State of Politics reports, “Judge: State Should Release SAFE Act Stats“:

“New York state is being ordered by a state Supreme Court judge to release the statistical data on the number of firearms registered under the SAFE Act.  The ruling was issued on April 30, but released earlier on Thursday by the Shooters Committee on Public Education, or SCOPE, a gun-rights group that had challenged the state’s refusal to issue details on how many firearms have been registered … Gun-rights groups have contended the number of weapons registered under the SAFE Act is a relatively small, if not insignificant amount that renders the requirement toothless.  They point to the lack of transparency regarding the statistical data as having lent credence to the claim …”

While this is a win for government transparency it doesn’t do a thing for gun rights.  Neither the Governor nor the legislature care if the number is zero or one million and neither is likely to take any sort of action because of it.  There are all sorts of bad laws and failed government programs still on the books.  One more isn’t going to motivate Andrew Cuomo and legislative leaders to admit they  made a mistake and at the end of the day SAFE will still be one of them.

Legislative Report #8 is now online.

The amicus brief by NYSRPA, ANJRPC, Commonwealth 2nd Amendment, GOAL and MSRPA filed in support of the plaintiff in the 9th Circuit Court case of Peruta v. County of San Diego is also online.

07
May
stored in: Politics and tagged:

Stirring the pot:

“Don’t pick a SAFE Act supporter.  That’s the message the state Rifle and Pistol Association is urging its members to tell their local senators as Senate Republicans increasingly consider dumping Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos.  The group encouraged its members to tell senators to back Sen. John DeFrancisco, R-Syracuse, to succeed Skelos — instead of Long Island Sen. John Flanagan.  “It appears the new majority leader of the NYS Senate is going to be one of the following two men,” wrote Tom King, the head of the Rifle and Pistol Association, yesterday to supporters.  “John DeFrancisco a Syracuse based conservative senator who voted against the SAFE Act or John Flannigan (sic) a Long Island base Senator who voted for the SAFE Act. Please call your Senator and urge him to vote for Senator DeFrancisco as the new Majority Leader.” …”

I miss Uncle Joe.  He had lots of faults but was a much better leader than Skelos.

07
May
stored in: Humor and tagged:

06
May

Sooner, not later, this will blow up in the Republicans face:

State Senate Republicans are just fine with rampant corruption.  At least, that’s the message the caucus sent Monday night by voting to let freshly indicted Dean Skelos stay on as their leader.  This isn’t pathetic — it’s rancid.  The vote of confidence came just hours after US Attorney Preet Bharara dropped a 43-page criminal complaint.  This outlined years of evidence — including witness testimony, e-mails and phone wiretaps — in charging that Skelos sold his office to enrich his son Adam.  The senators actually managed the miracle of making Assembly Democrats look good …”

They further embarrassed themselves today when Jack Martins put down efforts by Daniel Squadron and Michael Gianaris to get a floor vote on Senate leadership:


The calls for Skelos to step aside are growing. This will not go on for much longer.

04
May

Karma paid a visit to the Senate pointman for the SAFE Act:

Dean G. Skelos, the leader of the New York State Senate, and his son were arrested on Monday by federal authorities on extortion, fraud and bribe solicitation charges, expanding the corruption investigation that has already changed the face of Albany …”

The criminal complaint against him is 43 pages long. Haven’t had a chance to read yet, but here’s a gem:

 

The Observer puts the cherry on top:

“It won’t be hunting season for Dean Skelos anytime soon. Mr. Skelos, the Republican majority leader, was slapped with a six-count criminal complaint today–and will now have to give up his prized shotgun. In addition to his passport and all travel documents, Mr. Skelos must relinquish the shotgun he uses for hunting, a federal judge informed him today …”

01
May
stored in: Politics and tagged:

Bloomberg Business reports, “George Soros May Face a Monster Tax Bill“:

“… While building a record as one of the world’s greatest investors, the 84-year-old billionaire used a loophole that allowed him to defer taxes on fees paid by clients and reinvest them in his fund, where they continued to grow tax-free.  At the end of 2013, Soros—through Soros Fund Management—had amassed $13.3 billion through the use of deferrals … Congress closed the loophole in 2008 and ordered hedge fund managers who used it to pay the accumulated taxes by 2017.  A New York-based money manager such as Soros would be subject to a federal rate of 39.6 percent … according to Andrew Needham, a tax partner at Cravath, Swaine & Moore.  Applying those rates to Soros’s deferred income would create a tax bill of $6.7 billion …”

Ouch.

I’m a big fan of capitalism and I believe our tax system is unjust.  However, Soros is a public advocate of high taxes and government regulation, and if the system he supports says he owes money then they need to collect.

Could this affect his ability to fund all sorts of gun control initiatives?  His fortune is worth ~$30 billion, but who knows how that is structured.