First things first: Election Day for our local elections is right around the corner -- this coming Tuesday, Nov. 5th. Wherever you are, please remember to vote!
Second, I wanted to pass along the following article by New York Times columnist Michael Powell, detailing the pay-to-play reality in Albany. The bill that serves the focus for Powell's article is a pet peeve of mine -- it would dramatically increase (by more than 200%!) the amount of money the state gives to a small group of cigarette wholesalers for putting tax payment stamps on packages of cigarettes. Please, read the article to learn more about this story -- and, if it's not tooting my horn too much, my role in at least temporarily killing this bad bill. It's a fascinating -- if terrifying -- look at how business sometimes runs in the state legislature.
But there's good news too -- through my No Bad Apples PAC last year, many of you helped me support a number of good-government Democrats by providing early technical assistance (as well as maximum direct donations) through the PAC. And it worked! My new colleagues CeCe Tkaczyk from the Capital Region, George Latimer from Westchester, and Ted O'Brien from Rochester were all elected with No Bad Apples support, and while our limited resources didn't allow us to formally endorse Terry Gipson, we were talking with him throughout the entire 2012 cycle and were thrilled when he won, too! All four of them have been exemplary senators and are working hard to put our state government back on the right track.
We're not there yet -- there's a ton of work left to do if we're going to replace the bad apples and reform New York State government. But with your help, I am making progress -- so please, stay tuned, because after the mayoral election is over and Bill de Blasio is the mayor-elect, I'm going to get back to work doing what we did so well in 2012 with No Bad Apples: finding, supporting, and electing pro-reform Democrats.