Biviano, Squadron Write Twin Brooklyn Paper Op-Eds

Brooklyn Heights resident and NYS Assembly candidate Doug Biviano has written an Op-Ed piece for the Brooklyn Paper:

Brooklyn Paper: Coupled with the state’s arcane election law, it is virtually impossible for challengers to win. Legally complicated by design, election law is used by the incumbents to throw hundreds of challengers off the ballot, resulting in 98 percent being re-elected no matter how bad of a job they are doing, no matter how badly they hurt us and the state.

Assemblywoman Millman is directly responsible for this crisis in democracy because she chairs the Assembly’s Election Law Committee, the sole chairperson who has the power to affect real reform, yet she has done nothing of substance and has not been held one bit accountable, not even for her $12,500 lulu. But has the broken election law that Millman protects knocked off challengers with the skills to fix this state? Yes.

NYS Senator Daniel Squadron writes a counter-point to Biviano:

Brooklyn Paper: So, how can we fix it? Can it even be fixed?

After 18 months in the Senate, I know that it can.

The truth is, despite ongoing frustration — on the budget, campaign finance reform, housing, buses and subways, and other issues — I do believe the senate has already achieved some important victories. We passed comprehensive ethics reform out of the legislature, including my bill to close the “Bruno Gap,” making it illegal for public officers to use government resources for outside, for-profit business.

We implemented rules reform to improve the legislative process, including a more equitable allocation of resources and a greater ability for rank-and-file members to get bills voted on in committees and before the entire house. And these procedural changes have been matched by some significant policy successes, including reform of the Rockefeller Drug Laws, new oversight of public authorities, a green jobs program, and the bill I sponsored to federalize 21 public-housing developments and bring in hundreds of millions of dollars in federal aid.

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  • Jesse Strauss

    Without touching some of Mr. Biviano’s more incendiary comments, I’ll admit that he has a point that the election law is arcane. Unfortunately, his logic fails at a basic level: both incumbents and challengers are governed by the same law. If an upstart like Senator Squadron can dedicate himself to learning the law and defeating, of all people, Marty Connor, a master of election law, that’s proof that it can be done.

    In my opinion, clarifying some of the more Byzantine parts of the ballot access requirements is a worthy project but more important election law reforms don’t involve ballot access. Rather, they involve issues like campaign finance reform, instant run-off voting and non-partisan redistricting. I think Senator Squadron has the right idea: if we keep the pressure on and maintain “sustained engagement,” we can tackle those issues and create a New York State we can all be proud of.

  • WillowtownCop

    I think all politicians should be limited to two terms. How can we expect anything to change when the same person has been in office for 30 or 40 years?

  • anonymous

    I strongly disagree Mr. Strauss’s comments. There is a HUGE disadvantage for those without party support who want to run for office. The signature requirements are practically unattainable for people who do not have unlimited funds (see Daniel Squadron) or for those without party support (see everyone else). In addition, i do not believe daniel squadron ran to pass the bills he describes… He ran to reform albany and painted connor as a mainstream get-along-to-go-along democrat. We need gutsy Senate members who can shed light on the private caucus meetings and brinksmanship that go on in Albany. Democrats vote yes to bills that wont pass or that will be vetoed to make a point. Budget is not being passed. It is a joke and Our state senator is doing nothing to help, at least nothing that I can see.