Oct 21st - 4:30 pm
The Real Estate Board of New York’s super PAC has spent an additional $200,000 in television advertising aimed at opposing the re-election efforts of two Democratic state senators, according to filings at the state Board of Elections.
The group, Jobs for New York, is spending $85,200 on TV advertising in the 46th Senate district, where Democratic incumbent Cecilia Tkaczyk faces a rematch against Republican former Assemblyman George Amedore.
In the 41st Senate district, the group is spending $114,800 on TV commercials opposing Democratic Sen. Terry Gipson who faces Republican County Legislator Sue Serino.
At the same time, the group reported spending $33,000 on unspecified polling.
Earlier today, a two pro-business groups, NFIB and Unshackle Upstate, announced a $40,000 mail campaign to back Amedore and Serino.
Oct 21st - 4:12 pm
If you are a donor or a regular receiver of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s campaign emails, you may have gotten an email from HarperCollins earlier today that promoted “All Things Possible.”
That’s because the book publisher, for an unspecified price, paid for the campaign’s email list in order to blast out the promotional note.
“Harper did rent a list from Governor Cuomo’s campaign for one time use to promote Governor Cuomo’s new book,” said Tina Andreadis, a spokeswoman for the publisher.
The use of the Cuomo campaign email list, as well as an email list from the state Democratic Committee, was first reported by The Daily News.
The cost of the email list will likely be reflected in Cuomo’s next campaign-finance report filed with the state Board of Elections.
Cuomo’s contract with the company is worth at least $700,000, according to a financial disclosure form the governor filed with state ethics regulators earlier this year.
Cuomo has promoted the book in appearances on David Letterman and in an interview with Charlie Rose. He also took a tour of local TV stations via satellite with guidelines being only the book would be discussed.
Previously, the governor’s re-election campaign emailed select donors to invite them to a book signing event at Barnes & Noble in New York City.
Sales for “All Things Possible” is currently ranked at 6,504 on Amazon.
Updated: Bill O’Reilly, a spokesman for Republican gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino, weighs in.
“Andrew Cuomo is twisting himself into a pretzel to explain all the government and campaign resources he is spending promoting a book for personal enrichment,” O’Reilly said. “Now he is caught giving Harper Collins an email list to try to buoy staggeringly poor book sales. If Harper Collins truly rented the list from Governor Cuomo, let’s see the terms of that rental agreement and the time stamped emails proving when it was coordinated. Mr. Cuomo said he’d be the most transparent governor in history. Here’s an opportunity to show it.”
Oct 21st - 3:59 pm
The most recent TV spot from Democratic congressional candidate Sean Eldridge released Tuesday gives him a supporting role.
Instead, Eldridge’s commercial puts the spotlight on constituents — supporters, obviously — who knock Republican Rep. Chris Gibson for votes on giving tax breaks to outsourcing corporations and his support for hydrofracking.
The ad is called “Truth Is” and it’s just one of a steady stream of TV ads Eldridge has put on TV in recent weeks.
The Eldridge campaign, though, is quick to note in its release this afternoon that Gibson has received $1.6 million from independent expenditure committees with an interest in the race.
Gibson’s campaign has been just as quick to point out that despite Eldridge’s opposition to natural-gas drilling, he has investments in the energy industry.
“Congressman Gibson has consistently put the interests of his corporate donors ahead of our environment and families in our region, whether it’s his support of fracking, which could pollute our drinking water, or his multiple votes to undermine the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau,” said Sean Eldridge. “I oppose fracking, and I’ll be an independent advocate to protect our environment and reduce the influence of corporate money in Washington.”
Oct 21st - 3:53 pm
Republican AG candidate John Cahill on Tuesday pledged to review whether to bring back elements of the Rockefeller-era drug laws, which were mostly stripped away in 2009.
“We need to review the work that was done in 2009,” Cahill told reporters in Albany today. “I’m not suggesting that we incarcerate individuals who are found with simple possession. We need to go after those who are actively involved in the distribution and sale.”
Cahill has been touting a mutli-pronged approach to combating heroin that would include increased penalties for distributors as well as expanded treatment options.
Cahill added that he was happy that Attorney General Eric Schneiderman addressed allegations made by political gadfly and comedian Randy Credico to Fred Dicker that the incumbent Democrat used cocaine as a state senator in the mid-2000s.
Schneiderman’s campaign, along with guests at the party Credico alleges the incident to have happened, roundly denied any drug use. The organizer of the event called the claims by Credico “absurd.”
“I’m glad that he came out and addressed it,” Cahill said. “But it’s also true the attorney general has had a history of evolving stories. There has been a history of evolving stories with the attorney general’s office, but I am glad he came out and addressed it.”
Cahill also said he has never used illegal drugs himself, including marijuana and cocaine.
“Sorry, I didn’t,” he said. “Did I miss something?”
Cahill isn’t the only Republican talking about taking a new look at the stringent anti-drug laws.
Republican candidate for lieutenant governor, Chemung County Sheriff Chris Moss, said last week he would support revisiting a strengthening of the laws.
Oct 21st - 3:34 pm
Republican candidate for attorney general John Cahill on Tuesday said he would to build a regulatory framework for emerging companies like AirBnB and Uber, and criticized Democratic incumbent Eric Schneiderman for a “subpoena dump” of the former’s client list.
“There are issues with AirBnB, there are issues with all new emerging technologies,” Cahill said. “We need to have an AG who needs to understand that we have to develop new emerging technologies.”
Airbnb, along with other peer-to-peer sharing services like Lyft and Uber have drawn the scrutiny of state officials.
In Airbnb’s case, the company has been criticized by advocates for affordable housing as running unlicensed hotels, which they fear could drive up the cost of rent. At the same time, labor groups are uneasy with Airbnb’s skirting of occupancy laws.
Schneiderman’s office last year issued a subpoena for user data from AirBnB earlier this month, relying on a 2010 law that makes it illegal to rent out apartments.
Cahill today criticized that as a “subpoena dump” and said he would seek to come up with rules for governing the business model (The AG’s office has sought similar data from online services in the past, with success).
“We need to be more pro-active in working with those industries as opposed to doing subpoena dumps and not really understanding the ramifications it has with overall business development in this state,” Cahill said. “I would take a different approach.”
Updated: In a statement, Schneiderman campaign spokesman Peter Ajemian says the AG cannot pick and choose which laws to enforce.
“John Cahill may not understand this, but the Attorney General’s job is to enforce the laws of New York State — not to pick and choose the laws he likes. In this case, the law being enforced protects the quality of life of our neighborhoods and the physical safety of tourists, both of which are endangered by illegal hotel operators. Unlike Mr. Cahill, Attorney General Schneiderman believes in having one set of rules for everyone.”
Oct 21st - 3:15 pm
Two groups that support abortion rights are backing Democratic Senate candidate Marc Panepinto in a crowded field for a Buffalo district held by Republican Mark Grisanti.
Panepinto was endorsed NARAL Pro-Choice New York and Planned Parenthood Advocates of New York, two organizations that are part of a broader coalition pushing the Women’s Equality Act this election season.
The twist in this race is Gov. Andrew Cuomo not ruling out an endorsement of Grisanti, who has supported a number the governor’s signature measures, including the legalization of same-sex marriage and the gun control law known as the SAFE Act.
“As a husband and father of three young daughters, Marc Panepinto has made women’s equality a centerpiece of his campaign. He has pledged unequivocal support for the full, 10-point Women’s Equality Act and recognizes the urgency in fighting for women’s health, safety and equality,” said Andrea Miller of NARAL Pro-Choiew New York. “NARAL Pro-Choice New York is proud to endorse Marc Panepinto, a vocal and committed leader who won’t back down to extremists’ attempts to restrict women’s rights.”
In a statement, the groups pointedly note both Grisanti and Republican Kevin Stocker oppose the abortion provision in the 10-point women’s agenda.
Cuomo is yet to weigh in on the race that is considered one of the key Senate contests this year.
Grisanti earlier today was endorsed by New Yorkers Against Gun Violence, a group that has prominently supported the SAFE Act.
Oct 21st - 2:21 pm
On the eve of the first – and it appears only – gubernatorial debate, which will take place tomorrow night in Buffalo, the state GOP has released a new TV ad trashing Gov. Andrew Cuomo for running a “mean-spirited” campaign and being “afraid” to debate his Republican opponent, Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino.
The ad claims Cuomo is on the attack against Astorino because he is “failing” New Yok on taxes and job creation.
It also maintains the governor is under federal investigation for witness tampering and obsctuction of justice, which isn’t entirely true, though it has been speculated that those could be charges under consideration – if any charges are indeed to be brought – by US Attorney Preet Bharara, whose office is investigating the demise of Cuomo’s now-defunct corruption-busing Moreland Commission.
Also, there have indeed been tax cuts during Cuomo’s four years in the governor’s office, and according to data released today by the state Department of Labor, the statewide unemployment rate has fallen from 7.4 percent in September 2013 to 5.6 percent last month. Meanwhile, the national jobless rate improved from 7 percent a year ago to 5.7 percent this part September.
The state party is stepping in to assist Astorino in the final weeks of the campaign with this ad, which will run through Election Day. But it’s going to be difficult to make a dent in the flood of TV ads – both positive and negative – that the Cuomo campaign and the state Democratic Party have been running, since they are both flush with many more millions of dollars worth of campaign cash than Astorino has managed to raise.
Cuomo, Astorino, Green Party gubernatorial candidate Howie Hawkins and the Libertarian Party’s Michael McDermott will square off tomorrow in a debate sponsored by The Buffalo News and WNED/WBFO of Buffalo. The debate will be televised, and will kick off at 7 p.m.
Cuomo had offered to debate Astorino one-on-one on WNYC public radio, but Astorino rejected the offer, saying any head-to-head debates between the two major party candidates should be televised. Astorino had previously called for eight debates with the governor.
Here’s the script of the GOP’s new ad; the party is not disclosing the size of the buy or any details about where the spot is running:
Announcer: “Andrew Cuomo spent millions on campaign ads filled with lies. The reason: Cuomo’s failing New York.
Under Cuomo we have the highest taxes, and record job losses. Cuomo is at the center of Albany corruption, under federal investigation for obstruction of justice, witness tampering.
Cuomo failed on jobs, failed on taxes, and failed us. That’s why Cuomo is running a negative, mean-spirited campaign. And that’s why Cuomo is afraid to debate his opponent.”
Oct 21st - 1:45 pm
And speaking of NY-1, residents in the congressional district at the tip of Long Island have been subjected to a veritable barrage of ads this campaign season, and the hits just keep on coming.
The NRCC has released its fourth ad attacking Long Island Democratic Rep. Tim Bishop, who is facing off against GOP state Sen. Lee Zeldin next month. Bishop is among the Republicans’ top targets this cycle, and the race may well be tightening, given the Democrats’ calling in of former President Clinton to headline a rally for Bishop tomorrow.
Here’s the script of the new ad:
Announcer: “Congressman Tim Bishop is still under investigation. Watchdogs name him one of Congress’ most corrupt. But what’s even worse?
Bishop spent twelve years backing higher taxes and reckless spending. Voting with Obama and Pelosi on every major piece of legislation. Even voting to give rights to foreign terrorists.
Congressman Tim Bishop, he’s made things worse.
We have a better choice. Lee Zeldin. The change we need.
The National Republican Congressional Committee is responsible for the content of this advertising.”
Oct 21st - 1:18 pm
The Democrats are bringing out the biggest gun they’ve got – former President Bill Clinton – to shore up veteran Long Island Rep. Tim Bishop as Election Day looms.
Clinton will headline a rally for Bishop at 5 p.m. tomorrow at The Staller Center at Stony Brook University along with DCCC Chairman Steve Israel, who has a lot riding on this race, since it’s taking place in his backyard.
The Republicans have been trying to dislodge Bishop for several cycles now, and haven’t yet managed to oust him, despite the fact that his fundraising remains under investigation by the House ethics committee. The congressman is again a top target this fall, and he’s facing a challenge from GOP state Sen. Lee Zeldin.
A Siena poll released early last month found Bishop leading Zeldin by 10 percentage points – a spread the senator’s campaign disputed. The race must be tightening according to the Democrats’ internal numbers, however, or they wouldn’t bother deploying Clinton this far out from the Nov. 4 election.
A recent NBC/Wall Street Journal/Annenberg Center poll found that of all the big name Democrats, a nod from Bill Clinton moves voters like no one else – and even he can’t influence a race that much.
An endorsement from the former president makes 38 percent of voters think more favorably about a candidate, the poll found, and 24 percent of voters think less favorably. Former First Lady/Secretary of State and potential 2016 presidential contender Hillary Clinton was right behind her husband, with 34 percent saying they would view a candidate more favorably if she bestowed her endorsement upon him or her.
A number of big names on both sides of the aisle have been making appearances on behalf of statewide and congressional candidates in recent weeks.
Just yesterday, Vice President Joe Biden headlined a rally at the airport in Syracuse in support of Democratic Rep. Dan Maffei, who faces a tough challenge from Republican John Katko in NY-24. Westchester County Executive and GOP gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino has received in-person support from Texas Gov. Rick Perry and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, along with statements and/or email appears from former Massachusetts Governor/presidential candidate Mitt Romney and US Senator/former presidential candidate John McCain.
Oct 21st - 12:39 pm
Republican candidate Rob Astorino’s campaign on Tuesday released what amounts to an urban agenda that would create inner-city enterprises zones, place an emphasis on fathers in a family and overhaul public assistance programs through promoting school attendance and reimposing fingerprinting for food-stamp eligibility.
The plan also supports school choice, backing the education investment tax credit that has stalled in Albany, but is strongly supported by the Catholic church.
Astorino unveiled the urban agenda in the Bronx alongside Democratic Sen. Ruben Diaz, who endorsed the Republican gubernatorial hopeful earlier this month.
Astorino’s proposal would also place an emphasis on fatherhood, requiring the name of a biological father to appear on a birth certificate (There’s a number of issues with this: What about lesbian couples who have a child? What about a heterosexual couple who use a sperm donor? What if the mother, for whatever reason, doesn’t want the father to be included in the child’s life? These aren’t spelled out in the plan).
Additionally on the family front, faith leaders would be recruited to promote the role of fathers and establish a visiting nurse program that would serve pregnant, low-income women.
On the economic front, Astorino proposes micro-enterprise zones in neighbors that would be aimed at attracting retail and commercial services. The zones would be aimed at job creation and generating consumer choice.
At the heart of the plan are changes to public assistance programs that would seek to boost school attendance, require fingerprinting for food stamp eligibility as well as drug testing for adults on public assistance “upon reasonable suspicion.”
A public-safety program would crack down on gun-related crimes through expanded penalties based on a California law aimed at the use of a firearm while in the commission of a crime.
The public safety platform would offer “correctional boot camp” as an alternative to those convicted of non-violent, non-sexual crimes and allow non-violent juvenile offenders to go through a community service program.