Executive Opinions

Rob Astorino took on Andrew Cuomo in the 2014 race for governor, but the political landscape has changed a lot since then, especially for Republicans. The Westchester County Executive joins us to talk about walking the fine line as a moderate Republican Trump voter, how to handle housing under new HUD secretary Ben Carson, and his ideas on how to fix the immigration system.

Fighting a ‘Climate of Fear’

Trump’s administration is starting a war on civil liberties and the ACLU is on the front lines fighting back – last weekend lawyers for the group were flocking to JFK and airports around the country to fight the so-called Muslim ban. New York Civil liberties union executive director Donna Lieberman is with us to talk about the President of Hate and pushing back against the climate of fear.

The Slant – In Memory: A Thorn in Trump’s Side

For this week’s podcast, we’re honoring the memory of Wayne Barrett, the journalism legend who passed away last week. A week before the New York presidential primary in 2016, we had the chance to sit down with Barrett for an interview spanning many topics including Donald Trump. Barrett quite literally wrote the book on Trump, and knew of many of the pitfalls of the business mogul’s personality and practices before the presidential campaign put all of this in the spotlight. Today, we’re re-running a portion of our interview with Barrett, which takes on new meaning in light of Trump’s election victory.

The Slant – Portrait of a Pardon

Does 15 years to life for one drug deal sound excessive to you? Our guest this week, Anthony Papa, is a living example of the ineffectiveness of the Rockefeller drug laws. Papa served 12 years at Sing Sing for a nonviolent drug crime before Governor George Pataki commuted his sentence in 1996. Just last month, Andrew Cuomo officially pardoned Papa, clearing his record after 20 years of criminal justice activism fighting for criminal justice reform and against the excesses of the United States’ War on Drugs.

The Slant – From Albany, with Love

Andrew Cuomo’s hitting the road, so we did too. We’re in the place that Cuomo is supposed to be, Albany, on the second day of the 2017 legislative session with two seasoned statehouse reporters. The Times Union’s Casey Seiler and New York State Public Radio’s Karen DeWitt join us to discuss the tense atmosphere in Albany and what lies ahead for Governor Cuomo, including the recurring buzz about his presidential ambitions.

The Slant Year-End Podcast – Holiday “Gifts” for our Elected Officials

It’s been quite the year in New York politics and, in the spirit of the season, we came up with some gifts that we think our elected officials could use as we wrap up 2016. Slant editor Nick Powell, City and State Editor-at-Large Gerson Borrero, City and State Editorial Director Michael Johnson and Robert George of the Daily News sit down to discuss what presents they would get for New York’s political leaders…or perhaps some of them just deserve a lump of coal.

Happy holidays and happy New Year to all of our listeners!

The Slant – Third Time’s a Charm?

With the 2016 election in the rear view mirror, the next decision New Yorkers have their eyes on is the race for mayor in 2017. Sal Albanese has been a frequent and vocal critic of Mayor Bill de Blasio and the longtime New York politico and former city councilman has officially become the first person to challenge de Blasio for the Democratic ballot. Albanese joins us to discuss de Blasio’s pay-for-play investigations, his thoughts on police-community relations, and why he’s chosen to throw his hat into the ring after two losing mayoral candidacies in the past two decades.

SPECIAL: Block by Block with Ritchie Torres

Campaigns for local races go beyond the typical liberal vs. conservative, Democrat vs. Republican debate we’re used to hearing about on the national stage. They are about going door to door, organizing and getting to know the local issues – the building blocks of a winning campaign. Welcome to City & State’s newest podcast series – Block by Block, an inside look at the quirks and curiosities of local campaigns. In our pilot episode, we examine the classic underdog story – Ritchie Torres’s 2013 race for New York City Councilman. Find out why the odds were stacked against Torres in his first race for public office, how he pulled off the dream win, and how Trader Joe’s wine helped fuel his campaign.

The Slant – Nydia Velazquez: Picking Up the Progressive Pieces

After 24 years in Congress with a district spreading across Brooklyn, Manhattan and Queens, Nydia Velazquez has established herself as a power broker with a strong voice on New York City issues. But her influence extends beyond the five boroughs as well, as far as Washington DC, Cuba and her native Puerto Rico.
Velazquez joins us this week to recount her battles with Sheldon Silver and Vito Lopez, give her thoughts on how to save public housing under the new president and why she thinks Bill de blasio should welcome a primary in 2017.

The Slant – Running a Cunning Campaign

Donald Trump may be dominating the headlines today, but in 2002, New York City was getting used to the idea of a different multi-billionaire assuming high office. Yes, fifteen years ago, Michael Bloomberg won the mayoral election running as a Republican, thanks in part to the work of Bill Cunningham, one of the chief architects of Bloomberg’s 2001 and 2005 campaigns.

Cunningham, a prominent communications consultant who also worked for governors Hugh Carey and Mario Cuomo and senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, joins us for this week’s podcast to share some war stories from his time working with Bloomberg. And with Mayor Bill de Blasio set to run for re-election in 2017, Cunningham tells us whether de Blasio can be beaten and if his campaign messaging will resonate as well it did in 2013.