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Posts from the "Martin Connor" Category

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The Polls Are Open in New York City

vote_here.jpgIt's primary day, and when it comes to local elections in New York, that means the next few hours bear more significance than what happens in November. Gotham Gazette has the most comprehensive guide to all the contested primaries in the city. From a livable streets perspective, the three Manhattan races stand out.

In the 64th Assembly district, Paul Newell is riding a wave of endorsements from the three major dailies in his campaign against Speaker Sheldon Silver. Newell and fellow challenger Luke Henry have both taken Silver to task over his handling of the congestion pricing vote in April.

Likewise, in the 25th Senate district (which also includes parts of Brooklyn), challenger Dan Squadron has pounced on 30-year incumbent Martin Connor's timid stance on pricing. The back-and-forth battle of endorsements -- Squadron has his mentor Chuck Schumer and Mayor Bloomberg on his side, Connor has fellow Albany Dems on his -- plus Squadron's prodigious fundraising, have made this one of the most closely watched elections this cycle.

Up in the 72nd Assembly district, incumbent Adriano Espaillat faces a challenge from City Council member Miguel Martinez. Both supported congestion pricing, but Espaillat was one of the plan's fiercest advocates. Espaillat also supported the traffic-reducing Gansevoort Waste Transfer Station, which, while outside his district, ran against the wishes of prominent Manhattan Assembly members.

There are plenty of other seats at stake where candidates' views may affect streets and transit. If there's an election with implications for livable streets in your district, or if you've got a story to share from the polls today, tell us all about it in the comments.

Photo: Vidiot/Flickr

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State Sen. Martin Connor Secretly “Supported” Pricing All Along

With state primary campaigns ramping up, Observer political reporter Azi Paybarah seems to be everywhere with his video camera. In this clip from a debate held by Democracy for New York City, he captures State Senator Martin Connor, who represents lower Manhattan and parts of Brooklyn, in an unprompted admission of legislative cowardice.

While fielding a question about protecting marine life, Connor launches into a defense of his environmental record. Slightly after the four-minute mark, he serves up this gem: "Congestion pricing -- I supported it. I didn't tell anybody; I didn't take a position on it. I supported it." Ah, so that's how lawmakers "support" bills tailor-made to benefit the vast majority of their constituents -- by keeping their thoughts to themselves until it's too late to actually influence the course of events.

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