The RP’s Weekly Web Gems– The Politics of the States

In New York, Assembly Minority Leader is saying nothing about his recent meeting with Governor Andrew Cuomo, but it is an improvement over the partisan bickering that New York has suffered through in recent years.

It’s hard to say if this is good or bad. New York’s Assembly Minority Leader, Brian Kolb, a Syracuse area Republican, and Democratic governor Andrew Cuomo are keeping their lips sealed about a recent meeting. On the one hand, secretiveness in government is never a good thing, but Kolb and Cuomo are specifically refraining from trashing each other over the rather contentious matter of whether Assembly Republicans will be joining their Democratic colleagues for an extra session later this month, so that has to be worth something. [Albany Times Union]

In a win for civility, if not for bipartisanship, Lenny Curry, chairman of the Florida Republican Party, has called for an end to personal attacks in that party’s Senate primary race this year and next. Attacks have been brutal, especially since US Representative Connie Mack entered the race and became an automatic frontrunner based on name recognition alone. To be fair, Curry uses some rather strong language against incumbent Democrat Bill Nelson, but his plea for civility in the primary is nevertheless a step in the right direction. [St. Petersburg Times]

Because they apparently ran out of things to fight over, the Wisconsins State Legislature is up in arms over which party is more fiscally responsible when it comes to new train facilities in Milwaukee. Although high-speed rail was shot down last year, improvements still need to be made, in particular for the Hiawatha line between Chicago and Milwaukee. The brouhaha, which was set off by a no-bid contract awarded under previous governor Jim Doyle, a Democrat, is particularly pointless insofar as train spending in Wisconsin is dwarfed 40-fold by its road and highway expenditures. [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel]

Leading the country in Potemkin bipartisanship this week is Ohio, whose House of Representatives last Wednesday passed a bill that would ban the use of public funds for political purposes, after the Toledo Area Regional Transit Authority did just that in 2007. The bill passed 90-2, but House Republicans shot down an amendment that would allow the recall of public officials. [Columbus Dispatch]

The California Supreme Court is expediting its decision on whether and how to implement new State Senate maps, with a ruling expected by the end of January. It is hoped that by speeding along this ruling, the Court will be able to end the long partisan nightmare that has only exacerbated California’s already deeply-divided political world. [Sacramento Bee]

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