Today Is Primary Day In New York And Florida
Expect Very Low Turnout-- Except In NY-03
I suspect most people have already voted, particularly in Florida. But I’m happy to make some suggestions for people who haven’t and are planning to go to the polls today. I’m going to leave out contests where there are no contests. For example, I have nothing to say about NY-02, a newly configured southern Long Island district which is fairly safe for Republicans (R+6) and where the DCCC Blue Dog candidate, Jackie Gordon, has no opponent. I lived in this district when I was very young. If I lived there now, I wouldn’t vote. There’s no reason to in an uncontested primary where it would be better to send the DCCC a “fuck you” message anyway.
Also on Long Island, just to the north, is the opposite— a highly contested Democratic primary with a wide spectrum on candidates, including one who is fantastic and endorsed by Blue America, Melanie D’Arrigo. Melanie is the only progressive in the race. The 3 stooges she’s running against are all from the conservative wing of the party, from Josh Lafazan on the far right— who has run on the Conservative party line— to Jon Kaiman and Ron Zimmerman, right-of-center establishment candidates who have no reason to be running other than pure ego-driven careerism. Crypto-billionaire Sam Bankman-Fried is heavily financing Lafazan, exactly the clue that screams: CORRUPT! Anyone being financially supported by Bankman-Fried should be avoided at all costs.
It’s great that conservative Democrat Kathleen Rice is retiring (NY-04) but it’s unfortunately that her D+10 district isn’t being hotly contested. The conservative Democrat backed by the DCCC and by Rice (and by the crypto-billionaire) is Laura Gillen. If I were voting there today— and I once lived in the district for a few formative years— I would vote for Muzib Huq as a protest against Gillen, who is destined to go to Congress and be as big a turd as Rice has been.
Outrageously, New York City’s most corrupt member of Congress, Queens Party boss Gregory Meeks, has no opponent. If I lived in the district (NY-05), I would write-in anyone. This is the kind of race that makes the case for a “none of the above” option.
NY-08— Seriously outgunned Queen Johnson is taking on Wall Street puppet Hakeem Jeffries, who is being heavily supported by AIPAC and DMFI. If I were allowed to, I would get on a plane— which I haven’t done since the advent of COVID— to fly to NY to vote for Queen.
That brings us to the newly configured (and open) district that spans southern Manhattan and northwest Brooklyn, NY-10, one of the most progressive districts in America. But because progressives are splitting the vote, it is likely that a conservative-leaning hereditary millionaire, Dan Goldman, who opposes Medicare-for-All, will emerge tonight as the nominee. He has already spent $4 million of his own money. Although Mondaire Jones has been one of the best members of Congress, he represented a district far to the north and basically unrelated in any way to NY-10. He should have stayed there and fought party boss Sean Patrick Maloney who bullied him out of the race. The best option today is to vote for Assemblywoman Yuh-Line Niou, who would probably be the single most progressive member of Congress if she wins. Polls show that she is the only candidate who could beat Goldman today.
NY-11 is the Staten Island/south Brooklyn district that is held by Republican Nicole Malliotakis. The PVI is R+11. The Democratic primary is between the worthless Blue Dog she already beat 2 years ago, Max Rose, and a strong fighting progressive, Brittany Ramos DeBarros, endorsed by Blue America and the Working Families Party.
NY-12 is being billed as a “battle of the titans,” pitting progressive champion Jerry Nadler against corrupted garden variety liberal, Carolyn Maloney, a Wall Street stooge, who has been using GOP talking points to run a vicious and desperate smear campaign against Nadler.
NY-16 has attracted 3 conservatives trying to unseat progressive champion Jamaal Bowman, who very much deserves reelection in this D+40 district.
NY-17 is the Hudson Valley district (D+7) Mondaire Jones abandoned and which now pits corrupt conservative shit bag and Wall Street whore Sean Patrick Maloney against progressive state Senator Alessandra Biaggi.
The DCCC has awarded NY-18 (D+3) to conservative Democrat Pat Ryan, who is destined to be another congressional example of everything that’s wrong with a Democratic Party that has consistently moved away from a vehicle for the legitimate aspirations of working class families. If I lived there, I would protest Ryan and Democratic Party betrayal by voting for Moses Mugulusi, a progressive alternative.
NY-19 has a special election today between that same Pat Ryan running in NY-18 and Republican Marc Molinaro. Molinario is likely to beat him in this red-leaning district (R+1). There is also a Democratic primary for the seat in which Josh Riley is a better option than conservative EMILY’s List candidate Jamie Cheney.
NY-21 (R+17) us Elise Stefanik’s district and there are 2 Matts competing in the Democratic primary to be beaten by her in November. Matt Putorti is the better option and Matt Castelli is the awful option.
NY-22, the Central New York D+2 district based in Syracuse, is open. The Democratic primary includes 4 candidates. The worst— by far— the the Sam Bankman-Fried owned conservative Fan Conole and the best is progressive Sarah Klee Hood.
NY-23’s Republican primary is worth watching. It fits a hard core conservative, NY state GOP chairman Nick Langworthy (a Trumpist) against deranged fascist Carl Paladino (a Hitlerite). Paladino has put $1,494,644 of his own into the race. Langworthy has raised $360,344. If you enjoy watching the antics of Marjorie Traitor Greene, Lauren Boebert, Matt Gaetz and what to see a suitable replacement for Madison Cawthorn, Paladino will provide a 24/7 circus if he gets to Congress.
NY-24 has no Democratic contest. Progressive Steve Holden was recruited by the Democratic Party county chairs and is the Blue America endorsee.
And that brings unto the congressional races in Florida, a sad state of affairs where, in several districts, there aren’t evenly Democrats running and in the ones where Democrats are running ing, there isn’t a primary contest. I would recommend Eddie Geller in FL-15, Cindy Banyai in FL-19, Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick in FL-20, anyone but Jared Moskowitz (the crypto-puppet candidate) in FL-23, Christine Olivo is FL-26 and Annette Taddeo on FL-27. And that leaves the one truly important and hotly contested race— FL-10, to fill the Orlando seat (D+29) being left by Val Demings. The primary includes 10 Democrats, though only 3 are serious contenders, state Sen Randolph Bracy, crypto-puppet Maxwell Frost and proven progressive champion) and Blue America endorsee) Alan Grayson. Grayson who represented the district before an unsuccessful run for US Senate, has made a point of campaigning on pledges he can keep— lowering tolls, rents and taxes. On Sunday, the West Orlando News explained his plans to eliminate two regressive taxes— the gas tax and the tax on Social Security benefits.
“My plan is to focus on two regressive taxes, ones that hurt a lot more people than a tax on billionaires does,” Grayson told West Orlando News. “Both of these taxes really hurt people who are struggling to make ends meet and these two are taxes that are as unfair as a tax can be.”
On eliminating the gas tax, which Grayson calls a tax on driving, the Democrat is clear on the need to make it permanent.
“Rather than talking about holidays, I would repeal it completely,” Grayson said. “The federal government raises some money for the highway trust fund, yes, but this is one of the few areas that is funded through a specific regressive tax. In fact, the federal government taxes alcohol, tobacco, and driving. Which one sticks out?”
To fund transportation and road building needs, Grayson prefers progressive sources of revenue, using the federal income tax as an example. He said he would push to fill the gaps and pay the obligations through general funds in the budget, like most things are funded at the federal level.
“I think it is unfair to tax someone who needs to drive to work,” Grayson added. “People need relief and that means eliminating the federal gas tax permanently.”
On taxing Social Security benefits, Grayson called it “double taxation” and called it “unconscionable.” This is an issue he was already working on previously in Congress, and he said he would pick up right where he left off.
“The Grayson-Massey Act tried to end the double taxation of Social Security benefits,” Grayson said. “I would get right back to work on that as soon as I return to Congress. We’re taxing some of the neediest people at a time they need it the most. It’s unconscionable.”
He described the situation as workers being taxed in full on every dollar put in the system, and then they get taxed again when the system pays out. He said workers, especially those earning around $30,000-$40,000 a year like many in Orlando, pay income, Social Security and Medicare taxes on the first dollars they make.
“It’s classic case of double taxation,” Grayson said. “As a worker, there’s no money that ever escapes that taxation. Then you work your 40 years in the labor force, you retire around 67, and you discover the benefits you paid in are now taxed again when they pay out to you.”
He also said it’s particularly true when seniors have to continue to work even after retirement, an issue that is becoming more common in the current economy. “A tax on people in retirement age is already bad enough, but they are taxed because they cannot survive on their Social Security benefits and then those benefits get taxed. Most Democrats and Republicans recognize the injustice of the situation.”
Grayson believes this is an issue that can get bipartisan support and that is why he is confident he can deliver on this campaign promise to cut taxes.
“If someone digs in and tries hard to get both sides to sign up, this is an area where you can actually make a difference,” Grayson said. “I think that given the fact that Republicans are adamant in not repealing the Trump tax cuts, we need another way to the goal line to help people. I want to get things done that will help the most people.”
There is no more important and consequential thing voters anywhere in the U.S. can do today than nominate Alan Grayson for this congressional seat. Few members of Congress have any individual significance at all. Grayson is one of the handful of exceptions in the last two decades. He was a great congressman before and he would be a great member again.