The Capitol Connection

Thursdays 3:00 p.m., Saturdays at 5:30 a.m.

Maybe you voted for them and maybe you didn't, but either way, what they do and how they think affects you. Each week on The Capitol Connection, you can keep yourself abreast of political developments and gain a little insight into how New York State's politicians think when you listen in as political scientist Dr. Alan Chartock holds conversations with members from the Assembly and Senate, and other political movers and shakers.

Tune in Thursdays at 3 PM, Saturdays at 5:30 AM. and Tuesdays at 6:30 PM on HD2 on WAMC Northeast Public Radio. The program is also carried on stations across New York State. Check your local listings for the time and frequency. 

Twitter: @Cap_Connection

Albany, NY – On this week's Capitol Connection David Guistina fills in for Alan Chartock. David talks to Assemblyman Joseph Lentol of Brooklyn's 50th Assembly district about last week's special legislative session dealing with civil confinement. Assemblyman Lentol heads the Codes Committee which evaluates all criminal justice legislation in the state and shares his thoughts on what went wrong last week and what the Assembly will be focusing on in 2007 with the new administration.

Albany, NY – Alan Chartock talks to George Marlin, former head of the Port Authority under the Pataki administration and a longtime activist in the state Conservative Party. Marlin talks to Alan about his new book "Squandered Opportunities: New York's Pataki Years," in which he charges the outgoing governor with betraying conservative principles in a misguided attempt to be all things to all people. Along the way, Marlin shares his first hand account of the early Pataki years and his opinion on what changed within the administration.

Albany, NY – Alan Chartock talks to David Sandman, executive director of the Commission on Healthcare Facilities in the 21st Century, which just released its report on hospital closings and mergers. Sandman discusses the process used in determining which hospitals were chosen and the apolitical nature of the commission. He also talks about the other reforms suggested by the report, which go beyond simply closing hospitals to save money.

Albany, NY – Alan Chartock talks to the new Senate Minority Leader, Malcolm Smith of Queens' 14th district. Smith discusses what the role of the Legislature will be on day one, his personal relationships with lieutenant governor-elect David Paterson and Majority Leader Joe Bruno, and the reforms needed to fix Albany's dysfunctional processes. Alan also asks him about changing pay-to-play, cutting property taxes and opportunities in 2008.

Albany, NY – Alan Chartock talks to Richard Iannuzzi, head of New York State United Teachers, one of the most powerful unions in the state. Iannuzzi talks about the implications of the recent elections for education in New York and shares his experiences as a fourth-grade teacher in Central Islip, Long Island. Alan quizzes Dick about everything from the union's recent settlement with the attorney general's office, new directions for school funding and charter schools in this revealing interview.

Albany, NY – Alan Chartock talks to embattled New York State Comptroller Alan Hevesi, who has watched his easy run for re-election turn into a horse race in the wake of a scandal involving a state-funded security detail for his wife. Hevesi explains the death threats and other incidents that were the rationale for the security precautions and the misunderstanding that he says is responsible for the current flap. He also shares what he thinks the achievements of his office have been since his election in 2002.

Albany, NY – On this week's Capitol Connection Alan Chartock talks to author, actor and activist Malachy McCourt, the Green Party's candidate for New York State governor. McCourt, the brother of Angela's Ashes author Frank McCourt, tells Alan why he's standing for office and what offends him about Eliot Spitzer and John Faso, his Democratic and Republican opponents. The dark horse candidate talks with Alan about his ideas for demilitarizing the National Guard, raising teacher's salaries and making public transit and public colleges free.

Albany, NY – On this week's Capitol Connection Alan Chartock talks to author, actor and activist Malachy McCourt, the Green Party's candidate for New York State governor. McCourt, the brother of Angela's Ashes author Frank McCourt, tells Alan why he's standing for office and what offends him about Eliot Spitzer and John Faso, his Democratic and Republican opponents. The dark horse candidate talks with Alan about his ideas for demilitarizing the National Guard, raising teacher's salaries and making public transit and public colleges free.

Albany, NY – On this week's Capitol Connection Alan Chartock talks to author, actor and activist Malachy McCourt, the Green Party's candidate for New York State governor. McCourt, the brother of Angela's Ashes author Frank McCourt, tells Alan why he's standing for office and what offends him about Eliot Spitzer and John Faso, his Democratic and Republican opponents. The dark horse candidate talks with Alan about his ideas for demilitarizing the National Guard, raising teacher's salaries and making public transit and public colleges free.

Albany, NY – Alan Chartock talks to Tom Rogers, executive director of New York State's Council of School Superintendents (NYSCOSS). The two discuss the recent school embezzlement scandal in Roslyn, New York and the need for an external check on school districts that has been called for in its wake. Superintendent turnover, the latest in the Campaign for Fiscal Equity case and solutions to school violence are also among the topics this week.

Albany, NY – On this week's Capitol Connection Alan Chartock talks to Michael Arcuri, district attorney for Oneida County and Democratic congressional candidate in New York's 24th district. The House seat is being vacated by retiring Congressman Sherwood Sherry Boehlert, a moderate Republican, and is considered by national Democrats as a vulnerable seat in their attempt to regain control of the House this fall. Arcuri discusses his similarities with the popular outgoing legislator and how his prosecutorial experience has shaped his positions.

Albany, NY – Alan talks to John Hall, co-founder of the band Orleans and writer of the hit songs Still the One and Dance With Me. Hall is running for Congress in New York's 19th congressional district against Republican incumbent Sue Kelly. The race is receiving national attention as one of the races being focused on by Democrats eager to take control of the lower house. Hall, a longtime activist and a former county legislator, talks about his feelings on his opponent's 12-year record and his call for a moonshot program for energy independence.

Albany, NY – Alan Chartock talks to State Senator Ray Meier of New York's 47th district. Meier, a Republican, is running to replace retiring Congressman Sherwood Sherry Boehlert of New York's 24th congressional district. The race is one of several House seats receiving national coverage as Democrats try to regain control of Congress' lower house. Meier talks about his identification with Boehlert, his popularity in the district and the bread-and-butter issues he feels are most important to his constituents.

Albany, NY – Alan Chartock talks to Lee Miringoff, director of Marist's Institute for Public Opinion, home of the nationally-utilized Marist poll. With the New York State primaries coming up next week, Alan and Lee discuss who the likely voters will be, what their demographics are and why Senator Hillary Clinton is faring better than her colleague in Connecticut, Joe Lieberman.

Albany, NY – Alan Chartock talks to Richard Mills, New York State's education commissioner. Alan asks him about a recent report from the education department that rated an additional 17 schools in the state persistently dangerous. Other educational issues in the interview include the difficulties in getting experienced teachers into troubled schools, programs to aid outside professionals with a desire to teach, and the need for greater accountability in school leadership.

Albany, NY – This week's show is particularly lively, as Alan Chartock talks to Nassau County Executive Tom Suozzi. Suozzi, who's challenging Attorney General Eliot Spitzer for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination, talks about the distinctions between him and the popular attorney general, the problems he's faced fundraising, their recent debate in New York City and Spitzer's failure to reform Medicaid.

Albany, NY – On this week's Capitol Connection Alan Chartock talks to Joe Caruso, director of polling for the Siena Research Institute. The institute just released this week its latest New York Poll, which consulted more than 600 registered New York voters and asked them their thoughts on Eliot Spitzer, the competitive race for attorney general and Hillary Clinton's chances in a 2008 presidential run. Alan and Joe also talk about the ins and outs of the polling process and whether they can affect elections directly.

Albany, NY – Alan Chartock talks to Howie Hawkins, the Green Party's choice to challenge U.S. Senator Hillary Clinton in this year's election. Hawkins, a co-founder of the party and longtime political activist, talks to Alan about the chances for an anti-war campaign, his advice to anti-war Democrats and the current conflicts between Israel, Hamas and Hizbollah.

Albany, NY – Alan Chartock talks to former Westchester district attorney Jeanine Pirro, the Republican candidate for state attorney general. Alan questions her about her fund-raising efforts and her recent ads and statements that compare her to current attorney general Eliot Spitzer, a Democrat. Pirro also talks about her ranking in the polls compared to one of her possible Democratic rivals for the job, Andrew Cuomo. She even shares her thoughts on the quality of the press' coverage of her personal life.

Albany, NY – Alan talks to Daily News Albany bureau chief Joe Mahoney about the Gov. Pataki's state-funded dinner for New Hampshire GOP activists, the Court of Appeals' recent decision to pass the gay-marriage buck back to the Legislature, and the odds in the numerous state and national Senate races throughout the state.

Albany, NY – Alan Chartock talks to John Clifton, the New York Libertarian Party's chosen candidate for governor. Clifton, a Queens social worker and Navy veteran, lays out his platform, which includes legalized drugs, preventing eminent domain abuses and a cap on the state income tax. Also touched on is a repeal of the restaurant smoking ban.

Albany, NY – Alan talks to state Assemblyman Tom Kirwan of New York's 100th district. Kirwan gives an overview of this year's recently-concluded legislative session in which he tried to push through rules for protecting the minority conferences and legislation expanding the state's criminal DNA database and capping the sales tax on gasoline. Alan and Tom also speculate on the potential turnout in this year's elections.

Albany, NY – Alan's guest is Jay Gallagher, Gannett News's Albany bureau chief and longtime reporter on New York State politics. Subjects of this week's show include gubernatorial candidate Eliot Spitzer's anti-establishment credentials, the building of a computer chip factory in Saratoga County and the race to replace outgoing Senate Minority Leader David Paterson.

Albany, NY – Alan talks to Republican Congressman John Sweeney of New York's 20th district. The two discuss the recent debate over distribution of Homeland Security funding, Governor George Pataki's presidential prospects and Sweeney's stance on the recent scandal involving Democratic Congressman William Jefferson.

Albany, NY – On this week's show, Alan Chartock talks to state Senator Liz Krueger, chair of the Senate Democratic Campaign Committee, about the chances of a Democratic takeover of the Senate in 2006. The two also talk about the brewing Democratic conflict over the replacement of departing Senate Minority Leader David Paterson and the strengthening of the state Democratic base.

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