Cuomo Has $15.7M, Spends $8.6M In Three Weeks

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s re-election campaign has more than $15.7 million in cash on hand for the final 11 days of the general election, a filing with the state Board of Elections shows.

Cuomo’s overall haul is practically 16 times the amount that Astorino, the Westchester County executive, has in the bank. He reported slightly more than $1 million in cash on hand earlier today.

Nevertheless, Cuomo has been putting his fundraising advantage to use, spending $8.6 million over the last three weeks, while raising $717,936.

The filing shows that he has transferred $4.4 million to the state Democratic committee, which has largely been used as a surrogate to launch attack ads against Astorino.

Cuomo’s campaign alone has spent $2.3 million on advertising in the last week three weeks, the filing shows. Astorino has spent just over $500,000 during the same time period.

The filing also reveals that the publisher of Cuomo’s book, HarperCollins, paid $2,000 for the one-time use of the campaign’s email list in order to promote the governor’s memoir, “All Thing Possible” that was released last week.

Cuomo returned $10,000 in contributions from Alan Brand, a Long Island man who, along with his son, was indicted on charges of embezzling Medicaid funds. Cuomo spokesman Peter Kauffmann said the contributions were turned over to the state attorney general’s office rather than return the money to Brand.

Cuomo reported $95,479 in in-kind contributions for unspecified “travel” expenditures.

The governor last week traveled to the Caribbean to make stops in the Dominican Republican and Puerto Rico.

Extras

“Inside City Hall” host Errol Louis warned Ebola-cautious NYC residents: “If you come across some strange mucous or feces ouor something out there…you know, don’t eat it; don’t touch it.”

The agency managing the hospital at the center of New York City’s Ebola emergency is straining under the weight of rising pension and health-care expenses and the costs of treating poor, undocumented immigrants.

New York City authorities began decontaminating the apartment of Craig Spencer, the doctor who tested positive for Ebola.

Another physician who treated dying Ebola patients in Liberia flew in to JFK on Thursday night - and stayed at an airport hotel. He’s asymptomatic, and is being allowed to fly home to the west coast.

Hours after she was declared Ebola-free, Texas nurse Nina Pham was at the White House getting a hug from President Obama.

The man who attacked four NYPD officers with a hatchet, injuring two, appeared to be acting alone and motivated by a hate for government and authority.

The Poughkeepsie Journal endorsed Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney for re-election, saying his bipartisan approach has ”accomplished an astonishing amount in his first two years in office.”

The Rothenberg Report has changed NY-21 from ”Leans Republican to Favored Republican,” and NY-19 from “Leans Republican to Favored Republican.”

Asked on CNN’s New Day whether an ax-wielding man who attacked four NYPD officers had any ties to terrorism, Cuomo pivoted to poking fun at his brother, Chris, who co-hosts the show.

Republican NY-24 candidate John Katko “thrives on chaos and competition with a dose of comedy.”

The Nation’s Michelle Goldberg: “Cuomo’s attempt to hijack feminism for his own petty ends is such a craven move it could have been dreamed up by the scriptwriters at VEEP.”

The New York Times takes a closer look at the lingering anger over the SAFE Act.

Nassau County DA and NY-4 candidate Kathleen Rice withdrew from an official speaking engagement at the Islamic Center of Long Island after reports that a controversial Imam with ties to a convicted terrorist was also to appear.

The Hudson Valley is being inundated with political ads in the final weeks of the 2014 campaign.

No doubt striking fear into the hearts of fellow Democrats, Assemblyman-in-waiting Charles Barron pledges “it’s not going to be ‘go along to get along’” when he gets to Albany.

Kevin Stocker, the surprise Republican nominee for a pivotal state Senate seat in Buffalo, says he’s running because he’s afraid of dying without leaving an impression.

Michael Bloomberg is jumping into Berkeley’s battle over a proposed soda tax by funding a baseball-themed TV ad that will run throughout the Bay Area during this weekend’s World Series games.

Bloomberg will inject $1.7 million into Connecticut’s tight governor’s race with an advertisement that draws attention to the issue of gun control in a race that has otherwise focused largely on the economy.

Veteran Democratic Rep. Carolyn McCarthy’s GOP challenger held a press conference with a supporter in a panda suit to demonstrate the seriousness of his campaign.

Oneida County Executive Anthony J. Picente Jr. and others sent a letter of opposition to the Seneca County gaming facility in Tyre to the Resort Gaming Facility Location Board.

The DEC has named Keith D. Goertz to lead the agency’s Region 4 office in Rotterdam.

Assemblymember Didi Barrett and advocates made a video urging Cuomo to sign legislation that would expand treatment options for those with Lyme and other tick-borne illnesses.

Brooklyn Assemblyman Dov Hikind co-sponsored a jobs fair that charged unemployed workers a $20 entrance fee.

AFL-CIO Gives $15K To Senate Republicans

Is labor hedging their bets on who controls the Senate next year?

The New York State AFL-CIO contributed $15,000 to the Senate Republican Campaign Committee, 24-hour filings posted on the state Board of Elections website show.

The umbrella labor group’s contribution is eyebrow-raising, considering it backed in August a trio of upstate Democrats running in key Senate races: Sens. Cecilia Tkaczyk, Terry Gipson and Ted O’Brien.

But the contribution also comes as 1199/SEIU, a key labor group that is part of a coalition to give full control of the state Senate to Democrats next year, endorsed Republican lawmaker Marty Golden and made contributions to Senate Republican incumbents, including GOP conference leader, Dean Skelos.

Nevertheless, union contributions to Senate Democrats have not dried up.

The AFL-CIO on Thursday gave the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee $12,500, while the Retail, Wholesale, and Department Store Union gave Democrats $50,000.

Ebola Becomes A Political Football In NY-4

Less than 24 hours after the first Ebola case in New York City was confirmed, the disease has become an issue in the NY-4 race on Long Island.

The campaign of the Democratic candidate, Nassau County DA Kathleen Rice, issued a statement blasting her Republican opponent, former Nassau County Legislator Bruce Blakeman, for using Ebola as a fundraising tool.

This morning, Blakeman’s campaign sent out an email with the subject line “scary” that mentioned Dr. Craig Spencer, who fell ill after “nobly participating in Doctors without Borders,” and also solicited cash to keep the candidate’s attack TV ad portraying Rice as a rubber stamp for President Obama’s “failed policies” on the air.

“Patients are dying and people across the nation are terrified, and Bruce Blakeman sees it all as an opportunity to help his political campaign,” said Rice Campaign spokesperson Eric Phillips. “He’s politicized Ebola from the start, but this is beyond shameful.”

A Siena poll released earlier this week showed Blakeman gaining on Rice, thanks to the support of independent voters. But he’s still trailing her by 10 percentage points, which might be too much of a gap to close before Nov. 4. As with a lot of races this cycle, it all really depends on turnout.

In Grisanti Ad, A Push For A Vote On Indy Line

A TV ad released by Sen. Mark Grisanti on Friday afternoon urges a vote for him on the Independence Party ballot line.

The appeal comes from a Democratic woman.

“As a Democrat and a mother, I’m concerned about this year’s election for state Senate,” says the woman, identified as “Lauren” from Tonawanda. “That’s why I’m voting for Mark Grisanti on the Independence line. He’s fought for issues I believe in — like raising the minimum wage, equal rights and equal pay for women and ending domestic violence and holding abusers accountable.”

The focus on women’s issues follows a mailer funded by the New York State United Teachers blasting Grisanti that featured the image of a beaten woman, criticizing Grisanti for not supporting the full 10-point women’s agenda (Grisanti does not support the abortion provision in the omnibus bill).

The 30-second commercial comes as former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg backs Grisanti’s re-election through an independent expenditure campaign being run by the New York League of Conservation Voters.

Filings with the Board of Elections show Bloomberg spending $350,000 on the race as the group launches a TV ad and voter contact campaign on Grisanti’s behalf.

The Independent Democratic Conference is also supporting the effort with a $150,000 contribution from its political action committee, the IDC Initiative.

Grisanti lost his Republican primary last month to Kevin Stocker, but retains the Independence Party ballot line.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has not said whether he will endorse Democrat Marc Panepinto in the race or Grisanti, the last sitting Republican in the state Senate to have voted in favor of same-sex marriage in 2011.

Grimm’s Latest Ad Highlights Sandy Recovery

The latest TV spot from embattled Republican Rep. Michael Grimm touts his post-Sandy response.

The 30-second ad features a Staten Island constituent, Patricia Dresch, praising Grimm’s actions after the storm.

Dresch credits Grimm with helping her family securing needed assistance in order to rebuild.

“Stories like Pat’s exemplify the reason I ran for Congress in the first place, and I’m incredibly proud of what I’ve been able to accomplish for the salt-of-the-earth people it’s been my honor to represent for the past 4 years,” Grimm said in a statement. “I firmly believe that when they cast their votes, it will be for the person they’ve seen fighting for them with passion and dedication time and time again.”

Grimm, who faces a multi-count federal fraud case, is running against Democrat Domenic Recchia.

The ad can be seen here.

Cuomo-Hochul Endorses O’Brien, Who Faces An Uphill Race (Updated)

Gov. Andrew Cuomo, along with his running mate Kathy Hochul, endorsed on Friday Democratic Sen. Ted O’Brien in his uphill re-election bid.

In a statement, Cuomo cited O’Brien’s backing of the Women’s Equality Act, support for increasing the state’s minimum as well as economic development in the upstate region.

“Through his tireless support for women’s equality, raising the minimum wage, and revitalizing economic development upstate, Senator O’Brien has been a leading and effective advocate for the people of Rochester,” Cuomo said. “I am proud to support Senator O’Brien in his re-election, because he is exactly the type of leader we need to keep our state moving forward.”

O’Brien’s statement focused heavily on the economic development angle as well as property tax relief.

“I am honored to have the endorsement of Governor Andrew Cuomo. The Governor and I share a commitment to revitalizing the Upstate economy and creating a better future for the people of Monroe and Ontario Counties. I’m proud to have worked with Governor Cuomo to deliver $1.5 Billion in property tax relief, end the tax on Upstate manufacturers, and pass START-UP NY which is creating jobs in Rochester right now. I look forward to going back to the Senate and working with the Governor to pass the Women’s Equality Act and continue to make Upstate New York more affordable for hardworking families and small businesses.”

O’Brien, a freshman lawmaker from the Rochester area, faces Republican Rich Funke, a former television broadcaster with high name recognition. He is among three Democratic freshman north of New York City who are locked in key re-election battles that could decide control of the state Senate.

Cuomo, along with Hochul, previously endorsed the other two upstate Democrats, Sens. Cecilia Tkaczyk and Terry Gipson, over the weekend.

O’Brien is receiving some help from the New York State United Teachers union, which earlier this week dropped $41,140 worth of mailers knocking Funke.

On the Republican side, Balance New York, a super PAC, this week spent $188,385 on TV and radio ads opposing O’Brien’s re-election.

A Siena College poll released at the start of the month showed Funke leading O’Brien 57 percent to 32 percent.

Update: Sen. Cathy Young, the chairwoman of the Senate Republican Campaign Committee, responds, saying it’s “no surprise” that Cuomo would back O’Brien. In a statement, she ties O’Brien to New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.

The New York City Democrats who are funding Ted O’Brien’s campaign want to give free college tuition to people who are in this country illegally while middle-class taxpayers take out college loans that will take years to repay and work two jobs just to make ends meet. Seventy six percent of New Yorkers don’t receive any tuition assistance at all, yet the New York City Democrats want to give illegal immigrants a free ride on the backs of taxpayers. That’s outrageous.

Two Can Play That Game (Updated)

Throughout the 2014 campaign, the Senate Democrats have been using women’s issues – particularly abortion rights – as a wedge issue, repeatedly slamming incumbent Senate Republicans and their first-time candidates alike for opposing the governor’s full 10-point Women’s Equality Act.

The Republicans’ refusal to pass the WEA in its entirety has led to the Democrats and their allies accusing the GOP of being anti-woman, and even, in the case of mailers sent out in two hotly contested races in Buffalo and the Hudson Valley, of being unwilling to protect female victims of domestic violence.

Now one GOP candidate is trying to turn the tables on the Democrats.

In a mailer sent out in the 41st SD, where Dutchess County Legislator Sue Serino is facing off against Democratic freshman Sen. Terry Gipson, the GOP maintains Gipson has “turned his back on Hudson Valley women” by voting “yes” in favor of the full 10-point act that included the controversial abortion rights plank, which the Republicans maintain allows non-doctors to perform abortions and threatens women’s health.

The Republicans have passed nine stand alone bills in lieu of the full act, leaving out the abortion piece, leading the Democrats to accuse them of “holding hostage” the other proposals, including pay equity and cracking down on sex trafficking.

UPDATE: A Senate Democratic conference spokesman accused the GOP of lying about Gipson’s record, saying the senator voted “yes” on all nine stand alone bills brought to the floor by the GOP.

Tracey Brooks of Planned Parenthood Advocates of New York flagged the mailer, accusing the Republicans of resorting to “smear tactics” and “baseless attacks” on Gipson as Election Day draws near.

“Senator Gipson has never wavered in his support for the women and families of the Hudson Valley,” Brooks said in a stateent. “Senator Gipson has worked closely with community members and advocates for two years and his actions speak volumes, including his support for women’s equality at work, at home and in her private life.”

“Also, despite Serino’s repeated attempts to falsify the Women’s Equality Act, the legislation is clear. Mirroring state law to existing federal protections does not change practice – New York will continue to follow Roe v. Wade just as we have done since 1973 – when the federal ruling took precedence over our state law written in 1970.”

“Serino is attempting a ‘bait and switch’ to capture voters while distracting them from her extreme, anti-women views which are out of touch with the community. Senator Gipson has the experience, understanding and ability required to represent the 40th New York State Senate District.”

In New Ad, Astorino Pushes Back Against Attack Ads

The latest television ad from Republican gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino released Friday is a push back against attack ads released by Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Democratic committee surrgoates.

The 30-second commercial features Astorino talking directly into the camera at a diner. The attack ad in question specifically played is Astorino’s now infamous “soup is good” comment made on Capital Tonight in 2011 (Astorino was discussing how to cover Medicaid costs for dental services, and made a joke about dentures not being covered).

The off-hand remark was fodder for a state Democratic committee ad that’s been airing frequently in the last several weeks of the campaign.

Now, Astornio’s ad is pushing back against the attack spots, though he does a good deal of criticizing Cuomo in his own commercial.

“Ever wonder why Andrew Cuomo is running such false, negative TV ads against me, but refuses to debate me? It’s because he’s under federal investigation for corruption,” Astorino says in the ad. “On Cuomo’s watch, we pay the highest taxes and have the worst economic outlook in the entire nation and only the powerful and well connected get ahead. As governor, I’ll fight for the rest of us. Change will begin by changing governors.”

The “federal investigation for corruption” charge refers to the controversy over the Moreland Commission To Investigate Public Corruption and the governor’s decision to shut the panel down in April, along with the allegations that his office interfered in the panel’s work.

Of course, Astorino this week did debate Cuomo on TV, just not one-on-one as the Republican has been calling for over the last several weeks.

The ad comes as Astorino’s campaign earlier today reported having slightly more than $1 million in cash on hand for the final 11 days of the campaign, according to the state Board of Elections.

Astorino’s campaign in October spent more than $500,000 on TV ad buys, but that number was likely easily eclipsed by the combined spending of Cuomo’s re-election campaign and the state Democratic Party.

Change will begin by changing governors from Rob Astorino on Vimeo.

With 11 Days To Go, Astorino Has $1M

Republican candidate for governor Rob Astorino’s campaign on Friday reported having $1 million in cash on hand for the final 11 days of the campaign.

Records show Astorino in the most recent fundraising period spent more than a half-million dollars on TV ads, including a $474,640 ad purchase.

The total is expected to vastly dwarf the cash on hand amount of Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who earlier this month reported having $23.7 million in the bank.

During this fundraising period, Astorino received $571,980 in contributions, according to his filing with the state Board of Elections.

Records show Astorino received $10,000 from Foster Friess, a prominent Republican donor and backer of former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum’s presidential campaign (Friess gained a level of notoriety during the campaign for suggesting aspirin between a woman’s legs can be used as birth control).

Astorino previously received an in-kind travel contribution from Friess.

This time, Astorino reported an in-kind travel donation from Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal’s PAC, Stand Up To Washington, totaling $364.60.

Astorino also received a $20,000 contribution from Kamran Hakim, a New York real-estate investor.

Republican former Gov. George Pataki contributed $1,000.

Scarsdale resident Jocelyn Adelaar contributed $22,500.

Astorino also received a $41,100 contributions from multiple limited-liability corporations, including Trilogy Advisors LLC and Salamanga LLC.