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Political Potpourri: Colton Says, ‘Raise Minimum Wage!’

By Paula Katinas

Assemblyman William Colton, who represents Bensonhurst/Gravesend, called on New York State to raise the minimum wage to $8.50 per hour. Colton is a sponsor of a bill to increase the minimum wage from $7.25 to $8.50 per hour starting in January 2013. The bill also calls for the minimum wage to be increased periodically in the future and for the increase to be tied to the rate of inflation.

“No one who works full time should be poor and without hope. We need to reward work and restore a sense of fairness. New York’s working families are seeing a decline in their purchasing power and the question is no longer whether they can live on a minimum wage, it’s whether they can survive on the minimum wage,” Colton said.

* * *

What’s Councilman Vincent Gentile’s taste in reading like?

Well, it seems that he enjoys reading about politics. No escapism for him!

The good councilman was in The BookMark Shoppe on Third Avenue last Friday for a press conference. He got there before the press conference got under way and apparently decided to browse while waiting for the event to begin. He was seen taking Jack Kennedy: Elusive Hero by Chris Matthews off the shelf. Gentile thumbed through the Kennedy biography and seemed intrigued by the book.

We don’t know if he bought the book. Our spy left the bookstore before Gentile did.

* * *

Facebook users will have the ability to erase their profiles, even after they die, if a bill by Sunset Park Assemblyman Felix Ortiz becomes law.

No one is talking about ghosts here.

The way it would work is that an individual would be allowed under state law to designate in their will a person to take control of their online presence, such as a Facebook profile or a presence on other social networking sites, after their death. The designated person would be able to take control of the profile and delete it if that was the stated desire of the deceased person.

The designated person would be known as an “online executor,” similar to an executor of a will.

Ortiz said he drafted the bill because many people live on after death through a digital presence. That can prove to be painful for family members and friends who are constantly reminded of the loss, Ortiz said.

“It is important that we have options for individuals who may not want to continue an online presence after they have passed,” Ortiz said.

* * *

New York State Conservative Party Chairman Mike Long has a message for President Barack Obama: Have you forgotten your oath?

Long charged that Obama is violating the First Amendment by mandating that health insurance cover the costs of contraception and sterilization for women — even those who work for religious organizations.

“On Jan. 20, 2009, you took a solemn oath to uphold the United States Constitution, in front of millions of people, yet your administration is on the verge of dismissing the First Amendment,” Long wrote in his message. “President Obama, when you placed your hand on the Lincoln Bible, your oath did not carve out certain amendments, which is what you are attempting to do with the final rule put forward by your administration to force religious employers to violate their core beliefs.”

* * *

President Obama also came under fire from U.S. Rep. Michael Grimm. On Feb. 1, Grimm voted for the Fiscal Responsibility and Retirement Security Act, which repeals the Community Living Assistance Services and Support (CLASS) Act, part of the Patient Care and Affordability Act, the health care law adopted in 2010. The CLASS Act would create a long-term care program for senior citizens.

“The CLASS Act is just another accounting gimmick used to sell an unpopular bill. It demonstrates Democrats’ inability to properly budget and their propensity to use flawed logic, creating another fiscal train wreck. Like many of their tactics, the CLASS Act simply won’t work, which is why I voted today to eliminate it once and for all and remove the $80 million in false savings from our balance sheet and repeal a costly part of Obamacare,” Grimm said.

* * *

U.S. Rep. Bob Turner met with New York Police Commissioner Ray Kelly to discuss a homeland security bill the congressman introduced in January. The Public Transit Security and Local Law Enforcement Support Act would eliminate the requirement that transit systems apply for waivers to maintain federal funding for specialized crime patrols.

“Commissioner Kelly and I agree wholeheartedly that we must find ways to sustain specialized patrol teams through a streamlined process that will provide greater consistency to our local security funding,” Turner said.

* * *

They told you so! State Sen. Marty Golden and Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis, who watched Super Bowl XLVI together along with family and friends, won their bet with Massachusetts State Representative F. Jay Barrows as the New York Giants defeated the New England Patriots, 21-17.

Golden and Malliotakis will receive a New England-style dinner for two, that will include two 1.25- to 1.50-pound live Legal Lobsters, one quart of New England clam chowder, two individual Boston cream pies, oyster crackers and a cooking instructions pamphlet. Rep. Barrows hails from the 1st Bristol District, which includes Gillette Stadium, the Patriots home playing field in Foxborough.

Senator Golden and Assemblywoman Malliotakis stated, “Congratulations to our hometown heroes, the New York Giants, on a fantastic Super Bowl XLVI Championship. We join all residents of New York in applauding a great season and an awesome playoff run. We are very much looking forward to enjoying our New England feast.”

February 9, 2012 - 12:13pm


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