THE BLOG
02/28/2008 03:58 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

DNC New York Superdelegates

HuffPost's OffTheBus members produced these superdelegate profiles as part of its Superdelegate Investigation. You can find all profiles here.

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Vivian Cook
Assemblywoman representing 32nd Assembly District, Queens
New York

Basic Bio
* Cook was born in Rock Hill, South Carolina on May 23rd 1937 (making her 70 years old.)
* Married to John Cook, 76, and has a son, Reginald Cook, and a grandson, Reginald D. Cook.
* Listed as currently residing on Rockaway Blvd, Jamaica, Queens. Previous Addresses include one Spring Hill, Fl., two in South Ozone Park and four other addresses in Jamaica, Queens.
* Graduate of the Defrans Business Institute and had a previous career as a businesswoman. She also has professional experience as a legislator.
* Civic role began more than 30 years ago when the Kennedy Airport and airfreight expansion threatened her community.
* First ran for 32nd Assembly District seat in 1984 as a member of the Liberal Party. In that election, she gained 4,171 votes compared with Democrat Edward Abramson (at that point incumbent since 1972) who obtained 24,165 votes.
* In the 1990 election, ran as a Democrat and backed by the Queens Democratic organization, defeated Mr. Abramson. According to the New York Times, (September 12, 1990) "Queens Democratic leaders had turned on him because his Howard Beach-South Ozone Park district had become predominantly black, and Ms. Cook is black."
* Seat was unopposed in the 1992 election. (New York Times, November 2, 1992.)
* Endorsed Sharpton for Senate in 1994. (New York Times, May 7, 1994.)
* While facing opposition in subsequent elections, has retained the majority vote and her seat. (The New York Times, November 7, 1996.)
* Listed as belonging to both the Democratic and now defunct Liberal party.

Sources:
* http://www.usa-people-search.com/results.aspx?pID=79731493&fn=VIVIAN&mn=E&ln=COOK
* http://assembly.state.ny.us/mem/?ad=032&sh=bio
* http://www.uber.com/243635222
* http://www.referenceusa.com
* http://www.gothamgazette.com/eyeonalbany/assembly/district32.shtml
* http://www.elections.state.ny.us/portal/page?_pageid=35,1,35_8693:35_8712&_dad=portal&_schema=PORTAL "The current political parties are the Republican, Democratic, Independence, Conservative, and Working Families parties."(03/13/08)

Political interests and issues
* District Leader, Queens County 32nd Assembly District, 1972-present.
* Secretary, Queens County 32nd Assembly District, 1997.
* Assistant Majority Leader, New York State Assembly, 2007.
* For over 25 years, Cook has served as a District Leader of Queens County and has striven to improve her community as an advocate for education, economic development, housing, youth, the aging, and the battle against drug abuse.
* Is a member of six committees:
o Alcoholism and Drug Abuse
o Corporations, Authorities and Commissions
o Economic Development, Job Creation, Commerce & Industry
o Housing
o Insurance
o NYS Assembly Task Force on Criminal Justice, Legislative Women's Caucus
* Currently holds the position of Chair of the Majority Program Committee. (New York State Association of Black and Puerto Rican Legislators, Inc.) This organization was originally set up to negotiate equal sharing of power and position in the Legislature in return for their continued support of the democratic leadership.
* Assemblywoman Cook was appointed Chair of the Task Force on Food, Farm and Nutrition Policy in 2000.
* Member of the newly established New York City Traffic Mitigation Congestion Commission, set up to decide the fate of congestion pricing in New York City by March 2008. She was absent from the Jan 31st vote on Traffic Congestion Mitigation Commission.
* Received $800 from pharmaceutical company Pzifer in 2005/6 as part of their PAC plan to support candidates for public office across the country. PAC stands for Political Action Committees - Pfizer colleagues can support candidates who value access and innovation in health care.

Sources:
* http://www.votesmart.org/bio.php?can_id=4294
* http://assembly.state.ny.us/mem/?ad=032&sh=bio
* http://www.nysabprl.com/images/members/pages/Cook-Assemblywoman Vivian E Cook.htm
* http://assembly.state.ny.us/Press/20070308
* http://www.uber.com/243635222
* http://www.nysabprl.com/images/members/pages/Cook-Assemblywoman%20Vivian%20E.%20Cook.htm
* http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2007/08/21/meet-the-congestion-pricing-panel/
* media.pfizer.com/files/investors/corporate/2005_2006_pac_report.pdf

Involvement in the Democratic Party
* Cook was backed by the Queens Democratic organization when she ran for office in 1990.
* Delegate, Democratic National Convention, 1988, 1992, 1996, 2000, 2004.
* Democratic National Committee, 1992-present.
* Chair, Queens County Democratic Committee.
* Founder/Executive Member, Allied Regular Democratic Club, Inc.

Sources:
* http://www.votesmart.org/bio.php?can_id=4294
* http://assembly.state.ny.us/mem/?ad=032&sh=bio
* http://politicalgraveyard.com/bio/cook9.html

Pledged Status
* Cook has endorsed Hillary Clinton for president.
* On a press release dated October 17 2007, she pledged her allegiance to Hillary Clinton on a list of names on the New York Women for Hillary Council: "They are encouraged to be ambassadors for Hillary by reaching out to their networks on Hillary's behalf while also educating and empowering others to make history by making Hillary our 44th President." (Excerpt from aforementioned press release.)
* Member of the group Clinton Superdelegate Endorsements of Democratic Superdelegate Endorsements since 2007.
* Cook is a member of the group New York Democratic Superdelegates of Democratic Superdelegates.

Sources:
* http://www.politico.com/superdelegates/
* http://www.politicalbase.com/groups/clinton-superdelegate-endorsements/13781/
* wonkette.com/assets/resources/2008/03/20071017_nywomen.pdf

Involvement in the 2008 Election
* Posed in a photograph with Clinton on her visit to the State Capitol, Winter 2007, where she discussed her legislative agenda. http://assembly.state.ny.us/member_files/032/20071203

Previous Campaign Work
* In 1992 Cook endorsed Bill Clinton (according to a news wire issued by the former presidents PR Jeff Eller - found searching for Vivian E. Cook on Lexis-Nexus.)

Connections to Politicians, Leaters on State Level
* As Assistant Majority Leader, worked with Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver. http://assembly.state.ny.us/Press/20070308

Awards
* Sojourner Truth Award-National Association of Negro Business and Professional Women's Club, Inc.
* Rockaway Boulevard Senior Citizens Golden Kiwanis Community Service
* 113th Precinct Senior Citizens Award
* 103rd and 113th Precinct Community Service Award
* Friends of Arts Award
* New York State Assembly and Senate Award
* Sutphin Boulevard Civic Association Award
* South Ozone Park Women's Club Award
* Citizens for Jenkins Community Service Award
* City of New York 10-Year Community Board Service Award Neighborhood Council Award for Community Service
* Springfield Gardens Mother's Day Award
* N.Y.S. Martin Luther King, Jr. Institute and Commission Service & Leadership Award
* P .E.F. Political Action Committee Award
* New Jerusalem Eastern Star Award
* J-Cap Award
* Rochdale Village Little League Award
* Forestdale Foster Care Educational Award
* Military Women of NYC Award
* Neighborhood Housing Services of Jamaica Award
* South Jamaica Houses Award
* Partner in Education Award
* Square Deal Civic Association Award
* Queens EOC Award; Kew Gardens Civic Association Award
* Jamaica Service Program for Older Adults Award of Appreciation
* Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Finer Womanhood Week Award
* Kiwanis Club of Rochdale Village Woman's Month Award http://www.uber.com/243635222

This profile was produced through HuffPost's OffTheBus Superdelegate Investigation. All profiles will be donated to the Superdelegate Transparency Project. If you have information that should be added to this profile, please join the Superdelegate Transparency Project and update the profile there.

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Herman D. Farrell Junior

New York


Basic Bio
* New York Assembly since 1974
* Represents District 71 in the New York State Assembly, which is comprised of the Manhattan neighborhoods of West Harlem, Inwood and Washington Heights
* State Committeeman 1970 through 1971
* Had previously been a Confidential Aide to a State Supreme Court Justice
* was Chairman of the Assembly Banks Committee.
* Governor Cuomo appointed him to the Temporary Committee on Interstate Banking in 1983.
* Conducted a course on Banking in New York at the New School for Social Research 1981 to 1984.
* Chairman of the Subcommittee on Financial Institutions of the National Conference of State Legislators, 1981 through 1982.
* Three times he has been an Elector in the Electoral College over the time from 1970 to, most recently, 2000.


Political interests and issues
* Current Chairman of the New York Assembly's Ways and Means Committee
* Current member of the New York Assembly's Rules Committee
* Current member of the Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic and Asian Legislative Caucus
* Secured passage of the New York Omnibus Consumer Protection and Banking Legislation Act while Chairman of the Assembly Banks Committee.
* Sponsored the Neighborhood Preservation Companies Act
* Sponsored legislation for solar tax credits and child care tax credits


Involvement in the Democratic Party
* NY State Democratic Party Chair 2002 through 2006
* Previous 10 years served as Vice Chair of the New York Democrati Party for ten years, and was elected Chair in 2001. In 1973,
* District Leader 1973 to present
* New York County Democratic Committee County Leader since 1981


Connections to Politicians, Leaders on State Level
* Mario Cuomo
* Sheldon Silver

All information comes from http://assembly.state.ny.us/mem/?ad=071 and is mirrored by ZoomInfo, Wikipedia, as well as several other sites.

This profile was produced through HuffPost's OffTheBus Superdelegate Investigation. If you have information that should be added to this profile, please send an email to campaigntrail@huffingtonpost.com with "superdelegate profile" in the subject line. All profiles will be donated to the Superdelegate Transparency Project.

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Emily Giske


Basic bio
*Employer: Bolton-St. John's Inc, a Government Relations and Public Affairs Consulting group. Emily Giske is a government affairs specialist with extensive experience in Albany and New York City. For the past decade, she has been a lobbyist for corporations, financial institutions, not-for-profit entities, and municipalities.
http://www.boltonstjohns.com/biographies/emily_giske.php4
*Involvement in the Democratic Party. What offices have they held? When were they elected to the DNC? How have they appeared in the press? Why would people know them?
*Emily Giske
- Vice Chair, NYDems Executive Committee
http://www.nydems.org/dncdelegation.php
*Giske, Emily of Manhattan,New York County N.Y. Democrat.
Delegate to Democratic National Convention from New York,2000,2004;
*Presidential Elector for New York,2000
*member of Democratic National Committee from New York, 2004.
*Female. Still living as of 2004.
http://politicalgraveyard.com/bio/gilmour-givhan.html

Political interests and issues
*Emily Giske, member, Democratic National Committee LGBT Caucus
http://www.hillaryclinton.com/news/release/view/?id=2196

Involvement in 2008 Election
*Emily Giske, member, Democratic National Committee LGBT Caucus
http://www.hillaryclinton.com/news/release/view/?id=2196
*LGBT Americans For Hillary Steering Committee Members (Committee In Formation)
http://www.hillaryclinton.com/news/release/view/?id=2196

Contributions
*Hillary Clinton

This profile was produced through HuffPost's OffTheBus Superdelegate Investigation. All profiles will be donated to the Superdelegate Transparency Project. If you have information that should be added to this profile, please join the Superdelegate Transparency Project and update the profile there.

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Judith Hope

New York

Political interests and issues
* In 2006 as President of the Eleanor Roosevelt Legacy Committee, she teamed with Silda Wall Spitzer, wife of the now resigned Governor of New York, to create New York Women Vote. New York Women Vote encouraged more women to go to the polls and vote and to change something. http://www.eleanorslegacy.com/main.cfm?actionId=globalShowStaticContent&screenKey=cmpVote&s=erlc


Involvement in the Democratic Party
* Hope took over as Chairperson of the New York State Democratic Committee in 1995. She agreed to stay as chair until 2000, but was asked to continue into 2001. http://bbs.vcsnet.com/NewsdayOZ.shtml
* Announced in Nov. 2001 that would resign Dec. 3. The Democrat Party had suffered a severe defeat in the New York City mayoral election. http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9B05E4DC1438F933A25752C1A9679C8B63
* Spoke out for Hillary Clinton in 2004 by stating that "failure to give Senator Clinton a major speaking role at the Democratic National Convention was a 'total outrage' and 'very stupid.' "It's a slap in the face, not personally for Hillary Clinton, but for every woman in the Democratic Party and every woman in America," said Judith Hope http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/politics/20040714-1435-clinton-convention.html
* Chairperson of the New York State Democratic Party - 1995 - 2001.
* Founder of the Eleanor Roosevelt Legacy Committee http://www.andrewcuomo.com/newsroom_details.asp?id=998
* "Understands the enormous challenges that America faces and she's going to make a great president," former state Democratic Party Chairwoman Hope, who is close to both Clintons, told The Associated Press just minutes after New York's junior senator launched her Web site announcement. "I think it's an exciting moment in history for New York women, for American women and, in fact, for women around the world," added Hope, who heads "Eleanor's Legacy," a New York-based political action committee named for former first lady Eleanor Roosevelt and dedicated to advancing the political careers of women candidates http://www.votehillary.org/CMS/node/1129

Involvement in 2008 Election - Campaign Appearances, Statements
* Hope is a strong supporter of Sen. Clinton. She referred to Obama as "a blank slate whose appeal might fade as he is subjected to more media scrutiny."
* Hope also noted that Clinton has long-standing relationships with many of the superdelegates. She cited Rep. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-Columbia County, for whom Clinton raised money in her campaign that led to an upset win in 2006. "These things aren't forgotten quickly," she said http://www.lohud.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080221/NEWS05/802210360/1240/NEWS0221
* Hope is a superdelegate for Sen. Hillary Clinton. Continuing her support of Ms. Clinton. http://demconwatch.blogspot.com/2008/01/superdelegate-list.html

Contributions to Candidates
* As of March 3, 2007, Ms. Hope has donated $3,600.00 to Hillary's campaign.


This profile was produced through HuffPost's OffTheBus Superdelegate Investigation. All profiles will be donated to the Superdelegate Transparency Project. If you have information that should be added to this profile, please join the Superdelegate Transparency Project and update the profile there.

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Jennifer McClellan

Basic bio
*Jennifer McClellan was born in Petersburg, VA in 1972. She received a BA from the University of Richmond in 1994, and her law degree from U-Richmond's law school in 1997. Prior to gaining elected office, she served Governor Mark Warner on the Virginia College Building Authority from 2002-2005. Because Virginia's House of Delegates is a part-time legislative body, Ms. McClellan also works as Asst. General Counsel Mid-Atlantic South for Verizon Communications.
SOURCES:
http://www.jennifermcclellan.com/bio.htm and
http://dela.state.va.us/dela/MemBios.nsf/bbad288bd8d612d285256c23006d3f86/7722fb1b5a140897852570d2005e9ea2?OpenDocument

Involvement in the Democratic Party
*Ms. McClellan has been heavily involved in the Virginia Democratic Party. She was elected to the state House of Delegates, a part-time legislative body, in 2005, and represents the 71 district, which is located in Richmond, VA. Within the state party, she currently holds the position of 1st Vice Chair, Organization for the Democratic Party of Virginia, as well as being a member of the Democratic National Committee and the Association of Democratic Chairs.
*Prior to Ms. McClellan's taking of state office, she served as the Chair of the 3d Congressional District Democratic Committee as well as the Vice Chair for Outreach. She has been active with Democratic committees in Charlottesville, Chetserfield County, and Richmond.
*While in law school, Ms. McClellan served three terms in a row as president of the Virginia Young Democrats (1994-97) and after graduating founded and served as president of the Metro Richmond Area Young Democrats (1997-2004).
*She has served on several state commissions, including the Commission on Sexual Violence, (appointed by Gov. Kaine) and the Civil Rights Memorial Commission, the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Commission, and the Board of Trustees of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Living History and Public Policy Center (apptd. by the house Speaker).
*Ms. McClellan is a member of the Virginia Legislative Black Caucus.
*A Times-Dispatch story on Dec 1, 2007 reported that "State Del. Jennifer L. McClellan, D-Richmond, a member of the DNC, said she spoke with national party officials at the DNC meeting about targeting the state this fall, and most were receptive."
SOURCES
http://www.jennifermcclellan.com/bio.htm
http://www.inrich.com/cva/ric/search.apx.-content-articles-RTD-2007-12-01-0103.html (Times DIspatch)

Political interests and issues
*Ms. McClellan has promoted affordable housing, raising wages, increasing teacher salaries, affordable higher education, and helping small businesses provide health care to workers. She has also been outspoken against the payday lending industry.
*Ms. McClellan is writing a weekly guest column for the local paper, the Richmond Times Dispatch, covering the progress of the legislature for the 2008 session. Recent columns have examined mental health reform, universal pre-K, and dealing with the budget crunch.
SOURCES:
http://www.jennifermcclellan.com/issues/healthcare.htm
http://www.jennifermcclellan.com/

Involvement in 2008 Election
*Ms. McClellan endorsed Senator Hillary Clinton in early January (announced on Sen. Clinton's website Jan 4, 2008), later introducing the Senator at the state's Jefferson Jackson dinner.
SOURCE: http://www.hillaryclinton.com/news/release/view/?id=5026

Contributions
*Ms. McClellan has not made any reported contributions to the Democratic presidential nominees, according to Fundrace.
*Ms. McClellan has given funds regularly to the Virginia Democratic Party, giving nearly $62,000 to the Virginia Democratic Caucus and $12,400 to the Virginia Democratic Party in the last couple years (2007 was a Virginia election year, in which all legislators were up). She made these contributions by transferring funds from her McClellan for Delegate account
SOURCES
Virginia Public Access Project, www.vpap.org (page attached as PDF, McClellan-TfrsIn and McClellan-TfrsOut
Fundrace, fundrace.huffingtonpost.com

Family Background
*Ms. McClellan does not appear to come from a political background; she identifies herself as the child of a third-generation educator in one of her columns, but I was unable to reach her direclty to verify this.
SOURCES:
http://www.inrich.com/cva/ric/opinion/commentary.apx.-content-articles-RTD-2008-01-27-0106.html
Have they worked on previous campaigns? Were they a Kerry operative? A Clinton '92 staffer?
*Ms. McClellaln does not appear to have been closely involved with any national presidential campaigns, and she has not contributed funds to any campaigns for national office. I was not able to determine specifically if Ms. McCLellan has worked in any capacity on campaigns. Given her involvement with the state party, my hunch would be that she has volunteered and done fundraising, but I was not able to get her on the phone to verify.
Acc. to a Jan 7, 2007 Times-Dispatch article on women mixing poltiics and family, "At the University of Richmond, she served as president of Young Democrats during the 1992 presidential debate, where she was able to meet national and state party leaders. McClellan stayed busy in politics, working on a variety of campaigns and becoming active in the state party."
SOUCE:
www.jennifermcclellan.com
http://www.jennifermcclellan.com/news2007.htm
www.vpap.org
fundrace.huffingtonpost.com

Connections with Political Leaders
*Ms. McClellan has been involved with the Democratic Party of Virginia for most of her adult life, serving under Virginia Governor Mark Wilder (D) on the Virginia College Building Authority (2002-2005), serving two years as Vice Chair.
*Ms. McClellan has been involved with Moving Virginia Forward, the governor's effort to bring the Dem party into prominenncei n VA and the national political spectrum.
SOURCE: http://www.jennifermcclellan.com/bio.htm

This profile was produced through HuffPost's OffTheBus Superdelegate Investigation. All profiles will be donated to the Superdelegate Transparency Project. If you have information that should be added to this profile, please join the Superdelegate Transparency Project and update the profile there.

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Dennis Mehiel
Valhalla, New York

Basic Bio
*Birthplace: New York City (Washington Heights neighborhood of Manhattan) as per interview with Mr. Mehiel
*School: Went to PS 169 in Manhattan. Then went to several different high schools around the world as he traveled with his military father as per interview with Mr. Mehiel. Then went into army (served as a private as a gunner). Then went into business. (all per interview)
*Occupation: Dennis Mehiel has been Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Sweetheart Holdings and Sweetheart Cup since March 1998. Mr. Mehiel has been Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of SF Holdings since February 1998 and has been Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Fonda since 1988. Since July 2000, he has been a director of Box USA Holdings, Inc. ("Box USA") (formerly Four M Corporation, a converter and seller of interior packaging, corrugated sheets and corrugated containers which Mr. Mehiel cofounded ("Four M")). From 1966 until July 2000, he was Chairman of Four M. From 1977 until July 2000 (except during a leave of absence from April 1994 through July 1995) he served as the Chief Executive Officer of Four M. Mr. Mehiel is also Chief Executive Officer and a director of Mannkraft Corporation (formerly Box USA of New Jersey, Inc.), a manufacturer of corrugated containers, and Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of CEG http://www.zoominfo.com/people/Mehiel_Dennis_339960.aspx
*Now: Four M Investments LLC, Valhalla, NY

Involvement in the Democratic Party
*Mehiel has long been involved in Democratic Party affairs in Westchester and New York State. In the 1990s, he unsuccessfully sought a congressional seat in Westchester. In 2002, he ran for lieutenant governor as the running mate of State Comptroller Carl McCall. Mehiel was the Democratic Party nominee, but in the general election the McCall/Mehiel ticket lost to Gov. George Pataki and Lt. Gov. Mary Donohue. In 2004, Mehiel was New York State Chairman for the Democratic Presidential ticket of Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry and North Carolina Sen. John Edwards. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dennis_Mehiel
*Mehiel, Dennis -- of Manhattan, New York County, N.Y. Democrat. Delegate to Democratic National Convention from New York, 2000, 2004; member of Democratic National Committee from New York, 2004. Still living as of 2004. http://politicalgraveyard.com/bio/meekins-mellen.html

Personal political interests and issues
*Various environmental causes, mostly through non-profit organizations, as per interview with Mr. Mehiel.

Involvement in 2008 election - campaign appearances, statements
Pledged to Clinton according to http://www.politico.com/superdelegates/ Confirmed by Mr. Mehiel in interview.

Contributions to Candidates
*Hillary Clinton $4,600
*Joe Biden $2,300
*Chris Dodd $2,300 http://www.fundrace.huffingtonpost.com

Previous Campaign Work
*Was Kerry's NY State chairman.
*Has run for Congress in a primary, and for NY State Lieutenant Governor

This profile was produced through HuffPost's OffTheBus Superdelegate Investigation. All profiles will be donated to the Superdelegate Transparency Project. If you have information that should be added to this profile, please join the Superdelegate Transparency Project and update the profile there.

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Gov David Paterson

Basic bio
*Birthplace - New York, NY May, 20, 1954 - born legally blind, grew up in Long Island
*Columbia University 1977, Hofstra Law '82
*Occupation - New York State Govenor

Involvement in the Democratic Party
*Governor, New York, present
*Lieutenant Governer, State of New York, November 2006-April 2008
*Minority Leader, New York State Senate, 2002-2006
*Senator, New York State Senate, 1985-present
*Deputy Minority Leader.
*Member, Democratic National Committee
*Board Member, Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee. (http://www.votesmart.org/bio.php?can_id=BS022183)

Political interests and issues
*Reducing domestic violence
*increasing use of renewable energy
*funding stem cell research
*developing Minority Women owned businesses

Involvement in 2008 Election
• Stood near Hillary during Iowa caucus - but has not been seen since http://www.observer.com/people/david-paterson

Family Connections
Son of former New York Secretary of State Basil Paterson - first African American to run for statewide office in NY http://www.nytimes.com/2006/12/27/nyregion/27paterson.html

What prominent state individuals have they worked for? For example, a Gray Davis operative or a Cuomo hand?
• Ran with Eliot Spitzer http://www.observer.com/node/51861

This profile was produced through HuffPost's OffTheBus Superdelegate Investigation. All profiles will be donated to the Superdelegate Transparency Project. If you have information that should be added to this profile, please join the Superdelegate Transparency Project and update the profile there.

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David Pollak

DNC State Vice Chair

Political interests and issues What causes have they been associated with?
* Seems to have been a donor to a number of democratic campaigns.
* Involved in Democratic Leadership for the 21st Century
* Was in the frame to be New York State Democratic Committee Chair

Involvement in the Democratic Party
* Virtually unknown outside of NYS Democratic Party Circles

Involvement in the 2008 Election
* Pledged to Clinton

This profile was produced through HuffPost's OffTheBus Superdelegate Investigation. If you have information that should be added to this profile, please send an email to campaigntrail@huffingtonpost.com with "superdelegate profile" in the subject line. All profiles will be donated to the Superdelegate Transparency Project.

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Sheldon Silver
Manhattan IslandnNew York

Basic bio
*Sheldon Silver was born on Ferbruary 13, 1944 on the lower East side of Manhattan,and is a lifelong Orthodox Jew. http://www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sheldon_Silver
*Silver was a graduate of Yeshiva University in 1965 and Brooklyn Law School in 1968. http://www.assembly.state.ny.us
*As an assemblyman,Silver used to play basketball,with Mario Cuomo,the future Mayor of New York. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sheldon_Silver
*Sheldon Silver is married. He and his wife Rosa have four children and fifteen grandchildren http://www.assembly.state.ny.us

Involvement in the Democratic Party
*Sheldon Silver was elected to the NY state Assembly in 1976, as a member of the Democratic Party. http://www.assembly.state.ny.us
*Silver was elected interim speaker of the Assembly on January 24, 1994 and elected speaker on February 11, 1994. (Assembly website)

Political interests and issues
*Sheldon Silver was appointed as Chair of the Assembly Committee on Codes in 1987. The Committee enacted several important measures, including a
law that established a Safe Streets -Safe Cities program.
http://www.assembly.state.ny.us
*Sheldon Silver expanded a NY state forfeiture law that led to law enforcement officials being allowed to seize the property of drug dealers and use the money fight the drug trade.
*Sheldon Silver's education initiative, LADDER (Learning, Achieving,Developing BY Directing Educational Resources) emphasized standards in educaton and the importance of early childhood learning for educational success.
http://www.assembly.state.ny.us
*Sheldon Silver opposed NY City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's plan to put a Stadium on the upper West Side of NY ( NY Times.org, 6/20/2007, Joyce Purick)
*Editorial comment: A quick "Google" reveals Silver has many enemies among the right.The New York Post hates his guts,so he must be doing a great job!

According to Wikipedia Silver... Silver sued to stop the City of New York from housing inmates on an abandoned military barge that had last been used by the British in the Falklands War, arguing the barge would be disruptive to the neighborhood. At that time, New York City was struggling with an overcrowded jail capacity[3]. An appeals court ruled that the inmates could be housed on the barge on February 26, 1988[4]. ... Silver was instrumental in the reinstatement of the death penalty in New York State in 1995. The bill passed was ruled unconstitutional by the New York State Court of Appeals (analogous to the Supreme Court in other states) as the law stipulated that if jurors were deadlocked between sentences of life without parole and execution, the court would sentence the defendant to life imprisonment with parole eligibility after serving 20 to 25 years. The Court ruled that in such a case, execution would seem unfairly preferable to the jury. New York's crime rate had dropped significantly in the 10 years since the law was passed, without seeing an execution. Silver let the law expire in 2005...The New York Times quoted Silver's spokesman Charles Carrier as saying, "He no longer supports [capital punishment] because Assembly hearings have shown it is not the most effective way to improve public safety[8]."...In 1999, Silver was instrumental in the repeal of New York City's commuter tax, which taxed non-resident workers similarly to city residents. ...In 2000, Silver faced an attempted coup in the Assembly as members, primarily from Upstate New York, tried to overthrow him. Michael Bragman, one of the leaders of the backlash, lost his position as majority leader of the Assembly[10 ]

*Sheldon has endorsed Hillary Clinton for President.

Contributions
*As an assemblyman,Silver has passed bills stricly limiting the gifts and contributions,that businesses and lobbyists can make in his state.The goals were spelled out in a 2005 press release,

This profile was produced through HuffPost's OffTheBus Superdelegate Investigation. All profiles will be donated to the Superdelegate Transparency Project. If you have information that should be added to this profile, please join the Superdelegate Transparency Project and update the profile there.

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Marianne Spraggins
New York

Basic Bio
Unless otherwise noted, information below from Future PAC, Women Building for the Future http://thefuturepac.com/who/board/mspraggins/
* President of Buy Hold America, a consulting company devoted to introducing AIC, Ltd., a minority owned money management firm, into the U.S. institutional money management market. AIC is Canada's largest privately held mutual fund money management company with over $9 billion assets under management and 1 million mutual fund shareowners. http://www.count-me-in.org/about/marianne.html
* Former president and chief executive officer of ALIC Investment Advisors (ALICIA-- Atlanta Life Insurance Co. Investment Advisors), an asset-management company of the Atlanta Life Financial Group
* First African-American woman to become a managing director on Wall Street.
* Served as senior managing director for Smith, Whiley and Co.,
* Served as Chair and CEO of W.R. Lazard and Co. African-American owned investment bank. Left abruptly in 1997 amid a rift over how to revamp the securities firm. http://www.allbusiness.com/specialty-businesses/minority-owned-businesses/660919-1.html, http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9B07E4D7113BF936A1575AC0A961958260)
* Served as managing director in the municipal division of Smith Barney Shearson
* Began career in mortgage finance at Salomon Brothers http://www.count-me-in.org/about/marianne.html
* Associate professor of law at New York Law School.
* L.L.M. degree from Harvard Law School
* J.D. from New York Law School
* B.A. in English Literature from Boston University http://www.count-me-in.org/about/marianne.html
* Member of the Democratic National Committee.
* Native New Yorker
* Served on a variety of boards and commissions, including the New York City Economic Development Corp., New York Law School, the Apollo Theater Foundation and former Governor Cuomo's Task Force on Consumer and Mortgage Banking.
* Currently serves on the boards of directors for Future PAC, a political action committee devoted to electing African American women to statewide and federal offices, Tougaloo College in Jackson, Mississippi, and the Count-Me-In.org, the only on-line microlending organization for women.
* Frequent speaker on the topics of minority entrepreneurship, domestic emerging markets, small business and capital accessibility.


Political interests and issues
* Is an active proponent of women, in particular African American women in business


Involvement in the Democratic Party
* Member of the Executive Committee of the Democratic National Committee http://www.count-me-in.org/about/marianne.html
* Listed as being a Member-at-Large from Georgia in the DNC roster 2004-2008 http://www.pdamerica.org/tools/issues/DNCroster.pdf
* Confirmed by the United States Senate and appointed by President Clinton as a Director of S.I.P.C., the Securities Investor Protection Corporation, which insures brokerage accounts against broker dealer failure (from Count-Me-In website http://www.count-me-in.org/about/marianne.html)
* Described as an activist in both New York and Georgia Democratic politics http://www.calvertinstitute.org/main/pub_detail.php?pub_id=151


Pledged Status
* Pledged support for Obama (from politico.com website Feb 13
* "He's bringing something new to the political equation. He'll restore our respect in the world," Spraggins said http://www.stargazette.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080224/NEWS0110/802240327/1001/ARCHIVES


Involvement in the 2008 Election
* Has held fundraisers for Barack Obama http://www.buffalonews.com/home/story/278973.html, http://georgiaunfiltered.blogspot.com/2007/09/obama-in-atlanta-for-small-large-donor.html


Contributions to Candidates
* $3,693 to Barack Obama updated Q2/2007
* $1,000 to Hillary Clinton updated Q2/2007
* $2,000 to Howard Dean updated Q1/2004
* $1,000 to Al Sharpton updated Q1/2004
* $500 to Carol Moseley Braun updated Q1/2004 http://fundrace.huffingtonpost.com/neighbors.php?type=name&lname=Spraggins&fname=Marianne
* $4,550 to Barack Obama from March - October 2007
* $1,000 to Hillary Clinton May 2007
* $1,000 to DNC October 2007 http://www.campaignmoney.com/political/contributions/marianne-spraggins.asp?cycle=08

This profile was produced through HuffPost's OffTheBus Superdelegate Investigation. All profiles will be donated to the Superdelegate Transparency Project. If you have information that should be added to this profile, please join the Superdelegate Transparency Project and update the profile there.

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Irene Stein
Ithaca, NY

*Stein is the chairperson of the Tompkins County Democratic Committee. http://www.tompkinscountydemocrats.org/chairsmessage.html ,and is one of five NY super-delegates listed as uncommitted, as of 2/8/08 http://demconwatch.blogspot.com/2008/01/superdelegates-who-havent-endorsed.html
*The New York Times lists her as still uncommitted, as of 2/15/08.
http://www.nytimes.com/ref/us/politics/20080217_SUPERDELEGATES_GRAPHIC.html
*Ms. Stein does not seem to be employed by, or to have attended Cornell, but she is listed on their website as "exception - w/sponsor," which presumably explains the cornell.edu email address. It appears that she taught at the university for a short period of time.

A so-called "superdelegate" to the Democratic National Convention, the chair of the Tompkins County Democratic Committee and Democratic National Committee member has remained steadfastly neutral between Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama....." '"I haven't had a single call from either campaign pushing me in either direction," Stein said. She hasn't given a lot of thought as to why that's so, either, she said. She's been busy doing the kinds of things a county chair does when the voters must make a decision: sponsoring forums, writing articles about the primary ballot and the like. "Because I've taken that role, I'm taking an uncommitted position at this point in time," she said. Uncommitted Democratic delegates are getting harder to find in New York....." She is a "Democratic National Committee member" "...Also at stake will be Stein's convention ticket. Her term on the Democratic National Committee expires in May and she'll need to be re-elected at the state meeting to remain a superdelegate." http://www.syracuse.com/articles/politics/index.ssf?/base/news-0/120289669178430.xml&coll=1

*She was definitely a super-delegate in 2004, and appears to have been one in 2000, also.New York's superdelegates,are mostly for Clinton,but the uncommitted group could be crucial at convention.

February 24, 2008
By Jay Gallagher, Jgallagh@gannett.com, Star-Gazette Albany Bureau
"Supporters of both candidates are also closely watching Irene Stein, a superdelegate and chairwoman of the Tompkins County Democratic Committee, to see which way she is going to jump. She wasn't saying last week. "I'm uncommitted, and at the appropriate time I'll make my decision," she said. "I'll have to see how events unfold." She said she'll take into consideration how her county supported Obama over Clinton but also "the votes across the country and my own personal judgments.""
http://www.stargazette.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080224/NEWS0110/802240327/1001

"What does it mean to be a Democrat anymore?" (blog), October 26, 2006
"....Irene Stein, the chair of our County Democratic Committee, and our representative in the New York State Democratic Committee, supported Hillary Clinton against Jonathan Tasini in spite of Senator Clinton's problematic record. Stein did so under the justification that if progressive Democrats supported Clinton's re-election, they would gain Senator Clinton's ear, and we'd get better representation. After this pro-torture announcement by Senator Clinton, I think that Irene Stein has a lot of explaining to do to Tompkins County Democrats."
http://findingulysses.com/2006/10/26/what-is-a-democrat/

Ithacan Will Likely Be a N.Y. Democratic Superdelegate
By Michael Stratford
Created Feb 12 2008
"Stein, who has been a superdelegate for the past two presidential elections, said this year's nominating contest is the most exciting and promising for Democrats. "It certainly is a heated contest," she said, "As soon as I finished watching the California debate [on Jan. 31] my first thought was, 'We're going to have a wonderful president.'".....
"....Neither the Obama or Clinton campaign has contacted Stein in order to try to persuade her to vote for them, she said. Stein, who retired a year-and-a-half ago after serving for more about a dozen years as director of the Tompkins County Office of Aging, also was a visiting lecturer at Cornell in the department of human service studies in the College of Human Ecology. As chair of the committee, Stein said she has worked to provide information about both candidates to the public, hosting a presidential forum downtown that allowed surrogates to speak on behalf of all the candidates. She has also answered questions from individual voters about the candidates' positions and has referred voters to both the Clinton and Obama campaigns. Stein has declared her support for penalizing states, like Michigan and Florida, at the convention that violated national party rules in pushing up the dates of their primaries."
".....Tompkins County stood out in last week's election as the only county in NYS which Obama was able to overcome Clinton's home state advantage, beating the New York senator by a six point margin of 52 percent to 46 percent of the vote. "I don't feel a mandate [to support Obama] because I wasn't elected by the people of Tompkins County to this position," Stein said. "But I certainly take what they say very seriously.""
http://cornellsun.com/print/27421

"Stein was elected a superdelegate by the New York Democratic Committee for her service in the county's Democratic party. Stein said she would consider publicly announcing her support for a Democratic nominee if a clear winner is determined by the primaries and state caucuses."
http://www.wstm.com/news/news_story.aspx?id=95648

This profile was produced through HuffPost's OffTheBus Superdelegate Investigation. All profiles will be donated to the Superdelegate Transparency Project. If you have information that should be added to this profile, please join the Superdelegate Transparency Project and update the profile there.

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Sylvia Tokasz

*Ms. Tokasz is currently listed--by some sources--as being uncommitted. (one of five NY super-delegates listed as uncommitted, as of 2/8/08)
http://demconwatch.blogspot.com/2008/01/superdelegates-who-havent-endorsed.html
*But, the New York Times says she has committed to Hillary Clinton, as of 2/15/08
http://www.nytimes.com/ref/us/politics/20080217_SUPERDELEGATES_GRAPHIC.html
*And the Buffalo News echoes this:
Clinton fights to retain support of New York's superdelegates
Obama reaching out to elected officials, Democratic leaders

By Tom Precious - NEWS ALBANY BUREAU
Updated: 02/18/08
"Another Western New York superdelegate, Sylvia M. Tokasz of Cheektowaga, wife of Paul A. Tokasz, former Assembly majority leader and now a lobbyist, said she has been under no pressure to reassess her commitment to Clinton. And like many other New York superdelegates, she said she would not change her mind even if she did come under such pressure. "When I look at where we are today and what we need as president, I think we need someone who can hit the ground running," she said. "Obama has been absolutely phenomenal as a great motivational speaker, but I just don't see the experience there."
http://www.buffalonews.com/357/story/278973.html
*Along with Politico.com: "Feb. 15
New Clinton endorsements: 5
California DNC John A Perez
California DNC Garry Shay
New York DNC Dennis Mehiel
New York DNC Robert Ramirez
New York DNC Sylvia Tokasz
http://www.politico.com/superdelegates/latestupdates.html"

*She is a NEW YORK DNC MEMBER
"Sylvia Tokasz is the coordinator of health care quality improvement for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Western New York. She also was a member in 2003 of the Executive Committee for the regional board of Western New York of the National Conference for Community and Justice. Her husband is Paul Tokasz, the former majority leader of the New York State Assembly. Mr. Tokasz is now a lobbyist. He has donated over $57,000 to government officials, according to this NYTimes story. Mr. Tokasz's lobbying firm donated $2,800 to Hillary Clinton's campaign in 2007."
http://superdelegates.org/Sylvia_Tokasz

*Sylvia Tokasz - Coordinator of health care quality improvement for Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Western NY; Secretary of the National Federation for Just Communities of Western NY
http://www.nydems.org/dncdelegation.php

*"health-insurance executive from Buffalo"
http://www.stargazette.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080224/NEWS0110/802240327/1001

*Corporate Headquarters For Blue Cross/Blue Shield Of Western New York
257 Genesee Street, Buffalo, NY
Tuesday, September 25, 2007

*(Statement by Sheldon Silver: " I should point out that in 2005, when the ground was broken for this project, the Western New York Delegation included a young man from the Town of Cheektowaga, by the name of Paul Tokasz.

*Some of you might remember him as the former Majority Leader of the Assembly. In that capacity, Paul was instrumental in securing state assistance for this project. Of course, here in Buffalo, he is more commonly known as "the husband of Sylvia Tokasz." Sylvia was instrumental in coordinating the Blue Cross move to Downtown. Paul and Sylvia are longtime friends. Both are devoted community servants who have contributed much to improving the quality of life here in Western New York.")
http://assembly.state.ny.us/Press/20070927/

*Ms. Sylvia M. Tokasz is listed as the Secretary for "The National Federation for Just Communities of Western New York (NFJC) is a human relations organization dedicated to overcoming racism, bias, and discrimination by building understanding, respect and trust through education, advocacy and community involvement."
http://www.nfjcwny.org/boardofdirectors.html

This profile was produced through HuffPost's OffTheBus Superdelegate Investigation. All profiles will be donated to the Superdelegate Transparency Project. If you have information that should be added to this profile, please join the Superdelegate Transparency Project and update the profile there.

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*Delegate to the Democratic National Convention, 1980, 2000, 2004
http://politicalgraveyard.com/bio/todhunter-tomlin.html