A newly released poll from the Rauch Foundation’s Long Island Index found that 74 percent of Long Island residents support public funding of Pre-K for all families. Read more about this initiative.
On the eve of Election Day, some Long Islanders are still trying to be heard. Read more of this article here
“More than two dozen protesters from three progressive advocacy groups gathered at the Mineola office of State Sen. Jack Martins Wednesday afternoon to present him with Roadblock Awards for blocking several pieces of Democratic legislation.
The protesters, members of Make the Road Action Fund, the New York Communities for Change and the Long Island Progressive Coalition, were confronted by Martins campaign adviser E. O’Brien Murray, where a heated argument reportedly ensued.”
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Seminar on home energy use planned
Homeowners can learn how to better insulate their homes to save money and the environment at a seminar in Manhasset this month.
The Unitarian Universalist Congregation at Shelter Rock is holding a program with the Long Island Progressive Coalition’s PowerUp Communities program from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. on Dec. 18 at 48 Shelter Rock Rd. in Manhasset.
Homeowners can learn about saving on heating oil, reducing drafts, and how to get an energy audit and apply for rebates and other financial opportunities.
Marriele Robinson of the Long Island Progressive Coalition’s PowerUp Communities project, and Jaime Pereira, director of business development at Powersmith, which provides energy-efficient services to homes, will speak.
For more information, call 516-472-2941 or write email@example.com.
Albany politicians aren’t spending their time keeping our state clean.
They’re spending their time growing their lobbyist housekeeping accounts.
Housekeeping accounts are a way for politicians to accept unlimited, virtually unregulated donations. They’re essentially political slush funds controlled by the political parties and used to keep power in the hands of the most politically powerful.
Common Cause/NY working with Fair Elections for New York, a campaign that Long Island Progressive Coalition is a leader of, just released a report showing just how bad this practice is.
Since 2006, lobbyists and their political action committees have given $98 million to Albany politicians.
These are HUGE donations.
Over $2 million from two executives at one hedge fund alone.
$1,700,000 from Cablevision.
$1,500,000 from Verizon.
It’s time to clean up New York campaign finance laws. That’s why we need Fair Elections for New York – a comprehensive campaign finance reform package, including public financing of elections.
Take action – Tell the Commission on Public Corruption to investigate this dirty money that’s currently legal under New York law and support Fair Elections for New York!
What can you do right now about this “Bad Housekeeping?”
Tell the Commission what you think!
LIPC is a grassroots community-based organization advocating for change on Long Island since 1979. We need YOUR help to continue our mission. Become a Member Today!
For more information please contact Dan Fingas at (516)541-1006 x17 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Governor Cuomo’s ‘Tax-Free New York’ Would Come at a High Cost
Progressive Coalition protesters decry county’s Sandy contracts
Long Island State Senators hold key to vote on NYS Fair Elections Reform (Photos)
Suozzi, Weitzman get Working Families endorsement
Education Advocates Tout Early Start
Groups protest post-Sandy contributions to Mangano
Nassau Residents to Protest Campaign Contributions from Sandy Contractors to Nassau County Executive Mangano
New PSEG contract outlined at LIPA meeting
Residents Protest Mangano Post-Sandy Campaign Contributions
Protesters from the Long Island Progressive Coalition, a nonprofit social and environmental advocacy group, claimed at a June 4 rally in Mineola that County Executive Ed Mangano received $144,000 in campaign contributions from private companies that did restoration work for the county after Hurricane Sandy.
The coalition based the allegation on an Associated Press report from mid-May that analyzed Mangano’s contributions from contractors that were “hired to cut trees, repair infrastructure and haul debris” for 11 weeks following the storm. According to the report, 23 Sandy contractors donated to Mangano’s campaign in the weeks after they were hired, and many of the companies received no-bid contracts because the county was in a state of emergency.
At noon on June 4, 18 protesters, most from the Progressive Coalition, gathered on the steps of the Theodore Roosevelt Executive and Legislative Building to decry what they described as Nassau’s “pay-to-play” political system and called for New York state to pass campaign finance reform that would prohibit contributions in exchange for contracts.
“Basically, this is legalized bribery,” said Lisa Tyson of North Bellmore, the Long Island Progressive Coalition’s director. “In a baseball game, if someone gave money to the umpire to call them safe, that would be illegal. We need to make these contributions illegal as well.”
County Legislator Dave Denenberg, a Democrat from Merrick, stood with the protesters, saying that Mangano created the “appearance of impropriety” when he accepted campaign donations from companies doing Sandy recovery work. Denenberg also led protesters in chants of, “What do we need? Fair elections! When do we need them? Now!”
County exec reacts
In an email, Brian Nevin, a Mangano spokesman, accused the Progressive Coalition of playing partisan politics. “It’s ironic that this group never protested Tom Suozzi over the eight-year period in which he accepted millions in campaign contributions,” Nevin wrote, referring to Mangano’s predecessor, a Democrat. “However, they randomly decide to attack these contributions, which are lawful and properly reported with the state.”
Nevin also accused Denenberg of accepting illegal campaign contributions. “This is nothing less than political grandstanding by a legislator who accepted thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from firms whose contracts he approved,” Nevin wrote. “We are calling for an investigation into Dave Denenberg for driving taxpayer dollars to not-for-profits that illegally donate to his campaign.”
Asked for clarification, Nevin said that the Nassau County Republican Party is calling for a probe into Denenberg’s campaign finances because of five campaign donations that he received between 2010 and 2012 — three from two local Little Leagues totaling $2,500, and two from local fire departments totaling $500.
Nevin said that Little Leagues and fire departments are barred by federal tax code from contributing to election campaigns because of their nonprofit status, and he alleged that Denenberg secured county taxpayer dollars for the fire departments after receiving campaign donations. Nevin said that GOP attorneys were filing a complaint with the New York State Board of Elections, seeking an investigation.
Denenberg denied the accusations, and called Nevin “a bully.” “Instead of answering questions about $144,000 from Sandy contractors in the 11 weeks after Hurricane Sandy, he likes to divert the issue with baseless allegations,” Denenberg said.
He added that his office informs all donors that their contributions are not tax-deductible, and said that he was proud that he had secured community revitalization funds for the fire departments.
“I absolutely got money for them, and every legislator has followed suit,” Denenberg said. “They got money from me for equipment … But there’s no quid pro quo. I have no idea what the tax status and liability is of contributors.”
Democratic spokesman Michael Florio said that Republican legislators have taken campaign funds from local nonprofits, including fire departments and Little Leagues. “If Mangano wants to move forward with an investigation into contributions from fire departments,” Florio said, “then he’ll have to investigate members of his own party as well.”
Mangano and Denenberg are running for re-election in November.
Contracts under fire
Nassau County had paid $93 million to Sandy contractors as of April 25, according to a report by Maurice Chalmers, director of the County Independent Office of Legislative Budget Review. The report listed eight companies that were each paid more than $1 million.
County contracts for Sandy cleanup and restoration work have come under fire in recent months. Legislator Delia DeRiggi-Whitton, a Democrat, began pressing the Mangano administration for information about Looks Great Services Inc., a Huntington company due to receive $70 million from the county for Sandy work, after Looks Great crews cut down 111 trees in Welwyn Preserve in Glen Cove one month after Sandy. Nassau Democrats requested that County Comptroller George Maragos, a Republican, appear before the Legislature’s Rules and Finance committees to answer questions about payments to Sandy contractors, but Norma Gonsalves, a Republican and the Legislature’s presiding officer, blocked the requests.
Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice and state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, both Democrats, and the U.S. Department of Labor have launched investigations into how the county awarded Sandy contracts, how it provided oversight of projects and whether private workers were paid prevailing wages.
Newsday reported that Shila Shah-Gavnoudias, the county Department of Public Works commissioner, secured a $250,000 contract for a company that her sister owns, without disclosing that they are related.
Tyson and Denenberg complained at the June 4 protest that the full Legislature did not vote on many of the county’s Sandy contracts, as the Legislature is normally required to do with contracts worth more than $25,000, because a state of emergency had been declared.
Richard Landau, a Merrick resident whose house was struck by boats during the storm, also spoke at the rally, detailing his unsuccessful attempts to obtain government assistance to repair $125,000 in damage to his home. Twice, he said, Mangano promised to call him and his wife about their home reconstruction, but the county executive never did so.
Last week Mitt Romney held a $50K/ticket fundraiser in Park City, Utah that gave donors “an extraordinary level of access” to the candidate and other top Republicans. But Romney was apparently miffed because the Koch brothers had a fundraiser for conservative causes at the same time: “As one fundraiser noted, Mr. Romney is, after all, the candidate.” Ha, suuuure you are Mitt. But on July 8th Romney will meet with the Koch brothers to form the Eye of Sauron at David Koch’s Long Island home, and protesters are ready.
Per Capital NY, a group comprising of the Long Island Progressive Coalition, Greenpeace, and Occupy Wall Street will gather at two locations that evening, the first of which is “basically at the foot of the driveway” of the home. “We’ll be making noise, holding up signs and letting everybody that has to pass by there on the way to the fundraiser know that Long Island does not support the political agenda that they’re raising money for that night,” spokesman David Segal tells Patch.
Article Courtesy of Gothamist.
By AZI PAYBARAH, Capital NY
Here’s a map indicating the locations of planned protests of a Mitt Romney fund-raiser on July 8 at the Southampton home of billionaire David Koch.
The first protest location “is basically at the foot of his driveway,” and the second protest site is about a third of mile down the only road that leads up to the home, according to a spokesman for the Long Island Progressive Coalition.
The director of LIPC, Lisa Tyson, said they are coordinating with Greenpeace, “Occupy Wall Street,” Moveon.org, Strong for All, United New York, and others.
Click here to see the map.
By Brendan J. O’Reilly, Southampton Patch
Billionaire industrialist and frequent donator to conservative causes David Koch is planning a fundraiser at his Southampton estate for GOP presidential contender Mitt Romney on July 8 for $50,000 a head — and a number of uninvited guests plan to crash the party.
The Long Island Progressive Coalition said Thursday it will help to lead like-minded groups to “non-violently disrupt” the event, which is one of three Romney fundraisers planned in the Hamptons that day, according to a Politico report.
“We’ll be making noise, holding up signs and letting everybody that has to pass by there on the way to the fundraiser know that Long Island does not support the political agenda that they’re raising money for that night,” said Long Island Progressive Coalition communications coordinator David Segal.
He said the coalition learned of the event after an invitation was leaked online. According to the invitation, the fundraiser will begin at 5 p.m. and the cost is $50,000 per individual and $75,000 per couple, with proceeds benefiting Romney Victory, Inc.
“The fact that David Koch is spearheading this fundraiser is indicative of the role that money is playing in politics right now,” Segal said.
The Romney campaign did not immediately reply to requests for comment.
The protest is planned for 4 p.m. in front of the oceanfront Meadow Lane estate, though demonstrators will first assemble at the Coopers Beach parking lot at 3 p.m. They will then march to Koch’s home carrying banners.
“We want to show up in front of the Kochs’ house to say, ‘We’re tired of you promoting policies that go against the interest of everyday people,'” Segal said.
Joining the coalition are Greenpeace, Occupy Wall Street, Moveon.org, Strong For All, United New York, The Occupied Storefront and Occupy Huntington. Protestors from New York City will be bussed in for free.
Southampton Village has a law against protests targeting a domicile, but Mayor Mark Epley said Thursday that it is the village attorney’s opinion the law does not apply in this case because Romney does not reside at the estate.
The law was adopted after anti-illegal immigration protestors took to demonstrating outside Epley’s house.
Epley said his biggest concern is the safety hazards a large gathering on Meadow Lane poses on a Sunday afternoon when many vehicles are leaving beaches and the county park at the end of the road.
Segal said the demonstrators will not block driveways or impede traffic, and will follow the conventional rules governing protests.