Michael Gianaris's News items

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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Fresh Direct Ponders Move

The Queens Gazette wrote an article that talks about New York City's push to keep the online grocer Fresh Direct from making a move to New Jersey. Senator Gianaris believes that it is crucial to remain welcoming to local businesses, like Fresh Direct, in order to keep jobs in our neighborhood.

Fresh Direct, an online grocer that delivers to residences and offices in the New York City metropolitan area and one of the largest employers in Long Island City and Queens as a whole, has become a prize in a bidding war between New York City and New Jersey. The business, which bowed in New York City in 2002, is rapidly expanding and expects to outgrow its Long Island City facility in a few years.

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January 20, 2012
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P.S. 234 Elementary School Gym Repaired

The Queens Gazette article announces that the P.S. 234 School Gym, which has been closed since September due to flood damage, was finally repaired as a result of the efforts made by parents and elected officials.

Following a joint effort by Councilmember Peter F. Vallone Jr. and state Senator Michael Gianaris, the gymnasium at the Astoria Elementary School, P.S. 234, which suffered substantial flood damage, has been repaired and is now in use.

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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.

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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.

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January 20, 2012
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Strip club Gypsy Rose causes a stink

The Queens Chronicle wrote an article about Long Island City residents and elected officials opposing the opening of a new strip club, the Gypsy Rose, in the neighborhood. Senator Gianaris believes that the presence of a new strip club will undermine efforts to establish Long Island City as a family-friendly, safe environment.

Area politicians and residents are fighting the opening of a strip club called Gypsy Rose in Long Island City, located at 42-50 21 St.

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“When we’re trying to establish Long Island City as a family-friendly, safe environment, where parents can feel free to walk down the street with their children, having a sex-based business staring them in the face is not the best message,” Gianaris said.

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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LATFOR site subtly announces 63rd Senate seat

The Empire wrote an editorial that discusses the letter posted by LATFOR, which intends to justify the addition of a 63rd Senate seat. Senator Gianaris says that the attempt by Senate Republicans to add a 63rd seat represents "everything that's wrong with state government."

Below is the letter that LATFOR has posted on their website justifying the increase of the State Senate from 62 to 63 seats. The move had been anticipated after Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos indicated last week that there was “a good chance” the Senate would add a 63rd seat.

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In a phone interview, Democratic State Senator Michael Gianaris of Queens said Senate Republicans have reached “a new low in old Albany partisan politics.”

January 20, 2012
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Politics don't always add up

An editorial written by Times Union investigates the matter of Senate Republicans' wanting to add a 63rd Senate seat, despite the fact that New York is losing two seats in Congress. Senator Gianaris and Senate Deomcrats are opposed to the addition of a 63rd seat on the grounds that the Senate Republican ploy is unconstitutional.

New York is losing two seats in Congress, so how in the world can it add another state senator?

Under the current and much-maligned redistricting process, the Republicans who control the state's upper chamber hold the pens in the once-a-decade exercise that draws district lines. Late Friday, they released an analysis explaining why they will draw 63 Senate districts, adding a member to the chamber.

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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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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