Issues: Judiciary

A senator, just for us?

An editorial by Times Union discusses the state Senate Republican's redistricting proposal and calls them out for being glaringly politically self-interested rather than serving the public's interest.

First came the pitch that the 63rd state Senate district the Republicans want to create in order to protect their tiny majority would be upstate. How nice of them, looking after a region that tends to get shortchanged politically and economically.

January 30, 2012
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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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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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Ranzenhofer bill, which closes loophole for court evaders, passes State Senate

Albany, N.Y. – Senator Ranzenhofer’s legislation, closing a loophole in State law that does not allow courts to penalize persons when they fail to comply with the court, has passed the State Senate today. 

Senate Bill No. 3188 grants courts the authority to suspend a driver license – in cases of underage possession of alcohol and unlawful possession of marijuana – when a person fails to appear before the court or comply with the sentence of the court.

January 23, 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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Senators Debate Constitution Over Adding 63rd Senate Seat

Politics on the Hudon posted a video of Senator Michael Gianaris and Senator Martin Malave Dilan discussing redistricting and responding to the Senate Republicans' effort to add a 63rd Senate seat.

Watch the video here

January 18, 2012
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Senate Dems, GOP Spar Over Constitutionality Of 63rd Seat

Capital Tonight reports on Senate Democrats Martin Malave Dilan, Senator Michael Gianaris, and State Senator Liz Krueger speaking out against the Senate Republicans' unconstitutional addition of a 63rd Senate seat.

If one thing is clear, it’s that Senate Democrats and Republicans understand the complexity of the state constitution when it comes to redrawing district lines. Where they diverge is a matter of mathematics.

Last week, The Legislative Task Force on Demographic Research and Reapportionment confirmed the district lines to be drawn for the next round of redistricting would include a 63rd seat. Democrats say the move is politically motivated so Republicans can strategically form lines to retain the majority.

January 18, 2012
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Same Republican tricks

The Timesunion.com editorial calls Senate Republicans out for betraying their promise to voters for an independent redistricting process.

Now here’s a map for you, New York. It’s the entire state, 54,556 square miles in all, every one of them ripe for exploitation by state Senate Republicans who will do seemingly anything to maintain their tiny majority.

First they betrayed all those voters to whom they promised, just 14 months ago, that the district boundaries for the 62 Senate seats up for grabs in this fall’s elections would be drawn by an independent commission.

January 18, 2012
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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.

[...]

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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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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Committee Meeting: Judiciary Meeting

Senate Standing Committee on Judiciary Senator John J. Bonacic, Chair 11:00 AM, Wednesday, January 18, 2012 Room 123 CAP

January 18, 11:00 AM - 11:10 AM
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Battles to Shape Maps, and Congress, Go to Courts

The New York Times recently wrote an excellent piece on the the risks of gerrymandering and the rising legislation surrounding redistricting that calls for a more fair process that doesn't take partisan gerrymandering too far or ignore minority voters. Senator Gianaris' strong advocacy for independent redistricting reform is further supported in these arguments.

October 27, 2011
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Griffo Wants Mandatory Video Arraignments

Griffo Bill Removes Roadblock to Video Arraignments

September 19, 2011
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