NY State Ballot Proposals 2017

Your example doesn’t require a constitutional amendment. In fact, the state constitution actually already provides a pretty nice justification for the authority of the legislature to do this on their own.

“The protection and promotion of the health of the inhabitants of the state are matters of public concern and provision therefor shall be made by the state and by such of its subdivisions and in such manner, and by such means as the legislature shall from time to time determine.”

Using an amendment to avoid a governer’s veto or skip the legislature on a non-constitutional issue is dangerous to say the least. This issue is eminently achievable through the standard electoral and legislative process.

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It is. But only if we eliminate gerrymandering to fix the Senate first. Changing the method of redistricting requires an amendment.

Just the other day both houses of the legislature voted almost unanimously to pass the gravity knife bill. Cuomo vetoed it. The legislature can’t override a veto like the US constitution allows. An amendment could change that.

What group in New York State today is advocating for this specifically, and how organized are they?

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“But we feel obliged this time to recommend a “no” vote. It’s not because we fear change. On the contrary, the concern is that the likelihood of a con-con yielding the most desperately needed reforms is disappointingly low, and the possibility of its accomplishing nothing at significant cost, or, worse, setting New York back even further, is worrisomely high.”

We were discussing that very article before the show tonight.

We’ll do a Special show on the election at some point before the election itself.


As much as no keeps looking like the better choice, shit like this really makes me want to vote yes.

New polling.

Interesting comment I read on another thread that I thought I’d share:

"In Massachusetts last year we defeated the removal of a cap on charter schools. I don’t dislike them, I disliked the way it was being set up. There was a lot of national money being put into a state fight because Massachusetts has charter schools and we have a solid education department so the hope was to open the floodgates in other states by using Massachusetts as a ‘See, we told you it would be fine’ example. With a well educated and politically aware population our choices often get used as a rubric. New York’s do as well. I’m wondering how much of the money being put into the fight is NY money and how much is people trying to get a constitutional convention so they can get other states to hold one…

After the charter school cap question was defeated it came to light that front groups were actually being run by special interest pacs and when they investigated further they found that one of the people on the governors staff connected to the decision, who spoke out about the need for it, had donated to the dark money fund along with the Koch and Walton families, which made for a pool of millions and millions of dollars to spend to get the cap lifted.

Aside from that bothering me because it’s my state, it bothered me because when Massachusetts implements education ideas other state ed departments often follow suit. New Your is in a similar position. If New York decides something is a good idea there is a lot of power behind their decision to take action. I think if Massachusetts hadn’t defeated the charter cap we would have fought long and hard to keep the changes in check, but not every state has the ability to do that. I think if New York decided to have a convention it would probably handle the process of selecting delegates and participating in it fairly well, but not every state would do that. With only a few more states required to pass legislation to actually have a new Constitutional Convention I’m concerned at the lack of control we’d have over it once it got started."

I lean heavily “no” at this point.

I could definitely be convinced, but I really don’t feel that there is any indication of a likely positive outcome of a convention.

I agree that the money in politics is troubling, and it could very well have an influence on the convention itself. I just find it strange that there seems to be no money behind a “yes” vote. All the money is behind no. I haven’t seven seen so much as one advertisement of any kind telling people to vote yes. Yet, on a recent trip up near Poughkeepsie, the town was plastered with signs to vote no. Many cars on the highway encouraged people to vote no. Everything is no no no. Even in NYC, where there are obviously less lawn signs, I’ve only ever seen things encouraging a vote for no. As we saw, the NY Times encouraged no vote. Absolutely no organized or moneyed groups are pushing for a yes.

If rich and evil Koch brothers thought they could influence a convention with their money, why don’t they put their money behind a yes to make it happen in the first place? This doesn’t seem to be happening.

Meanwhile, pro-life and pro-gun groups are running Facebook ads to get people to vote no.

Of course, the pro-choice groups are in favor of a no vote as well.

I’m still leaning no, but looking at all the conservative groups in favor of a no vote still really makes me want to vote yes just to be opposed to them.

A stopped clock is right twice a day.



More assholes pushing the no vote.

It seems to me like basically most people want No because they are afraid the thing they want will go away, and the people saying yes have money (in NYS, Rifle associations probably do a bit worse here compared to Texas) and expect to be able to buy their way to what they want.

Where are the people with money saying yes?

In the end, I’m voting NO on the convention.

I’m still nearly ambivalent, but my rationale are:

  1. No one advocating for a positive outcome seems to be sufficiently organized to effect it
  2. Many of the things I want from the state are eminently achievable through the normal legislative process (if progressives make small gains in representation)
  3. A convention would focus money and effort on the convention itself, likely pulling resources away from the much more important goal of electing Democrats into state and local positions.
  4. A convention would turn New York’s focus inward at a crucial time in national politics.
  5. We haven’t had a convention in the era of unlimited money in political advertising… We need to address that at the federal level first.
  6. We haven’t had a convention in the era of direct Russian interference in US elections.

I suggest putting our money and effort into regular 2018 races both inside and outside of the state.

Emily and I debated this at length last night. She was leaning YES and I was leaning NO, but neither of us was sure. I err on the side of status quo when faced with such doubts.

If we get the state to such a place that rural conservatives are accurately represented proportionate to their real population and progressives hold the majority of the state government… THEN I’m immediately for a convention.

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After seeing all those pro-gun and anti-abortion right wing ads urging people to vote no, I kinda wanted to vote yes, but I ended up voting no anyways.

I still don’t buy into the fear-mongering ideas that a convention itself will be a disaster for anyone in particular. It’s simply a mechanism whereby the people can directly bypass the corrupt legislature to fix our government within two years instead of waiting for old people to die. We can make no assumptions whatsoever about who delegates will be or what they will actually propose.

The thing is, even if we vote yes and have a convention. Even if we get the majority of delegates on our side. Let’s say they decide to make a nice amendment to do something awesome, like end gerrymandering, and it goes on the 2019 ballot. There will probably be big money to get people to vote no on it. Who is going to be spending to get people to vote yes on the amendments from a good convention?

Because groups on the left didn’t spend any money to get people to vote yes or no, how can I believe they will spend money to get people to vote yes or no on the actual results of the convention itself?

If by some chance a convention does happen, I plan to be as involved as possible. I probably can’t be an actual delegate, and am almost definitely not qualified, but I can work for someone who is.

I overheard a conversation at work just now, and learned quite a lot. Of course, it is anecdotal.

Keep in mind, I work at broadway.com, it leans way left. Some people were discussing voting. Some had voted for the very first time in a non-presidential race. Like WTF. This is why shit got bad! You fools! Did your mom not take you to the voting booth and show you how voting is important?

Then they started talking about how they didn’t know how many judges to pick (the instructions are on the ballot, you pick six). So they clearly didn’t read the ballot.

Then they talked about how they didn’t know how to vote on the questions. They just picked stuff without thinking too much about it. These are people who have very strong beliefs. If you ask them about the actual issues, they can definitely give you straight answers. Again, they lean way left. They just do not know, and did not put enough research into figuring out, which choice on the ballot matches their strongly held beliefs.

I get the feeling like the people on the right do not have this problem. Judging by all their lawn signs saying vote no, they definitely know which choice they are making before they go in.

I think a lot of this stems from this feeling that we don’t want to tell other people how to vote. Especially at work, I’m not going to tell people how to vote, though I did explain the ballot questions to them.

I see this in public as well. Lots of people, self included, are always telling people to vote. Not enough telling people how to vote. From now on I’m just going to tell people how to vote how I would like them to, except probably still not at work where it is inappropriate.

See, this is why you need Democracy Sausages. People feel a bit peckish? Oh, there’s a vote on, let’s go vote and get a sausage in bread. Problem solved! I have voted on incredibly minor shit before, because I felt like a snack.

It would have to be a breakfast sausage for me since I voted before 9AM.