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Midterms Update! + What Happens Post Schneiderman

Updated: May 30, 2018

Hey everyone,

This week has been all headlines - from the national news to local scandal. And, in the middle of it, the Midterms have already kicked off with four States holding primaries to set the November challengers. We’ve got the results and more!

As usual, check out the events at the bottom for ways to get involved.


In the first test of elections since accusations of Russian election meddling in the Presidential elections, four states held sixteen primaries. Ohio, Indiana, West Virginia, and North Carolina all held Congressional or Gubernatorial primary elections.

In Ohio

U.S. Senate race: Senator Sherrod Brown (D) vs. Rep. Jim Renacci (R)

Renacci is endorsed by Trump, in the general election. Brown has a track record as a known progressive but is willing to credit Trump for things like tariffs.

Governor’s race: Rich Corday (D) vs. Attorney General Mike DeWine (R)

Kasich is termed out of the Governor’s mansion and the race to replace him is a toss up. Cordray received endorsements from Bernie Sanders, Our Revolution and Elizabeth Warren. Attorney General and former US Senator Mike DeWine won the Republican Gubernatorial nomination.

Congressional Districts 1 (marked Red to Blue), 7, 10, 12, 14, 15

Several Congressional Districts also held primaries. NYT has the full results.

In Indiana

U.S. Senate race: Senator Joe Donnelly (D) vs Mike Braun (R)

Senator Joe Donnelly wsa uncontested but is considered one of the most vulnerable Democrats as Trump won Indiana by 19 points. Republican Mike Braun came out on top of the intense primary battle. Trump did not endorse in this race.

Congressional District 9 race: Liz Watson (D) vs Try Hollingsworth III (R)

Democrat Liz Watson is representing the Democrats. She is a labor attorney and former Congressional adviser. Republican Trey Hollingsworth III won the Republican nomination. Hollingsworth is a former one-term Rep who moved from Tennessee one month before the race.

Congressional District 2 race: Mel Hall (D) vs Rep. Jackie Walorski (R)

In Indiana’s Second CD, former Pastor turned CEO Mel Hall won the Democratic nomination. Rep. Jackie Walorski is the Republican incumbent and sits on the powerful House Ways and Means Committee.

In West Virginia

U.S. Senate race: Senator Joe Manchin (D) vs Attorney General Patrick Morrisey (R)

Senator Joe Manchin beat Paula Jean Swearengin. Swearengin was endorsed by left leaning groups like Brand New Congress and Justice Democrats. While Swearengin did not win, the result indicated the satisfaction of Manchin’s support from his base. Republicans elected Patrick Morrisey, the state Attorney General.

Congressional District 3 race: State Senator Richard Ojeda (D) vs Delegate Carol Miller (R)

In West Virginia’s Third CD, Democrats elected State Sen. Richard Ojeda, who some referred to as “JFK with tattoos and a bench press.” Republicans elected Carol Miller, a state delegate.

In North Carolina

A handful of Congressional primaries were held in North Carolina, with two that stood out.

Congressional District 2 race: Linda Coleman (D) vs George Holding (R)

In the Second CD, Republicans elected George Holding, a former prosecutor and businessman. Democrats elected Linda Coleman, a former state lawmaker.

Congressional District 9 race: Dan McGready (D) vs Mark Harris (R)

Some are calling North Carolina’s Ninth CD the home to the next Conor Lamb, as Democrats there are favoriting Dan McGready, a former Marine Corps veteran and solar energy entrepreneur. Harris, on the other hand, won the Republican by less than one thousand votes.


Acting CIA DIrector Faces Nomination Hearing

Gina Haspel, the acting  CIA Director replacing Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, is facing a nomination hearing this week. Haspel, a career CIA operative, is expected to become the next Director.

Revelations have been made about her past work in a covert black site in Thailand. Haspel was a midlevel operative of the site which implemented harsh interrogation techniques, including waterboarding and other forms of torture. Tapes of the interrogations were destroyed under Haspel’s watch which has led to critics on calling her to step aside. Republicans are confident Haspel will become the next director despite her controversial past. John McCain, a former POW who was tortured, has called on the Senate to reject her appointment.

If nominated, Haspel will become the first female Director of the CIA.

Trump Pulls Out of Iran Nuclear Deal

In a move that further isolates the United States, Trump announced on Tuesday he will pull out of the Iran nuclear deal. In his statement, Trump said he would reimpose sanctions and stop other countries from improving relationships with Iran. Iran says it is trying to save the deal with European partners, but is also preparing to re-launch its nuclear program.

Net Neutrality Makes a Comeback

Democratic Senators filed a petition under the Congressional Review Act to force a vote on to repeal FCC’s recent decision on net neutrality. The CRA is used to reverse recent decisions implemented as federal law and although rarely used, the required number of votes is low–30 Senators need to approve. With the FCC decision officially killing Net Neutrality on June 11, the clock is ticking. The vote is expected to take place sometime next week.

New Allegations Surface Corroborating Russian Leverage Over Trump

The New York Times received confirmation that Russian oligarchs had a relationship with Trump’s attorney, Michael Cohen. Reports indicate Russian oligarch Viktor Vekselberg paid Trump’s personal Cohen $500,000 and the money was deposited into the same account that was used to pay hush money for adult film actress Stormy Daniels.


Eric Schneiderman Resigns As State Attorney General

In a damning report from The New Yorker, state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman was accused of abusive sexual relations by four women. Schneiderman offered his resignation a mere three hours after initial reports.

Repercussions are far and wide following Schneiderman’s resignation. There will be a heated race to replace the Attorney General, as well as an investigation. Manhattan DA Cy Vance announced Monday he intended to investigate Schneiderman, while Cuomo, the following day, announced he would appoint a special prosecutor for the case. Vance accused Cuomo of playing politics saying “I made clear to your office at the time, this review is an unwarranted intrusion by an elected executive into a charging decision by an independent prosecutor.” Vance went on to accuse of Cuomo of violating separation of powers.

A new AG could be appointed by a majority vote of the assembly and senate, but would still face a primary ahead of the November elections. Some of the more prominent names include Public Advocate Tish James, Rep. Kathleen Rice, State Sen. Mike Giannaris, Zephyr Teachout and Preet Bharara.

Leading that pack, at least for a primary race in the 2018 elections, might be State Sen. Mike Giannaris (Queens) who’s been angling to run for AG for the past several years and has raised over $2.2 million to do so.

Assembly Democrats Set to Interview AG Candidates

Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie said the Assembly will begin screening candidates for the state AG post beginning next week. Joint interviews with the State Senate will likely begin May 15th. Senate Republicans will not be involved in the Assembly’s process.

Critics of the process have argued the Assembly process is manipulated by backroom deals and politics. Republican Sen. George Amedore noted the “deck is stacked” due to the Democratic control of the Assembly.

The Assembly has agreed for an eight-member committee to manage the interview process where Democrats would receive four votes. Jay Jacobs, Nassau County Democratic Party Chair, believes a Schneiderman replacement will not be selected until after the state convention, which is May 23rd.

On Wednesday, a report emerged revealing that Publica Advocate Tish James garnered enough votes from Assembly Democrats to become the interim AG. As part of the rumored deal, Tish would support Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. for Public Advocate. A spokesman for Diaz said the reports were inaccurate and that the BP will not run for PA.

City Planning Commission Works Around Residents of Lower Manhattan

If you live in NYC, you know real estate is BIG, and therefore so is zoning. As part of a plan to build a large Tech Hub on 14th St, community activists have been fighting for an attendant rezoning of area between Union Square and Astor Place.

Last Friday, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer released her report on the Tech Hub, noting the potential impact it could have on development in the surrounding community. In response, the City Planning Commission convened its sole public hearing on the matter with one day’s notice and virtual no publicizing of the event. With the vote of the Planning Commission, the issue heads to the City Council.


The the process for replacing Schneiderman…and whoever replaces him.

As mentioned in the video, and written in a post I wrote here, Schneiderman will be replaced by a majority vote of all the New York State Legislators. It’s 107 to win meaning the 104 Democrats in the Assembly have a sizeable role in determining the outcome.

If they select an elected official in NYC

According to the NYC Charter (Chapter 2, S 24), since the vacancy would be in the first year of the term, this will kick off a special election complete with Primary. The Mayor calls a Special Election within 3 days of the declared city vacancy no sooner than 45 days after the vacancy has occurred.

If they select a State elected official

Maybe nothing. All state officials are up for election this year anyway. It’s unlikely we’ll get a State Special Election before November, so you can look forward to the normal September Primary, November General.

However, if the Governor did call a Special, the County Committees of the districts losing representation would choose candidates to represent the Party and then those candidates would run in the Special Election.

If they select someone who’s not currently elected

Not much, other than a total upending of the political power structure by putting someone who is not a known politician a hair’s breadth from the Governorship.



The Humane League Benefit Night at Le Botaniste

Wednesday, May 16

6:00pm – 9:00pm

Description:Eat food, help animals! Join us at Le Botaniste (Soho) for a fun evening filled with vegan friends and vegan food! They have graciously agreed to support The Humane League's important work by donating back 15 percent of all proceeds made on the night of May 16th.

Brooklyn GOP Gala Protest

Wednesday, May 16

6:00pm – 9:00pm

Description:State Senator Marty Golden's hand-picked Republican Committee is featuring neo-Nazi Sebastian Gorka at their fundraiser. Let's show up in numbers and send a message that there is no place in Brooklyn for Gorka's despicable brand of hatred.

Liuba Fundraiser With Rosie O'Donnell

Wednesday, May 16

7:00pm – 9:00pm

626 10th Ave, New York, NY 10036, USA

Manhattan Democratic Party Executive Committee Meeting & Civil Court Endorsements

Thursday, May 17

6:00pm – 8:00pm

Close the Workhouse Fundraiser

Thursday, May 17

6:00pm – 8:00pm

Description:Tickets: The Workhouse is one of the worst jails in America. More than 90% of the mostly black people being held there are pre-trial. The jail made national news last summer when it was revealed to lack air-conditioning despite 110-degree weather. Rats and roaches fester. People can wait weeks, even months, without speaking to their lawyers. We need to close the Workhouse and invest in the community.

Eleanor Roosevelt Democratic Club Monthly Member Meeting

Thursday, May 17

6:30pm – 8:30pm

Asian American Leaders for Youth Conference

Saturday, May 19

10:00am – 2:00pm

71 E 94th St, New York, NY 10128, USA

Eleanor Roosevelt Democratic Club Annual Spring Brunch Fundraiser

Sunday, May 20

12:00pm – 3:00pm

Description:Honoring Public Advocate Letitia James and The Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art. Purchase tickets:

Meet the New 504 Democratic Club Leadership

Sunday, May 20

12:00pm – 2:30pm

Description:Ahead of our 35th Anniversary Gala later this year, the 504 Democratic Club is hosting this event to introduce all to the 'New' 504! Come One, Come All to meet the new leadership team, elected officials, policy makers and disability community leaders from across the City. Contribute to the discussion about  the 21st Century approach to achieving full equality and our Civil Rights.

Corey Johnson’s 4th Annual West Side Summit

Sunday, May 20

1:00pm – 3:00pm

Description:CLICK HERE TO RSVP: Please join New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson on The High Line at the 14th Street Passage for his 4th Annual West Side Summit on Sunday, May 20th at 1 PM.  

Benefit for Washington Square Music Festival

Sunday, May 20

6:00pm – 7:00pm

Civil Court Candidates Forum

Monday, May 21

7:00pm – 8:30pm

Description:Please join us to hear from this year's candidates for Civil Court.  This event is sponsored by Eleanor Roosevelt Democratic Club Samuel J. Tilden Democratic Club Gramercy Stuyvesant Independent Democrats and CODA LES

Sister District Fundraiser

Monday, May 21

7:00pm – 8:00pm

Four Freedoms Democratic Club Blue Wave Happy Hour!

Tuesday, May 22

7:00pm – 9:00pm

Description:Join the Four Freedoms Democratic Club as we gear up for the 2018 midterms! We'll have information on how to get involved in upcoming congressional races, and you'll have the opportunity to mix and mingle with your fellow progressive Democrats. RSVP here:

**Happy hour specials extended until 9pm!**

Democratic State Committee: Opening Reception

Tuesday, May 22

7:00pm – 8:00pm

NY Democratic State Committee Convention

Wednesday, May 23

7:00am – 6:00pm

1000 Fulton Ave, Hempstead, NY 11549, USA

Democratic State Committee Meeting

Thursday, May 24

7:00am – 12:30pm

1000 Fulton Ave, Hempstead, NY 11549, USA

Rent Guideline Board Public Meeting

Thursday, May 24

9:30am – 10:30am

GroundShift Camp

May 25 – 26, 2018

Description:Start your summer off with an immersive weekend of civic empowerment, community building, and creative experiences at GroundShift on May 25-27.Through a transformative camp experience, we will come together to deepen our understanding of the political, economic, and social systems we hope to change and re-imagine what’s possible through performances, workshops, music, art and storytelling. Program partners include Make the Road, New York Civic Engagement Table, Indivisible Brooklyn, Forward Union, CTZNWELL, TrueBlue, Coalition for Strong Economy, and more.

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