Oct 26th - 4:51 pm
A cap on federal income has prevented United States Secret Service agents from being paid for hundreds of hours of work on the presidential campaign trail, leaving many agents working overtime for free since as early as spring 2016 during what has been a historically demanding election year for the agency.
The claims, threats and passions surrounding the presidential race have led communities around the U.S. to move polling places out of schools or cancel classes on Election Day.
Clinton has strengthened her position slightly among young voters, but she has struggled to take full advantage of Trump’s rising unpopularity, a new poll shows.
Clinton’s election night celebration will be at the Jacob K. Javits Center on the West Side of Manhattan.
Former President Bill Clinton said that he is “in awe” of his wife as she celebrates her 69th birthday.
Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani called the Affordable Care Act, President Barack Obama’s signature health care law, “Obama fraud” and an example of a “Democratic program” championed by Clinton.
Giuliani appeared on CNN’s “New Day,” where he had an combative interview with host Chris Cuomo, who at one point said of the former mayor: “All of a sudden you’re in Trumpland, and the facts are all over the place.”
Trump’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame has had a rough go of it since the controversial business mogul and reality television star became a Republican presidential candidate.
Actor James Franco calls Clinton the “most interesting woman in the world” in a new ad campaign launched by groups supporting the Democratic presidential nominee.
RIP New York State Trooper Timothy Pratt, who died after being struck by a car while assisting the driver of a tractor trailer on Ballard Road in Wilton, Saratoga County.
The special commission that was created to set an essentially binding recommendation on a potential pay hike for lawmakers has postponed what will likely be their final meeting from Oct. 27 to Nov. 10, which is after Election Day.
U.S. Supreme Court Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor insisted last night that, whoever the next president is, he or she absolutely must appoint a ninth justice as quickly as possible.
Cuomo ordered all flags be flown at half staff in Pratt’s memory.
Cuomo said the state is prepared to provide $1 million for a study on where best to put a new train station in Buffalo. The governor, while speaking at Roswell Park Cancer Institute, said he would provide the money on the condition that local officials commit to getting the study done within six months.
Republican NY-19 candidate John Faso on the Nov. 8. ballot: “It’s like a restaurant. There are different choices for the entree, and the appetizer, and the dessert.”
Zika and other diseases spread by (the Aedes aegypti mosquito) are really not controllable with current technologies,” CDC Director Thomas Frieden said. “We will see this become endemic in the hemisphere.”
Four months after leaving the de Blasio administration, Karen Hinton will lead the New York office for Fenton Communications as managing director for its New York office, and also serve as the PR’s company’s Chief Strategy Officer.
Media giant Gannett Company Inc. has laid off about 2 percent of its total workforce, including five newsroom positions at The Journal News/lohud.com.
Onondaga Nation Lawyer Joe Heath is headed to North Dakota today to provide legal services to the protestors against the Dakota Access Pipeline on the Standing Rock Sioux Nation.
Assemblymen Joe Morelle and Brian Kolb say they’re open to a pay raise. So are senators Pat Gallivan and Rich Funke.
Asked whether her boss might run for governor in 2018, retiring Republican Rep. Richard Hanna’s spokeswoman replied: No comment.
Former NYC Mayor Mike Bloomberg is co-authoring a book on climate change with former Sierra Club Executive Director Carl Pope.
The robust New York City economy hit a speed bump in September as the unemployment rate rose sharply, state Labor Department figures show.
The Oct. 8 Long Island Rail Road accident near New Hyde Park occurred after a work train derailed and was stuck in the path of an oncoming passenger train, the LIRR’s president revealed.
Five city police officers are reportedly scheduled to be interviewed this week as part of a probe by a special prosecutor into a late-night car chase and tense showdown between Mayor Gary McCarthy and a woman outside the police station last spring,
Oct 26th - 4:30 pm
A state Supreme Court judge on Wednesday ruled in favor of Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s office in the effort to gain access to documents related to an outside audit of energy giant Exxon Mobil by PricewaterhouseCoopers through a subpoena.
The information is being sought as Schneiderman’s office investigates whether the company played down the impact of human activity in climate change. The effort has drawn scrutiny and push back from House Republicans, who have raised questions over whether Schneiderman and other state attorneys general are being unduly influenced by environmental groups in the probe.
The subpoena was issued earlier this month after Exxon signaled it would not allow its auditors to reveal documents citing client privilege.
“We are pleased with the Court’s order and look forward to moving full-steam ahead with our fraud investigation of Exxon,” Schneiderman said. “Exxon had no legal basis to interfere with PwC’s production, and I hope that today’s order serves as a wake up call to Exxon that the best thing they can do is cooperate with, rather than resist, our investigation.”
Oct 26th - 3:42 pm
Republican Rep. John Katko hasn’t said who he’ll be voting for, but his ballot won’t be one cast for either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton.
Instead, the first-term lawmaker who is running for re-election in the 24th congressional district in central New York pledged to be a check on the next administration, regardless of who wins.
“One of two deeply flawed candidates are going to be the president-elect,” Katko said at the end of a Time Warner Cable News debate with Democrat Colleen Deacon on Tuesday.
“The question I have for you is who do you think is going to have a more independent ability to stand up to whomever is in the White House? Who do you think is going to act in a more bipartisan manner in Congress?”
Katko’s comment in his closing statement amounted to a similar strategy Republicans at the national level have discussed as the Trump campaign has faltered since Labor Day amid concerns that will impact competitive down-ballot races.
In the nearby 22nd congressional district, the National Republican Congressional Committee has already aired an ad in which candidate Claudia Tenney is presented as a counterbalance to Clinton in the White House.
For Katko’s part, he insisted in the debate he is yet to make up his mind as to who he will vote for in the presidential campaign, suggesting he may write someone’s name in.
Watch the full debate between Katko and Deacon here.
Oct 26th - 2:55 pm
Governor Andrew Cuomo is going all in for Senate Democrats. It’s hard to believe I’m actually saying that, since it’s never been said before in the history of state government. I kid slightly because I suppose six years is not all that long, but it’s been two previous election cycles where the Governor’s support for Senate candidates of his own party has been anywhere from “tepid” to “agnostic.” Some would go a step further and say he actively worked to undermine them when he helped broker a deal for the majority between the Independent Democratic Conference and the Senate Republicans in late 2012.
But as much as I am convinced things mostly happen in politics based on personal animosities and perceived public slights, grudges can often be short-lived. And that is because political expediency often Trumps (hehe, get it?) the desire for retribution. You can always get someone back later. No need to set the barn on fire so everyone’s animals perish.
Cuomo took a fair amount of grief in 2012 and 2014 for failing to actively campaign for Senate Democrats. This was particularly true in 2014 when he delivered that hostage video to secure the Working Families Party endorsement during his re-election bid. Cuomo made certain promises but many Democrats felt as though he didn’t live up to expectations. He invited some Democratic Senate candidates to share the Stage with him during his Women’s Equality Bus Tour throughout New York State, but Cuomo didn’t really “actively campaign” with any of them. Same for money. Cuomo did not headline any fundraisers for Senate Dems, and sure enough they were vastly outspent and failed yet again achieve a majority.
The Working Families party and others whom the Governor sometimes refers to as “the professional left” were incensed by 2014. Especially after major initiatives like the Dream Act had been brought to the Senate floor with a coalition government only to fail.
But this time around, things are a little different. Cuomo has done three events for Senate Democrats in the last three days and more appearances are scheduled. He is actively raising money for the effort. And according to people close to the Governor, the tide has turned on who has been out front this year and who has not. It’s now the Chief Executive who is leading the fight, and the leftist advocates who are quietly on the sidelines. It’s peculiar, Cuomo supporters say, because unlike in years past, Democrats are finally on the precipice of taking control. With the floundering Donald Trump at the top of the ticket, and the recent arrest of Republican Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano, many more Senate seats are now in play for Democrats, particularly on Long Island.
So…where are the unions? Some are full throttle for Democrats like 32BJ, others hedged their bets like the Hotel Trades and 1199. In 2014 they were backing primaries against IDC members and crowing about the shortcomings of a Republican controlled State Senate.
As for the Working Families Party, critics say there has been limited phone banking, canvassing, calls for volunteers or emails asking for contributions to the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee. People on the left didn’t even set up an Independent Expenditure group to run issue ads against Republican Senate candidates. Although in fairness, many oppose IE’s on principle. The WFP has been providing field operations, but they are also getting paid for that work. WFP New York State Director Bill Lipton takes exception with any characterization of their efforts as somehow weak, telling us,
The WFP has been working to build a Senate Democratic Majority since our inception. I don’t think Democrats in the State Senate would disagree they’ve had no bigger friend than us over the years.
The Chair of DSCC, Senator Michael Gianaris (D) Queens says he is “thrilled” with the WFP’s efforts on behalf of Senate Democrats and he hopes it’s a sign of more cooperation to come.
So, is there unity? Hard to say. For the first time in recent memory Democrats in New York State including the Governor, are doing more coordinated work together on behalf of Senate Democrats, but that may be a temporary condition. Cuomo is already looking ahead to his re-election year in 2018. Last night he urged Democrats at a fundraiser to consider giving members of the IDC what they want to rejoin the mainline Democrats. He described it in terms of a marriage with compromises. Specifically, Cuomo is looking to get ethics reform early next year which includes serious limits on outside income. That was securely out of reach with a Republican Senate. But the Governor knows he needs to deliver on that before 2018 after all these corruption scandals to inoculate him from criticism. So, the best way to do that is to campaign for a Democratic majority, and hope the ethics legislation gets done early in the session or as a part of next year’s budget. After that, it will be up to the IDC and the mainline Dems to keep their marriage in tact. Yes, the Governor senses a changing tide. It probably began as far back as when he poached key staffers from Senate Republicans including Kelly Cummings and Rob Mujica to join his own staff. But with some encouraging signs these last couple of weeks, Cuomo has opted to double down on Democrats and go for broke.
Republicans are already trying to link Senate Democrats with New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, sending out an email blast from Majority Leader John Flanagan that reads,
The Senate Democrats are an appendage of Bill de Blasio and City Hall, and it is unfathomable why Governor Cuomo would want to place de Blasio in charge of setting the state’s agenda by electing Senate Democrats. Their extreme agenda is to tax the life out of hardworking, overburdened New Yorkers and impose upon New York radical policies that the vast majority of people who live here don’t want.
“How appropriate that Donald Trump’s New York cheerleaders are now adopting his tactics of lying to scare and divide people leading up to Election Day. Senate Republicans are obviously running scared as more and more New Yorkers learn about their terrible record of corruption, high taxes, and dysfunction.
Oct 26th - 2:22 pm
Last night, Gov. Andrew Cuomo wants to elect “good Democrats” who line up with his agenda in Albany.
This morning in Buffalo, Cuomo declined to offer an endorsement to the Democratic candidate running in western New York’s 60th Senate district, a seat that is seen as a key linchpin for Republicans if they want to hold control of the chamber.
“It’s not as simple saying Democrat or Republican; you have to look at the person,” Cuomo said when asked if he would endorse Democrat Amber Small over Republican Chris Jacobs. “You have to look at the person’s position on issues and you have to look at the person’s background.”
Asked if he planned to make an endorsement in the race, which will replace outgoing Sen. Marc Panepinto, Cuomo said he had not had that “conversation” yet.
The chamber is narrowly led by Republicans thanks to an alliance with Brooklyn Sen. Simcha Felder, a Democrat who conferences with the GOP.
In recent weeks, Cuomo has moved to bolster Democrats running down ballot, an effort that in previous cycles liberal detractors have said is far from robust.
Cuomo reiterated what he told Democrats at a fundraiser on Tuesday night for conference’s campaign committee: He wants lawmakers in the Senate who back his push for new ethics measures in the form of limits on outside income, along with “fiscal discipline.”
“Those are the two seminal issues,” Cuomo said. “Just because the person is a Democrat or a Republican that doesn’t answer that for me. Really, it’s a case by case basis. I’m talking to a number of races. I have not had a conversation in that race.”
Cuomo has endorsed Democrats in competitive races in recent weeks, including Adam Haber and incumbent Todd Kaminsky on Long Island as well as Sen. George Latimer.
Oct 26th - 1:53 pm
The latest television ad from Republican Rep. Elise Stefanik is something of an elevator pitch, albeit with the lawmaker in a car giving a 30-second reason for why she should be re-elected.
“I only have thirty seconds but here’s how I kept my promises,” she says in the ad. “I’ve refused any special subsidies – Congress should live by the same laws as the rest of us. I pledged transparency – its why I’ll continue to post my schedule and my legislative votes on Facebook. I’ve helped to preserve and protect Medicare and Social Security and my office fought to get you the benefits you deserve.”
Stefanik is running for a second term to the sprawling North Country congressional district she first won in 2014, replacing Democratic Rep. Bill Owens.
Stefanik faces Democratic candidate Mike Derrick.
Oct 26th - 12:01 pm
Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday night sent a fundraising email for the state Democratic Committee that called for the party’s takeover of the chamber.
“Every 4 years, Americans are faced with a choice, and the closer we get to Election Day, the clearer that choice becomes,” Cuomo wrote in the email, which includes a link to donating to the state party committee, which he controls.
“We see that choice clearly on every level. We see it for the House, we see it for the Senate, we see it blazingly clearly for the Presidential, and we see it in the elections for New York State Assembly and Senate.”
The fundraising email comes as Cuomo is ramping up his efforts to have the Senate flip to Democratic control, with the state party committee running a field, phone banking and digital operation.
“Please help us take back the NYS Senate and donate today,” Cuomo wrote in the email. “In the next 14 days, we have a lot of hard work to do, but it’s the right thing to do, and together, we’re going to do it well.”
Cuomo on Tuesday night speaking to the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee’s fundraiser indicated he hoped the Independent Democratic Conference would form a new coalition-style agreement with the mainline conference, comparing the arrangement to a political “marriage” of sorts between the two factions.
At the same time, Cuomo said he is only interested in backing “good Democrats” who align with his agenda, which includes a limit on outside income, the passage of the DREAM Act and campaign finance reform.
Oct 26th - 11:16 am
GOP state Senate candidate Julie Killian on Wednesday is among the “races to watch” according to the Republican State Leadership Committee, a group focused on electing Republican candidates to state legislative offices.
Killian, running for the Senate seat in suburban Westchester County held by Democratic Sen. George Latimer, was the only New York candidate on the list of 16 races around the country.
“With just under two weeks to go until Election Day, state-level Republicans can feel confident in the strength and future of our party because of candidates like those highlighted today,” said RSLC President Matt Walter.
“The men and women featured in the latest phase of ’16 in ’16’ will be crucial in our fight to hold and grow our ranks nationwide, but their victories will also have a tremendous impact on the future and prosperity of their communities. Our candidates represent educators, healthcare professionals, small business owners and more, and their wide array of experiences and qualifications will prove critical in steering policy discussions and crafting effective, conservative legislation. I am so proud to stand by all 64 of our ’16 in ’16′ candidates in this final stretch to Election Day, and I wish them the best of luck on November 8th!”
The 37th Senate district has long been a goal to flip by Republicans in Albany and the GOP has periodically invested heavily in the area in order to win the seat once held by Democrat Suzi Oppenheimer.
The district is one of two races (the other being in western New York) in which Republicans are playing offense with Democratic-held seats.
Oct 26th - 7:00 am
From the Morning Memo:
Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday night pushed for a Democratic takeover of the state Senate, telling a gathering at a Democratic Senate Campaign Committee fundraiser he needed the chamber to flip in order to enact a range of liberal policy goals.
But at the same time, Cuomo acknowledged mainline Democrats will likely have to “compromise” and form a majority coalition with the five-member Independent Democratic Conference — a move he compared to the practical considerations of a marriage.
Mainline Democrats will have to be “smart enough and flexible enough to form a partnership with the IDC,” he said.
Cuomo’s comments come as he has sought this month to play an increasingly prominent role in down-ballot elections including key battleground races for the state Senate, which is narrowly led by Republicans.
Cuomo told the fundraiser that while he’s achieved measures ranging from same-sex marriage to more recently a $15 minimum wage and paid-family leave, other goals have been bottled up — which he blamed on Republicans in Albany.
Those measures include the DREAM Act, criminal justice reform, increasing the age of adult incarceration and a “campaign finance system that actually works.”
Cuomo said he also wants “probably most important a real ethics package that cleans up Albany once and for all.” That includes a limit to the amount of money lawmakers can earn outside of their government work, a bill that had been blocked in the Legislature this year.
“The only that’s going to happen is if we elect good Democrats to the Senate who support these positions and these policies and are going to take the state forward,” Cuomo said.
The governor has come under criticism from liberals for not having committed in the past to a Democratic state Senate. As late as the summer, Cuomo was being prodded to back the chamber flipping, later sitting down with the Democratic leadership to discuss how to help.
Now the state Democratic Committee has moved to back a field, phone banking and digital operation for the mainline conference’s efforts in the chamber, even as some grumbling remains Cuomo could use some of his $19 million war chest as long as he doesn’t earmark transfers to specific races.
Still, the efforts from Cuomo to bolster Democrats — appearing at fundraisers, contributing to campaigns — has been more robust than in previous years, underscoring the fractious nature of the election cycle at the top of the presidential ticket that could drive party turnout.
“If you had predicted this,” Cuomo said speaking of the election season, “you really could have made a fortune.”
Oct 26th - 6:45 am
From the Morning Memo:
It’s not an overstatement to call the relationship between the governor and PEF, the state’s second largest public workers union, rocky in recent years.
The last round of contract talks was so acrimonious, in fact, that it contributed to the union’s decision to back Cuomo’s primary opponent, Fordham Law Prof. Zephyr Teachout, in 2014 after supporting him in his first gubernatorial run in 2010.
The union also went through its own internal upheaval, ousting its former president, Susan Kent, just three years after she successfully challenged former PEF president Ken Brynien, who had also presided over a contentious – and not terribly successful – round of contract talks with Cuomo.
Wayne Spence, who succeeded Kent, was determined not to make the same mistakes as his predecessors. With yet another contract needing to be negotiated, he vowed to have a “courteous” dialogue with the Cuomo administration, adopting a “catch more bees with honey” approach.
It looks like Spence’s approach worked – for now.
PEF leaders and the Cuomo administration recently announced a three-year contract that provided 2 percent annual raises for union members and no immediate health care cost increases, though there are a number of details that need to be hammered out.
During a Capital Tonight interview last night, Spence said he expects the deal will be approved by the rank-and-file.
Looking ahead, he predicted that while there are still PEF members who are angry with Cuomo, this contract experience may have smoothed ruffled feathers sufficiently for the union to at least consider supporting the governor should he seek a third term in 2018.
“I think now that…we can now have the conversation,” Spence said. “My members are still upset, because the state workforce is still at a 40-year low. This is the first step toward having that conversation, but I can tell you they’re still not happy. They’re not happy.”
“I remember one of my members said to me in Binghamton last week…’If the governor even wants us to have a conversation with him and even consider endorsing him, he better give us something we can live with.'”
“I believe our members were given something they can live with,” Spence continued. “Would they like three percent and everything else? Who wouldn’t. But here’s what they do recognize. This shows that he recognized the union, recognized our sacrifice.”
“What good is a major increase in health insurance, or your salary, if you have to pay a major increase in taxes. Because we’re all taxpayers. So I think this is a nice balance.”