Sanders And de Blasio Meet

On the same day he addressed the New York delegation at a breakfast earlier this morning in Philadelphia, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders met with New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, his office said.

The meeting lasted about 45 minutes and included First Lady Chirlane McCray and Jane Sanders.

The conversation was on the “future of progressive politics and the need to build on the grassroots success of Senator Sanders’ campaign,” de Blasio’s team said.

At the same time, they also discussed how to improve voter access for the young and disenfranchised.

De Blasio has been a supporter of Hillary Clinton’s, but he initially balked at endorsing her candidacy, even as most of the state’s Democrats lined up behind her second bid for the presidency.

The mayor eventually did back Clinton and campaign — door-to-door style — in Iowa ahead of the caucuses.

Earlier in the day, Sanders urged Democrats in New York to unite behind Clinton’s campaign for president, a speech that Gov. Andrew Cuomo credited with helping build party unity.

Cuomo Insists A Federal Job, Cabinet Or Otherwise, Is Not In The Cards

Gov. Andrew Cuomo wants to stay the governor, with no plans to take a job in a new Clinton administration or run for president himself, he insisted to reporters on Tuesday in Philadelphia.

“I want to run for governor,” Cuomo said amid questions about his political ambitions. “Are you trying to get me out of the governor’s race? I’m staying in New York.”

Four years ago, Cuomo attended the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte for less than a day, traveling there to watch President Obama’s renomination speech.

This year, Cuomo is taking a more visible role at the convention here in Philadelphia, attending forums and workshops and promoting Hillary Clinton’s candidacy.

It’s a shift, given his desire early in his time as governor to not travel outside of the state for more than a full day, least he be accused of stoking White House ambitions.

Cuomo indicated he’s in Philadelphia this year in part given the truculent nature of some of the Bernie Sanders supporters, saying this convention is “more difficult because of the division.”

His father’s 1984 convention speech, which catapulted then-Gov. Mario Cuomo into the national spotlight, also added a dash of klieg lighting to the Capitol the son sought to avoid.

“There’s no doubt the national narrative is a distraction,” Cuomo said. “I’ve been in a Clinton cabinet, thank you very much. Had a great eight years. I have no interest in serving in a Clinton cabinet. I have just an interest in serving as governor of New York.”

Should Clinton lose this November, Cuomo could still run in 2020, when he turns 62 that December.

Buffalo Mayor Brown: ‘I’m Not Thinking About A (New) Job’

The Democratic National Convention is Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown’s first major test as chairman of the state Democratic party. Brown was took the position last month after he was nominated at the executive committee meeting in May.

At the convention this week, he’s running many of the New York delegation meetings, including the daily breakfast. He also fills in as delegation chairman when Gov. Andrew Cuomo, D-New York, is not on the convention floor.

“A couple of days ago I got in at about 4:15 in the morning. I was up the next day in meetings, getting briefings, didn’t finish up that day until about 1 o’clock in the morning, so very long days,” Brown said.

He’s also balancing his duties as Buffalo mayor. Brown said he’s been tethered to his cell phone, keeping up with emails and text messages back home.

There’s been plenty of speculation about Brown’s future, now in his third term as mayor. A close ally of Governor Cuomo, political observers saw him as a prime candidate for lieutenant governor the past two times the position was open. When Cuomo backed him for the party chairmanship, many of them believed it was a reward for his patience.

“He’s risen up through the Democratic ranks and now is a long-term senior Democratic elected official within the state Democratic party and his power has grown because of that.” SUNY Buffalo State associate professor of political science Peter Yacobucci said.

Yacobucci believes the time when Brown might have joined the Cuomo administration has passed, but he said this week could be an audition for another job.

“My guess is, if he wanted to move, because of the support that he has consistently provided Hillary Clinton, if Hillary Clinton wins the election, an offering will be made to him to be a secretary or an under-secretary in one of the departments within the executive branch,” he said.

Capital Tonight reporter Nick Reisman asked Brown whether he’d consider working for Clinton in the future if she’s elected president. The chairman sidestepped it.

“I’m not thinking about a job. I’m thinking about the future of this nation, the kind of country we want for our children and our families and so the work that I’m doing is to elect the next president,” he said.



Day Two of the 2016 Democratic National Convention, and Democrats are trying hard to be the tumult and divisions of yesterday behind them. That could be difficult, though, since the roll call vote is the first major order of business this afternoon.

Sanders supporters will have one last chance to express their love for up/upset over Hillary Clinton during that vote. A Sanders spokesman said near the end of the tally, the Vermont delegation could move to make the Clinton nomination unanimous by acclamation.

After that’s over, the speeches get underway, with a number of New Yorkers scheduled to take the stage, including U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer and Queens Rep. Joe Crowley. Also on tap: “Mothers of the Movement,” women who lost family members to deadly interactions with police officers.

Celebrity appearances tonight include: Actresses Lena Dunham and America Fererra and singer Alicia Keys, who seemed in fine vocal form when she did her sound check this afternoon.

The keynote speech this evening will be delivered by former President Bill Clinton, who was in the convention hall last night and appeared to very much enjoy First Lady Michelle Obama’s turn at the podium. He’s the only speaker scheduled in the 10 p.m. prime time hour, so it will probably be a stemwinder. Also, there’s a film to be introduced by actress Meryl Streep.

Some headlines to keep you busy while we’re waiting for the action to begin…

Unlike four years ago in North Carolina, when didn’t even spend a full day at the convention, Gov. Andrew Cuomo is spending multiple days – and holding multiple events – here in Philly.

Cuomo announced the “topping off” of the new Albany Capital Center, marking the completion of the steel construction phase of the new convention center downtown.

If Hillary Clinton wins the White House, it’s unclear, exactly, what her husband will do with himself. If he’s idle with a lot of time on his hands, it could be trouble.

The dress First Lady Michelle Obama chose for her convention speech had a lot of meaning.

Michelle Obama has now delivered two speeches that were very tough on Trump — albeit without mentioning him by name in either – and he has responded, uncharacteristically, with silence. Maybe because he (like his wife) is a fan?

The FLOTUS for president movement is well underway.

U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer courted Sanders supporters at the New York delegation breakfast this morning, pledging: “I’ll tell you, when I’m majority leader we’re going to change the trade laws in America.”

The RNC is gleefully promoting Day One discord at the Democrats’ convention in Philly.

Former Rep. Anthony Weiner says he would end his retirement to keep Donald Trump Jr. from becoming New York City’s mayor. “I’d come out of a retirement just to beat him like a rented mule,” he told FOX News.

Fans of “The Bachelorette” blasted Sanders on Twitter after his speech at the convention disrupted the show’s two-hour broadcast.

Former DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who was booed by members of her own Florida delegation here in Philly, could be in trouble back home. The campaign of her primary challenger, law professor Tim Canova, says it has raised more than $100,000 since she stepped down from her party post.

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio praised Democrats for ousting Wasserman Schultz, saying emails that showed party bias against Sanders “did not represent our values.”

The hacker who claims to have stolen emails from the DNC and provided them to WikiLeaks is actually an agent of the Russian government and part of an orchestrated attempt to influence U.S. media coverage surrounding the presidential election, a security research group concluded.

Senate Minority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins said that Democrats are trying to be united at every level of government, and do not intend to mount primary challenges against members of the IDC, unlike 2014, when they ran candidates against some IDC members.

A Cuomo aide says the governor wants a Democrat-controlled state Senate and will campaign with candidates “as election season ramps up.” Given his history on this issue, some Democrats are (understandably) skeptical.

Actress Susan Sarandon, a major Sanders sportier, confirmed on Twitter that she is having the “worst time” at the convention.

New York is extending the hours of operation at state pools, parks and beaches during the ongoing heatwave. The governor called this “the perfect way to beat the heat.”

An Assembly oversight panel is holding a hearing next week to press the Cuomo administration’s economic development agency for information about the Start-UP NY program, as well as the Buffalo Billion and other job creation efforts, the committee’s chairman said.

U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara’s office says that a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision is irrelevant to the case of ex-Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, who was convicted on public corruption charges last year, and that he should not remain free while appealing.

John Faso, a Kinderhook Republican and former assemblyman who is running for Congress in NY-19, was just called up for jury duty in a sexual assault case. He was excused.

KeyCorp remains on track to close its deal for First Niagara Financial Group on Aug. 1, Key officials said.

Cuomo: Sanders Helped Unite NY Democrats

Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday credited Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’s appearance at a breakfast gathering of the Democratic delegation from New York with uniting the fractious party.

“You had a divided group in that room,” Cuomo told reporters in Philadelphia. “You’ve had Sanders supporters who were not yet ready to fully accept Hillary. That room was probably 60-40 Hillary supporters. But they stood up and they were unified.”

Sanders urged his supporters in the New York delegation to support Hillary Clinton’s presidential bid, part of a series of delegation appearances he made during the morning.

While Sanders sought to unite Democrats in New York, he also boosted Cuomo’s own standing with liberals, who have not always seen Cuomo has a steadfast ideological ally.

Sanders similarly urged delegates at the convention to back Clinton’s bid against Donald Trump, the Republican nominee, and has tried to calm the vocal supporters who wanted him to continue to push for the nomination.

At the breakfast, Sanders pointed to Cuomo’s push for a $15 minimum wage as well as paid family leave, part of a series of accomplishments the governor can claim on the left side of the political spectrum.

“It was nice that he came and he acknowledged New York’s leadership on those issues,” Cuomo said. “And not just New York talks about it, New York did it.”

Cuomo has often touted New York as a leader on liberal issues such as gun control and civil rights, especially on same-sex marriage.

“I am a Hillary Clinton supporter, but I’m also a progressive governor,” Cuomo said. “This state is the progressive bellwether for the rest of the nation.”

Cuomo is often described as representing a moderate, Clinton-oriented wing of the Democratic Party, which has declined in influence over the years as more liberal advocates reject the “third way” politics of the 1990s.

Cuomo doesn’t think this is just a symptom of the Democratic Party, however.

“The world has become more progressive,” Cuomo said. “I believe it’s partially demographics, because young people are more progressive.”

Cuomo On Backing Democratic Senate: ‘I Support Democrats’

Whenever Gov. Andrew Cuomo is periodically asked about whether he will actively support a Democratic majority of the state Senate, he says a lot, without saying much at all.

That happened again on Tuesday, with Cuomo speaking with reporters in the middle of his first day in Philadelphia at the Democratic National Convention.

In short: Cuomo once again said he is backing Democratic candidates, but in the same breath insists he’s focused on “getting stuff done” for New York, which requires working with Republicans.

“It’s a game. You guys like to play the game. It’s not an honest game,” Cuomo said of state Senate political questions. “I govern, right? Every four years we have an election, every two years we have a legislative election. Everyday I govern. To get any bill passed, I have to work with Democrats and Republicans.”

Democrats in the Senate as well as liberal advocates have questioned Cuomo’s liberal bonafides in part because of his hesitance to support a full takeover of the chamber by his won party. They argue he should open up some of the $19 million that sits in his campaign war chest to help them.

Cuomo, of course, has some counter examples of what happens when a Democratic politician who needs to govern — Bill de Blasio and Eliot Spitzer chief among them — try to go to war with Senate Republicans.

Republicans hold a narrow majority in the state Senate, their last remaining toehold of official power in Democratic heavy New York.

“The people make the decision, not me,” Cuomo said of the Senate’s composition. “The people chose a Republican Senate, not me. Well, you should reject the peoples’ choice. I’m governor, not king.”

Cuomo at the same time has emphasized liberal goals in Albany, including an increase in the minimum wage to $15, measures that have been approved with held from the GOP conference.

Cuomo on Tuesday appeared with Bernie Sanders, the Vermont senator who challenged Hillary Clinton for the nomination, in a show of unity.

“To become hypoerpolitical I think violates your oath of office,” Cuomo said. “Now, in an election year, I support Democrats. They have to be people of integrity, but I support Democrats.”

Katko’s 2nd Ad Features Democratic Testimonial

Freshman Republican Rep. John Katko, one of the Democrats’ top targets in the November elections, has released his second TV ad of the campaign, again trying to position himself as a pragmatist who is willing to work across the aisle to represent a closely divided district that has traded hands several times over the past several years.

The spot features two registered Democrats – John and Tina Socci of Cayuga County – who have been dramatically impacted by the state’s opioid/heroin epidemic, according to the Katko campaign.

The Soccis lost their daughter, Katie, five years ago when she was killed by her ex-fiancé – a man addicted to opiate-based painkillers. And then two years later, the Socci family lost their son, Chris, to a heroin overdose.

The couple has worked with the congressman in his efforts to address this crisis. In the ad they call him “a very good ally” and someone who understands the “danger of drugs,” thanks to his experience as a former federal prosecutor.

Katko is facing off in the NY-24 general election against Democrat Colleen Deacon, a former aide of U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, who won a three-way primary in June.

Deacon and the DCCC have sought to portray Katko as in lock step with his fellow Republicans, particularly presidential nominee Donald Trump, though the congressman has declined to formally endorse the New York businessman’s candidacy.

Katko’s new ad is starting to air immediately on broadcast and cable stations. The campaign did not provide any information on the size of the buy. Here’s the script:

“Our daughter was killed five years ago by her ex-fiancé.

He had become addicted to opiate-based painkillers and he strangled Katie to death…in front of their 18-month-old daughter.

Just over two years later, our son passed away…on his 25th birthday…from a heroin overdose.

We have adopted our granddaughter. I hope she grows up in a better world than this. We can’t bring back our son or our daughter, but we can help.

We know that John Katko is willing to do whatever it takes. Whatever it takes to battle drug abuse, to battle domestic violence.

John Katko has helped us. John Katko has been a very good ally.

As a federal prosecutor, he knows the danger of drugs.

When John Katko tells you he is going to do something, he does it.

John Katko has earned the right to continue this fight.”

Continue This Fight from John Katko for Congress on Vimeo.

Women Reflect On Clinton’s History-Making Bid

Tonight, Democrats are slated to officially nominate the first woman to head a major-party presidential ticket.

And for women in New York, it’s a major statement of the direction of the country, it’s politics and for future generations.

“Hillary Clinton has made it possible for girls and boys to see a woman run for president and see that it’s not unusual,” said Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner.

Only two women in New York hold statewide office: Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul and U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand.

Assemblywoman Deborah Glick, a Manhattan Democrat, pointed to only a quarter or so the 213 legislative seats in the Senate and Assembly being held by women.

“It’s hard to believe that in 2016, only 27 percent of those seats are held by women,” she said.

Glick readily agreed with the sentiment, too, that opposition to Clinton is fueled some respects by sexism.

“I don’t think there’s any question,” she said. “As far as we’ve come, we take 10 steps back.”

Repeatedly, however, women in elected office in New York returned to the theme of the impact of seeing a woman nominated for president on children, especially young girls. It’s an emotion not dissimilar to ones black voters felt when Barack Obama was first nominated in 2008 for president.

“It says this is the greatest country in the world,” said Christine Quinn, the former New York City council speaker and vice chair of the state party. “Problems that have dogged us for hundreds of years — racism, sexism, anti-Semitism — they will still be with us, but it says we take them on.”

Tonight, Quinn said, she’ll be thinking about her grand nieces watching Clinton be officially nominated.

“They’re going to watch TV tonight and see a woman nominated to be president of the United States,” she said. “Their little minds are never going to be full of the thought that only a man can be president of the United States.”

Derrick Keeps Trade Heat On Stefanik

Mike Derrick, the Democrat challenging Republican Rep. Elise Stefanik in NY-21, has released his second TV ad hammering her for her support of fast tracking the controversial trade deal known as TPP (the Trans Pacific Partnership).

As he did in his first ad, Derrick notes that Donald Trump is against TPP, and this time he throws Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders into the mix for good measure.

“Trump and Bernie don’t agree on much, but they’re right that we need to stop unfair trade deals,” Derrick says in the ad. “Say no to TPP. And take on both parties in Washington.”

Again, Derrick is trying to appeal to the middle with this ad, specifically independents, who could very well be the swing vote in this race, though the presence of the Green Party candidate, Matt Funiciello, does likely cut into Derrick’s Democrat support (particularly with those die-hard Sanders supporters).

Stefanik’s campaign has gone to great lengths to stress that what the congresswoman supported and voted “yes” on was TPA, not TPP, crossing party lines to support President Obama’s request for fast track authority to negotiate trade agreements – something on which a number of the president’s fellow Democrats disagree, including Hillary Clinton, though she supported TPP before she was against it.

In the press release that accompanies this ad, Derrick’s campaign notes that a number of Stefanik’s fellow House Republicans – Reps. Chris Collins, Chris Gibson, and John Katko – opposed both fast-tracking and supporting the TPP.

Again, no word on the size of the buy for this ad or the duration of time it will run.

Cuomo, Facing Liberal Skeptics, Brings Sanders To NY Delegation

Gov. Andrew Cuomo brought a major liberal validator with him to a breakfast meeting of the New York delegation in Philadelphia on Tuesday: Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.

The joint appearance by both men sharing the stage was a mutually beneficial one: Cuomo needs to bolster his liberal credentials with skeptics on the left, while Sanders has been working overtime at the Democratic National Convention to nudge his supporters into backing Hillary Clinton for president.

And for Sanders’s New York fans — of which there are many in the delegation — it was like being dragged to a Dave Matthews Band concert, but with Phish as a surprise opening.

Both men bounded up on stage to chants of “Ber-nie! Ber-nie!” and sustained applause.

“We believe in progressive politics, we don’t just talk the talk, we walk the walk,” Cuomo said, his voice rising.

Cuomo, who had criticized Sanders’s record during the presidential primary campaign on his gun control record singled out the Vermont lawmaker’s advocacy for affordable housing, an issue that’s especially personal to him.

Sanders, meanwhile, returned the favor, praising Cuomo’s recent efforts on increasing the minimum wage in the New York City metropolitan area to $15 over the next several years and creating a 12-week paid family leave program.

“Our first task is to make sure that Hillary Clinton is elected our next president,” Sanders said to applause from the delegation. “Our second task, in my view, is to continue the political revolution whose goal is nothing less than transforming this country.”

Sanders handily lost the state’s April presidential primary to Clinton, but he draws strong support from liberals, including pockets of upstate New York.

Cuomo, meanwhile, has worked over the last several years to shore up support from the left after a first term accomplishments that include caps on spending in the budget, limits to local property tax increases and other methods of fiscal restraint following the recession.

Though that first term included a signature gun control law and the landmark passage of same-sex marriage, Cuomo’s foes on the left felt he was inconsistent, especially when it came to public-secotr labor and education.

In 2014, Cuomo faced a stronger-than-expected primary challenge on the left from Zephyr Teachout, now a Democratic candidate for Congress in the 19th district.

Liberals remain skeptical, however, Cuomo is truly on their side, pointing to what they see as half-hearted attempts at public financing of political campaigns and flipping control of the Senate to his own party.

At the same time, he remains mired on an ongoing feud with the liberal mayor of New York City, Bill de Blasio.

But even as Cuomo places a new emphasis on liberal issues, he has often stuck to a philosophy that is about reaching accomplishments and working with Republicans to secure legislative victories.

It’s a stance that is shared in many ways with Hillary Clinton, whose campaign for president has faced the same populist headwinds Cuomo sailed into in New York.