Extras

Speaking to reporters before departing today for Mar-a-lago, President Trump said of Alabama U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore’s sexual harassment scandal: “we don’t need a liberal Democrat in that seat.”

CBS News and PBS both said that veteran TV anchor Charlie Rose’s contracts with them had been terminated.

On today’s “CBS This Morning” broadcast, Rose’s co-hosts, Diane King and Norah Donnell weighed in about their colleague, denouncing his actions and saying he does not get a pass because of his fame.

The Diocese of Rockville Centre has rescinded an award it planned to give Rose after learning of the allegations of sexual harassment against him.

A leading Democratic lawmaker on the House Judiciary Committee, Rep. Zoe Lofgren of California, says the House Ethics Committee should investigate allegations of sexual harassment against Rep. John Conyers, of Michigan, and the committee apparently is heeding that call.

Conyers, the longest-serving current House member, insists that contrary to a BuzzFeed report, he has never settled a sexual-harassment complaint and vehemently denies the allegations lodged against him.

Disney Animation head John Lasseter is taking a leave of absence from Pixar after acknowledging “painful” conversations and unspecified “missteps,” he wrote in a memo to staff.

Sixty percent of American women voters say they’ve experienced sexual harassment, according to a new Q poll, and 69 percent of them say that harassment occurred at work.

What started off for former NYC Mayor Mike Bloomberg as an effort to provide quick emergency assistance in the U.S. Virgin Islands, where his Bloomberg L.P., co-founder Tom Secunda has a home, has turned into new kind of project for Bloomberg and his key aides, putting them at Ground Zero of efforts to rebuild the tiny U.S. territory.

Former Oyster Bay Town Supervisor John Venditto was hit with a superseding indictment that includes more than 20 new federal criminal charges involving securities fraud in the issuance of the town’s public offering of hundreds of millions of dollars in securities between 2010 and 2016.

State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said tens of thousands of New Yorkers may have had their identities stolen in a “massive scheme” during the FCC’s public comment process on net neutrality.

Former U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara really isn’t planning to run for elected office, saying: “I don’t think I would enjoy politics in any shape or form.”

Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner, who is mulling a primary challenge to the governor next fall, is taking a wait-and-see approach about the Cuomo administration’s handling of the Sam Hoyt sexual harassment case.

Two months to the day before Dan Loeb accused Senate Minority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins of doing more harm to people of color than the KKK, the billionaire hedge fund manager was scolding Richard Buery, one of NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio’s most senior black officials, about his apparent ignorance of the obstacles faced by black children in the city.

When New York Chief Judge Janet DiFiore needed someone to lead a task force on the state’s constitution, she turned to a well-connected attorney with more than 40 years of experience. Her husband, Dennis Glazer.

Former Gov. David Paterson is one of at least two dozen current or former state lawmakers to purchase a house, condo or apartment in the Albany area and use their per-diem payments to help cover the costs.

Incoming Hempstead Supervisor Laura Gillen has filled her first town position — with a new rescue puppy named Luna. “No pay, no benefits, just a lot of love,” she said, adding that the new dog fulfills a campaign pledge she made to her four kids.

An employee of the state Office for People with Developmental Disabilities won a workplace retaliation lawsuit against the agency this week that could set a precedent enabling employees to tell the public about problems at facilities such as Sunmount, based in Tupper Lake.

James Milliken, the chancellor of the City University of New York, the largest public urban university system in the country, announced that he would step down at the end of the academic year

A bill adding “Buy American” provisions for bridge and road projects in the state is expected to be signed by Cuomo, who wanted an even tougher provision.
Now Ontario and Quebec officials are not ruling out taking retaliatory trade measures against New York.

The current Niagara Scenic Parkway above Niagara Falls should be replaced with a new road that wouldn’t cut off the City of Niagara Falls from its waterfront, Rep. Brian Higgins said, and NYPA should foot the bill.

As the state has moved to cashless tolling, millions of dollars in MTA bridge and tunnel tolls and fines have gone unpaid, a new audit by state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli found, with $11.3 million written off or uncollected from November 2012 through January 2017.

Niagara County officials are optimistic about receiving state funding for construction of a breakwater in Lake Ontario that would protect the low-lying hamlet of Olcott from flooding.

Democratic Super PAC Releases Ads In 2 NY Districts

The Democratic-aligned super PAC is starting a $2 million digital ad campaign aimed at Republican House districts and GOP-held Senate seats.

In New York, the campaign from Priorities USA will target Republican Reps. Claudia Tenney and John Katko, two lawmakers who voted in favor of last week’s tax overhaul legislation in the House of Representatives. The ads are aimed at pushing constituents to call their lawmaker and urge them to oppose the final version of the legislation.

“Republicans in Congress continue to seek out new ways to help themselves and their rich donors at the expense of the hard working families they are supposed to represent. Make no mistake: Trump and the Republicans’ tax plan will cut Medicare and Medicaid and raise taxes on millions of middle-class Americans in order to pay for huge tax breaks for millionaires, including wealthy politicians like themselves and their special interests donors,” said Patrick McHugh, the executive director of Priorities USA.

“The more voters learn about this bill the less they like it, which is why Priorities is launching an all-out effort to reach voters, educate them on the bill’s consequences and encourage them to contact their representatives and stop this attack on the middle class.”

The Senate is expected to take up its version of the tax overhaul package in the coming weeks.

The ads will run on website banners, social media and on music streaming services.

The spots dovetail with efforts by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and the GOP-aligned American Action Network to influence the tax vote.

Rep. Reed Says Some Tax Reform Impacts Would Start Immediately

Republican Congressman Tom Reed feels confident the Senate will pass its version of tax reform on schedule, sometime shortly after returning from Thanksgiving break. The Ways and Means Committee member who helped craft the House version says that will give them roughly a month to iron out the differences in the two bills.

“There are differences between the House and Senate bill already as it goes through the process and that’s what the process is all about,” Reed said.

The congressman said he has expressed interest in being part of the bicameral conference that will drive the reconciliation process. Reed said even if he is not named to the committee, his office will have input.

He is still a strong believer legislation can hit the president’s desk by the end of the year for a signature.

“It would be for 2018 and going forward. There is some discussion about trying to make it retroactive to 2017. I just don’t think that’s viable,” Reed said. “I don’t think that’s feasible.”

Just because tax return in April would likely be under the current system doesn’t mean there would not be an immediate impact. The congressman said taxpayers will see that impact in their paychecks.

“What you will see immediately in 2018 is because of the new withholding tables and the new rates, people in their paychecks will start to see that relief in higher income being retained by them because they’re not going to have to obviously have to be paying more to the government, starting on January 1 for their 2018 tax bill,” he said.

Another immediate impact, Reed said, will be for small businesses. He believes and expensing provision which would allow businesses to right off investments and see return immediately will drive local economic development up right away.

How To Sum Up Budget In 2018? ‘Concern’

Comptroller Tom DiNapoli on Monday summed up his thoughts on the looming budget troubles in one word.

“Concern,” he said. “It certainly confirms what we’ve been saying, that tax collections are coming in lower than anticipated. So we see continued lowering of projections, and we’re still falling short.”

Revenue from taxes is shrinking, coming in lower than budget officials expected. Nevertheless, a main driver of the state’s economy — Wall Street — is doing well. DiNapoli says the problem is an uneven economic recovery.

“It’s a different picture depending on which part of the state that you’re in,” DiNapoli said. “So while the downstate counties are doing relatively well, we have upstate counties that are not.”

New York’s budget deficit heading into the new year is as high as $4.6 billion if spending continues at current level. And even if spending is capped at a 2 percent increase, the deficit is $1.7 billion. That means less money is going to be available next year.

“The Legislature and the governor are going to have to make some very tough decisions on spending as we head into the budget cycle next year,” DiNapoli said. “I urge everyone to lower their expectations on how much money is going to be available to spend.”

Meanwhile, New York could be impacted in the future if Congress ends deductions for state and local taxes. While upper income earners could take the biggest hit, there would still be problems for the middle class.

“I really think the concern is what’s happening to the middle class in all of this,” DiNapoli said. “That’s why you have many Republicans in our own state who are saying this is not appropriate.”

Five Republicans from New York voted against the tax bill in the House of Representatives. Rep. Chris Collins wasn’t one of them, saying the state needs to get its own fiscal house in order.

“We’re living in the highest taxed, most regulated, least business friendly state than any other in the nation — a population continuing to decline,” Collins said.

Still, New York Republicans are worried. Rep. Peter King of Long Island on Sunday urged President Donald Trump to intervene and keep the deductions intact.

David Sweat Moved To Attica

David Sweat, one of two convicted murderers who escaped from Clinton Correctional Facility in the North Country in 2015, has been transferred to Attica Correctional Facility.

Sweat, along with Richard Matt, escaped with help from two workers at the prison, leading state and federal law enforcement on a nearly month-long manhunt across the northern reaches of the state.

Matt was killed by a State Police trooper while Sweat was wounded, but captured alive. He was placed in a special housing unit in the Five Points Correctional Facility.

Based on biannual reviews, which include looking at concerns like an inmate’s behavior, allegiances with other inmates that could become disruptive or over-familiarity with a facility, there are approximately 5,000 inmate transfers from one prison to another every month,” said Corrections spokesman Thomas Mailey.

“Inmate David Sweat is one of the latest transfers as he has been moved from Five Points Correctional Facility in Romulus to Attica Correctional Facility In Attica.”

Bedford Supervisor Files For Latimer Seat

The town supervisor of Bedford has filed papers with the state Board of Elections to run for the state Senate seat being vacated at the end of the year by Westchester County Executive-elect George Latimer.

The filing shows Chris Burdick, a Democrat, filed on Monday to run for the district in Westchester County. Burdick ran unopposed for re-election as supervisor this month.

So far, Gov. Andrew Cuomo is yet to call a special election to fill the seat along with nearly a dozen soon-to-be or currently vacant seats in both chambers of the Legislature as a vacancy is yet to be created until the seat is vacated.

Along with Burdick, People for Bernie co-founder Kat Brezler has filed to run for the district. Assemblywoman Shelley Mayer and Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano, both Democrats, have also expressed an interest in running.

While the district has for the last decade been considered a battleground seat, Republicans have spent heavily to flip the district and have fallen short.

Barkan Fundraises With IDC Critics

BarkanfundraiserDemocratic state Senate candidate Ross Barkan is holding a fundraiser with critics of the Independent Democratic Conference on Dec. 5.

Tickets for the event range from $50 to $500.

Barkan is one of two Democrats vying to take on Republican state Sen. Martin Golden in Brooklyn.

Robert Jackson, a former city councilman from Manhattan, has already filed to run again for the state Senate seat held by IDC Sen. Marisol Alcantara. And Zellnor Myrie is considering a challenge against Sen. Jesse Hamilton, an IDC member from Brooklyn.

The IDC, meanwhile, has suggested it will play offense yet again, with an eye toward the Senate seat being vacated by Democrat George Latimer at the end of the year. Latimer was elected Westchester County executive this month.

So far, Democrats Shelley Mayer and Mike Spano have said they are considering running for the Westchester County district. Kat Brezler, a Democrat and supporter of Bernie Sanders, has declared she is running for the seat.

Cuomo Admin Mulls Legal Injection Sites

From the Morning Memo:

As elected officials struggle to address the ongoing opioid crisis, one of the more controversial proposals has been legal injection sites, where addicts would have access to clean needles, medical staff, and a variety of information and services – including treatment options. 

Ithaca Mayor Svante Myrick, a rising star in the Democratic firmament, was the first to float the idea back in 2016, citing evidence from other countries – including Canada – where such sites have existed for years, that these sites have helped reduce the numbers of people abusing heroin, and, more importantly, cut down on overdoses. 

Advocates who endorse this idea say it is merely one tool in what should be a wide variety of approaches to address this crisis. And they note that it’s important to keep people alive long enough for them to hit bottom and decide they want to finally get off drugs. 

Myrick’s idea drew him national attention, but it was widely panned by critics, particularly members of the Senate GOP conference, who basically shut down any possibility of discussing it as part of the state’s efforts to combat opioid abuse. 

Asked about Myrick’s proposal at the time, Gov. Andrew Cuomo basically ducked the question, saying he hadn’t heard about the details of the mayor’s plan and therefore didn’t have an opinion on it. (In case you’re wondering, Ithaca has not yet moved forward with the proposal). 

But Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal, a Manhattan Democrat, seized on the idea, saying she would introduce legislation that would legalize supervised injection facilities in New York.

She noted that the governor accepted the recommendations of his own task force back in 2014 that was formed to propose a plan to end the AIDS epidemic in New York by 2020, which called for – among many other things – the establishment of legal injection sites.  

Though the governor embraced many of the task force’s recommendations, the legal injection site idea wasn’t among them. 

But that may be changing, according to veteran activist Charles King, the president and CEO of Housing Works, who co-chaired the governor’s task force. 

“I think we’re going to see that move forward, but we’re only going to see that move forward if the governor does as he’s had the courage to do in other instances and simply work around the Legislature and do it through executive order or regulation,” King said during a CapTon interview last night.

“And I know that many people criticize him for doing that,” King continued. “But frankly, when we can’t get the Legislature to focus seriously on public health measures – we couldn’t even get the Senate to allow…for expanded syringe access through the pharmacies.”

“And it’s not the amount of needles that we’re paying for that is the problem, it’s do we have enough distribution sites and are those distribution sites spread? We have counties across the state that don’t have a single place to go where you can get a clean needle.”

King said advocates have been having “good conversations” with both the state Health Department and the second floor about supervised injection sites, which he called “one important step” toward ending the opioid epidemic.

New York would have to move quickly to be the first in the nation to establish these sites, as a handful of cities across the country – including Denver, Colorado, Boston, Massachusetts, San Francisco, California and Seattle, Washington – are already exploring the idea. 

Moving in this direction would be in keeping with the leftward lean the governor has steadily taken in recent years as he is widely believed to be mulling a White House bid in 2020. 

Asked about King’s comments on CapTon, Cuomo spokesman Rich Azzopardi would neither confirm nor deny that supervised injection sites are being considered by the administration, saying only: 

“We routinely engage with all stake holders and solicit their thoughts as we seek to end this epidemic in New York.”

D-Trip Runs Digital Ads Opposing Tax Bill

From the Morning Memo:

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee on Monday began a series of social media ads opposing the Republican-backed tax bill working its way through Congress.

The ads, running on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, are directed at Reps. Dan Donovan, John Faso, Claudia Tenney, John Katko and Chris Collins.

“The Republican Tax Scam is nothing more than huge tax cuts for the rich and big corporations, paid for by tax increases on millions of middle-class families,” said DCCC spokesman Evan Lukaske. “This digital ad blitz will inform voters in New York about the morally bankrupt Republican Tax Scam that Donovan, Faso, Tenney, Katko and Collins will own next November.”

Of those lawmakers, Faso and Donovan did not vote for last week’s bill that cleared the House of Representatives. Lawmakers from both parties in New York remained concerned over the impact of ending or capping deductions for state and local taxes, a move that impacts high-tax states like New York.

Three additional Republicans, Reps. Elise Stefanik, Lee Zeldin and Peter King, voted against the bill. The Senate is working on its own legislation with a goal to have it pass in the coming weeks.

King on Sunday called on President Donald Trump, a New York native, to get involved on the SALT issue and try to block the end of deductions from being included in a final bill.

GOP Lawmakers Targeted For Thank Yous

From the Morning Memo:

And while the campaign of House Democrats is targeting Republicans, a GOP-aligned advocacy group is thanking three of them in New York for voting in favor of the tax overhaul last week.

The American Action Network, which has been conducting a national campaign to prod Republicans toward tax reform, is releasing a 29-district robocall to voters in areas in which House Republicans voted for the measure.

In New York, the robocall is targeting the districts of Reps. Chris Collins, Claudia Tenney and John Katko.

Tenney and Katko are both in districts considered to be potential battleground races next year.

“Last week, Congress took a major step toward delivering much-need tax relief for all Americans, but there is still work to be done,” said AAN Executive Director Corry Bliss.

“The Tax Cut and Jobs Act paves the way for middle-class prosperity by lowering rates, increasing jobs, and giving the average middle-class family a $1,200 tax cut. AAN is working to share the winning message of pro-growth tax reform, and will continue spending resources to spread that message until meaningful tax reform is signed into law.”