DEMOCRATIC POWER PLAY

November 14, 2018 at 4:45 am

For the first time in 50 years Democrats control the power in Albany, but what will they do with it? We’ll discuss.

Aired on November 13, 2018.

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>> LAST WEEK'S MIDTERM ELECTION
HANDED DEMOCRATS A COMMANDING
MAJORITY IN THE STATE SENATE AND
LEFT REPUBLICANS IN THE STATE
REELING.
DEMOCRATS NOW HAVE FIRM CONTROL
OF EVERY BRANCH OF STATE
GOVERNMENT FOR THE FIRST TIME IN
MORE THAN HALF A CENTURY.
IN NEW YORK, AT LEAST, A BLUE
WAVE WAS VERY REAL.
SO NOW WHAT?
CAN WE EXPECT THE LONG LIST OF
PROGRESSIVE BILLS COMING OUT OF
ALBANY RIGHT AWAY OR WILL
GOVERNOR CUOMO PUT THE BRAKES ON
HIS FELLOW DEMOCRATS?
AND FOR REPUBLICANS, WHERE DO
THEY GO FROM HERE, HOW THAT I DO
MOVE FORWARD AFTER A SERIES OF
MASSIVE LOSSES UP AND DOWN THE
BALLOT?
JOINING ME NOW WITH SOME ANSWERS
IS CITY AND STATE
EDITOR-IN-CHIEF JONATHAN LENZ.
WELCOME BACK TO THE PROGRAM.
>> GLAD TO BE HERE.
>> LET'S START OFF WITH THE
STATE GOP.
NOW WHAT SEEMS LIKE A BIG
QUESTION.
>> YEAH, WELL, TWO OF THE THINGS
TO WATCH NOW IS THE LEADERSHIP.
ED KOCH, EVERYONE CALLS FOR HIM
TO BE REMOVED.
HE SAYS HE'LL STAY ON.
AND ALSO THE STATE SENATE
REPUBLICAN LEADER JOHN FLANAGAN.
HE HAD TERRIBLE LOSSES ON
ELECTION DAY.
THERE HAVE BEEN CALLS FOR HIM TO
STEP ASIDE.
UNCLEAR IF THAT'LL HAPPEN.
ONE THING TO KEEP IN MIND IF HE
STAYS ON IN THE CONFERENCE,
DOESN'T EVEN RESIGN FROM THE
LEGISLATURE, WHICH HE'D BE MORE
INCLINED TO DO IF HE STAYS THE
LEADER THAT'S ONE MORE LONG
ISLAND SEAT THAT REPUBLICANS
CAN'T AFFORD TO LOSE.
THEY ALREADY LOST I THINK SIX
OUT OF THE NINE SEATS.
>> YES.
THAT'S TRUE.
SO ONE OF THE PROBLEMS THAT I
UNDERSTAND WAS THAT THEY WERE
HAVING A VERY DIFFICULT TIME
DIFFERENTIATING THEMSELVES FROM
THE PRESIDENT RIGHT NOW.
THAT SO MANY PEOPLE WERE TYING
ALL REPUBLICANS ACROSS THE BOARD
TO THE PRESIDENT AND SOME PEOPLE
WERE SAYING THAT'S WHERE THE
HEAVY LOSSES WERE COMING FROM.
>> YEAH.
I THINK THAT WAS ACTUALLY A
FAIRLY EFFECTIVE STRATEGY OF
DEMOCRATS TO TIE REPUBLICANS TO
THE PRESIDENT.
AND TO THAT POINT, YOU KNOW,
REALLY HOW RESPONSIBLE IS ED
KOCH WHO LEADS THE STATE
REPUBLICANS, HOW RESPONSIBLE IS
FLANAGAN WHO LEADS THE SENATE
REPUBLICANS?
THEY DID THE BEST THEY COULD IN
A YEAR LIKE THIS AND IT WON'T
GET ANY EASIER.
TWO YEARS FROM NOW, IT WILL BE A
PRESIDENTIAL YEAR.
THAT'S TYPICALLY WHERE DEMOCRATS
HAVE DONE WELL IN NEW YORK.
SO THE IDEA THAT, YOU KNOW,
MAYBE REPUBLICANS COULD WIN A
FEW SEATS BACK IT WILL BE A
REALLY TOUGH LANDSCAPE FOR THEM
2020.
>> WELL, SPEAKING OF DEMOCRATS,
THEY NOW CONTROL AS I SAID ALL
OF THE BRANCHES OF STATE
GOVERNMENT.
SO I GUESS A LIBERAL MIGHT SAY
HOW ARE THEY GOING TO SCREW THIS
UP?
>> WELL, THEY HAVE DONE IT
BEFORE.
>> EXACTLY.
>> YEAH.
AFTER THE 2008 ELECTION, OBAMA
WAVE THAT BROUGHT IN A
DEMOCRATIC MAJORITY IN THE STATE
SENATE.
THEY DID SOME THINGS THAT WAS
WIDELY SEEN AS FOCUSING ON NEW
YORK CITY.
BENEFITING NEW YORK CITY.
THAT'S SOMETHING THAT YOU HEARD
ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL AS WELL.
REPUBLICANS WERE SAYING THAT
DEMOCRATS, IF THEY WIN THE
SENATE THEY'LL JUST HELP BILL de
BLASIO, NEW YORK CITY'S LIBERAL
MAYOR.
THAT TIME AROUND ONE THING THEY
DID WAS THIS MTA PAYROLL TAX
THAT WAS VERY CONTROVERSIAL.
SOMETHING SUBURBAN LAWMAKERS AND
THEIR CONSTITUENTS REALLY
OPPOSED.
TWO LONG ISLAND DEMOCRATS IN THE
STATE SENATE SUBSEQUENTLY LOST.
LARGELY ATTRIBUTED TO THAT.
THERE WAS ALSO A LOT OF CHAOS IN
THOSE YEARS.
>> BUT YOU MENTIONED THE MTA.
I KNOW THAT'S SOMETHING THAT A
LOT OF PEOPLE IN THE CITY ARE
PUTTING A LOT OF PRESSURE ON
ALBANY FOR.
WE EVEN SAW CYNTHIA NIXON HER
WHOLE CAMPAIGN FOR GOVERNOR WAS
ABOUT THE MISFUNCTION OF THE
MTA.
HOW DO THEY ADDRESS THIS?
>> THE FIRST THING IS CONGESTION
PRICING.
WE HEARD THAT DEBATE LAST YEAR.
DIDN'T GET DONE.
THE GOVERNOR HAS SAID THAT
CONGESTION PRICING HAS TO GET
DONE.
IT'S REALLY THE ONLY WAY YOU CAN
ADDRESS THE CRISIS IN THE MTA,
THE SUBWAYS.
AND IF THE GOVERNOR WANTS IT
DONE THERE'S A GOOD CHANCE IT
WILL GET DONE.
THAT'S REALLY THE PERSON TO
WATCH THE MOST HERE.
SO THE QUESTION IS HOW WILL
DIFFERENT PARTIES BENEFIT FROM
THAT OR LOSE FROM THAT?
WILL SUBURBAN COMMUTERS DRIVING
INTO MANHATTAN BE UNHAPPY ABOUT
THAT, COULD THAT HURT SOME
DEMOCRATIC LAWMAKERS, IT MIGHT.
SO THEY HAVE TO BALANCE IT OUT
AND TRY TO MAKE IT SO IT DOESN'T
SEEM TO BE BENEFITING NEW YORK
CITY THAT'S NOT THE ONLY THING.
THAT'S NOT EVEN GOING TO BRING
ENOUGH MONEY TO FIX THE SUBWAYS.
YOU HAVE TO DO SOMETHING IN
ADDITION TO THAT BILL de BLASIO
WANTS A MILLIONAIRE'S TAX.
WILL THAT HAPPEN?
THAT SEEMS EVEN MORE OF A LIFT.
>> OKAY.
>> BUT OTHER -- ANY OTHER KIND
OF PROGRESSIVE LAWS THAT WE
COULD SEE OR LEGISLATION THAT WE
COULD SEE COMING OUT OF ALBANY
THAT WE MIGHT SEE HAPPENING
SOON?
>> WELL, TYING THAT INTO THE
PREVIOUS POINT I THINK IT REALLY
TIES TO WHAT IS GOING TO COST
MORE.
WHAT IS GOING TO ADD MORE TO THE
BUDGET.
WHAT IS GOING TO RAISE TAXES
POTENTIALLY?
THEY'LL TRY TO AVOID THOSE
THINGS.
AT LEAST THE GOVERNOR WILL TRY
TO AVOID THOSE THINGS.
GUN CONTROL, WE HAVE SEEN
SHOOTINGS LATELY.
THE GOVERNOR SAID WE NEED
STRONGER GUN CONTROL REGULATIONS
IN THE STATE.
ROE V. WADE THERE'S A LOT OF
TALK IN THE SUPREME COURT.
THE GOVERNOR SAID WE'RE GOING TO
PUT IN IN THE STATE LAW SO IF
THE NATION OVERTURNS THIS THIS
IS IN PLACE.
>> I'M GUESSING THAT'S THE LOW
HANGING FRUIT.
>> CORRECT.
>> ANY OTHER LEGISLATION WE
MIGHT SEE?
WE SAW PEOPLE WHO GOT INTO STATE
GOVERNOR WHO RAN ON A MUCH MORE
PROGRESSIVE PLATFORM.
I'M WONDERING IF THERE'S ANY
KIND OF LEGISLATION THEY MIGHT
PUT FORWARD THAT WE MIGHT SEE
GOVERNOR CUOMO PUSH BACK ON AND
SAY NO?
>> TWO THINGS, REGULATION.
YOU SAW THE MORE PROGRESSIVE
CANDIDATES PUSHING FOR
STRENGTHENING REGULATIONS.
THE HISTORY HAS BEEN EVERY FOUR
YEARS THIS LAW LAPSES.
YOU HAVE TO RENEW IT.
AND THEY HAVE STEADILY ERODED
SOME OF THE PROTECTIONS FOR
TENANTS, MADE IT EASIER FOR
LANDLORDS TO GET TENANTS OUT OF
RENT REGULATION.
YOU CAN SEE EFFORTS GOING THE
OTHER WAY.
THE GOVERNOR WHO KNOWS HOW FAR
HE'LL WANT TO GO ON THAT.
THE DREAM ACT.
THAT'S ANOTHER BIG PUSH TO HELP
UNDOCUMENTED IMMIGRANTS IN NEW
YORK.
WHETHER THAT HAPPENS IS UNCLEAR.
>> SO I WANT TO THANK YOU AGAIN
FOR GIVING US A BETTER VIEW ON
HOW ALBANY WORKS FOR US.
>> THANK YOU.

Funders

MetroFocus is made possible by James and Merryl Tisch, Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, the Sylvia A. and Simon B. Poyta Programming Endowment to Fight Anti-Semitism, Bernard and Irene Schwartz, Rosalind P. Walter, Barbara Hope Zuckerberg, Jody and John Arnhold, the Cheryl and Philip Milstein Family, Janet Prindle Seidler, Judy and Josh Weston and the Dr. Robert C. and Tina Sohn Foundation.

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