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Verizon is a telecom behemoth, with revenues of $32 billion and profits of $4.3 billion in the first three months of this year.

But like most corporations these days, Verizon employs as few workers as possible, and contracts out as much of its work as possible. One example of that is found in this story in Wednesday's Albany Times Union, headlined "Immigrant labor brings Verizon FiOS to Guilderland" (get around the paywall by searching the headline on Google, then clicking on the result).

The TU sent its best feature writer, Paul Grondahl, out to a suburban town to do a featurey story about the crew doing the ditch-digging for Verizon's fiber-optic Internet service, which it is slowly expanding in New York, and only in the best neighborhoods.

Featurey like this:

From sunrise to sunset these men toil, anonymous souls bent to their task. It is a grinding low-tech labor that will bring new high-speed broadband Internet technology to affluent homeowners.
Aside from the featurey flourishes, there are plenty of interesting facts about this work -- the work itself, and who does it and who won't, which is clearly related to how much they are paid by a subcontractor to a contractor to Verizon.

More, below.

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Reposted from clenchner by clenchner
Full details -

For six years now, a volunteer crew has been teaching organizing (and digital organizing) skills to thousands of people in New York - and elsewhere. If you haven't heard of it, maybe you should:

- At $35-$100, it's one of the best values in digital/organizing/fundraising/activist skills - - training around.
- For any of the 15 million folks living closer than an hour away, no need for expensive travel or lodging.
- The Organizing 2.0 trainers are well known experts and practitioners - take a look.
- The focus is on organizers and communicators working in labor, community organizing, local politics, and grassroots organizing (think Occupy or Black Lives Matter).

For all these reasons, and so many more, union staff, netroots activists, bloggers, leaders, electeds, staffers and gadflies might want to rush over and register today for the next Organizing 2.0 training conference. It's coming up soon, April 10-11 at the Murphy Institute in Midtown Manhattan.

Some highlights about our speakers and training sessions below the jump. RSVP today!

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Fri Jan 02, 2015 at 04:45 AM PST

Mario Cuomo dead at 82

by Meteor Blades

Reposted from Daily Kos by Its the Supreme Court Stupid
Mario Cuomo, 2007
Three-term (1983 to 1994) Governor Mario Cuomo in 2007.
Larry McShane at the New York Daily News reports:
Ever-eloquent Mario Cuomo, a son of Queens who rode his rhetorical gifts to three terms as New York governor and tantalized Democrats by flirting with a run for President, died Thursday, two sources close to the family said. He was 82.

Cuomo passed away six hours after his oldest son, Gov. Andrew Cuomo was sworn-in to a second term in Manhattan. […]

Cuomo's speech at the 1984 convention is ranked as one of the great political addresses of the 20th Century. Some in the crowd were reduced to tears.

Cuomo, who received two curtain calls, passionately illustrated the distinction between the haves and the have nots in his "Two Cities" address.

"A shining city is perhaps all the president sees from the portico of the White House and the veranda of his ranch, where everyone seems to be doing well," Cuomo said.

Here's a link that speech.

More from Larry Celona, Carl Campanile and Leonard Greene:

According to President Bill Clinton, he was poised to nominate Cuomo for a spot on the High Court in 1993, but Cuomo took himself out of the running before Clinton had a chance.

‘’To be a justice of the Supreme Court, to sit there and listen, to study, to conclude and write and not have to worry about the polls, nothing would have been more perfect,’’ Cuomo told the New York Times years later. ‘’But on the other side, I think I have probably been in a better position to speak out on the issues.’’

And speak he did. And never did he do it better than at the 1984 Democratic Convention in San Francisco in a stirring speech that launched him into national prominence.
There, he stood up for the poor and downtrodden, extolling idealistic virtues in the days before “liberal” became a dirty word.

Still more below the fold.
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Reposted from weck by CDH in Brooklyn

Two amendments to the NYS Constitution and one Bond Act will be on the back side of the NYS paper ballot on November 4th.  Until yesterday's local weekly paper was released, I hadn't heard a whisper beyond what I caught in election inspector training over the summer.  NYS may have some good reasons for keeping quiet about the three proposals, but in my experience, their silence is usually because the voters would be angry with the facts and disapprove the measures.

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Reposted from lipris by MBNYC
I'm really excited to announce that we're about to make Andrew Cuomo's life as difficult as possible. That's right, The Albany Project 2.0 is coming and this time we're bringing a whole new bag of tricks to the fight. We're coming back smarter and meaner and we're not going to leave any tools in the box this time around. And we're not just re-launching a "blog." We're going to do some serious organizing this time around and we're working to put some seriously cutting edge tools in the hands of activists from Watertown to Montauk. We want to empower people across the Empire State to take on hyper-local fights against things like fracking to larger fights for publicly financed campaigns, inequality and against the endemic corruption that has plagued our state for far too long.

And these are fights that, together, We Can WIN.

Much more about where we are, what's next and how you can help below.

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Reposted from Eddie C by Eddie C

One of the world's largest floating cranes is about to make its debut on the Tappan Zee Bridge project. I looked out my window this morning and saw the "Left Coast Lifter" on the last leg of its journey from the San Francisco Bay to Old Tappan on the Hudson.

Monster Crane on the Hudson

The big crane was originally built for the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge project, where it earned the name "Left Coast Lifter." Officials in Albany have a new nickname, the “I Lift NY Super Crane.”

“I Lift NY Super Crane”

This Blue State exchange took a while. Following the route of Henry Hudson this morning the giant crane has been berthed in Jersey City since January, after completing a 6,000-mile journey from San Francisco through the Panama Canal.

The Left Coast Lifter

The crane is strong enough to lift 1,900 tons at one time, the equivalent of lifting 12 Statues of Liberty. Workers will use the crane, that has a boom length of 328 feet, to lift sections weighing 900 to 1,100 tons of the new $3.9 billion Tappan Zee Bridge into place. The bridge that connects Rockland and Westchester counties is slated to open in 2018.

Reposted from kos by MBNYC
New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo is photographed during a re-election campaign stop a day ahead of the Democratic primary in Times Square, New York on September 8, 2014. REUTERS/Adrees Latif  
Want to beat up on NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo some more? Of course you do! So donate for a Democratic Senate.
Goal Thermometer

We all know how Working Families Party Gov. Andrew Cuomo promised to veto an aggressive Republican gerrymander of the state Senate, then signed it into law. And we also know that when voters decided to hand control of the chamber to Democrats anyway, Cuomo conspired with renegade Democrats to give it back to Republicans.

Notwithstanding promises to help Democrats finally retake the chamber in this year's elections, it's clear that Cuomo pines for a Republican-led Senate to thwart the possibility of any progressive legislation reaching his desk. It's a curious tactic for someone who harbors delusional designs on the White House, but it's the path he's chosen to take—so it's up to us to strip those delusions away.

Even though they're in the minority, Republicans currently hold the Senate thanks to the aid of the five rebel Democrats of the so-called Independent Democratic Conference. But feeling serious pressure from mainstream Democrats, the IDC made a sketchy promise this summer to return to the fold next year, though they're already backing away from it. However, the more real Democrats we help to elect this November, the harder it will be for the GOP-IDC junta to remain in power. And if it falls, it wouldn't just deal a blow to Cuomo, it would also give Democrats a leg up on the redistricting battles of 2020, where a trifecta (governor and both legislative chambers) could net Democrats several U.S. House seats.

That's why we're engaging in four five New York state Senate races, all featuring top-tier candidates with a serious chance of winning. Two are in Republican-held districts while two are Democratic incumbents holding endangered seats, and all were won by Obama. We win these races, throw in additional threats of primary battles for those rebel Dems in the future, and Cuomo's ability to engineer another Republican-led Senate is dramatically diminished, as is his noxious influence.

So without further ado, here are our latest New York endorsements:

Dave Denenberg (SD-08). Republican held. Obama won 56-43
Justin Wagner (SD-40). Republican held. Obama won 51-48
Terry Gipson (SD-41). Dem held. Obama won 53-45
Cecilia Tkaczyk (SD-46). Dem held. Obama won 54-44
Marc Panepinto (SD-60). Republican held. Obama won 56-42

In addition to being credible, strong candidates, all four five have explicitly promised to never join the rebel Democrats of the IDC in undermining Democratic control of the chamber. This is a chamber that by all rights should be Democratic. Let's help make it so, and give Andrew Cuomo another black eye in the process. It's a great use of $3!

Update: Added Panepinto.

Reposted from Yasuragi by MBNYC

According to The Daily News -- and a friend who lives on the Upper West Side -- the Board of Elections has made last-minute changes to polling places covering 31 voting districts in Washington Heights, Inwood, Harlem, Marble Hill, and Sugar Hill.

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Reposted from LtPowers by LtPowers

David Paterson has taken a lot of heat in wonkish circles, including here on Daily Kos.

For those who don't recall, Paterson is an African-American with a severe vision impairment. He was a long-time state legislator in New York, and he was tapped in 2006 to be Eliot Spitzer's running mate. When Spitzer resigned in scandal, Paterson became Governor, and his tenure was rocky to say the least.

But I've long felt that much of the criticism was undeserved. Here was a public servant and a true legislator at heart, well versed in the glad-handling and wheeling and dealing necessary to get anything done in Albany. In fact, I suspect that's why Spitzer wanted him for Lieutenant Governor; he needed someone to run the State Senate and shepherd legislation through it (the NY Lt Gov is the nominal President of the Senate and can cast tie-breaking votes).

But he got pushed into a position he probably never really wanted: Governor. He did his best with it, I think, but it's telling that he didn't even consider running for election to his own term.

(Though, really, I wonder now if most Kossaks would rather have Paterson or Cuomo as New York's governor right now.)

Paterson's list of gubernatorial accomplishments is not long. But atop that list is one that stands alone, and should alone mark his tenure as a success. He appointed Kirsten Gillibrand to the Senate.

In the news recently, Paterson has opened up about the much-maligned process involved in the Senate selection (the vacancy had opened up when Hillary Clinton was named Secretary of State). And the headline from that news is this: Paterson himself wanted the Senate seat.

Well before Spitzer resigned, Clinton was the front-runner for the Democratic nomination for President, and it seems there was an understanding between Paterson and Spitzer that Paterson would get the job if she won. Perfectly logical, really: Paterson was a legislator at heart, not an executive. That the seat was Bobby Kennedy's (by way of Charles Goodell [the NFL Commish's father], James Buckley [brother of William F.], and the late, great Daniel Patrick Moynihan) also held a special resonance for Paterson, who considers Kennedy a hero.

Clinton's loss to Barack Obama scuttled that possibility, and by the time she was named Secretary of State, Paterson was governor. And here's where Paterson has been, I think, unfairly demonized. There was a lot of brouhaha over Caroline Kennedy (RFK's niece) possibly being appointed, and Paterson perhaps didn't handle it as well as he could have. And now we can speculate as to why: Paterson was considering appointing himself.

But he didn't.

He could have, of course. Perfectly legal, though self-serving. But there was one snag: he didn't have a Lieutenant Governor. The acting Lieutenant Governor was whomever was the President Pro Tempore of the State Senate -- at the time, one Malcolm Smith (D-Queens). If Paterson became Senator, Smith would become Acting Governor. Once that happened, then at any time the Senate could elect a new President Pro Tem who would immediately become Acting Governor.

And of course, since Smith was indicted last year on federal bribery charges (don't worry, sitting New York State legislators are indicted all the time)... well, just imagine the scenario if he'd been sitting in the governor's mansion, dealing with a Senate that could replace him at will.

So perhaps Paterson's greatest accomplishment comes not in his appointment of Gillibrand -- an outstanding Senator by just about any measure, and a true stateswoman -- but rather in recognizing the chaos that would result from appointing himself, and choosing to forgo his personal dream for the greater good of the State.

Reposted from janosnation by clenchner

When I joined the Commission to Investigate Public Corruption ("the Moreland Commission") as special counsel during the summer of 2013, I knew Albany's history of corruption, and relished the opportunity to investigate it and offer ideas for reform.  Like many of those who participated in or followed our work, I found hotbeds of scandal, apathy and mediocrity beyond even my low expectations.  The person who disappointed me most during my time on the Commission was Governor Andrew Cuomo.

The opportunity that has been lost by the Commission's neutering, then disbandment, is more significant than most people realize, and the level of the governor's interference more pervasive than press accounts suggest.  And while ethics may seem like a single issue in a large and complicated state, what I observed showed me what little regard Governor Cuomo and his senior staff have for the press, the public, and people with integrity who work in government.   Their disdain for ethics colors the way they govern the entire state.

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Reposted from mole333 by sidnora Editor's Note: Lots of useful NY campaign info about good candidates here. -- sidnora

Melodrama is sometimes rather irresistible. Yeah, I got sucked in from time to time. But OH MY GOD. Can we kind of refocus a bit? I mean it isn't as if reform in NY State is up for grabs in ONE WEEK!! And it isn't as if the control of the SENATE is in question. CLEARLY who uprates who, who is stalking who on the intertubes is more important than like the SENATE.

We are all people with our own quirks, biases, faults, and sensitivities. That is great and all the meta really boils down to one thing: respect each other a bit more and listen to each other a bit more. Now, can we move on to electing better and more Democrats?

First a cut to the chase, and then I will go into more detail below the fold.

Can we PLEASE focus a little on the Democratic Primary coming up in one week? Here is my Act Blue site aimed at reforming Albany: Reform Albany 2014. I will go into some detail below. But bottom line is we need money to fight the big money interests.

And then we REALLY need to focus on all the close races for November:      Closest Races 2014

Seriously, winning some elections feel a lot better than endlessly arguing meta.

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Reposted from Daily Kos by clenchner
Tim Wu (D) in front of NYC skyline
Democrat Tim Wu
Goal Thermometer

New York's noxious governor, Andrew Cuomo, may be riding a wave of money and his father's last name to an easy re-election, but there's a way you can ruin his life: Help defeat his choice for lieutenant governor.

In New York, the governor and lieutenant governor run separately in the primary but together on one ticket in the general election. Ever the sellout to progressive causes, Cuomo chose the most conservative running mate possible that still had a "D" next to her name, Kathy Hochul. How bad is Hochul? I'll let the New York Times explain, from their editorial endorsing law professor Tim Wu:

Mr. Cuomo chose Ms. Hochul this spring to balance his ticket with a conservative woman from upstate. Ms. Hochul now supports his gun control bill, but when she ran unsuccessfully for re-election to Congress in 2012, her campaign featured the endorsement from the National Rifle Association. The N.R.A. said at the time that she had “a proven record of defending the Second Amendment.”

She also boasted repeatedly that she had voted many times against “Obamacare.” She strongly opposed allowing undocumented immigrants to have drivers’ licenses. And during her short time in Congress, environmentalists criticized many of her votes, including those to repeal emission standards for cement manufacturers and to allow fewer controls on open pit mines and other polluting industries.

So Hochul is in the NRA's pocket, brags about her votes against the ACA, hates on immigrants, and loves polluting industries. Well, good thing Cuomo decided to try and elevate her to the statewide ticket, huh? And in case you were wondering about her rationale for running for lieutenant governor, she says it's to "support the administration." So on top of everything else, she promises to be Cuomo's toady. That's some serious pile of suck.

So we are endorsing Tim Wu in the Democratic primary. Wu is literally the guy who invented the term "net neutrality." He promises to use his perch as lieutenant governor "as a pulpit, to become the state’s de facto public advocate, particularly in support of consumer issues, Internet access and economic development zones." In other words, he will be a thorn in the corporatist Cuomo's side, and he'll strengthen the net neutrality fight by elevating his own stature.

Unlike the governor's race, the New York Times endorsement can have real juice lower down the ballot, and Hochul's lack of statewide name ID gives Wu an even playing field to work with. Cuomo knows this, and had Hochul release a video where she touted her progressive creds and even name-checked Paul Wellstone—a genuine insult to his memory. Seriously burns me up.

We may be jumping in late to this fight, but we have time to do two things: 1) send some scratch to Wu to help in his final push, and—something everyone on this site can do—2) spread the word to everyone you know in New York. It's a big state. We all know people who live there. So urge them to vote against the Cuomo ticket. Got that? Donate a few bucks, then educate your New York friends and family. Let's do it!

Please give $3 to help Tim Wu stop Andrew Cuomo's hand-picked conservative lackey.

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