In a press release just passed along by his campaign, Brooklyn Democratic Senate candidate Andrew Gounardes makes an interesting point: Not only did the members of the Senate Democratic conference receive none of the $10 million in education “bullet aide” passed out last night by Senate Republicans, but New York City as a whole did not get a dime.
And though New York City is certainly Democrat-heavy, the five boroughs do boast two Republican senators: Staten Island’s Andrew Lanza and Brooklyn’s Marty Golden. And the fact that their districts came up dry seems odd since Senate Republican lawmakers themselves control the distribution of the funds.
Of course, Gounardes’ statement focuses primarily on Golden, whom Goundardes, the director of external affairs at Citizens Committee for New York City, is seeking to unseat. It’s worth noting that this is simply $10 million in additional aid built into the budget – and that school districts in Golden’s Brooklyn district did get money through the normal budgeting process.
UPDATE: That’s a point that was also made in a phone call from Jeffrey Kraus, Golden’s campaign spokesman.
“Needless to say, the budget process provided a lot of funding for the district,” said Kraus, who said he did not know why Golden’s district was left out of the bullet aid doled out last night, adding. “I would suggest that Mr. Gounardes learn how the legislative process works. It’s the nature of partisan politics in the Legislature that this money gets distributed to the majority — Democrats got it in the Assembly. And that would be a good argument for re-electing Marty Golden.”
Here’s the release from Gounardes, who has sent out a steady stream of press releases attacking Golden on various Albany issues since his campaign announcement in January.
“Yesterday afternoon, Marty Golden and his Senate GOP colleagues gave away $10 million in school aid, and not a dime of it will go to New York City schools. In fact, not a dime of it is going to any district in the state represented by a Democrat. Golden and his shameless cronies in Albany think their constituents are stupid. Like Tammany Hall, they think that support should be bought, not earned. So they’ll send a few million taxpayer dollars to loyal towns and cities. They’ll sponsor lip-service commendations to keep teachers and administrators back home from getting too angry. “I’m on your side. I honored so-and-so for his great work on this-and-that,” they’ll say.
What Golden and his colleagues don’t realize is that we’re entering a new era in New York politics, in which average New Yorkers – Republican and Democrat – are fed up with pandering and small-minded politics. While his constituents from Sheepshead Bay to Bensonhurst pour their hearts and souls into saving their schools, Marty Golden continues his tone-deaf pursuit to gut public education. Come November, we’ll make sure that every voter in southern Brooklyn knows his real record on education and knows that they have an honest alternative that will put students before partisan gain.”
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