Archive for the tag 'nicole malliotakis'

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Lawmakers in Albany aren’t subjected to term limits and the Conservative Party wants to change that. The Brooklyn Daily Eagle is reporting that Conservative Party chairman Mike Long is pushing an effort to bring term limits to the New York State Senate, Assembly and governor posts.

The call to ask legislators to limit the amount of time they can serve in office is a tough sell. Besides the power and prestige that comes with being a New York State lawmaker, entrenched senators and assemblymembers make $79,500 a year plus a per diem ($171 per full day, $61 per half day). Governors get $170,050 plus a mansion. Combined with access to taxpayer funded healthcare benefits, that is a decent chunk of change. Oh, and did we mention, it’s the legislators who have to write their term limits into law?

Still, party leaders like Long believe it is an effective way to weed out corruption and keep politicians more focused.

“We hear a lot of talk about fixing Albany and about getting rid of the corruption. But nothing they’re doing is going to address the problem,” Long told the Daily Eagle. “If legislators knew they only had a limited time to serve, they would concentrate on getting things done for the benefit of New Yorkers, instead of putting all of their focus into getting re-elected.”

Long’s plan would call for limiting the governor to two terms (eight years) and a maximum of 12 years for Assembly and Senate members (six terms). Long acknowledged that the effort to install term limits would not be popular with the lawmakers themselves and he is considering other options, even if that means ending the careers of some of the most powerful members that his party has endorsed:

Long knows that his party is facing an uphill battle on the term limits front. “It’s pretty hard to get legislators to term limit themselves,” he said. If appealing to the lawmakers’ consciences doesn’t work, the Conservatives will consider pushing for a public referendum to be put on the ballot, similar to how the term limits law was passed in New York City.

Long said he is also aware that the entire legislator would be painted with the same broad term limits brush. If it passed, lawmakers the party has endorsed, like state Sen. Marty Golden (R-C-Bay Ridge-southern Brooklyn) and Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis (R-C-Bay Ridge-Staten Island) would be term limited. “It would apply to everyone,” he said.

Assemblyman Peter Abbate (D), who has served the Bensonhurst for 26 years, came out against Long’s plan.

“The people should make the decision. Look at the mess term limits have caused in the city,” Abbate told the Daily Eagle. “You have people trying to move up to higher offices because they know they can’t run for re-election. And you have people running for office who are not ready. They’re running just because the seat is open,” he said.

Personally, I think term limits are a good idea considering the general sorry state of the country’s campaign finance laws. Politicians, desperate to to get reelected season after season, sell their judgement and their votes to keep their campaign chests filled. This never ending cycle is ultimately unethical, turning the most senior lawmakers into jaded hypocritical husks all while tainting the democratic process, opening doors to graft and corruption.

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Tomorrow, the board of the MTA will cast their votes on raising tolls on the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge to a whopping $15 – and local pols are fuming.

State Senator Marty Golden, Congressman Michael Grimm and Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis issued a joint statement to the board and its chairman, Joe Lhota, urging them to kill the proposal and grant Brooklynites and Staten Islanders a measure of economic relief.

The statement follows a letter sent by the trio on December 13. In it, they wrote:

This proposal will hit the pockets of all New Yorkers who traverse the Verrazano Bridge for the purposes of work, shopping, medical care, family visits, and more. It is just unacceptable that the most expensive bridge in the world, already at $13, has the potential to become more expensive.

… In these difficult economic times, the last thing New Yorkers need is the burden of additional travel expenses. The proposal now before the MTA will further strain the budgets of millions of New York’s families and cause a loss of revenue for countless businesses. This proposal is not only misguided, it is something New Yorkers are not willing to accept.

The current proposal calls for raising the toll $2, from $13 to $15. The increase would be $1.06 for those with E-Z Pass.

The three Republican legislators are not alone. Last month, Democratic Councilman Vincent Gentile stood before the board at its November 28 hearing and blasted the plan. He also demanded that the MTA extend the discount they give to Staten Island residents to Brooklyn residents as well.

Source: Alistair McMillan via Wikimedia Commons

The Metropolitan Transit Authority released a proposal outlining options pertaining to the fare hike that is due to take effect in March of 2013. The MTA is looking at combinations of hikes for the single ride cost, weekly cards, monthly cards and so on.

The proposal for fare increases is meant to generate an extra $277 million.

“Costs that the MTA does not exercise control over, namely those for debt service, pensions, energy, paratransit, and employee and retiree health care, continue to increase beyond the rate of inflation,” said MTA Chairman and CEO Joseph Lhota in a release. “We are grappling with long-term measures to reduce these frustrating and difficult non-discretionary expenses, but today, they are the drivers of the need for a fare and toll increase.”

The first proposal, which the MTA labeled Proposal 1A, states that the regular subway and bus fare would increase to $2.50 from $2.25 while the weekly card would increase to $30 from $29 and the unlimited would be $112 instead of $104.

The second option, or 1B, would increase the base fare to $2.50, the bonus for riders who put $10 on their cards would be eliminated, the 30-day card would cost $109 and the weekly card would remain the same price.

With the third proposal, known as 2A, the base fare stays at $2.25, the bonus fare sees a five percent deduction, the seven day jumps to $34 and the monthly card jumps to a soaring $125.

The fourth choice, 2B, keeps the base fare the same as well, takes away the bonus amount riders receive when they put $10 on their cards, 30-days rise to $119 and weekly cards to $119.

Further, the MTA will tack on a $1 fee for new cards in an effort to encourage the recycling of used cards by riders.

The proposal announcement made by the MTA is in conjunction with several public hearings that will take place all over the city. The public hearing scheduled for Brooklyn is set for November 7 at the New York Marriott at the Brooklyn Bridge at 333 Adams Street, from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. The MTA board expects to vote on the proposal hike on December 19.

“Here they go again,” wrote Senator Marty Golden in a statement following the announcement. “In the environment of a struggling economy, when many New Yorkers are out of work, the Metropolitan Transit Authority is wrongfully looking to dig deeper into the pockets of straphangers and motorists. I adamantly oppose attempts to increase the cost of MetroCards, the express bus fare and the base toll for the Verrazano Bridge at this time. This is unacceptable – we are already asked to pay too much.”

The Long Island Rail Road, Metro-North and MTA bridges, like the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge and the Marine Parkway‐Gil Hodges Memorial Bridge, would also see increases in tolls and tickets.

“The MTA’s recently announced toll and fare increases are nothing short of outrageous.  With over $17 billion committed to the Second Avenue subway tunnel and $8.4 billion to connect the LIRR to Grand Central Terminal, it is clear that Manhattan gets the infrastructure and improvements, while the people of Bay Ridge get the bill.  It’s evident that these megaprojects cannot be afforded,” said Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis in a release. “Bay Ridge residents rely on the Verrazano Bridge and MTA transportation services to commute to work and visit relatives.  The MTA must stop looking at us as a bank account to cover its losses.”

All maps conceived and created by Allan Rosen. Click to enlarge

THE COMMUTE: Last week I criticized the MTA for referring to the proposed service restorations announced last month as “service investments.” Although 17 out of the 32 proposals are restorations and 15 are new services, these numbers are misleading because most of the proposed new services are minor in nature, such as adding overnight service on a route when buses usually operate hourly. On the basis of cost, the vast majority of the proposals are service restorations and only one-third of what was cut is being returned. Further, none of the new services proposed (click on New York City Transit) serves southern Brooklyn.

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Turner, with aides, on his way to the fundraiser.

Republican hopeful Bob Turner came to Sheepshead Bay yesterday seeking support to best Assemblyman David Weprin in the race for the Ninth Congressional District, the seat recently vacated by Anthony Weiner.

In the wake of a surprise cross-party endorsement from former mayor Ed Koch, the 20-or-so attendees – which included Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis, GOP radio personalities Russ Gallo and Gene Berardelli, Brooklyn GOP Vice Chair David Storobin, and Republican district leaders from around the borough - buzzed with excitement in the law offices of Brooklyn GOP Chairman Craig Eaton, located at 1662 Sheepshead Bay Road. The energetic attendees were optimistic about the media mogul’s chances in an increasingly conservative district, opposing someone they characterize as an out-of-district Democratic contender whose campaign stumbled out of the gates.

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Hopefully this will help heal the economy a little bit.

If you’ve ever cogitated on the injustices of people being eligible for free health insurance while living in million dollar mansions and driving an Infiniti G37 Cabrio, as you work two jobs to make ends meet and pay a monthly king’s ransom for health insurance, wonder no more.

State Senator Martin J. Golden and Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis are teaming up later this month to introduce legislation that they hope will rip the carpet out from beneath greedy goons committing Medicaid fraud and abuse, which Malliotakis says are “some of the largest contributing factors to our bloated and inefficient Medicaid system.”

Golden, a member of the Senate Health Committee, explains: “The 2009 New York State Budget included language that repealed the resource asset test for Medicaid eligibility which was instrumental in preventing people from hiding their resources. Since we have eliminated this step in the screening process, we have heard of more people who have been able to get free health insurance for their families, while living in million dollar homes and driving luxury automobiles.”

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