Cahill Won’t Run For Attorney General

Republican John Cahill on Monday announced he would not seek the party’s nomination for attorney general in a race that was unsettled this month by the resignation of Democratic incumbent Eric Schneiderman.

“After serious deliberation and reflection, I have decided not to seek the office of NYS AG,” Cahill wrote in a series of tweets.

“I believe the stakes are high for our state and the seat is winnable, but I had already decided not to seek elective office in 2018 and I stand by that decision today. I’m thankful for the support of my family, friends and colleagues from around the state who have assisted me throughout this process. It was a difficult decision, but ultimately the right decision for me and my family.”

Cahill was the party’s 2014 nominee for attorney general. A former environmental conservation commissioner and top aide to Gov. George Pataki, Cahill had spoken with party chairs and donors last week about a potential run.

For now, this leaves the sole candidate in the race on the Republican side Manny Alicandro, an attorney from Brooklyn.

New York City Public Advocate Tish James and Fordham Law School professor Zephyr Teachout are seeking the Democratic nomination.

Extras

Former President Obama and his wife, Michelle, signed a multiyear agreement to produce films and series for Netflix. The deal can include scripted and unscripted series, as well as documentaries and features.

In a case involving the rights of tens of millions of private-sector employees, the U.S. Supreme Court, by a 5-4 vote, delivered a major blow to workers, ruling for the first time that workers may not band together to challenge violations of federal labor laws.

As she was sworn in as director of the CIA – the first woman ever to hold the post – Gina Haspel promised to strengthen the agency, send more officers into the field, boost foreign-language proficiency, and strengthen partnerships abroad and at home.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has agreed to debate his Democratic primary opponent, Cynthia Nixon, though details have yet to be announced.

Hillary Clinton plans to speak tomorrow at the New York Democratic convention and endorse Cuomo, who worked for her husband’s administration as HUD secretary, for a third term.

Despite her plans to back Cuomo and Sen. Diane Feinstein, of California, Clinton will not be front and center in any campaigns, partly because her very presence continues to be a red flag for both the left and right.

Former President Clinton, meanwhile, has been all but invisible so far this election cycle.

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders announced he will seek re-election this year, with a formal kickoff in June as he angles for a third term.

A not-yet-public Justice Department inspector general report criticizes the FBI for not acting quickly enough to review Clinton’s emails ahead of the 2016 election, according to the Associated Press.

Jurors in the federal corruption trial of former Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano and former Oyster Bay Supervisor John Venditto asked for information relating to two county contracts that the two allegedly secured for restaurateur Harendra Singh.

Michael Boxley, the former Assembly counsel who pleaded guilty to sexual misconduct in 2003, left influential Albany lobbying firm Brown & Weinraub, which hired him in 2011, after he “decided to pursue new avenues in his career.”

New York surpassed all states with per-pupil elementary and secondary school spending of $22,366 per pupil as of 2016, according to the latest U.S. Census data.

Cuomo is in Saratoga Springs today for a high-dollar fundraiser, with donors giving up to $2,000 for a round of golf and a chance to see him at dinner.

Mount Vernon Mayor Richard Thomas’ attempt to block the state attorney general’s office from prosecuting him on criminal charges has been shot down.

A day after the Times Union reported on apparent fabrications in the professional biography of Upstate Medical University’s chief of staff, the State University of New York school in Syracuse has placed the official on leave and is conducting a review of the matter.

Parents of public school students should consider pulling their children out of school until the nation passes new restrictions on gun laws, former U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan tweeted.

An anonymous “U.S. official” says Giuliani’s claim the Mueller probe will be complete by Sept. 1 is “entirely made up” and “another apparent effort to pressure the special counsel to hasten the end of his work.”

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is rescinding the honorary degree the school gave to Bill Cosby in 2001.

New York’s gambling regulators are working on rules that would allow sports betting even if state lawmakers don’t act.

Former U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara has the Reform Party’s line for AG if he wants it, though he hasn’t indicated whether he plans to actually run.

NYC Council Speaker Corey Johnson threw his support behind NYC Public Advocate Letitia James’ run for state attorney general, calling her the “most qualified candidate” for the office.

As part of a Civics for All initiative, the de Blasio administration distributed voter registration forms to high schools across the city today, so as to register students who are 18 or will be by the midterm elections on Nov. 6.

RG&E and NYSEG must dip into corporate profits to pay $3.9 million to resolve a state investigation that found the companies mishandled their response to the ferocious March 2017 windstorm.

Despite ongoing concerns about the fate of the Affordable Care Act, demand for health coverage under the state’s health insurance marketplace remained strong as individual enrollment increased by nearly 700,000 this past year to 4.3 million covered New Yorkers.

A Hudson Valley woman is suing the town she lives in (Red Hook) because she believes her right to tend her garden while topless was violated.

After a toxic algae bloom threatened drinking water supplies last fall, Skaneateles Lake residents are banding together to spot any potential blooms as they develop.

Lypsinka, AKA John Epperson, hosted a fundraiser in Kingston this past weekend for NY-19 Democratic candidate Brian Flynn.

Queens Dems Back Peralta

Democrats in Queens on Monday announced they would back Sen. Jose Peralta’s re-election as he faces a primary challenge from Jessica Ramos.

“I am immensely proud to have received the support of Queens County. For the past eight years, I have had the great privilege of serving my constituents with the steadfast leadership they deserve. With the support from Queens County, I once again reaffirm my commitment to champion progressive values and issues that move our state forward,” Peralta said.

“Working with my Queens colleagues, I have fought tirelessly for working men and women by successfully raising the minimum wage and passing paid family leave, bettering our schools, securing historic levels of legal aid funding for immigrants, and protecting tenants and homeowners. Our work is not over, but this endorsement signals to the people of Queens that we are united in fighting for them.”

Peralta, a former member of the Independent Democratic Conference, rejoined the mainline conference of Democrats last month.

“New Yorkers want to see their public officials fighting to advance progressive values and enact measures that will create good-paying jobs, expand access to health care, protect immigrants, and keep guns out of our schools and communities,” said said Michael Reich, the Queens party’s executive secretary. “The only way these goals will be accomplished is by working together to elect Democrats at every level of government. For this reason, the Queens County Democratic Party believes Jose Peralta is the right choice for District 13 and endorses his re-election.”

Ramos, meanwhile, announced she received an endorsement from the Tenants PAC and criticized Peralta for appearing at the same event with former Sen. Hiram Monserrate, who was expelled from the Senate after he was convicted on misdemeanor domestic violence charges.

The Peralta campaign insisted he never sought support from Monserrate and is not seeking his endorsement. The event itself was with the East Elmhurst Corona Democratic Club Meeting that was honoring Bertha Lewis from The Black Institute.

“Now that it’s an election year, he has conveniently decided to join the Democratic Party once again,” Ramos said. “Comptroller Stringer, Council Members Constantinides and Van Bramer, the Working Families Party, and thousands of grassroots supporters are supporting our campaign — because they know that unlike Peralta, I will never betray our district or our party. I’m running to fix the subways, protect affordable housing, and fund our public schools — and when I get to Albany, I will actually deliver for working families.”

Skoufis Officially Launches Senate Bid

Democrat James Skoufis on Monday formally entered the race for the 39th Senate district, a key race and seat in the Hudson Valley the party hopes to flip to their column this year.

“I’ve been proud to serve our region in the State Assembly where I’ve stood up to special interests and pushed to level an out-of-whack playing field in the Hudson Valley,” said Skoufis, a member of the state Assemblt.

“Now, as we approach a crossroads, I am proud to announce our campaign to serve in the State Senate. I’ll continue to fight against those forces in Albany and New York City who look to treat the Hudson Valley like a punching bag and ATM. As our Senator, I’ll make sure we get our fair share of education and infrastructure aid as well as continue to represent my constituents with the ethic and integrity they deserve. It’s high time we Make New York Fair Again and demand Albany fully and unequivocally respect the Hudson Valley.”

Skoufis was first elected in 2012 and took office as the youngest member of the Assembly. He’s running to replace Sen. Bill Larkin, who is among the five Republicans retiring this year.

Democrats have long hoped Skoufis would run for the seat and it’s considered one of the top battleground races this fall.

Republicans Tom Basile and Mike Anagnostakis are seeking the GOP nomination.

Senate GOP Says Campaign Committee Has $1.5M In Cash On Hand

The campaign committee for the Senate Republican conference today will report $1.5 million in cash on hand and having raised $1.2 million since January.

The war chest is roughly double what Democrats in the state Senate have reported, but comes as Republicans this year face significant political headwinds and must defend five open seats due to retirements in the chamber.

“Our robust fundraising pace shows the incredible depth of support we have from individuals across this state, who understand how important our Majority is to the state’s overall well-being and their own quality of life,” said Senate GOP spokesman Scott Reif.

Democrats last month retained two seats in special elections in the Bronx and Westchester County, giving them a mathematical majority in the Senate. But Republicans are retaining power with the aid of Sen. Simcha Felder, a registered Democrat who is allied with the GOP conference.

Senate Republicans, however, insist their broadened message will help them retain their majority.

“We share the priorities of middle-class New Yorkers, and are working everyday to make meaningful progress for them on issues like affordability, opportunity and security,” Reif said. “Hardworking taxpayers know we have their backs, and families throughout the Hudson Valley, Long Island and Upstate New York recognize we represent the balance and accountability they need and deserve. That is why we are going to win in November.”

Clinton To Keynote State Democratic Convention

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will provide the keynote address Wednesday at the state Democratic convention, New York Democrats announced Monday.

Clinton, a former U.S. senator representing New York, will also endorse Gov. Andrew Cuomo for a third term as he faces a Democratic primary challenge from actress and education advocate Cynthia Nixon.

“New York has led the way in fighting back against the divisive, hateful agenda of the ultra-conservatives in Washington and worked to create a fairer, more inclusive state for all,” Clinton said in a statement. “Working together we will elect more Democrats every level of government to advance our shared progressive vision of equality and opportunity, and build a brighter future for generations to come.”

Clinton’s appearance at the convention is sure to rile Nixon’s supporters, many of whom are aligned with Clinton’s rival for the Democratic nomination for president in 2016, Bernie Sanders. Nixon herself endorsed Clinton in the campaign.

The appearance is the most high-profile one for Clinton in political circles since her loss to President Donald Trump.

NYC Council Speaker Endorses James For AG

New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson on Monday endorsed Public Advocate Letitia James to become the next state attorney general.

James has been consolidating support for the Democratic nomination ahead of the state party convention on Wednesday, with nods from labor unions, Assembly Majority Leader Joe Morelle, Assemblywoman Earlene Hooper and the likely backing of Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

“As a leading voice in our City for equal rights, I am honored to have Speaker Corey Johnson’s support,” James said. “As Attorney General, I will continue to fight to protect the rights of all New Yorkers in every corner of our state.”

James, for now, has spurned the support of the Working Families Party, which endorsed both her and Zephyr Teachout, who is also expected to seek the party’s nomination for attorney general.

The WFP on Saturday at its convention nominated a placeholder for AG while indicating they would be open to supporting either Teachout or James in the race.

Flanagan Praises Killian Pick

Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan in a statement Monday praised the selection of Julie Killian to run for lieutenant governor on the ticket of Republican Marc Molinaro.

The statement comes after a day of head scratching — mostly from Democrats — on Killian joining the ticket. She is former Rye city councilwoman and who has run twice for the state Senate in Westchester County.

But despite those losses, Killian remains popular in state Republican circles and within the Senate GOP.

“In selecting Julie Killian, Marc Molinaro has made an outstanding choice to be his running mate in November,” Flanagan said. “Julie is a whip smart chemical engineer who has spent the bulk of her career working in the private sector. She has extensive experience in local government and understands the decisions made in Albany have a profound impact on hardworking local taxpayers and their families. She knows we have more work to do to make New York affordable for the middle-class, and that we need to encourage the creation of good-paying jobs that allow people to stay and raise their families here. On top of that, Julie has done extraordinary work helping individuals addicted to heroin and opioids overcome their dependency and turn their lives around.”

Killian last month lost a special election for the 37th Senate district to Democratic Sen. Shelley Mayer.

“She would have made a tremendous addition to the State Senate, and I regret that we couldn’t get her elected in that capacity,” Flanagan said. “Sometimes, however, when one door closes another door opens. New Yorkers are going to love Julie Killian. I am confident she will make a fantastic Lieutenant Governor.

People For Bernie Back Biaggi In SD-34

A pro-Bernie Sanders group on Monday announced its backing of Democratic state Senate candidate Alessandra Biaggi, who is running a primary campaign against Sen. Jeff Klein.

Biaggi is being endorsed by People for Bernie in her bid to defeat Klein, the former leader of the now-defunct Independent Democratic Conference.

“I’m thrilled to be supported by The People for Bernie,” Biaggi said. “Not only do we have a shared vision for the future – the organization and our campaign are both built on grassroots ‘people power.’”

The IDC folded in April and its members joined the mainline conference fold. But that has not deterred the previously announced primary challengers to several IDC lawmakers.

The agreement for the IDC to dissolve left Klein as the deputy minority leader in the state Senate. Klein earlier this year was accused of sexual harassment by a former staffer. Klein has denied the allegation and the Joint Commission on Public Ethics is investigating.

“We are enthusiastically endorsing Alessandra,” said Kat Brezler, co-founder of The People for Bernie. “Biaggi has been knocking all the doors in the District where grew up. This is the work it takes to win election – not backroom deals that have been the cornerstone of her opponent’s process.

Klein, meanwhile, over the weekend was endorsed by the Hotel Trades Council, a union endorsement the came after he was backed by RWDSU.

“The Hotel Trades Council proudly stands with Jeff Klein and strongly endorses his reelection to the New York State Senate,” said New York Hotel and Motel Trades Council President Peter Ward. Jeff Klein is a proven leader, who fights tirelessly—and delivers—for labor and all of New York’s working families. We need his continued leadership in Albany.”

Reform Party Backs Bharara For AG

From the Morning Memo:

The Reform Party on Sunday endorsed former U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara for attorney general — a nod that may leave the party jilted at the alter since the prominent ex-prosecutor and podcast host has not declared whether he’ll actually run.

The party on Sunday also issued certifications of nomination to candidates Chris Garvey, Nancy Regula and Michael Diederich to run for attorney general, said Frank Morano, a Reform Party leader and New York City political activist.

Bharara has risen to prominence in New York for his aggressive pursuit of public corruption cases that led to the convictions of the top former legislative leaders in the Senate and Assembly. Bharara has since become a vocal critic of President Donald Trump following his firing in 2017 as U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York.

He has not closed the door on running for attorney general, a post vacated earlier this month after Eric Schneiderman was accused of domestic violence by four women, though declined to participate in the legislative appointment process.

As of last week, Bharara was not a registered voter in New York, having been purged from the rolls in 2006.

The Reform Party was formed in 2014 by the campaign of Republican gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino as a ballot line to highlight opposition to the Common Core education standards. The party was rebranded the Reform Party and later was taken control of by Curtis Sliwa, the found of the Guardian Angels.

The party on Sunday also endorsed Democratic Comptroller Tom DiNapoli and the Republican gubernatorial ticket of Marc Molinaro and Julie Killian.