Aug 29th - 6:30 am
From the Morning Memo:
The Communications Workers of America has endorsed Democratic Senate hopeful Ryan Cronin in his bid to unseat Republican incumbent Kemp Hannon.
The endorsement from CWA District 1 — a union that represents more than 150,000 workers — comes as the Cronin-Hannon race is among a handful of top tier battleground districts for control of the Senate this fall.
“I’m proud to receive CWA’s endorsement and the support of their hardworking men and women on Long Island,” Cronin said in a statement.
“Working families are tired of the same old failed leaders in Albany who use their experience in government to enrich themselves. CWA has been a driving force behind reducing the corrupting influence of money in politics and I look forward to standing with them as they fight for stronger ethics reforms and good-paying jobs.”
CWA is a labor group that is especially close with the labor-allied Working Families Party. Still, Hannon has received a number of labor endorsements in his own re-election effort for the Long Island district, including the politically key 1199/SEIU and the Civil Service Employees Association.
“Our members are sick and tired of politics as usual and are ready for real leadership in Albany,” said Dennis Trainor, the CWA District 1 vice president.
“We know that Ryan will fight to make it more affordable to live here, create good jobs and will clean up corruption in Albany by supporting strong ethics reforms. Our members will be working hard to deliver real change by electing Ryan to the State Senate this November.”
Aug 29th - 5:45 am
From the Morning Memo:
Republican former Senator Tom Libous died in May, but the effort to clear his name isn’t over, as his estate is seeking to essentially nullify his corruption conviction.
“The case is not over. Many trials get reversed,” said Paul DerOhannesian, the Libous family attorney. “There are many innocent people who are convicted of murder and are released. We saw that in New York City just this week. That’s why you want to have a full and complete process before a conviction is finalized.”
Libous was convicted last year of lying to the FBI in a case stemming from his son receiving a job at a politically connected law firm.
He still was pursuing an appeal of his conviction when he died on May 3. But without him able to challenge the conviction, his attorney Paul DerOhannesian says he still should have the right to a challenge.
And with Libous no longer alive, a successful challenge could mean the conviction isn’t just overturned, but erased entirely.
“What happens is, it’s as though there has never been an indictment or a conviction because the law feels very strongly that a person should not bare the cross and the stigma of a conviction without the opportunity to fully challenge all aspects of a criminal case,” DerOhannesian said.
Continuing to pursue the case, even after his death, was a final wish of Libous’s, who is survived by his wife and two sons.
“Tom Libous felt strongly about that. He felt strongly about his innocence,” DerOhannesian said. “He felt strongly about helping other people in pursuing this.”
If successful, DerOhannesian says the move could mean some forfeiture fines sought by the federal government would not have to be paid.
Aug 29th - 5:05 am
Gov. Andrew Cuomo is in New York City with no public schedule.
At 10 a.m., Rep. Elise Stefanik will appear with local business officials and receive an endorsement from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, DA Collins Companies, 269 Ballard Rd., Wilton.
At 10:30 a.m., Assemblywoman Claudia Tenney, Republican nominee in NY-23, holds event to announce her endorsement by a sitting member of Congress from New York and kick off her trade and manufacturing week, Fiber Instrument Sales, 161 Clear Rd., Oriskany.
Also at 10:30 a.m., Sen. Jose Peralta and community leaders call on the New York state Liquor Authority to stop granting on premise liquor licenses for new nightclubs along Roosevelt Avenue, 78th Street and Roosevelt Avenue, Queens.
At noon, LG Kathy Hochul addresses students and faculty about Cuomo’s “Enough is Enough” initiative to combat sexual assault on college campuses, SUNY Geneseo, Doty Hall, Park Street, Geneseo.
At 1:15 p.m., Hochul highlights the state’s investment in NYS parks, Letchworth State Park Nature Center, Castile.
At 6 p.m., NYC Councilman Robert Cornegy, Jr., Bed-Stuy Gateway BID and Community Board #3 hold a town hall meeting on a proposed homeless shelter for Bedford-Stuyvesant, Restoration Plaza, 1360 Fulton St., Brooklyn.
The state’s affordable housing agency, Homes and Community Renewal, is among the state agencies that have been subpoenaed by Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara in the ongoing investigation into the Cuomo administration and several upstate development deals.
Donald Trump challenged Hillary Clinton to release “detailed medical records” and said he would have “no problem” releasing his own.
Libertarian presidential nominee Gary Johnson said it’s “game over” on any chance of winning the White House if he does not make it to the debate stage.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo posted photos on his Twitter account last night showcasing a 154.5-pound thresher shark he caught off the South Shore earlier in the day. Joining the governor on the fishing outing was his brother, CNN anchor Chris Cuomo, according to a Twitter post from Cuomo’s chief of staff Melissa DeRosa, who was tweeting in the wake of her marriage Saturday at the Sagamore.
Not everyone was thrilled, as thresher sharks — although legal to catch — are listed as vulnerable to extinction by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.
In the fight for control of the state Senate, Democrats have begun aggressively using Trump as their bogeyman to help raise money for their candidates in crucial Long Island races.
With Trump still telling his people he wants to compete in his home state of New York despite polls showing him trailing badly, a source tells Ken Lovett his local team has developed a plan to do it that would include three in-state visits from the candidate.
Documents suggest that NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio has turned to the real estate industry’s chief lobbying group, REBNY, as an intermediary to press Albany politicians on a matter beyond its traditional scope: the city’s public school system.
A little more than a year after de Blasio swore that his son, Dante, would never cut his signature Afro, a photo emerged yesterday showing the teen with a new, shorter hairdo.
NYC Republicans have won state Board of Elections approval for a new “Stop de Blasio” line on the November ballot that will allow voters unhappy with the mayor — and perhaps Trump as well — to back their two Assembly candidates without having to vote the GOP party line.
The first of three scheduled legislative hearings on water quality and the PFOA crisis will take place tomorrow in Hoosick Falls.
Nearly a third of all of NYC adults said they had not had intercourse or oral sex in a year, according to the latest 2014 statistics. That was the highest number since 2002, when the department first started keeping public records on the question.
While his wife, Huma Abedin, travels the country campaigning for Clinton, disgraced ex-Rep. Anthony Weiner has been sexting with a busty brunette out West — and even sent her a crotch shot with his toddler son in the picture, The NY Post reports.
Aug 28th - 4:28 pm
Zika could cause major problems in the Big Apple if city health officials don’t start discouraging people from traveling to hotbeds in the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico, according to former LG Betsy McCaughey.
An investigation by the New York Times uncovered a long history of racial bias at Donald Trump’s family properties – both in the state and outside it.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie defended Trump’s claim that African-Americans should vote for him this fall because they “have nothing to lose.”
Christie blamed Hillary Clinton for starting a campaign fight over bigotry during an appearance on ABC’s This Week.
Trump is casually preparing for the upcoming presidential debates with informal sessions held at his New Jersey golf course, while Clinton is “methodically” researching issues and rehearsing lines.
Clinton’s lead over Trump has shrunk to just three percentage points, a new Morning Consult poll showed. She is beating him in a head-to-head matchup 43-40 nationally.
Experts are questioning Clinton’s broadband plan, saying it’s both ambitious and expensive.
Clinton met with intelligence officials for a two-hour security briefing Saturday morning, her first since winning the Democratic presidential nomination.
When Brooklyn Assemblyman William Boyland Jr. was sentenced for stealing from the taxpayers a year ago, he owed a lot of people a lot of money. Getting that money, it turns out, wasn’t so simple.
Eighty-six private agencies rake in millions of taxpayer dollars to help NYC’s Administration for Children’s Services care for New York’s most vulnerable kids — and their CEOs get big bucks.
U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer said he would propose legislation creating a national registry tracking cancer rates among U.S. firefighters, something he said would help researchers root out toxic building materials.
G. Steven Pigeon’s shadow looms large over 143rd Assembly District race, given candidate Kristy Mazurek’s long association with the political operative. Her opponent, Moncia Wallace, is devoting much of her campaign to linking the indicted Pigeon to Mazurek, who in turn, defends herself as an independent Democrat waging her own effort.
These are trying times for police, firefighters and medical first responders. Hardly a day goes by when they are not responding to an opioid overdose. More lives are saved than lost, thanks in part to the antidote Narcan, but there is an emotional toll for those on the front lines of the opioid epidemic.
Former NYPD Commissioner Raymond Kelly said he agrees with Bill Bratton that officers’ disciplinary records should not be made public. He said he tried to cut off the media’s access to those records when he was in office, but was told by department attorneys he couldn’t do it.
Lightly-raced Arrogate, a colt who before Saturday had faced only 15 opponents total in four career races, flattened his Travers Stakes opponents by 13½ lengths in front of 48,630 at Saratoga Race Course.
Of the 237 days when thoroughbred horses compete on the New York Racing Association’s calendar, the 40 days at Saratoga Race Course are among its best attended and most wagered on.
Less than six months after emerging from bankruptcy as property of billionaire Carl Icahn, the Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City, N.J., is slated for shutdown, an event that has been both threatened and predicted for years
A Brooklyn Supreme Court judge, Laura Jacobson, has filed a $5 million lawsuit against the Brooklyn Democratic Party after she wasn’t approved for re-election by a screening committee.
The political-consulting firms that helped Mayor Bill de Blasio get elected in 2013 have hauled in at least $10.6 million from the mayor’s campaigns and charities over the past six years, a NY Post analysis of public records shows.
As pressure mounts to reduce violence at the troubled NYC jails, top correction bosses — seeking to create the impression they have turned matters around — repeatedly order underlings to downgrade incidents, a Daily News review of scores of internal documents shows.
The director of the state Committee on Open Government said in an advisory opinion that Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office and the state department of Housing and Community Renewal should not hold back from release otherwise public documents based merely on the contention that they might relate to an ongoing federal probe of upstate development deals.
As Cuomo ponders a bill to curb Airbnb, the online booking service said it’s policing its website to remove commercial operators in the city, addressing a chief complaint of critics who say it promotes illegal hotels and effectively takes scarce apartments out of circulation.
The governor expects to sign the so-called brunch bill into law “shortly,” according to a spokesman.
The company that runs a call center for Access-A-Ride, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s service for people with disabilities, and the union that represents its workers have reached an agreement to raise their wages to at least $15 an hour by 2018, the union announced.
The Web address Harlem politician Robert Jackson used to run for Manhattan borough president has been taken over by a German company promising to fix readers’ sexual-performance problems.
The TU launches a four-part series on why there aren’t more women serving in elected office.
The conviction of the late Deputy Senate Majority Leader Tom Libous on charges of lying to the FBI may be reversed after his death. The Binghamton Republican’s attorney filed papers last week with a federal appeals court to have his client’s conviction vacated.
New York’s Maine-Endwell team won the U.S. title, and will play South Korea today for the Little League World Series crown.
Assemblyman Karl Brabenec’s petition to run for re-election on the United Monroe ballot line has at least 31 instances in which his campaign incorrectly altered the addresses of voters who live outside the 98th Assembly district and were ineligible to sign the petition, wrongly placing each of them in towns inside the district.
The sister of pop music star Mariah Carey was arrested Friday in Saugerties on a prostitution charge. Police arrested Alison A. Carey, Mariah’s older sister, after an investigation found her soliciting money in exchange for sexual favors from an undercover police officer posing as a client.
If Domenic Broccoli’s plans come to fruition, America’s largest Revolutionary War burial ground will be transformed into an International House of Pancakes.
A New York City taxi driver challenging the constitutionality of mandated GPS-tracking of cabs has gotten a red light from a federal appeals court.
Congratulations to Melissa DeRosa, Cuomo’s chief of staff; and Matt Wing, former Cuomo spokesman, who tied the knot at the Sagamore on Lake George this weekend. (The governor was among attendees).
Aug 26th - 4:45 pm
The party Gov. Andrew Cuomo says he established to tackle women’s issues isn’t actually doing anything to help women, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer declared bluntly at an Equality Day rally today.
In an interview with MSNBC’s Morning Joe, Clinton said she was sure that there were no foundation ties that could harm her chance of becoming president.
Trump’s apparent pivot away from his calls for mass deportations of millions of undocumented immigrants is partially the result of prodding by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, according to former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani.
Rep. John Katko and Colleen Deacon have agreed to participate in three televised debates (including one with TWC News) and two other joint appearances this fall in their race for Congress, their campaigns confirmed today.
Katko released a new TV ad that is a clear appeal to women voters.
Drew Pinsky’s six-year-old HLN show, “Dr. Drew On Call,” has been canceled by CNN, effective Sept. 22. The decision came eight days after Pinsky’s comments on a radio show on Aug. 17 questioning Clinton’s health and medical care.
Cuomo announced that the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services and Office of Fire Prevention and control will conduct campus fire safety inspections across the state.
The governor today remembered the devastation of Hurricane Irene while also highlighting New York’s work to recover from the 2011 storm.
As construction accidents have surged, Manhattan prosecutors are pushing to bring criminal charges against builders they say have sacrificed worker safety for profits.
New York’s health and environmental commissioners as well as Hoosick Falls Mayor David Borge are among the public officials expected to speak at a state Senate hearing next week on the state response to the PFOA crisis.
Tough talking war hero John McCain, a GOP senator from Arizona, has a soft spot for Britney Spears.
A amount that has been suggested as a potential new salary for state legislators could be a record high, even when adjusting previous salaries for inflation.
Central New York is home to the most segregated school district border in the state, a report found.
Police agencies on Long Island and in two dozen upstate counties issued 1,285 tickets and 1,416 warnings during a two-week pedestrian safety initiative earlier this summer.
A 35-year-old Rockland County case worker contends in a multimillion-dollar civil rights lawsuit that she’s faced discrimination, was bumped by a co-worker and has been disrespected.
Ah, Maine. So bucolic, so traditional, so peaceful…or not.
Aug 26th - 4:26 pm
Here’s the latest connection to state Assembly candidate Kristy Mazurek and Steve Pigeon, the Western New York political operative facing charges for allegedly bribing a judge. According to records from the Erie County Clerk’s office, Pigeon granted Mazurek power of attorney this week to handle his real estate transactions.
Pigeon signed the document Monday from San Diego County in California. Mazurek officially acknowledged her new legal responsibility a day later.
“Kristy was merely using a Power of Attorney for a real estate transaction that was months in the making,” stated her campaign manager David Pfaff. “She did this because the individual concerned was out of town when the papers were being signed. She received no financial benefit and to suggest she did is outrageous.”
According to a listing attributed to RealtyUSA, Pigeon’s waterfront condo in Buffalo was priced at $389,900 and a sale was pending last month. Early this month, the condo was delisted.
It’s the same residence, state and federal agents raided in May 2015, leading to Pigeon’s indictment. His attorney is arguing there were issues with the warrant.
But Mazurek’s critics say it’s just another example of how closely the candidate and the political operative are connected. She was the treasurer of an oft-criticized political action committee, the WNY Progressive Caucus, that was partially funded by Pigeon.
“It is inconceivable that someone who is running for public office and asking the public to put their confidence and trust in her would be so closely aligned in the personal and professional affairs of a man who is indicted for bribing a state judge,” her primary opponent Monica Wallace said.
Pfaff called it a non-issue though, noting that everyday thousands of people use power of attorney for business transactions. He shot back at the endorsed Democrat, Wallace.
“We have officially entered the silly season, if her opponent is leveling outrageous allegations about when and how a Power of Attorney is used. As a person who claims to be a law professor, she should know better,” Pfaff said.
He said Mazurek doesn’t plan to make any further comments about the issue, rather she is spending her time walking door-to-door to talk about the “issues that are important to real people.”
Aug 26th - 4:11 pm
A rally for the Child Victims Act, a measure that is aimed at making it easier for the survivors of childhood sexual abuse to file lawsuits, will be held next week in the hometown of Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
The rally is scheduled to be held next Wednesday in Mount Kisco, the Westchester County suburb Cuomo calls him (there’s some disagreement, of course, that the governor lives in New Castle with his partner Sandra Lee).
The rally is being held at Mount Kisco’s City Hall, starting at 1 p.m.
The event itself is being hosted by Allison Boak, a supporter of the bill and a Democratic candidate for the state Senate. Boak is challenging Republican Sen. Terrence Murphy.
Also helping organize the rally is Gary Greenberg, an upstate businessman who is bankrolling a political action committee backing candidates who would support the bill if elected to the state Legislature.
Greenberg in an email on Friday afternoon said he invited Cuomo to attend the rally.
The Child Victims Act has languished in the state Legislature during the past legislative session.
Aug 26th - 3:12 pm
Supporters of Queens Democratic Sen. Toby Ann Stavisky, ranging from state lawmakers to prominent advocates, on Friday criticized her primary opponent SJ Jung for his stance on abortion.
Jung at a candidates forum this week declared he is opposed to abortion unless bringing the pregnancy term threatens the life of the mother.
At a news conference, Stavisky and her allies — including Democratic Minority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins — blasted the remarks.
“The last thing that New York needs is another State Senator working to restrict a woman’s right to choose,” Stewart-Cousins said. “We need more pro-choice Senators fighting for the women of New York, not fewer.”
Advocates for abortion rights, too, criticized Jung’s stance on the issue, which in recent years come to the forefront of both Democratic electoral politics and policy in Albany after Gov. Andrew Cuomo pushed for a codification of the Roe v. Wade decision in state law.
“SJ Jung fails to understand that abortion is a fundamental right for women, just like equal pay, or the right to vote. His extreme anti-choice views make him unfit to represent Queens in the New York State Senate,” said Andrea Miller, the president of the Campaign for a Pro-Choice New York PAC. “The people of District 16 have been fortunate to be represented by Senator Toby Ann Stavisky, who has long been an advocate for access to all reproductive health care and a true champion for women’s rights.”
Not lost on the event, too, was the recognition of Women’s Equality Day. One lawmaker, Assemblywoman Nily Rozic, said Jung’s comments were disqualifying.
“We need strong pro-choice women defending our rights in Albany,” she said, “not those who will betray the women of Queens.”
Aug 26th - 2:25 pm
Democratic Assembly candidate Carmen De La Rosa this week racked up a series of endorsements, with nods from the city Council speaker and a political action committee backing the passage of the Child Victims Act.
“The continued failure of Albany to pass legislation to protect victims of sexual abuse is unacceptable,” said Carmen De La Rosa, who is running for the 72nd Assembly district in a primary next month.
“As a mother of a young daughter, I will fight for our children and ensure strict accountability measures are established to punish past and future child abusers. We must enhance the rights of those whose experiences have left deep scars throughout their lives, enabling them to pursue the justice they deserve.”
Earlier in the week, De La Rosa was endorsed by City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, backing that dovetails with other high-profiled endorsements from elected officials, including congressional candidate Adriano Espaillat.
“We need more women of color in positions of leadership and I can think of few more capable than Carmen,” Mark-Viverito said. “Her experience, energy and fresh perspective will benefit upper Manhattan residents tremendously and I am proud to endorse her candidacy for Assembly.”
De La Rosa is running for the Democratic nomination in the district led by Assemblyman Guillermo Linares.
Aug 26th - 1:25 pm
Balance New York, an independent expenditure committee formed by veterans of the Senate Republicans’ fundraising arm, received a $200,000 contribution from a Washington-D.C.-based group that supports GOP candidates in state races.
The contribution, made Thursday, came from the Republican State Leadership Committee — a group that backs down-ballot GOP candidates running in state level races.
Balance New York is one of a constellation of independent expenditure committees that have benefited Senate Republicans in their effort to keep control of the state Senate. Senate Democrats, too, are expected to draw some support from PACs affiliated with teachers unions.
It’s expected Senate Republicans will be drawing on these groups once again this election cycle as they face the political headwinds of a presidential election cycle that typically brings out more Democratic voters to the polls.