NY-3: Martins Poll Shows Wide Lead Over Pidot

From the Morning Memo:

A poll released by Republican congressional candidate Jack Martins shows him easily defeating his rival for the party’s nomination, Philip Pidot.

The poll comes as Pidot has, through a series of court challenges, successfully sought a primary against Martins for the nomination in the third congressional district.

That primary is set for October.

But Martins, a state senator from Nassau County, would crush Pidot, 43 percent to 9 percent, according to the poll conducted by Clout Research.

At the same time, 51 percent of voters have a favorable opinion of Martins, with only 8 percent viewing him unfavorably. Pidot, meanwhile, is seen favorably by 22 percent of voters and unfavorably by 12 percent. A whopping two-thirds of voters responded they did not know enough about him to form an opinion.

“Favorability ratings play an important part in elections for most political offices because voters rarely support a candidate they do not like, and because in partisan primary elections, races often come down to favorability because candidates have similar stands on many issues,” the polling memo states.

With the unusual primary date for the race, Martins has sought to move the general election to December in order to comply with the federal MOVE Act, which requires timely access to ballots for military and overseas voters.

Moving the election would also have the impact of the Republican nominee not running down ballot from Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, who could negatively impact GOP candidates this fall in House and state races.

A Department of Defense official in a letter released Monday to the Board of Elections concluded holding the election on schedule would not conflict with the law.

The poll of 628 likely voters was conducted from Aug. 25 through Aug. 27. It has a margin of error of 3.76 percentage points.

NY – CD3 Special Election Survey Polling Memorandum 8-28-2016

Gipson Takes Teaching Job At SUNY New Paltz

From the Morning Memo:

Former Sen. Terry Gipson, who is running for his old Senate seat he lost in 2014, has a new job as a SUNY New Paltz professor.

Gipson, who was defeated in a re-election bid two years ago by Republican Sue Serino, was listed among the new faculty members at the college for the 2016-17 academic year.

The post in the college’s communication department is a full time one.

It comes as Gipson is running a rematch against Serino for the Hudson Valley seat, one of a handful of battleground districts across the state.

Should he win, Gipson presumably would be dividing his team between his work as a state lawmaker and as a college professor.

Earlier this month, Senate Republicans were critical of Gipson for accepting a small consulting fee from a firm that has ties to New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.

SD-46: In Fundraising Email, Niccoli Vows To Enhance Women’s Rights

From the Morning Memo:

Democratic state Senate candidate Sara Niccoli in a fundraising email last week pledged to support and strengthen women’s rights if elected to the chamber.

In the fundraising note sent on Friday, Women’s Equality Day, Niccoli noted the progress women have made in society, even as gender bias continues.

“When women continue to be confronted with bias and misogyny at every turn, the celebration of women’s equality feels a bit like salt in a wound,” the email states.

“But it’s important to remember how far we’ve come. I’m reminded that my grandmother, Leota Boone, was born into a world in which a woman’s voice only existed through the men around her. My mother, Rebecca Nance, grew up in a time when women were denied the right to choose and forced to risk their lives to exercise their reproductive rights. The steps we’ve taken give me great hope for my daughter, Olive, and an entire next generation of powerful women.”

Issues facing women — equal pay in the workplace, reproductive and health considerations — came to the forefront during the 2014 elections in New York. At the time, Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s re-election pursued a strategy of bolstering supporting from women by promoting a 10-point agenda that included issues such as pay equity and bills aimed at curbing workplace and housing discrimination.

Most of that legislation became law under a Republican-led Senate, save for the plank that supporters said was aimed at the codification of Roe v. Wade in state law.

Even as the pay equity bill passed, some longtime supporters of the measure said at the time it didn’t go far enough in terms of ensuring the wage gap is closed.

In her fundraising email, Niccoli said as a lawmaker she would cover push these issues to the forefront.

“I am committed to safeguarding women’s reproductive rights. And I will go further by fighting for pay equity, fair wages, and pathways to leadership positions in business and government. The world will be a better place with more women at the helm,” she wrote.

Niccoli is facing Republican Sen. George Amedore in the 46th Senate district.

Amedore in 2014 unseated Democrat Cecilia Tkaczyk, a rematch of the 2012 race for the district that covers the Hudson Valley and Mohawk Valley.

Tkaczyk would later file to create an alternative Women’s Equality Party, the ballot line created at Cuomo’s behest in 2014.

Here and Now

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is in New York City with no public schedule.

At 9:30 a.m., NYC Schools Chancellor Carmen Farina welcomes teachers at a New Teacher Week plenary, United Federation of Teachers, 52 Broadway, 2nd Floor, Manhattan.

At 10 a.m., LG Kathy Hochul addresses students and faculty about the governor’s Enough is Enough initiative to combat sexual assault on college campuses, Iona College, Ryan Library, 715 North Ave., New Rochelle.

At 10:30 a.m., the Senate holds a water quality hearing, Hoosick Falls High School, 21187 NY-22, Hoosick Falls, Rensselaer County.

At 11 a.m., Hochul holds a women’s leadership roundtable with Westchester Business Council members, 800 Westchester Ave. S-310, Rye Brook.

Also at 11 a.m., 31st state Senate District candidate Marisol Alcántara will receive the endorsement of the New York State Immigrant Action Fund, the sister organization and political action arm of the New York Immigration Coalition, 31 West 33rd Street, Suite 610, Manhattan.

Also at 11 a.m., state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli speaks at the Fire & Rescue Ceremony in front of the Horticulture Building, State Fair, Syracuse.

Also at 11 a.m., Sen. Tony Avella and Queens Quiet Skies VP Brian Will present findings from Freedom of Information requests to the Port Authority and the FAA regarding LaGuardia Airport runway and flight pattern usage data, 38-50 Bell Blvd., Bayside, Queens.

Also at 11 a.m., Sen. James Sanders Jr announces that $7.65 million in state funding has been allocated for improvements to the Jamaica Transportation Center Station Plaza, Sutphin Boulevard/Archer Avenue train station, Queens.

At 11:15 p.m., the New York State Gaming Commission will host a meeting focused on the issue of retired racehorses, Fasig-Tipton Humphrey S. Finney Pavilion, East & Madison Avenues, Saratoga Springs.

At noon, Hochul holsts a women’s leadership roundtable with Rockland Business Association members, Rockland Community College,, Student Union, Room 3214, 145 College Rd., Suffern.

Also at noon, parents, EpiPen users and activists call out hedge fund manager John Paulson for what they say is his role with the EpiPen price “gauging scandal” and his donations to Trump, 1251 6th Ave., Manhattan.

Also at noon, Staten Island Rep. Dan Donovan hosts a fundraising lunch with Speaker of the House Rep. Paul Ryan, Manhattan.

At 12:30 p.m., NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio hosts a press conference to make an announcement about legal representation for tenants in housing court following a roundtable discussion on the topic, High Bridge Library, 78 West 168th St., the Bronx.

At 1:30 p.m., Sen. Adriano Espaillat, NYC Health Commissioner Dr. Mary Travis Bassett; Dr. Juan Tapia-Mendoza, and local other local doctors and elected officials, will brief the community on what they need to know to protect themselves from Zika, corner of 135th street and Broadway in the lobby of Pediatrics 2000, Manhattan.

At 2 p.m., Hochul convenes a forum to discuss the governor’s efforts to combat heroin and opioid abuse in Rockland County, Rockland Community College, Student Union, Room 3217, 145 College Rd., Suffern.

Also at 2 p.m., DiNapoli will present unclaimed funds checks at the Unclaimed Funds booth, State Fair, Syracuse.

At 3:45 p.m., Hochul tours the RG Campus, 401 North Middletown Rd., Pearl River. (The tour is closed to members of the press, but the LG will hold a media availability after the fact).

At 6 p.m., U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer and Assemblyman Victor Pichardo attend a fundraising reception, Offices of Pitta & Giblin LLP, 120 Broadway, 28th Floor, Manhattan.

At 6:30 p.m., the New York County Democratic Committee holds its summer fundraiser, Henry’s, 2745 Broadway, Manhattan.


House Speaker Paul Ryan’s Western New York fundraising swing began last night in downtown Buffalo, where about 100 people contributed more than $250,000 at attend a fundraiser hosted by Rep. Chris Collins.

Ryan also spent more than an hour at the Marriott Syracuse Downtown stumping for NY-24 Rep. John Katko, who is up for reelection in November. Also at the same hotel: Beach Boy Brian Wilson.

Pastor Mark Burns, an African-American supporter of Donald Trump who has been defending the candidate’s recent outreach to minority voters in the media, tweeted a cartoon of Hillary Clinton in blackface, mocking her outreach to black voters.

Huma Abedin, a top aide to Democratic nominee Clinton, said that she is separating from her husband, former Rep. Anthony Weiner, following a report that he had exchanged sexually-charged messages and photos with another woman.

Further texts obtained by The New York Post show the ex-congressman had been expecting the news. He told his sext buddy that his nearly six-year marriage had been “busted” by the scandals he had forced Abedin to endure.

Weiner’s tawdry activities have cast another shadow on the adviser and confidante who has been by Clinton’s side for the past two decades, and threaten to remind voters of the candidate’s own marital troubles over the decades.

Weiner was vacationing in the Hamptons with his wife when a Post reporter told him the newspaper had obtained his latest round of sexts.

Bronx state Sen. Ruben Diaz Sr., who is also a pentecostal minister, said he was repulsed by the revelation that Weiner sexted a woman a crotch shot of himself with his toddler son in the picture. “I urge the City of New York’s Administration for Children’s Services to investigate this case carefully and thoroughly,” he said.

Law enforcement sources told the NY Daily News that Weiner, 51, was not currently under criminal investigation because the photo in question didn’t rise to the level of endangering the welfare of a child.

DN columnist Linda Stasi calls Abedin a “doormat” and wonders what took her so long to dump her husband.

A former faculty member was arrested yesterday in the shooting of a medical school dean and another person at a deli in Chappaqua, N.Y., the upscale Westchester County hamlet where presidential candidate Clinton lives.

At an address on immigration in Arizona, Trump will reportedly likely continue to distance himself from his earlier “deportation force” idea, which called for rounding up all undocumented immigrants.

Trump wants African-American San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick to leave the U.S. if he won’t say the Pledge of Allegiance.

Trump’s campaign released one of the mogul’s first TV ads of the general election season.

The Obama administration hopes a new rule governing overtime pay will give assistant managers at stores and restaurants a middle-class salary and better working conditions, the nation’s top wage enforcer said.

More >

NY-3: DoD Issues Waiver For MOVE Act

An official at the Department of Defense in a memo issued on Monday to the state Board of Elections wrote a November election in the third congressional district would not conflict with the MOVE Act.

The memo, what amounts to a waiver from the Pentagon, comes as Republican Jack Martins has sought to move the general election for the open congressional seat to December.

Martins has argued that because of a legal determination that a GOP primary be held in October, moving the general election back a month would allow timely absentee ballot access for military and overseas voters.

But because of the unusual nature of the campaign — a late primary following a protracted legal dispute between Martins and his GOP opponent Philip Pidot — the Department of Defense determined an “undue hardship” was at stake in the campaign.

At the same time the Department of Defense found the Board of Elections had developed “a comprehensive plan” that provides enough time to comply with the federal law.

DoD NY WaiverResponseCompiled 20160829 Final %281%29

After Prolonged Push, Hoosick Falls To Get Its Water Hearing

Hoosick Falls residents will have their first chance to directly confront state officials on Tuesday in a public hearing to address the PFOA contamination in the village’s drinking water.

“It’s an opportunity for the residents in Hoosick Falls to tell their stories and I think it’s very important that we listen to them,” said Sen. Kathy Marchione, the Republican lawmaker in the Senate who represents the area.

The hearing is being held after a prolonged effort by residents of the rural village to get to the bottom of how the chemical contamination went undetected for so long.

“I think we need to know when did you know about PFOA, how did you handle it, who did you speak with,” Marchione said.

Marchione herself has come under fire from village residents for not initially backing hearings. She’s passed legislation making it easier for those who live in declared superfund sites like Hoosick Falls to sue.

“I think that people will still be very concerned and I’m still very concerned that cleanup isn’t done,” she said. “The blood tests show high levels of PFOA. That doesn’t go away. That stays with you every single night.”

Expected to testify at the hearing in Hoosick Falls are the commissioners of the state health and environmental conservation departments. But the federal Environmental Protection Agency will only submit written testimony.

“To say that I was disappointed would be an understatement,” Marchione said. “I believe that EPA should be there. I believe that people in my district deserve to hear from EPA just like they deserve to hear from DOH and DEC.”

The hearing is the first of several forums state lawmakers plan to hold on water quality. Next month, both the Senate and Assembly will hold joint hearings on statewide water quality issues.

“We need to as a state and as a country need to focus on rebuilding our infrastructure and a big part of that infrastructure is making sure folks have clean water,” said Assemblyman Steve McLaughlin.

McLaughlin says state officials didn’t act swiftly enough to address initial reports of the PFOA contamination in Hoosick Falls.

“It’s crucial, I mean this is on a level of Flint Michigan type of a problem with government not letting folks know what was going on,” he said.

The Hoosick Falls hearing begins at 10:30 Tuesday morning at Hoosick Falls high school.


After new revelations about his sexting habit, Huma Abedin, a top aide to Hillary Clinton, announced she’s leaving her marriage to ex-Rep. Anthony Weiner.

Donald Trump issued a statement saying Abedin made a “very wise decision,” but also questioned whether Weiner had endangered national security.

Citing confidentiality, a spokeswoman for the NYC Administration for Children’s Services would not comment on whether Weiner’s behavior – sending a woman who was not his wife a screen shot of himself in his underwear with his son beside him in bed – would prompt an inquiry.

Multiple news organizations – including our sister station, NY1 – have moved to sever or suspend their ties with Weiner.

Two people were shot this morning outside a deli in Chappaqua about a mile from Democratic presidential candidate Clinton’s home.

Clinton is rolling out a comprehensive plan to address millions of Americans coping with mental illness, pointing to the need to fully integrate mental health services into the nation’s health-care system.

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani wasn’t a fan of Beyoncé’s performance at the MTV Video Music Awards last night, taking issue with the pop star’s statement about police brutality in the black community.

S.J. Jung, who is challenging incumbent Sen. Toby Ann Stavisky in the Sept. 13 Democratic primary, vowed to fight to bar pictures of same-sex couples from appearing in school textbooks.

Drug maker Mylan said it will offer a generic version of the life-saving allergy treatment EpiPen for half the list price of the brand-name treatment after it became the center of a national controversy over skyrocketing drug prices.

The owner of Ballister’s Bistro in Rome has created three sandwiches and a salad with ingredients chosen to poke fun at the four presidential candidates.

Republican congressional candidate Claudia Tenney picked up an endorsement from a congressman outside NY-22 -retiring NY-19 Rep. Chris Gibson – after GOP incumbent Rep. Richard Hanna vowed he will never support her.

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Wendy Long slammed her Democratic opponent, Sen. Chuck Schumer, for failing to speak out about the EpiPen situation, noting he has received campaign cash from the drug company’s CEO and its PAC.

For the first time in decades, the Assembly has a speaker (Carl Heastie) who’s willing to vote against proposed legislation, at least on occasion. But dissent on legislation remains rare in the chamber.

Less than 24 hours before a state Senate hearing on water quality begins in the Rensselaer County community of Hoosick Falls, the DEC has declared municipal landfills in the Village of Hoosick Falls and towns of Petersburgh and Berlin to be “potential” state superfund sites.

More pre-hearing news: Sen. Broad Hoyman, a Manhattan Democrat, said he will propose legislation aimed at broadening the state’s monitoring of water contaminates.

The author of a newly released book on the Attica prison uprising says there are thousands of documents that the state refuses to release publicly, many of which would likely reveal massive cover-ups at the highest levels.

Million Dollar Beach and Dog Beach were re-opened for swimming again by the DEC.

Polling The Senate Battlegrounds

New Yorkers For A Balanced Albany, an independent expenditure committee that backs Republican control of the state Senate, has spent $156,000 polling key battleground races that could decide power in the chamber.

Records filed with the state Board of Elections show the group paid for polling in four Long Island Senate races as well as four Hudson Valley districts.

The group polled the races facing Sens. Carl Marcellino and Kemp Hannon, as well as candidates Chris McGrath and Elaine Phillips.

Polling is also being conducted in the districts held further upstate by Sens. Bill Larkin, Terrence Murphy, Sue Serino and George Amedore.

Of those races, only McGrath is challenging a Democratic-held seat: He is facing Sen. Todd Kaminsky in a rematch from the April special election to fill the Nassau County district vacated by ex-Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos.

New Yorkers For A Balanced Albany is led by Angela Dickens, the general counsel for StudentsFirstNY, a group that has backed education reform and charter school efforts in New York.

The group’s donors include hedge fund manager Daniel Loeb and heiress Alice Walton.

Judge Tosses Citizens United’s Donor Dislcosure Suit

An effort by Citizens United to block the state from enforcing donor disclosure rules has been tossed by a federal court judge on Monday, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s office announce.

“Today’s decision is a victory for common sense oversight of New York’s vast nonprofit sector,” Schneiderman said in a statement. “New Yorkers deserve to know their donations are protected against fraud and abuse, and today the court protected that right by dismissing each and every one of Citizen United’s claims.”

The court found the attorney general’s office did not violate the non-profit organization’s constitutional rights in requiring they disclose their largest donors before they seek funds.

The conservative group, which was the plaintiff in a successful Supreme Court court challenging limits to independent spending ushering in the super PAC era, had argued that disclosing donors would incur backlash against them.

The decision comes as new donor disclosure requirements for non-profit groups is taking effect in New York. Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed that measure, widely considered to be the chief ethics bill this year, into law earlier this month.

Citizens United Opinion by Nick Reisman on Scribd

NY-23: Plumb Ad Highlights Military Career

The second television advertisement from Democratic congressional candidate John Plumb released Monday highlights his career in the U.S. Navy Reserve.

In the ad, titled “Deserve,” Plumb vows to not just identified problems, but also come up with solutions.

“Washington’s solve-nothing approach would never be accepted in our country’s military. And from the lack of job opportunities to unaffordable college education, our middle class families work too hard and face too many challenges to let Congress get away with it for any longer,” he said in a statement. “I will hold Washington accountable and fight for our working families with the same commitment to service and hard work that I have put to practice for twenty-two years in the U.S. Navy.”

Plumb is running against incumbent Republican Rep. Tom Reed for the 23rd congressional district that includes western New York and the Southern Tier regions of the state.