Jeffries Backs Iran Nuclear Agreement

jeffriesBrooklyn Democratic Rep. Hakeem Jeffries on Tuesday announced he will support a multinational agreement to limit Iran’s nuclear capabilities in exchange for lifting economic sanctions.

Jeffries becomes the latest member of the New York City House delegation to back the agreement.

On Monday, Reps. Yvette Clarke, Gregory Meeks and Nydia Velazquez announced their support for the deal.

New York’s senior senator, incoming Democratic leader Chuck Schumer, is the most prominent New York Democrat to oppose the agreement. More >


Pope Francis will ride through Central Park later this month in his most massive public appearance during his visit to New York City. Tens of thousands of people are expected to line the West Drive of the park on Sept. 25, as he travels between an East Harlem school and his Mass at Madison Square Garden Friday evening.

Cuomo visited the New York State Fairgrounds this morning to detail exactly how a $50 million state investment will be spent.

As expected, Cuomo’s plans include razing the fair’s grandstand and century-old racetrack. He did not indicate where Super DIRT Week will go, saying that will be announced later.

The governor, whose girlfriend, Sandra Lee, is recovering from breast cancer surgery, shared an emotional moment at the fair with three-time breast cancer survivor, Judy Rice, of North Syracuse.

While at the fair, Cuomo sported a purple “Carey On” bracelet made by Syracuse YNN to remember the late great Bill Carey.

Cuomo wrote an OpEd for the Huffington Post outlining his economic development accomplishments and strategy for upstate.

After discussion with AG Eric Schneiderman’s office, Westchester County District Attorney Janet DiFiore has decided to investigate the death of a 61-year-old Mount Vernon man accidentally shot and killed during an undercover gun buy.

Brooklyn Federal Judge Sandra Townes refused to postpone next week’s sentencing of ex-Assemblyman William Boyland Jr. despite his claim that he’s hiring a new lawyer.

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio attacked former Mayor Rudy Giuliani for his claim that the solution to the mushrooming homelessness population is to “chase them out of the city,” saying his predecessor should instead remember the charitable precepts espoused by Catholic leaders like Cardinal Timothy Dolan and Pope Francis.

Republican presidential candidate and former Florida governor Jeb Bush criticized de Blasio for the second time in as many weeks today, citing the mayor’s record on charter schools.

A crackdown on underage drinking at summer concerts and hot spots will last through Labor Day weekend, Cuomo said.

New Buffalo Public Schools Superintendent Kriner Cash says he intends to stay for the full four years of his contract, and roll out changes as quickly as possible to turn around the struggling city district.

Another day, another Women’s Equality Party takeover attempt – this time by Republican women.

Not everything revealed in the latest batch of Hillary Clinton’s emails released by the State Department was serious. More here.

Former Rep. Michael Grimm is asking a judge to delay the start of his prison sentence for about two weeks so he can have surgery. He’s scheduled to start his eight-month prison sentence on Sept. 10. A judge is considering his request to do it on Sept. 22.

Asked about former Governor and GOP 2016 contender George Pataki’s assertion about police being ordered to back off enforcement of quality-of-life laws, NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton said, “Not at all.”

At least a dozen staffers have been cut from Bloomberg’s Washington bureau as the company looks to cut around 80 to 100 employees across the company. The national security team was particularly hit hard, as were the economics and defense teams.

A woman who escaped from police custody by slipping out of a handcuff when an officer left her alone to use the bathroom was arrested this morning in Manhattan.

Cuomo says a plant that will process food waste into clean energy is coming to eastern Long Island. The so-called anaerobic digester project is slated for a 62-acre site in Yaphank. It will be operated by American Organic Energy at its compost facility, and is expected to be completed in August 2016.

New York’s top court has declined to hear the appeal of “Tommy” and “Kiko,” ending the chimpanzees’ bid to gain “legal personhood” status.

Brooke Shields showed up for jury duty in NYC today and appeared “happy to serve,” according to a court official. Supermarket mogul John Catsimatidis also was called, but got out of serving due to a medical procedure scheduled for next week.

For the first time in its 50-year history, the Chicago-based International Polka Association is holding its annual convention where God surely intended – in Cheektowaga.

The harder states make it to get guns — like New York — the fewer people die because of them, a new analysis of firearm restrictions by the National Journal shows.

The state Office of General Services’ Capitol tours program was the winner of a “Certificate of Excellence” from the popular online travel site TripAdvisor.

SD-52: Board of Elections Denies Ballot Access To Third Party Challengers

sd52The state Board of Elections on Tuesday ruled against two candidates who sought to gain third-party ballot lines for the 52nd Senate district special election.

The board ruled against the petitions submitted by Rich Purtell, who had sought the Libertarian ballot line, as well as Denver Jones, a Republican businessman who had petitioned for the Taxpayers ballot line.

Both can appeal the decision, but Jones recently lost a ruling that would have given him more time to collect petitions for the independent nominating process.

Jones had last ran against then-Sen. Tom Libous in a Republican primary in 2014. More >

NY Lawmakers Want To Preserve View Of New Jersey

espaillatA group of Senate Democrats in a letter to a New Jersey state lawmaker are backing a bill that would preserve the (New York) view of the Palisades.

Signing on to the letter included Senate Minority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, Independent Democratic Conference Leader Jeff Klein, along with Sens. Adriano Espaillat, David Carlucci and Brad Hoylman.

“In 1900 New Jersey Governor Foster Voorheers, and the great conservationist, New York Governor Theodore Roosevelt, came together to create the Palisades Interstate Park Commission, an organization that still works to protect the Palisades today,” the lawmakers write in the letter. “As elected officials representing the shores of the Hudson we will continue to stand with you, to carry on the great tradition of New York and New Jersey elected officials banning together to protect the Palisades Park.”

More >

Samuels Cheers WEP Takeover Attempt

womensequalityBill Samuels, the Democratic donor and founder of the good-government advocacy group Effective NY, is cheering the effort by former Sen. Cecilia Tkaczyk to wrest control of the Women’s Equality Party from allies of Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

“The Women’s Equality Party has an important role to play in securing pay equity, access to reproductive health care and eliminating discrimination against women in the Empire State,” Samuels said. “A robust Women’s Equality Party run by women and for women benefits all New Yorkers. I applaud Senator Tkaczyk’s bold move to make that make that a reality.”

Samuels, in a statement posted to Facebook on Tuesday, wrote that Tkaczyk’s effort will make the ballot line formed last year “an effective vehicle” for women in New York.

“New York’s Women’s Equality Party was created for the cynical purposes of advancing the political fortunes of one man, Governor Andrew Cuomo,” Samuels said in the statement. “It was run by men, funded by men and endorsed mostly male candidates. Since securing over 50,000 votes on the WEP line last November, Governor Cuomo has worked to further tighten his control over the WEP.”

More >

Cuomo Acknowledges ‘More Work To Do’ In Southern Tier

upstatenyAs supporters of gun rights and hydrofracking push to have the Southern Tier region separate from New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday acknowledged “more work” is needed to help the area.

“We have other regions where we have more work to do and I will be the first to admit it. Parts of the Southern Tier — we have more work to do,” Cuomo said during a visit to the state fairgrounds outside of Syracuse. “We have more work in bringing back jobs. The state can only do so much, then it’s up to the localities. But Southern Tier, there’s more work to do, no doubt about it.”

The acknowledgement of the Southern Tier’s economic woes come as Cuomo, more broadly, has sought to assert his own efforts of helping the region which he says has been ignored by the rest of state government over the decades. More >

In Syracuse, Cuomo Praises Out-Gunned Upstate Lawmakers

cuomostatefairAs he touted a $50 million upgrade to the State Fair in Onondaga County on Tuesday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo heaped praise on upstate lawmakers he said were outnumbered in Albany by New York City interests.

“Not only do they have to advocate and push, but they have to advocate and push for upstate New York, central New York, when the bulk of the Legislature is from downstate New York,” Cuomo said. “Each legislator has to do the work of 10 people. They’re really in the minority in the Legislature and that’s one of the reasons why upstate New York hasn’t gotten the attention it deserves.”

It’s a variation on a common theme for Cuomo lately, who has decried the influence of New York City elected officials in Albany, who he says has had more influence over policy and spending over the years to the detriment of upstate regions.

Attending the announcement at the fairgrounds included Republican Sen. John DeFrancisco, the deputy majority leader, and Democratic Assemblyman Bill Magnarelli. More >

Elia Draws A Line

testsFrom the Morning Memo:

Amid criticism from lawmakers and advocates for her comments regarding the opt-out movement, state Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia has softened her stance somewhat, but still insists it’s inappropriate for teachers and superintendents to advocate for students not to take state tests.

During a CapTon interview last night, Elia said there’s definitely an ethical “line” teachers should not cross when it comes to the third-through-eighth-grade English and math exams.

The commissioner said educators should not use the “pulpit” provided by their positions to reach out to parents and encourage them to opt out, but should feel free to answer questions about their personal position on the issue when asked – especially if those questions are posed outside the classroom.

“What I’m concerned about is taking a position and influencing children and families simply because they know their telephone number or someone might come in,” Elia said. More >

SD-52: Jones Yet To File Disclosure Reports

From the Morning Memo:

Denver Jones, the businessman and political activist who is considering a third-party bid to run in the 52nd Senate district, is yet to file a financial disclosure report despite having run for the seat in the past.

Jones launched a primary bid against then-incumbent Republican Tom Libous in 2014, but never filed a campaign finance disclosure report with the state Board of Elections.

Libous won, 7,563 votes to Jones’s 4,232 votes.

The threshold for reporting expenditures is $1,000 for a Senate campaign, but he would still be required to file a “no activity” statement during that time, which he did has not.

A message left for the Jones campaign on Monday was not returned. More >

Here and Now

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s press office has not yet released his public schedule.

Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie is continuing his tour of Democratic conference member districts outside the five boroughs with a visit to Nassau County, Long Island.

At 9 a.m., Heastie tours Kulanu Academy with Assemblyman Todd Kaminsky, 620 Central Ave., Cedarhurst, Long Island.

At 9:30 a.m., Heastie tours the Achiezer Community Center, 334 Central Ave., Cedarhurst, Long Island.

At 10:15 a.m., Heastie tours Bay Park, 3 North Blvd., East Rockaway.

At 11 a.m., Sen. Tony Avella demands better oversight of the Department of Transportation on sidewalks damaged by city-owned trees, 224-23 Davenport Ave., Queens Village, Queens.

Also at 11 a.m., Sen. David Carlucci joins Environment New York’s Clean Water Campaign and Riverkeeper for the release of a report entitled “Summer Fun Index,” Louis Engel Waterfront Park, Westerly Road, Ossining.

Also at 11 a.m., SUNY holds a special executive committee meeting, SUNY Global Center, 116 E. 55th St., Manhattan.

Also at 11 a.m., Heastie tours the Oceanside Fire Department, 65 Foxhurst Rd., Oceanside.

At 11:40 a.m., Heastie meets with African-American community leaders, Martin Luther King Community Center, 615 Riverside Blvd., Long Beach.

Also at 11:40 a.m., NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio will appear live on the Brian Lehrer Show on WNYC.

At noon, Heastie tours lifted homes rebuilt after Superstorm Sandy, 32 Dalton St., Long Beach.

At 12:30 p.m., Heastie tours the Long Beach Emergency Department, 325 East Bay Dr., Long Beach.

At 1 p.m., Heastie visits the Elmont Memoral Public Library with Assemblywoman Michaelle Solages, 700 Hempstead Turnpike, Elmont.

At 1:15 p.m., NYC Councilman Ruben Wills, city Sanitation Commissioner Kathryn Garcia and Assemblywoman Michelle Titus tour Liberty Avenue to educate local business owners about storefront maintenance, Liberty Avenue and Van Wyck Expressway, Queens.

At 2:30 p.m., state Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia will deliver keynote remarks to Cairo-Durham Central School District teachers during Superintendent’s Conference Day, Cairo-Durham High School, 1301 Route 145, Cairo.

At 3:25 p.m., Heastie visits the Sapienza Bakery, 1376 Hempstead Turnpike, Elmont.

At 4:05 p.m., Heastie tours the Cornell Ruffian Equine Center, 111 Plainfield Ave., Elmont.

At 4:25 p.m., Heastie tours the Belmont Park Train Station, 2150 Hempstead Ave., Elmont.

At 5:30 a.m., GOP presidential hopeful Sen. Lindsey Graham and former Sen. Joe Lieberman will be among the speakers at a “Stop Iran” rally held in front of Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand’s NYC office, 780 3rd Ave., Manhattan.


A group of New York public officials led by Gov. Andrew Cuomo is scheduled to travel to Puerto Rico Sept. 7-8 for a whirlwind 24-hour trip featuring meetings on the island’s economic crisis.

Among those joining Cuomo on his trip will be NYC Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, a native of Puerto Rico; NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer; AG Eric Schneiderman; Health Commissioner Howard Zucker; Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.; and Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie. NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio was not invited to attend.

Columbia University President Lee Bollinger caused a stir by reportedly announcing that President Barack Obama will be coming to the New York-based campus in 2017. The university later clarified that Bollinger was not making a big reveal.

Survival expert Bear Grylls has bagged his biggest celebrity yet for a walk in the wilderness — Obama. NBC and the White House said the president will meet with Grylls during his visit to Alaska to discuss climate change, then spend some time in the wilderness.

A handful of House Democrats, including three from New York, said they would support Obama’s nuclear accord with Iran. Reps. Nydia Velazquez, Yvette Clarke and Gregory Meeks all backed the deal reached in Vienna in July imposes limits on Iran’s nuclear activities in exchange for international sanctions relief.

De Blasio’s deputy mayor for health and human services, Lilliam Barrios-Paoli, will leave the administration at the end of September to chair the board of the city’s Health and Hospitals Corp.

Her departure marks the highest-ranking resignation in de Blasio’s administration during his 20 months in office and comes at a critical time in his tenure when he is being criticized for his handling of the city’s homelessness problem.

Barrios-Paoli, a former Catholic nun, is leaving a $222,182-a-year job to work for free.

De Blasio hosted his first – unannounced – Twitter chat, which featured some negative questioners.

Republican 2016 candidate Donald Trump has lost a battle in his fight against state Eric Schneiderman. The state ethics commission has decided against proceeding with a 2013 ethics complaint that the billionaire developer filed last year against the AG.

NYC Public Advocate Letitia “Tish” James, mentioned as a possible primary challenger to de Blasio in 2017, has joined the fight against his plan to bring 339 new units of affordable and luxury housing to Brooklyn Bridge Park.

An Upper East Side parochial school was closed for cleaning after tests found low levels of the legionella bacteria in a cooling tower.

Disgraced former Assemblyman Vito Lopez’s “dying wish” is reportedly to elevate to Brooklyn Supreme Court the mother of a teen intern he has been accused of sexually harassing.

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