State GOP: Cuomo Tax Proposal ‘Flat Out Crazy’

State Republican Committee Chairman Ed Cox on Monday blasted Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s proposal to christen a “Faso-Collins tax” in order to pay for a shift in Medicaid costs to the state government from counties “flat out crazy.”

“Governor Cuomo’s newly proposed tax increase is flat out crazy,” Cox said in a statement. “Once again, he would rather stick his hand into the pocket of New Yorkers, who already pay the highest taxes in the nation, than get control of his spending. His policies are creating a mass exodus out of New York and at this rate, we won’t have any taxpayers left.”

As reported by The Daily News this morning, Cuomo in a letter to the state’s congressional delegation has proposed a “Faso-Collins tax” that would be listed on property tax bills in order to draw attention to the Medicaid cost shift, should it be approved.

The change itself would not be in full effect for several years, but once in place could cost the state more than $2 billion.

Cuomo argues the measure as backed by Reps. Chris Collins and John Faso as an amendment in the Republican-backed plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act would simply act as a cost shift to the state government for a program his administration has sought to restrain in recent years.

Collins and Faso, however, argue the move is a fundamental form of mandate relief for county governments and a state with the highest property taxes in the country.

At the same time, Cuomo is backing an effort to unseat Republican House members who have backed the repeal and replace bill, a version of which was introduced last week in the U.S. Senate.

“The Faso-Collins Amendment to the AHCA would lead to significantly lower property taxes and allow people to keep more of their hard earned money–a concept the Governor clearly doesn’t care about while he’s auditioning to become a hero to the liberal left,” Cox said.

Moya Endorsed By 1199

Assemblyman Francisco Moya on Monday was endorsed in his bid for New York City Council by 1199SEIU, a politically key labor union.

“Francisco Moya is the champion we need for working families in the City Council, ” said Helen Schaub, New York State Director of Policy and Legislation at 1199SEIU. “With healthcare under attack like never before, we need true leaders fighting for quality healthcare and good jobs for all here in New York. I trust Francisco Moya to fight for the future of our City.”

Moya is running for the Queens council seat held by Julissa Ferreras-Copeland, who is not seeking re-election.

“I am truly honored to receive support from the hardworking healthcare workers of 1199SEIU,” Moya said in a statement.

“In the Assembly, I have fought for strengthened healthcare services and funding, along with an economy that lifts up Central Queens families. I will continue to be a steadfast champion of these issues in the City Council.”

1199 has played an increasingly prominent role in recent state campaigns, including the recent push for a $15 minimum wage in New York.

Uber Sets Sights On Westchester County

From the Morning Memo:

With the legislative session over in Albany, the debate over expanding ride hailing services is now in the state’s suburban counties.

Uber is pushing to preserve its chances to enter what would be two lucrative markets outside of New York City: Long Island and Westchester County.

The company already has started an advertising campaign to bolster its chances of operating in Nassau and Suffolk counties.

Now the ride hailing firm is pushing for Westchester.

Uber late last week began airing two radio spots promoting ride hailing expansion as well as an email to those who have downloaded the firm’s app.

“Banning Uber would make Westchester one of the only counties in the country without ridesharing,” said Uber spokeswoman Alix Anfang. “We will do whatever it takes to ensure that residents understand the consequence of the County’s actions and have the opportunity to make their voices are heard.”

Meanwhile, a company official on Monday published an op/ed in The Journal News arguing that disallowing ride hailing would give the county an anti-business image.

State lawmakers in the budget agreement for ride hailing expansion allowed county governments to opt out of ride hailing. A vote is planned on Wednesday in the Westchester County Legislature.

The vote comes as ride hailing is set to expand outside of New York City on Thursday.

Uber, by far the largest company that provides for ride services through an app, has faced a series of high-profile setbacks at its corporate level that culminated this month with the resignation of its founder and CEO.

Here and Now

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is in New York City with no public schedule. The Legislature is out of session with no plans – yet – to return to Albany this summer.

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio today will visit a facility on Rikers Island and meet with correction officers and staff – an event that is closed to members of the press.

In D.C. today, Vice President Mike Pence and President Donald Trump will lunch with U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley.

In the afternoon, the president and First Lady Melania Trump will welcome Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India.

Pence will then join Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Administrator Seema Verma for a listening session with victims of Obamacare, and later will attend an expanded bilateral meeting, joint statements, and dinner with Trump and Modi.

At 8 a.m., NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill will address the NYC Affairs Committee of the NYC Bar Association, 42 West 44th St., Manhattan.

At 9 a.m., Rep. Adriano Espaillat will hold a press conference in opposition to recent efforts to rename Harlem, next door to the Apollo Theater located at 253 W. 125th St., Manhattan.

At 10 a.m., Cardinal Dolan holds a “White Mass” to honor and bless NYC healthcare workers during “these uncertain times” for care providers and people who need care, St Patrick’s Cathedral, 5th Avenue and 50th Street, Manhattan.

At 10:45 p.m., GOP NYC mayoral candidate Paul Massey launches a Green Growth greenways/infrastructure proposal, Crotona Park, Fulton Avenue and Crotona Park North, the Bronx.

At 11 a.m., three days ahead of the June 29th start date for statewide ridesharing, Sen. David Carlucci will come together with local officials and anti-drunk driving activists to encourage the use of ridesharing over the July 4th weekend, Veterans Plaza, Corner of Main and Cedar streets, Nyack.

At 11:30 a.m., a funeral will be held for the late veteran journalist Gabe Pressman, Riverside Memorial Chapel, 180 W 76th St., Manhattan.

At 12:15 p.m., LG Kathy Hochul visits Harlem businesses with Sen. Brian Benjamin, starting at Melba’s, 300 West 114th St., Manhattan; and ending at the Harlem Business Alliance, 252 Malcolm X Blvd.

At 12:45 p.m., the hearing in the case of Buffalo City School District Board of Education v. Carl Paladino, state Department of Education continues, Regents Room, 89 Washington Ave., Albany.

At 1:15 p.m., Hochul tours Hot Bread Kitchen in La Marqueta, 1590 Park Ave., Manhattan.

At 2:30 p.m., Hochul delivers opening remarks at a NYC pay equity hearing, Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. State Building, 163 West 125th St., Manhattan.

At 5:30 p.m., Massey meets and greets voters at a “Meet Paul Massey” event hosted by Bronx GOP, American Legion, 3035 Corlear Ave., the Bronx.

At 6 p.m., Sens. Andrea Stewart-Cousins and George Latimer and Assembly members Gary Pretlow and Shelley Mayer host a forum set to answer questions about the new Excelsior Scholarship, PC4 Yonkers, 16 Warburton Ave., Yonkers.

At 6:30 p.m., Queens Councilwoman Helen Rosenthal hosts a clean energy forum to provide constituents with information on what they can do to help reduce New York City’s carbon footprint, Rutgers Presbyterian Church, 236 W. 73rd St., Manhattan.

At 7 p.m., Boyd Melson launches his campaign to challenge Staten Island GOP Rep. Dan Donovan, 445 Lafayette St., Apt. 16B, Manhattan.

Also at 7 p.m., de Blasio appears on NY1’s “Road to City Hall.”

Also at 7 p.m., the Ernest Skinner Political Association and Brooklyn Councilman Jumaane Williams host a forum with several NYC mayoral candidates, Clarendon Road Church, 3304 Clarendon Rd., Brooklyn.

Also at 7 p.m., ctizens and community activists in District 13 host a town hall for state Sen. Jose Peralta, Jewish Center of Jackson Heights, 37-06 77th St. Queens.


Former U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara tweeted vaguely about a potential return to the public sector some day.

Bharara will announce today that he’s becoming an executive vice president at his younger brother’s media firm, Some Spider Studios.

He will write articles and also host a podcast called “Stay Tuned With Preet,” which will debut in a few months.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has embarked on an unprecedented campaign to put the stamp of the State Police on New York City, rerouting troopers to city airports and toll plazas from upstate areas that rely on them and bewildering some of the officials charged with carrying out his orders.

Cuomo is set to propose a tax on counties that would take effect if Congress enacts a health care provision to shift the $2.3 billion local share of Medicaid outside New York City on to the state.

Cuomo’s pledge to make government work and his knack for easing partisan gridlock are facing new headwinds ahead of his re-election campaign next year. The governor ended his seventh legislative session last week with important matters unresolved and lawmakers pointing fingers.

Former NYC Mayor Mike Bloomberg will announce today that he’s throwing his financial might into helping beleaguered American mayors, creating a $200 million philanthropic program aimed at backing inventive policies at the city level and giving mayors a stronger hand in national politics.

U.S. Senate Republican leaders scrambled Sunday to rally support for their health care bill as opposition continued to build inside and outside Congress, and as several Republican senators questioned whether it would be approved this week.

President Trump’s son Eric took a jab at Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez by calling him a “nut job.”

Trump confirmed reports he called the House health care bill “mean,” and said former President Barack Obama used the word “meanness” in describing the measure because he did it first.

Trump said he doesn’t think congressional Republicans are “that far off” on a health overhaul to replace “the dead carcass of Obamacare.” He also he complained about “the level of hostility” in government and wondered why both parties can’t work together on the Senate bill as GOP critics expressed doubt over a successful vote this week.

Trump broke with 20 years of White House tradition by opting not to host a dinner to mark the end of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting and reflection.

Russia is reportedly recalling Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, the man who has emerged as a focal point in the FBI probe into Russia’s election meddling.

Websites belonging to ​the Long Island town of Brookhaven and the Ohio state government were hacked ​Sunday to broadcast ISIS propaganda.

More >

Cuomo, State Dems Launch Voter Registration Drive

The state Democratic Committee on Sunday announced a push to register new voters in Republican-held congressional districts in New York.

The drive is part of a broader campaign backed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo to unseat GOP lawmakers who backed the American Health Care Act, a bill that would replace much of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.

The push also comes as a version of the health care legislation was introduced in the U.S. Senate this past week.

“Voting is how you make your voice heard. Facing the devastating effect that the Republicans’ health care bill will have on families across this state, it’s more important than ever that we speak up and fight back,” Cuomo said in a statement.

“That’s why we are kick-starting a statewide voter registration drive this summer to ensure that every eligible New Yorker can have their voice counted where it matters most – at the ballot box. These Republicans who voted to strip 3 million New Yorkers of their health coverage must be held accountable and the way to do that is by getting involved and getting registered to vote.”

Democrats already hold a broad enrollment advantage in New York of more than 2-to-1 over registered Republicans.

But Republicans hold most of the upstate congressional districts that Cuomo wants to target and many represent heavily Republican and conservative districts.

That includes Rep. Chris Collins, a western New York Republican, who is one of the two authors of the amendment that shift the Medicaid burden from county governments to the state, which was included in the Senate version of the bill.

The Weekend That Was

Just as NYC Pride festivities got underway today, Gov. Andrew Cuomo had some timely news to announce: The artist Anthony Goicolea had been chosen to design the first official monument to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people commissioned by the state.

Speaking alongside New York’s newest and first openly gay judge on the state’s highest court, Cuomo praised Paul Feinman’s legal experience and also marked the occasion of his appointment to New York Court of Appeals on the same day as New York City’s annual Pride March.

Politicians, celebrities and local organizations were some of the record-breaking 40,000 marchers in the celebration to conclude June’s plethora of Pride Month events.

President Trump today accused former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton of colluding with her party to defeat her primary opponent Sen. Bernie Sanders.

Trump appeared to confirm Russia’s involvement in the 2016 election while suggesting the Obama administration knew of Russian interference long before voters took to the polls.

Russia “meddled” in last year’s presidential election as part of a decades-long effort to “undermine American democracy,” CIA Director Mike Pompeo said.

Deep cuts to Medicaid, on which the Senate and House seem to agree, could force some seniors out of nursing homes.

While the House bill includes Medicaid changes that are expected to eventually cost the state $7 billion annually, most experts said it’s too soon to predict exactly how much more the Senate bill would cost, though it’s no doubt the Senate bill would be worse for New York.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Scottish actress Louise Linton exchanged vows Saturday night in a Washington wedding officiated by Vice President Pence. The president and first lady were among the guests.

U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee leaders on Friday said they are seeking information about former Attorney General Loretta Lynch’s alleged interference in Clinton’s private email investigation.

In a tweet, Clinton said the GOP would be “the death party” if the health care bill passes the Senate.

An adviser to Trump’s campaign who called for Clinton to be shot visited the White House just hours before the White House press secretary Sean Spicer denounced a play for seemingly urging violence against the president.

As the end of the U.S. Supreme Court term approaches, rumors of retirement have ramped up around Justice Anthony Kennedy, a pivotal judge who often bridges a gap on the bench between conservatives and liberals.

CNN has retracted a bombshell story that linked a high-profile Trump ally, Anthony Scaramucci, to a Kremlin-connected bank.

A secretive Washington firm that commissioned a dubious intelligence dossier on Trump is stonewalling congressional investigators trying to learn more about its connections to the Democratic Party.

Sanders and his wife Jane have lawyered up in the midst of a federal investigation involving a loan that led to the bankruptcy of the college where she was president.

Military chiefs will seek a six-month delay before letting transgender people enlist in their services, officials said Friday.

Ivanka Trump must testify in a dispute with an Italian shoemaker over one of her company’s shoe designs, a judge said.

Cuomo and the state Democratic Party kicked off a summer-long statewide voter registration drive Sunday at the Pride March in NYC as part of the governor’s “New York Fights Back” campaign targeting six House Republicans.

Bo Dietl, a retired NYPD detective and former Fox News contributor is now immersed in a sideshow-like bid for mayor of New York City, has had some high-profile private investigator clients.

Charter schools could seek to grab a bigger hold on the New York City education system if a law giving the mayor control over the schools is allowed to expire.

As NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio warns of “chaos and corruption” that could return if control of city schools reverts to the Board of Education, experts explain the differences and why they believe mayoral control is better in the city.

State lawmakers doled out $52 million in pork-barrel grants before leaving Albany, including $500,000 for a solar-powered carousel in Buffalo and more than $29 million to local schools and libraries, according to the Empire Center for Public Policy.

This year’s legislative session ended on a distinctly sour note, with Cuomo accusing lawmakers of “dereliction of duty.” But the session didn’t begin that well, either.

Many opponents of the Child Victims Act – a measure to make it easier for child sex abuse survivors to bring cases as adults – preferred operating in the shadows at the state Capitol, leaving the heavy lifting of fighting the bill publicly to the Catholic Church.

Grand Island supervisor Nate McMurray is standing with many other elected officials from Western New York, calling on Cuomo to either remove the tolls or make them cashless, to ease traffic congestion.

Carl Paladino is using his foes’ attempts to have him removed from office as a platform to air his grievances about the Buffalo schools, essentially shifting the spotlight off of himself and onto the many problems he’s criticized since he was first elected.

State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia is no stranger to the antics of the Buffalo School Board, and in her brief time as New York State’s top educator has already conveyed she does not intend to tolerate any of its nonsense.

De Blasio has sought to position New York City as a leader in the fight against climate change, but even as he has committed to quickly come up with an aggressive plan to further reduce its greenhouse gas emissions, the agency that is supposed to lead that effort is in flux.

Backed by $750 million in taxpayer money, the nearly $1 billion Solar City factory is the centerpiece Cuomo’s Buffalo Billion economic development initiative and meant to be a beacon of hope for an economically depressed city. But when will it open – if at all?

The state Department of Health is boosting New York’s medical marijuana program to meet growing demand. Effective immediately, nurse practitioners can register online and certify patients the same day.

Cuomo’s pardon of a World Trade Center disaster worker fighting deportation to Colombia after a drug conviction is the latest example of politicians trying to rescue individuals from their immigration problems, but the mixed and unpredictable results make it unlikely to become a common occurrence.

The State Police quietly probed mistreatment of female recruits and found evidence of inappropriate conduct, but never made that public and closed the inquiry, raising questions about whether the allegations were fully investigated or covered up.

The Long Island Rail Road’s anti-fraud custom of listing “M” and “F” genders on fare cards discriminates against transgender people and should be stopped, according to New York City Public Advocate Letitia James.

A teenager fell from a stopped gondola ride at Six Flags Amusement Park Saturday night, tumbling into a crowd of park guests and employees gathered below in an effort to catch the victim before she hit the ground. She’s in stable condition with no serious injuries.

The NYT approves of Cuomo’s decision to bring back Joe Lhota to run the MTA, but says his effort to take more control of the authority’s board is “not needed” and ” distraction.”

Also from the NYT: “For shooting themselves in the collective foot, Albany’s leaders could not have chosen a more effective method than their failure Wednesday night to extend Mayor Bill de Blasio’s control over New York City schools for at least another year.”

While Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority fees charged to ride-hailing companies’ customers at Buffalo’s airport are new, taxis have been paying for access to the Buffalo airport for years. So have parking lot shuttles, limousines and other ground transportation companies.

The Staten Island Advance and former Rep. Michael Grimm air their differences over the paper’s coverage of his trials an tribulations.

The design team building the 630-foot-high ferris wheel on Staten Island’s north shore got into a bitter pay dispute with the developer — and walked off the job in late May. The project has since ground to a halt.

A fourth Democrat is seeking the party’s nomination to vie for the 23rd House seat occupied by incumbent Republican Tom Reed of Corning: Eddie Sundquist, a native of Jamestown, Chautauqua County.


Senator Dean Heller of Nevada, perhaps the most vulnerable Republican facing re-election in 2018, said today he would not support the newly-released Senate health care overhaul as written, dealing a blow to his party’s attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

Former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton urged supporters to “speak out” against Senate Republicans’ healthcare overhaul bill, casting the matter as a choice of “people over politics.”

The Senate’s version of the American Health Care Act would cost New York’s Medicaid program billions of dollars over the next decade, putting Albany in the position of having to choose between raising taxes or cutting services and programs for hundreds of thousands.

Bill Hammond: “The U.S. Senate GOP’s health bill, though pitched as more moderate than the House plan, would be harder on New York in at least one respect. The Senate’s discussion draft…would impose a tighter Medicaid funding limit on the highest-spending states – New York among them – while being relatively generous to the lowest-spending states.”

President Trump thinks special counselor Robert Mueller’s friendship with fired FBI Director James Comey “is very bothersome.”

Trump’s warning last month that his conversations with Comey might have been taped was an attempt to affect Comey’s public statements and his testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee, the president admitted.

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise is no longer in the intensive care unit at MedStar Washington Hospital Center, officials said.

U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee leaders said they are seeking information about former attorney general Loretta Lynch’s alleged efforts to stifle the FBI’s investigation of Clinton’s use of a private email server while she was secretary of State.

The White House has been prohibiting cameras at some press briefings, so CNN got creative today and sent a sketch artist.

Former U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara was a guest on the Daily Show.

Cuomo is poised to veto a $90 million relief package for Lake Ontario flood victims and municipalities unless lawmakers agree to make changes to the program.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio says he plans to put serious heat on state legislators beginning Monday to renew his control over city schools, saying the ramifications of not doing so would be catastrophic.

Syracuse University today became the fifth school in Central New York to confirm it’s opting out of a new state program that provides tuition aid to students at private colleges and university.

Three cities will host hearings beginning next week to discuss the economic impact of the gender wage gap in New York.

Food & Wine, the glossy, chef-focused food magazine, is moving from New York to Birmingham, Ala., joining a stable of other publications owned by Time Inc. that includes Cooking Light and Southern Living.

RIP Gabe Pressman, the senior correspondent for WNBC-TV and the indefatigable dean of New York City’s TV reporters, who chased breaking news and covered politics, protests and parades for more than six decades. He has died at the age of 93.

Day 2 Of Paladino’s Removal Hearing Focuses On Exec Session

In the second day of the hearing on removing Carl Paladino from the Buffalo School Board on Friday, his fellow board members testified Paladino disclosed sensitive information that could provide help to the city’s teachers union in future negotiations.

“Nobody, no business, your business, my business, nobody can do all of their business out in the light of day,” said Frank Miller, an outside counsel hired by the school board for the proceeding.

Buffalo Federation of Teachers President Phil Rumore agreed, pointing to commentary published by Paladino in ArtVoice about conversations in executive sessions. The day-long hearing at the state education department frustrated Paladino’s attorneys since school board members wouldn’t discuss the contents of the executive session.

“Remember those were conversations with her lawyers in a confidential setting,” Miller said. “She respects that privilege enough to have not once but twice filed petitions to remove people who violated that sacred privilege.”

Paladino attorney Dennis Vacco argued meanwhile his client faced a hostile environment and was subject to name calling from board member Teresa Harris-Tigg.

“We didn’t do it with glee, but as I said previously standing in front of these microphones, they got to play by the same rules,” Vacco said. “A code of conduct that they’re asserting Mr. Paladino violated, all of a sudden we’re hearing Dr. Harris-Tigg calling him orange Cheetos.”

Paladino faces removal for disclosing the ruminations of the board in a private setting. But Vacco argues the process was initially about an unrelated matter: Racist comments written late last year in ArtVoice, protected under the First Amendment.

“The don’t come to this debate with clean hands. Plus they also come to this debate with the motivation getting him for his speech,” Vacco said. “Today was pretty evident.”

The hearing resumes Monday in Albany. Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia is presiding over the proceeding and expressed frustration Friday with the slow pace of the testimony.

Cuomo Coins The ‘Faso-Collins Federal Tax’

Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Friday launched yet another salvo at the proposal to shift Medicaid spending from county governments to the state, decrying the Faso-Collins amendment as the “Faso-Collins Federal Tax.”

The concern, Cuomo says, is the cost shift will lead to an rise in taxes on the state level.

“This year, some members of New York’s own Congressional delegation have voted to cut $2.3 billion in federal funding to New York State and New York State alone. I have never seen representatives in Washington fighting to take funding away from their home state, but that’s exactly what Faso, Collins and their colleagues have done,” Cuomo said in a statement.

“This shocking action from officials elected to help their constituents comes at a high price for New Yorkers: every resident of this state will be forced to pay the ‘Faso-Collins Federal Tax’ to make up the difference.”

The provision, as backed by U.S. Reps. Chris Collins and John Faso, was included in both the House GOP version of the health care overhaul bill as well as the U.S. Senate package unveiled on Thursday.

The measure in some respects is for local governments a major and long-sought mandate relief provision they say is one of the main driver of the state’s property taxes.

Cuomo, in his statement, touted his own efforts on mandate relief.

“Over the last seven years, I have made capping and cutting property taxes a main priority, passing the first-ever 2 percent property tax cap, and legislation forcing local governments to propose shared-services plans to lower local property taxes, but Faso and Collins are seeking to reverse that,” Cuomo said. “This is nothing more than a political gimmick dressed up as property tax relief and every New Yorker should call their representative to stop this reprehensible legislation from passing.”

Shaking the (Political) Money Tree

In case you needed more proof of the nexus between political cash and legislative action, the folks over at NYPIRG have put together a handy – and lengthy – list of fundraisers held during the just-ended 2017 session.

The list includes events held by rank-and-file members in the shadow of the state Capitol, and also a handful of fundraisers hosted elsewhere (outside the City of Albany, that is) by legislative leaders, which tend to be a higher priority for the sort of people (lobbyists, etc.) who attend these sorts of shindigs in hopes of influencing policy.

In other words, this isn’t a complete tally of every single fundraiser held by state lawmakers over he past six months, but it’s enough to provide a good idea of how the public’s business and politics mix between January and April.

There have been a number of proposals over the years as part of various different campaign finance reform packages that would prevent lawmakers from holding fundraisers on session days in the immediate vicinity of the Capitol. But, as you know, there hasn’t been any significant movement 5o speak of on the campaign finance reform front for years.

Albany Money Machine June 2017 by liz_benjamin6490 on Scribd