Extras

The Democratic National Committee sued Russia, the Trump campaign and WikiLeaks claiming widespread interference in the 2016 election as part of a “brazen attack on American democracy.”

Federal civil rights prosecutors have recommended charges against a NYPD officer in the 2014 death of Eric Garner, three current and former officials said, but top Justice Department officials have expressed strong reservations about whether to move forward with a case they say may not be winnable.

Hillary Clinton knew there were concerns about her “likeability” as a candidate, but as early as July 2016 – just after Trump became the Republican nominee – she apparently decided she would stop caring, according to a new book about her campaign.

Clinton reacted to news of her electoral defeat with a resigned acceptance, claiming she knew victory was out of reach all along, and saying: “I knew it. I knew this would happen to me. They were never going to let me be president.”

Allison Mack, the “Smallville” actress connected to alleged cult leader Keith Raniere, has been arrested and indicted on sex trafficking, sex trafficking conspiracy and conspiracy to commit forced labor charges.

A federal appeals court in Texas has ordered NXIVM founder Raniere to pay more than $444,000 in attorneys’ fees to AT&T and Microsoft in a case in which he claimed the companies had marketed teleconferencing services using technology from patents that he owned.

“Fox & Friends” hosts Brian Kilmeade and Steve Doocy took a shot at Andrew and Chris Cuomo this morning, following up on the governor’s “I’m undocumented” comments.

Pro-Trump vloggers Diamond & Silk, who have become a conservative cause célèbre recently over their disputed claims of Facebook discrimination, said they felt ICE should indeed come and get Cuomo over his claims.

Rep. Chris Collins, reacting to Cuomo calling himself “undocumented,” said the governor has “lost it; he’s facing this primary, and doesn’t know what to do about Cynthia Nixon…he’s just in full-out primary mode.”

Deputy Senate Majority Leader John DeFrancisco, who says he’ll fight to the end for the GOP gubernatorial nod, and won’t run again for the state Senate, is beginning to go more negative on his opponent, Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro.

From the outset, it has been clear that next Tuesday’s special election in New York’s 37th State Senate District is no ordinary contest; the race in Westchester County will help determine the balance of power in Albany.

Democratic NY-19 candidate Gareth Rhodes is taking steps to offset his campaign’s carbon footprint.

In an historic move, Harvard teaching and research assistants have voted to form a union.

When asked about U.S. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer announcing support for decriminalizing marijuana on 4/20, a day associated with the drug, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio said he remains unconvinced about legalizing marijuana in the city but that he’d make his mind up by year’s end.

The Oneida Indian Nation blasted Rep. Claudia Tenney, saying her recent “erratic outbursts and conspiracy theories” jeopardize jobs and economic growth in Central New York.

New York was one of seven states earlier this week whose student tests were hit by what was reportedly a “deliberate attack” on the computer system operated by Questar, an outside vendor.

An Albany City Court judge ordered former Niagara County Republican Chairman Henry Wojtaszek to pay a $1,000 fine for violating a state campaign finance law in 2012, after he pleaded guilty as part of a deal with prosecutors working on the case against former State Sen. George Maziarz.

The NYC Council plans to consider banning the sale of disposable plastic bottles at city parks, beaches and golf courses.

The widow of a prominent New Jersey architect who leapt to his death from the George Washington Bridge is suing the Port Authority for failing to safeguard the “suicide magnet” span.

Nixon Unveils Environmental Platform

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Cynthia Nixon in Queens on Friday unveiled an environmental policy platform that is geared toward shifting the state to 100 percent renewable energy, strengthening the state’s efforts against climate change and rejecting new infrastructure for gas pipelines and other fossil fueles.

“Our state belongs to all New Yorkers. It’s time to treat the earth as our shared home where no one will worry that their air, water, or land is being polluted by poison dug up from the ground,” Nixon said. “We must restore balance in a world designed to sustain us and make sure the earth is habitable for the next generation, the seventh generation and the seventieth generation.”

Additionally, Nixon opposes efforts to drill for oil and gas in the Atlantic Ocean as backed by President Donald Trump’s administration and allowing nuclear power plants to close in the state. As released by Nixon’s campaign, the details of how she plans to move the state to 100 percent renewable energy was not completely detailed.

Some of the proposals go beyond what Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration has sought when it comes to nuclear power (the state is closing the Indian Point facility in Westchester County while another in central New York will remain open with the aid of subsidy), though many of the issues Nixon has raised are in line with what the state has done.

Meanwhile, the Department of Environmental Conservation on Friday denied a water quality certification for a proposed pipeline in New York.

“Williams has not completed its application in a timely manner, and the environmental review of the project being conducted by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission remains incomplete, as well,” the DEC said in a statement. “Moreover, the application materials that were submitted to DEC showed potentially significant environmental impacts that raised serious concerns.”

Updated: The Cuomo campaign responded in a statement, touting the governor’s record on environmental issues.

“The Governor has led the nation in combating climate change from banning fracking to one of the most aggressive clean energy standards in the country to closing down dangerous Indian Point to the single largest procurement of renewable energy in our nation’s history and the first multi-state cap and trade system to lower carbon pollution,” said spokeswoman Abbey Fashouer.

“We welcome anyone to this critical effort as we work to protect our environment for future generations and create a cleaner, greener New York.”

Cuomo: Make NY The ‘Home Of The Rise Of The Resistance’ Against Trump

Gov. Andrew Cuomo in Albany on Friday rallied with members of the New York State Nurses Association, pledging that the state will show the country “the alternative to Trump’s America.”

The event Friday morning comes as Cuomo has taken an increasingly arch tone with President Donald Trump’s administration and policies, while also linking himself further to the labor movement in New York. The association scored a recent victory with the unionization of the workforce at Albany Medical Center.

“We’re going to come out, we are going to come out all 2.5 million members and their families and their in-laws and their neighbors and we’re going to speak with one voice. And we’re going to start by taking back the House and stopping this extreme conservative freight train in Washington,” Cuomo said. “We are then going to elect a State Democratic Senate and show those Republicans who bought onto the extreme conservative agenda it has no home in New York. Not upstate, not downstate, not on Long Island.”

Early after Trump was elected, Cuomo had initially signaled an interest to work with the new president, pointing to his New York roots and the shared desire to fund infrastructure.

But Cuomo has soured on Trump’s immigration and tax policies, while the president’s popularity with Democratic voters remains in the basement, especially in Democratic-dominated New York. Cuomo also faces a primary challenge this year against Cynthia Nixon, an education advocate and actress who has criticized the governor for working too closely with Republicans.

“What we’re going to do together is make New York State the home of the rise of the resistance. We’re going to show this nation the alternative to Trump’s America. And the alternative to Trump’s America is the great state of New York, the beacon of progressive values, the state that says we can all succeed together,” Cuomo said. “We don’t have to pick winners and losers, it’s not management or workers. It’s not black or white. It’s not gay or straight. It’s all of us together. That’s the New York way. And that’s what works for this country and we’re going to reject their division and reject their fear and we’re going to show them what unity can do and what the middle class and working families united can do.”

NY-19: Rhodes Touts Lead In Survey Ranking

Democratic congressional candidate Gareth Rhodes Friday touted an online survey by an advocacy group that ranked him first among the crowded field of candidates vying for the nomination in the 19th district.

The poll by the group Listen To Us John Faso surveyed 2,200 people, asking them to rank the seven Democrats in the race. Rhodes, a former aide to Gov. Andrew Cuomo, received 73 first place votes, followed by Brian Flynn with 37 votes.

“We’re running a completely different type of campaign and we have been from Day One,” Rhodes said in a statement. “We’re building a coalition in all 163 towns in NY-19, of New Yorkers like those activists polled who are tired of the failed leadership of Rep. Faso, sick of the chaos in Washington, and ready for a new generation of leaders to get things done.”

The survey is akin to something of a straw poll: It was conducted online and open to members of the group.

Faso is seeking a second term for the Hudson Valley congressional district that is considered a key battleground race this fall for Democrats.

SD-37: Killian Blasts Voting Rights For Parolees

Republican Julie Killian is seizing on Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s executive order that would grant voting rights for those on parole, raising the issue to the pivotal state Senate race in the 37th district.

Killian was also critical of her Democratic opponent, Shelley Mayer, for supporting Cuomo’s order issued earlier this week.

“While I am a firm believer in criminal justice reform, this Executive Order is astonishing,” Killian said.

“Convicted, violent felons gave up their right to vote when they committed the heinous crimes for which they were incarcerated. Does Shelley Mayer believe that soon-to-be-paroled Terry Losicco, who savagely murdered an elderly woman from Somers after beating her invalid husband, should be rewarded with the right to vote? How about Herman Bell, the known cop-killer? If Bell is paroled, should he be eligible to vote this November? There are severe penalties for these kinds of violent crimes, and we should not reverse them without deliberation and with the stroke of a pen.”

As backed by Cuomo and announced at the National Action Network this week, the executive order would reinstate voting rights for more than 35,000 people on parole.

The special election to fill the Senate district in Westchester County is being held Tuesday.

SD-37: Biden Robos For Mayer

Former Vice President Joe Biden has recorded a robocall as part of a get-out-the-vote effort in the key 37th Senate district in Westchester County.

The call was first reported today by The Daily News.

The call seeks to boost turnout for Assemblywoman Shelley Mayer, who is seeking the Senate seat vacated earlier this year by Westchester County Executive George Latimer.

“Shelley is a fighter who will stand up and champion our values: common-sense gun reform, protecting women’s health and the environment and supporting our schools,” Biden says in the call.

Mayer is running against Republican Julie Killian. A Democratic victory in the race could potentially lead to the party taking control of the chamber later this month.

WNY Assemblyman’s Website Apparently Hijacked By Japanese Prostitution Service

It appears state Assemblyman David DiPietro’s campaign page was hijacked by a Japanese prostitution website.

Certainly, dipietroforassembly.com has no information about the East Aurora Republican’s bid for re-election. Rather it describes a service, that appears to be called Pink Companion.

A bit might be lost in the Google translation, but here’s a taste of the website:

“Can you get naked and you can kiss too? Is there such a service? Believe it or not, there is. It is also said to be a pink companion or super companion, but if you leave it to them It is possible to have that pink banquet that you’ve been longing for, and you were angry with it. How can you play with them? It seems awful, but you can get it taken off. It is also possible to be naked and to be pleased together,” it reads. “I can do a lady that I even saw in my dreams, and even if I wanted to do it, I’d be happy to have a baseball fist that was being laughed with eyes that seem to be strange. Is it balloon volleyball recommendation? A girl is a skirt ballet. It is a volley which makes balloons look like balls and only feet.”

Other parts of the site describe the “inn” where the transaction of services seem to take place, as well as “popular ways of playing” like cosplay.

Based on an internet archive search this appears to have happened sometime between May and September of last year. We’ve reached out to DiPietro for comment.

McMurray Responds To Cuomo On NY-27

From the Morning Memo:

Gov. Andrew Cuomo told reporters yesterday it was his priority to elect Democrats to congressional seats this fall, but he did no favor to the only Democratic candidate currently eligible to be elected in NY-27.

The governor repeatedly made clear he felt his lieutenant governor, Kathy Hochul, had the best chance to beat Republican incumbent Rep. Chris Collins, with whom Cuomo has tangled publicly on a number of occasions.

Cuomo said he explored the possibility of replacing the current Democratic candidate, Nate McMurray, with Hochul at the request of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and others, though he insisted the final decision about whether to heed this call is Hochul’s – and she has repeatedly said she wants to seek re-election, not run against the man who ousted her from Congress.

Not surprisingly, McMurray was not at all happy about this turn of events, and said top Democrats are disconnected from what’s happening on the ground, where the party and union leaders across the district have thrown their support behind him.

“I wish the governor would join me on a trip to Batavia or Warsaw or Lockport and see the support we’re feeling in those rooms,” he said. “Sooner or later Albany and DC will realize, ‘Don’t underestimate Nate.’ I’m no pawn on a board. No one owns me. No one owns the people of NY 27.”

McMurray said the governor is unaware of the enthusiasm he has generated in the district, and tried to turn the fact that high-level members of his own party want him ousted to his advantage.

“Clearly I’m not part of the Washington/Albany insider game,” McMurray said. “But you know what? I want no part of that mess. This is a new era. It’s an era where the people again decide what’s best, not a group of political elites.”

McMurray said he continues to support Hochul in her re-election bid, and is proud of her representation of Western New York.

Report Examines CPV Lobbying Ahead Of Percoco Trial

From the Morning Memo:

A report being released Friday by the Public Accountability Initiative examines the money spent on the consulting and lobbying firm Mercury Public Affairs by Competitive Power Ventures as the trial of a former close aide to Gov. Andrew Cuomo loomed.

The report highlights the money spent by CPV on lobbying and other public relations efforts as the trial of Joe Percoco approached last year.

The group’s survey ties the amount of money spent by CPV to the increased scrutiny of its power plant project in the Hudson Valley that played a key role in the case.

Percoco earlier this year was convicted of federal corruption charges that stemmed from efforts to secure economic development contracts in exchange for bribes and a low-show job for his wife.

“After the November 2016 indictment of Percoco, CPV’s state and federal lobbying efforts more than quadrupled,” the report found. “Whereas CPV spent $100,909 on lobbying in 2016, it spent $430,000 in 2017.”

The report also comes as Cuomo’s rival for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination, Cynthia Nixon, has made the project an issue in her campaign.

CPV in a statement blasted the report, calling it “the latest political stunt by those who want to ignore the facts and the law.”

“CPV has met and exceeded every state and federal standard to operate this plant and build the pipeline needed to supply it with natural gas, winning hard-fought battles against the Cuomo administration in court as a result,” said Tom Rumsey, the company’s vice president for external affairs.

“When the CPV Valley Energy Center is operational on our primary fuel, we will be one of the most efficient and environmentally sound power plants in the country. For New York, that equates to a reduction in carbon emissions of an estimated half a million tons per year while bolstering grid reliability and providing critical revenue into local governments.”

The report was also criticized by Mercury itself.

The firm’s co-chairman, former Bronx Borough President Fernando Ferrer, who was the Democratic nominee for mayor of New York City in 2005, said in a statement, “This is such a reach, it’s ridiculous.”

The Percoco Connection – Final Report %5bfor SoP April 20 2018%5d by Nick Reisman on Scribd

Here and Now

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has not yet released his public schedule for the day.

The Legislature is not in session.

Students across the state and nation will be walking out of classes to demand comprehensive gun violence prevention legislation on the state and federal levels.

President Donald Trump is still at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida, where late this afternoon he will host a roundtable with Republican National Committee supporters.

At 10 a.m., “The Brian Lehrer Show” features NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio and former NYC Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, WNYC.

Also at 10 a.m., LG Kathy Hochul addresses high school students at a National School Walkout Against Gun Violence, Kings Park High School, 200 NY-25A, Kings Park.

At 10:30 a.m., Assemblywoman Carmen Arroyo, Bronx Borough President Rubén Díaz Jr., New York City Councilman Rafael Salamanca Jr. and other officials break ground for two new buildings at La Central, 600 Brook Ave., Bronx.

Also at 10:30 a.m., NYC Schools Chancellor Richard A. Carranza will visit classes and participate in a cooking workshop at PS 69 Journey Prep School in the Bronx, 560 Thieriot Ave.

At 11 a.m., Hochul highlights state initiatives sexual violence at a Crime Victims’ Rights Consortium, IBEW Local 25, 370 Motor Parkway A, Hauppauge, Long Island.

At 11:30 a.m., de Blasio will make a major announcement about Central Park, The Mall at Central Park – Southern Entrance, Center Drive and East Drive, Manhattan.

At noon, Queens Borough President Melinda Katz, New York City Councilman Daniel Dromm, state Sen. Jose Peralta and Assemblyman Michael DenDekker break ground on the reconstruction of Travers Park, 78th Street and 34th Avenue, Queens.

At 1:30 p.m., Hochul delivers the keynote address at the NYPA Women in Power Leadership Summit, IBM Learning Center, 20 Old Post Rd., Armonk.

At 2 p.m., Cuomo’s office and Columbia University co-host the Clean Energy and Investment Conference to discuss how to decarbonize institutional funds and invest in clean energy, Columbia Law School, Jerome Greene Hall, 435 W. 116th St., Room 106, Manhattan.

At 3:30 p.m., Assemblyman Thomas Abinanti and state Sen. David Carlucci urge the state Department of Transportation to complete the study and report of railroad grade crossings that is required by law, Commerce Street train crossing, Taconic Parkway and Commerce Street, Valhalla.

At 4 p.m., Carranza hosts a student town hall, followed by a parental town hall at 5:30 p.m., Walton Campus, 2780 Reservoir Ave., the Bronx.

At 5:30 p.m., Assemblywoman Nily Rozic speaks to the NYU Wagner Women’s Caucus on addressing sexual harassment through state legislation, NYU Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, 295 Lafayette St., Manhattan.

Headlines…

Former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani joined President Donald Trump’s personal legal team, adding a trusted ally and veteran prosecutor to a group that has struggled to attract and retain top talent.

“Rudy is great,” Trump said in a statement released by Jay Sekulow, his lawyer. “He has been my friend for a long time and wants to get this matter quickly resolved for the good of the country.”

Trump will also bring on Jane Serene Raskin and Martin R. Raskin, former federal prosecutors in Florida. The trio gives Trump a broader legal stable as he faces the special counsel, Robert Mueller, and the threat of an investigation by Manhattan federal prosecutors into his longtime personal lawyer and fixer, Michael Cohen.

Trump spoke in intimate and candid terms to former FBI Director James Comey about some of the most sensitive matters before the agency, including the salacious dossier detailing Trump’s ties to Russia and the investigation into Michael Flynn, the president’s first national security adviser, according to Comey’s closely guarded memos, sent to Congress from the Justice Department last night.

Dismissed ex-FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe could face criminal charges for misleading investigators on four occasions about information provided to The Wall Street Journal.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s aides and campaign staff made a round of phone calls to elected officials, asking them to not attend a rally yesterday in support of community groups that have endorsed his opponent, Cynthia Nixon, according to eight NYC Council members who received such calls or messages and two others briefed on the effort.

Asked whether he had indeed said the unions that continue to fund these groups can “lose my number,” Cuomo responded: “I’m not going to punish. It has nothing to do with me. You know, punishment is for God. Who the unions should support or not support, that’s up to the unions. Nobody is going to tell them what to do.”

WFP State Director Bill Lipton, who says he attended a meeting at which Cuomo used that phrase, had a different take: “Make no mistake. The threat is real. I was there,” he said at the rally. “We’re not afraid of the bullying and the deception. We stand proudly for our progressive values.”

Gay rights advocates lit into Nixon for her seeming change of heart on Cuomo’s role in legalizing gay marriage in New York.

As the dust settles on the party’s choice, the question remains of how, in practical terms — and how much, in political terms — the WFP endorsement will help Nixon, an actress and educational activist making her first run for political office.

AG Eric Schneiderman sat down with students from Manhattan’s Bard High School Early College to talk gun control, and will publish a video of the talk online today to mark the 19th anniversary of the Columbine massacre in Colorado.

The NYC Department of Education will penalize city high-school students who take part in a half-day gun-control protest today, according to a spokesperson.

Students of a Long Island middle and high school are now required to wear clear backpacks on campus as part of a new safety measure in the wake of the Valentine’s Day mass shooting that left 17 dead in Florida.

Cuomo ramped up pressure on banks and insurers to revisit whether their ties to the National Rifle Association and other gun rights groups harm their reputations and the public interest.

Cuomo, a New York City native, raised eyebrows last week after he claimed that he was an illegal immigrant and taunted officials to deport him.

The push to decriminalize marijuana has picked up another high-profile backer — Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer — just a week after Trump endorsed letting states decide how to regulate the drug.

Democratic state Assemblywoman Shelley Mayer, who running for state Senate in a critical special election in Westchester County Tuesday, has the backing of former Vice President Joe Biden, who has cut a last minute automated phone call on her behalf.

Mayer’s GOP state Senate race opponent, Julie Killian, charged that a campaign worker for Mayer posted vile and hateful tweets about cops. Mayer’s campaign said the individual in question was an unpaid volunteer.

Cuomo said “many, many people” – including House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi – believe LG Kathy Hochul would make a stronger candidate than Nate McMurray in the race to unseat Rep. Chris Collins, but denied he enlisted former Assemblyman Sam Hoyt to urge McMurray to drop out.

“I said to Kathy ‘if you want to run I support that; if you don’t want to run, I support that,'” Cuomo said. “From my position, nothing has changed.”

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