Hanna floating ’18 run

Outgoing Congressman Richard Hanna is floating the idea of a ’18 gubernatorial bid:

“U.S. Rep. Richard Hanna said today he will consider running for governor of New York in 2018, responding to the encouragement of at least a dozen top Republicans from across the state who approached him with the idea … Hanna declined to disclose the names of Republicans who have approached him to run for governor, but he said he has received calls from influential members of the party in the New York City area as well as Upstate …”

I don’t know him personally and I’ve only spoken to him once.  Let’s examine what he brings to the table.

Pluses:

  • Being a 3-term Congressman gives him some credibility as a candidate
  • Generally positive record on 2A issues
  • Might have some crossover appeal to Democrats

Minuses:

  • Does not have the best relationship with local Republicans
  • Not well known outside his CNY district
  • Unremarkable career in Congress

I heard talk of him running once before.  This looks like a trail balloon to determine interest in his candidacy.

Flap over gun show at Westchester County Center

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Good move by Astorino & Testa

In the past the Hudson Valley hosted a number of good gun shows.  For a variety of reasons, over the years, the quality went down and shows became fewer and farther between.

One of the better ones was the Westchester show at the County CenterAndy Spano banned them from there when he was County Executive.  Rob Astorino allowed them back after he was elected.  Some complaints about the sale of militaria put them back on hold.

Now they’re back again with one set for January 21 & 22.  Predictably some folks are trying to stir up trouble:

“The chairman of the Westchester County Board of Legislators vowed there will be a showdown on Jan. 9 over whether a gun and knife show can take place at the County Center in White Plains … “I support the Second Amendment, but it doesn’t have to be at the County Center,” BOL Chairman Michael Kaplowitz, a Democrat from Somers, said on Tuesday …”

The County Center is a good place due to it’s location, ample parking and proximity to Metro North.

What’s Kaplowitz’s real beef?

“… Kaplowitz accused Astorino of quietly lifting his ban on gun shows to allow the Jan. 21-22 firearms show at the County Center “in a play for Upstate support” — assuming Astorino attempts a second bid for governor. “It doesn’t play well in Westchester County,” Kaplowitz told Daily Voice …”

Pure politics.  He wants to undermine a second gubernatorial bid by Astorino.

If gun shows weren’t popular in Westchester, the promoter would not have them there.  They’re not a charity, they want to make money.

“… More than 3,600 people have signed this petition calling for a ban on Westchester gun shows …”

Who cares?  As has been proven before, this is all the activism the antis are able to generate.  They cannot get people to vote based upon the issue.

“… As a counter proposal to an outright ban, the Republican caucus is instead proposing a law that would establish gun show procedures. The bill, which would follow a model established by state Attorney General Eric T. Schiederman, would make residents “feel more secure” about gun shows by having strict requirements, the GOP caucus said in a joint statement. “We can take an important step in Westchester that will preserve the Constitutional protections of citizens while assuring the public that a proven successful procedure for the event is in place,” Republican Majority Leader John Testa said in the statement …”

Good move by Astorino and Testa (who is an NRA member) calling the antis on their BS.  Bonus for working Schneiderman’s proposal into the mix as it undermines Democrats on the county board.  Republicans in Albany can learn from this.

Chuck Todd’s prediction

Some thoughts on this:

Whether backed by Gov. Cuomo or not, Democrats are already lining up to primary challenge de Blasio next year so that’s going to happen.

As to de Blasio himself challenging Cuomo in ’18, I don’t think he could successfully do that. He is not popular enough in the City, much less the entire state, to do that. I could see him getting behind someone like Eric Schneiderman should he decide to run against Cuomo.

At this point a primary fight is the only way I can see us ridding ourselves of Cuomo. The NY Republicans aren’t functioning as a statewide political party and do not have a lot of well known people they could put up against him. Even if they did, Cuomo would threaten the Senate GOP again and they would undermine their own nominee just like they did Rob Astornio in ’14. What we need is a scenario where both de Blasio and Cuomo can kill each other off.

A minority majority

John Brooks has defeated incumbent Michael Venditto in SD-8 giving the Democrats a numeric majority of 32 seats in the State Senate.

Because Simcha Felder will continue to caucus with the Republicans, and because the rest of the Democrats don’t have their shit together, the GOP will maintain nominal control of the upper chamber.

He better follow through

Trump better follow through on his promise to nominate candidates like Scalia for SCOTUS because the 9th Circuit Court just issued a ruling that a 10-day waiting period to purchase a firearm is constitutional.

The real idiocy about this is that is applies to people who already own guns.

Pushback from Mass. A.G.

I found a link to the Boston Globe with some more antigun pushback from the Massachusetts A.G.:

“In a new fundraising appeal, Attorney General Maura Healey is promising to take President-elect Donald Trump to court … She ticked off new issues that could be litigated, including health care, gun laws, climate change, and Wall Street reforms …”

I guess she could file suit challenging something like reciprocity using material from the antis (see #1 and #2), but how effective would this be?  It is my understanding there were some states rights concerns pre-Heller and McDonald, but those have fallen by the wayside.

Realistic expectations

There is a good article at The Resurgent, “Trump Will Disappoint Everyone.”

Excerpt from the gun stuff:

“… Trump got an early endorsement from the NRA and is widely seen as a friend to gun owners. But in reality, it’s not a terribly high priority for him … Speeding up background checks, holding the line on awful “no fly no buy” laws, and generally supporting self-defense use of firearms is about the best we can hope for, and most of that is through the courts and congress. It’s not going to be a high priority–but hooray: it’s not Hillary …”

I can see Trump signing the reciprocity bill as payback for the endorsement, but that will require him and Mitch McConnell standing up to Chuck Schumer.  I don’t see him going all out for suppressors  and definitely not attacking the Hughes Amendment.

First antigun pushback

There was much noise in the media after the election about the NRA advancing a pro-gun agenda in the new Congress including reciprocity.

Here is the first pushback on that I’ve seen:

“… Democrats have vowed to make sure that should a national reciprocity agreement surface in the senate, they will filibuster until it’s dead. Peter Ambler, executive director of Americans for Responsible Solutions, a gun control super PAC, said his organization plans to fight national reciprocity “tooth and nail,” threatening a Democratic filibuster of the legislation in the SenateConnecticut Sen. Richard Blumenthal, a Democrat and ardent gun-control advocate, said he believes any version of a national reciprocity bill would be “dead on arrival” in the Senate, due to strong Democratic opposition …”

Here is where Trump will get a chance to back up his rhetoric with action. According to Mike Pence, Trump is planning “ambitious” 100 and 200 day agendas to fulfill his core campaign promises. He needs to publicly say reciprocity is on his agenda.

Minus one

With all the ballots counted, John Brooks leads incumbent Senator Michael Venditto by 41 votes.

If seated, Long Island would have two Democrat Senators for the first time in decades.  Republicans are not willing accept this and will take it to court because, quite frankly, they have nothing else going for them.

Even if Brooks ultimately prevails the Republicans will still have a majority of 32 seats because Simcha Felder said he would continue to caucus with them.

Correction: Democrats did have two Senators from Long Island in ’09-’10. Brooks and Todd Kaminsky would be the first two from Nassau in a long time.

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