Edward C. Sullivan served in the New York State Assembly from 1977 to 2002.
Wednesday, January 18th, 2012
"Money is the mother's milk of politics," said Jesse Unruh, once the powerful Speaker of the California State Assembly.

And he may be right. Certainly in New York City, the mayoralty of Michael Bloomberg would at least raise questions about the influence of money. In all three of his races for Mayor, Bloomberg chose to disdain the restrictions of the City's Campaign Finance Act, which limits expenditures for mayoral campaigns to $6,158,000. The Mayor spent over $100,000,000 in his campaign for a third term in 2009, and won the race, 51% to 46%, over Bill Thompson, who spent 1/16th what the Mayor spent.

One could guess soundly that if the Mayor had spent only $50,000,000, Thompson might have won the election; one could be certain that if the Mayor had spent the same amount as Thompson, the Mayor would have lost, Thompson would have won.

Cuomo and Bloomberg
Should Be Friends, Whether
They Get Along or Not.
Henry J. Stern is the founder and president of New York Civic.
Friday, January 13th, 2012
While national attention focuses on the Presidential race, now in the early stage in both parties, New Yorkers should remain concerned about how the cosmic plans of aspiring leaders of the Free World will affect our burgeoning metropolis.

The New York political stage now has two performers who are used to governing, rather than to being governed. Both Governor Cuomo and Mayor Bloomberg are men of stature and prestige. It is inevitable that they will come into conflict with each other, on one issue if not on many. If they engage in battle, the most likely result of their failure to get along will be an impasse on a spreading range of issues, which would preclude the full adoption of either official's vision for the future.

Edward C. Sullivan served in the New York State Assembly from 1977 to 2002.
Monday, January 9th, 2012

Q: When is a community not a community?

A: When you are drawing the legislative district lines in New York City.

Elbridge Gerry was an American patriot, who signed the Declaration of Independence in 1776. He pledged his life, his fortune and his sacred honor to the cause. Had the Revolution failed, he would have been hanged.

He signed the Articles of Confederation a few years later, but he refused to sign the United States Constitution because it did not, at that time, contain a Bill of Rights, which he considered essential.

Morgan Pehme is the executive director of New York Civic.
Thursday, January 5th, 2012

Many citizens believe that they could do a better job in government than our elected officials, if only they had the chance to serve. Running for office, however, is an enormously complicated, confusing, and expensive endeavor that often seems inaccessible to anyone not already in the inner circle of politics.

As part of our work as a good government group, New York Civic has spearheaded the creation of “Candidate College”, a free informational Web series designed to teach people of all ages and political affiliations how to make a serious bid for elected office. This ongoing video series, which features many of New York’s most accomplished consultants and experts in the field, aims to provide the public with an honest, educated, and unvarnished view of electoral politics by illuminating the pitfalls that often ensnare first-time candidates. Our ultimate goal is to teach future candidates how to empower their idealism and run clean, aboveboard, effective campaigns, despite all of the obstacles to doing so.

Politics Can Help
Cities to Prosper
If Leaders Are
Honest and Wise
Henry J. Stern is the founder and president of New York Civic.
Wednesday, January 4th, 2012
Fifty years ago today, I was appointed and sworn in as Secretary of the Borough of Manhattan. That elegant title did more than justice to my actual duties, which were those of a staff assistant to the Borough President of Manhattan, at the time Edward R. Dudley.

Judge Dudley had won the Democratic primary for Borough President over Assemblyman Lloyd Dickens in a race that was a sidebar to the city-wide contest for the Mayoralty which followed Mayor Wagner's break with Carmine DeSapio, leader of Tammany Hall, the regular Democratic organization. Mr. Dickens is the father of Inez Dickens, a City Councilmember from Harlem who has been mentioned as a candidate for Council Speaker in 2013.

The Liberal Party, under the leadership of Alex Rose, supported Wagner and was influential in his primary victory. The Democratic county leaders had supported State Comptroller Arthur Levitt, a regular Democrat from Kings County. Dudley ran on Wagner's ticket, which carried Manhattan easily.
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