Former City Council candidate/Brooklyn Heights resident/BHB Ten 2009 member Doug Biviano challenged Assemblymember Joan Millman to stand against “corrupt” politicians in Albany, in a statement released to the press today. Biviano also praised NYS Senator Daniel Squadron saying, “State Senator Daniel Squadron recently called Albany an ‘embarrassment’. He’s right. But it’s not an embarrassment just because of a bunch of crooked politicians. It’s because the whole purpose of the system up in Albany is to get incumbents reelected.”
The rest of the release seems to telegraph a Biviano run for State Assembly against Millman, who to the best of our knowledge hasn’t seen a Democratic challenger.
Full statement after the jump.
DOUG BIVIANO DEMANDS
“A NEW STANDARD” IN GOVERNMENT
Biviano Calls On Assembly Member Joan Millman to
Take Accountability for the Corruption in Albany
BROOKLYN, NY – Former City Council candidate Doug Biviano slammed the widespread corruption in Albany today and called on his local Assembly Member Joan Millman to finally take a strong stand against the crimes committed by her colleagues.
“Every time an Assembly Member or State Senator gets hauled off in handcuffs, our elected officials are silent,” said Biviano, a political reformer who was voted one of the top ten people of 2009 by the Brooklyn Heights Blog for his bold campaign against the Brooklyn machine and boss Vito Lopez’s candidate for City Council. “State Senator Daniel Squadron recently called Albany an ‘embarrassment’. He’s right. But it’s not an embarrassment just because of a bunch of crooked politicians. It’s because the whole purpose of the system up in Albany is to get incumbents reelected.”
“Albany—the most dysfunctional state legislature in the nation according to the Brennan Center for Justice—protects the jobs of incumbents by hooking our State legislators up with millions of dollars in so-called ‘member items’ to pay off their districts and keep them in line,” explained Biviano. “It also shields incumbents from competitive races with corrupt election laws, arms them with large taxpayer-funded staffs to work for their reelection, pays for free campaign literature thinly disguised as ‘newsletters’ from their office, and even lets them draw the lines of their own districts to shut out any possible competition. In exchange for these advantages, the only thing elected officials like Joan Millman have to do is look the other way when it comes to the crimes and indiscretions of their colleagues; to keep the heat off of Albany so our legislators are never forced to pass the real reforms we need to ensure competitive elections and fix our broken system. That’s why 99% of incumbents get reelected and less than 5% of statewide elections are competitive. In fact, in most cases you never even go to the polls to decide, because these incumbents don’t have any opponents.”
“Everyone hates Albany and yet so many of us have the mentality that everyone up in Albany is a bum, except our representative. Why?” asked Doug Biviano. “It’s because our elected officials always point their fingers in any direction other than at themselves. Well, I think now is the time that our politicians finally take responsibility for the government we elect them to run.”
“Elected officials like Joan Millman are nice people and fund good organizations, but by playing this cynical game of incumbent protection, Millman and her allies are hurting you and your family,” explained Doug Biviano, a P.S. 8 parent and father of three. “With all of our legislators being complicit in this game, there’s no escape from our current economic fiasco.”
“Right now, Albany is closing another hospital our city depends on and getting ready to cut hundreds of millions of dollars from our schools, our libraries, our senior services, and our mass transit system – all to plug holes in the shameful $9.2 billion budget deficit our state legislators created by recklessly spending our tax dollars for their own gain. And what’s worse, not only are they going to cut all of our services, they’re going to raise our taxes and borrow billions in new debt to pass on to our children. This band-aid type fix is unsustainable. It provides no solution for revitalizing our economy or creating jobs. It provides no solution for keeping the droves of New Yorkers who have already been driven out of our community here at home. And it changes nothing in the way Albany operates—the very ‘look the other way’ complicity that got us into this mess in the first place. As long as this continues, we can be certain that there will be no change in Albany and things are only going to get worse with our economy.”
“I am issuing this statement to talk directly to my neighbors in the 52nd Assembly District, because in order to fix our state, we have to get past this mentality that everyone in Albany is a bum, except for out representative,” said Biviano. “We must begin to judge our Assembly Members by their willingness to fight the powers that control Albany and prevent real change. If we do not take this strong stand, our state will cease to be the economic engine that generations of New Yorkers worked tirelessly to build to assure that their children would have jobs and be able to create businesses from finance to the arts that would allow them to achieve the American dream.”
“We live in one of the most creative, intelligent and politically astute districts in the city,” continued Biviano. “Our community has fostered so many important movements from anti-war to civil rights to the environment. We must again draw our strength and stand together, this time to clean up Albany. For if we don’t do it here, where can we hope change will begin for the people of New York State?”