Oct 9th - 5:22 pm
According to Gothamist, Alain Kaloyeros, the head of SUNY Poly and the highest paid public employees in New York, “is an immature, Ferrari-obsessed narcissist who has serious issues with women.”
HUD Secretary Julian Castro will endorse Hillary Clinton for president next week in San Antonio, ramping up speculation that he’s on her vice president running mate shortlist.
As Republicans search for someone to succeed John Boehner as speaker of the House, some have suggested bringing in an outsider, such as former House speaker Newt Gingrich or Colin Powell, the former secretary of state and onetime chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The Constitution is silent on the question of whether the speaker must be a member.
Gun-rights advocates protested President Obama’s visit today to Roseburg, Ore., where he will meet families of the victims of last week’s shooting at Umpqua Community College.
NYPD commissioner Bill Bratton — a proponent of aggressively confronting low level, quality of life violations in order to deter more serious crimes — confronted a woman smoking marijuana at 8:30 a.m. yesterday morning by Wall Street.
Agreeing with his predecessor, Ray Kelly, Bratton said at a New York Law School breakfast that he believes the Justice Department’s plans to release 6,000 prisoners amounted to a social experiment.
Thabo Sefolosha, the Atlanta Hawks basketball player who was knocked out of this year’s playoffs after he said the police broke his leg, was found not guilty by a Manhattan jury of all charges stemming from a confrontation with officers outside a nightclub in April.
US Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand called today for passage of legislation that for the first time would make gun trafficking a federal crime with a maximum punishment of up to 20 years.
Following up on his climate change news, Cuomo is out with news of $1.4 million in grants for farmers to both make their operations more energy efficient in order to reduce their environmental impacts, and more resilient in the face of floods, droughts or other climate-related challenges.
Is Republican 2016 hopeful Donald Trump starting to look for an exit strategy?
Rep. John Katko has emerged as the lead Republican sponsor of a bill that could force members of Congress to stay on the job in order to avert a government shutdown.
Erie County Legislator Betty Jean Grant is calling for an independent monitor to keep track of whether minority and women hiring targets are being met at the SolarCity construction project.
The state Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services will be broadcasting two new public service announcements in a new phase of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Talk2Prevent addiction campaign.
A meeting to discuss the suburban/deer problem in the city of Syracuse and outlying towns has been rescheduled for Oct. 20 at Nottingham High School in Syracuse.
The latest edition of the “newspaper” being published by IDC Leader Jeff Klein features front page news celebrating his ability to bring cash home to his Bronx district through the earmark system.
NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio is so confident that the Mets will beat the Dodgers in the 2015 NLDS that he’s offered LA Mayor Eric Garcetti a bet.
State Sen. Daniel Squadron had his staff and interns busy this summer, studying 53 stations in his district of Lower Manhattan and Brooklyn. “We found the good, the bad and the downright ugly,” the Brooklyn Democrat said.
Oct 9th - 4:09 pm
Manhattan Democratic Assemblyman Denny Farrell on Friday endorsed congressional hopeful and fellow Assembly lawmaker Keith Wright, who is seeking to replace longtime Rep. Charlie Rangel in a crowded Democratic primary.
“Keith Wright has been an essential voice for central Harlem for decades. His dogged advocacy and leadership is palpable throughout the community, and his partnership here in upper Manhattan and in the New York State Assembly has been invaluable,” Farrell said in a statement. “It is with great confidence and excitement that I support my friend, neighbor and long-time colleague to continue the legacy of inclusion and representation for Harlem residents in US Congress.”
Farrell’s endorsement of Wright coincides a day before state Sen. Bill Perkins announces his House campaign for the Harlem-based district on Saturday. Farrell is also a former top lieutenant to ex-Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver.
Both Farrell and Wright were potential replacements for Silver, who stepped down from post last year after he was arrested on corruption charges.
Instead, Wright quickly endorsed Bronx Assemblyman Carl Heastie — then the county Democratic chairman — virtually the same day he announced his run for speaker.
The endorsement roll out of Farrell, the chairman of the Assembly’s powerful Ways and Means Committee, was coupled with the backing of Councilwoman Inez Dickens, Harlem clergy members and the support from former Gov. David Paterson.
“Many pursue elected office as a life’s work, but few embrace public service as a life’s passion,” said Paterson, who is stepping down from the Democratic Committee’s chairmanship at the end of the month. “My dear friend Keith Wright is one of those few. I’ve served this community in many capacities, and I am fully confident that Keith has the expertise and compassion necessary to govern the tough issues. Keith’s candidacy for Congress is the correct next step in what has been a long life of selfless and exemplary commitment to serving others.”
Oct 9th - 2:02 pm
The event, held in New Rochelle, also highlighted Gillibrand’s bill that would make gun trafficking a federal offense.
“I am proud to work with all the members of law enforcement, advocates, and community members who participated in today’s roundtable meeting and share the goal of cracking down on gun trafficking to keep illegal guns off our streets,” Gillibrand said in a statement. “I am not willing to throw my hands in the air and say nothing can be done while lives are being senselessly lost due to weapons being in the hands of criminals.”
The discussion also comes as Gov. Andrew Cuomo pushes for federal action on gun control in the wake of the shooting death of administration lawyer Carey Gabay and the mass shooting this month at an Oregon community college. More >
Oct 9th - 1:40 pm
Former Senate Majority Leader Joe Bruno announced on Friday the bulk of his leftover campaign and legal defense fund cash — some $1.4 million — will be transferred to the Senate Republican Campaign Committee.
Bruno announced in a press release sent out by his longtime spokesman John McArdle that he would close out the remainder of his campaign account as well as a legal defense fund formed to help him fight federal corruption charges, with most of the money going to help the GOP maintain control of the chamber.
An additional $100,000 from Bruno’s accounts will be donated to the Tech Valley High School Foundation, aiding a school the Rensselaer County Republican was instrumental in helping create.
Bruno in his statement said it was “more important than ever” that Republicans maintain control of the Senate in a state otherwise dominated by Democrats.
“As Republican leader it was my job to return Republicans to the Majority every two years to assure there was balance in a government dominated by Democrats,” Bruno said in a statement. “I strongly believe that preserve that balance and maintaining a Republican majority is more important than ever. That, unfortunately, will take a significant effort and it’s my hope these funds will help maintain a Republican majority that will continue to focus on creating jobs and economic growth, good schools and quality health care.”
For the Republicans, the help the money will bring can’t be understated in what is expected to be a challenging cycle.
The $1.4 million will swell the GOP coffers heading into an election year in which Republicans are defending a narrow majority in the chamber. The Republican effort to hold the Senate is even more complicated by the upcoming presidential race, when more Democratic voters come out to the polls, aiding down-ballot races. More >
Oct 9th - 12:09 pm
A statement from Senate GOP spokesman Scott Reif belittled the Democratic plans — being telegraphed on Saturday in a planned keynote address to Orange County Democrats by Minority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins — as “odd and misguided.”
“The last time the Senate Democrats planted their flag it cost hardworking Orange County families dearly,” Reif said in the statement. “During their disastrous two-year stint in the majority in 2009-10 they raised taxes by a whopping $14 billion, instituted the job-killing MTA payroll tax on local schools and businesses, shifted school aid intended for Orange County to New York City, and took the STAR rebate checks away from seniors and homeowners who live there. Anyone who runs with the backing of the Senate Democrats will have to answer for that record.”
Democrats believe Larkin’s seat is vulnerable, however. Heading into an election year with a narrow majority, Republicans are expected to be defending suburban and upstate swing districts as more Democrats are due to come out to vote in a presidential election year.
Assemblyman James Skoufis is believed to be a potential candidate for the job. More >
Oct 9th - 11:49 am
In the aftermath of an administration lawyer being gunned down in Brooklyn, and later a mass shooting at an Oregon community college, Cuomo stepped up his call for strong gun control legislation, saying it should be an issue in the 2016 elections and called on Democrats to get tougher on the issue.
In the past week, Cuomo has made two speeches on climate change, one at New York University and a second at Columbia, including an appearance with former Vice President Al Gore, who lauded the governor’s signing of a greenhouse gas compact between states, provinces and local governments.
But ask Cuomo about the ongoing snit between his administration and Mayor Bill de Blasio’s office over funding the MTA’s next four-year capital plan, and the governor becomes especially animated.
Asked about the state of the talks over having the city kick in a larger share of funding following the Gore event at Columbia, the governor went on a nearly 12-minute stemwinder, with reporters only getting a few chances to interrupt the monologue to offer a counter question.
“We are not closer,” Cuomo said. “This let’s keep it simple, OK? I believe in the MTA, I believe in mass transit. We’re talking today about protecting the environment. Anybody will say if you want to protect the environment, the way to do it is utilization of mass transit.”
The behind-the-scenes hostilities between Cuomo and de Blasio — which had previously been seen in passive-aggressive public slights — erupted in July when the mayor publicly rebuked the governor for his handling of the city’s agenda in Albany, accusing him of siding with Senate Republicans over his own platform.
Since then, Cuomo has seemingly sought to out-maneuver the mayor every chance he gets on key issues, especially ones in which the greatest city in the world is, by law, a creature of the state.
“We want to continue to grow the economy in New York City,” Cuomo continued in the gaggle. “The answer is mass transit.” More >
Oct 9th - 8:38 am
Senate Minority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins will address the Orange County Democratic committee on Saturday as the conference looks to the Hudson Valley as key region in helping win back the majority.
Stewart-Cousins, a Yonkers Democrat, will address the Orange County Democratic committee’s annual gala, which will also be attended by Comptroller Tom DiNapoli.
In her prepared remarks, Stewart-Cousins will make clear the conference will be planting a flag in the region as part of its strategy to win the majority.
“We are going to be here with you fighting to give you the Senate Democratic Majority that you deserve,” according to her prepared text. “A Democratic and Progressive majority that believes in your issues, a majority that believes in fighting for the working and middle class, a majority that believes in a real minimum wage increase so we can lift over 1 million people out of poverty — that believes in smart and targeted tax relief for the middle and working class.”
Democrats in particular are eyeing the seat held by longtime Republican Sen. Bill Larkin as a potential pickup opportunity.
Larkin, who is planning to run for another term, has been knocked by Democrats, who have tied him to the corruption scandal surrounding the former majority leader, Long Island Republican Dean Skelos.
Democratic Assemblyman James Skoufis is expected to run for the seat. More >
Oct 9th - 8:27 am
From the Morning Memo:
During his whirlwind trip to Puerto Rico in September, Gov. Andrew Cuomo pledged to keep trying to help the cash-strapped island as it struggles to address a massive debt crisis.
Among the issues discussed by members of the governor’s delegation and Puerto Rican government officials was the cost of health care – specifically Medicaid – which have been exacerbated by the Affordable Care Act and are contributing to the financial troubles.
Now Cuomo is making good on his promise by sending a second delegation to Puerto Rico next week, according to one of the impending trip’s scheduled attendees.
Though the governor won’t be personally leading this one, (at least he hasn’t announced as much so far), state Health Commissioner Howard Zucker and state Medicaid Director Jason Helgerson, both of whom were on the September trip, are on tap to return.
Also on this trip will be a new addition: Assembly Health Committee Chairman Dick Gottfried, one of the chamber’s most senior Democratic members and an expert on arcane health-related matters.
Bronx Assemblyman Marcos Crespo, a Puerto Rico native and chair of the Assembly Puerto Rican/Hispanic Task Force, who was a member of the governor’s initial delegation, will also again accompany the administration team. More >
Oct 9th - 8:15 am
From the Morning Memo:
Trailing badly in a public opinion poll with less than four weeks remaining in the special election race for the 52nd Senate District seat, Democrat Barbara Fiala is trying to turn the tables on her opponent, Republican Fred Akshar, calling him a political insider and a tool of “downstate” Republicans.
During a CapTon interview last night, Fiala noted that Akshar, the Broome County undersheriff, has been an officer in the Broome County GOP and has (according to her) all of former Senate Majority Leader Tom Libous’ staff working on his campaign.
“On a national level, people are looking for change, and I get that,” Fiala said. “But the most frustrating thing is that (Akshar) had enough money to fool everyone into thinking that he’s a change agent, and he only represents change on a superficial level.”
“…His campaign, his media has all been focused on that he’s not a politician, and he’s a fresh face. But in essence, he’s very active, and working for, the Republican Party…It’s not being honest and realistic to present yourself in that manner.”
Fiala has been vastly out fundraised by Akshar (by about 20 to 1, as of the last campaign filing), and the Democrat noted that this race is very important to the Senate Republicans, who are hanging on to their majority by a thread. More >
Oct 9th - 7:52 am
From the Morning Memo:
The Democratic-led Assembly later this month will be hosting a series of roundtables on ridesharing and car-sharing services in New York state.
The events — which are planned for Oct. 19 in New York City and Oct. 21 in Albany — are expected to including the chamber’s committees on Insurance, Transportation, Cities and Local Governments.
The roundtable meetings come as elected officials are struggling with ways to regulate ride-share apps like Uber and Lyft, while others have sought to bring the popular services to upstate cities.
Efforts to create a statewide regulatory insurance framework for companies like Uber and Lyft have so far stalled in the Legislature. In New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio unsuccessfully sought a measure that Uber believed would have capped its growth.