Thursday, June 29, 2006

Can You Feel The Love Tonight?

The Republicans over at Urban Elephants dig my campaign for Assembly.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006


Fellow Libertarian activist and Assembly candidate for the 66th Assembly district Nic Leobold hit a homerun with his UN-Welcome protest outside the Secretariat building on Monday morning. Nic organized a loose confederation of RKBA activists henceforth known as Gun Rights Activism Partners to demonstrate against this week's United Nations conference on small arms. The thugs who run the world body (understandably) will feel much more comfortable when only government agents have the right to bear arms.

Turnout at Nic's protest was sparse due to the torrential rain (I made a cameo appearance at the event), but it nonetheless got the attention of the press. In particular, Times columnist Clyde Haberman published a shockingly favorable column. I can't link to it because it's behind the the dreaded TimeSelect firewall, but here's an excerpt:

Their issue was not typical for the plaza, which is named for a secretary general of the United Nations who died in a plane crash in 1961 and received the Nobel Peace Prize posthumously. Most times, demonstrators there demand things like freedom for Tibet or justice for Palestinians or fairness for Israel or nukes for no one.

Very few go there to talk about how guns are good for you.

"Crime goes down the more that citizens are armed," said Nic Leobold, an organizer of this mini-rally. And don't fool yourself, he said: human rights are very much at stake.

"The right to defend oneself - that's the epitome of human rights," said Mr. Leobold, who lives in the East Village and plans to run, not for the first time, for the State Assembly on the Libertarian Party line. "Gun rights," he said, "are the best litmus test of where you stand on individual rights and ownership. It's the clearest litmus test that I know of.

"What led him and his mates to the plaza was a conference that began yesterday at the United Nations, part of a campaign to stop the illegal trade worldwide in handguns, rifles, grenades, light missiles and other weapons defined as "small arms." A key phrase there is "illegal trade."

Yeah, right, the protesters said. If you buy that line, you're probably gullible enough to buy an East River bridge. The true goal, they said, is to eliminate everyone's right to bear arms.

"Tyrannical politicians thrive on gun control laws," said Ralph J. Rubinek, a Staten Island man who identified himself as chief of public affairs for a group called Gun Owners of America. "In the end," he said, "only tyrants and the very criminals they seek to disarm will have all the guns, and no lives will be saved."

Mr. Leobold elaborated. "All the major genocides of the 20th century," he said, "were preceded by gun confiscation. So the politicians are the only ones who have guns, and they have total control."

Way to go, Nic!

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Fat Head Rivera

The latest you-can't-make-this-stuff-up insanity from City Hall... Councilmember Joel Rivera wants to change the zoning laws to limit fast food.

No, really.

It seems fast food restaurants are plaguing our low-income neighborhoods, deviously tricking gullible minorities into purchasing delicious, inexpensive food. If I were a minority, I'd be insulted that Rivera thinks I'm too stupid to make my own choices and exercise personal responsibility.

You know you're living in a wealthy country when the biggest problem is that poor people get too many calories.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Too Much Time on His Hands

You would think that with the legislative session wrapping up this week and major state business yet to be finished, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver would have his hands full. But apparently he has plenty of time to insinuate himself into the private affairs of a co-op in his district.

East River Housing is a residential cooperative on the Lower East Side. (Full disclosure: I'm a shareholder and resident in East River. Silver is not.) Hit with a number of increased costs affecting co-ops throughout the city--including property taxes, fuel oil and insurance--the board has been hard-pressed to raise revenues. One no-brainer for the board to target was the co-op's way-below-market parking lot. Parking there is an absurdly low $75 a month, compared to rates of $250-$300 a month at commercial lots in the neighborhood. What makes the situation especially absurd is that the lot can serve only about 400 of the more than 1,700 residents at East River. As a result, most shareholders are on a waiting list that stretches out over 15 years for a coveted spot for their car.

A few weeks ago, the board wisely decided to double the monthly parking fee to $150, still well below market. While the decision was greeted with rare near-unanimous approval by the shareholders, a few crybabies have been throwing tantrums because their perk got a little less sweet. It's not like anybody's heating bill or maintenance was doubled, after all. We're talking about a luxury that is easy to opt out of (very few people actually need a car in NYC, and they can always park free on the street) and is available only to a fraction of shareholders.

That would all normally be no big deal, just typical NYC co-op drama. Only some of the crybabies decided to complain to Sheldon Silver's office. And, incredibly, Silver actually took the crybabies' side in a letter to the East River manager.

Does Silver not understand that the financial decisions of a private cooperative are no business of elected public officials? I'm sure he does--he's not stupid. More likely, it's just a cosmically cynical attempt at pandering to some noisy constituents. Heaven forbid a politician actually admit that there are some issues in which he just shouldn't be involved.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Shelly Screws the Taxpayers (Again)

This is classic Boss Silver. You wouldn't think this is an important story, because the Times buried it in section B. Yesterday the Assembly Judiciary Committee was set to reform this insane law that allows injured public employees to collect both a full disability pension and sue for future lost wages (i.e., they get paid twice by you the taxpayer for the same injury). This ridiculous practice costs New York City millions of dollars each year, but the personal injury attorneys love it. The committee members thought they finally had enough votes to approve the measure and bring it it to a vote before the full assembly. Then Sheldon saunters in and adds 3 lackeys to the committee. Of course all 3 voted against the bill, defeating it.

Did I mention that Silver is a partner in the largest personal injury law firm in the state?

At least the Daily News thought the story was important enough to make it the lead editorial. And the great Henry Stern is steaming mad.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Whites Need Not Apply

One of the funniest races this year -- to me anyway -- is for the 11th Congressional district in Brooklyn, being vacated by Major Owens. I never thought I'd see the day when I actually felt sorry for a putz like David Yassky, a protege of Chuck Schumer and a notorious victim-disarmer in his own right. But the race-baiters in this city have talent. They're up in arms because Yassky is running in a district that was specifically gerry-mandered to elect a black representative. What does Yassky think this is, a free country?

To prevent the catastrophe of whitey getting the Democratic nomination, Albert Vann and the other usual suspects are urging some of the black contenders to drop out and rally around one candidate, so as not to split the black vote. One of the many delicious ironies of this story, as 51st State's Azi Paybarrah observes, is that the black "leadership" is actively discouraging black candidates from running!

But what the Democrats don't realize is that even if they out-maneuvir Yassky, they still have to contend with another white boy, the mighty Dr. Steve Finger, who is running for the 11th Congressional district on the Libertarian line (among others). Apparently Dr. Steve didn't get the memo that his kind ain't welcome.

Give Congress the Finger!

NCNF Gives Me an "A"

I just received an early bit of good campaign news. The Nassau County News Flash (NCNF), a venerable pro-RKBA website/newsletter from Long Island, gave me an A rating. I'm particularly proud of this recognition, because they just don't give out top grades like candy. In fact only one other candidate so far this year has scored higher than a B. My opponent, alas, got a well-deserved F.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

I'm ba-ack!

After closing for the season,* Lesczynski's Lounge is back in business. And not a moment too soon, as we kick off another campaign season. Last night, I accepted the Libertarian Party's endorsement as its candidate for Assembly District 64 -- i.e., I'm running against Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver!

As far as I know, this is going to be a two-man race. I have been informed by reliable sources that the Republicans will not be fielding a candidate against old Shelly. To paraphrase John Lennon, Sheldon Silver is more popular than Jesus, at least on the Lower East Side (which isn't that hard, considering the large Jewish population).

Anyway, I'm going to have some fun with this race (I always do) and at least offer a choice to those voters who may not be entirely satisfied with the status quo in NYS politics. I also hope to update this blog frequently with mostly political and occasionally non-political items of interest.

* One of my favorite old jokes:

Did you hear about the Polack who froze to death at the drive-in?

He went to see "CLOSED FOR THE SEASON."