All Articles Tagged "politics"
There seems to be a few rotten apples in New York City politics. The fallout from State Sen. Malcolm Smith’s alleged bribery scandal even touches Big Apple mayoral hopefuls on both sides of the aisle, reports The New York Daily News.
A Democratic state senator from Queens (though he considered a Republican run for mayor himself), Smith is the former majority leader and was the first African American to lead a legislative body in Albany. He was arrested at his home by federal agents on Tuesday, accused of trying to buy the Republican line in New York City’s mayoral race. The bribery scheme involved an attempt to pay off the city’s five county GOP chairmen in order to run for mayor with that party, explains the The Daily Beast.
He wasn’t the only one arrested; several of his alleged confederates, including several Republican county party leaders have also been implicated. The complaint states that Smith told an undercover agent in a meeting at Grand Central Station to “fork over” tens of thousands of dollars to the local Republican power brokers so he could glide his way into City Hall, The Daily Beast continues.
And this isn’t the first time Smith has been accused of wrongdoing. He’s been the subject of a number of federal investigations. And in an unsavory move, Smith joined a small group of “independent Democrats” who crossed party lines to caucus with the Republicans in December, after Democrats won control of the state senate for the first time in 60 years.
“He’s smooth, likable, but to me he seemed like a guy always one step away from being arrested,” said one Democratic operative to the website.
The arrests have tossed questions about “what went wrong back to City Council Speaker Christine Quinn,” says the Daily News. Quinn is running for mayor as a Democrat.
“The arrests have also cast a shadow on Democratic front-runner Christine Quinn, who has tried to clean up scandal-scarred City Council discretionary funding but has now seen four Council members criminally charged for abusing those funds during her time as speaker” writes the paper.
Over on the GOP side nearly every mayoral contender is now under the spotlight, the newspaper adds. The scandal hurts former Metropolitan Transportation Authority Chairman Joe Lhota and grocery magnate John Catsimatidis, who had the other arrested party boss, Queens GOP Vice Chairman Vincent Tabone, on his payroll.
Obviously, this will be one New York City election to remember.
Just as the GOP announced an outreach campaign to minority communities, Oklahoma got its first black Speaker of the House. And he happens to be a Republican.
According to The Daily Caller (via EUR), Tahrohon Wayne Shannon, 34, has taken the coveted post. “He’s not only their first, but youngest ever, and the ‘first African American Republican speaker in the country since Reconstruction,’” the article says, quoting the National Conference of State Legislatures.”
Shannon is a sixth-generation Oklahoman and member of the Chickasaw Nation.
The GOP is a already prepared to parade out Shannon’s success. He was invited to the widely-covered Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), which is one of the places where future Republican presidential candidates are chosen. This year, the conference notoriously shunned New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who was a Republican darling through this most recent election. Many believe he was not invited because of his alliance and praise of President Obama during Hurricane Sandy.
It was during this conference that Speaker Shannon spoke about Oklahoma’s brand of diversity. “In Oklahoma, we’ve got urban areas, rural areas, Native American tribes, oil and gas activity. We’ve got a lot of opinions and ideas,” The Daily Caller reports.
Do you think Shannon will help the GOP’s efforts to attract more African Americans to the party?
It wasn’t that long ago with Susan Rice was under fire. News reports were filled with negative comments from conservatives who bombarded the UN ambassador over her inability to fully answer questions related to the tragedy that resulted in the deaths of an American official and three others in Benghazi, Libya. She was ultimately pushed out of contention for the Secretary Of State job. It was a humiliating turn of events.
Now according to Keli Goff in her blog for The Root, Rice is making a comeback. The ambassador is said to be the Obama administration’s front-runner for national security adviser.
Since the national security adviser is not an official cabinet post, it does not require Senate confirmation. Yet, as Goff points out, “the post is one of the most influential within a presidential administration in terms of shaping high-level foreign policy.”
Take a look at past national security advisers; Condoleezza Rice (no relation), for example, used the role as a stepping-stone to secretary of state under George W. Bush.
Susan Rice would be only the second woman to serve in the position.
If all goes as rumored Rice’s appointment could also help President Obama. “His administration has struggled with criticism regarding the lack of gender and racial diversity among both his cabinet and high-level advisers,” blogs Goff.
Gov. Chris Christie paid a visit to St. Luke’s Baptist church in Paterson, NJ yesterday, speaking to 700 constituents to make his bid for re-election. Paterson is largely Democratic and one-third African American. In 2009, 85 percent of the voters in that city placed their ballots for then-Democratic Gov. Jon Corzine.
“The purpose of spending this time together is that it gets harder to hate up close,” Gov. Christie said during his remarks. “It becomes harder to storm away without making a deal.”
Gov. Christie is running against Democratic state Senator Barbara Buono, who’s getting 56 percent of the non-white vote in the state, according to Buzzfeed.
After getting beaten badly in the presidential election last year, Republicans are making a concerted effort to reach non-white voters around the country. The question is whether the damage has already been done. Can the Republican party make inroads with the black community, and among other groups, in its current state? Particularly when its past is coming back to haunt them. The bartender who captured secret video of then-presidential candidate Mitt Romney making his infamous “47 percent” has come forward to talk about why he recorded the footage and released it. He said, according to another CBS report, he brought the camera because at a previous event, President Bill Clinton made a point to meet the catering staff. The bartender had hoped Mitt Romney would do the same. When he heard what Romney said, he thought it was his “civic duty” to release it to the media.
About a month ago, the Republican National Committee announced a series of “listening sessions” would be taking place in which the party would to get to know African Americans. This week, the RNC chairman, Reince Priebus, turned up in East New York, Brooklyn’s Christian Cultural Center to hear from 20 black Republican activists. These meetings have also taken place in Texas, Georgia, Colorado, California, and Washington DC, according to CBS.
“Today is about listening and today is a start. I’m not coming here with all of the answers but I am coming here with an open heart and an open mind and a serious drive,” Priebus said. He also said that a goal would be to support candidates on the local level.
We’ve got footage of Gov. Chris Christie speaking below. So will this drive African Americans to vote Republican?
Malik Obama, half brother to United States President Barack Obama has entered the runnings as governor in Kenya’s nationwide elections. While he’s unsure what sort of impact his blood relation to America’s first Black president will have on his campaign, he insists that he is his own man, the Associated Press reports.
“I’m going into it as Malik Obama. I can’t run away from my name and association with my brother, but I have the feeling that people somewhat want to see who the brother of Obama is,” the president’s half brother said during a phone interview with the AP.
Malik Obama’s campaign promises even appear to somewhat echo those expressed in his brother’s 2008 campaign. He is rallying for change.
“I hope that you all out there will support me and vote for me for this important position so that we can bring change to the county of Siaya,” 54-year-old Obama said recently while campaigning.
This is Obama’s first time running for political office and he is campaigning as an independent candidate for position as the first governor in Kenya’s western county of Siaya. His competitors are said to be part of well-funded political parties.
Kenyans will cast their votes today for regional offices. It is their first nationwide election since 2007. The country’s newly implemented constitution created 47 political divisions, referred to as counties, which will all be run by governors.
Siaya’s hopeful governor, Malik Obama and U.S. President, Barack Obama share the same father, but have different mothers. President Obama is also reported to have several other relatives residing in Kenya.
Barbara Charline Jordan is not your typical African-American historical household name, like Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Park. But her contributions to the Civil Rights movement and the Senate in the Deep South could not have had more impact in the mid-20th century. As the first African-American elected to the Senate in the state of Texas and the first Southern African-American female to be elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, Barbara Jordan paved a way for African-American women to gain recognition and respect in the government sector.
Born in Texas on February 21, 1936, Barbara’s early life consisted of putting education first. An honor student throughout grade school, Barbara, the daughter of a Tuskegee graduate Baptist preacher and public speaker, went on to attend college at Texas Southern University to earn a B.A. in Political Science, ultimately graduating with honors in 1956. Texas Southern also afforded Jordan the opportunity to join the Delta Sigma Theta sorority and to become a national champion debater, defeating Ivy League universities Yale and Brown. From there, Jordan went on to Boston University’s School of Law. After teaching for a year, Barbara returned to Texas to pass the bar in 1960 and began her career as a lawyer, starting her own private practice while working as a judiciary administrative assistant.
Working on the John F. Kennedy’s presidential campaign in 1960 would be the beginning of Jordan’s political career journey, where she managed a highly effective get-out-the-vote campaigns in some of Texas’ most popular African-American wards. After her experience campaigning for the future U.S. President, Jordan decided to campaign for the Texas House of Representatives, failing to be elected twice in 1962 and 1964. But these losses did not sway her motivation to be a political figure in Texas. In 1966, Jordan won a seat on the Texas Senate dominated by 30 male white counterparts, becoming the first African-American female to do so. In her Senate seat, Jordan campaigned for statewide minimum wage laws, anti-discrimination laws in business contracts, and many other monumental legislation.
In 1972, Jordan became the first woman to represent the state of Texas when she was elected to Congress, a push from President Lyndon B. Johnson personally. From there, Jordan’s political career became one of the few African-American female notable political careers, becoming a member of the Democratic Steering and Policy Committee and the first African-American woman to give a keynote address at the Democratic National Convention in 1976.
After a great political career, Barbara Jordan retired at the end of the 1970s and became an adjunct professor at the University of Texas at Austin, and continued to advocate for legislation, including being a huge supporter for immigration reform, until her death in 1996.
Jordan’s accomplishments and historical political career has paved the way for African-American females in the world of politics, including Texas Congress member Sheila Jackson Lee and countless other women of color. Acknowledging her feats of motivation, determination and advocacy, Barbara Jordan was truly a woman of her political word, who words from her historical Democratic National Convention keynote address still reign true today:
“A lot of years passed since 1982, and during that time it would have been most unusual for any national political party to ask that a Barbara Jordan deliver a keynote address…but tonight, here I am. And I feel that notwithstanding the past that my presence her is one additional bit of evidence that the American Dream need not forever be deferred.”
We’re highlighting Pioneers in the Game every day here on Madame Noire. Click here to meet all of our salutes.
Happy birthday to Chris Rock who turns 48 today. In honor of one of the funniest, most thought-provoking comedians of our generation, we take a look back at some of Rock’s most memorable and hilarious quotes.
In 2005, Rock snagged the job as host of the Academy Awards ceremony. During the opening monologue and throughout the show, Rock poked fun at many of the famous movie stars that were in attendance and Nicole Kidman wasn’t safe from Rock’s wrath:
“The only acting you ever see at the Oscars is when people act like they’re not mad they lost. Nicole Kidman was smiling so wide, she should have won an Emmy at the Oscars for her great performance. I was like, ‘If you’d done that in the movie, you’d have won an Oscar, girl.’”
Selvena Brooks, a communications specialist for the Service Employees International Union, is running for a vacant seat in the New York City Council’s 31st District. The district covers the city’s Far Rockaway area, which was hit hard by Hurricane Sandy. In fact, Brooks is submitting paperwork to run as a “Rebuild Now” candidate, representing a party that’s focused on the Sandy recovery effort.
The New York Observer‘s Politicker blog quotes a statement from Brooks: “I am asking for people’s support on the Rebuild Now line, because we need strong leadership in not only rebuilding from the devastation of Hurricane Sandy, but also rebuilding our education system, local economy and neighborhoods.”
Brooks is one of a number of candidates running for the position, which became vacant when the previous official, James Sanders, left for the State Senate. A special election is set for February 19.
Parts of New York and the surrounding area are still coping with Sandy’s aftermath, months after the storm hit in October. It was only last week that Congress approved a government flood insurance program that would pay out $9.7 billion to 120,000 victims of the storm. The measure passed overwhelmingly in the House and unanimously in the Senate. One of those who voted against the measure, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), the former Republican Vice Presidential candidate, who said the flood insurance program is “insolvent,” according to Bloomberg.
That vote followed a thorough blasting from fellow politicians, including New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.
A vote for a larger relief package was cancelled on the 1st after fiscal cliff talks were finally resolved. The governors of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut had originally asked for tens of billions of dollars in aid.
There will be another vote on January 15, which would bring the aid total to $60 billion.
We weren’t going to say anything but since Eurweb brought it up, we might as well go there.
TJ Holmes, host of BET’s “Don’t Sleep,” made a surprising appearance on MSNBC Saturday morning as he filled in for Alex Witt on “Weekends with Alex Witt.” He then reappeared in an afternoon shift making us wonder: What’s going on with his relationship at BET?
Now, there are a lot of ways we can go with this (and we might) but let’s just point out that TJ tried to clear up any notions that he was completely done with BET by tweeting:
“To clear this up: last “Don’t Sleep” episode of 2012 was last wk. Look forward to it in 2013. But, u can see me other places, like
So, we know “Don’t Sleep” isn’t coming to an end just yet. But we also know that Holmes wasn’t exactly excited that the show went from a daily 30 minute show to a weekly one hour show. That move may have been exactly what he needed to start exploring other options and “moonlighting” on MSNBC is not a bad place to start. We all know the best relationships start with some sort of a “meeting.”
Holmes also tweeted in regards to his anchor seat position:
So there’s news on Monday, huh?We eagerly await what TJ has to say, if anything, then. The ratings over on BET aren’t great and it is possible that things just aren’t moving in the direction he thought they would.
We see you, TJ…make moves.
Lisa Jackson, the Environmental Protection Agency Administrator for the Obama administration, has announced her resignation, effective next month. Jackson is credited with getting new air pollution limits on the books, the most drastic in 20 years, in fact, according to The Washington Post.
During her four years, Jackson made no friends with Republicans and the coal industry, two groups that objected to her efforts to lower pollution from power plants, limit soot, spoke out against climate change and on behalf of lower income communities that are negatively affected by environmental degradation.
It’s unclear what she’ll do once she officially steps down, though there’s talk of her returning to New Jersey and becoming the president of Princeton University or possibly working as a consultant.
Equally unclear is the direction that the EPA will take when she’s no longer leading it. There are still energy issues, like those with coal, that the administration and Congress have to negotiate. While there had been momentum behind some of the big changes the EPA and Jackson supported, that momentum has slowed.
Two existing EPA officials — Bob Perciasepe and Gina McCarthy — are some of the possible replacements. Mr. Perciasepe will act as interim administrator.