New Political Parties and Landscapes in NY | CUNY Forum


♪ [THEME MUSIC] ♪>>GOOD EVENING. MY NAME IS BOB LIFF AND THIS IS THE CUNY FORUM, A MONTHLY TOWN MEETING THAT BRINGS PROMINENT NEW YORKERS TOGETHER WITH FACULTY AND STUDENTS OF THE EDWARD T. ROGOWSKY INTERNSHIP PROGRAM IN GOVERNMENT AND PUBLIC AFFAIRS. WHEN WILL ROGERS SAID, “I BELONG TO NO ORGANIZED PARTY. I’M A DEMOCRAT,” HE COULD HAVE BEEN TALKING ABOUT 2019 AS DEMOCRATS ARE IN THE MIDST OF AN INTERNECINE BATTLE OVER WHAT THE PARTY STANDS FOR, AND WHO SHOULD LEAD IT. THERE ARE ECHOES TODAY OF THE 2016 BATTLE BETWEEN BERNIE SANDERS AND HILLARY CLINTON FOR THE DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL NOMINATION, WHICH EXPOSE THE VISIONS THAT MANY THINK LEFT CLINTON DAMAGED IN A GENERAL ELECTION THAT SAW THE ORANGE HAIRED MAN FROM FIFTH AVENUE WIN THE WHITE HOUSE. SANDERS, AN INDEPENDENT VERMONT SOCIALIST WHO ONLY REGISTERS AS A DEMOCRAT TO RUN FOR PRESIDENT, TOOK AN EARLY LEAD IN THE MONEY RACE FOR THE 2020 NOMINATION IN A CROWDED FIELD THAT INCLUDES SENATORS INCLUDING OUR OWN KIRSTEN GILLIBRAND, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN, CONGRESS MEMBERS, FORMER CABINET OFFICIALS, AND AT LEAST ONE MAYOR IN SOUTH BEND’S PETE BUTTIEGIEG – AND MAYBE ANOTHER MAYOR WHO LIVES IN GRACIE MANSION. WE SAW THOSE DIVISIONS LAST YEAR AS DEMOCRATS ALIGNED WITH THE DEMOCRATIC SOCIALISTS OF AMERICA TOOK OUT VETERAN INCUMBENTS INCLUDING ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ’ UPSET OF CONGRESSMAN JOE CROWLEY, AND SIX ACTIVISTS WHO UNSEATED DEMOCRATIC STATE SENATORS IN THE INDEPENDENT DEMOCRATIC CAUCUS WHO HAD GIVEN REPUBLICANS EFFECTIVE CONTROL OF ALBANY’S STATE SENATE. THOSE TENSIONS IN ALBANY BETWEEN OLD AND NEW, CENTER AND LEFT, WERE PRESENT BUT SOMEWHAT MUTED DURING THE BUDGET NEGOTIATIONS THIS YEAR, BUT HAVE FLARED IN POST-BUDGET CONFERENCE NEGOTIATIONS OVER LEGALIZING MARIJUANA, RENTER PROTECTIONS, AND A HOST OF OTHER ITEMS THAT THE GOVERNOR WAS UNABLE TO SOCK INTO THE STATE’S $175.5 BILLION SPENDING PLAN. THE QUESTION FOR PARTY LEADERS, AND, OF COURSE, ULTIMATELY FOR VOTERS, IS WHETHER AN IDEOLOGICALLY TINGED FIGHT FOR THE SOUL OF THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY WILL WEAKEN IT WHEN GOING UP AGAINST REPUBLICANS WHO APPEAR ALREADY TO HAVE SOLD THEIR SOULS TO A PRESIDENT WHO STOMPS ALL OVER GOP ORTHODOXY THAT, UNTIL THE TEA PARTY REVOLUTION OF 2010, OPPOSED DEFICITS AND TARIFFS, AND SUPPORTED INTERNATIONALISM AND IMMIGRATION. IT HAS BEEN SAID THAT WHEN IT COMES TO PICKING CANDIDATES, DEMOCRATS HAVE TO FALL IN LOVE AND REPUBLICANS HAVE TO FALL IN LINE. OR AS WILL ROGERS SAID AT ANOTHER TIME, “DEMOCRATS NEVER AGREE ON ANYTHING, THAT’S WHY THEY’RE DEMOCRATS. IF THEY AGREED WITH EACH OTHER, THEY WOULD BE REPUBLICANS.” WE ARE JOINED BY FOUR NEW YORKERS WHO TAKE PART IN, OR WATCH, THE INTERNAL DEMOCRATIC DEBATES AND WHAT THEY PORTEND FOR WASHINGTON, ALBANY, AND CITY HALL. ANTHONY MANISCALCO IS PROFESSOR-IN-RESIDENCE IN THE NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY AND RUNS THE CUNY GOVERNMENT INTERNSHIP PROGRAM AND ACTUALLY PRODUCES THIS SHOW SO WE HAVE TO BE NICE TO HIM. KEITH WRIGHT IS A FORMER ASSEMBLYMAN AND CURRENT MANHATTAN DEMOCRATIC PARTY CHAIR. BRANDON WEST IS PRESIDENT OF THE NEW KINGS DEMOCRATS, A REFORM GROUP IN BROOKLYN THAT HAS BEEN FIGHTING WITH REGULAR DEMOCRATS WHO RETAIN CONTROL OF THE PARTY APPARATUS. AND JOSEFA VELASQUEZ IS A REPORTER COVERING POLITICS AND ALBANY FOR THECITY.NYC, THE MOST WELCOME ADDITION IN YEARS TO A NEW YORK MEDIA LANDSCAPE THAT HAS OTHERWISE SEEN FAR TOO MANY CUTBACKS. SHE WILL TELL US WHAT IT ALL MEANS. KEITH, LET ME START WITH YOU. YOU SPENT A LOT OF TIME IN ALBANY AND YOU HAVE BEEN THE CHAIR — YOU ARE THE CHAIR OF THE MANHATTAN PARTY. WHEN YOU GET THESE FACTIONAL FIGHTS, DO THEY LAST INTO A GENERAL ELECTION?>>YES, TO A CERTAIN EXTENT. WE HAVE THE FIGHT BETWEEN THE SO-CALLED LEFT WING OF THE PARTY AND MAYBE THE MODERATE WING OF THE PARTY AND THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH FIGHTS. AT THE END OF THE DAY, AS A PARTY, WHETHER IT IS THE NATIONAL LEVEL, STATE LEVEL, OR LOCAL LEVEL, WE HAVE TO SHOW POLITICAL DISCIPLINE. OTHERWISE, WE RISK NOT WINNING THE FIGHT THAT WE ALL KNOW WE NEED TO WIN. DEMOCRATS NEED TO FALL IN LOVE, THAT HAS BEEN THE IDEOLOGICAL PATTERN FOR MANY, MANY YEARS. I DO THINK THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH THE SO-CALLED FIGHTS BECAUSE PHILOSOPHICALLY, MOST PEOPLE ARE ON THE SAME PAGE, IT IS JUST A MATTER OF — YOU HAVE TO BRING IN POLITICAL REALITIES OF WHETHER OR NOT YOU WANT TO WIN.>>BRANDON, NEW KINGS DEMOCRATS HAS BEEN THE MOST SUSTAINED RECENT CHALLENGE TO THE DEMOCRATIC ORGANIZATION. THE CURRENT DEMOCRATIC ORGANIZATION KICKED OUT THE OLD DEMOCRATIC ORGANIZATION AND THERE IS SOMETHING CYCLICAL ABOUT THIS. PARTY DISCIPLINE IS EASIER TO TALK ABOUT THEN IT IS TOO — I AM GOING TO USE THE WORD ENFORCE, BUT YOU CANNOT REALLY ENFORCE IT. IN YOUR WORK WITH NEW KINGS DEMOCRATS, HOW DO YOU SEE WHAT IT COMES OUT IN THESE FIGHTS?>>WHAT ARE YOU DOING IN POWER? WHAT IS THE VISION OF YOUR WORK AND THERE IS A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN IDEOLOGICAL SWINGS BASED ON HOW THE ENERGY IS IN POLITICS AND WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE A POLITICAL PARTY? WHAT IS THE ESTABLISHMENT DOING? PEOPLE ARE FINDING DISCONNECTION WITH THE ENTIRE STRUCTURE OF PARTIES. I THINK THE ANSWER IS SOMETHING THAT IS MORE TRANSFORMATIVE, SOMETHING WHERE PEOPLE ARE ENGAGING WITH THE INSTITUTION ITSELF AND ENGAGING WITH PEOPLE. I THINK IT IS HARDER TO GET PEOPLE TO STAY CONNECTED TO INSTITUTION WHEN THE EXPECTATION IS, YOU’RE LIVING IN X LOCATION, — THAT IS YOUR ENGAGEMENT WITH THIS WHOLE POLITICAL SPACE AND WE ARE SEEING PEOPLE NOT WANTING TO BE INVOLVED. I THINK THE ANSWER TO KEEP PEOPLE MORE CONNECTED INTO THIS STRUCTURE IS ACTUALLY HAVING MORE OF A VISION AND LETTING PEOPLE ENGAGE IN WORK THE WAY THEY WANT.>>HAVING A VISION BEYOND JUST THE PARTY STRUCTURE.>>RIGHT.>>TONY, YOU SPENT TIME AND YOU ARE SPENDING TIME IN ALBANY. YOU SAW THESE DIVISIONS PLAY OUT DRAMATICALLY IN THE LAST ELECTION AND NOW THE GOVERNOR IS CONFRONTING A FULLY DEMOCRATIC STATE LEGISLATURE, WHICH SOMETIMES YOU HAVE TO BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR. HOW DID THESE DIVISIONS PLAY OUT?>>THE THING THAT IS REALLY INTERESTING TO ME IS THE WAY IN WHICH THE GOVERNOR GOVERNS HAS A LOT TO DO WITH HIS ABILITY TO BE TRANSACTIONAL. THE FIGHTS HAPPENING WITHIN THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY, IT SEEMS TO ME, ARE MAKING IT DIFFICULT FOR HIM TO BE TRANSACTIONAL BECAUSE THESE ARE IDEOLOGICAL FIGHTS. ONE OF THE THINGS ABOUT THIS PRESIDENT IS HE IS NOT IDEOLOGICAL, IN MY OPINION AND IS PURPORTEDLY THE MASTER OF TRANSACTIONS. THAT MAY NOT BE GOING THAT WELL IN D.C. IN ALBANY, I THINK IT WILL GET VERY HARD FOR THIS GOVERNOR TO OPERATE IN THAT TRANSACTIONAL PATTERN AND PATRONAGE PATTERN HE HAS BEEN ABLE TO DO FOR SO MANY YEARS. THE IDC IS NOT THERE, THE REPUBLICANS ARE NOT IN COMMAND IN SENATE ANYMORE, AND THE PIVOTS AND TRIANGULATIONS HE WAS ABLE TO DO PREVIOUSLY ARE NOT THERE FOR HIM ANYMORE. NOW THE QUESTION BECOMES, WHAT CAN MAJORITY LEADERS DO — DO WITH HER CONFERENCE, AND WHAT CAN SPEAKER CAN DO WITH HIS CONFERENCE IN ORDER TO SIT AT THE TABLE WITH THE VERY POWERFUL GOVERNOR WHO CONTROLS THE BUDGET IN MOST MANY WAYS TO REALLY GET PASSED CHURN AND DO POLICY.>>CARL HASTINGS, THE ASSEMBLY SPEAKER HAS LIKE A 65 VOTE MAJORITY AND EVEN THOUGH ANDREW STEWART COUSINS HAS 39-62 SENATORS BECAUSE THEY PICKED UP SO MANY, SHE HAS A MORE FRACTIOUS AND MORE POWERFUL REPUBLICANS TO DEAL WITH. ARE DEMOCRATS IGNORING THE REPUBLICANS?>>IT DEPENDS ON WHICH HOUSE. IN THE ASSEMBLY, YES. IN THE SENATE, I THINK IT IS A MUCH MORE FINE LINE THAT SHE HAS TO WALK BECAUSE THERE ARE SO MANY DIFFERENT REGIONAL DEMOCRATS. YOU DON’T JUST HAVE PEOPLE FROM LONG ISLAND WHO ARE MOSTLY PROGRESSIVE AND MAY BE MORE LEFT-LEANING. SHE ALSO HAS MEMBERS FROM LONG ISLAND THAT ARE MUCH MORE CONSERVATIVE. SHE HAS MEMBERS FROM ALL ALONG THE HUDSON VALLEY AND UPSTATE WHICH ARE RURAL AREAS THAT HAVE DIFFERENT NEEDS THAN NEW YORK CITY, SO SHE HAS TO STRIKE A BALANCE WITH HOW DO I GIVE THESE PROGRESSIVE MEMBERS, SOME OF WHOM UPROOTED THE ESTABLISHMENT AND ALSO MAKE SURE SOME OF MY CONSERVATIVE MEMBERS ARE HAPPY? HOW DO WE MAKE SURE WE GO TO THE LEFT, BUT NOT TOO FAR LEFT?>>HOW DO I KEEP THE MAJORITY?>>I THINK THAT IS SOMETHING THEY ARE CONCERNED ABOUT. I DO NOT THINK 39 MEMBERS WILL COME BACK AROUND IN 2020. I THINK MAJORITY WILL MAYBE SLIGHTLY SKINNIER, 34, 35. NOW IS THE TIME TO PUSH FORWARD WITH PROGRESSIVE POLICIES THAT PERHAPS MAY NOT PASS MUSTER.>>YOU HAVE TO STRIKE WHILE THE IRON IS HOT. THE SENATE, DEMOCRATS WERE IN THE WILDERNESS FOR 40 YEARS.>>YOU HAD A COUPLE OF YEARS WHICH WERE A DISASTER.>>WHEN I WAS CHAIR OF THE HOUSING COMMITTEE.>>IN THE ASSEMBLY.>>IN THE NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY, I WAS PUTTING FORTH BILLS I KNEW WOULDN’T PASS. THESE WERE ALL MY BILLS.>>THESE ARE RENT REGULATIONS.>>AND NOW THESE BILLS WILL PROBABLY BECOME LAW BECAUSE NEW YORK STATE SENATE WILL BE VOTING FOR THEM. THOSE BILLS WILL PROBABLY BECOME LAWS. THE SENATE, I THINK, HAS A TOUGHER ROAD BECAUSE IT IS STILL VERY NEW. THE NEWER MEMBERS THINK AND KNOW THAT BECAUSE OF THEM, THEY HAVE THE MAJORITY, BUT THEY HAVE TO BE CAREFUL THAT THEY GOVERN IN THE RIGHT WAY, OTHERWISE THEY WILL NOT KEEP THE MAJORITY.>>I THINK THAT IS TRUE, BUT I WANT TO TAKE A STEP BACK AND SAY SOME OF THE PROGRESSIVE THINGS BEING IN THE BUDGET DID NOT COME OUT OF THE ASSEMBLY. FINANCE REFORM.>>I DEBATED THE CAMPAIGN-FINANCE REFORM FOR 10 YEARS. WE JUST DID IT BECAUSE WE KNEW IT WAS GOOD.>>OK. THE ASSEMBLY FOR THE LONGTIME HAD THE VOTES BUT THEY DID NOT THIS TIME AROUND. PEOPLE I KNOW WHO HAVE BEEN TALKING TO ELECTIVES AND SAY THEY ARE SUPPORTIVE AND THEN WE HEAR ON THE HILL BECAUSE I DO PROGRESSIVE GOVERNMENT LOBBYING, YOU HEAR THINGS ARE DIFFERENT THAN WHAT THEY ARE SAYING IN CERTAIN SPACES. WE HAVE TO ACKNOWLEDGE THE LANDSCAPE IS DIFFERENT AND A LOT OF PEOPLE SAYING PROGRESSIVE REFORM WILL BE HARDER TO COME OUT OF THE ASSEMBLY THAN THE SENATE BASED ON WHO IS THERE AND WHY.>>IN PART BECAUSE THE SENATE CAN SIGN OFF ON THINGS THE ASSEMBLY PUTS FORWARD.>>THE SO-CALLED CRAZY STUFF THAT WE WERE DOING YEARS AGO NOW IS ABOUT TO BECOME REALITY AND PEOPLE ARE IN THE ASSEMBLY AND WHEREVER, PUTTING ON THE BRAKES.>>THEY ARE TAKING A STEP BACK BEING LIKE THIS CAN BE REAL. HOW DO WE MAKE SURE THIS ISN’T CHALLENGED IN THE COURTS? HOW DO WE MAKE SURE WE HAVE THE INFRASTRUCTURE TO PUT ALL THESE THINGS INTO MOTION? HOW DO YOU MAKE SURE EVERYTHING THAT WAS A PIPE DREAM BECOMES A REALITY AND CAN STAND THE TEST OF TIME?>>I WANT TO SWITCH TO THE PRESIDENTIAL, BUT YOU DO HAVE THE 800 POUND GORILLA WHO LIVES IN THE GOVERNOR’S MANSION WHO, ONCE AGAIN, YOU HAVE TO BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR BECAUSE YOU ARE GOING TO GET IT. HE THRIVED IN THAT — WHAT TONY CALLED THE TRIANGULATION BETWEEN THE REPUBLICANS. IT IS ALMOST LIKE YOU HAVE TO PUT YOUR MONEY WHERE YOUR MOUTH IS.>>I THINK HE ALSO THRIVES IN CHAOS BECAUSE HE IS ABLE TO SEE CLEARLY A PATH FORWARD IN THE WAY MAYBE EVERYONE ELSE GETS STUCK IN THE MINUTIA AND THE INFIGHTING AND THE GOVERNOR KNOWS HOW TO CREATE ALLIANCES WITH PEOPLE AND USE THEM LIKE OFF OF EACH OTHER TO HAVE THESE UNIONS. FOR THE TRANSACTIONAL PORTION OF HIM, UNDERSTANDS WHAT PEOPLE WANT AND PEOPLE, I MEAN POLITICIANS. THEY KNOW WHAT LAWMAKERS WANT AND WHAT THEY WANT OUT OF THINGS. HE KNOWS HOW TO NEGOTIATE REALLY WELL.>>AND YET THINGS ARE GETTING MORE INTERESTING FOR EXECUTIVES LIKE CUOMO AND THE PRESIDENT, THAT IS A DIFFERENT CONVERSATION BECAUSE HE IS A MASTER OF THE MEDIA I AM ABOUT TO TALK ABOUT. TWITTER AND SOCIAL MEDIA ARE PLAYING HAVOC A LOT OF WAYS WITH THE GOVERNOR’S GOVERNING ABILITY. THIS TRANSACTIONAL CAPACITY HE HAS TO DO DEALS AND TO KNOW WHERE THE POWER LIES AND WHEN TO LEAN IN AND LEAN BACK IS ONE THING. I THINK HE IS GREAT IN ANALOG SPACE. HE IS KIND OF GETTING A SHELLACKING ON TWITTER AND OTHER SOCIAL MEDIA BY NEWER MEMBERS, MORE PROGRESSIVE, MUCH YOUNGER MEMBERS WHO ARE WILLING TO TRY TO FLOUT THEIR POWER AT LEAST TRY TO PUSH BACK THE GOVERNOR BY USING THESE SOCIAL MEDIA AND THEY HAVE BEEN TAUGHT BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES THAT YOU CAN DO THAT, YOU CAN TOGGLE BETWEEN PHYSICAL SPACE AND SOCIAL MEDIA SPACE AND ACTUALLY ACCOMPLISH THINGS OR BLOCK THINGS, AS THE CASE MAY BE. I THINK THIS GOVERNOR IS HAVING A HARD TIME FIGURING OUT HOW TO GET AROUND THAT. THAT 35 QUESTIONS THING HAS A LOT TO DO WITH THE ADVENT OF SOCIAL MEDIA. YOU CAN QUESTION WHETHER OCASIO-CORTEZ’S NUMBER OF TWITTER FOLLOWERS MEANS ANYTHING BUT IT DOES CHANGE THE DEBATE AMONG LEGISLATORS AND THEIR INTERACTIONS WITH THE PRESS, WHICH PUTS THE GOVERNOR IN A NEW POSITION, ONE HE HAS NOT BEEN IN. HE HAS A DEMOCRATIC SENATE, SO HE DOES NOT GET TO PLAY WITH THAT RELATIONSHIP ANYMORE, AND HE HAS THESE NEWER FOLKS IN NEW YORK AND NATIONALLY WHO ARE WAGING BATTLES WITH HIM ON TWITTER AND HE IS NOT REALLY ADEPT AT THAT.>>I HAVE KNOWN THE GOVERNOR LONG TIME, YOU DON’T SELL HIM SHORT.>>I WOULD NOT.>>HE IS A FANTASTIC STUDENT OF THE GAME OF POLITICS. HE WILL NOT MAKE THE MISTAKES THAT HIS FATHER MADE, OR PATTERSON MADE AND HE CERTAINLY WON’T MAKE THE MISTAKES THAT PATAKI MADE.>>THE MODEL IS CHANGING. WHEN THE GOVERNOR IS RUNNING FOR REELECTION, I THINK REALLY LATE IN THE CAMPAIGN — I THINK THAT IS REFLECTING OF THE ENERGY IN TERMS OF WHAT MAKES AN IDEA OR ISSUES SUCCESSFUL — SOCIAL MEDIA IS A MAJOR MEDIUM FOR THIS. WE HAVE SEEN, YOU CAN BREAK DOWN THE SYSTEM. YOU ONLY NEED A COUPLE THOUSAND VOTES TO KEEP AN ASSEMBLY SEAT — KEEP A SEAT AND NOW THAT HAS CHANGED. A GOOD CAMPAIGN, EVEN IF YOU HAVE A NOT PERFECT CANDIDATE, WE’LL GET YOU THROUGH, BUT THAT DID NOT TRANSLATE AT THE STATE LEVEL. THE STATE SYSTEM IS STILL THERE IN A SUBSTANTIVE WAY, BUT THAT IS BEING BROKEN IN SOME WAYS AND I THINK THAT WILL ONLY ACCELERATE. I THINK THE GOVERNOR IS IN A TOUGH SPOT, BUT I DO FEEL IF THE PARTY ITSELF DOES NOT ENERGIZE PEOPLE, IT IS GOING TO CREATE A NEW SYSTEM THAT WILL BE VERY DIFFERENT THAN BEFORE.>>THE GOVERNOR HAS ANOTHER COUPLE OF THINGS GOING, INSTITUTIONS IN GENERAL IN NEW YORK. A LOT OF THESE NEWER MEMBERS WHO BEAT OLDER LEGISLATORS TO GET INTO THE BODY CAME INTO ALBANY AND GOT HIT BY THE SORT OF AN — OF HOW THESE INSTITUTIONS WORK IN THE LEGISLATURE AND THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH. HE ALSO HAS GOING FOR HIM AND YOU ARE RIGHT, I THINK HE IS AN AMAZING STUDENT, THE MOST POLITICAL ANIMAL I HAVE EVER SEEN, HE ALSO HAS THE FACT THAT MANY OF THESE SENATE DEMOCRATS FROM THE SUBURBS ARE KIND OF WATCHING THEIR BACKS. THIS 2018 THING IS NOT A DEFINITE IN 2020. THEY HAVE TO REALLY TOE THE LINE IN ORDER TO MAKE SURE THEY ARE REELECTED IN SIGNIFICANT NUMBERS TO HAVE THE SENATE MAJORITY LEADER KEEP HER GAVEL, SO TO SPEAK, AND I THINK SHE IS WATCHING. IF YOUR NUMBERS ARE RIGHT THAT WE ARE LOOKING AT 35, 36 INSTEAD OF 39. SENATOR STEWART COUSINS IS WATCHING THAT TIGHTLY AND DOES NOT WANT TO TURN OVER THE MAJORITY IN THOSE LONG ISLAND DISTRICTS WHICH SHE CARRIED SURPRISINGLY IN SOME CASES AND WHICH SHE IS AWARE ARE ALWAYS GOING TO TOGGLE BETWEEN PARTIES IN AN ELECTION YEAR.>>THE FIGHT IN THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY IDEOLOGICAL, GENERATIONAL. PEOPLE GET TIRED OF PEOPLE BEING THERE A LONG TIME. POLITICS IS ALWAYS MULTIFACETED. IT IS NOT AS IF YOU CAN ALWAYS POINT — ABSENT A WAVE ELECTION, WHICH ARGUABLY, LAST YEAR WAS IN NEW YORK WITH THE KICKING OUT OF IDC PEOPLE. ON THE PRESIDENTIAL LEVEL, ASSUMING TRUMP HAS A CLEAR PATH FOR THE REPUBLICAN NOMINATION, WHICH, ABSENT IMPEACHMENT, HE PROBABLY DOES, THE DEMOCRATS ARE ENGAGED — THERE ARE 20 DEMOCRATS RUNNING. YOU HAVE A LOT OF CANDIDATES WITH CAMPAIGNS WITH VERY SHARP ELBOWS EYEING EVERYBODY ELSE AND TRYING TO ELBOW EVERYBODY ELSE OUT OF THE WAY. I’M A LITTLE SURPRISED KIERSTEN GILLIBRAND HAS NOT GOTTEN MUCH MORE ATTRACTION.>>I DON’T THINK ANYONE CARES.>>SHE IS A REALLY TALENTED SENATOR AND WHO KNOWS WHAT THE MAYOR — OUR MAYOR IS GOING TO DO. ARE THERE ECHOES OF SANDERS, CLINTON? THERE WAS ONE POLL THAT SAID, IF ELIZABETH WARREN WAS THE NOMINEE, A LOT OF SANDER SUPPORTERS WOULD NOT VOTE FOR HER.>>POLITICIANS AND POLITICAL CAMPS ARE BECOMING INCREASINGLY TRIBAL AND THESE ARE MAYBE — SOME OF THE BERNIE BROS THAT ARE LIKE BERNIE OR BUST AND THAT IS NOT THE MENTALITY THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY NEEDS TO HAVE GOING FORWARD. WHOEVER THE CANDIDATE IS, THEY NEED TO UNIFY BEHIND THEM IF THERE IS ANY SORT OF CHANCE TO GET A DEMOCRAT IN THE WHITE HOUSE. THIS IS PART OF THIS GROWING TREND WHERE IT IS COMPLETELY TRIBAL AT THIS POINT. PEOPLE ARE VERY STAUNCH IN THEIR CANDIDATE AND THEIR BELIEFS AND THEY ARE IMMOVABLE FORCES. THERE IS FAULT IN EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM.>>HAVING WATCHED POLITICS FOR A LONG TIME, I ALWAYS THINK THERE ARE CANDIDATES WHO COMMAND RESPECT AND THEN THERE ARE REPUBLICANS WHO DEMAND RESPECT. DEMAND SUPPORT AND THAT IS WHERE I ACTUALLY SEE THAT IN SOME OF THE SANDERS PEOPLE.>>GOING BACK TO YOUR QUESTION, ARE THERE VESTIGES OF THE SANDERS-CLINTON STUFF — I DON’T KNOW IF WE REALLY KNOW YET.>>WE HAVE BIDEN.>>I WAS GOING TO GET TO THAT. OUT OF THE 20, YOU HAVE SOME OF THE FOLKS THAT ARE TRYING TO OUT BERNIE BERNIE.>>MAYOR DE BLASIO MIGHT –>>YOU HAVE BIDEN COMING IN, WHO HAS A LONG RECORD. I DON’T KNOW IF WE HAVE SEEN THAT YET BECAUSE THERE ARE MORE BERNIE-TYPE FOLKS THAN THEY HAVE THE BIDEN FOLKS, IF YOU WILL. THAT IS WHAT IS MAKING, I THINK, BIDEN PROBABLY STAND OUT. I THINK IT IS TOO EARLY TO SAY.>>SO MUCH HAS CHANGED IN THE LAST FEW YEARS, BUT I THINK THE ACTUAL PROGRESSIVE MESSAGE, SOCIALIST MESSAGE IS REACHING PEOPLE WHO ARE ENGAGING FOR THE FIRST TIME. I DON’T THINK WE HAVE THE SAME DYNAMIC WE HAD WITH JUST ONE HUGE FORCE THAT EVERYONE WAS MOVING AROUND AND RESPONDING TO. I THINK WE ALSO HAVE A LOT MORE PEOPLE LISTENING TO ACTIVIST MESSAGES, NON-ESTABLISHMENT MESSAGES. PEOPLE ARE LOOKING FOR SOMETHING AND I THINK THAT IS THE DIFFERENCE IN THIS RACE, THAT IT WILL BE EASIER FOR A PROGRESSIVE CANDIDATE TO COME THROUGH. THE FACT THAT IT HAS BEEN SPLIT MEANS IT WILL BE A WILD PRIMARY RACE. I FEEL THE DYNAMIC OF ESTABLISHMENT-ANTIESTABLISHMENT WILL STILL BE THERE. PEOPLE ARE WAY OUT ON THE LEFT WHEN YOU TALK ABOUT INDIVIDUALS OR USE THE S WORD, PEOPLE CHANGE THEIR MIND BASED ON THE IMAGE OF THESE THINGS. IF YOU KEEP IT TO POLICY, I THINK THIS WILL BE AN ELECTION THAT IS MORE OPEN TO PROGRESSIVE IDEAS AS USUAL, BUT JUST BECAUSE OF THE NATURE OF HAVING A CLOWN CAR SITUATION –>>YOU ARE ALSO TALKING ABOUT LABELS. PART OF WHAT YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT IS THE SOCIALIST LABEL, WHICH WAS A KILLER FOR MANY YEARS. THEY ARE NOT AS HUNG UP ON IT AS WHEN I WAS GROWING UP POLITICALLY IN THE 1960s AND 1970s. THAT WAS THE KISS OF DEATH. IT IS NOT.>>IT IS A BADGE OF HONOR, NOW.>>IT IS MORE COMPLICATED.>>WHAT DOES IT MEAN RIGHT NOW? WE HAD FRANCES PIVEN ON THE SHOW AND SHE WAS SAYING –>>SAYING THESE PEOPLE AREN’T SOCIALIST.>>BASICALLY NEW DEALERS. THIS IS A REDO OF THE NEW DEAL. AS THE DEMOCRATIC PRIMARY WEARS ON AND PEOPLE BEGIN TO GO AFTER EACH OTHER A LITTLE MORE AGGRESSIVELY AND TRY TO DISTINGUISH THEMSELVES BY DISTINGUISHING THEIR FOES, INVARIABLY, SOMEONE WILL HAVE TO GO OUT ON A LIMB AND POINT TO WHY THEY ARE REALLY PUTTING OUT SOMETHING LIKE A SOCIALIST POLICY. WHAT PEOPLE SEEM TO BE DEALING WITH NOW ARE LOTS OF SOCIAL ISSUES, ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES. I DON’T WANT TO CALL IT TINKERING, BUT NO ONE IS TALKING ABOUT THE STRUCTURE OF THE ECONOMY IN ANY PARTICULAR WAY.>>IF YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT HEALTH CARE, YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT THE STRUCTURE OF THE ECONOMY.>>IT IS FRAMED AS A SOCIAL ISSUE NOW. SOMEONE WILL HAVE TO GO INTO MORE DEPTH AND TALK ABOUT AN ECONOMIC ISSUE AND WHAT IT WILL COST AND WHAT CHIPS PEOPLE ARE WILLING TO PUT ON THE TABLE TO GET UNIVERSAL HEALTH CARE. I THINK THAT IS WHERE IT WILL GET A LOT BLOODIER AND FOR ONE PERSON TO BE STANDING WHEN THIS IS SAID AND DONE, A LOT OF CARNAGE WILL HAVE TO GET IN THE WAY AND THAT IS WHERE FATIGUE HAPPENS AND A LOT OF THOSE PEOPLE MAY NOT VOTE FOR TRUMP. THEY MAY JUST, IN THOSE 5, 6 KEY STATES, SIT OUT AND, THAT IS ALL YOU NEED AND TRUMP IS BACK IN.>>I THINK YOU HAVE TO OFFER SOMETHING. THE NATURE OF WHERE THIS COUNTRY IS GOING AND WHERE NEW YORK CITY IS GOING REQUIRES A LOT MORE THAN WHAT THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY HAS BEEN OFFERING. I THINK THAT IS TRUE, BUT IF HILLARY CLINTON DID A COUPLE OF EVENTS AND KNOCKED ON DOORS, SHE WOULD HAVE WON ANYWAY. I FEEL LIKE THIS TRUMP MACHINE IS REPRESENTATIVE OF THIS RIDICULOUS CONSERVATIVE WAVE. WHEN WE HAD 16% OF BERNIE’S PRIMARY SUPPORTERS WHO VOTED FOR TRUMP, I THINK YOU HAD PEOPLE WHO WERE REALLY FED UP WITH THE POLITICAL STRUCTURE AND YOU COULD GET ANSWERS ON SOME OF THESE ECONOMIC ISSUES ON HOW YOU COULD TURN HEALTH CARE OR HOUSING INTO SOMETHING THAT WOULD BE PLAUSIBLE, BUT YOU CANNOT HAVE IT ON SOCIAL MEDIA. THAT IS A HARD CONVERSATION TO HAVE AND ELIZABETH WARREN CAN PUT OUT ONE MILLION POLICY PLATFORMS, BUT — I FEEL THERE IS AN AVENUE AND THE LEFT IS DOING THAT WORK, IT IS JUST NOT TRANSLATING IN A WAY THAT IS EASY TO GET SUPPORT OR THE HITS OR GOOD MEDIA COVERAGE TO MAKE THAT HAPPEN.>>ESPECIALLY WITH UNCONSCIOUS BIASES REFLECTED IN THIS DEMOCRATIC PRIMARY. IF ELIZABETH WARREN SAYS THE SAME THING BERNIE SANDERS SAYS, IT SEEMS IN REACTIONS THAT PEOPLE THINK SHE IS BEING TOO WONKISH WHEREAS HE IS SEEN AS CHARISMATIC. I THINK THAT IS OUT AND OUT SEXISM. I THINK THERE IS A LOT AT PLAY HERE BELOW THE LINE THAT IS GOING TO INFLUENCE WHETHER OR NOT THE PERSON CAN DO A DEEP DIVE ON A POLICY THAT WOULD BE REFLECTIVE OF A REAL PROGRESSIVE MOVEMENT WITHIN THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY. WE ARE GOING TO HAVE TO SHAKE THE TREES AND GET THESE CANDIDATES OUT OF THE RACE FIRST.>>THAT IS WHAT THESE EARLY DEBATES ARE ABOUT. I THINK THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY IS SMART TO HAVE THESE — THE FIRST ONE IS IN JULY OR SOMETHING LIKE THAT? YOU ARE GOING TO WIND UP WITH 15, 16 PEOPLE WHO QUALIFY FOR THESE DEBATES. REPUBLICANS HAD THAT. THEY HAD THE GROWN-UP TABLE AND KIDS TABLE. IT IS GOING TO BE THAT MUCH HARDER. SOMEBODY WHO EMERGES WITH 15% IS GOING TO BE ALL OF A SUDDEN — LEGITIMATE. HAVE WE EVER SEEN ANYTHING QUITE LIKE THIS?>>WE SAW THREE YEARS AGO WITH THE REPUBLICANS. YOU HAD PARTY FACTION, TEARING GOING AT IT WITH THE JEB BUSH FACTION.>>YOU ALSO HAD THE XENOPHOBIC CON MAN WHO FLOATED ABOVE THAT AND PLAYED TO THE CHEAP SEATS.>>HE HAD THE MOST NAME RECOGNITION IN A LOT OF WAYS. PEOPLE KEPT SAYING, HE IS NOT A POLITICIAN. THAT ARGUMENT HAS BEEN THROWN OUT THE WINDOW AND HOPEFULLY DEMOCRATS DO NOT BY IT.>>WE ARE SEEING A LOT OF — PARDON THE EXPRESSION, BUT FLAVORS OF THE WEEK. I PERSONALLY THINK BUTTIGIEG HAS MORE STAY IN POWER. SOMEBODY IS GOING TO HAVE TO CATCH FIRE.>>YOU GRIMACE WHEN YOU SAY THAT. YOU LOOKED IN PAIN WHEN YOU SAID THAT.>>I COULD NOT TELL YOU A POLICY PLATFORM HE HAS.>>BUTTIGIEG?>>AND THAT IS CONCERNING. THEY ARE GOING TO WANT SOMETHING MORE SUBSTANTIVE THAN THAT. I FEEL THIS IS ALL BASED ON IMAGE AND EVERYTHING WE SHOULD NOT BE DOING AND WE ELECT PEOPLE ON THE WORST MODEL POSSIBLE. YOU HAVE TO STAY THERE FOR HOURS IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT ON A WEEKDAY IN ORDER TO IMPACT WHO YOUR CANDIDATE WILL BE.>>WHO THE DELEGATES WILL BE AT THE NEXT LEVEL?>>THIS IS A JOKE AND I THINK THIS IS SOMETHING WE NEED TO ACKNOWLEDGE AND WE NEED TO TRY OUR BEST TO LIFT UP THE PEOPLE WE THINK HAVE THE BEST MESSAGE AND MAKE THE MESSAGE A PART OF WHAT THIS IS ABOUT. I THINK WE HAVE FORGOTTEN TO LET LEGISLATORS LEGISLATE. THIS PERSON HAS A GOOD IMAGE AND THIS PERSON IS OBAMA -LIKE AND KAMALA HARRIS HAS THIS IDENTITY AND THIS IS COOL. I THINK WE NEED TO ACKNOWLEDGE IDENTITY, BUT WE HAVE TO MAKE IT ABOUT HOW WE ARE GOING TO CHANGE PEOPLE’S LIVES FOR THE BETTER. WHOEVER IS GOING TO COME OUT OF THIS HAS TO BE LOOKING AT THE MESSAGE RIGHT ON THIS.>>HOW MUCH IS IT GOING TO FACTOR IN AS TO WHO CAN BEAT TRUMP RATHER THAN THE MESSAGE?>>PEOPLE HAVE BUSY LIVES, THEY WANT TO VOTE FOR A REASON. PEOPLE THINK VOTERS ARE EXTREMELY STRATEGIC ABOUT WHAT THEY ARE DOING, PEOPLE WANT TO BE INSPIRED AND SHOW UP. PEOPLE ARE WILLING TO VOTE FOR SOMEONE THAT IS AN IDIOT BECAUSE IT WAS SOMEWHAT ASPIRING AND SEEMS LIKE SOMETHING DIFFERENT THAN THEY ARE USED TO.>>HE WAS KIND OF A SCREW YOU CANDIDATE ON MANY LEVELS.>>I DON’T FEEL THE ENTIRE ELECTORATE WILL BE MOVING TOWARDS WHO IS BEATABLE AGAINST TRUMP. PEOPLE SAY WE HAVE TO GO FOR BIDEN BECAUSE HE WILL GET THE MODERATES IN LINE. WE DON’T NEED TO MAKE A MESSAGE FOR OTHER PEOPLE WHO ARE CONNECTED TO ANOTHER IDEOLOGY. WE NEED TO MAKE A MESSAGE THAT WORKS FOR MOST OF THE PEOPLE. I THINK WE HAVE SEEN THE ISSUES DO BREAK PARTY LINE MORE THAN WE THOUGHT THEY WOULD HISTORICALLY.>>YOU ARE SAYING MESSAGE OUTWEIGHS ELECTABILITY?>>I THINK WE SHOULD NOT FOCUS TOO MUCH ON ELECTABILITY BECAUSE THAT IS BECOMING MORE OF A MYTH THAN WE THOUGHT IT WAS.>>I THINK YOU NEED TO COMBINE THE TWO.>>I THINK WE ARE GIVING TOO MUCH TO WHAT ELECTABILITY MEANS BECAUSE THEN WE WOULD NEVER NOMINATE A WOMAN OR A MINORITY –>>THERE SEEMS TO BE A TENSE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN HAVING A RECORD AND HAVING A MESSAGE. THE PROBLEM WITH HAVING A RECORD IS YOU TRY TO CONSTRUCT A MESSAGE BUT, INVARIABLY, IF YOU HAVE A RECORD, THERE IS SOMETHING IN THAT RECORD THAT CONTRADICTS THE MESSAGE THAT YOU ARE TOUTING ABOUT YOURSELF. THIS IS WHY BUTTIGIEG AND DONALD TRUMP BECOME ATTRACTIVE CANDIDATES BECAUSE YOU CANNOT EVER MAKE THAT CONTRAST.>>THE ANALOGY — IT IS ONE THING TO RUN IN NEW YORK AND ANOTHER THING TO RUN INTO THE TRUMP DEMOCRATS IN WISCONSIN AND OHIO AND MICHIGAN AND YOU HAVE TO APPEAL TO THEM BOTH. THERE IS AN ANALOGY TO WHAT YOU WERE TALKING ABOUT ABOUT THE LONG ISLAND SENATORS VERSUS THE HUDSON VALLEY SENATORS AND THOSE OF US WHO ARE NEW YORK CITY LUNATICS WHO ARE MUCH MORE PROGRESSIVE. YOU SEE THAT PLAYING OUT ON THE PRESIDENTIAL LEVEL WHEN YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT MESSAGE VERSUS ELECTABILITY. HOW DOES THIS PLAY ITSELF OUT?>>I THINK KEITH IS RIGHT, YOU HAVE TO STRIKE THAT PERFECT BALANCE WHERE YOUR MESSAGING IN NEW YORK SHOULD BE APPLICABLE TO THE SAME KIND OF PEOPLE IN IOWA, NEW HAMPSHIRE, THE MESSAGING NEEDS TO REACH A BROAD SWATH OF PEOPLE. THAT IS HARD TO DO.>>IT RAISES THE QUESTION, ARE YOU MAKING AN ENEMY OF THE GOOD. THERE ARE PEOPLE WHO ARE THE LOUDEST VOICES IN THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY ARE IDEOLOGICALLY TO THE LEFT ARGUABLY WHERE THE CENTER OF THE COUNTRY IS AND TO SOME DEGREE, WHERE THE CENTER OF THE PARTY IS, THE LOUDEST VOICES IN THE PUBLICAN PARTY ARE IDEOLOGICALLY TO THE RIGHT. THE DEGREE TO WHICH YOU HAVE THE HOLLOWING OUT OF THE MIDDLE, WHICH IS WHERE GOVERNMENT GETS DONE AND WHERE ELECTIONS WERE WON, HOW DO YOU WEIGH THOSE TWO?>>I THINK YOU HAVE TO — AND THIS IS WHERE POLITICAL CONSULTANTS AND POLLING GETS INVOLVED, YOU STRIKE A BALANCE. IT IS HOW DO YOU MARRY THE TWO IN A WAY THAT IS PERFECT SYNCHRONICITY. YOU CAN HAVE SOMEONE WHO IS ELECTABLE AND SOMEONE WHO HAS AN IMAGE AND A MOVEMENT BEHIND THEM. IT CAN PLAY IN NEW YORK CITY AND ALSO IN NEW HAMPSHIRE.>>WE HAVE A QUESTION –>>WHAT HAS BEEN THE RULE OF CORPORATE MONEY IN OUR LOCAL POLITICS?>>IN OUR LOCAL POLITICS?>>IF YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT NEW YORK CITY, WE HAVE A VERY STRONG CAMPAIGN-FINANCE SYSTEM WHERE THE REPORTING IS MUCH MORE SOPHISTICATED AND DETAILED THAN ELSEWHERE. IN ALBANY, YOU HAVE A LOT OF DARK MONEY GOING ON.>>ALBANY HAS DECENT CAMPAIGN-FINANCE DISCLOSURES, SO YOU CAN SEE WHERE THE MONEY IS COMING FROM. IT IS A LOT OF REAL ESTATE MONEY. IT IS A LOT OF MONEY THAT COMES FROM THE EDUCATION SECTOR. THE TEACHERS UNION OR CHARTER SCHOOLS — THERE IS A LOT OF “CORPORATE MONEY” IN THE SENSE THAT IT’S COMING FROM BIG DEVELOPERS OR INDUSTRIES IN GENERAL. THAT PLAYS A REALLY BIG ROLE. MONEY MEANS YOU ARE ALLOWED TO BUY ADS ON TV. MONEY MEANS YOU CAN PAY YOUR CAMPAIGN STUFF. MONEY MEANS YOU CAN HAVE MAILERS. MONEY CAN MAKE OR BREAK YOUR ELECTION. I THINK — AND WE HAVE SEEN THIS TIME AND TIME AGAIN, IT IS GETTING MORE AND MORE EXPENSIVE TO RUN FOR OFFICE AND YOU HAVE INTERESTS COMING IN NOT ONLY FROM THE STATE, YOU ARE HAVING OUT-OF-STATE INTEREST AND DEVELOPERS WHO HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH A RACE IN THE OUTSKIRTS OF ALBANY SUDDENLY DONATING HEAPS AND HEAPS OF MONEY. IN THIS CLIMATE, WE HAVE SEEN THIS SHIFT IN HOW BIG MONEY IS BEING TREATED AND HOW SMALL DONORS ARE BEING PROPPED UP AS A WAY TO SIGNIFY THERE IS COMMUNITY SUPPORT BEHIND SOMEONE OR ON THE GROUND SUPPORT FOR A CANDIDATE.>>THAT IS ONE OF THE THINGS THE DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL COMMITTEE DID TO GET INTO DEBATES. YOU NEED TO HAVE 65000 CONTRIBUTIONS. YOU CANNOT RELY ON 10 PEOPLE TO GIVE YOU $50,000. I ASSUME YOU THINK THAT IS A GOOD REFORM.>>I DON’T THINK THE DNC IS SITTING AND THINKING ABOUT HOW WE CAN GET MONEY OUT OF POLITICS IN A SUBSTANTIVE WAY. I THINK THAT IS A GOOD REFORM, BUT THERE IS A LOT OF BATTLES IN ALL LEVELS, LIKE, CITY, ESPECIALLY STATE — THE AMOUNT OF MONEY THAT IS STILL BEING — IT IS RIDICULOUS. IT IS IMPACTING WHY WE HAVE RENT LAWS AND WHY WE HAVE THE POLICIES THAT WE HAVE. IT IS FULL STOP ONE OF THE BIGGER THINGS IF WE WANT TO HAVE A REPRESENTATIVE DEMOCRACY.>>AS LONG AS CITIZENS UNITED IS IN PLACE, WE ARE LOOKING AT THIS REGIME FOR A WHILE. I AM TORN BECAUSE I KEEP THINKING OF 2016 AND HOW EVERYBODY UNDERESTIMATED HOW MUCH TRUMP WAS GOING TO NEED TO SPEND TO BE ELECTED. THE AMAZING THING WAS HOW LITTLE MONEY WAS ULTIMATELY NEEDED FOR HIM TO BECOME PRESIDENT.>>FREE MEDIA. IT WAS SUCH A NEWS SPONGE.>>IT IS A CHANGING LANDSCAPE. THESE ELECTIONS ARE BEING CONDUCTED ON THE CLOUD. THEY ARE ON THE CLOUD AND THEN AT THE BALLOT BOX. THIS CLOUD PIECE IS REALLY IMPACTFUL. I AM WONDERING IF PEOPLE AT THE DNC — THE STATE COMMITTEE HEADS ARE LOOKING AT WAYS TO DO THIS WITH LESS MONEY –>>I ALWAYS THOUGHT ONE OF THE ODD THINGS, HERE WE ARE IN NEW YORK CITY AND IT IS IN MANY WAYS CHEAPER TO RUN FOR OFFICE, LEGISLATIVE OR CONGRESSIONAL OFFICE BECAUSE YOU DO NOT HAVE TO DO TV. IF I HAVE 10 CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICTS, IF I PUT AN AD ON TV, 90% OF THE PEOPLE WHO WILL SEE IT, IT IS USELESS. SEGMENTING ON CABLE AND NEW YORK 1, YOU CAN SEGMENT THE AUDIENCE. THE KIND OF OVER THE AIR NETWORK AFFILIATES YOU USED TO SEE ALL THE ADVERTISING GOING ON DOES NOT MAKE SENSE IN NEW YORK CITY. WE ARE ACTUALLY CHEAPER.>>I DON’T KNOW ABOUT THAT. ANYBODY WHO RUNS FOR OFFICE AND I THINK I AM THE ONLY ONE HERE WHO HAS PROBABLY HAD — FEW TIMES I RAN FOR OFFICE. TV HELPS. IF YOU ARE AN ELECTED OFFICIAL TRYING TO BECOME ELECTED, YOU WANT AS MUCH EXPOSURE AS YOU CAN GET. I HAVE RECEIVED THE LOWER CONTRIBUTIONS. I HAVE RECEIVED THE MAXIMUM CONTRIBUTION. MY PHILOSOPHY WAS ALWAYS THAT WHEN ELECTED, PEOPLE TRUSTED ME TO MAKE THE RIGHT DECISIONS. NOT ONCE DID MONEY EVER ENTER INTO MY MIND HOW I WAS GOING TO VOTE, EVER. I CANNOT SAY THAT FOR EVERYBODY. I CANNOT SAY THAT FOR EVERYBODY, BUT IT JUST HAD NO BEARING ON HOW I VOTED. CERTAINLY, MONEY IS NEEDED TO GET ELECTED.>>WHICH IS WHY –>>AND I HATED RAISING MONEY.>>NO ONE LIKES RAISING MONEY, BUT INFLUENCE IS REAL. WHEN SOMEONE YOU INTERACTED WITH BEFORE SHOWS UP OR ASKS A QUESTION, THAT IMPACTS YOUR DECISION-MAKING, YOU MAY NOT THINK I ACTUALLY MADE THIS DECISION AND WAS NOT THINKING FOR THE PEOPLE, BUT THAT ADDS UP.>>THE ONLY THING THAT I GOT FROM PEOPLE WHO WOULD GIVE ME MONEY IS THAT THEY — WHEN YOU WON, THEY WANTED TO BE ABLE TO HAVE ACCESS TO YOU.>>THAT IS A PROBLEM FOR SOME PEOPLE. IF YOU HAPPEN TO BE CONNECTED TO A LOT OF MONEY AND YOU WANT ACCESS TO AN OFFICIAL, AN OPPORTUNITY TO TALK TO THEM IN A WAY THE AVERAGE PERSON IS NOT GOING TO GET ACCESS TO.>>YOU TALK TO AVERAGE PEOPLE, TOO. ALWAYS.>>A PRIVATE SIT-DOWN IS DIFFERENT.>>AND FAMILIARITY. THE SECOND TIME AROUND, THIRD TIME AROUND. IN ALBANY, THE 16TH TIME AROUND. ACCESS TO BEGIN AND INCREASING FAMILIARITY AND SOME THING LIKE TRUST THAT BEGINS TO EMERGE WITH THESE RATES OF INCUMBENCY. IT IS NOT AN EVEN PLAYING FIELD.>>IN ALBANY, CAMPAIGN-FINANCE MAY NOT GET DONE THIS YEAR. EVERYBODY THINKS IT IS A GOOD IDEA UNTIL THE RUBBER HITS THE ROAD. YOU HAVE BEEN WATCHING THIS.>>EVERYONE ULTIMATELY AGREES ON WHAT NEEDS TO GET DONE, IT IS JUST HOW WE GET THERE AND THE INTRICACIES OF THAT. IT IS JUST THE DETAILS OF THAT HAVE BEEN REALLY HARD TO FIGURE OUT. WHAT HE SAID EARLIER, THE ASSEMBLY HAD BEEN PASSING PUBLIC CAMPAIGN-FINANCE FOR YEARS AND NOW THERE IS SUDDENLY THIS SHOCK OF WAIT, THIS CAN ACTUALLY HAPPEN? WE NEED TO FIGURE OUT HOW TO DO THIS AND WHAT INFRASTRUCTURE NEEDS TO BE IN PLACE AND WHAT HAPPENS WITH FUSION VOTING THAT ALLOWS CANDIDATES TO RUN MULTIPLE LINES? DO THEY GET PUBLIC FINANCE FOR EVERY LINE THEY RUN ON?>>WE DID A SHOW ON FUSION VOTING, WHICH I OPPOSE, BUT THAT IS A SEPARATE ISSUE.>>THEN YOU GET TO THE FACT THAT THIS COULD COST HALF A BILLION AND THAT IS WHEN EVERYONE STARTS REALIZING THIS IS A VERY REAL THING. EVEN IF YOU HAVE PUBLIC CAMPAIGN-FINANCE, INDEPENDENT EXPENDITURES ARE LEGAL AND THOSE CAN RAISE AND CONTRIBUTE AN UNLIMITED AMOUNT. WHAT DOES IT SAY YOU ARE GOING TO USE TAXPAYER FUNDING FOR POLITICAL CANDIDATES AND PUT LIMITS ON THAT AND HAVE MATCHING FUNDS, BUT YOU CAN CREATE AN INDEPENDENT EXPENDITURE.>>IN THAT CONTEXT, I AM SURE THERE ARE NEWER AND OLDER MEMBERS OF THE ASSEMBLY — SPEAKER SAID, I AM NOT SURE WE SHOULD DO THIS.>>THERE ARE SOME OFFICIALS WHO DO NOT WANT TO SEE THE FIELD LEVELED.>>A THREE TERM ASSEMBLY MEMBER IS BRINGING A KNIFE TO A BAZOOKA FIGHT GIVEN THE INDEPENDENT EXPENDITURE PIECE.>>YES, SIR.>>MY NAME IS TIMOTHY. I AM GOING TO PIGGYBACK OFF THE FIRST QUESTION, BUT DO YOU THINK THE PRIVATE MONEY OR CORPORATE MONEY GOING TO DIFFERENT CAMPAIGNS IS THE CAUSE OF THE FRAGMENTATION OF THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY?>>MONEY FIGURES INTO THE FACTIONALIZATION, AND IT IS ALWAYS AN ISSUE THAT IS BROUGHT UP. IN THE LAST SENATE ELECTIONS, THE REAL ESTATE MONEY THAT WENT TO SOME OF THE INDEPENDENT DEMOCRATIC CAUCUS MEMBERS WAS A MAJOR ISSUE. THERE IS ALSO UNION MONEY AND A LOT OF THOSE PEOPLE WILL SUPPORT POSITIONS UNIONS TAKE.>>A LOT HAS TO DO WITH GENERATIONAL, TOO.>>IN WHAT SENSE?>>THERE IS THE OLD, THE NEW GENERATION. IT DOESN’T THINK THE OLD GUARD IS DOING WHAT THEY ARE SUPPOSED TO BE DOING AND THEY WANT THEIR TURN AT BAT.>>I THINK THERE ARE BIG DEMOGRAPHIC SHIFTS WITHIN DISTRICTS. SOME WERE KNOCKED OUT BY NEW DEMOGRAPHICS IN THOSE VOTING DISTRICTS. IN QUEENS AND LONG ISLAND.>>AND IN BROOKLYN.>>ABSOLUTELY, RIGHT. IT IS NOT JUST PUBLIC-PRIVATE, THERE IS A LOT OF CHANGE HAPPENING GENERATIONALLY AND IN TERMS OF HOW PEOPLE ARE MOVING AROUND THE CITY AND THE STATE.>>AND THERE IS GENTRIFICATION ALSO.>>GENTRIFICATION IS ONE OF THE REASONS WHY IT MAKES IT COMPLICATED THAT YOU HAVE A NUMBER OF THE ANTI-IDC CANDIDATES WHO GOT HUGE AMOUNTS OF VOTES FROM PEOPLE WHO MOVED IN AS PART OF GENTRIFICATION, ONE OF THE DOUBLE-EDGED SWORDS.>>I THINK GENTRIFICATION IS A REAL PART OF THIS. SOMEONE WHO ENDORSED AND SUPPORTED CANDIDATES WHO RAN AGAINST THE IDC SAYING I WISH THERE WAS MORE DIVERSITY. YOU HAVE TO ACKNOWLEDGE WHO SOME OF THESE FOLKS WERE. JESSE HAMILTON WAS JESSE HAMILTON.>>A SENATOR FROM BROOKLYN.>>THE WAY HE GOVERNED IMPACTED PEOPLE WANTING AN ALTERNATIVE CANDIDATE THERE. WAS THE MORE AFFLUENT PART OF THE DISTRICT HAVING MORE SUPPORT THAN PEOPLE WOULD THINK? YEAH. THAT WAS THE PART THAT SUPPORTED THE INCUMBENT. I THINK THERE IS A NARRATIVE THAT IS THIS PERSON IS RUNNING POLITICS A CERTAIN WAY IN THIS COMMUNITY. THAT IS STILL AN IMPORTANT THING, YOU HAVE A BELOVED CANDIDATE THAT HAS DONE THINGS PERFECTLY. I DON’T WANT TO SAY IT IS JUST A BUNCH OF NEW PEOPLE CHANGING POLITICS. THERE IS A REALITY TO WHAT HAS BEEN GOING ON AND PEOPLE WANTING SOMETHING DIFFERENT.>>I AM A STUDENT IN JOHN JAY COLLEGE. I AM CURIOUS AS TO WHY SOCIALISTS IN AMERICA IS TABOO WHEN IN OTHER COUNTRIES, IT SEEMS TO WORK?>>THE QUESTION IS, ARE THESE SOCIALISTS OR DEMOCRATIC-SOCIALIST? WHAT IS SOCIAL SECURITY IF NOT SOCIALISM? WHAT IS MEDICARE. WE ARE ALL KICKING MONEY INTO IT. WE TAKE THE MONEY OUT. THE TERM WAS A BUGABOO. IS BERNIE SANDERS A CLASSIC SOCIALIST OR IS BERNIE SANDERS A DEMOCRATIC-SOCIALIST?>>I THINK WE HAVE TO ACKNOWLEDGE WHAT THIS COUNTRY HAS BEEN LIKE. FOR THE LONGEST TIME, — WAS THE FACE OF THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY. IN TERMS OF HOW CONSERVATIVE AMERICAN POLITICS IS, WE NEED TO GRAPPLE WITH THAT SO SOMETHING THAT IS MARGINALLY LEFTIST IN THE INTERNATIONAL FRAME IS CONSIDERED THE FRINGE AND I THINK WE ARE SEEING THAT BEING BROKEN DOWN. I THINK WE NEED TO GET OUT OF NEW YORK CITY AND TALK TO PEOPLE ABOUT POLITICS. THERE IS A DEEP CONSERVATIVE CLOUD TO HOW WE THINK ABOUT THESE ISSUES AND THE ARGUMENT OF INSURANCE AND HAVING PEOPLE — YOU ARE GOING TO BE PAYING FOR OTHER PEOPLE’S HEALTH CARE AND PEOPLE STRUGGLING WITH THAT AS SOMETHING THEIR TAX DOLLARS SHOULD GO TO IS PART OF THAT CONSERVATIVE CLOUD AND ACTUAL DEMOCRATS — VIRTUOUS TO THE CAUSE AND THAT WILL CHANGE THAT. I FEEL LIKE WE HAVE MOVED VERY FAR IN A DECADES AMOUNT OF TIME AND THAT WILL TAKE A LOT MORE TIME TO GO MORE IN THAT DIRECTION.>>IT IS A WINNER TAKE ALL SYSTEM. WE DO NOT HAVE THE PROPORTIONAL REPRESENTATION OR COALITION GOVERNMENTS. THERE IS THE HATFIELDS AND THE MCCOYS AND IN THIS ELECTORAL SYSTEM, IT IS HARD TO SEE OTHER IDEAS EITHER ON THE MARGINS OR IN THE MIDDLE REALLY TAKE ANY KIND OF SHAPE. YOU SAID POLITICS IS MULTIFACETED. I AGREE. POLITICAL SYSTEMS ARE INCREDIBLY RIGID, INCREDIBLY STATIC.>>EVEN IN SOMETHING LIKE OBAMACARE AND THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT, WHICH WAS ABSOLUTELY THE WORST THING THAT EVER HAPPENED WHEN IT WAS PASSED AND NOW REPUBLICANS ARE GETTING PUNISHED FOR TRYING TO PULL BACK FROM IT, IT HAS BECOME PART OF THE POLITICAL FABRIC. THINGS BECOME WHAT WE MAY HAVE THOUGHT OF AS A SOCIALIST. — I HAPPEN TO THINK THE DRAMATIC RISE IN INEQUALITY HAS PUSHED POLITICS LEFT. AND HILLARY CLINTON WON BY 3.5 MILLION VOTES, SHE WAS DEFEATED BY THE ELECTORAL COLLEGE, NOT BY THE AMERICAN VOTERS.>>MY NAME IS JOHN FROM YORK COLLEGE. YOU GUYS MENTIONED THE TRIBALISM AND POLARISM THAT HAS DRIVEN THE ENTIRE POLITICAL SYSTEM. MOST PEOPLE SEEM TO BE AVOIDING WHAT I FEEL IS THE FOUNDATION OF THIS ISSUE, SOCIAL MEDIA, WHAT TALK IS THERE ABOUT REGULATING SOCIAL MEDIA COMPANIES THAT SEEM TO HAVE OUTSIZED INFLUENCE RIGHT NOW APART FROM A $5 BILLION FINE FROM THE FTC? WHAT TALK IS THERE REGULATING THESE COMPANIES?>>I TEND TO BE A FIRST AMENDMENT ABSOLUTIST.>>AS LONG AS THERE IS THE FIRST AMENDMENT, THEY WILL HAVE TO — POLICE. FACEBOOK IS STARTING TO TOY AROUND WITH ITS ALGORITHMS. A LOT OF FOLKS DO NOT WANT TO DO IT AND THEY WANT TO BE MARKET DRIVEN. IT TAKES A LOT OF WORK TO START TRYING TO RAIN THINGS IN.>>IT IS THE CASE, HE SAYS FACETIOUSLY, THAT POLITICIANS ALWAYS TOLD NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH PRIOR TO THE RISE OF SOCIAL MEDIA. IT IS SO MUCH MORE INSTANT AND SO MUCH MORE WIDELY DISSEMINATED. AND YOU HAVE AN INCREASINGLY IDEOLOGICALLY POLARIZED MEDIA FROM FOX TO MSNBC AND BEYOND THAT AT SOME POINT I THINK PEOPLE HAVE TO FILTER THIS THROUGH THEIR OWN UNDERSTANDING OF THE WORLD.>>AS A CONSUMER, YOU VOTE WITH YOUR FEET, YOU NEED TO GET OFF THESE MEDIUMS AND YOU NEED TO HAVE A CONVERSATION OUTSIDE THE MEDIUMS BECAUSE THEY ARE DESIGNED TO MAKE MONEY AND DESIGNED TO GIVE YOU INSTANT VERIFICATION. YOU CANNOT HAVE A POLITICAL CONVERSATION AND HAVE A REAL ENGAGED PUBLIC IN THOSE SPACES. YOUNG PEOPLE ARE LEAVING. YOUNG PEOPLE ARE LESS LIKELY TO JOIN FACEBOOK AND OTHER THINGS. AS VOTERS, CERTAIN DEMOGRAPHICS HAVE MORE INFLUENCE. THE POLITICAL SPACE, YOUR PARENTS ARE POSTING MEMES AND STUFF FROM RUSSIA AND THAT IS BECOMING THE NARRATIVE ON SOCIAL MEDIA. I THINK WE HAVE TO GET OFF IT.>>I THINK WE NEED MORE CAT VIDEOS.>>I AM A STUDENT OF CITY COLLEGE OF NEW YORK ALSO REPRESENTED BY KEITH WRIGHT, GREAT TO SEE YOU. BEFORE I GET TO MY QUESTION, I WANT TO SAY AS SOMEBODY WHO STUDIES POLITICAL DYNAMICS, ELECTORAL BEHAVIOR, I LIKED A LOT OF WHAT I WAS ABLE TO HEAR TODAY. MY QUESTION IS DIRECTED TO BRANDON. I HAVE SEEN KIND OF THE SUCCESS NEW KINGS DEMOCRATS HAVE HAD IN NOT ONLY PUSHING MORE PROGRESSIVE BROOKLYNITES INTO COUNTY POLITICS, BUT ALSO MORE DIVERSE PEOPLE INTO COUNTY POLITICS AND UP UNTIL LAST YEAR, WHERE WE SAW THE SHAKEUP BECAUSE I AM FROM THE BRONX, TO COME TO A TRANSACTIONAL POINT LATER, WHAT I HAVE SEEN IS THE POLITICAL ESTABLISHMENT IS KIND OF PUTTING UP A FIGHT, ESPECIALLY BECAUSE ELECTED OFFICIALS LIKE JEFF KLEIN OR JOE CROWLEY CAPITALIZE MOST OF THEIR POLITICAL POWER THROUGH CONSTITUENT SERVICES, KIND OF TRANSACTIONAL DISCUSSION — MY QUESTION IS HOW DO YOU KIND OF GET VOTERS TO SEE PASSED THAT IN THE ELECTORAL PROCESS?>>IT IS HARD. BECAUSE THE WIN NUMBERS HAVE ALWAYS BEEN LOW, BECAUSE WE MADE IT THAT WAY TO DISCOURAGE ENGAGEMENT, YOU HAVE TO FIND A WAY TO HAVE A MESSAGE THAT RESONATES WITH PEOPLE AND HAS TO BE BLOCK BY BLOCK. IF YOU GET PEOPLE INVOLVED IN COUNTY COMMITTEE, GET PEOPLE ENGAGED IN THE COUNTY PARTY, THAT IMPACTS THE PARTY STRUCTURE. WHEN YOU GET PEOPLE TO BE A PART OF THE SYSTEM AND SEE HOW RIDICULOUS THAT SPACE IS AND HOW MUCH OF A JOKE AND HOW THE PARTY OPERATES WITH DEALS MADE BEFOREHAND AND IT IS ALL SHOW, YOU BRING PEOPLE INTO IT, IT EFFECTIVELY STARTS TO CHANGE DYNAMICS. THE COUNTY POLITIC SPACE IS THE FUTURE IN TERMS OF BRINGING AN ACTIVIST COMMUNITY AND A MORE ENGAGED COMMUNITY INTO POLITICS. WE ARE TRYING TO MAKE THAT WORK BY DOING IT IN PRACTICE IN BROOKLYN.>>TALK ABOUT THAT. YOU HAVE THIS POLITICAL SPACE THAT THE REFORMERS, FOR ONE OF A BETTER TERM, REFORMERS TODAY OPPOSED TO REFORMERS INVOLVED ARE TRYING TO FORCE THEIR WAY IN, WE HAVE ABOUT 30 SECONDS.>>I WELCOME IT. NEW YORK COUNTY IS KNOWN AS BEING A REFORM SORT OF COUNTY AND WE HAVE WELCOMED THESE KIND OF REFORMS AND WE HAVE WELCOMED — WHETHER YOU ARE FROM GREENWICH VILLAGE — WE ARE SEEING A SURGE AND WE WELCOME THAT THEY ARE RUNNING YOUNGER PEOPLE FOR THIS COUNTY POSITION. A LOT OF TIMES FOLKS WOULD GET INVOLVED WITH NATIONAL POLITICS AND WHERE PEOPLE’S LIVES ARE AFFECTED IS THE LOCAL LEVEL OF GOVERNMENT.>>LET ME URGE YOU ALL TO GO TO THECITY.NYC, THE NEW JOURNALISM OUTLET. AND LET ME THANK YOU ALL AND WE WILL SEE YOU NEXT TIME ON THE CUNY FORUM. ♪ [THEME MUSIC] ♪

Maurice Vega

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