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Opinion

Women’s Equality Day has deep roots in New York

Rep. Bella Abzug huddles with two other women

Rep. Bella Abzug huddles with two other women during an International Women's Conference meeting in Mexico City in this July 2, 1975. Photo Credit: AP

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Daily Point

Women’s Equality Day has deep history in New York

Late Friday afternoon, the president from New York heeded the New York governor’s advice and acknowledged a day with New York roots.

Each year since 1973, the day has offered a chance for political leaders and others to reaffirm the importance of equality for women and girls, while also reminding us of how much more there is to do.

But Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo went a step further, taking to social media Thursday to urge President Donald Trump to mark the day with an official proclamation.

“President Trump don’t break tradition,” tweeted Cuomo.

When Trump issued his proclamation Friday, he had a long women’s equality highlight reel, filled with New Yorkers, to recall.

Rep. Bella Abzug, a New York City congresswoman and women’s rights activist, introduced legislation to establish Women’s Equality Day. Aug. 26 was chosen because it marked the certification of the 19th Amendment that gave women the right to vote, a right with New York roots, dating to the Seneca Falls convention in 1848.

New York also was home to Shirley Chisholm, the first black congresswoman and the first woman to run for the Democratic Party’s nomination for president, and Geraldine Ferraro, the first woman to run for vice president, who was once a public school teacher in Queens, just 10 miles from where Trump grew up.

Then there’s Hillary Clinton, the first woman to secure a major-party presidential nomination and Trump’s 2016 opponent, with her own New York ties as the first female U.S. senator from the state. Then again, she might not make Trump’s list.

Randi F. Marshall

This item has been updated to reflect President Donald Trump’s Friday action.

Talking Point

For whom The Point tolls

With all this talk of congestion pricing in New York City, which could lower tolls at some crossings and add them at others, The Point got curious: How much were the tolls at various bridges and tunnels when they opened, and what does the rate of inflation have to say about their current prices?

When the Triborough Bridge opened in 1936, a quarter was the price to open the gate. Inflation says that price now ought to be $4.43, but the current price is $5.76 for New York E-ZPass users and $8.50 for everyone else. The same original price and current toll are true at the Whitestone Bridge, opened in 1939; the Throgs Neck, opened in 1961; the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel, opened in 1950; and the Queens-Midtown Tunnel, opened in 1940.

And if you figure for inflation from 1971, the last year the price was a quarter, the current toll at each ought to be only $1.54.

The increase is actually more dramatic at the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, where the opening-day toll in 1964 was 50 cents, although back then it was charged in both directions. Today, only westbound drivers pony up. So double the 50 cents to a buck to reflect that. Inflation says the current price ought to be $7.92, but instead it’s $11.52 for New York E-ZPass users and $17 for others.

The Henry Hudson Bridge, opened in 1936; the Marine Parkway Bridge, opened in 1937; and the Cross Bay Veterans Memorial Bridge, opened in 1939, were all a dime back on their first days. Inflation would put that around $1.75 now. So for New York E-ZPass users currently paying $2.16, these bridges are pretty close to fairly priced, historically speaking — but out-of-staters and customers laying down cash or being billed by mail, at $4.25 a pop, can fairly gripe over their bills.

And how does all this bridge revenue relate to the actual cost of building bridges, considering that the tolls have historically been thought of as paying for the construction?

The Triborough cost $60.3 million to build.

In 2013 alone, it brought in $422 million in tolls.

Lane Filler

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Bonus Point

Talk of 2016 still won’t end

This week, the 2016 postmortem knives are out again after analysis suggesting that 12 percent of primary voters for Sen. Bernie Sanders voted for Donald Trump in the general presidential election.

The numbers come from the Cooperative Congressional Election Study, a survey of more than 60,000 American adults. Brian Schaffner, a professor at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, analyzed the data of voters describing whom they cast ballots for, and confirmed that they voted with voter files. The analysis says that if the Sanders-Trump voters had stayed home on Election Day in Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, Hillary Clinton would have won the Electoral College — and the presidency.

There are several caveats, however. Defections like these between primaries and general elections are not uncommon. A similar percentage of 2016 Republican primary voters defected from the other side to Clinton, and a 2008 study found that 25 percent of Clinton primary voters that year ended up voting for the GOP nominee, Arizona Sen. John McCain.

But Clinton primary voters stayed with her at a higher rate than President Barack Obama’s did in 2008, according to Schaffner. And the Sanders-to-Trump voters may be extranumerically disturbing for Democrats, given the type of Republican candidate they jumped to.

Schaffner also offered information about the voters who made the switch. They were more likely to be weak Democrats or non-Democrats than those who voted Sanders and then Clinton. And their views about trade were less important than their views on race: nearly half of the jumpers disagreed that white people have advantages.

It’s all more fuel for the fire as analysis of the campaign continues. Even the participants are still making their case: Sanders from the rally stage and Clinton in her new book.

Mark Chiusano

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