Two U.S. appeals courts issued contradictory rulings on Obamacare subsidies. One upheld them. The other struck them down for millions of Americans covered through HealthCare.gov.

Brooklyn BP Eric Adams: “If flying a #whiteflag on the #BrooklynBridge is someone’s idea of a joke, I’m not laughing. We won’t surrender our public safety to anyone.”

Some news outlets fell victim to a twitter parody account that took responsibility for the flag switch.

US Sen. Chuck Schumer still uses an ancient LG flip-phone, in part because “you can FOIA any email.”

Speaking of outdated technology

Looks like NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio and his son, Dante, are having a good time on their Italian vacation. More here.

Back home in NYC, Sen. Bill Perkins called Eric Garner’s death – apparently by being choked by an NYPD officer – a “murder.”

LG Bob Duffy had some interesting tweets today.

Hudson Valley Reps. Sean Patrick Maloney and Chris Gibson sent a letter to the FERC this week urging it to abandon the Lower Hudson Valley Capacity Zone.

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, a potential 2016 contender, called fellow would-be White House aspirant Hillary Clinton “a 20th century candidate.”

A judge ruled investors in the Empire State Building can’t sue over their claims they were shortchanged by the deal that turned the iconic skyscraper into a public stock.

New York has a sandwich tax, and a burrito (somehow) qualifies.

Anti-Zephyr Teachout protestors and Randy Credico crashed the Teachout-Astorino press conference.

Stair Fair tickets can be bought online at a discount.

Under fire for flouting the law in NYC, the popular apartment sharing website Airbnb has hired de Blasio’s former camaign manager, Bill Hyers.

Former Gov. Eliot Spitzer is looking to capitalize on his reputation as the scourge of Wall Street analysts by backing TipRanks, which describes itself as a financial accountability website.

Emmi Roth USA, a producer of premium specialty cheeses and dairy products, will expand its yogurt manufacturing facility in the Finger Lakes.

Al D’Amato Calls On Astorino To Apologize

Republican former Sen. Al D’Amato — a key GOP ally for Gov. Andrew Cuomo — called on GOP candidate for governor Rob Astorino to apologize to both the incumbent Democrat and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie after remarks made this morning on the radio.

“I strongly urge Rob Astorino to apologize for calling two distinguished Governors, Chris Christie and Andrew Cuomo, corrupt. With little resources to mount a serious campaign and with dwindling support, Rob Astorino isn’t in the position to be picking fights and doing gimmicky press conferences. He should go out and show us that his campaign is not a ‘lost cause.’”

Astorino in an interview with Fred Dicker this morning knocked Christie for suggesting his race against Cuomo was going to result in a landslide defeat, saying the New Jersey Republican should resign as head of the Republican Governors Association if he won’t help elect Republicans.

Astorino suggested that Cuomo and Christie have a “handshake” deal related to the George Washington Bridge entry lane closure controversy.

Earlier in the day, former Gov. David Paterson, the New York Democratic Committee’s chairman, criticized the comments as well.

It’s interesting that D’Amato released a statement blasting Astorino.

In claiming he can win, Astorino has often pointed to George Pataki’s 1994 surprise upset over the current goveror’s father, Mario Cuomo.

But D’Amato was a key architect of that ’94 victory helping propel Pataki, then a little-known state senator, to the governor’s office.

Meanwhile, State Republican Chairman Ed Cox in a statement said he was “disappointed” in Christie’s lack of faith in Astorino.

“Gov. Christie seems to have forgotten from whence he came. His own underdog challenge to former Gov. Jon Corzine in 2009 would not have been made possible without crucial RGA funding, which enabled him to fight an otherwise hopeless battle against the Democratic Party machine in Trenton,” Cox said. “There is no such thing as a lost cause. Only lost opportunities. I encourage Gov. Christie to reconsider his position.”

Cox added he’ll be the RGA’s meeting in Aspen this week to discuss the race for governor.

Notable Donations

Last week, we discovered that Senator Liz Krueger had donated $3,500 to Oliver Koppel’s campaign for State Senate. This donation was made in July, long after a deal had been struck for the Democrats and the Independent Democrats to end their feud and join forces for a new majority in the State Senate. A spokesman for Krueger said the check she had written to Koppell must have gotten “lost in the mail.” Part of the chessboard deal among labor unions, Mayor de Blasio, Governor Cuomo and the State Senators was that all those involved would not actively support primaries against IDC members. Or at least that’s what some people who were part of that deal think.

Well, perhaps Krueger did not get the memo. Because yet another filing shows that she also gave $2,000 to John Liu who is waging an insurgent campaign against IDC member Tony Avella. That donation was made on July 8th, which was also long after the deal had been in place. I reached out to Krueger to see if this too was an errant check that had somehow leaped out of the mail carrier’s bag only to reappear weeks later, just in time to be recorded in the month of July, but this time there was no answer or explanation.

Krueger’s Spokesman Andrew Goldston had said that Krueger endorsed Oliver Koppell in his race, even though there was never any announcement about that, and it was not mentioned when Krueger and Koppell made a joint appearance to discuss campaign finance in the Bronx  this past Spring. Did Krueger endorse John Liu as well? I don’t recall seeing it if she did. Earlier this month, Senate Democrats made it clear they would not be supporting the primaries against IDC certain members despite helping them early on, and encouraging those challengers to run. Sources now say Liu was never part of any deal.

Asked for comment last week, A Senate Democratic Spokesman said the DSCC is not giving any money to Liu or Koppell, but they cannot tell individual members what to do. That should make for a fun session next year, assuming the Democrats can regain power. If I’m not mistaken, the criticism they endured while in power was that they couldn’t control their members, resulting in “dysfunction.” The word almost everybody uses to describe Albany before I got there.



Cuomo Approves Labor Protections For Unpaid Interns

A measure that would extend civil-rights and workplace protections including the ability to bring lawsuits over sexual harassment to unpaid interns was sign into law Tuesday by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

The new law, which takes effect immediately, would extend anti-discrimination protections to unpaid interns when it comes to hiring, firing, or terms of employment as well as retaliation.

Prohibitions against sexual harassment of interns by employers is also codified including both quid pro quo and creating a hostile environment.

The measure is approved about a year after a state court ruled that unpaid interns are not protected by anti-sexual harassment laws.

Extending new labor protections to unpaid interns stemmed from a lawsuit filed by Lihuan Wang, a New York-based intern at Phoenix Satellite Television U.S.

A state judge determined that Wang couldn’t bring the case due to her status as an unpaid intern because she lacked the status of a regular employee.

The new law was one of 91 bills approved on Tuesday by Cuomo.

Mahoney Aide Gets Job In Cuomo Administration

An aide to Republican Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney is joining Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration, her office on Tuesday announced.

Matthew Millea, who holds the title of deputy county executive for physical services, will became the deputy secretary of state for planning and development in August.

“Onondaga County taxpayers have been well served by Deputy County Executive Matt Millea,” Mahoney said in a statement. “Matt did an excellent job for our community whether it was implementing Save the Rain or overseeing millions of dollars in capital improvement programs, he will be missed.”

Taking over for Millea in Onondaga County is Mary Beth Primo, who most recently served as the first chief deputy county attorney and as the top director for economic development.

Mahoney is a close GOP ally of Cuomo both on the fundraising side as well as in government, having served on his anti-corruption Moreland Commission.

Hannon Opponent Endorsed By NARAL (Updated)

Ethan Irwin, the Democratic opponent to Republican Sen. Kemp Hannon, was endorsed on Tuesday by NARAL Pro-Choice New York.

“For the last two years the women of New York have been denied full equality because of partisan politics in the State Senate. As a Senator, I will never play political games with something as important as women’s rights. I will fight to pass Governor Cuomo’s Women’s Equality Act in its entirety, and I am honored that I will do so with NARAL at my side. Working together, we can and we will achieve full equality for women in New York,” Irwin said in a statement.

Women’s issues are coming to the forefront of the election this year as allies of Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo plan to create a ballot line called the Women’s Equality Party.

The new ballot line is being formed to push for the 10-point women’s agenda, which has stalled in the Legislature.

Senate Republicans have passed various provisions of the agenda including pay equity and an anti-human trafficking component, but declined to hold a vote on a measure designed to codify the Roe v. Wade decision in statement.

Hannon defeated Democrat Ryan Cronin in 2012, 58,843 votes to 54,382 votes.

Updated: Senate Republican spokeswoman Kelly Cummings responded in a statement.

“Under Republican leadership, the Senate has already passed a comprehensive women’s equality agenda that would ensure equal pay for equal work, end human trafficking and afford additional protection to the victims of domestic violence, among other critically important measures,” she said. “Those measures would be law today if the Democrats in the State Senate and Assembly hadn’t held them hostage for an extreme provision that would allow non-doctors to perform an abortion right up until the moment of a baby’s birth and put women’s health in jeopardy. New Yorkers overwhelmingly oppose approval of that controversial provision.”

Paterson Blasts Astorino’s Christie Statements

He didn’t call him “little Robbie” this time, but former Gov. David Paterson in a statement from the state Democratic Committee blasted the comments by GOP gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino as “reckless, irresponsible” for suggesting Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Gov. Chris Christie were conspiring to not support the Republican’s campaign.

Astorino on Fred Dicker’s Talk-1300 radio show earlier today said Christie should step down as head of the Republican Governors Association if he was too closely tied to Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Christie, the RGA chairman, has said he has no plans to campaign for Astorino.

But Astorino suggested in the radio interview that if Cuomo and Christie had cut a “side deal” then he shouldn’t be in the position of helping Republicans run for governor.

“If there’s a side deal or a quid pro quo or a handshake between the two of them, he can’t do his job,” Astorino said of Christie.

“Maybe there’s an issue we don’t know about,” he added.

Paterson, the Democratic committee’s chairman, called the comments “not fitting” for a candidate for governor.

“I read Rob Astorino’s quotes calling for Governor Christie to step down from the RGA, and alleging a cover up on Bridgegate as a reason for Christie’s lack of support for Astorino,” Paterson said. “That is a reckless, irresponsible accusation to make with no basis whatsoever, and not fitting for a qualified Gubernatorial candidate. Maybe that’s why his candidacy is not being taken seriously.”

Klein Endorsed By Nassau County PBA

Independent Democratic Conference Leader Jeff Klein’s re-election effort received its latest labor endorsement on Tuesday, earning the nod of the Nassau County Police Benevolent Association.

“On behalf of the Police Benevolent Association, County of Nassau, Inc., the certified bargaining representative for more than 2,500 police officers employed by the Nassau County Police Department, we are pleased to advise you that our Association will endorse your election bid for New York State Senator,” wrote President James Carver.

Klein faces former city Councilman Oliver Koppell in a September primary, one that was initially backed by mainline conference Democrats. Last month, Klein’s IDC agreed to form a new majority coalition after Election Day with the mainline conference of Democrats, and support for Koppell’s primary challenge dropped.

“I’m honored to receive the endorsement of the Nassau County Police Benevolent Association, whose members protect the residents of Long Island. I will continue to ensure that the State Senate is attentive to the needs of the men and women in law enforcement across the state,” Klein said in a statement.

Klein yesterday received the endorsement of the Communication Workers of America, a key labor group within the Working Families Party.

High Unemployment Continues In North Country, NYC

Upstate counties continue to have some of the lowest unemployment in the state, while others along the Canadian border have the highest, Department of Labor statistics show.

At the same time, unemployment in New York City boroughs Queens and the Bronx also show higher-than-average unemployment.

Taken together, the unemployment rate in upstate counties stands at 5.8 percent, while the 10-county downstate region is higher, 6.8 percent.

The three counties with the lowest unemployment in the state are all north of the New York City area: Saratoga, Yates and Tompkins counties.

But unemployment remains consistently high in the North Country, the counties that are contained within the Adirondack Park.

At the same time, unemployment is highest in the Bronx, with a rate of 10 percent.

ur_map by Nick Reisman

Lawyering Up, Ball Pays Tacopina $25K

Less than a week after announcing he wouldn’t run for re-election, Republican state Sen. Greg Ball retained the services of attorney Joe Tacopina for $25,000, his campaign finance filing made public on Tuesday shows.

Ball, a Hudson Valley lawmaker who is stepping down after two terms in the Senate, also reported expenditures from his campaign account dating back to 2007, showing payments for car loans, restaurant tabs, hotel stays and even wine.

Tacopina, a high-profile lawyer who has represented baseball player Alex Rodriguez and former Sen. Hiram Monserrate, has defended Ball’s use of campaign funds and threatened to sue various critics of Ball, including Assemblyman Steve Katz.

Ball’s campaign finances have come under scrutiny in recent weeks after it was revealed his campaign spent money travel without itemizing it.

Ball, of course, is not the only state lawmaker to use campaign funds to pay lawyers.

Both Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, facing a lawsuit over his handling of a sexual harassment case, and the under-indictment Sen. Tom Libous have spent campaign money to pay their legal fees in recent weeks.