Convention opponents continue their push
Rick Karlin is reporting at Capitol Confidential a coalition of progressive, environmental and labor-backed groups came to the state Capitol Mon., Oct. 30, as part of the ongoing opposition to the Constitutional Convention vote, Nov. 7. “We have far more to lose than we have to gain,” said Ron Deutsch, executive director of the labor-backed Fiscal Policy Institute. “We think this is a recipe for disaster.” While supportive of ideas such as a constitutional amendment ensuring a right to clean air and water, Peter Iwanowicz, executive director of Environmental Advocates of NY, said he believes a convention could endanger existing environmental protections. Others expressed fear that a constitutional convention could turn out to be a “Trojan Horse,” allowing billionaire activists to use their money and influence to help choose the delegates and create policies. In a related story, Matthew Hamilton is reporting opponents of the convention have already shelled out more than $1 million in the run-up to the election. Two ads, slamming the process and urging New Yorkers to vote no on convening a convention began running last week. According to filings with the Board of Elections, New Yorkers Against Corruption paid nearly $600,000 for the TV spots. Every 20 years New Yorkers are asked if the state should hold a constitutional convention. If the answer is yes, delegates will be selected to develop a slate of potential amendments to the state constitution. Voters in 2019 would decide whether to approve any amendments that come out of the convention. Read both stories at Capitol Confidential, a Times Union blog.