On December 3, the Center for New York City Affairs at the New School invited campaign staffers, pundits, and candidates to come together to look back at this year’s exciting races in New York State. Below are a series of highlights from these engaging, illuminating conversations.
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What is the longstanding impact of ‘legal corruption’ in politics?
NYS government operates in an insular world that most of the state doesn’t understand; it’s what allows things to happen in the shadows. Could investigations and indictments catalyzed by the disbanded Moreland Commission serve as an impetus in changing the state’s political culture or is reform unlikely under the current governor?

How have lower voter turnout and special interest lobbying changed the course and tone of the campaign season?
Blair Horner, legislative director of the New York Public Interest Research Group, says only a fraction of the population is making campaign contributions and certain special interests are yielding powerful influence. With only 30% of eligible New York voters choosing not to vote in 2014, are we witnessing dissatisfaction, complacency, or something else?

Are structural conditions and voter disillusionment creating a ‘democracy death spiral’? 
The story of the 2014 election is the story of the vanishing voter. Professor Gerald Benjamin, vice president for regional engagement and former chair of the political science department at SUNY New Paltz, calls the election “a perfect low turnout” for New York Republicans. What are the larger implications of a historically low turnout and what should reformers be considering?

How will the new Republican majority affect the next legislative session? 
Pundits say this year’s legislative session will be difficult for many initiatives the governor said he supported and that the Senate Democrats argued for, including the Dream Act, public finance reform, and the “women’s agenda.” In addition, rent control and charter schools have to be dealt with in the context of this year’s budget. What impact will this year’s session have on New York City and the de Blasio administration?

What should Republicans be working for to maintain their majority in the NYS Senate? 
With the upcoming legislative session, pundits and political insiders explore how Republicans in the NYS Senate can effectively expand their base.

Full Video