HTC Airs Radio Spot For Cuomo

From the Morning Memo:

The Hotel Trades Council this week is launching a six-figure radio ad buy boosting Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s bid for a third term.

The spot touts Cuomo’s achievements on gun control, an increase in the minimum wage to $15 and paid family leave.

“He’s standing up to Washington, protecting a woman’s right to choose, defending access to health care and fighting against tax cuts for billionaires,” the ad’s narrator says. “As our last line of defense, don’t forget to vote for the first name on your ballot: Andrew Cuomo.”

The spot will air on prominent New York City-area radio stations WINS, WCBS, WFAN, WBLS, WLIB.

The union has been a key political ally for Cuomo and has a vaunted voter contact operation. HTC during the Democratic primary had backed Cuomo’s campaign with a radio and digital effort as well as direct voter advocacy.

HTC has also been playing a prominent role in a separate effort to elect Democrats to key battleground House races in New York. Its political action committee this month began airing TV ads meant to play a role in unseating Republican Reps. John Faso, Claudia Tenney and John Katko among others around the state.

Abrams Endorses James For AG

From the Morning Memo:

Former Attorney General Bob Abrams on Tuesday will endorse Democratic candidate Letitia James.

“I am proud to support Tish James for Attorney General — she has the credentials, experience, ability, and independence to do an excellent job,” Abrams said in a statement.

“This office is more important today than at any time in its history. We need an Attorney General who will provide leadership and action in dealing with the disgraceful corruption that has permeated Albany, in protecting the environment, in standing up for consumers and investors, in defending a woman’s right to choose and enforcing the civil rights and liberties of all New Yorkers.”

Abrams, a Democrat, served as attorney general from 1979 to 1993.

James, the New York City public advocate, was the victor of a four-way Democratic primary for the attorney general nomination in September.

A formal endorsement will be held at a news conference at City Hall on Tuesday morning.

“From standing up to polluters, to protecting consumers from fraud, to taking on employment discrimination, and more, Bob Abrams’ record of achievement speaks for itself,” James said. “That work continues to this day, with the Attorney General’s Office committed to improving the lives of all New Yorkers. Our state is better for his years of service, and I am honored to earn his endorsement today.”

James faces Republican Keith Wofford in the November general election.

Felder Responds (Sort of) To Claims Against Top Aide

From the Morning Memo:

Sen. Simcha Felder, a Brooklyn Democrat who caucuses with the Republicans, called me last night saying he wanted to react to a Times Union report that his chief of staff has been accused of groping and harassing a female lobbyist at a fundraiser for Capital Region GOP Sen. George Amedore.

OK, I said, let’s hear it.

“These are serious allegations, and were reportedly immediately. I cannot comment any further at this time.”

When pressed for additional details, Felder referred repeatedly back to his statement.

He did say, however, that the staffer in question – Rodney C. Powis, an attorney from East Greenbush who works at a private law firm in Rensselaer County and has been a longtime Senate aide – is still on his payroll.

Felder has been an object of derision – and in some cases, outright disgust – for fellow Democrats since the former New York City councilman was elected to the state Senate in 2012 and soon after decided he would not sit with his party, instead assisting the Republicans in maintaining their slim hold on the majority in the chamber.

Felder has never been shy about saying that he will caucus with whichever side can enable him to best deliver for his constituents, which presumably means he would be willing to return to the Democratic fold if the Democrats are successful – as they and a number of outside observers continue to predict – in winning back the majority in the November elections.

Felder easily fought off a Democratic primary challenge last month by progressive candidate Blake Morris, defeating him by a nearly 2-to-1 margin.

It seems unlikely that Felder, a New York City native, found Powis on his own and hired him, and instead sort of inherited him from the Senate GOP when he decided to switch sides. East Greenbush is located in Rensselaer County, long a Republican stronghold and the political fiefdom of former Senate Majority Leader Joe Bruno.

It has not been uncommon to see many local Republicans on the Senate payroll over the years.

In this #MeToo era, however, and has advocates who have experienced sexual harassment in the state Legislature over the years ramp up their call for public hearings to be held on the issue, the accusations against Powis could prove highly problematic for Felder. At the very least, they could give his fellow Democrats additional fuel to use against him.

Spectrum News/Siena Poll Shows Tight Race In NY-27

From the Morning Memo:

Three weeks out from Election Day, NY-27 appears to still be up for grabs, according to a Spectrum News/Siena College Research Insititute poll released this morning.

With 490 likely voters in the district surveyed Oct. 6-11, 46 percent said they would vote for incumbent Republican Rep. Chris Collins if the election were held today. Forty-three percent said they planned on voting for his opponent, Democrat Nate McMurray, with ten percent who refused to respond or said they were undecided and one percent for the Reform party candidate.

“They clearly want to see the Republicans in control,” pollster Steve Greenberg said. “They clearly like the job that the president is doing but their struggling with their vote for Congress.”

Collins’s slim lead stands in stark contrast to the voters’ responses to other questions in New York’s most Republican-leaning district. By an 18 point margin, for example, they said they want the GOP to continue to control the House.

Eighteen percent more also said they approved of the job President Donald Trump is doing than those who disapproved, which is, according to Greenberg, “by far the best numbers for Trump we’ve seen in a congressional district in New York, and one of the best numbers we’ve seen in a congressional district around the country.”

The poll did not ask voters their opinions about the fact that Collins is facing federal charges related to insider trading. He was indicted in August and is scheduled to face trial in February 2020.

However, based on the congressman’s favorability rating, it seems a safe bet that his legal woes are doing him no favors. Forty-nine percent of voters said they have an unfavorable opinion of Collins compared to 37 percent favorable, and Greenberg said the congressman’s score is low – even among members of his own party.

While the poll seems to be good news for the once long-shot McMurray, Greenberg could not say with certainty that the race is trending in the Democrat’s direction, because there was little to no data before Collins was indicted. Either way, he said, the Democrat remains the underdog given the district’s heavy GOP leanings.

“McMurray’s got to face an electorate that is inclined to vote against him,” Grenberg said. “What he’s got to do is find a way to reinforce with more Republicans, with independents and even with Democrats where he’s not as strong as he necessarily should be, he’s got u find a way to get some more voters over to his side.”

Greenberg also said a few things stand out in the poll results about the demographic breakdown. Siena has seen a gender gap for most races this election cycle, with more women generally leaning toward the Democratic candidate, however NY-27 is not following that trend.

He said education stands out as the biggest distinguishing factor between voters. McMurray has a 15-point lead among voters with a bachelor’s degree or higher, while Collins has a six point lead with those who have less than a bachelor’s degree.

Spectrum News/Siena College… by on Scribd

Here and Now

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has not yet released a public schedule for the day.

President Donald Trump is in Washington with no public events scheduled.

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio is in the city with no public events scheduled.

Vice President Mike Pence and his wife, Karen, are traveling from Washington to Albany, GA to tour flood damage.

The couple this afternoon will visit Flint River Mills Inc., a farm animal feed company affected by Hurricane Michael. They will also tour Pecan Ridge Plantation and speak with farmers whose crops were impacted by the storm, before returning to D.C. in the early evening.

At 8:45 a.m., LG Kathy Hochul delivers remarks at Manufacturing Day at the Northland Workforce Training Center, 683 Northland Ave., Buffalo.

At 9:30 a.m., Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi, the Democratic candidate in NY-22, will join Jon “Bowzer” Bauman, president of Social Security Works PAC and member of the hit rock band Sha Na Na, for a conversation about preserving seniors’ earned benefits, North Utica Community Center, 50 Riverside Dr., Utica.

At 10 a.m., NYC Councilwoman Diana Ayala and Assemblyman Robert Rodriguez lead the Big Apple Crunch event, Hunter College, Silberman Building, 2180 Third Ave., Manhattan.

Also at 10 a.m., the Assembly Committee on Codes and the Assembly Committee on Health hold a public hearing on allowing the adult use of marijuana, Assembly Hearing Room, 250 Broadway, Room 1923, Manhattan.

Also at 10 a.m., Rep. Carolyn Maloney joins with the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, breast cancer survivors and medical researchers to call for additional funding for life-saving research, Nasdaq Headquarters plaza, corner of 43rd Street and Broadway, Manhattan.

Also at 10 a.m., Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams announces an agreement between his administration and Brooklyn Democracy Academy’s urban farm in Brownsville for the purchase and installation of indoor hydroponic farm units, 985 Rockaway Ave., Brooklyn.

At 11 a.m., the state Senate Committee on Labor and the state Senate Committee on Agriculture hold a public hearing to examine the minority- and women-owned business enterprises program, Senate Hearing Room, 250 Broadway, 19th floor, Manhattan.

Also at 11 a.m., “The Capitol Pressroom” features state Sens. Gustavo Rivera and Fred Akshar, WCNY.

At 11:20 a.m., the state Board of Regents meets, Regents Room, 89 Washington Ave., Albany.

At 11:30 a.m., Parents to Improve School Transportation rally for school bus improvements, 52 Chambers St., Manhattan.

At noon, NYC Councilmen Ben Kallos, Mark Treyger and Chaim Deutsch hold a press conference ahead of an education committee hearing on legislation to address recent problems at the Office of Pupil Transportation, City Hall steps, Manhattan.

Also at noon, Hochul addresses the Uniformed Fire Officers Association retiree luncheon, Russo’s on the Bay, 162-45 Cross Bay Blvd., Howard Beach, Queens.

At 1 p.m., NYC Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza will deliver testimony on DOE’s Office of Pupil Transportation before the City Council Committee on Education, Council Chambers, City Hall, Manhattan.

At 3 p.m., Rep. José E. Serrano will join other Bronx elected officials, local working families, and postal union workers to call for the reestablishment of affordable banking services inside postal offices in the Bronx and the rest of the country, Hunts Point Post Office, 800 Manida St., the Bronx.

At 5:30 p.m., Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. serves as the guest speaker at a meeting of the Council of School Supervisors and Administrators’ political action committee, 40 Rector St., 12th floor, Manhattan.

At 6 p.m., state Sen. Kevin Parker, Assemblywoman Rodneyse Bichotte and New York City Council members Jumaane Williams and Laurie Cumbo hold the Little Haiti BK Community Forum, Life of Hope Center, Cristo Rey auditorium, 710 E. 37th St., Brooklyn.

At 7 p.m., the 11th Congressional District debate takes place between Rep. Dan Donovan and challenger Max Rose, Spectrum News NY1. (Errol Louis hosts).

At 7:30 p.m., Assemblywomen Nily Rozic, Carmen De La Rosa and Ari Espinal speak at Yeshiva University’s Stern College for Women about the intersection of women and democracy, 215 Lexington Ave., Manhattan.


The Trump administration rejected 99 percent of the federal funds North Carolina requested to recover from a devastating hurricane, the state’s government revealed, agreeing to provide $6.1 million of the $929 million it needs.

The president and first lady toured parts of Florida and Georgia that were devastated by Hurricane Michael, as hundreds of thousands of residents remain without electricity and a long, slow recovery effort is underway.

Even for a president who has now seen five hurricanes — including Harvey, which swamped Houston; Maria, which destroyed Puerto Rico; and Florence, which inundated the Carolinas — Michael left a particularly spectacular trail of wreckage along the Florida Gulf Coast.

Saudi Arabia was preparing an alternative explanation of the fate of a dissident journalist, saying he died at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul two weeks ago in an interrogation gone wrong. Trump echoed the possibility that Jamal Khashoggi was the victim of “rogue killers.”

The disappearance of Khashoggi has put Steven Mnuchin, the U.S. Treasury secretary, in an increasingly tenuous position as he prepares to attend an investment conference in Riyadh next week. So far, he plans to be there, though top Wall Street executives are pulling out.

Stormy Daniels’ defamation lawsuit against Trump was dismissed by a federal judge in California who said the porn star was on the hook for Trump’s legal fees. She has vowed to appeal.

Police in Bangor, Maine, investigated a suspicious letter delivered to the home of Republican Sen. Susan Collins, who was widely seen as the decisive vote to confirm new U.S. Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh. She was not home at the time.

Many in the Native American community reacted angrily after Massachusetts Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren released the results of a DNA test showing that she has a distant Native American ancestor.

Warren’s elaborate attempt to neutralize Trump’s attacks about her ancestry represented the surest sign yet that she intends to run for president in 2020.

Trump’s Department of Veterans Affairs has “quietly” spent millions of dollars on private security for Confederate cemeteries since the violent “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia in August 2017.

Former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page is suing the Democratic National Committee for defamation over the Christopher Steele dossier.

Gavin McInnes defended his followers, the Proud Boys, an ultra-nationalist right wing group, condemning Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the far left group Antifa after a wild melee following an event at the Manhattan Republican headquarters.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo called the violence that followed McInnes’ speech at the Metropolitan Republican Club in Manhattan over the weekend “truly disturbing and troubling” and said the GOP invitation for the Proud Boys to speak was “was a despicable, vulgar insidious act.”

The governor also said he doesn’t buy the argument from Republicans like state party chairman Ed Cox, who have said they didn’t know much about the Proud Boys. “They knew damn well what the Proud Boys were going to say,” Cuomo insisted. “…Who’s (Cox’s) next group to invite? The Ku Klux Klan?”

“A real leader would call for calm,” Cox retorted in a statement. “He would work with the NYPD to protect a near- century-old club from further attacks, but that’s not Andrew Cuomo. He is all about himself and all about politics. What shame.”

Who are the Proud Boys and their banned-from-Twitter leader? Created by McInnes, an original co-founder of Vice Media, the group is an amalgamation of a men’s rights organization, a fight club and what some may see as a hate group – one that loves Trump, hates Muslims (and Jews and trans people), but permits nonwhite membership.

NYPD officials said they taken by surprise when members of the leftist group Antifa circumvented 50 cops to brawl with the Proud Boys. Chief of Detectives Dermot Shea said 12 people are still being sought in the Friday night fracas — nine members of the Proud Boys and three members of Antifa.

The police released new video from the fight Friday night on East 82nd Street after McInnis’s speech, which shows one of the protesters tossing something at Proud Boys members, who then whale on them, kicking and punching them and calling them “f—-ts.”

GOP gubernatorial candidate Marc Molinaro said that he wouldn’t have invited McInnis to address the Metropolitan Republican Club, adding: “I wasn’t aware of (the Proud Boys), I don’t know them nor do I tolerate that kind of behavior or language.”

State Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan referred during a radio interview to NYSUT as one of the “forces of evil” when discussing outside money that is seeking to influence the fight for control of his chamber.

More >


President Trump raised the possibility that “rogue killers” were behind the disappearance of a Saudi dissident journalist, and not the kingdom’s leaders — a theory echoed separately by a person familiar with Saudi plans to blame an intelligence services official and shield Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman from responsibility.

The Saudis are reportedly preparing a report that will acknowledge that Khashoggi’s death was the result of an interrogation that went wrong, one that was intended to lead to his abduction from Turkey.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren released the results of a DNA analysis that she said indicated she has some Native American heritage, a direct rebuttal to Trump, and challenged him to make good on his pledge to donate $1 million to charity if she provided proof of her background.

The president responded with indifference when asked about Warren’s DNA test results. “Who cares?” he told reporters on the White House lawn.

The president later said he would only donate $1 million on behalf of Warren if he tests her claims of Native American ancestry “personally,” which would “not be something I will enjoy.”

Trump is making overtures to Democrats about working together next year, a move that would mark a major shift in his approach to dealing with Congress but one that could prove necessary in order to secure big legislative achievements ahead of his reelection campaign in 2020.

Gavin McInnes, the founder of the far-right Proud Boys group, which was involved in violent clashes on Friday in New York City said he has “a lot of support in the NYPD” and “very much appreciate that, the boys in blue.”

The NYPD plans to arrest nine members of the right-wing group Proud Boys and three protesters after the brawl that followed McInnes’s speech at the Metropolitan Republican Club last week.

Republican gubernatorial candidate Marc Molinaro said the Met Club should not have invited McInnes to speak at its headquarters, saying he hadn’t been aware of the group before the incident.

More than 114,000 New York City students were identified as homeless during the 2017-18 school year, according to new state Education Department data posted by Advocates for Children of New York.

That’s more homeless children than at any other time since city records have been kept, and more than there are people in the City of Albany.

Sears and Kmart stores across New York will shut down as part of Sears’ bankruptcy filing.

Eddie Lampert, founder and CEO of private hedge fund ESL Investments, will step down as CEO of Sears after leading the company into bankruptcy.

Will too much love from Trump and his allies prove to be the kiss of death, politically speaking, for Republican Long Island Rep. Lee Zeldin?

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio has canceled his weekly appearance on NY1 this evening as striking Spectrum workers – members of IBEW Local 3, who have been out on strike more than a year – protested outside the media outlet’s Chelsea studios.

Legalized marijuana, after months of hype, is coming to Canada on Wednesday, and it’s bringing a whole host of questions about what is allowed and what isn’t. Here are a few of those questions and answers.

Tonawanda Coke officials confirmed for the first time that the company will close, saying in a statement: “Sadly, largely due to the financial obligations of its criminal sentence, significant and unanticipated expenses, the loss of a funding source, and the multiple and coordinated enforcement actions brought by various government agencies, Tonawanda Coke cannot continue operations.”

A year after the #MeToo movement exploded, a group of seven women who were sexually harassed or assaulted within the state Legislature are calling on lawmakers to hold hearings on the matter.

A report by NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer’s office shows that NYCHA is not taking enough basic security precautions to improve safety. A survey conducted during the summer found more than 1,000 unsecured doors at nearly 200 developments.

The MTA has announced it will be hosting a “Haunted Subway” this month, with a little help from the NYPD’s Transit Unit.

SD-39: Basile Endorsed by NRA

The National Rifle Association and New York State Rifle and Pistol Association endorsed Republican Tom Basile in his bid for retiring Senator Bill Larkin’s seat in Senate District 39.

“Tom Basile is the right man to represent Hudson Valley sportsmen and women. A man of principles, Tom will ensure that when we need a voice in Albany, especially against radical New York City-interest who want to take away due process and other rights of law-abiding gun owners, we have a someone defending us. Unlike his opponent, who’d rather steal a quick headline than keep his promises, Second Amendment supporters in our area can trust Tom Basile,” said NRA-ILA FLA Coordinator George Kydon.

Basile faces Democratic Assemblyman James Skoufis in next month’s general election.

“Mr. Skoufis used our area’s sportsmen to get elected. Now he’s turned his back on us, voting for legislation that would strip law-abiding gun owners of their property and due process rights. Mr. Skoufis would rather grab headlines and play to the camera than have real, principled positions. With our rights and freedoms at stake, we can’t afford to have another flip-flopping career politician in Albany,” said Basile.

Basile received an Aq rating from both the NRA and NYSRPA and an A rating from the Shooters Committee on Political Education, or SCOPE.

Cuomo Continues Pressure Over Proud Boys Clash

Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Monday continued to blast Republicans for an event over the weekend featuring the founder of the “western chauvinist” group The Proud Boys, comparing it playing with political fire.

“It’s setting a fire in a field of dry grass and you can’t control it,” Cuomo said in a conference call with reporters.

The event headlined by Proud Boys founder Gavin McInnes led to a clash between members of the group and anti-facist protesters near the Metropolitan Republican Club.

Before McInnes had spoken at the event, New York Republicans, including Chairman Ed Cox and Republican gubernatorial nominee Marc Molinaro, called on Cuomo to condemn vandalism at the building in protest to McInnes’s visit.

Cuomo on Sunday said the NYPD should investigate the vandalism — a call he reiterated on Monday.

“If antifa, if any leftist group did anything criminal, if they spew hate speech, I condemn it,” Cuomo said in the call. “If they did the hate speech, I condemn it. But the act, the first act, was inviting a hate group to come speak.”

Cuomo, as he did on Sunday in a similar call, accused Republicans of seeking to use the event as a way to excite the GOP base ahead of the November general election. On Monday, Cuomo was joined on the call by Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie and Senate Minority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins.

“There was an honorable Republican Party in New York,” Cuomo said. “You had political differences, but there was honor and decency.”

Stewart-Cousins, who would become the first black woman to lead a majority conference should Democrats gain control of the narrowly divided chamber this fall, called the McInnes invitation “a frightening place to be.”

“This is New York,” she said. “We are all better than this.”

NYC PBA Endorses Kaminsky

Democratic state Sen. Todd Kaminsky on Monday was endorsed by the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association of the City of New York in his bid a second full term.

“Public safety for all New Yorkers is a shared responsibility,” said PBA President Patrick J. Lynch. “New York City police officers work hard every day to protect our city and our state, but we can’t do it alone. We need the help of elected officials who understand the challenges we face. Senator Todd Kaminsky has pledged his support on many of the issues that are important to our union and its members, and he is committed to continuing to work with us towards our shared goal of a stronger, safer New York. We are proud to endorse him today.”

Kaminsky was first elected in a special election in 2016 to the seat vacated by former Majority Leader Dean Skelos, was ousted from the chamber following a felony corruption conviction.

“All New Yorkers should be thankful for the men and women of the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association of the City of New York (NYC PBA), whose heroic service keeps us safe,” Kaminsky said. “Each day they put their lives on the line to protect our families and communities. I am honored to have their support.”

DeFran Vouches For Antonacci In Ad

Republican John DeFrancisco in ann ad released Monday pushes for his preferred successor in the state Senate, Onondaga County Comptroller Bob Antonacci.

“Hi, I’m John DeFrancisco. Serving you has been the honor of a lifetime, and while my time in office is coming to an end, the fight for Central New York in Albany goes on,” he says in the ad.

“I can’t think of a better person for that fight than Bob Antonacci. I’ve known Bob nearly all his life. He’s a tough, principled fiscal watchdog, and a reformer who does what’s right. Bob’s not afraid to fight the fights that need to be fought, and be the champion we need in Albany.”

Antonacci faces Democratic opponent John Mannion for the Syracuse-area seat. The race has drawn the attention of a trio of labor unions seeking to help flip the Senate to Democratic control this year. Independent expenditure campaigns backed by the teachers union, the Communications Workers of Americ and 32BJ have signaled an interest in the district, funding TV ads and mailers to push for Mannion.

DeFrancisco, the deputy majority leader, briefly sought the Republican gubernatorial nomination this year.