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New York politics – from City Hall to Albany

This One Doesn’t Go to 11: No Labels’ Quiet Launch

Sarah Laskow | December 14, 2010

There’s a sound you hear when political ideas take off. It’s a crescendo of applause that swells and lasts so long that the speaker has to quiet it down. It comes exactly at the lines in a speech that are intended to inspire, and sometimes at lines that weren’t. That sound was absent yesterday at…

Fate of 9/11 First Responders Bill Could Hinge on Schumer

Sarah Laskow | December 10, 2010

New York’s representatives in Washington — some of them, at least — have been working for years to win funding for first responders suffering from health issues originating on 9/11. The most recent version of this bill, the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, would allocate more than $7 billion to help treat injuries from toxic…

After Election Season Tumult, New York Braces for Status Quo

Sarah Laskow | December 7, 2010

A month after voting, Election 2010 in New York is almost finished. Over the weekend, the outcomes of the last outstanding races for state Senate seats rolled in, and it became certain that Republicans will control New York’s upper house. Now, the only New York race in which there is no official winner is a…

The Rangel Censure

Sarah Laskow | December 3, 2010

No one likes being scolded. It’s worse when it happens in front of your colleagues, and on C-SPAN, and when the event appears in the papers the next day. The House voted to censure Rep. Charlie Rangel yesterday, which meant he had to stand in front of Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who sounded quite sad, and…

A Very Special Session with David Paterson

Sarah Laskow | December 1, 2010

David Paterson called the state legislature to Albany this week as an act of absolution. “The purpose of this session was as much to clear my conscience as anything else,” he said, after the Senate and the Assembly took a pass on his plan to close the state’s budget gap. If the legislature won’t act…

New York Schools Chancellor: A Brief History

Sarah Laskow | November 24, 2010

Michael Bloomberg is used to getting his way. It’s not clear that he has another candidate in mind to head the city’s school system, now that it’s becoming clear that Cathie Black doesn’t cut it for state education commissioner David Steiner. Steiner said yesterday he would consider granting Black a waiver if Bloomberg would appoint…

Four Loko: Not Your Daddy’s State-Approved Vice

Sarah Laskow | November 19, 2010

There’s a reason why Sen. Chuck Schumer has succeeded in his campaign to ban Four Loko. Those who disapprove of the drink have political clout. Those who like it, don’t. Schumer, Gov. David Paterson, and other lawmakers are ostensibly worried about the danger Four Loko and its ilk pose to society at large, and to…

The Theater of Charlie Rangel: Indignation As Political Stagecraft

Sarah Laskow | November 17, 2010

Charlie Rangel sounded almost sad yesterday, as he lamented the miscarriage of justice in the ethics case against him. “How can anyone have confidence in the decision of the ethics subcommittee when I was deprived of due process rights, right to counsel and was not even in the room?” he said in a statement. That…

Introducing Our New State Room Blogger: Sarah Laskow

staff | November 16, 2010

Starting this week, reporter Sarah Laskow will be THIRTEEN’s new State Room blogger. Sarah will write multiple posts per week in this space, covering New York state and local politics. Sarah is a freelance writer and editor based in New York. Her work has appeared in Capital New York, Politico, The American Prospect, Newsweek.com, and other…