D-Trip Dings Zeldin For Skelos Donations

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee on Friday is zeroing in on the donations Republican Rep. Lee Zeldin has received over the years from the under-indictment former majority leader of the state Senate, Dean Skelos and his son Adam.

“If a federal indictment isn’t enough to convince Congressman Zeldin to return the money, will he ever take a stand against government corruption?” said DCCC spokesperson Matt Thornton. “Apparently the support of corrupt politicians in Albany is worth far more than the trust of voters in Suffolk County.”

Zeldin served two terms in the state Senate before he was elected the House of Representatives, unseating Democratic incumbent Tim Bishop.

Both Dean and Adam Skelos have donated to Zeldin. Adam Skelos contributed $250 to Zeldin’s state Senate account in 2013 and $250 to his re-election campaign for the House at the end of March.

Dean Skelos, perhaps naturally, has been an even more generous supporter: His campaign account contributed $9,500 to Zeldin’s Senate bid in 2010 as well as $2,500 in 2012.

Both Dean and Adam Skelos were indicted on Thursday. The elder Skelos is accused of using his official influence to aid the business interests of his son.

Skelos resigned this month as the majority leader of the chamber, but retains his seat in the Senate as he fights the charges.

Libous Plans June Fundraiser

Tom Libous, the ailing deputy majority leader of the state Senate, plans to return to New York next month for a fundraiser with tickets going for as much as $5,000, according to an invitation.

The June 11 event will be held at the Penn Club in New York City. Additional tickets for the event range from $1,000 to $2,500.

The fundraiser was first reported this morning by Gannett’s Albany bureau and obtained independently by Capital Tonight.

Libous has spent the last several weeks recovering in Florida from the latest round of cancer surgeries.

The Binghamton Republican participated in the vote to elect a new majority leader by conference phone and GOP lawmakers say Libous has been involved in legislative issues as he recovers.

“Senator Libous hopes to be back in New York State by June 11th but his return is entirely dependent on his recovery,” said Emmanuel Priest, a spokesman for Libous, in an email this morning.

Libous, meanwhile, faces a charge of lying to the FBI in a case stemming from his son’s work at a politically connected law firm in Westchester County. Matthew Libous was sentenced to six months in federal prison after his tax-fraud conviction.

Libous

Labor Groups Push Cuomo’s 421a Plan

From the Morning Memo:

Labor groups on Thursday evening released a series of statements reiterating their support for Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s comments on 421a that are seemingly at odds with Mayor Bill de Blasio’s alternative push.

The comments came from labor groups like the Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York — a private-sector union that has been long supportive of Cuomo.

“We thank Governor Cuomo for taking a strong stance in favor of good wages and middle class jobs on behalf of construction workers on 421-A projects,” said the group’s president, Gary LaBarbara. “An extension of this program in its current form is unacceptable and would simply mean more tax breaks for real estate developers at the expense of hard-working men and women – further adding to the city’s already worsening income inequality.”

Added Paul Fernandes, the Executive Director of the New York City and Vicinity Carpenters Labor Management Corporation:

“Today Governor Cuomo stood up for thousands of working men and women in our industry in New York City, and we thank him for it. Having the 421a tax break continue to benefit billionaire special interest developers without creating middle class opportunity for workers and more affordable housing is unacceptable. Great progress was made today toward fixing this problem.”

UP4NYC’s Tom Meara chimed in as well.

“We overwhelmingly support Governor Andrew Cuomo’s comments today in support of working families over special interests,” Meara said. “This is an important issue because it really does affect so many families, and that’s why we will continue to push in Albany for legislation that gives New Yorkers the ability to earn middle class wages which will improve lives.”

It’s a familiar sight and a well-worn maneuver from Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s playbook: Have allies release a series of supportive statements designed to show overwhelming political backing for the governor’s cause.

Never mind that in some respects it’s pure astroturf: The UP4NYC and carpenters group statements came from the same email address at the PR firm, M Public Affairs.

Cuomo, too, has had his eyebrows singed by the U.S. attorney’s office when he tried a similar move with statements from Moreland Commission members.

The comments were essentially in response to Cuomo’s sympathetic take on another labor group, the AFL-CIO, opposing de Blasio’s push on the 421a tax abatement.

The abatement is due to expire next month and the mayor wants to expand affordable housing opportunities in a revised measure. De Blasio’s proposal does include a prevailing wage component for service-industry workers, but not in the construction field.

Cuomo, while visiting a prison in Greene County, pounced on the split between the progressive mayor and labor groups. In a question-and-answer session with reporters, Cuomo repeatedly cited the concerns raised by the AFL-CIO, a labor group that declined to endorse him last year.

“A lot of people think the deal that has been negotiated by the city is too rich for developers and doesn’t do enough for workers,” Cuomo said. “I want to make sure the workers are protected the developers get a fair deal. I am not interested in passing a program that is a giveaway to developers.”

De Blasio’s office, of course, has disputed the idea their plan is a sweetheart deal for developers, even as the Real Estate Board of New York (longtime and generous political supporters of the governor) backs their effort.

Gottfried: Dining With Dogs Will Become Law

From the Morning Memo:

If they accomplish nothing else of note this session, state lawmakers will be able to return home knowing they struck a blow for the rights of hungry dog owners and their canine companions.

During a CapTon interview last night, Assemblyman Dick Gottfried, a Manhattan Democrat who chairs his chamber’s Health Committee, predicted the so-called “dining with dogs bill” – a measure that would loosen the state ban on dogs in restaurants – will become law this year.

“I think that’s a pretty safe bet,” Gottfried said.

Though he did not oppose the bill outright, the assemblyman had raised some health-related questions about the measure, which would give restaurants the option of allowing dogs on sidewalk patios and in backyard gardens – as long as they are accompanied by human diners.

Gottfried had said he was particularly worried about big dogs misbehaving and grabbing food off peoples’ plates.

But he has apparently worked out that concern (and any others) with the bill’s sponsor, Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal, another Manhattan Democrat who is known for championing all manner of animal rights legislation.

“I think a lot of my concerns have been resolved,” Gottfried said, adding that he and Rosenthal had agreed on some “clarifying” amendments to her bill. “It will be on our committee agenda this coming week.”

The Senate has already passed the dining with dogs bill, giving it unanimous approval in a 60-0 vote earlier this month. The measure is being carried in that house by Senate Health Committee Chairman Kemp Hannon, a Long Island Republican.

I’m not sure whether the governor has been asked about his position on this issue.

It’s unclear if – particularly after a difficult and contentious session – he would want to risk the ire of New York dog lovers by rejecting this bill, should it arrive on his desk. Cat people, however, might thank him. But choosing sides in that age-old debate could be political suicide.

Here and Now

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is in New York City. NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio is in the city with no public schedule.

At 8:30 a.m., Sen. James Sanders Jr. hosts a monthly Community Clergy Breakfast with the topic “Community Economic Development” and guest speaker is Rev. Floyd Flake, New Haven Ministries, 130-05 101st Ave., Jamaica, Queens.

At 9 a.m., One World Observatory at the top of One World Trade Center officially opens to the public following a special ribbon cutting ceremony, 285 Fulton St., Manhattan.

At 9:30 a.m., PBA President Pat Lynch, UFA President Stephen Cassidy and hundreds of police officers and firefighters rally to condemn the mayor’s disability proposal for NYPD officers and firefighters injured during the line of duty, City Hall steps, Manhattan.

At 10 a.m., Rep. Louise Slaughter will deliver the keynote at the Monroe County Treatment Court graduation ceremony, Monroe County Court, Courtroom 404, Hall of Justice, 99 Exchange Blvd. Rochester.

Also at 10 a.m., the Assembly will hold a public hearing to examine the availability of children’s mental health services in Western New York and the impact the potential closure of the Western New York Children’s Psychiatric Center would have on the quality of care, Buffalo City Hall, Common Council, 13th Floor, 65 Niagara Sq., Buffalo.

At 11 a.m., Cuomo makes an announcement, Library at The General Society of Mechanics and Tradesmen of the City of New York, 20 West 44th St., Manhattan.

Also at 11 a.m., LG Kathy Hochul speaks at the first phase launch of the IBM Buffalo Innovation Center, Key Center North Tower, 50 Fountain Plaza, Suite 400, 4th Floor, Buffalo.

Also at 11 a.m., AG Eric Schneiderman will make remarks on his new comprehensive ethics reform legislation submitted to the state Legislature this week, Nassau County Supreme Court, 100 Supreme Court Dr., Mineola.

Also at 11 a.m., IDC Leader Jeff Klein and Madison Square Garden officials hold a basketball clinic with New York Knickerbockers alum Felipe Lopez, P.S. 107, 1695 Seward Ave., the Bronx.

Also at 11 a.m., Rep. Joe Crowley, NYC Councilman Daniel Dromm, Sen. Jose Peralta, and Assembly Members Francisco Moya and Michael DenDekker announce legislation to rename the Jackson Heights Post Office in honor of Jeanne and Jules Manford, the late Queens residents who fought for the advancement of equal rights for LGBT Americans, 7802 37th Ave., Queens.

Also at 11 a.m., housing advocates and tenants protest outside Klein’s district office for what they say is his silence regarding rent regulations and the need for stronger tenant protections, 1250 Waters Pl., Suite 1202, the Bronx.

At 11:30 a.m., NYCHA General Manager Michael Kelly and NYC Department of Sanitation Commissioner Kathyrn Garcia and Mayor’s Office of Sustainability Director Nilda Mesa unveil a full-scale recycling plan as part of the de Blasio administration’s broader sustainability initiatives in public housing and across the city, Nostrand Houses, 2231 Batchelder St., Brooklyn.

At 1 p.m., Assembly Majority Leader Joe Morelle and FASNY representatives hold a press conference to announce the introduction of legislation requiring smoke alarms in the state be equipped with sealed 10-year batteries, Laurelton Fire Department, 405 Empire Blvd., Rochester.

At 1:30 p.m., elected officials and Raise the Wage advocates hold a press conference to announce a major national push to rally women to support Cuomo’s wage board to raise the wages statewide for fast food workers, steps of City Hall, Manhattan.

At 3 p.m., Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson announces plans to enter negotiations to expand air preclearance operations to multiple new foreign airports, located in nine separate countries, Terminal 4, JFK, Queens.

At 5:30 p.m., NYC Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and Councilwoman Rosie Mendez host a “Follow Me Friday” tour of with local business owners and community members to highlight and promote East Village small businesses recovering from the aftermath of the March 26th building explosion, Manhattan.

At 7 p.m., Hochul delivers remarks at Daemen College’s distinguished speaker series on Buffalo’s Economic Renaissance, Daemen College, Alumni Lounge, First Floor, Wick Campus Center, 4380 Main St., Amherst.

Headlines…

State and federal investigators searched the homes of three Western New York political operatives – confidants to Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown and Rep. Chris Collins – sending shock waves across state Democratic and Republican party circles.

The trio in investigators’ crosshairs include former Erie County Democratic Chairman Steve Pigeon and his protege, former Deputy Mayor Steven Casey. In recent years, the duo sometimes worked with the third target: Republican Christopher Grant, who first served as chief of staff to Collins when he was Erie County executive and now works in his congressional office.

The search warrants are reportedly part of a larger investigation by the AG Eric Schneiderman into Pigeon’s campaign fundraising activities, including his involvement in a political action committee called the WNY Progressive Caucus.

A federal grand jury indicted the former Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos and his son, Adam, alleging a conspiracy to leverage the senator’s political power for the son’s financial benefit.

The indictment includes one additional accusation compared to a complaint released about three weeks ago: that the senator secured over $100,000 in payments and health benefits from a medical malpractice insurer that provided his son with a no-show job while it lobbied the senator on legislative matters.

As he fends off corruption charges, Skelos and his wife, Gail, are putting their Albany condominium up for sale. According to a listing on Craigslist that was posted on Facebook by a member of the senator’s family, the couple are seeking $130,000 for the two-bedroom, one bathroom unit on the capital city’s western fringe.

The Nassau County District Attorney’s office has reportedly opened an investigation into whether Sen. Carl Marcellino, a Long Island Republican who recently became chair of the Senate Education Committee, improperly billed taxpayers for nearly $20,000 in car expenses.

Aides to New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio have huddled for months trying to understand Cuomo, often as they scrambled to address perceived slights. They largely have come to one conclusion: There is very little to be done about him.

“Mayor of the City of New York, frustrated with Albany?” Cuomo said, barely containing his laughter. “Now there’s a shocker.”

The latest flashpoint between the two top Democrats is 421a – the real estate development tax abatement program that expires next month. Cuomo stepped things up a notch by accusing the ultra-progressive mayor of trying to engineer a “giveaway to developers.”

Black church leaders are so furious at some of de Blasio’s policies that they’re actively looking for a candidate to run against him in 2017 — and leading their list is popular Brooklyn Rep. Hakeem Jeffries.

In response to a recent superseding indictment filed against him, former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver reiterated that the alleged corruption schemes that authorities say earned him $4 million were merely standard practice in Albany and well within the law.

More >

Erie County Legislator Interviewed As Part of State Investigation Into Former Party Boss

It’s still unclear exactly what state investigators were looking for when they raided the Buffalo condo of former Erie County Democratic Committee Chairman Steve Pigeon.  We do know that the NY Attorney General’s office is leading this probe and that one of his Democratic opponents has already been interviewed.

“Maybe October of last year, 2014, after the Moreland Commission was disbanded, I got a call from New York State Police for an interview,” said Erie County Legislator Betty Jean Grant.

Grant received the backing of the Erie County Democratic Committee in her race for re-election in 2013, but Pigeon’s Western New York Progressive Caucus produced several mailers critical of her.  In August 2013 she filed complaints with the Erie County Board of Elections and the now-disbanded Moreland Commission.

“They (investigators) were asking about why I believed I had been unfairly targeted, why Mr. Pigeon would spend so much money trying to unseat me and they asked to see some of the literature which I had,” Grant said.

Pigeon’s attorneys said the FBI is assisting the State Attorney General’s office with the investigation involving an inquiry into the PAC.  Pigeon’s legal team told Time Warner Cable News his client has offered full cooperation and he was disappointed by how the warrant was executed.

“I’m not sure how the press was alerted to this but we hope it’s not the Attorney General’s office.  That’s normally not how they work in these government investigations,” said Kevin Burke.

Investigators also searched the homes of former Buffalo Deputy Mayor Steve Casey and Chris Grant, the current Chief of Staff for Republican Congressman Chris Collins.  Betty Jean Grant had little to offer on that part of the investigation except that the three have been connected to each other in political circles.

“In my dealing with the WNY Progressive Caucus, neither Mr. Casey’s name nor Mr. Grant’s name ever came up and I didn’t see them contributing any money to that caucus either,” Grant said.  “They (investigators) never asked about Chris Grant or Steve Casey.  They focused mainly on Mr. Steve Pigeon and Senator Tim Kennedy,” Grant said.

Grant unsuccessfully challenged Kennedy in a 2012 Democratic Primary.  Campaign filings from 2013 showed Kennedy was a contributor to the Pigeon backed PAC.

This angered Erie County Democratic Chairman Jeremy Zellner and County Executive Mark Poloncarz.  The Democratic Committee endorsed Grant over Kennedy when she challenged him in another primary in 2014.

Zellner released a lengthy statement about Thursday’s raids:

“It is not appropriate for me to comment on an ongoing investigation, but it is my hope that if any laws have been broken, that the individuals involved should be punished to the fullest extent of the law.  (Pigeon, Casey and Chris Grant) have been adversaries of the Erie County Democratic Committee for more than a decade.  I am proud to continue in the tradition of former Chairman (Len) Lenihan, who initiated a new culture that puts transparency and ethics at the forefront of our local party. “

Lenihan, now an Erie County Board of Elections Commissioner, said the investigation started as the result of a complaint filed with the State Board of Elections by both Republican Commissioner Ralph Mohr and his predecessor Dennis Ward.  Ward is now a State Supreme Court Justice.

As far as Chris Grant, his current boss offered a short statement in response to his involvement in the investigation.

“Chris Grant will continue to voluntarily participate in the investigation and I expect a quick resolution to this inquiry,” said Congressman Chris Collins.

Cuomo Open To ‘Intelligent Suggestions’ On Education Changes

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is open to “intelligent” modifications to the education measures approved in the budget in April, but indicated he would not support broader changes being sought by state lawmakers.

Cuomo, appearing in Coxsackie at an event for his raise the age legislation, told reporters he was opposed to pushing back deadlines for developing and adopting new evaluation criteria.

“Not the deadlines — but if there are intelligent suggestions, I’ll look at them,” Cuomo said.

That does not include uncoupling of a boost in school aid to the adoption of the new evaluation scheme on the local level, Cuomo said.

“No, if there intelligent suggestions. I don’t think those would be,” he said.

Cuomo added he has not spoken with the newly appointed commissioner of education, MaryEllen Elia (the Board of Regents appoints the education commissioner, not the governor).

It’s not surprising that Cuomo wouldn’t be amendable to the changes in the education policy he pushed so hard for in the weeks leading up to the adoption of the 2015-16 state budget. The measures linked teacher evaluation performance to tenure and made it easier to fire teachers deemed to be performing poorly, despite having tenure.

Lawmakers in both chambers reluctantly backed the measures because of their linkage in an increase in school aid.

In the weeks after the budget was approved, both Republican and Democratic lawmakers introduced bills that would either exempt some top-performing school districts from aspects of the evaluations to pushing back deadlines for their adoption.

The New York State United Teachers union, in particular, was deeply opposed to the new evaluation law and has started a counteroffensive with another Cuomo proposal: the education investment tax credit.

Meanwhile, the end of the legislative session could see a strengthening of charter schools by raising the statewide cap. The leadership in the Senate Republican conference backs a bill that would raise the cap by 100 and link it to a 12-month extension of mayoral control of New York City schools.

School districts under the current law have until Nov. 15 to enact the new evaluations. The Board of Regents is due to release the new regulations governing the evaluations — including how much weight to give at least one standardized test and in-classroom observation.

Board of Regents Chancellor Merryl Tisch this week said the board is due to meet the June 30 deadline even as education officials plan to allow districts extra time that profess “hardship” situations.

Extras

State and federal law enforcement officials are executing search warrants to gather evidence in a probe involving former Erie County Democratic Party Chairman Steve Pigeon and former Buffalo first deputy mayor Steve Casey.

In a new radio ad campaign, the House Democrats’ campaign arm is accusing CNY Republican Rep. John Katko and the Republican-led Congress of failing to develop a long-term highway funding plan.

In a TU OpEd, Albany’s Bishop Ed Scharfenberger defended the education investment tax credit, saying the criticism that it’s a giveaway for “elite” and wealthy New Yorkers is unfair and unfounded.

If longshot 2016 candidate George Pataki makes it to the White House, he’ll be the fifth former New York governor to do so.

The hard question for Pataki: What does he have to say that’s interesting, since he’s been out of office since 2006, and wasn’t known as the most electrifying innovator during his three terms in the governor’s mansion.

As Pataki, who is just a few weeks shy of his 70th birthday, prepared in recent weeks to announce his candidacy, he conceded to friends and allies that he was an extreme long shot for the Republican nomination.

CEO members of the Partnership for New York City today urged legislative action to maintain mayoral control of the city school system for at least three years.

Weeks after turning down a plea to raise money for Hillary Clinton, Lloyd Harbor businessman and Democratic donor Jon Cooper is co-hosting a fundraiser on June 4 for her-soon-to-be rival for the Democratic presidential nomination, Martin O’Malley.

Clinton’s pantsuit t-shirt will set you back $30. Her actual pantsuits cost quite a bit more than that.

Some lucky “everyday American” will win a chat with Clinton via a contest her campaign is running.

The TU opines: “The Assembly has done the right thing in holding out against MMA all these years. It should stand firm. Revenue or not, the state has no business sanctioning this blood sport.”

NYC Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito will march in Manhattan on Saturday to demand the liberation of Oscar López Rivera, a Puerto Rican nationalist currently held in federal prison for conspiracy.

Anthony S. Senft Jr., an Islip Town councilman who dropped out of a state Senate race last year after fallout surrounding the illegal dumping scandal in the town, was nominated by local Republicans to run for a District Court seat in Suffolk County.

A bill to criminalize tampering with an electronic monitoring device – like the one David Renz dismantled before he murdered a school librarian – likely will not become state law this year.

Whether you can use sparklers at your July 4th celebration this year depends on your local government – the state already said “yes.”

In an unusual last-minute twist, state Sen. Andrew Lanza told Republican officials earlier this week that he won’t run for district attorney, leading them to postpone a nominating vote at their committee convention and rescheduling it for Sunday.

Two Long Island lawmakers – Assemblyman Fred Thiele and Sen. Ken LaValle – are making a late push for a bill that would make violent criminals wait longer to apply for parole.

The Empire Center for Public Policy has filed a lawsuit against the M.T.A., in an attempt to compel the agency to honor its Freedom of Information Law requests for payroll data.

Happy Birthday former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani.

As Raise The Age Debate Continues, Cuomo Pushes For Alternative Housing

Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Thursday reiterated his support for juvenile justice reform that would raise the age of criminal responsibility to 18 and divert 16- and 17-year-old offenders from the adult criminal justice system.

“In my opinion, it is too early to condemn a 16 year old to a life without redemption,” Cuomo said.

Cuomo visited Greene Correctional Facility in Coxsackie for a tour of the prison and met with several inmates and correction officers. The reform measure faces an uncertain future in the Legislature, where lawmakers continue to have questions over what to do about violent offenders.

According the pool report of the tour, Cuomo spoke with one inmate who was in a drug treatment program.

“You stay strong,” Cuomo said.

“You too. … Stay safe,” the inmate responded.

“I think everybody agrees taking the 16- and 17-year-olds out of correction facilities — Senate and Assembly,” Cuomo said. “They have a difference of opinion whether 16 and 17 year olds should be transferred from family court to criminal court.”

In essence, the plan has two components: One would divert 16- and 17-year-olds to Family Court, while convicted offenders would be funneled to an alternative facility. Money to implement the policies was included in the state budget and would go unspent if the measure wasn’t approved.

“That is the point of debate: What level of crime should stay in criminal court versus family court,” Cuomo said.

The governor floated a compromise following his tour of the prison: Approve legislation now that would send non-violent 16 and 17-year-old inmates to alternative housing, while the family court question is still settled.

“Let’s get done what we can get done even if it’s not perfect,” Cuomo said. “We can always revisit the first piece or compromise.”

The governor urged action now, but a time table for moving the inmates was unclear.

“We can do it a year faster than if they don’t pass it,” Cuomo said. “That I can tell you.”

Time is running out in Albany, however. There are 10 legislative session days to go on the calendar, with the final day scheduled for June 17.

Cuomo Points To AFL-CIO Opposition To de Blasio 421A Plan

A day after New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio reiterated his push for his own version of the 421a tax abatement reform plan, Gov. Andrew Cuomo drew heavily on the opposition to the proposal from the AFL-CIO.

Cuomo, speaking after a news conference on juvenile justice reform at Greene Correctional Facility in Coxsackie, indicated he was sympathetic to the argument being made by the labor group, which is pushing for a broader prevailing wage provision in the abatement.

De Blasio’s proposal, backed by the Real Estate Board of New York, would expand affordable housing opportunities in the program, but does not embrace the wage plan.

The mayor’s plan does include a prevailing wage provision for service workers, but not those in the construction sector.

“A lot of people think the deal that has been negotiated by the city is too rich for developers and doesn’t do enough for workers,” Cuomo said. “I want to make sure the workers are protected the developers get a fair deal. I am not interested in passing a program that is a giveaway to developers.”

It’s an interesting moment of script-flipping for both Cuomo and de Blasio: The governor, considered a moderate Democrat, has drawn large share of his political and financial support from real-estate interests and developers and was not endorsed by the AFL-CIO last year in his re-election bid.

De Blasio, a liberal, has sought to assert himself as a progressive voice both in New York and nationally.

The mayor warned against a straight-forward extension of the abatement, insisting that his proposal would add 200,000 units of affordable housing.

Still, Cuomo in the question-and-answer session frequently returned to the issue of the AFL-CIO’s disagreeing with the plan.

“The AFL-CIO says the mayor is wrong. AFL-CIO is very powerful and the Legislature doesn’t want to oppose the AFL-CIO,” Cuomo said. “These are controversial issues and the Legislature doesn’t want to get enmeshed in these controversies, it’s not surprising.”

The mayor’s office defended de Blasio’s approach on the 421a renewal plan. The abatement is due to expire on June 15.

“This mayor and administration have proven themselves ardent supporters of working people and of the labor movement—nobody can argue that isn’t the case with a straight face,” said spokesman Wiley Norvell. “Our reforms would double the amount of affordable housing produced by this program and boost the number of good jobs provided. Anyone seeking to preserve the status quo is fighting for fewer prevailing wage jobs and less of the affordable housing New Yorkers desperately need. If 421a is simply extended as-is, as some are seeking up in Albany, there will be no prevailing wage construction jobs, far fewer building service workers making prevailing wage and no progress on affordable housing for tens of thousands in desperate need. That’s an indefensible outcome.”

De Blasio left Albany following a round of meetings on Wednesday calling for broader leadership on a range of issues, including the 421a abatement as well as extensions for rent control and mayoral control of New York City schools.

De Blasio said he was frustrated with the pace of progress at the state Capitol and had not secured any commitments from state lawmakers.

“Mayor of the city of New York, frustrated with Albany. Now there’s a shocker,” Cuomo said with a laugh, noting de Blasio’s predecessors, too, have been stymied by Albany’s byzantine negotiating processes.

“I understand that and I understand the Legislature can be a frustrating process,” Cuomo said. “They’re frustrating to me and I get that fully.”