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The New York State
Constitutional Convention Clearinghouse


Information Related to New York's Nov. 7, 2017 Constitutional Convention Referendum

 

2017 Constitutional Convention

Methodological Note

Ads were divided into the following two major categories, each on a different page of this website:

  1. Video/Audio Ads
  2. Print/Image Ads

Note: Some of the videos are posted in multiple copies in different locations online (e.g., both on a Youtube and Facebook page). Generally included here is the link to the first known posted location, which may not be the most widely viewed version of the video.

Video ads were subdivided into 1) broadcast, and 2) online.  Online ads were then subdivided into those directed to: 1) The General Public, and 2) Organization Members.  For an ad to be included in the member category, two conditions had to be met: a) the ad had to be produced by or for a membership organization, and b) the organization had to either have separate ads directed to the public or explicitly endorse an organization that had such ads. The distinction between these two categories was not a bright line, so judgment had to be used.  This distinction is important because public and member messaging tends to be different not only in length (longer and more detailed for member communications) but in substance (more varied in content and often addressing less popular concerns).  Note that much member communication is behind a firewall and thus not covered here.

All ads were further subdivided into: 1) Top Picks, and 2) Other.  This categorization was highly subjective.  Among the criteria used were 1) audience impact, 2) source variety, and 3) originality. Audience impact might include expected as well as actual impact.  Youtube counts often cannot be used because the same video is often published on different video platforms, including on different Youtube channels.

The use of surrogates is common to political communications addressed to the general public or otherwise not hidden behind exclusive, member-only firewalls.  This includes convention advertising, where the naming of a source is a political consideration.  Accordingly, the published source of a convention ad may not reflect either its real source or the group(s) most active in promoting it.  That is, less popular groups who are seeking to be effective rather than to get credit for themselves may want to have ads distributed by more popular groups.  Here only published sources are provided because of the difficulty and potential controversy associated with identifying other sources.  To my knowledge, the good government groups involved in convention politics rarely use surrogates because they seek to maximize credit for their own organizations; e.g., see  the credit-taking discussion in Why Foes Of A State Constitutional Convention Have The Upper HandCity & State, September 10, 2017.

A few illustrative rules of thumb concerning surrogates: higher education unions are more popular than K12 education unions, local unions are more popular that state or national unions, non-government unions are more popular than government unions, and identity groups are more popular than unions. But when it comes to member communications, relatively little care is taken with regard to such matters.

The major source of videos for the yes campaign was NY People’s Convention videos (click here). The major source of no campaign videos for members was NYSUT (click here, which also has other advocacy videos unrelated to the the convention). The major source of no campaign videos addressed to the public was New Yorkers Against Corruption. Although New Yorkers Against Corruption did not publish its broadcast media ads on its own website, it did publish them on a separate Vimeo website.

For a glimpse into the sophistication of the no side’s messaging, see this political research report for the AFL-CIO prepared by Hart Research Associates, March 2017.

Broadcast Media

 

Supporting Convention

Source: NY Peoples Convention.
Date: October 31, 2017.
Title: Newspapers endorse the Constitutional Convention.
Length: :30.

Opposing Convention

Source: New Yorkers Against Corruption.
Date: Oct. 24, 2017.
Title: ConCon.
Length: 30.
Description: For the launch of these ads, see: Constitutional convention opponents launch TV ad campaign, WHEC, October 24, 2017; Hamilton, Matthew, Constitutional convention opponents release first TV ads, Times Union, October 24, 2017.

Source: New Yorkers Against Corruption
Date: Oct. 24, 2017
Title: Real Convention
Length: 31

Video/Audio Ads–Top Picks

(Online Communications to Public)

 

Supporting Convention

Source: Forward March NY.
Date: Published October 18, 2017.
Title: OUR SHOT: The New York State Constitutional Convention.
Length: 4:06 (a shorter, 45 second, version can be found here, but it is not clear if this version has been authorized by Forward March) Description: Join us in taking back our NY Constitution from our turncoat lawmakers and returning it to the people. Vote YES on Question 1 on November 7th, 2017. More information at www.ForwardMarchNY.org

New York Constitutional Convention

All for ONE and ONE for ALL. Prop 1 on your upcoming ballot asks "Shall there be a convention to revise the constitution and amend the same? On November 7th New York says #YESon1

Posted by NY Peoples Convention on Sunday, October 8, 2017

Source: NY People’s Convention
Date: Published October 9, 2017.
Title: Shocking: All for ONE and ONE for ALL.
Description: All for ONE and ONE for ALL. Prop 1 on your upcoming ballot asks “Shall there be a convention to revise the constitution and amend the same? On November 7th New York says #YESon1
Length: 5:24

Source: NY People’s Convention
Date: Published October 23, 2017.
Title: “You Cannot Lose Your Pension.”
Description: Former New York State Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman myth-busts the falsehood that a NY Constitutional Convention could do anything to eliminate or reduce the pensions of public sector workers or retirees. Lippman points out that the Contract Clause of the United States Constitution (Article I, section 10, clause 1) protects the pensions of New York’s public sector union workers and retirees, because their pensions are contracts and thus must be honored by the government, no matters what changes are made to the State Constitution. Lippman says, “Don’t let unfounded fears deny you the opportunity to repair and fix our state government. This November 7th, vote YES for a New York State Constitutional Convention.”
Length: :45

Source: Cannabis4NY.
Date: September 11, 2017.
Title: Legalize Marijuana.
Length: 0:15.

Source: NY People’s Convention.
Date: October 23, 2017.
Title: Reform Party Chair Curtis Sliwa.
Length: :45.
Description: NYS Reform Party Chair Curtis Sliwa explains why he supports a People’s Convention and you should too. Curtis Sliwa is founder of The Guardian Angels and a renowned radio talk show host.

Source: Truth Against The Machine
Date: Sept. 7, 2017.
Title: Tyrone on the New York Constitutional Convention
Length: 16:19.
Description: Tyrone talks more about his recent story on the upcoming vote for a Constitutional Convention in New York and why residents should be eager to vote ‘yes’.

Opposing Convention

Note: Until Oct. 24, 2017, this was the most widely viewed convention related video, but it was designed not to have a dedicated URL or to be available for download. This information strategy maximizes source control without leaving a public record.  For example, it allows the ad to be changed without preserving a record on the web.  It also removes the view count and other uncontrolled meta-information widely used on video platforms such as YouTube and Facebook.  Since there is no direct URL for the video, when you click on the image above you will be sent to the front page of the New Yorkers Against Corruption website. Again, this video may be changed at any time without leaving a public record.

Source: New Yorkers Against Corruption
Date: Published June 19, 2017.
Title: Vote “No” On A Constitutional Convention
Length: 2:17

Source: NYSUT and NoNewYorkConvention.org (also available via United Federation of Teachers Facebook video page),
Date: Mar 29, 2017
Title: No New York Constitutional Convention!
Length: 1:50

Video/Audio Ads–Other Picks

(Online Communications to Public)

 

Supporting Convention

Source: NY People’s Convention
Date: Oct. 26, 2017.
Title: Ithaca Mayor Svante Myrick
Length: :28
Description: Ithaca Mayor Svante Myrick explains why he supports a People’s Convention and you should too. Myrick, who is in his second term, is Ithaca’s first African-American mayor and its youngest ever. He is also one of the youngest African-American mayors in American history. Myrick is an outspoken progressive, a strong supporter of labor, and a passionate advocate for youth engagement in politics.

Source: Video NY Peoples Convention
Date: September 3, 2017
Title: Former union president of CSEA/AFSCME Local 259 supports a yes vote
Length: 1:21
Description: Peggy Eason, a former union president of CSEA/AFSCME Local 259, explains why she supports a People’s Convention and you should too. Eason was the first blind person to serve as a local union president in New York State history.

Source: NY Peoples Convention
Date: October 23, 2017
Title: Green Party’s nominee for Mayor of Syracuse supports a yes vote
Length: :58
Description: Howie Hawkins, the Green Party’s nominee for Mayor of Syracuse and 2014 nominee for Governor of New York, explains why he supports a People’s Convention and you should too.

Source: NY People’s Convention
Date: Oct. 23, 2017.
Title: Civil Rights Attorney Norman Siegel
Length: 1:00
Description: Norman Siegel, the famed civil rights attorney and former director of the New York Civil Liberties Union, explains why he supports a People’s Convention and you should too. This Election Day, November 7th, 2017, vote “yes” for a New York State Constitutional Convention and restore power to the people!

New York Constitutional Convention

"We have the power to be heard." ~ Heather, Syracuse, NYSHARE and PLEDGE to VOTE YES on NOVEMBER 7th. Stand up, stand out, be heard! #YesOn1 https://actionsprout.io/E324DA

Posted by NY Peoples Convention on Monday, October 9, 2017

Source: NY People’s Convention
Date: Oct. 9, 2017.
Title: “We have the power to be heard.” ~ Heather, Syracuse, NY
Length: 1:00
Description: SHARE and PLEDGE to VOTE YES on NOVEMBER 7th. Stand up, stand out, be heard! #YesOn1

Source: EffectiveNY/People’s Convention
Date: April 3, 2017.
Title: Shocking: Why New York Needs an Equality for All Amendment.

Source: EffectiveNY/People’s Convention
Date: Published Mar. 20, 2017.
Title:New Yorkers for a Constitutional Convention: Fmr. Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman.

Source: EffectiveNY/People’s Convention
Date: Jan. 19, 2017.
Title: “Lawrence” – Why New York Needs a Constitutional Right to Fresh Air..

Source: Together
Date: October 27, 2017
Description: Original song

Source: EffectiveNY/People’s Convention
Date: Jan. 19, 2017.
Title: “Bomb Trains” – Why New York Needs a Constitutional Right to Fresh Air.

Source: EffectiveNY/People’s Convention
Date: Dec. 19, 2017.
Title: “Mikayla” – Why New York Needs a Constitutional Right to Clean Water.

Source: EffectiveNY/People’s Convention
Date: Dec. 19, 2016.
Title: “Ashlynn” – Why New York Needs a Constitutional Right to Clean Water, EffectiveNY/People’s Convention.

Source: EffectiveNY/People’s Convention
Date: Mar. 20, 2017.
Title: New Yorkers for a Constitutional Convention: Black Institute Founder Bertha Lewis, EffectiveNY/People’s Convention, Mar. 20, 2017.

Source: EffectiveNY/People’s Convention
Date: Nov. 29, 2016.
Title: A People’s Convention: An Introduction to New York’s 2017 Constitutional Convention Vote.

Source: Cannabis4NY
Date: Nov. 2, 2017
Title: Mission Critical – YES on Prop1
Length: 1:05

Source: NYPeoplesConvention
Date: Nov. 1, 2017
Title: New Yorkers for a Constitutional Convention: Civil Rights Attorney Robbie Kaplan
Length: :59
Description: Robbie Kaplan, the famed civil rights attorney and LGBT activist who successfully argued the landmark United States vs. Windsor marriage equality case before the U.S. Supreme Court, explains why she supports a People’s Convention and you should too.

Opposing Convention

The no campaign has many other video ads, but most are directed to their members, not the general public.  See below.

Source: NYSUT and https://mczill.com/concon
Date: Oct. 5, 2017.
Title: “Say No to the Con Con”
Length: 2:47
Description: NY Election Day is November 7th! Download and learn more about “Say No to the Con Con” at https://mczill.com/concon (lyrics are also available here).
Note: Promoted by NYSUT United, Using hip hop to spread the word about voting ‘NO’ on the constitutional convention,  October 16, 2017.

Video/Audio Ads–Top Picks

(Online Communications to Members)

Supporting Convention

None.

Opposing Convention

As with the New Yorkers Against Corruption video above, one of the best videos directed to members doesn’t have its own URL. Eventually, like that one, it should be posted here. Several of the videos below are duplicates but promoted by different organizations on different websites.  This collection of duplicate videos on different websites should be thought of as illustrative rather than exhaustive.

VOTE NO to NYS ConCon

PLEASE SHARE! IMPORTANT VIDEO - This is the most important vote in a generation. VOTE NO to a NYS Constitutional Convention! Nassau County PBA Suffolk PBA New York State Nurses Association NYC Patrolmen's Benevolent Association NYSUT Action Center - The MAC Uniformed Firefighters Association of Greater New York New York City Fire Department (FDNY) National Education Association RI (NEARI) Peter Paterson New York State Police syracuse.com Adirondack Almanack Arthur Lopez Memorial New York State Troopers PBA Jones Beach State Park New York State Department of Labor NYSLRS - New York State & Local Retirement System Teachers' Retirement System of the City of New York Nassau Coba Nassau County Police Department

Posted by Nassau County PBA on Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Source: Nassau County PBA
Date: Oct. 17, 2017
Title: This is the most important vote in a generation
Length: 2:27
Description: This is the most important vote in a generation. VOTE NO to a NYS Constitutional Convention! Nassau County PBA Suffolk PBA New York State Nurses Association NYC Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association NYSUT Action Center – The MAC Uniformed Firefighters Association of Greater New York New York City Fire Department (FDNY) National Education Association RI (NEARI) Peter Paterson New York State Police syracuse.com Adirondack Almanack Arthur Lopez Memorial New York State Troopers PBA Jones Beach State Park New York State Department of Labor NYSLRS – New York State & Local Retirement System Teachers’ Retirement System of the City of New York Nassau Coba Nassau County Police Department.

On November 7, Vote NO NY Constitutional Convention!

Take some Albany insiders. Mix in powerful special interest groups. And give them the chance to eliminate our rights, pensions, and benefits.Now THAT is a recipe for disaster.

Posted by NYSUT Action Center - The MAC on Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Source: NYSUT Action Center
Date: Oct. 10, 2017
Title: Take Some Albany Insiders
Length: :15
Description: Take some Albany insiders. Mix in powerful special interest groups. And give them the chance to eliminate our rights, pensions, and benefits. Now THAT is a recipe for disaster.

Source: NYSUT
Date: October 4, 2017
Title: What’s at risk? Everything.
Length: :30
Description: What’s at risk? Everything. Don’t let the rich and powerful declare open season on your rights! NYSUT is working hard to stop them, so please do your part. VOTE NO! Note: The same video is available on Facebook here.

Source: UCOMM Media Group with Smithtown Teachers Association
Date: May 11, 2017
Title: Vote NO to a 2017 New York State Constitutional Convention II
Length: 5:46

Source: Smithtown Teachers Association.
Date: April 25, 2017.
Title: Vote NO to a 2017 New York State Constitutional Convention.
Length: 5:46.
Note: Also published separately on May 11, 2017 and on IBEW 1049, IBEW ULS, and SCCEA.

Source: NYSUT
Date: Feb. 9, 2017
Title: Vote ‘NO’ to opening the New York State Constitution; Stop the attack on public employees!
Note: Featuring Karen Baker, South Glens Falls Faculty Association member on voting NO on opening the New York State Constitution. Distributed by NYSUT.  This ad plagiarizes the modified photo from NewYorkConCon.info. Much of the other information may also have been taken from the home page of NewYorkConCon.info but without leaving a smoking gun.
Length: 7:49
Duplicates: Also published separately on Feb. 24, 2017.

Date: December 20, 2015.
Title: Get The Facts About A Constitutional Convention

I'll Vote It Down

For my fellow New Yorkers: Vote NO! to the constitutional convention this Election Day.Here's a little Tom Petty parody to drive the point home...PLEASE SHARE WITH FRIENDS IN NEW YORK! Follow "Bald Piano Guy!"

Posted by Bald Piano Guy on Thursday, October 26, 2017

Source: Long Island music teacher Alan C. Schwartz
Date: Oct. 26, 2017
Title: “Bald Piano Guy!”
Length: 2:07
Description: For my fellow New Yorkers: Vote NO! to the constitutional convention this Election Day.
Here’s a little Tom Petty parody to drive the point home…

Source: United Neighbors of New York.
Date: September 23, 2017.
Title: Top Ten No ConCon.
Length: 2:08.
Description: The Top Ten reasons to Vote No on Resolution #1 on November 7th.

Source: Detectives Endowment Association/New York City, September 21, 2017.
Date: September 21, 2017.
Title: Vote No.
Length: 1:39.
Description: By Michael J. Palladino, President of the Detectives Endowment Association/New York City. His accompanying article can be found here.

Source: United University Professions
Date: October 24, 2017
Title: Vote NO on Nov. 7! NO NY Constitutional Convention!
Length: 4:04.
Description: UP President Fred Kowal urges UUP members to vote no on a Nov. 7 referendum on whether to hold a NY constitutional convention in 2018.

On November 7, Vote NO NY Constitutional Convention!

NYSUT FIGHTS to keep powerful anti-union forces from changing the rules to hurt our members.Join the fight. Vote NO NY Constitutional Convention!

Posted by NYSUT Action Center - The MAC on Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Source: NYSUT
Date: October 25, 2017
Title: NYSUT FIGHTS to keep powerful anti-union forces from changing the rules to hurt our members.
Length: :30.
Description: NYSUT FIGHTS to keep powerful anti-union forces from changing the rules to hurt our members.

Source: Suffolk PBA
Date: October 31, 2017
Title: PBA Con Con Rally
Length: 1:29.
Description: On November 7, 2017 it a once in a generation vote will take place that may affect pensions, the right to organize, worker’s compensation and much more. .

Source: New York State Laborers
Date: October 23, 2017
Title: No NYS Constitutional Convention
Length: 1:25.
Description: Union Rights Are At Risk – Pensions, Collective Bargaining Rights, and Prevailing Wages. Protect Them This November 7th, and Vote NO on the NYS Constitutional Convention (Proposal #1 on the Ballot).

Video/Audio Ads–Other Picks

(Online Communications to Members)

Supporting Convention

None.

Opposing Convention

Source: DC 37
Date: July 18, 2017
Title: This November, Say NO To NYS Constitutional Convention
Length: 3:17
Description: On the July segment of DC 37’s TV show State of the Union, Executive Director Henry Garrido and NYS AFL-CIO President Mario Cilento discuss the dangers of a constitutional convention.

Source: The Detectives’ Endowment Association
Date: June 2017
Title: Message from the DEA President to Vote No
Length: 1:39

Source: NYSUT
Date: May 5, 2017
Title: Say ‘NO’ to a Constitutional Convention
Length: 1:34
Description: NYSUT members air their concerns about New York State’s upcoming vote on a Constitutional Convention this November.

Source: AFSCME, AFL-CIO
Date: January 5, 2017
Title: State of the Union, Preview of January 2017 Episode
Length: 1:57
Description: DC 37 and NY Immigration Coalition representatives make the case against a NY State Constitutional Convention.  The full show can be found here.

Educational Videos

Source: Rockefeller Institution,,
Date: Nov. 1, 2017
Title: Constitutional Convention 2017 Explained
Length: 1:57

What's up with New York's Constitutional Convention referendum?

What does direct democracy look like? We don't know yet, but we could. New York state will be voting on whether or not to hold a Constitutional Convention this fall. The last time they held one was 1967—and the world is quite different now.—via act.tv

Posted by Occupy Wall St. on Thursday, August 10, 2017

Source: Occupy Wall Street
Date: August 10, 2017
Length: 2:17
Description: What does direct democracy look like? We don’t know yet, but we could. New York state will be voting on whether or not to hold a Constitutional Convention this fall. The last time they held one was 1967—and the world is quite different now.

Source: Lohud.com (U.S.A. Today Network)
Date: Nov. 8, 2017
Length: :45
Description: New York voters reject a constitutional convention.

Source: Lohud.com (U.S.A. Today Network)
Date: Nov. 7, 2017
Length: 1:12
Description: Con Con: What it is and why you should care.

Other Legislative Bypass Ads

Arnold Schwarzenegger on Gerrymandering
(Three Part Series Listed in Order Below)

Our Congress is less popular than herpes. -- Arnold Schwarzenegger

Posted by ATTN: on Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Republicans and Democrats are incredibly skilled at screwing over the voters. - Arnold Schwarzenegger

Posted by ATTN: on Wednesday, February 22, 2017

We deserve a Congress that passes laws people want. -- Arnold Schwarzenegger

Posted by ATTN: on Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Date: April 2017
Title: Terminate Gerrymandering
Note: Three part series