The Gothamist article is hilarious, but the spokesperson here is a political idiot. “Upstate New York Secessionists Demand Freedom From City They Mooch Off Of“:
On Sunday, a few hundred people rallied in Bainbridge, New York, a village of 3,300 between Binghamton and Oneonta, to promote the idea of upstate secession. The protest was organized by a group called the Divide New York Caucus, which wants to sever the state above Rockland and Westchester counties. Because actually seceding would require state legislative and congressional approval, man-with-a-dream John Bergener Jr. proposes divvying the state into two autonomous regions through a voter referendum, calling the new one New Amsterdam, and leaving a figurehead legislature in place at the state level. The pie-in-the-sky scheme is no mere intellectual exercise, its architect insists…
The rally included Tea Party, gun rights, and pro-fracking groups bitter about downstate voters’ support for the state’s fracking ban and the gun-sale-and-storage-restricting SAFE Act. There was also some innuendo about upstate supporting New York City, in the form of a flyer promoting the rally that depicts a beaver chewing into a tree, with the trunk representing upstate and the upper portion representing the city, and the slogan “The Beaver shall not allow the Roots to feed the Tree. Instead the Roots will grow a new branch.”
If we’re talking economics, the case for secession is stronger on the New York City side—because upstaters are a bunch of moochers. In an analysis of state finances for fiscal year 2010, the Rockefeller Institute [pdf] found that New York City pays 45 percent of the state’s taxes and other revenues, and receives just 40 percent of expenditures, a gap of about $4 billion…
Tragically, so is this guy, who has both the brains and the education to know better. Per TPM News:
Harvard law professor Lawrence Lessig says his presidential exploratory committee has reached the $1-million benchmark he said would trigger a formal White House bid.
The Democrat announced his fundraising total in an interview on ABC’s “This Week.”
Lessig says he’s running to address campaign finance reform, voting rights issues and “political gerrymandering.”
Should he achieve his agenda as president, the 54-year-old South Dakota native promises to resign and let his vice president take over.
He declined to name potential vice presidential picks when asked during the interview…
The only way this “campaign” rises above a minor irritant, like contact dermatitis from a cheap wristband, is if by some cascade of unlikely accidents Lessig manages to turn into Nader 2016. In which case I would have to hunt him down personally — unless Bernie Sanders beats me to it, as would be his right.