According to a new Siena College poll out this week, a majority of New York voters don’t think Governor Andrew Cuomo should run for a fourth term.
That said, the governor’s favorability rating was actually up, with 52 percent of voters having a good opinion of Cuomo, while 42 percent say they don’t approve of the job he is doing.
As for the fourth term, blacks and Latino voters were more open to the idea, but 62 percent of voters under 30 didn’t care for the idea, nor did 60 percent of voters between 30 and 54.
Maybe the voting public is starting to realize that career politicians aren’t a good thing for the public, and that shorter terms that don’t allow legislators to get entrenched in the world of lobbyists and backroom deals and politicking might be a good thing.
Too bad that’s not how Cuomo thinks!
The governor has stated that he will run for a fourth term when his current term ends in three years, and he is already hosting top-dollar fundraisers to ensure that he will have the money to hit the campaign trail running when the time comes.
You say it’s your birthday!
Last week, we wrote about some of the more interesting sources of outside income that City Council members were required to disclose recently.
For example, Councilman Carlos Menchaca of Brooklyn made between $1,000 and $5,000 last year thanks to a modeling gig that even his staff didn’t know about, and Councilman Eric Ulrich reported gambling winnings between $5,000 and $48,000.
According to the councilman, he hit a $28,000 jackpot playing the penny slots at Resorts World Casino, which is located in his south Queens district.
But we didn’t write about another interesting disclosure, namely Councilman Ruben Diaz and his “birthday gifts.”
Diaz has been a veritable lightning rod recently. He was accused of being homophobic after stating that the City Council is “controlled by the homosexual community,” and then raised eyebrows when he said that the wouldn’t “rat” out someone for committing sexual harassment.
Now some are starting to question the sizable birthday gifts he reported receiving last year. On his disclosure form, he reported that he received gifts of anywhere between $1,000 and $5,000 from both the New York Hispanic Clergy Organization and the Christian Community Neighborhood Church.
We always appreciate the card we get on our birthday, but have to admit thousands of dollars in cold-hard cash would makes us feel just as good!
The sticky wicket for Diaz is that he is the president of the clergy organization and founded – and still serves as pastor – of the church. In other words, it sure looks like Diaz is paying himself out of the coffers of both organizations.
To boot, Diaz also reported a third “birthday gift” the last two years from Shalom Christian Church, which combined came to $10,000.
The “gifts” more than resemble a “salary,” which would violate a 2016 law that prohibits council members from having second jobs.
The 2016 law does provide a waiver for council members to draw a small secondary income as long as it doesn’t interfere with their job and requires a small time commitment, such as a speaking engagement, but they must get approval from City Council lawyers first.
That’s exactly what Menchaca did before his little side hustle in the world of high fashion.
We guess controversy is just all part of a hard day’s work for Diaz.
Most people try to avoid arrest, but Public Advocate Jumaane Williams seems to relish being put in handcuffs.
Williams was arrested again last week during a rally in Albany urging lawmakers to pass a package of rent reform legislation.
In January he was arrested at a rally protesting the deportation of immigrant activist Ravi Ragbir. In 2011, he was arrested at the West Indian Day Parade trying to access a closed sidewalk.
Williams was arrested outside Trump Tower at a protest during the president’s inauguration. In 2010, he was arrested protesting Arizona’s immigration laws, and in 2011 he was arrested protesting school closures.
In 2015, he was arrested outside Governor Andrew Cuomo’s office, also during a rally calling for tighter rent control laws.
Anyway, you get the idea.
One time he wasn’t arrested? While selling pot as a kid on the streets of Brooklyn.
In an op-ed last month, Williams said that he has never smoked marijuana, but he did occasionally sling a dime or nick bag to make a little extra cash.
If he had been arrested for selling weed, Williams points out, he would have never been allowed to run for public office.