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GOP ‘shellacking’

4 Nov
By HERB BOYD, Special to the AmNews

In an hour-long speech followed by a question and answer session in the White House’s East Wing, a day after the election, President Barack Obama said, “I take responsibility,” on a number of points. And no acceptance of blame was more crucial and telling than the tidal wave, or “shellacking,” as he put it, that gave Republicans control over the House of Representatives.

“Over the last two years, we’ve made progress, but clearly too many Americans haven’t felt that progress yet. They told us that yesterday,” he said, his voice trailing off. “As president, I take responsibility for that.”

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Voters bring back term limits

4 Nov
By CYRIL JOSH BARKER, Amsterdam News Staff

New Yorkers spoke loud and clear at the polls on Tuesday by allowing city elected officials to serve only two terms. The vote also prevents the City Council from voting to extend term limits.

Responding to one of two questions on the back of their ballots, 74 percent of people voted in favor to keep term limits to two terms. The decision comes after Mayor Michael Bloomberg extended term limits in 2008, allowing him to run and win a third term in 2009.

Last week, Bloomberg came out in support of reducing term limits back to two, simply stating during a press conference, “I’m voting to restore it.” Continue reading

New voting system smoother for Election Day but not problem-free

4 Nov
By CYRIL JOSH BARKER, Amsterdam News Staff

While the new voting system for the general election was an improvement from the primaries, problems still arose for many voters who cast their ballots.

On Tuesday, voters again used the new way of casting their votes by using paper ballots, rather than lever machines. During the primaries, problems ranging from malfunctioning machines to improperly trained poll workers prompted Mayor Michael Bloomberg to call the process of “royal screw-up.”

In fact, things were so bad last time that it prompted the Board of Election to fire its executive director, George Gonzalez.

Reports indicate that officials from 311 said that they received 729 complaints about ballots and voting machines and 674 about poll sites, while 185 called to complain about poll workers. Approximately 4,266 people called looking for their polling site and 1,554 needed to get general election information. Continue reading

No official stamp, Freedom Party marches on anyway

4 Nov
By Nayaba Arinde, Amsterdam News Editor

The morning after the night before Freedom Party supporters hit the ground running.

“Oh we got the win!” beamed Councilman Charles Barron, who up until Tuesday night had been the Freedom Party gubernatorial candidate. “We are having a press conference on Thursday to announce our founding convention on February 22 and 23rd; when we are going to hammer out our platform, our issues, develop our strategy for our political empowerment, and build our membership. The Freedom Party is here to stay. We are on the move.” Continue reading

Cuomo and the Community

4 Nov
By Curtis R. Simmons, Stephon Johnson, Josh Cyrus Baker and Amity Paye

Andrew Cuomo has assembled a lengthy Urban Agenda document covering a range of issues that are of interest to communities of color.

In a document covering more than 250 pages his staff has covered a range of issue from criminal justice, housing, education, small and minority businesses. The Amsterdam News staff began the process of analyzing the document so that we can access how a Cuomo Administration would approach issues facing urban and communities of color throughout the state. Continue reading

Dems sweep state’s top positions

4 Nov
Special to the AmNews

Unlike the rest of the country, where the Republicans reaped a harvest of votes and almost ran the midterm tables, the state senate race in New York remains a big question mark with three races still up for grabs.

Not in doubt, though, are the state’s top positions that were handily retained by the Democrats with Governor-elect Andrew Cuomo defeating Carl Paladino by a two-to-one margin out of a total of some 2.5 million votes. Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand beat back their Republican opponents; Eric Schneiderman, after a nip and tuck race with Staten Island District Attorney Dan Donovan, is the new attorney general-elect; and Thomas DiNapoli, who replaced Alan Havesi as state comptroller, finally edged out Harry Wilson.

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Election 2010: What does this election mean?

4 Nov

There is no way around it. Tuesday night was not a good night for either the Democrats or Black political empowerment.

While most elected African-Americans did not lose in races around the state or in the nation, decades of accumulated power were washed away in Washington D.C., and gains long fought for in Albany are also at risk as well.

Just two years ago, African-Americans of every political stripe celebrated the election of the first Black president, and analysts are saying that white voter anger over his ambitious agenda has resulted in an unprecedented backlash. In Washington, Democrats lost 60 seats—the largest loss of seats since Truman’s big losses in 1948. Continue reading

Deval Patrick becomes only Black governor in the country in Massachusetts

4 Nov
By AMITY PAYE, Special to the AmNews

David Paterson was only the fourth Black governor in the country, and as we watched New York’s gubernatorial races and prepared to say goodbye to the first Black governor of New York State, his counterpart, Duval Patrick, the first Black governor of Massachusetts, was fighting to maintain his position.

Patrick won 49 percent of the vote in Tuesday’s election, securing his position as governor of Massachusetts for another term. In winning the election, Patrick not only will now be the country’s only Black governor, but also the first Democrat to remain governor of Massachusetts since 1986.

But it wasn’t an easy win as he narrowly beat his Republican opponent, Charlie Baker, who got 42 percent of the vote. As the campaign season proceeded, Patrick’s initially large lead against Barker dwindled. Continue reading

Dems celebrate rousing win in Midtown

4 Nov
By CYRIL JOSH BARKER, Amsterdam News Staff

Celebration and jubilation filled the Sheraton Hotel and Towers in Midtown Manhattan as the Democratic Party managed to win several key races on Tuesday night. Supporters and power players filled the ballroom, hobnobbing while preparing for the next four years of strategy to get New York State in order.

Shortly after polls closed, Andrew Cuomo was named the projected winner of the governor’s race. Cuomo pounced his GOP and Tea Party darling opponent Carl Paladino, who set up shop with his own election night party across the street at the Hilton. In the end, Cuomo took 60 percent of the votes.

Tuesday night’s victory party also brought out several winners from the Democratic Party, including Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand and Chuck Schumer, who retained their seats, while Eric Schneiderman was elected state attorney general. Continue reading

Nicole Paultre Bell edged out by Ruben Wills for council seat

4 Nov
By STEPHON JOHNSON, Amsterdam News Staff

In a highly contested race, Nicole Paultre Bell, the widow of Sean Bell, lost her race for New York City Council to Ruben Wills.

With results not decided until the wee hours of the morning in District 28, Wills took home 31.17 percent of the vote (3,347 votes total) and Bell finished with 25.3 percent of the vote (2,721 votes total). Albert Baldeo, Allan Jennings, Charles Bilal, Harpeet Toor and Martha Butler finished second, third, fourth, fifth and sixth respectively.

Wills now takes over the seat left empty by Thomas White, who passed away this past August. Continue reading