In Convention Speech, de Blasio Rips Trump

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio opened up a stinging line of attack against Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump in his remarks on Wednesday afternoon at the Democratic National Convention.

The mayor attacked Trump’s business record as well as his rhetoric at women, knocking him as an egotist who is not suited for the presidency.

“Donald Trump is reckless, he’s risky, he’s wrong, he’s scary,” de Blasio said, adding Trump is part of Wall Street’s “predator class.”

The remarks were a display not of the mayor who has sought to fight income inequality in New York City, but a sharp-elbowed flash of the political operative who managed Hillary Clinton’s 2000 campaign for the U.S. Senate in New York.

“He’s degraded women to make himself feel big, while revealing what a little man he is,” de Blasio said of Trump.

Blasting Trump’s business acumen, he mocked the mogul for inheriting money from his father and then claiming the title of self-made man.

“He made a career out of ripping people off, racking up billions in debt, and bankrupting his companies,” de Blasio said.

The speaking slot for de Blasio was initially 4:30 in the afternoon, a potentially abysmal speaking time in which few people are watching the convention on television.

Given the scheduling at the convention, de Blasio eventually spoke at 5:30 in the afternoon. Earlier in the day, de Blasio insisted the time he spoke wasn’t a concern for him, while he parsed the decision to his predecessor Michael Bloomberg speak to boost Clinton’s candidacy.

Heastie: A Dem Senate Would Help

Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie in a Capital Tonight interview on Tuesday said a Democratic-led Senate would benefit the passage of key police issues for his conference.

“Of course, the short answer to that is absolutely,” Heastie said. “A Democratic Senate will agree with us on a number of policy issues.”

Heastie has indicated plans to make a renewed push for increasing taxes on the wealthy. The speaker has seemingly operated on a two-year plan when it comes to policy: In 2014, Assembly Democrats backed a $15 minimum wage; the measure was approved a year later. The same went for a push on paid family leave, which ultimately passed this year as well.

“I do believe we would be a much more progressive state and we could do a lot more progressive policies if we had a Democratic Senate,” he said.

Both the minimum wage and paid family leave program came with the help from a Republican Senate, however, and Heastie said “it wasn’t a problem to have those conversations” with a GOP-controlled chamber.

At the same time, he declined to criticize Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan for his endorsement of Republican nominee Donald Trump.

“John’s a Republican and he’s going to support the Republican nominee,” he said.


Day 3 at the 2016 Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, where there is a jam-packed schedule tonight at the Wells Fargo Center.

The focus will be on national security, and Hillary Clinton’s campaign and allies will position her as prepared to be the nation’s commander-in-chief, contrasting her with what it’s calling a “temperamentally unfit” Donald Trump. Speakers on that topic include former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and veterans.

There will also be discussion of gun control, with family members of victims of the Orlando nightclub massacre, and former NYC Mayor Mile Bloomberg, a Democrat-turned-Republican-turned independent who mulled his own White House run. Since leaving City Hall, Bloomberg has spent millions of his own money to push gun control policies and candidates across the nation.

Also on tap: Speeches from VP Joe Biden and his wife, Jill; Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine, Clinton’s running mate; and keynote address from President Barack Obama, who will both discuss his own legacy and make the case for continuing his policies for another four years by electing his former secretary of state to succeed him in the White House.

While we’re waiting for the show to begin, here are some headlines for your consideration…

As Donald Trump calls on Russia to find and expose his Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton’s emails, congressional Republicans – including House Speaker Paul Ryan – are pushing back and bashing Russia’s leader Vladamir Putin.

The response from Clinton’s senior police advisor Jake Sullivan: “This has to be the first time that a major presidential candidate has actively encourage a foreign power to conduct espionage against is political opponent. That’s not hyperbole, those are just the facts.”

Former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani tried to spin Trump’s remarks, saying: “What he meant was that if Russia has them, they should turn them over to the FBI…They should be released before the election. They can be used to extort her, they can be used to influence her, to threaten her.”

Trump referred to Democratic vice presidential candidate Tim Kaine as “the former governor of New Jersey.” Kaine served as the governor of Virginia from 2006 to 2010, and is currently the state’s junior U.S. senator. Tom Kean, a Republican, served as the governor of New Jersey from 1982 to 1990.

Trump “will not be releasing” his tax returns due to a federal audit, his campaign manager said, despite pressure to release them and provide a window into his finances before the Nov. 8 election.

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio is trying to reboot his national progressive profile after struggling to position himself as a leader of the party’s left wing.

Former President Bill Clinton’s approach in his convention speech, speaking of his wife in highly personal – even sexual – terms, and reopening the couple’s complex marriage to scrutiny was a significant gamble.

Women have made so much progress, that some female voters appear indifferent to another glass ceiling shattered by Clinton’s candidacy.

Asked what it was like to be recognized so often at the convention – and not always in a complimentary way, former Rep. Anthony Weiner responded: “This is like Comic-Con. And I was in, you know, ‘Batman Recovers’ or whatever the hell the third Batman is…Forgotten Batman.”

Chelsea Clinton would like to ask her friend Ivanka Trump how her father intends to fight for equal pay for women and accessible child care – two issues the GOP nominee’s daughter insisted on the convention stage last week are important to her father.

Giuliani insisted that the Democratic Party is an “anti-police party,” arguing that Barack Obama “created an anti-police atmosphere all throughout this country.”

Giuliani also said he has spoken to Israeli government leaders “at the highest levels,” who told him they don’t want to see a Clinton presidency.

Together the DNC and RNC will end up spending more than $110 million putting on the shows, which comes from deep-pocketed donors and corporations looking for free publicity.

The state DFS informed health insurers of their responsibility to provide the same level of coverage for mental health and substance use disorders as for medical or surgical care.

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin has told his senior staff and his family that after the November election he will make a decision about whether he will run for Illinois governor. U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer, once Durbin’s rival to lead the chamber’s Democratic conference, said he hopes Durbin stays put.

Trump says his son, Donald Trump Jr., won’t run for mayor of NYC, and it’s “almost impossible” for a Republican to win that office.

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, longtime best friend to the Clintons, said he believes Hillary Clinton will support the TPP trade deal if elected president, with some tweaks. His spokesman later sought to clarify those remarks, saying the governor was simply expressing what he wants Clinton to do if she is elected president.

One of Buffalo’s leading developers and downtown property owners, Paul Ciminelli, said it would be better to demolish One Seneca Tower instead of having the city subsidize its redevelopment.

James Lyman, a former Albany police officer, the longtime executive director of one of the state’s largest police unions, Council 82, was fired last month for undisclosed reasons following an internal investigation.

The Buffalo Common Council has approved a $5,000 annual car allowance for any Council member driving at least 120 days a year for work – excluding to and from City Hall – with their own vehicle.

After six months, the Onondaga County Comptroller’s lawsuit challenging raises for county officials will get its day in court. At a court hearing scheduled for tomorrow morning, attorneys will present arguments over whether the case should be dismissed.

To Labor Council, Cuomo Dissects Economic Anxiety

Republicans and Democrats alike are grappling with a restive nation upset over stagnate wages and an elusive American Dream — that’s according to Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who diagnosed and dissected the wave of economic populism that’s sweeping the nation. ​

“You haven’t felt the recovery,” Cuomo said of middle and working-class families. “That anxiety, that tension is real, and that’s the anger. That’s what’s driving this election.”

Cuomo’s remarks in Philadelphia at a labor council meeting highlighted his own efforts to push for a $15 minimum wage as an acknowledgement of the issues facing the working poor.

The political headwinds from the aftershocks of the recession have been credited with the rise of populist candidates in both parties, including Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders — who has sounded the alarm on trade agreements — and Donald Trump, whose has campaigned on scaling back immigration to the U.S.

Cuomo has often tried to strike on economic issues a pocketbook approach that is less wonky than long orations about free trade: What’s this going to do for your taxes? For college tuition?

Cuomo said the high-tech sector hasn’t replaced or retrained manufacturing workers who have suffered job losses.

But his speech did not dwell on solutions, but the general unease across the country. He pointed to the rise of high-tech manufacturing jobs, which his administration has encouraged through millions of dollars in aid, as having hurt the working class due to a lack of retraining.

“What happens to the millions and millions of manufacturing workers? There has never been an answer,” Cuomo said. “They have been displaced and they have been forgotten and they are angry.”

And Cuomo took aim at the Trans Pacific Trade Partnership, a pact supported by President Obama that has emerged as a key issue in the election as well as a major talking at the Democratic National Convention this week.

“When they tell you we’re going to pass TPP,” Cuomo said, “they saying they don’t understand the damage they’ve done in the first place and now they want to extend it with TPP.”

Schneiderman: ‘Powerful’ Message For Bloomberg To Speak

Add Attorney General Eric Schneiderman to the list of liberals happy to have former NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg speaking this evening at the Democratic National Convention.

“I think it is incredibly powerful that Michael Bloomberg, who is nationally recognized as a balanced, centrist leader, who is interested in getting problems solved, is here to endorse Hillary Clinton,” the AG said earlier today.

Bloomberg, a onetime Democrat who was first elected as a Republican mayor in 2001, and later became an independent, is due to endorse Hillary Clinton after considering – and then abandoning – his own run for the presidency.

Schneiderman believes Bloomberg’s nod is a signal to “business Republicans” that Clinton should be elected over Republican Donald Trump.

“This represents the core of the American business community that we can’t put our country in the hands of this narcissistic, megalomanic, xenophobe,” he said.

Clinton must still answer questions, it would seem, from the base of the party, which believes she is not liberal enough on key issues. But Schneiderman said Bloomberg’s remarks will highlight Clinton’s own desire to govern.

“Mike Bloomberg really embodies that sort of practical, smart, non-ideological, but inclusive, expansive, and visionary role for America,” he said.

De Blasio Shrugs Off Afternoon Speaking Slot

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio in an interview shrugged off the 4:30 time slot he was given to speak at the Democratic National Convention later today, telling NY1’s Zack Fink he’s not a marquee speaker at any rate.

At the same time, de Blasio praised the decision to have his immediate predecessor, former Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a Democrat-turned-Republican-turned-independent, to give a prime time keynote address endorsing Hillary Clinton.

De Blasio is not the only New Yorker who has been scheduled to speak at the convention, with congressional candidate Adriano Espaillat speaking briefly on Monday night and Gov. Andrew Cuomo expected to go on Thursday (a time has not been released for when Cuomo will talk).

“I don’t worry about any of that stuff,” he said. “There are hundreds and hundreds of speakers to accommodate. There are folks who I understand 110 percent who need to get into the proper speaking slot.”

As for Bloomberg, a billionaire whose style and approach to the mayor’s office de Blasio has pointedly sought to avoid, the Democrat called the move “wonderful.”

“That’s really going to help build some support among independents,” he said.

Primetime speaking slots at conventions are typically highly coveted. Cable audiences grow at 8 p.m. hour, with network stations switching to convention coverage for the keynote speeches at around 10 p.m.

But de Blasio insisted that while it’s an honor to speak, he’s more concerned with the broader campaign effort of electing Clinton.

“So, there’s no news in me supporting Hillary Clinton,” he said. “It’s going to be an honor to speak during the convention and I’m going to work very hard on her behalf. But I think as people in political life, we should not worry about ourselves, but about the future of the country.”

De Blasio Calls Cuomo A ‘Doubting Thomas’ On Liberal Policy

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio on Wednesday in an interview called Gov. Andrew Cuomo a “doubting Thomas” on backing liberal issues such as combating income inequality.

De Blasio, speaking to NY1’s Zack Fink, did not believe Cuomo was attempting to co-opt liberal policy issues such as an increase in the minimum wage to $15, but was glad he could influence the governor’s thinking.

“I’m happy that those issues came into the mainstream in New York state and the country,” de Blasio said. “Yes, he was a doubting Thomas for quite a while. But whatever gets you there, so we can help people, working people, middle class people, that’s what we’re here to do. I’m glad that he came to it.”

Both men are in Philadelphia this week for the Democratic National Convention, but neither have publicly crossed paths despite staying at the same hotel in city’s downtown.

Cuomo and de Blasio have openly feuded over the last year, with the mayor accusing the governor of undermining New York City’s interests in Albany and colluding with Senate Republicans in Albany.

Cuomo’s aides have repeatedly fired back at the mayor, accusing him of incompetence and not managing the city well.

But the roots of the Cuomo and de Blasio feud did begin initially over a campaign pledge by the mayor to create a universal pre-Kindergarten program through a tax increase.

Cuomo had balked at the surcharge, but ultimately pursued a statewide pre-Kindergarten program.

The hostilities between the mayor and the governor have only escalated in the last year over a variety of concerns, including mayoral control of New York City schools and proposed cuts in funding to the City University of New York, tumbling into public view with a rare intensity, even for two jobs that are often in conlfict.

“I think it comes down to this: My job is to defend the interests of New York City — 43 percent of the state’s population,” de Blasio said in the interview. “We are the economic powerhouse of the state. We deserve fairness and respect.”

During his second term, Cuomo has emphasized decidedly liberal views, including the minimum wage as well as a 12 week paid family leave program.

“This is what the political process is all about,” de Blasio said. “I’m very proud of the fact that my campaign in 2012 and 2013 was about income inequality, raising taxes on the wealthy. We’re doing things very, very differently now.”

Schneiderman: ‘Vicious Tweets’ From Trump Supporters

Attorney General Eric Schneiderman blasted on Wednesday the supporters of Donald Trump who have sent him “vicious” anti-Semitic tweets in response to his lawsuit against Trump University.

“I should show you the vicious anti-Semitic hate tweets I get from Trump followers,” he said to members of the New York delegation earlier this morning during their breakfast meeting.

Speaking with reporters after his remarks, Schneiderman accused Trump of giving a tacit thumbs up to hate speech, linking the anti-Semitism to the Republican nominee’s rhetoric on immigration and Muslims.

“Donald Trump, more than any candidate in modern history, has really openly embraced bigotry,” Schneiderman said. “He’s advocating discrimination based on religion; he’s advocating discrimination based on national origin in a way we haven’t seen in a very long time.”

Schneiderman has led the effort on the lawsuit against Trump University, in which former students of the online school claim the course offerings were of little value promised and promoted by Trump himself.

Trump has repeatedly slammed the lawsuit and Schneiderman over the lawsuit, dismissing it as little more than a political stunt by the Democratic AG. He also caused waves several weeks ago when he criticized the judge in the case over his Mexican descent.

“This open door to bigots lets out all the bigots,” Schneiderman said. “We can’t only say this only about being anti-Muslim. (Trump) has given the green light to a lot of ugly stuff. This is opening he door to a lot of virulent anti-Semitism. I see it and there are other public officials who are seeing it, too.”

Schumer Vows ‘Different Approach’ On Trade

U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer on Wednesday vowed to take a different approach on free trade agreements should he ascend to the majority leader post in the U.S. Senate, he told the New York delegation.

“I have been very skeptical of these arguments that free trade is good for America,” Schumer said. “My views have become even harder and stronger.”

Schumer, in line to become the new leader of the Senate Democrats in 2017, sharply criticized previous free trade deals as well as the Trans Pacific Partnership, which has become a key issue for both parties in the 2016 campaign.

“You don’t need a Phd. in economics to know why companies want to take jobs out of America and to Indonesia or anywhere,” Schumer said to applause. “It’s because the jobs there pay next to nothing.”

He promised to continue to oppose the TPP agreement, a deal that was forged by President Obama in the final months of his administration and part of a broader pivot toward Asia.

“As long as TPP reduces the wages and working conditions of American workers, I will oppose it,” Schumer said. “Should I become majority leader, we’re going to have an entirely different approach on trade.”

Both parities are facing political headwinds over stagnate wages and anxiety over the economy following the aftershocks of the great recession. Republican Donald Trump has broken with party orthodoxy on trade in the last year, winning the GOP nomination in the process.

Much of Schumer’s address, too, appeared aimed at supporters of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who address the delegation’s breakfast on Tuesday with Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Many of Sanders’s supporters in the delegation, however, appeared to have skipped the breakfast this morning.

“There have been a few bumps in the road, but our party is unified on policy,” Schumer said. “The Sanders platform has had a great effect on America and the Democratic Party. Bernie is a constructive man, he always has been.”

Cuomo Seeks To Knit Together Democrats For Clinton

From the Morning Memo:

Gov. Andrew Cuomo wouldn’t admit whose idea it was to bring Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders on Tuesday to the New York delegation’s breakfast.

But he told reporters later in the day it was a “brilliant one” considering it helped unify the two factions within the party in New York to back Hillary Clinton’s campaign for the presidency.

The embrace of Sanders by the New York delegation comes at a crucial time for Democrats nationally as they seek to unify the party more broadly against Republican Donald Trump, who, despite an unusual convention, received a boost in the polls from the week of coverage in Ohio.

“Our first task is to make sure that Hillary Clinton is elected our next president,” Sanders said to applause from the delegation. “Our second task, in my view, is to continue the political revolution whose goal is nothing less than transforming this country.”

Though he’s had an at-times difficult relationship with the left of the Democratic base, Cuomo on the convention floor sought to play up areas of commonality on policy, touting the push for the $15 minimum wage and 12 weeks of paid family leave – both measures that were approved in New York earlier this year (with, by the way, the Republicans in control of the state Senate).

Sanders supporters in New York aren’t happy with Cuomo’s time in office, and many likely backed Fordham Law Prof. Zephyr Teachout during the 2014 Democratic gubernatorial primary.

While it remains to be seen if Cuomo can stave off another challenge on his left flank in a 2018 campaign, quelling a potential flare up this week within his own state delegation – presenting a united front in contrast to other states – was key for him in Philadelphia.

“There was a spirit of unity in that room that was overwhelming and that was undeniable,” Cuomo said, “And that’s what I was concerned about.”