New Gas Industry Astroturf: Landowner Advocates of NY Buses Activists to Albany Pro-Fracking Rally

By: Wednesday October 17, 2012 11:20 am

A pro-fracking rally held on Oct. 15 in Albany, NY was described by about a dozen local media outlets as a gathering of roughly 1,000 grassroots activists from all walks of life. Unmentioned by any of the news outlets that covered the event was a crucial fact: these weren’t actual “grassroots” activists, but rather astroturf out-of-towners bused in from counties all across the state. Their journey was paid for by the legitimately “well-funded” oil and gas industry, which raked in profits of $1 trillion in the past decade.

Schneiderman’s Office Seeing Staff Exodus

By: Monday October 8, 2012 6:30 pm

Much like a winning sports team, everyone wants to be part of a winner and nobody wants to be part of a loser. If there’s a perception that things are getting done in a political office, and that the office is rising to prominence, in a general sense people want to associate themselves with that. Maybe these staff departures have their particular reasons, and maybe they’re just climbs up the political ladder. The mayor of New York City or the Obama campaign or the New York Governor may be perceived as a step up from the New York Attorney General. I don’t know how Blake Zeff’s departure “to write about the presidential race” fits with that explanation, or all the lawyers leaving. But if the office was nailing corrupt actors left and right and gaining a reputation for toughness and accountability, I just don’t think this would be happening.

Schneiderman Sues JPMorgan Chase; Lawsuit Mirrors Old Cases

By: Tuesday October 2, 2012 6:10 am

The delay in bringing the case cost tens of billions of potential exposure for JPMorgan Chase. And more than anything, the lack of federal participation in the suit shows that the federal agencies involved in the task force are simply disinterested in prosecution, forcing Schneiderman to cobble together an off-the-shelf suit from other sources to make it look like this move against the banks represents anything real. The timing, one month before voters go to the polls in the Presidential election, is similarly obvious.

Andrew Cuomo Pressured Into Delaying Approval on Fracking

By: Monday October 1, 2012 10:55 am

Here’s a story about the power of independent, outside movements to advance policy arguments. The story about fracking in New York was that it would simply happen, without much resistance from the state government. The special interests were too powerful, there was too much money at stake. In fact, nationally, the fracking boom is key to state and national economies, offering a counterweight to the impact of GDP growth on increasing energy prices (which usually immediately stunts that growth). So the idea that anymore could stop this slow march to a fracked America was dubious

Senate Republicans Stop New York Marijuana Decriminalization Bill

By: Wednesday June 20, 2012 9:40 am

A legislative effort to reduce marijuana arrests by decriminalizing possession that is in “public view” appears to have failed in New York. The bill had passed the Democratic controlled State Assembly after being recently endorsed by Governor Andrew Cuomo (D), but it failed to get a vote in the Republican controlled State Senate.

New York State Assembly Approves Medical Marijuana Law

By: Thursday June 14, 2012 7:34 am

The New York State Assembly approved AB 7347, a bill that would legalize medical marijuana in the state for certified patients with serious illnesses. The bill passed the chamber by a vote of 90-50 and it will now head to the Senate.

Majority of New Yorkers Support Medical Marijuana

By: Monday June 11, 2012 9:25 am

An overwhelming percentage of New York voters think the state should allow medical marijuana, according to a new poll from Siena College. A full 61 percent of voters believe the state government should legalize medical marijuana, while only a third of voters oppose the reform.

Cuomo Calls for Decriminalization of Public Possession of Small Amounts of Marijuana

By: Tuesday June 5, 2012 3:12 pm

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has called for the decriminalization of public possession of 25 grams or less of marijuana. In a state with fairly harsh Rockefeller-era drug laws, this would be a modest change.

New Yorkers Want Medical Marijuana Legalized

By: Wednesday May 16, 2012 7:40 am

A strong majority of registered voters in New York want their legislature to legalize the use of medical marijuana in the state, according to a new poll by Siena College. Nearly twice as many voters support medical marijuana as oppose it. The new poll may overcome Governor Cuomo’s efforts to dismiss a bipartisan bill to legalize medical marijuana.

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