The state budget is still in scandalous limbo -- and though the New York state Senate has washed its hands of the people's business and gone on Fourth of July vacation, the watchful PACs who lurk in the underbrush of the New York political landscape are not resting idle. In the last week, a couple of pointed bipartisan campaigns, aimed at ousting sitting legislators, have launched in earnest.
NY Uprising, a high-profile PAC headed by former New York mayor Ed Koch, wants to seize the once-a-decade opportunity of the U.S. Census to draw fair districts for the state. (Good luck with that -- New York may not have invented gerrymandering, but you'd never know that from some of our extravagantly drawn political districts.)
This week, NY Uprising turned it up a notch by declaring that they'll issue an election-day guide listing "Enemies of Reform" who oppose their plan to have a neutral panel draw the districts. In the meantime, they're soliciting support for their reform efforts from sitting legislators.
New York Uprising also launched the full-featured NYUPRISING.ORG today, a comprehensive web tool that will allow voters to track the “Heroes” and “Enemies of Reform” on their own election ballot, and to print a sample ballot to bring with them to the polls. In addition, voters will be able to send messages to their candidates by email, Facebook and Twitter to thank them for pledging reform, or ask why they have not done so.
Also seeking to knock a few political titans off their pedestals is Fight Back New York, a new group formed with the sole purpose of gaining full marriage rights for same-sex couples. Their newest weapon: a web campaign called "Send 'Em Packing," where New Yorkers can pick their three least favorite anti-gay-marriage New York State senators to target for toppling.
Local state Senator John Bonacic isn't getting much love from either group. As of the time of this posting, he isn't listed as a NY Uprising "Hero of Reform." And he's definitely on Fight Back New York's feces list, having both voted against gay marriage and helped prevent a gender-identity nondiscrimination bill from getting out of committee. Neither group is a fan of Senator James Seward, either (his district, the Abe-Lincoln-riding-a-vacuum-cleaner-shaped 51st, includes Schoharie and Greene counties).
At once more ambitious and less goal-directed than either PAC is the refreshingly simple RebootNY, whose goal is simply to vote out all the incumbents, starting with the Senate. In case you're not sure who your state senator is, they have a helpful "Which Bum Is My Bum?" map for voters to peruse.