Mike, Bikes and Ballots: Barrison’s Voter Guide
We received the following op-ed from Steve Barrison last night. Barrison is the president of Bay Improvement Group and executive vice president of the Small Business Congress of New York City.
Many have asked me in the past week or so, “Hey Steve, how should I vote?”
Well, I can’t tell you how. But I can say, that if you like going back to what we all know failed, losing 750,000 jobs a month, and policies favoring the elite 2 percent of America, then go for it.
However, if you like going forward – and we have stopped that out of control tailspin with some stability and small growth, too, with the last three months up, and only two out of our 12 economic regions reporting negative, when before it was all 12 in the red, then we must be doing something right. You can figure it out.
Or should we go back to denying healthcare to those with preexisting illness? Or woman’s breast care health? Or pre-natal care to those in need across America? Or denying healthcare to our kids who can’t afford it? Or allowing billion dollar corporations to not provide healthcare with loopholes from their rich friends in government?
The same old slogans of the past won’t stand, with no substance or better solutions to offer.
Thus, you can figure it out on your own. The real question is whether the rest of the country will, or even better, what took the party in power so long to wake up?
On the NYC ballot front…
On the back of the ballot you can turn the mayor back with a simple “Yes” on Question 1 and “No” to his power grab in disguise on Question 2. That is simple! Look on the back and vote!
From City Limits:
Question 2 would require disclosure of independent campaign spending. Sounds like motherhood and apple pie, but it wouldn’t constrain billionaires who don’t have to depend on outside financial support.
Q2 also would halve the number of signatures needed to get on a ballot. “Independents” like this idea because it could make it easier for them to challenge the dominant Democrats. But it could increase the “kook factor” in government, and would erode the ability of major political parties—however imperfect they are—to bring ordinary people together to fight candidates who can fund expensive advertising campaigns.
Question 2 would merge the Voter Assistance Commission into the Campaign Finance Board: an innocuous measure, but one that would do nothing to change who gets elected. The VAC-CFB merger has been included in Q2 to give the New York Times and the Citizens Union something to praise.
Likewise for Q2’s conflicts of interest enhancements. Like the VAC-CFB merger, these would have minimal effect, but help to “sweeten” the Q2 package for voters and editorial writers.
Question 2 would authorize the mayor to consolidate administrative tribunals, which currently fall under his various agencies. This “one size fits all” approach to selecting and training administrative law judges could make it easier for a mayor to interfere in the ALJ hiring process.
Q2 would create a commission to trim the number of reports required of the mayor and his agencies and the number of advisory bodies in city government (excluding community boards). But the fine print (§1113.g) says that this new commission, dominated by mayoral appointees, could block the City Council from enhancing or extending the mayor’s current reporting requirements.
And Q2 would broaden the kinds of facilities to be included in the “fair share” maps that the city uses when determining sites for waste transfer stations, jails, and other “NIMBY” services—an appealing “reform.” But this information already is widely available. More crucially, Q2 would do nothing to change the way the city decides where to put such facilities or when to reveal their intended locations. Right now, despite an annual planning requirement in the charter, site information routinely is withheld from the community until the last minute. Q2 doesn’t change this.
Finally, voters should object to Question 2 simply because it robs us of choice. Goldstein argues that the new paper ballots just are too small to accommodate the proposals as separate questions. The Board of Elections has denied this. And common sense says a solution could have been found.
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