Mr. Quinn Goes to Albany

The anti-incumbency wave that swept the country in 2010 also made its way through the 58th Senate District in New York that year and handed Jack Quinn III the first election loss of his family’s political career.

The son of a congressman from the Buffalo area, he set out for a career in medicine before turning to law and eventually elected office. Quinn got elected to the Assembly at 26 and was vying for a seat in the state senate just six years later.

This extended episode of Poozer Politics features a conversation with Quinn about growing up in politics, the evolution of his personal ideology and the calculus that went into running for the state senate. He reflects on the Assembly debate over same-sex marriage, shares insights into his multiple campaigns and reveals the seat he almost ran for. Continue reading “Mr. Quinn Goes to Albany”

Getting to Know @NYSenate

It takes some research, a prepared word document and an unwavering attention span to live-tweet the state senate session in Albany.

But that’s all in a day’s work for Tom Reale, the director of new media for the senate and the man behind @NYSenate.

He joined Poozer Politics to talk about the mission of the senate’s Twitter account, the challenges of responding to people on social media, and the evolution of his job (Spoiler: emojis!).

Reale also had his knowledge of Twitter handles tested and shed light on his (not so) secret life with RPI hockey, which actually helped prepare him for his current job. Continue reading “Getting to Know @NYSenate”

Watchdogs on High Alert Over Senate Stipends

Calls for additional oversight in Albany aren’t new, but there is a new twist to the ongoing story.

The latest scandal involves the Senate Majority Coalition’s practice of misidentifying the titles of certain senators in order to give them extra pay. Senate Democrats are alleging the actions are illegal and law enforcement has begun to review the issue.

Blair Horner“You can’t have one system on the books, and a second set of books doling money out to other people,” said Blair Horner, a good government activist with NYPIRG.

Horner came on the podcast to talk about the misuse of taxpayer funds with the stipend practice and urged the state Senate to reform the process. He also outlined the general need for independent oversight in New York, especially for state contracts and economic development initiatives. Continue reading “Watchdogs on High Alert Over Senate Stipends”

Rock Me On the Dais

Wielding the gavel during senate session in Albany can take a light touch or a firm hand.

That balance is usually maintained by Senator Joe Griffo, who regularly serves as acting-president of the state senate. In this role on the dais it falls on him to keep the peace, crack the occasional joke, offer some scripture, and ensure they’re passing legislation.

He came on the podcast to share some of his secrets from the dais and talked about the responsibility of filling the shoes of the lieutenant governor in the chamber. Griffo also answered questions about his use of humor during floor proceedings, hostile amendments from the Democrats, appearances in the chamber by Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi and the 2009 Senate Coup. Continue reading “Rock Me On the Dais”

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”