Jim Gaughran (politician)
|Member of the New York State Senate |
from the 5th district
|Assumed office |
January 1, 2019
|Preceded by||Carl L. Marcellino|
|Chair of the Suffolk County Water Authority|
May 12, 2010 – December 18, 2018
|Preceded by||Michael A. LoGrande|
|Succeeded by||Patrick G. Halpin|
|Member of the Suffolk County Legislature |
from the 17th district
January 1, 1988 – December 31, 1993
James F. Gaughran
January 5, 1957
|Residence||Northport, New York, U.S.|
|Alma mater||Stony Brook University (B.A.) |
Hofstra University (J.D.)
|Website||Official Senate website |
James F. Gaughran (born January 5, 1957) is an American attorney and politician from Suffolk County, New York, currently serving as a member of the New York State Senate from the 5th district. The district is located around the border of Nassau County and Suffolk County, encompassing the town of Huntington and the northern part of the town of Oyster Bay. Gaughran is a member of the Democratic Party.
Gaughran served as the chair of the Suffolk County Water Authority from 2010 to 2018. He previously served as a member of the Suffolk County Legislature from 1988 to 1993 and as a member of the Huntington Town Board from 1984 to 1987.
- 1 Early life and education
- 2 Early political career
- 3 New York State Senate (2019–present)
- 4 Political positions
- 5 Personal life
- 6 Electoral history
- 7 See also
- 8 References
- 9 External links
Early life and education
Gaughran was raised in Dix Hills, New York, and attended Half Hollow Hills High School. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Stony Brook University, where he majored in political science. Subsequently, he earned a Juris Doctor degree from Hofstra University School of Law.
Early political career
Huntington Town Board (1984–1987)
Suffolk County Legislature (1988–1993)
Gaughran authored a "Charter Amendment" which reduced the Legislature's authority to increase spending by adding "pet projects" to the budget; the amendment was approved by voters in a referendum. He also co-sponsored a water-protection bill preserving numerous critical areas in the county, a "crack-house" law targeting drug dealers, as well as reforms to the Suffolk County Police Department.
Suffolk County Water Authority (2008–2018)
Gaughran was confirmed by the Suffolk County Legislature to the Suffolk County Water Authority (SCWA) for a five-year term in March 2008. He was re-appointed by the Legislature in March 2013 and March 2018.
Following the retirement of SCWA chair (and former interim Suffolk County Executive) Michael A. LoGrande in May 2010, Gaughran was appointed as the new SCWA chair. As chair, he implemented reforms emphasizing accountability and transparency. He also reduced the payroll of the SCWA by 6% over four years.
Suffolk County Comptroller election (2014)
New York State Senate (2019–present)
Gaughran first ran for the New York State Senate from the 5th district in 1992; his opponent in the general election was the long-time Republican incumbent, Ralph J. Marino (who was the senate majority leader at the time).
The 5th district "straddles the Nassau-Suffolk border", and includes the town of Huntington and the northern part of the town of Oyster Bay. Thus, the district includes all or parts of the hamlets of Glen Cove, Syosset, Jericho, Northport, Commack, Dix Hills, Melville, and Plainview.
In December 1991, Marino, as the senate majority leader, became known for his "budget-wrangling" which led to the infamous "Hamlet on the Hudson" incident, in which then-Gov. Mario Cuomo kept a plane bound for New Hampshire idling on a tarmac on the last day to file for the 1992 first-in-the-nation presidential primary in that state, while he tried to negotiate a state budget with the Republican-controlled senate. Although he had been perceived as a front-runner for the 1992 Democratic nomination, Cuomo declined to run for president, saying that he was "willing" but not "able" to campaign due to the unresolved state budget crisis.
The 1992 campaign was extremely bitter, with Marino accusing Gaughran of improperly conspiring with a fiscally conservative group called Pack-Up (an acronym for "Political Action Committee to Kick Out Unproductive Politicians"), and Gaughran accusing Marino of using state funds to finance the distribution of his campaign mailings. The campaign was the most expensive state senate campaign up to that point, eclipsing the previous record of $910,000 set in 1990, and took place concurrently with a similarly rancorous 1992 U.S. Senate campaign between the Republican incumbent, Sen. Al D'Amato, and the Democratic challenger, state Attorney General Robert Abrams.
In the campaign, Gaughran drew a surprising contrast between himself and Marino: he charged that Marino symbolized "clubhouse politics" and big government in Albany, and that Marino "voted for every state tax increase and every mandate on localities passed by the Legislature", while Gaughran himself signed a pledge to vote against any tax increase. Gaughran also chose environmental protection as a signature issue of his campaign, highlighting Marino's opposition to a state environmental trust fund and saying that Marino was "selling Long Island out on the environment".
Marino had resigned from the state senate in February 1995 following his defeat in a senate-caucus vote for another term as senate majority leader by Joseph Bruno, an ally of Marino's intra-party rival Gov. George Pataki. Marcellino had won the special election on March 14, 1995, to replace Marino, and had been re-elected to ten full two-year terms, remaining in office since then.
Gaughran was unopposed in the Democratic primary.
An analysis, conducted by Politico, of state senate election results on Long Island from 1984 to 2016 found that, of the seventy-two mid-term year senate elections during that period, Democrats did not win a single one.
Campaign spending on behalf of both Gaughran and Marcellino was unusually prolific, reaching at least $2.8 million. Outside spending on behalf of Gaughran included $494,000 from the New York State United Teachers, $136,000 from the Communications Workers of America, and $15,000 from the New York State Nurses Association. An advisory from the political blog Daily Kos to left-leaning small donors included Gaughran among eight state legislature candidates across the country; according to Gaughran's campaign, this "shout-out" attracted more than $47,000 in individual contributions from about 4,000 donors.
Gaughran's victory formed part of the successful campaign by the Democratic Party to re-take the majority in the New York State Senate for the first time in a decade (and just the fourth time in eighty years).
- Committee on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse (2019–2020)
- Committee on Commerce, Economic Development, and Small Business (2019–2020)
- Committee on Higher Education (2019–2020)
- Committee on Local Government (Chair, 2019–2020)
- Committee on Racing, Gaming, and Wagering (2019–2020)
Gaughran took office on January 1, 2019. On January 6, 2019, Gaughran held an in-district inauguration ceremony.
In January 2019, Gaughran and state Assemblyman Charles D. Lavine organized a food-and-supplies drive for "the thousands of [federal] workers across Long Island" during the U.S. federal government shutdown, which began on December 21, 2018, and ended on January 25, 2019.
On January 9, 2019, Gaughran introduced a bill to "require propeller guards on instructional vessels". Described by Gaughran as a "common-sense boating safety bill", the bill is nicknamed "Ryan's Law" after twelve-year-old Ryan Weiss, who died in July 2017 during a boating lesson, in an accident that would likely not have been fatal had propeller guards been in place. The bill is simultaneously sponsored in the state Assembly by Andrew Raia, who first introduced the legislation in September 2017.
"I ran for State Senate on the promise that I would fight tirelessly for overburdened and overtaxed Long Islanders. Today I took the first step and introduced vital legislation to make the property tax cap permanent. No more temporary extensions. A permanent tax cap for permanent relief."
"We're beginning to feel the devastating effects of the federal limit on State and Local Tax deductions. We cannot let Long Islanders be taxed out of their homes. It is critical that New York State takes steps to providing real tax relief to Long Islanders, while the federal government continues its attack on New York taxpayers. The Democratic Senate Majority is going to provide local municipalities and school districts with mandate reform and increase state aid to our region to help lower local tax levies. It's a new day in Albany and we're done with the same old games that have cost Long Island for decades. I am proud that my first bill to pass as a State Senator will be legislation to make the tax cap permanent."
In his endorsement by Newsday, which is the largest newspaper on Long Island by circulation (and the largest suburban newspaper in the United States), Gaughran is described as a "moderate and suburbanite ... who would protect Long Island against a New York City-centric agenda".
- prohibiting outside income for legislators,
- closing a loophole that allows large political donors to hide their identities and to legally exceed campaign finance limits via shell corporations,
- requiring legislators to reveal conflicts-of-interest,
- banning the personal use of campaign funds,
- allowing for the recall of elected officials via public petition.
Gaughran touts his experience with environmental policy as the chair of the Suffolk County Water Authority. He supports a ban on off-shore drilling, and a reduction in fossil-fuel usage by 40% by the year 2030. He also favors measures targeting food waste, both for its effect on the environment and its effect on food-insecure households.
Gaughran believes that the New York Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act of 2013 should be expanded; he favors banning bump stocks and extending the background check waiting period from three to ten days.
In January 2019, Gaughran was amongst nearly the entire Democratic caucus in the New York State Senate in co-sponsoring gun legislation to expand background checks and to ban bump stocks. Following the successful passage of the legislation through the state senate, Gaughran praised the efforts of activist movements such as March for Our Lives and other 2018 protests which raised awareness of gun violence in the United States, saying:
"Last year young people across the country mobilized in a transformative movement to march for their lives. One year later New York stands to make history again with common sense gun reforms such as Extreme Risk Protection Order and expanded background checks. Today I have the great honor of hosting Linda Beigel Schulman and Michael Schulman, parents of the late Scott Beigel, who was tragically gunned down in the Parkland massacre last year while heroically saving the lives of his students. I thank them for their tremendous bravery and courage in turning their tragedy into advocacy. It shouldn't take a tragedy to spur action. Never again."
Gaughran intends to vote for the New York Health Act, which will establish a single-payer universal healthcare program in New York.
LGBT and reproductive rights
Gaughran supports classifying gender identity and expression as "protected classes", meaning that existing state laws prohibiting discrimination would then apply (viz. forbid discrimination on the basis of gender identity and expression). Gaughran also supports a state-wide ban on conversion therapy.
In January 2019, each of the thirty-nine members of the Democratic caucus in the New York State Senate, including Gaughran, co-sponsored the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act (GENDA), alongside a conversion therapy ban. The bills were passed by the state legislature on January 15, 2019, and were signed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo on January 25, 2019.
In a statement issued following the successful passage of GENDA through the state senate, Gaughran said:
"Years of dysfunction in Albany have blocked the passage of critical legislation like GENDA. This week we broke the logjam and passed historic protections to root out discrimination with the passage of GENDA and end cruel, barbaric practices like conversion therapy. As a conference, we've promised one of the most productive sessions in decades; we're just getting started."
Whereas the Democratic-controlled state Assembly has consistently passed GENDA in every legislative session since 2013, the 2019 bills became the first significant LGBT bills passed by the senate since the passage of the Marriage Equality Act in June 2011.
Gaughran is pro-choice and supports codifying a woman's right to an abortion into state law, citing the conservative majority on the U.S. Supreme Court as a threat to reproductive rights established in the landmark Roe v. Wade case in 1973.. In response to his vote in favor of the Reproductive Health Act in 2019, which expanded late term abortion and codified abortion rights statewide, the Huntington chapter of Ancient Order of Hibernians asked Gaughran to resign as a member and barred him from participating in the St. Patricks's Day parade.</ref>"Catholic group boots Democrat New York senator from St. Patrick's Day fest over abortion vote". Lifesitenews.com. March 8, 2019. Retrieved March 12, 2019.</ref>
Gaughran favors overhauling the Common Core State Standards Initiative, which New York has formally adopted, saying, "this time we need to listen to our teachers, our parents, and our children about what works". He opposes funding private for-profit charter schools with the public education budget. He supports repealing the 2015 law establishing "Annual Professional Performance Reviews" (APPRs), which measure the effectiveness of teachers by the performance of students on standardized tests.
In January 2019, each of the thirty-nine members of the Democratic caucus in the New York State Senate, including Gaughran, along with two Republican members, co-sponsored a bill to repeal the APPRs. In a statement issued following the successful passage of the legislation, Gaughran said:
"Public school teachers are the cornerstone of New York's excellent public school system. Teachers and students deserve fully funded public schools, not over-testing or the arbitrary linkage of test scores to teacher performance. We don't need annual tests to know how our students are progressing, we need to maintain local control. Our teachers are already evaluating student achievements every day in their classrooms, and perpetually modifying their lesson plans to provide the best education possible. I am proud to cast my vote to repeal the ineffective APPR evaluation system and look forward to fighting for increased education aid to Long Island public schools."
Gaughran opposes the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (which was passed by the U.S. Congress and signed by President Donald Trump in late 2017) due to its cap on the state-and-local-tax deduction, known as the SALT deduction. This cap raises the effective tax rate on many Long Island residents (300,000 households by Gaughran's estimation) since the state and local taxes are much higher on Long Island than they are on average nation-wide.
Gaughran supports expanding early voting and facilitating voter registration. He opposes requiring a reason to request an absentee ballot. He supports appointing an independent re-districting commission to prevent gerrymandering,
Jim Gaughran electoral history
- Gaughran, Jim. "About Jim Gaughran". Gaughran 2018. Retrieved November 20, 2018.
- "Halpin appointed chairman of SCWA by Suffolk County legislature". Suffolk County Water Authority. December 19, 2018. Retrieved January 6, 2019.
- "Board Members". Suffolk County Water Authority. Archived from the original on March 20, 2017. Retrieved November 20, 2018.
- "James F. Gaughran named chairman of Suffolk County Water Authority board". Suffolk County Water Authority. Retrieved November 20, 2018.
- Vaccaro, Chris R. (May 12, 2010). "James F. Gaughran named chairman of Suffolk County Water Authority board". Patch.com. Retrieved November 20, 2018.
- Brand, Rick (November 25, 2018). "Halpin proposed as new SCWA chairman". Newsday. Retrieved January 6, 2019.
- Brand, Rick (February 27, 2018). "Gaughran to challenge Marcellino for state Senate". Newsday. Retrieved November 20, 2018.
- "Suffolk County Comptroller election results (2014)". Our Campaigns. November 4, 2014. Retrieved November 20, 2018.
- "New York State Senate District 5". NYsenate.gov. Archived from the original on January 30, 2018. Retrieved November 21, 2018.
- Baker, Peter; Haberman, Maggie (October 21, 2015). "Joe Biden will not run for president in 2016". The New York Times.
Biden's decision, announced in the White House Rose Garden with President Obama looking on, ends one of the most public episodes of indecision about a political path since Gov. Mario Cuomo of New York left a plane bound for New Hampshire idling on a tarmac in 1991 as he fretted over whether to run for president.
- Barbanel, Josh (October 23, 1992). "Top Republican fights to retain his Albany seat". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved January 6, 2019.
- "Democratic coattails weak as Marino wins re-election". The New York Times. November 4, 1992. Retrieved November 20, 2018.
- "New York State Senate election results (5th district, 1992)". Our Campaigns. November 3, 1992. Retrieved November 20, 2018.
- Dao, James (February 9, 1995). "Ex-majority chief resigns from state senate". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved January 19, 2019.
- "New York State Senate election results (5th district, 1995)". OurCampaigns. March 14, 1995. Retrieved January 19, 2019.
- "Certification for the state primary election (September 13, 2016)" (PDF). New York State Board of Elections. August 8, 2016. Retrieved November 21, 2018.
- Bobby Big Wheel (October 16, 2018). "Give smart: donate $80 to 8 Democrats who could flip 8 legislative chambers". Daily Kos. Retrieved November 20, 2018.
- "New York State Senate election results (5th district, 2016)". Our Campaigns. November 8, 2016. Retrieved November 20, 2018.
- "Filings received for the state primary election (September 13, 2018)" (PDF). New York State Board of Elections. July 30, 2018. Retrieved November 21, 2018.
- Mahoney, Bill (October 29, 2018). "Gaughran challenges Marcellino and a historical Democratic obstacle". Politico. Retrieved November 20, 2018.
- NYT Editorial Board (October 26, 2018). "The New York Times endorses John Brooks, James Gaughran and Andrew Gounardes". The New York Times. Retrieved November 20, 2018.
- Newsday Editorial Board (October 24, 2018). "Newsday endorses Gaughran in 5th Senate District". Newsday. Retrieved November 20, 2018.
- Gaughran, Jim. "Endorsements". Gaughran 2018. Retrieved November 20, 2018.
- Reisman, Nick (October 22, 2018). "Gaughran's Daily Kos boost". New York State of Politics. Retrieved November 20, 2018.
- McAtee, Paige (November 7, 2018). "Gaughran elected to 5th senate district". Patch.com. Retrieved November 20, 2018.
- "New York State Senate election results (5th district, 2018)". Our Campaigns. November 6, 2018. Retrieved November 20, 2018.
- Wang, Vivian (November 5, 2018). "Just one seat: the high-octane fight to flip New York's senate". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved January 6, 2019.
- Wang, Vivian (November 7, 2018). "Democrats take control of New York senate for first time in decade". The New York Times. Retrieved November 20, 2018.
- Gaughran, Jim (January 1, 2019). "About James Gaughran". NYsenate.gov. Archived from the original on January 19, 2019. Retrieved January 19, 2019.
- Gaughran, Jim (January 6, 2019). "Senator James Gaughran 2019 inauguration ceremony". NYsenate.gov. Archived from the original on January 6, 2019. Retrieved January 6, 2019.
- "Senator Gaughran, Assemblyman Lavine announce food and supplies drive to benefit federal employees affected by government shutdown". LongIsland.com. January 10, 2019. Retrieved January 19, 2019.
- Seidman, Alyssa (January 16, 2019). "Drive launched to help federal workers on Long Island". Long Island Herald. Retrieved January 19, 2019.
- Fandos, Nicholas; Stolberg, Sheryl Gay; Baker, Peter (January 25, 2019). "Trump signs bill re-opening government for three weeks in surprise retreat from wall". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved February 9, 2019.
- Gaughran, Jim (January 18, 2019). "New York State Senate Bill (S355)". NYsenate.gov. Archived from the original on January 20, 2019. Retrieved January 20, 2019.
- "Senator Gaughran introduces bill to require propeller guards on boats used to instruct children". LongIsland.com. January 18, 2019. Retrieved January 19, 2019.
- Brodsky, Robert (January 18, 2019). "'Ryan's Law' would mandate propeller guards on instructional boats". Newsday. Retrieved January 19, 2019.
- Raia, Andrew (September 1, 2017). "New York State Assembly Bill (A08635)". NYassembly.gov. Archived from the original on January 20, 2019. Retrieved January 20, 2019.
- "Senate majority passes permanent tax cap to protect taxpayers". NYsenate.gov. January 23, 2019. Archived from the original on February 9, 2019. Retrieved February 9, 2019.
- Gaughran, Jim (January 17, 2019). "New York State Senate Bill (S1904)". NYsenate.gov. Archived from the original on January 23, 2019. Retrieved February 9, 2019.
- Gaughran, Jim. "Issues". Gaughran 2018. Retrieved November 20, 2018.
- "Senate majority passes sweeping anti-gun violence legislation to protect New Yorkers". NYsenate.gov. January 29, 2019. Archived from the original on February 9, 2019. Retrieved February 9, 2019.
- "Senate majority passes GENDA and bans conversion therapy". NYsenate.gov. January 15, 2019. Archived from the original on January 19, 2019. Retrieved January 19, 2019.
- Hoylman, Brad (January 10, 2019). "New York State Senate Bill (S1047)". NYsenate.gov. Archived from the original on January 16, 2019. Retrieved January 19, 2019.
- Hoylman, Brad (January 10, 2019). "New York State Senate Bill (S1046)". NYsenate.gov. Archived from the original on January 19, 2019. Retrieved January 19, 2019.
- "Senate majority passes legislation to prioritize students' education over high-stakes testing". NYsenate.gov. January 23, 2019. Archived from the original on February 9, 2019. Retrieved February 9, 2019.
- Mayer, Shelley (January 11, 2019). "New York State Senate Bill (S1262)". NYsenate.gov. Archived from the original on February 9, 2019. Retrieved February 9, 2019.
Michael A. LoGrande
| Chair of the Suffolk County Water Authority
May 12, 2010 – December 18, 2018
Patrick G. Halpin
|New York State Senate|
Carl L. Marcellino
| Member of the New York State Senate
from the 5th district
January 1, 2019 – present