Issues: Judiciary

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.

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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.

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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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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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Dems Hopeful Court Ruling Will Favor Them During Redistricting

Senator Gianaris was on YNN’s Capital Tonight with Liz Benjamin to discuss Nassau County’s redistricted lines, which were recently overturned by the Court of Appeals.

September 2, 2011
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GOP gets slammed in LI redistricting

Capitol Confidential wrote about Nassau's overruled district lines, which exemplifies New York's need for a bipartisan redistricting process.

Senate Democrats are already hailing this as a precursor for the broader statewide redistricting battle. That remains to be seen, but today’s Court of Appeals ruling against the Republican-dominated plan for redistricting the Nassau County legislature is a defeat for the GOP.

Dems also note that this is quite a defeat for the GOP’s election lawyer, John Ciampoli.

More than a half million Nassau Co. residents would have been in new districts, they noted.

Senate Democratic spokesman Mike Murphy issued the following statement. Below that is the opinion.

August 30, 2011
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Court Of Appeals Rejects Nassau County Lines

State of Politics wrote about a Court of Appeals rejection of Nassau county district lines. Legislative district lines must not be drawn in a manipulated, partisan manner.

A Court of Appeals decision for Nassau County could have statewide implications for the redrawing of legislatively boundaries next year.

Or, at least that’s what Senate Democrats hope.

The Court of Appeals ruled 7-2 7-0, with two judges dissenting in part (whoops!), this morning rejected boundaries drawn by the Nassau County Legislature, which the judges claim ignored a three-step process as laid out in a county charter.

August 30, 2011
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Public Hearing: To discuss the potential of a constitutional amendment relating to casino gaming in New York State

Sept. 7 Joint - Senate Standing Committee on Racing, Gaming and Wagering Chair: Senator John J. Bonacic and Senate Standing Committee on Judiciary Chair: Senator John J. Bonacic Public Hearing: To discuss the potential of a constitutional amendment relating to casino gaming in New York State Place: Van Buren Hearing Room B, Legislative Office Building, 2nd Floor, Albany, New York Time: 10:00 A.M. – 1:00 P.M. Contact: Langdon Chapman (845) 344-3311 Media Contact: Jillian Deuel (518) 455-3181 ORAL TESTIMONY BY INVITATION ONLY

September 7, 10:00 AM - 1:00 PM
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Public Hearing: To discuss the potential of a constitutional amendment relating to casino gaming in New York State

Sept. 7 Joint - Senate Standing Committee on Racing, Gaming and WageringChair: Senator John J. Bonacicand Senate Standing Committee on JudiciaryChair: Senator John J. BonacicPublic Hearing: To discuss the potential of a constitutional amendment relating to casino gaming in New York StatePlace: Van Buren Hearing Room B, Legislative Office Building, 2nd Floor, Albany, New YorkTime: 10:00 A.M. – 1:00 P.M.Contact: Langdon Chapman (845) 344-3311Media Contact: Jillian Deuel (518) 455-3181ORAL TESTIMONY BY INVITATION ONLY

September 7, 10:00 AM - 1:00 PM
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Oppenheimer and Galef Applaud Cuomo's Signing of Local Court Consolidation Bill

Today, Governor Cuomo signed a bill (Chapter 146) that allows for a new, more efficient court system to begin in Ossining. Assemblywoman Sandy Galef and State Senator Suzi Oppenheimer, have championed the bill, which permits the consolidation of the Town and Village of Ossining courts to serve the municipalities as one, while improving court efficiency and saving taxpayer dollars.

July 21, 2011
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