Tag Archives: Matthew Goldstein

Vote Your Conscience, But Vote!

Imagine if the Board of Elections put seven separate elected officials — Congressman, Senator, Governor, Comptroller, Attorney General, Assembly member, and State Senator — on the same ballot line, and made you mark just one oval to choose all of them.

Sounds like the old Soviet Union.

The decision by the 2010 New York City Charter Revision Commission to group seven unrelated proposals under ballot Question 2 — based on an opinion that the ballot was too small to show them separately — is just as cynical: It’s a way of telling voters, “If we let you vote seven or eight times, you could get confused and forget to vote ‘Yes’ on everything we want.” Continue reading

Advertisements

Vote “No” on Question 2

City Limits has paid CityPragmatist a great compliment by prominently featuring our views about ballot Question 2, a collection of unrelated charter revision “reforms” to be placed before voters on Election Day.

Question 2, along with Question 1, which is about term limits, will appear on the “back” of Tuesday’s two-sided paper ballot. Continue reading

Goldstein: We Understood

“The vast majority of the members of the commission publicly are opposed to term limits, period.”

(Matthew Goldstein, chair of the 2010 NYC Charter Revision Commission, speaking at New York Law School on Friday, October 22, 2010)

“But we understood that by accepting to sit on this commission that we wanted to bring back for referendum the idea ‘do you want to go back to what was in place before 2008’ and that’s what we did and that’s what you’re going to be voting on.”

(Matthew Goldstein, ten seconds later)

So much for the pretense that a mayorally-appointed charter revision commission can act independently.

And so much for voters’ ability to decide whether term limits should exist at all. The choice we’ll get on Election Day is “two or three 4-year terms, but if you choose two terms this won’t take full effect until 2021.” Continue reading

The Silence is Deafening!

What charter revision?

That’s the answer we got when we approached a small random sample of New Yorkers and asked them how they intended to vote on charter revision on Election Day.

Perhaps Friday’s appearance at New York Law School by charter commission chair Matthew Goldstein will stimulate some media coverage of a subject many people — including journalists — are treating as an unimportant sidebar to the major races to be decided on November 2nd. Continue reading

Hats Off to Haberman!

We have to take our hat off to Clyde Haberman, a superbly skilled journalist, for bringing humor to his Times story about the NYC charter revision — and for seeing through the pretense that Mayor Michael Bloomberg had nothing to do with the charter commission’s decisions.

It’s worth saying again that the commission’s first ballot question for November will deny voters any chance to restore two-term limits immediately or eliminate term limits entirely. And the second question will lump together so many independent changes that voters will be forced to chew a lot of inedible chaff to get the few grains of wheat that the commission is sprinkling at our feet. To us, it’s an unacceptable diet. Continue reading

We Regret to Say We Told You So

On January 28 — two months before Michael Bloomberg convened a 2010 New York City Charter Revision Commission — we predicted that his charter panel would take advantage of voters’ resentment towards the 2008 Mayor/Council term limits putsch to motivate them to endorse charter changes to increase the mayor’s power.

The commission’s August 23 decisions prove we were right. Continue reading

Mayor Takes All

Unless the details of the NYC Charter Revision Commission’s final ballot questions deviate sharply from what was in the commission’s July 9 staff report, the final tally from Wednesday’s voting session will be: mayor all, City Council and public, none.

Every one of the commission’s key decisions will ask voters to expand the mayor’s powers, or will try to draw voters to the polls to achieve this end. Continue reading