NY13 Blog; Retaking NY-13 from Rep. Vito Fossella

Following the corruption, ineffectiveness and hypocrisy of Rep. Vito Fossella.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Making the MTA a campaign issue

Frank Powers thinks his experience as a board member of the MTA will be "a positive in the campaign." I think that is a great stance for him to take and welcome having the despised transportation system a central issue in the election. I still think Harrison and McMahon are right in making Iraq and a quick and safe withdraw the key issue but that said the MTA and transportation may not be far behind.

I am not sure when the last time the MTA was in the news for something positive and that is no different today;

The MTA's finances have been tanking - and straphangers may get hit with another round of fare hikes - but that didn't stop Authority CEO Elliot Sander from snagging a raise.

Hired to the tune of $340,000 just 18 months ago, Sander last month received a $10,000 boost to his economic package, which includes a base salary and other benefits, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority confirmed Monday.

How great would it be to involve the Transportation Workers Union Local 100 against Powers the ridiculously wealthy MTA board member? With Fossella out of the picture unions can more easily back the Democratic nominee this time around, something that they have been hesitant to do in the past. In 2004 I often did phone banking for Frank Barbaro and worked side by side with several TWU members who really hit their messaging of transportation importance to the district. At the time we were going through recent fare hikes and the express bus service to the district had taken a significant increase. They would be an extremely powerful ally in GOTV efforts. Making this race about the working class versus executive board members would be a powerful message.

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