Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Newell, Attempting to Unseat Silver, Gets Times Endorsement

Challenging an incumbent as corrupt and deeply entrenched as Sheldon Silver is no easy task. Our admiration goes out to Paul Newell and Luke Henry for making this courageous effort. Newell opposes Atlantic Yards, while Henry's position on the project is unclear.

Of course Sheldon Silver supports Atlantic Yards, voted to approve it and receives financial support from Forest City Ratner.

The New York Times endorsed Newell on August 22. Here's the endorsement:

Endorsements for a Better Albany

Most New Yorkers want a better, fairer, more open State Legislature instead of the embarrassment they now endure. For the primary on Sept. 9, there are two Democratic races in New York City that offer a chance to make a change in Albany or, at least make a strong statement about how badly change is needed.

The most important of these races is in Lower Manhattan, where Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, one of the most powerful people in the state, is facing his first real challenge in decades. It is still an uphill fight for any opponent, but the race has already made one difference. It has brought the ever-secretive Mr. Silver out to meet voters and campaign for his job.

Of the two challengers, Paul Newell, a community activist with deep roots in the Lower East Side, has the stronger credentials. Luke Henry, an attorney who moved into the district more recently, is working hard. Mr. Newell has done a better job of identifying Mr. Silver’s weaknesses: mainly, his devotion to closed-door politics, including his refusal to disclose details about his outside income. Mr. Newell is also pledging to support congestion pricing and to press for a nonpartisan redistricting commission, which is essential for real change. In the 64th Assembly District, we endorse Paul Newell.

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