LOCAL POLITICS

Mayor Corey Johnson? The City Council Speaker has started to explore a bid to helm the city. We have the breaking news. Governor Cuomo goes on the offensive against Congressman Lee Zeldin’s criticism of tuition assistance for the undocumented, while members of the Catholic Church call for Governor Cuomo’s  excommunication over his stance on abortion. We have the latest.

Aired on January 28, 2019. 

TRANSCRIPT

I DON'T WANT TO SOUND HOKIE OR CORNY OR SACCHARINE, BUT I THOUGHT I WANT TO MAKE THE WORLD A BETTER PLACE, AND THERE ARE MANY WAYS TO MAKE THE WORLD A BETTER PLACE.

BUT I THOUGHT ONE OF THE WAYS I WANT TO DO THAT IS BY RUNNING FOR OFFICE AND TRYING TO HAVE A REAL IMPACT ON PUBLIC POLICY IN THE CITY THAT I LOVE.

GOOD EVENING AND WELCOME TO 'METROFOCUS.'

I'M JENNA FLANAGAN.

NEW YORK CITY TOWN SPEAKER COREY JOHNSON HAS SET HIS SIGHTS ON GRACIE MANSION.

MAYBE.

JOHNSON, AT 36, IS VERY MUCH A RISING STAR IN NEW YORK CITY POLITICS, AND HE MADE HIS ANNOUNCEMENT THIS MORNING BY TWEETING, QUOTE, IT'S A BIG DECISION, BUT I'M THINKING OF A PEOPLE-POWERED MAYORAL RUN.

JOHNSON IS VOWING TO BASE HIS FUNDRAISING ON SMALL DONATIONS ONLY, PLEDGING NOT TO TAKE ANY MONEY FROM REAL ESTATE DEVELOPERS, LOBBYISTS, OR CORPORATE POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEES, AND HE SAYS HE WILL NOT ACCEPT MORE THAN $250 FROM INDIVIDUALS IN TOTAL.

WHEN AND IF HE DOES FORMALLY ANNOUNCE HIS CANDIDACY, JOHNSON IS LIKELY TO ENTER A LARGE DEMOCRATIC FIELD IN 2021, WHEN MAYOR DE BLASIO'S SECOND AND FINAL TERM RUNS OUT.

HERE WITH ANALYSIS ON THIS BREAKING DEVELOPMENT, AS WELL AS THE RUNDOWN OF THE TOP POLITICAL STORIES IN OUR STATE IS CITY AND STATE EDITOR-IN-CHIEF JONATHAN LENS.

WELCOME BACK TO THE PROGRAM.

GOOD TO BE HERE.

LET'S START WITH COREY JOHNSON.

HE MADE THIS ANNOUNCEMENT THAT HAS EVERYONE ABUZZ ON TWITTER.

IT'S NOT SURPRISING.

HE HAS REALLY BECOME A PROFILE POLITICAL FIGURE.

HE BECAME THE COUNCIL SPEAKER.

HE HAD LED THE COUNCIL A LITTLE MORE INDEPENDENT FROM THE MAYOR, AND ALSO HE IS REALLY CHARISMATIC.

HE IS SOMEONE WE'VE KNOWN SO WELL, BUT I THINK HAS COME INTO HIS OWN WHEREAS THE OTHER CONTENDERS, AGAIN, I THINK THEY'VE BEEN POSITIONING THEMSELVES FOR A MAYORAL RUN FOR A LONGER PERIOD.

THIS SEEMS KIND OF EARLY FOR THE MAYORAL RUN.

THIS TOO EARLY, OR IS THIS SOMETHING ELSE?

AGAIN, WITH JOHNSON IN PARTICULAR, HE REALLY SET THE PLAYBOOK WITH HIS RUN FOR COUNCIL SPEAKER.

HE STARTED VERY EARLY, YEARS IN ADVANCE.

BEGAN WORKING WITH DIFFERENT MEMBERS, WORKING WITH SUPPORT, WORKING WITH OUTSIDE INTEREST GROUPS AND SUCCEEDED.

BECAME THE COUNCIL SPEAKER.

ALL RIGHT.

WE'LL BE WATCHING THAT RACE AS IT DEVELOPS WITH APPARENTLY MORE CONTENDERS.

BUT MOVING ON, I DO WANT TO GO FROM THE CITY TO THE CONGRESS, AND WE'VE SEEN A LOT OF CRITICISM AT NEW YORK'S FIRST CONGRESSIONAL REPRESENTATIVE, LEE ZELDIN FOR SOME TWITTER COMMENTS HE MADE ABOUT THE RECENT PASSAGE OF AN IMMIGRATION BILL TO GIVE IT WAS I BELIEVE UNDOCUMENTED YOUNGSTERS THE ABILITY TO GO TO COLLEGE.

SURE, RIGHT.

THE NEW YORK STATE DREAM ACT.

NOT TO BE CONFUSED WITH THE FEDERAL DREAM ACT AND THE PATH TO CITIZENSHIP, BUT WHEN THAT BILL STARTED STALLING SIX, SEVEN YEARS AGO, NEW YORK CAME UP WITH THIS OTHER PROPOSAL, LOOK, WE'RE GOING TO DO WHAT WE CAN.

WE'RE GOING TO OFFER FINANCIAL AID FOR THESE YOUNG UNDOCUMENTED IMMIGRANTS.

DIDN'T GO ANYWHERE THE STATE REPUBLICAN SENATE.

BUT NOW WITH DEMOCRATS CONTROLLING BOTH HOUSES, THAT'S GONE FORWARD.

ZELDIN WAS IN THE STATE NAT FOR SOME TIME.

HE WAS REALLY ON THE FRONT LINES TRYING TO BLOCK THAT NEGOTIATION.

IT'S ALSO INTERESTING TO KNOW IN THE LAST MIDTERM ELECTION, YOU SAW SOME REPUBLICAN INCUMBENTS IN NEW YORK LOSE THEIR SEATS.

ZELDIN HIMSELF HAD A TOUGH CHALLENGE, ONLY GOT 52% OF THE VOTE.

SO IT WILL BE INTERESTING TO SEE WITH THINGS LIKE THIS.

HE IS REALLY NOT DISTANCING HIMSELF FROM TRUMP.

HE IS EMBRACING TRUMP.

IT MIGHT WORK FOR HIM IN HIS COMMUNITY ON LONG ISLAND, MS-13 HAS BEEN A REALLY BIG ISSUE, THE VIOLENCE FROM THIS GANG, THIS CENTRAL AMERICAN GANG.

AND THAT SEEMS TO BE WORKING FOR HIM.

AGAIN, OF COURSE, IT'S A LOT OF OPPOSITION TO WHAT HE'S SAYING, THAT HE'S TOO ANTI-IMMIGRANT.

SPEAKING OF CONTROVERSY, I WANT TO MOVE BECOME TO ALBANY, AND WITH THE GOVERNOR.

THE PASSAGE OF THE VICTIMS RIGHTS ACT, I BELIEVE THAT'S WHAT IT IS, THE CHILD VICTIM?

THE CHILD VICTIM'S ACT.

CHILD VICTIM'S ACT.

THANK YOU.

HAS GOTTEN SOME CRITICISM FROM A LOT OF GROUPS, THE CATHOLIC CHURCH BEING ONE OF THEM.

AND IN ADDITION TO THAT, THERE IS SOME OTHER LEGISLATION THAT THE LEGISLATURE HAS PASSED THAT THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IS NOT TOO HAPPY ABOUT.

THERE IS MAJOR PIECE OF LEGISLATION EXPANDING PROTECTION OF ABORTIONS IN NEW YORK.

MORE OR LESS, IT WOULD CODIFY ROE V. WADE.

THERE HAS BEEN INCREASING CONCERN THAT THAT COULD BE OVERTURNED WITH THE CHANGING MAKEUP THERE.

AND SO THIS WENT THROUGH.

AGAIN, OBVIOUSLY THAT'S SOMETHING THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IS NOT SUPPORTIVE OF.

THE CHILD VICTIM'S ACT IS PENDING AS WELL.

SOMEBODY SUGGESTED THEY SHOULD EX-COMMUNICATE GOVERNOR CUOMO.

HE IS A CATHOLIC, RAISED CATHOLIC, HIS FATHER WAS CATHOLIC, HAD A FAMOUS SPEECH ABOUT HIS CATHOLICISM.

THE ARCHBISHOP OF NEW YORK HAS INDICATED LOOK, THAT'S NOT TOO FAR.

WE'RE NOT GOING TO GO TO THAT DISTANCE TO ACTUALLY EX-COMMUNICATE SOMEONE.

THERE WAS LEGISLATION THAT WAS INTRODUCED THAT WILL PREVENT TEACHERS FROM BRINGING GUNS INTO SCHOOLS.

A LOT OF PEOPLE HAVE SAID THAT THAT IS A REALLY GOOD WAY TO PREVENT SCHOOL VIOLENCE WHERE.

DOES THIS LEGISLATION COME FROM?

THE GOVERNOR FOR A LONG TIME HAS BEEN A PROPONENT OF STRICTER GUN CONTROLS.

HE PASSED THE SAFE ACT EARLY ON IN HIS TERM IN RESPONSE TO ONE OF THE MAJOR SHOOTINGS, SANDY HOOK.

THIS HAS COME IN RESPONSE TO SOME OTHER SHOOTINGS, AND, YES, THAT'S ONE OF THE KEY THINGS, NOT ALLOWING TEACHERS TO HAVE GUNS IN SCHOOL.

OBVIOUSLY THE PRESIDENT AND THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION HAVE INDICATED MAYBE THIS IS THE WAY TO GO, ACTUALLY WE SHOULD ARM OUR TEACHERS AND ARM STAFF.

THE GOVERNOR SAYING NO.

A COUPLE OF OTHER THINGS TIED IN THERE, BANNING BUMP STOCKS.

THESE WERE THE DEVICES USED IN THAT LAS VEGAS TRAGIC SHOOTING, AND THEN THE RED FLAG BILL THAT WOULD ALLOW SOMEONE, A FAMILY MEMBER OR SOME OF THE SCHOOLS, IF THEY SEE SOMEONE WHOSE INDICATING BEHAVIOR THAT MIGHT LEAD TO A MASS SHOOTING LIKE THIS, YOU CAN GET A COURT ORDER AND PREVENT THAT PERSON FROM GETTING A GUN.

AGAIN, WITH THESE DEMOCRATIC MAJORITIES IN THE STATE LEGISLATURE, IT LOOKS LIKE THAT WILL GO FORWARD.

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR JOINING US AGAIN.

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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