React-o-Mat to corral statements from Senate Democrats ticked off by the release of LATFOR’s maps.

From Sen. Mike Gianaris, in a phone interview with Jimmy:

“I spent over five years making the case for an independent redistricting, and in five years I did not accomplish as much for the cause as Senate Republican’s did today. It’s about as bad — partisan, political — as you could imagine.”

January 30, 2012
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Gianaris Compares Senate GOP To Tom DeLay

Capital Tonight posted a video that features Senator Gianaris speaking about the blatant politicized process by which the Senate Republicans have drawn new district maps.

Watch the video here

January 30, 2012
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State Senate GOP majority wants to merge four Queens districts currently held by Dems into two

The New York Daily News article discusses the state Senate Republican's proposal for new districting lines that combines four Queens districts into two. Senator Gianaris believes that the Senate Republican's ploy further demonstrates why the redistricing process needs improvement.

The state Senate GOP majority wants to merge four Queens districts currently held by Democrats into two — and one is held by the chair of the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee.

Michael Gianaris, whose position makes him a main architect of Democratic campaign strategy in the Senate, would face a reelection dogfight against a Latino incumbent, Jose Peralta, in a heavily Latino district, sources said.

January 30, 2012
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As goo-goos despair, a reform legislator says court-drawn lines are still the 'most likely outcome'

An editorial written by Capital discusses the looming release of LATFOR's redistricing lines and the possibility that Governor Cuomo will veto the redistricting proposal. According to Senator Gianaris, LATFOR's inability to propose district lines that are fair will likely necessitate court involvement.

This week, the lawmakers running the redistricting process are expected to reveal the lines they came up with. (A lawmaker told me they may release Assembly and Senate lines as soon as today, but not congressional ones.)

January 30, 2012
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SHADOW PLAY

City and State wrote an editorial that talks about the upcoming release of New York state's new lines for election districts. Senator Gianaris believes that LATFOR's redistricitng process is nothing more than a political power play.

It was one of the last of the group’s dozens of public hearings before drafting new lines for election districts. Dilan, representing the Senate Democratic Conference on the task force, was upset about a memo from a Senate Republican lawyer that advocated for a 63rd Senate seat. The memo had been placed on the LATFOR website late on a Friday, with no Democratic input.

[...]

January 30, 2012
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Statement from Senator Squadron on Republican Proposed District Lines

 

NEW YORK -- Today, State Senator Daniel Squadron released the following statement in response to the proposed district lines just released by the Senate Republicans:

Even though the worst of the Republican political shenanigans aren't impacting the district I represent as they are some of my colleagues' districts, the conclusion is undeniable: partisan redistricting is a poisonous process.  

Before the 2010 election, every member of the Senate majority pledged to create an independent redistricting process. Now they are breaking the pledge they made to the people and putting politics before their promise. It's no surprise that these politically motivated maps represent the same arrogance as their broken pledge: politicians choosing their constituents, so that constituents lose the power to choose their representatives.

As the Governor has said, any lines drawn in this process must not stand. Voters must make their voices heard now so that their votes can make a difference in November.

January 26, 2012
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Legislative Task Force on Demographic Research and Reapportionment

@Senator Dilan is the Democratic Minority Member sitting on LATFOR. He has been fighting to keep the process open, fair and free of partisan gerrymandering. Keep up to date with the Task Force and the Senator’s latest efforts.

 

January 24, 2012
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Local pols reject Morgan Stanley price fixing settlement

The Queens Courier wrote an article about the Department of Justice's $4.8 million settlement with Morgan Stanley for their illegal pricing scheme, which cost ratepayers roughly $300 million. Senator Gianaris and other local politicians are pushing the Dept. of Justice to increase the fine, arguing that the current settlement is unacceptable and would allow Morgan Stanley to keep millions in profit.

Local elected officials are expending “energy” to ensure Morgan Stanley doesn’t get a quick “fix” to its illegal pricing ploy.

January 23, 2012
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Community Victorious Over Strip Club

An editorial by Queens Tribune talks about the State Liquor Authority's denial of the Gypsy Rose strip club's liquor license application, which was a favorable result for Long Island City community members. According to Senator Gianaris, the type of person and business that adult establishments tend to attract are not welcome in Long Island City.

The community spoke and its voice was heard by the State Liquor Authority, who denied the 21 Group Inc.’s application for a liquor license for the Gypsy Rose establishment in Long Island City during a hearing Jan. 18 in Manhattan.

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January 23, 2012
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A slap on the wrist for illegal millions?

The Queens Chronicle investigates the alleged prixe-fixing scheme employed by Morgan Stanley and KeySpan that overcharged New Yorkers for electrictity while garnering Morgan Stanley and KeySpan $21.6 million. Senator Gianaris believes that the Department of Justice's recommended fine of $4.8 million is inadequate.

A price-fixing scheme allegedly concocted by Morgan Stanley and KeySpan, and involving Astoria Generating Co., may have overcharged New Yorkers for electricity while garnering Morgan Stanley and KeySpan millions, according to published reports and two area politicians outraged at the scheme: Councilman Peter Vallone Jr. (D-Astoria) and state Sen. Mike Gianaris (D-Astoria).

January 20, 2012
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Just say no to gerrymandering

An editorial written by the Queens Chronicle highlights a 2012 New York Redistricting Project where students were able to propose ideas for state Senate maps and express their opinions on how political lines should be drawn in order to meet the needs of groups with similar interests. Senator Gianaris believes that this demonstrates how excellent redistricting proposals can be made in a short period of time.

And the winner is ... districts that are not gerrymandered.

January 20, 2012
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State Liquor Authority rejects Long Island City strip club’s bid for license

NY Daily News reports that the State Liquor Authority has rejected the Gypsy Rose gentlemen club's bid for a liquor license, following protests from Long Island City residents and community leaders. Senator Gianaris believes the decision was an important step in establishing the neighborhood as a wholesome, family friendly environment.

For the second time, the State Liquor Authority has rejected an application by the owners of a Long Island City strip club for a liquor license.

“I believe that there is sufficient good cause for us to deny this application,” Dennis Rosen, chairman of the authority, said Wednesday.

Community leaders who are opposed to the club, known as Gypsy Rose, have flooded the board in recent weeks with petitions and testimony.

January 20, 2012
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Elderly Passengers Upset About TSA’s Strip Search Denials

CBS posted a video with Senator Gianaris' comments on the TSA's response admitting some wrongdoing. 

Watch the video here.

January 20, 2012
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TSA regrets 'discomfort,' but says elderly fliers weren't strip-searched

CNN reports that although the TSA has altered their responses to the allegations that they wrongfully strip searched two elderly women travelling through John F. Kennedy Airport, they are standing by their statements that neither of the women were asked to remove any clothing. Senator Gianaris believes the TSA has failed in admitting to their misconduct and in making sure their procedures are welcoming to the flying public.  

January 20, 2012
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TSA apology? Two elderly women were screened improperly

The Los Angeles Times investigates the matter involving two elderly women who claim to have been strip searched while travelling through Kennedy Airport and the subsequent denial by the TSA that such strip searching actually occured. Senator Gianaris says that the letter he received from the TSA acknowledges standard procedures were violated but that it didn't go far enough in admitting the strip searches were done and in apologizing to the victims.

The Transportation Security Administration has offered a mea culpa, of sorts, for the screening of two elderly women who said they were partially strip-searched at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport in November.

January 20, 2012
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TSA admits wrongdoing in cases of two elderly woman who claim they were strip-searched

The New York Daily News reports that the Deptartment of Homeland Security admitted that TSA screeners violated standard practice in the cases of two elderly women who alleged they were victims of humiliating strip searches at Kennedy Airport.

In an about-face, the feds have admitted wrongdoing in the cases of two elderly women who say they were strip-searched at Kennedy Airport by overzealous screeners.

Federal officials had initially insisted that all “screening procedures were followed” after Ruth Sherman, 89, and Lenore Zimmerman, 85, went public with separate accounts of humiliating strip searches.

[...]

Gianaris, who wrote to the TSA requesting a full investigation, said the feds’ account is still full of holes.

January 20, 2012
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Pols’ power play

The New York Post wrote an article about community leaders from Queens who are complaining that a $4.8 million fine issued to Morgan Stanley for a price-fixing scheme is not enough. Senator Gianaris feels that such an insignificant fine would continue to permit the bank to reap the benefits of its illicit profits.

Two local lawmakers have asked a judge to pull the plug on a deal that leaves victims of a huge electricity price-fixing scheme out in the cold.

State Sen. Michael Gianaris and City Councilman Peter Vallone Jr., both Queens Democrats, wrote Manhattan federal Judge William Pauley asking him to order Morgan Stanley to refund millions of dollars to Con Ed customers.

[...]

January 20, 2012
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Queens Officials Protest New Strip Club

NY1 posted a video of protesters gathered outside the Gypsy Rose Cabaret, rallying against the opening of a new strip club in Long Island City. Senator Gianaris attended the protest and believes the effects of the strip club on the neighborhood would be detrimental. 

Watch the video here

January 20, 2012
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The Capitol Pressroom for January 10, 2012

WCNY posted Senator Gianaris' interview with Susan Arbetter discussing redistricting and the Senate GOP's attempt to add a 63rd Senate seat. 

Listen to the interview here

January 20, 2012
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