Monday, February 20, 2012

Keith Wright is Wrong

Editorial: Monday, February 20th, 2012

Manhattan Democratic boss Keith Wright must reveal who are his judicial screeners -- The party’s reform legacy is being eroded

State Assemblyman Keith Wright is picking judges with minimal transparency.Manhattan Democrats have long expressed pride that they picked their judges in a transparent, merit-based process a world apart from the backroom dealings of the other boroughs.

Their chairman, Assemblyman Keith Wright, is trashing the tradition. Since the 1970s, Manhattan Dems subjected all judicial candidates to screening by committees composed of representatives of law school deans, bar associations and lawyers’ groups. Party members got the nod for judgeships only after passing muster as qualified.

To ensure that the bosses could not rig the screening panels by stocking them with insiders, the party published the names of all committee members and the groups that appointed them at the outset. Wright ended that openness. He’s in the process of picking judges for Civil, Surrogate and Supreme Courts without identifying the screeners. What — or who — does he have to hide?

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Jerome Koenig, 1933--2012

Jerome Koenig died Friday, 17th February, 2012.

Jerry was considered by many as the expert and most knowledgeable person on New York State's Election law and the electoral process. He worked for many years for the New York State Assembly Standing Committee on Elections where he re-wrote, revised, and clarified the Election law as we know it today. After retirement from the State Assembly, he worked as a political consultant and currently was the New York State petition co-ordinator for President Obama's re-election campaign.

Jerry suffered a severe heart attack early on the morning of 8th February, and was in hospital since then in the cardiac critical care unit. He is survived by his sister Sandy, brother Howard, and by Mary Geissman, his partner for over forty years. A memorial service will be held at All Souls Unitarian Church, 1157 Lexington Avenue (at E. 80th Str.), Manhattan, on Tuesday, 21st February, 2012, at 3:15 o'clock P.M.

Jerry was very active in Manhattan Reform Democratic politics from the 1960s New Democratic Coalition to today. "Jerry was a person who gave politics a good name," said Henry Stern. This year Koenig was on the N.Y. Obama Committee on Vacancies. There could never be a Committee on Vacancies for Jerry Koenig. Jerome Koenig, dead at the age of 78.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Father of Judge Tisch

Richard Tisch, father of New York City Civil Court Judge Alex Tisch, died at age 75. Funeral service this Sunday, 12th February, 2012, at 10 o'clock A.M. at the Riverside Memorial Chapel, Amsterdam Ave. at W. 75th Str., Manh. Shiva in New Jersey. Condolences may be sent to Judge Tisch at 215 East 95th Street-Apt. 29L, New York, N.Y. 10128.

Early February Selected Events

[Events which request a contribution are indicated by a dollar sign.]


4th February, 2012, Saturday, 5 P.M. until 11 P.M. Brooklyn Museum's First Sat. Night.
IRT subway to Eastern parkway, and you're right there! [Seen last month at First Sat. Night: James d'Auguste with his daughter Jean, Milagros Garcia, and Noah Pfefferblit.]

8th February, 2012. Anniversary of the founding of the Boy Scouts of America in 1910.

10th February, 2012, Friday, 8:15 A.M. City Law breakfast. Michael Armstrong, former Knapp Commission chief counsel speaks on police integrity: Revisiting the Knapp Commission report. New York Law School, 185 West Broadway (betw. Worth & Leonard Sts.). [Best subway: IRT 7th Ave. line local to Franklin Str.]

12th February, 2012 (Honest Abe's birthday anniversary), Sunday, 3 P.M. Village Reform Democratic Club's pot-luck post-holiday party at La Souk, 510 LaGuardia Pl. (betw. Bleecker & Houston Sts.). [Subways: 7th Ave. IRT to Houston (walk E.); 4th Ave. IRT to Bleecker (walk W.); BMT to Prince (walk NW); IND to Spring.]

This information is supplied as a public service, and does not necessarily comprise an endorsement of the identified activity, candidate, charity, club, meeting, organization, or topic. All information is believed to be accurate as of the original publication date of this posting. Errors & omissions excepted.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Elizabeth "Libby" Gardner


You are invited to attend a memorial service this Saturday, 4th February, 2011, at 3 o'clock P.M., for Elizabeth "Libby" Gardner,
who died this past December at the age of ninety.
Amsterdam Nursing Home
1060 Amsterdam Avenue at West 112th Street
Take the elevator to the 12th floor cafeteria.

Libby was active in Manhattan Reform Democratic politics, first with the Riverside Democrats and then upon its demise, in the Three Parks Ind. Democrats. A long-time resident of 280 Riverside Drive, she served as the guiding first president of the 100th Street Block Assn., Inc. During World War II, at age 22, she was one of the pioneering Women Airforce Service Pilots. She is survived by her daughter Eve Remba.

[Copy and paste these U.R.L.s into your browser.]

Now is the winter of our fiscal discontent
made glorious summer by this sun of Mario.
Tele.: (212) 840+12.34

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Federal Judge Moves State's Primary Election to June
By John Caher, The New York Law Journal, 30th January, 2012.

New York State's inability to muster "the political will" to comply with federal law and set a date for non-presidential primaries that does not disenfranchise military personnel has prompted a federal judge to step in. Northern District Judge Gary L. Sharpe acknowledged that the federal courts are normally loathe to interfere in state election schemes. But he said New York's inability to comply left him no choice. "If federally-guaranteed voting rights are to be protected, the court must act," Judge Sharpe said in a Jan. 27, 2012, opinion.

United States vs. New York, 1:10-cv-1214, centers on the Uniformed and Overseas Absentee Voting Act of 1986, which guarantees military families and other citizens living overseas the right "to vote by absentee ballot in general, special, primary and runoff elections for Federal office." With a statutory primary date in early September, absentee ballots for the general election cannot be sent out 45 days before Election Day, as required under the federal law.

Judge Sharpe noted that New York was granted a "hardship waiver" for the 2010 election and promised to transmit ballots by Oct. 1, 2010. But the state is still not in compliance because lawmakers cannot agree on a new primary date. The Assembly wanted a June date, the Senate preferred August.

In his ruling, Judge Sharpe went with the Assembly's preferred date of the fourth Tuesday in June, but made clear that another date would be satisfactory as long as it results in compliance with federal law. "Nothing is more critical to a vibrant society than citizen participation in government through the act of voting," Judge Sharpe wrote. "It is unconscionable to send men and women overseas to preserve our democracy while simultaneously disenfranchising them while they are gone. To some extent, that is precisely what New York has done."
As of this posting, the dates for the 2012 elections are (all, of course, on Tuesdays):
24th April – Presidential Primary
26th June – Federal offices Primary
11th September – State and local offices Primary
6th November - General.