Here and Now

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

At 8:30 a.m., LG Kathy Hochul tours the Hunts Point Produce Market, 722 Edgewater Rd., the Bronx.

At 10 a.m., Education advocates call on Eva Moskowitz and her Success Academy to return millions in funding from hedge fund manager John Pulson, who is allegedly profiting from the Puerto Rican debt crisis, City Hall steps, Manhattan.

Also at 10 a.m., Hochul vistis STEM classes at the New York Botanical Garden, 2900 Southern Blvd., the Bronx.

At 11 a.m., NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio attends the funeral of DSNY Sergeant Musella, Most Precious Blood Church, 70 Bay 47th St., Brooklyn.

At 11:15 a.m., Hochul and NYC Councilman Ritchie Torres discuss wildlife conservation initiatives with officials at the Bronx Zoo, 2300 Southern Blvd., the Bronx.

At noon, Hochul and Torres meet with business owners in the Belmont Business Improvement District, 2396 Arthur Ave., the Bronx.

At 12:30 p.m., Rep. Elise Stefanik will discuss White Space Technology, Thurman Town Hall, 311 Athol Rd., Athol.

At 1 p.m. Hochul promotes Cuomo’s small business policies at a Bronx Chamber of Commerce roundtable, Hutch Metro Center, 1200 Water Place #1, the Bronx.

At 2 p.m., de Blasio and his wife, NYC First Lady Chirlane McCray and key administration officials host a media roundtable to discuss a new plan to prevent violence, protect public safety and increase support to individuals with untreated serious mental illness, Blue Room, City Hall, Manhattan.

Also at 2 p.m., Hochul and Assemblyman Michael Benedetto tour SUNY Maritime College, 6 Pennyfield Ave., the Bronx.

At 2:15 p.m., Stefanik will tour AngioDynamics, 10 Glens Falls Tech Park, Glens Falls.

At 6:30 p.m., de Blasio will deliver remarks at the at the annual ADA Sapolin Awards in honor of the 25th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, Bronx Zoo, 2300 Southern Blvd., the Bronx.

Headlines…

Even as cases of Legionnaire’s disease have increased across the nation, and experts have called for more safeguards, New York City has done little to address the risks water-cooling towers pose as prime breeding grounds for the illness while they power air-conditioning systems in many large buildings.

NYC health officials say they now have contained the deadly Legionnaires’ outbreak, but some experts wonder why officials didn’t get on-the-ground help from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention during this public health crisis.

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio said he would introduce legislation along with the City Council requiring owners of buildings with the towers to register them and regularly inspect them or face penalties. The city has no database of the cooling systems, which tend to be found on larger, more modern buildings.

Meanwhile…a massive sinkhole opened up in a major thoroughfare in Brooklyn.

Long Island Rep. Steve Israel, the highest ranking Jewish Democrat in the House, said he opposes the Iran nuclear deal and will work to defeat it in next month’s vote in Congress.

Rep. Nita Lowey, of Westchester County, also announced her opposition to the deal.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s longtime girlfriend, television chef Sandra Lee, was rushed to a hospital last night in an emergency related to her recent double mastectomy. The governor left his pal Billy Joel’s farewell concert for the soon-to-be shuttered Nassau Coliseum on Long Island to be at her side.

Lee, 49, is suffering fluid buildup and “the plan is to monitor her for a couple of days,” a source close to her said. She was sent to the hospital around 9:30 p.m.

At the concert, Cuomo came onstage to introduce Joel and was met with a chorus of boos, which only stopped when he announced Joel as a “Long Island boy.”

A distressed driver in New York’s Southern Tier got unexpected help from Cuomo’s security detail after hitting a concrete barrier and a flatbed truck with his sport utility vehicle.

During a visit to Western New York, Cuomo made a stop along the Scajaquada Expressway in Buffalo – the site where a toddler was hit and killed by a car in May.

More >

Cuomo Campaign: Planned Parenthood Funding ‘Critical’

womensequalityThe re-election committee of Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday evening blasted the Republican-led effort in Washington to defund Planned Parenthood, calling the organization “critical” to health care.

“Planned Parenthood is a critical healthcare provider for the people of New York, and I will fight for them day in and day out,” the Cuomo email states. “Here in New York, we will not defund Planned Parenthood – not now and not in the future.”

The latest effort to end public aid to the group, which ultimately failed in the face of Democratic opposition in Congress, came after a video surfaced of a Planned Parenthood official discussing the selling of tissue from aborted fetuses. More >

Extras

People who call the New York cell number published by the web site Gawker are met with a recording from Trump advertising his Twitter account and campaign website.

Trump suggested he supported shutting down the federal government to stop funding for Planned Parenthood in the wake of videos that show officials with the group discussing fees for tissue from aborted fetuses.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo will be among those attending Billy Joel’s final show at the Nassau Coliseum tonight.

Is the governor thinking of adopting a pet?

A rift among the state’s ethics board spilled into public view today when some members raised concerns about the panel’s hiring practices and its previous directors’ ties to Cuomo.

Forty-one elected officials who have been connected to a scandal or investigation since 2005 have spent at least $7 million of campaign funds on legal fees, according to a review of state Board of Elections records by the New York Times.

Sen. Bill Perkins threw hit hat into the ring for retiring Rep. Charlie Rangel’s seat – the fifth contender to do so.

Former Memphis Superintendent Kriner Cash has become the clear frontrunner to be superintendent of the Buffalo Public Schools after a two-hour meeting with board members this morning.

License plates you may see while driving around New York: BADCUOMO, CANCUOMO, NOCUOMO and RMVCUOMO. One you will not: FAQCUOMO, (which is probably not about frequently asked questions).

The former superintendent of the Clinton Correctional Facility says the acting DOCCS commissioner told him his post-escape forced retirement was “not right” and “not fair” but ordered by “downtown” (ie: the governor), despite an ongoing investigation.

There’s at least one Latino elected official in the Empire State willing to hear out Donald Trump: the Rev. Ruben Diaz Sr.

Despite his best efforts, Putnam County District Attorney Adam Levy, the son of TV judge Judith Sheindlin aka “Judge Judy,” will have a challenger for the Republican endorsement.

A federal appeals court revived a class-action lawsuit by commercial truckers that accused the state Thruway Authority of charging illegally high tolls, and diverting excess sums it collected to maintain obsolete upstate canals.

VP Joe Biden’s sister, who also is his longtime political adviser, said she has not spoken with her brother about plans to run for president, raising more questions about how seriously he is considering a 2016 campaign.

Rep. Chris Gibson, who is not seeking re-election in 2016, continued contributing or transferring left over campaign funds to other candidates and political organizations in the second quarter.

The Albany County Democratic Committee is leaving behind its home of 21 years this month and moving down the block.

Rep. Nita Lowey has come out against the Iran nuclear deal.

Darryl Towns, the former commissioner and CEO of the state Homes and Community Renewal, is taking a job with American Airlines as director of state government relations after leaving his post with the Cuomo administration at the end of June.

Hillary Clinton’s approval rating plummeted in a new NBC/The Wall Street Journal poll to its lowest level since 2008.

Clinton finds it “relaxing and entertaining and informative” to watch HGTV.

This week is shaping up as critical for the presidential candidacy of former Republican Gov. George Pataki of New York, who barely registers as a blip in national polls.

Several historic sites in the city affected by Superstorm Sandy, including the Fraunces Tavern and Green-Wood Cemetery, will get federal funding to repair work and bolster the sites from future storms, Cuomo announced.

A Rochester man accused of threatening the president, governor and former lieutenant governor has been indicted again — a move that could overcome legal issues prosecutors faced with earlier criminal charges.

An unknown number of the 200 or so stagehands who turned out to set up and break down the Rolling Stones concert in Buffalo on July 11 received their checks around July 27, and deposited them. Days later, they found that the checks had bounced.

“The Voice” winner and Upstate New York native Sawyer Fredericks will perform the national anthem before the NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Watkins Glen International this Saturday.

Georgina Bloomberg, the youngest daughter of billionaire and former NYC Mayor Mike Bloomberg, will showcase her world-class equestrian talents at this year’s Dublin Horse Show.

Don’t Expect Subsidies For Jobs To End, Cuomo Says

CuomobuffaloGov. Andrew Cuomo on Monday gave a blunt assessment when asked if there was ever going to be a time when New York didn’t have to offer lucrative incentives and subsidies in exchange for jobs.

The competition between the states when it comes to economic development is just too intense for New York to turn off the tax credit spigot, he insisted.

“No, because what’s happening now is every state is competing for every business,” Cuomo told reporters in Buffalo. “We have governors who come and meet with our businesses who make them offers to move their business.”

Cuomo was in Buffalo earlier this afternoon to tout the latest move by renewable energy company SolarCity, which will construct a new facility at the Buffalo High-Tech Manufacturing Innovation Hub at RiverBend. More >

JCOPE Denies Funding Disclosure Exemptions

jcopeThe state’s lobbying and ethics regulators on Tuesday denied source of funding exemption requests from three organizations that sought to shield the identities of their donors.

The Joint Commission on Public Ethics turned down source of funding exemption requests from the New York Civil Liberties Union, as well as Family Planning Advocates — a group that supports abortion rights — and the socially conservative New Yorkers For Constitutional Freedoms, which commissioners determine did not meet a monetary threshold to consider its application.

It’s not the first time JCOPE has denied donor-disclosure exemptions from the groups, which have sought to shield their donors from being disclosed.

The 2011 ethics law that created JCOPE required new disclosure of how non-profit organizations that seek to influence public opinion in the state are funded. More >

In Binghamton, Cuomo Talks ‘Disruption’

CuomosoutherntierThe upstate economy was a “victim” of the last economic “disruption” in which manufacturing jobs left the state, Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday said while in Binghamton.

But the state — especially areas hit hard by outsourcing and a drain of manufacturing jobs — is in a better position now to respond and take advantage of the new economy, Cuomo insisted — thanks in large part to his taxing and spending policies.

“I hear opportunities in disruptions,” Cuomo said. “Disruptions are right. The entire economy, whole business lines, are being disrupted and they’re changing. In that change, there’s opportunity. That’s good news for the state of New York.”

Sounding at times more like a TED talk with buzzwords like “disruption” commonly used in the tech sector, Cuomo was at the Kirkwood Industrial Park West in Binghamton to tout the plans of Modern Marketing Concepts, Inc., which will spend $17 million to purchase a vacant 426,000 square foot building as part of its expansion. The company is expected to create 592 full-time jobs over the next five years in addition to retaining 310 jobs. More >

Northeast Charter Network Hires NY Director

northeastcharterA prominent charter school network on Tuesday announced its hiring of a new state director for New York with ties to organized labor, creating the position following a session that focused heavily on the charter school debate.

Northeast Chart Schools Network is turning to Claudia Granados, a native of El Salvador who grew up in California. She has ties to SEIU, and has worked with the 32BJ labor group as a deputy political director. Granados also served as Cory Booker’s chief labor negotiator while he was mayor of Newark.

“Education truly is the great equalizer. As an immigrant, and the child of parents whose first language is not English but who pushed me to excel in school, I recognize that I am where I am today in large part because of an excellent education,” Granados said in a statement. “Charter schools are providing this path for so many children and I knew I wanted to represent educators who are doing this meaningful work.”

Education policy dominated the legislative session after Gov. Andrew Cuomo signaled last December he would seek a broad overhaul of the teacher evaluation criteria as well as undertake an effort to strengthen and expand charter schools. More >

Cuomo Tries A New Strategy: Mr. Nice Guy

cuomoboltonFrom the Morning Memo:

Gov. Andrew Cuomo, known for throwing sharp elbows and a politician with something of a vengeful streak, has tried something new this summer: Playing nice.

After he was blasted by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio for undermining his agenda in Albany and accused of going on “vendettas” against real and perceived enemies, Cuomo has only sought to draw those he has differed with closer.

At the same time, he has held de Blasio had relative arm’s length, simultaneously saying the two don’t share a “lovey dovey” relationship and later calling the mayor a “friend.”

But rather than become isolated after de Blasio’s double-barrel attack, the governor has reached out to elected officeholders and others who have had aired grievances with him in the past. More >

Akshar Touts ‘Fresh Face’ Versus Fiala’s Experience

aksharFrom the Morning Memo:

Republican Senate hopeful Fred Akshar launched his campaign on Monday seeking to draw a contrast to his better known Democratic rival: Sure, she has experience, but he is a “fresh face.”

“The community needs a fresh face, fresh ideas and I have the passion and dedication to bring that to Albany,” said Akshar, the Broome County undersheriff.

It’s a phrase he used often during the campaign kick off event for his bid to replace Tom Libous in the Southern Tier Senate seat, a district that leans Republican, but could potentially be moved to the Democratic column with the candidacy of former Broome County Executive Barbara Fiala.

In a sign, however, the campaign was sensitive to concerns Akshar didn’t have the career chops, Republicans released his resume detailing his law enforcement work alongside a press release. More >

Still The Cheerleader-In-Chief

duffyFrom the Morning Memo:

Former LG Bob Duffy left the Cuomo administration in early January for a private sector job back in his hometown of Rochester, but he’s still one of the governor’s biggest fans.

Duffy, who once declared he was proud to be Cuomo’s chief cheerleader, sang the praises of his ex-boss during a CapTon interview last night, saying he believes the governor will “bounce back” from the slow but steady demise of his poll numbers.

The former LG asked New Yorkers who may feel disenchanted with Cuomo’s performance of late to remember all the personal challenges he has faced.

“I think people should keep in mind, this man lost his father over the past year,” Duffy said. “I’ve lost both my parents over the years. The impact of how close the governor was with his Dad..factor in those personal issues, they do weigh heavily. I don’t think people realize, he had to go back and be the governor the next day and withstand all those issues.

More >