EXTRA EXTRA: A Primary Win, Loss and a Tar Heel

If at first you don’t succeed, maybe an Assembly seat will open up.

Four years after an unsuccessful bid to be the Democratic nominee for an open-congressional seat in the Capital Region, Phil Steck was victorious in an effort to be his party’s representative in a race for the 110th Assembly District (Spoiler Alert: He still has that seat).

For a bonus episode of Poozer Politics, to celebrate Primary Day, we turned to the assemblyman for insights about these unique electoral bouts. He shared stories about his past primary campaigns, reflected on mistakes, and explained his endorsement from Sam Perkins.

Steck also talked about his affinity for door-to-door campaigning, the role of endorsements, and fundraising. Continue reading “EXTRA EXTRA: A Primary Win, Loss and a Tar Heel”

School’s Out for Freshman Legislator

It was an extraordinary first session for Assemblymember Yuh-Line Niou.

Niou joined Poozer Politics to reflect on her first year as a member of the Assembly and talked about the personal toll of the late budget, her approach to the legislative process and accomplishments for her constituents.

She also explored the challenge of delegating power and highlighted some of her plans for the rest of the year. Continue reading “School’s Out for Freshman Legislator”

Trump and his Taxes

Could New York post President Donald Trump’s state tax returns online?

That’s what a bill from Sen. Brad Hoylman would require the NYS Department of Taxation and Finance to do.

Following up on his proposal to require presidential candidates to disclose their tax returns in order to qualify for New York’s votes in the Electoral College, Hoylman has introduced a bill that would require the state to post online the income tax returns for the president, vice president, the state’s senators in Congress and any other statewide elected officials, such as the governor.  The state income tax returns would be posted for every year the elected official remains in office, according to the legislation.

“New Yorkers deserve to know whether elected officials represented the state are paying their fair share of taxes or hold potential financial conflicts of interest,” reads the bill memo. Continue reading “Trump and his Taxes”

Assembly Dems and Ridesharing: Take 2

Assembly Democrats have staked out a new bargaining position in the negotiations to bring ridesharing to upstate New York.

Late on Friday night, Assemblyman Kevin Cahill introduced a bill that would allow companies like Uber and Lyft to operate north of New York City. Cahill, who chairs the Assembly Insurance Committee, was seen as trying to sabotage the expansion in 2016 and his new bill adds additional caveats that haven’t been proposed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo or the Senate Republicans.

A key provision of the Assembly bill deals with local control for municipalities. The bill would “authorize localities to regulate TNC vehicles and drivers in the same manner as they are currently authorized to regulate taxicabs and liveries,” according the bill memorandum.

As reported, the bill also imposes sales tax on rides with companies like Uber and Lyft. The proposal would generate revenue for local municipalities, who likely wouldn’t see the same benefits from the governor’s plan.

Cahill’s proposal also requires the TNC company to pay for criminal background checks and forbids passing those costs to the applicants.

Upon the request of a municipality, ridesharing companies must provide information about pick-ups and drop-offs, including locations, dates and times.

It’s also interesting to note the timing of the bill, which was introduced in time for the Assembly to pass it on Monday. It might be too soon to assume this bill can pass the chamber though, as Cahill’s bill from last year died in the committee process when it was taken off the Insurance Committee’s agenda after failing to generate enough support during a June meeting.

The Senate Republicans passed ridesharing legislation earlier this year.

Meet the (new) Majority: Brian Barnwell

Get to know Brian Barnwell, the Assemblyman-elect for the 30th Assembly District in Queens.

Brian won a long-shot primary victory in September and, at 30 years old, is also one of the youngest members of the Assembly. He talked about his goals for the legislative session, campaigning with the help of his family and the 20-pound election diet. Continue reading “Meet the (new) Majority: Brian Barnwell”