Here and Now

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s press office has not yet released his public schedule.

Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie is continuing his tour of Democratic conference member districts outside the five boroughs with a visit to Nassau County, Long Island.

At 9 a.m., Heastie tours Kulanu Academy with Assemblyman Todd Kaminsky, 620 Central Ave., Cedarhurst, Long Island.

At 9:30 a.m., Heastie tours the Achiezer Community Center, 334 Central Ave., Cedarhurst, Long Island.

At 10:15 a.m., Heastie tours Bay Park, 3 North Blvd., East Rockaway.

At 11 a.m., Sen. Tony Avella demands better oversight of the Department of Transportation on sidewalks damaged by city-owned trees, 224-23 Davenport Ave., Queens Village, Queens.

Also at 11 a.m., Sen. David Carlucci joins Environment New York’s Clean Water Campaign and Riverkeeper for the release of a report entitled “Summer Fun Index,” Louis Engel Waterfront Park, Westerly Road, Ossining.

Also at 11 a.m., SUNY holds a special executive committee meeting, SUNY Global Center, 116 E. 55th St., Manhattan.

Also at 11 a.m., Heastie tours the Oceanside Fire Department, 65 Foxhurst Rd., Oceanside.

At 11:40 a.m., Heastie meets with African-American community leaders, Martin Luther King Community Center, 615 Riverside Blvd., Long Beach.

Also at 11:40 a.m., NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio will appear live on the Brian Lehrer Show on WNYC.

At noon, Heastie tours lifted homes rebuilt after Superstorm Sandy, 32 Dalton St., Long Beach.

At 12:30 p.m., Heastie tours the Long Beach Emergency Department, 325 East Bay Dr., Long Beach.

At 1 p.m., Heastie visits the Elmont Memoral Public Library with Assemblywoman Michaelle Solages, 700 Hempstead Turnpike, Elmont.

At 1:15 p.m., NYC Councilman Ruben Wills, city Sanitation Commissioner Kathryn Garcia and Assemblywoman Michelle Titus tour Liberty Avenue to educate local business owners about storefront maintenance, Liberty Avenue and Van Wyck Expressway, Queens.

At 2:30 p.m., state Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia will deliver keynote remarks to Cairo-Durham Central School District teachers during Superintendent’s Conference Day, Cairo-Durham High School, 1301 Route 145, Cairo.

At 3:25 p.m., Heastie visits the Sapienza Bakery, 1376 Hempstead Turnpike, Elmont.

At 4:05 p.m., Heastie tours the Cornell Ruffian Equine Center, 111 Plainfield Ave., Elmont.

At 4:25 p.m., Heastie tours the Belmont Park Train Station, 2150 Hempstead Ave., Elmont.

At 5:30 a.m., GOP presidential hopeful Sen. Lindsey Graham and former Sen. Joe Lieberman will be among the speakers at a “Stop Iran” rally held in front of Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand’s NYC office, 780 3rd Ave., Manhattan.


A group of New York public officials led by Gov. Andrew Cuomo is scheduled to travel to Puerto Rico Sept. 7-8 for a whirlwind 24-hour trip featuring meetings on the island’s economic crisis.

Among those joining Cuomo on his trip will be NYC Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, a native of Puerto Rico; NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer; AG Eric Schneiderman; Health Commissioner Howard Zucker; Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.; and Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie. NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio was not invited to attend.

Columbia University President Lee Bollinger caused a stir by reportedly announcing that President Barack Obama will be coming to the New York-based campus in 2017. The university later clarified that Bollinger was not making a big reveal.

Survival expert Bear Grylls has bagged his biggest celebrity yet for a walk in the wilderness — Obama. NBC and the White House said the president will meet with Grylls during his visit to Alaska to discuss climate change, then spend some time in the wilderness.

A handful of House Democrats, including three from New York, said they would support Obama’s nuclear accord with Iran. Reps. Nydia Velazquez, Yvette Clarke and Gregory Meeks all backed the deal reached in Vienna in July imposes limits on Iran’s nuclear activities in exchange for international sanctions relief.

De Blasio’s deputy mayor for health and human services, Lilliam Barrios-Paoli, will leave the administration at the end of September to chair the board of the city’s Health and Hospitals Corp.

Her departure marks the highest-ranking resignation in de Blasio’s administration during his 20 months in office and comes at a critical time in his tenure when he is being criticized for his handling of the city’s homelessness problem.

Barrios-Paoli, a former Catholic nun, is leaving a $222,182-a-year job to work for free.

De Blasio hosted his first – unannounced – Twitter chat, which featured some negative questioners.

Republican 2016 candidate Donald Trump has lost a battle in his fight against state Eric Schneiderman. The state ethics commission has decided against proceeding with a 2013 ethics complaint that the billionaire developer filed last year against the AG.

NYC Public Advocate Letitia “Tish” James, mentioned as a possible primary challenger to de Blasio in 2017, has joined the fight against his plan to bring 339 new units of affordable and luxury housing to Brooklyn Bridge Park.

An Upper East Side parochial school was closed for cleaning after tests found low levels of the legionella bacteria in a cooling tower.

Disgraced former Assemblyman Vito Lopez’s “dying wish” is reportedly to elevate to Brooklyn Supreme Court the mother of a teen intern he has been accused of sexually harassing.

More >


When it comes to bagels, President Obama is a “big poppy seed guy,” and likes just a “schmear” of cream cheese. He also laments the closure of the iconic NYC bagel bakery H & H.

On Sept. 21, Kirsten Gillibrand will become the first US senator “to address a major cannabis industry event.”

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is reportedly expected to appoint former JCOPE chair, Republican-turned-Democrat Westchester District Attorney Janet DiFiore to the Appeals Court.

Ohio Governor and 2016 Republican candidate John Kasich, who last week secured the endorsement of former New York Sen. Al D’Amato, might soon have another Empire State Republican in his corner: former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani.

Donald Trump continues to dominate the 2016 GOP field, but Dr. Ben Carson – more or less the anti-Trump – is consistently coming in second, and rising.

The total tab for the search for escaped Clinton Correctional Facility convicts David Sweat and Richard Matt has climbed to $12.6 million – up from the figure of about $11.6 million revealed by the state comptroller’s office. The extra million went for miscellaneous expenses like meals, supplies and travel.

State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia insisted her response to the opt-out movement does not entail threats. “I’m just trying to get information out there so people understand it,” she said.

The Manhattan site of an early 20th century slaughterhouse turned warehouse turned NYPD parking lot would become home to an affordable housing complex with other amenities under a de Blasio administration proposal.

The politically-themed sand sculpture at the State Fair includes likenesses of Cuomo and US Sens. Chuck Schumer and Gillibrand, among others.

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio took questions on Twitter today – briefly.

The mayor and his wife, NYC First Lady Chirlane McCray, are hosting a fundraiser on Oct. 20 for the nonprofit that covers the costs of maintaining Gracie Mansion.

American Pharoah shared a plane home to Southern California with the horse who beat him in the Travers Stakes, Keen Ice.

A truck carrying thousands of heads of cabbage overturned in Rochester this morning, causing lane closures on a major regional highway.

Rep. Steve Israel has jury duty.

The top administrator for the Nassau County District Attorney’s Office is a twisted fetishist who wore a chastity belt to work and diapers and a horse tail during sexual foreplay, according to court papers filed by his estranged wife.

Bill Clinton was the “side dish” at a recent Hamptons fundraiser for Democratic 2016 hopeful Hillary Clinton, who was very accessible at the event, according to one attendee.

Republican Onondaga County Legislature Chairman Ryan McMahon wants the county to apply for a state permit to bait and kill the deer around his neighborhood on the far West Side of Syracuse and the town of Onondaga.

Attendance for the opening weekend of the New York State Fair is the best it’s been in at least five years. While Sunday’s attendance dipped slightly from last year’s figure, numbers was up Thursday, Friday and Saturday over last year. As of Sunday night, total fair attendance was 305,480.

Cortland College will investigate whether any students violated its code of conduct by airing a “Freshman Daughter Drop-Off” sign outside an off-campus house.

Kenne, NY made Country Living’s list of 50 small towns in the US with the best fall foliage.

Cuomo To Travel To Puerto Rico

cuomoboltonGov. Andrew Cuomo and a delegation of New York elected officials and cabinet advisors will travel to Puerto Rico for a 48-hour trip on Sept. 7.

The trip to Puerto Rico comes as its debt crisis continues to roil the island. The trip is meant to be a solidarity trip for Puerto Rico as officials in the mainland United States continued to call for federal assistance in order to manage its $72 billion debt.

This will be his first second trip to Puerto Rico since being elected governor (Cuomo traveled there last year during his re-election campaign).

“New York and Puerto Rico have a special relationship bound in heritage, history, culture and family – and when times are tough we stand side by side and offer whatever help we can,” Cuomo said in a statement. “The current situation in Puerto Rico has become unsustainable and is threatening the livelihoods of millions of people – many with strong connections to New York. This trip is about stepping up for Puerto Rico and its people, and I look forward to working together with our partners to help address this crisis.”

The trip will conclude the same day officials have scheduled a “negotiated moratorium” for its debt load.

More >

Reps. Velazquez, Meeks Will Vote ‘Yes” on Iran Deal

Two more members of New York’s congressional delegation announced their support for the Obama administration’s nuclear deal with Iran today, bringing the total number of “yes” votes in the state (so far) to six.

Reps. Nydia Velazquez, of Brooklyn; and Gregory Meeks, of Queens; both announced their respective decisions via press release. (The congresswoman will be a guest on “Inside City Hall” on our sister station NY1 tonight to discuss her position further with host Errol Louis).

“In analyzing this agreement, my fundamental and primary concern was ensuring we stop Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon,” Velazquez said. “An Iran with a nuclear bomb would present an existential threat to Israel, be a destabilizing game changer for the entire region and directly threaten and undermine U.S. security interests. It is a scenario that the world absolutely must avoid.”

Meeks said:

“This is not a perfect deal. There has never been a perfect deal or one that gives the parties to it everything they want. Despite the risks, the agreement has the support of the United Nations Security Council and most countries world-wide. Critically, key partners in the Middle East region and most of our allies consider the JCPOA an important next step after years of coordinated sanctions and diplomatic efforts to push Iran to the negotiating table.”

“… If this plan fails because Iran violates the deal, sanctions will snap back into place. If it succeeds, Iran’s break out time to acquire a nuclear weapon would be significantly extended from the current two to three months to at least oneyear (and this would be 10 years from now at the earliest). Its stockpile of enriched uranium would be reduced by ninety eight percent, and there would be more information about Iran’s program than ever before.”

Prior to these announcements, just four of New York’s House members – Reps. Jose Serrano, of the Bronx; Jerry Nadler, of Manhattan (the lone Jewish member in this column); Paul Tonko, of Amsterdam; and Louise Slaughter, of Rochester – said they supported the deal, while 14 oppose it and the remainder have not yet expressed a position.

The deal has also divided New York’s two US senators, with Chuck Schumer opposed and Kirsten Gillibrand supporting.

It’s possible the House and US Senate could pass a resolution blocking the president from lifting sanctions on Iran, but it appears unlikely they could muster the two-third vote in both chambers necessary to override the veto he has pledged will be forthcoming if they go that route.

Stewart-Cousins Sidesteps Tkaczyk’s WEP Push

womensequalitySenate Minority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins in a radio interview Monday sidestepped a question about former Sen. Cecilia Tkaczyk’s efforts to install alternative rules to the Women’s Equality Party, a ballot line formed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo during last year’s election.

In an interview on WCNY’s The Capitol Pressroom, the Yonkers Democrat said it is “good that women are involved” in the party, which achieved ballot status through the current election cycle after Cuomo and his running mate, Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul, received more than 50,000 votes on the line.

“If we’re going to have a Women’s Equality Party, I think it’s good that women are involved,” Stewart-Cousins said in the interview. “I think it’s good that we support the broadest possible issues in terms of women’s equality and bolstering our opportunities in this state.”

Tkaczyk last week submitted alternative rules to be considered for the fledgling party, whose interim chairwoman is Barbara Fiala, a former Cuomo administration cabinet member now running for Senate in the Southern Tier. More >

Fiala Transfers $144K To Senate Campaign

fialaIn a little-noticed move last week, Democrat Barbara Fiala transferred the balance from her old county executive campaign to a new account aimed at winning a state Senate.

Filings posted on the Board of Elections website show Fiala transferred $144,733 from a previously established account for her Broome County executive campaign to the new Senate race on Aug. 23.

Fiala, a former commissioner of the Department of Motor Vehicles, faces Republican Fred Akshar in the race to replace ousted Sen. Tom Libous. Records also show that Fiala in April spent $3,000 on polling, months after she left the governor’s cabinet and before Libous’s corruption trial started.  More >

Paladino Criticizes Fox’s Trump Coverage

paladinoThe 2010 Republican gubernatorial candidate has a message for Fox News and its chairman, Roger Ailes: Get on the Donald Trump train before its too late.

In an essay sent to supporters via email, Buffalo businessman Carl Paladino, a supporter of Trump’s presidential bid, takes Ailes to task for backing an “old guard” who boosted Mitt Romney and now Jeb Bush’s White House campaigns.

Ailes and Trump this summer began a publicly heated feud that erupted this month after the real-estate mogul and GOP candidate criticized the debate questions leveled by Megyn Kelly.

“Hey Roger Ailes, you and FOX are missing the political revolution of our lifetimes,” Paladino wrote in the email. “You can no longer hide your allegiance to the Old Guard and 50 Billionaires who want to give us another Romney who thought that having off shore accounts and siding with the 1% against the 99% wouldn’t be noticed and would win the day. Your candidate, Bush the wimp, looks like a deer in the headlights. He rings no bells with the rank and file. Afraid of his own shadow he’s on his way to the graveyard of political has-beens.”

As Politico New York noted this morning, Paladino has seized on the presidential campaign of Trump and his ability to upend the political establishment. Paladino himself has appeared on Fox Business, a sister network to Fox News. More >

ASC: Fiala Will Have Resources For Senate Bid

ascDemocratic Senate hopeful Barbara Fiala will have the resources to mount a competitive campaign, Minority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins said Monday in a radio interview.

Still, Stewart-Cousins wouldn’t (or couldn’t) say whether any funds from the state Democratic Committee — which is controlled by Gov. Andrew Cuomo — have flowed into Fiala’s campaign coffers.

“I can’t tell you, but I can tell you as I’ve said before that Barb Fiala is an excellent candidate,” Stewart-Cousins said on WCNY’s The Capitol Pressroom. “She is someone who is committed to the Southern Tier and very much wants to represent the area.”

Fiala launched her bid for the state Senate seat held by Republican former Sen. Tom Libous, a top-ranking lawmaker who was ousted from his seat in July following a conviction on a charge of lying to the FBI. More >

Hassell-Thompson: Strengthen Policing In Suburban, Upstate Cities

gunsAfter a rash of gang-related gun violence in upstate and suburban cities across the state, Democratic Sen. Ruth Hassell-Thompson is calling on Gov. Andrew Cuomo and elected officials in Washington to boost police support.

In particular, Hassell-Thompson wants “immediate and sustained deployment” of the State Police to cities like Mount Vernon, Yonkers, Rochester, Albany and Syracuse to help fight gang-related violence.

“Inner city communities are drowning in taxes and cannot afford the financial commitment to stamp out gang and gun violence,” Hassell-Thompson said in a statement. “I have no wish to create a “police state” however, the temporary deployment of state troopers from low crime areas to high crime areas could be managed without raising local taxes.”

Hassell-Thompson is a Democratic candidate for mayor of Mount Vernon this year. More >

Sugarman Responds To Larkin Probe Request

IMG_1567From the Morning Memo:

The chief enforcement counsel at the state Board of Elections will give the “appropriate attention” to a request from the Orange County Democratic chairman to investigate the campaign finances of Republican Sen. Bill Larkin.

“This office treats all allegations as a serious matter,” Enforcement Counsel Risa Sugarman wrote in the letter dated Aug. 24. “I can assure you this will receive the appropriate attention of my staff.”

Democratic Chairman Brett Broge this month in a letter to Sugarman highlighted Larkin’s failure to report contributions and expenditures during the January through July reporting cycle. More >