Friday, February 26, 2010

Governor Paterson: One Term Only?

As of 14 minutes ago (its 10:55a.m.) various news media have been announcing that Governor Paterson is withdrawing his name from the gubernatorial race....

Gov. Paterson, The State Police & Domestic Violence

Governor Paterson has been an outspoken advocate of women, especially when it comes to domestic violence. Unfortunately, in the past few days there are allegations that he may have had to contact with the girlfriend of one of his aides who may be a victim of domestic abuse, and following that alleged contact, she did not show up at the hearing on the case. Regardless of his intent, the appearance of such contact is very questionable. The Governor has to be like Caesar's wife: above reproach, without even the appearance of an impropriety.
Patterson has asked AG Cuomo to investigate.
The fact that Denise O'Donnell, Patterson's cabinet official who oversaw the State Police resigned yesterday over the handling of this case also casts a dark shadow over Patterson O'Donnell resigned because she said the Superintendent of the State Police misled her to believe that the state police were not involved in the case.

From where I sit the underlying issue is one of the old boys' network potentially protecting one of their own.. .trying to intimidate a victim of domestic abuse to drop the charges.

It is an issue of trust and open communication for O'Donnell, thus, I understand her resignation. How can you oversee an agency without transparency? The State Police's office of Internal Affairs needs to be investigating the allegations that the State Police had been involved in the case with officers were intimidating a victim.

The issue for the Governor is a one of trust and appearances--as a lawyer, he should understand the appearance of intimidating a victim of domestic abuse; as the governor he needs to be aware that actions speak louder than words--he can talk all he wants about against domestic abuse but the appearance of him defending his aide against allegations of abuse lead to distrust.

Victim intimidation is a very real part of the domestic abuse (battering) cycle. It is nigh on to witness tampering, and disrupts our justice system, but more importantly, it allows batterers to not have to accept the consequences of their actions.

Voting Monolopy?

yes, if the Justice Department allows Election Systems and Software (ESS)to acquire Diebold's election division. If this acquisition goes through 70% of all of American electronic voting machines will be made/ controlled/ serviced by one company.
The Help America Vote Act of 2002 [(HAVA) for more information go to ] which was supposed to help alleviate hanging chads and mismarked votes by upgrading voting machines.
Not only are electronic voting machine's technology (and programming) considered propreitary information, thus, the public (government) will not have access to the code to check reliability or verify votes and the machines are a computer hacker's dream. Here is a collection of NYT editorials on the problems with electronic voting from 2004-6:

There is also a fear that with ESS holding 0-% of the market it will be harder for election jurisdictions to negotiate a fair and equal price. Thus, today's NYT's editorial is about the Justice Department using its antitrust powers to ensure that public interest is served.

Here is the web page with contacts for AG Holder at the Justice Department:
email: AskDOJ at

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Zero Tolerance

The NYS Senate did the right thing last night: they sent the message that battering women is very NOT okay. At 9:30 last night they voted (53-8) to expel Senator Hiriam Monserrate (D-Queens) from the Senate because he battered his girlfriend.
This is the first time that a Senator was expelled for slashing his girl friend
s face last year; it underscores NYS's position of zero tolerance for domestic violence.