October 2006
Agenda for Action! Election/Legislative Issue

Rating the New York State Legislature

The Democrats have controlled the New York State Assembly and the Republicans have controlled the Senate for more than 30 years. The Governor has been in office for almost twelve (12) years!

NYCADA views our state government’s failure to perform with dismay!  The upcoming primary election on September 12, 2006 offers little hope that things will change.  This issue of our Newsletter, Agenda for Action, returns to our tradition of rating the State Legislature.* We do so for 2004 and 2005.  The legislature’s performance for 2006 is in draft form awaiting the end of the session.
Nonetheless, it will reveal more of the same – protecting incumbency, failing to reform, avoiding basic issues, coddling the lobbyists and deceiving the electorate. These are harsh terms – well deserved. When we present our 2006 ratings, we will discuss some of these issues – rules/legislative reform, the excessive power of Authorities, the failure to enact a CFE remedy for our schools and the failure to pass the emergency contraception bill, among others - in greater detail.

We applaud the efforts of other groups – especially the League of Women Voters, the New York Public Interest Group, the Citizens Union, Common Cause as well as the Brennan Center for Justice at NY University for their stellar efforts in promoting reform. All of us need to do a better job of informing our supporters and the larger public about the charades which Albany legislators play every session.  Legislators elect their leaders and then complain about them! We elect the Governor and complain about him!  When we do a better job of informing ourselves and acting on a clear understanding of what really happens in Albany, then we can hold our representatives accountable.

The September 2006 Primaries
NYCADA Endorsements

There are few competitive races this year.  Redistricting powers which lie in the NYS Senate and Assembly guarantees the reelection of incumbents in most cases. 

The NYCADA Board has endorsed Eliot Spitzer for Governor and Hillary Clinton for Senator.

Spitzer was an excellent Attorney General with a record of determination and real achievement. Clinton has been a top notch Senator and deserves reelection.  

NYCADA has endorsed candidates in six of the seven  State Senate races and in four of the eighteen (18) contested State Assembly races .We believe that the candidates we endorsed are liberals and that they will press the leadership to act on issues of housing, education and development as well as reform of the legislative process. 

US SenateHillary Clinton
Governor -    Eliot Spitzer

Assembly Districts
25th AD - Rory Lancman
43rd AD -  Karim Camara
57th AD -  Bill Batson
74th  AD - Sylvia Friedman

State Senatorial Districts
13th SD  -  John Sabini
18th SD -  Velmanette Montgomery
20th SD -  Eric Adams
21st SD -  Kevin Parker
25th SD  -  Ken Diamondstone
30th SD -  Bill Perkins
Congressional Districts
11th CD -  Chris Owens
17th CD -   Eliot Engel

Precinct Based Optical Scanners (PBOS)

The New York City Council recently unanimously passed a resolution urging the City’s Board of Elections to conduct public tests of the new voting systems that are under consideration for the Fall 2007 elections!  NYC ADA testified at City Council hearings during Summer 2006 in support of precinct based optical scanners. NYC ADA called for accessibility and transparency in voting, consistent with the Help America Vote Act (HAVA).  Precinct Based Optical Scanning Systems have been used for 20 years.  They are time-tested, reliable, cost less and retain local, public, bi-partisan control of elections. 

Paper ballots do not rely on blind faith (as do Direct Recording Electronic [DRE] machines) but insure that there is a physical vote and, therefore, the ability to audit, to count and recount with accuracy and honesty.  They enable the voter to verify that his/her vote is tabulated correctly!

* The Newsletter was prepared by Evelyn Jones Rich and intern, Adam Korsin. Max Rich researched data and prepared initial findings for the 2004 Legislative session.
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