Poloncarz Says He’s Running On WEP Line

poloncarzwepDemocratic Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz announced Tuesday he will “proudly” run on the Women’s Equality Party ballot line as he seeks a second term next month.

Poloncarz winning ballot status on the WEP line comes as the fledgling party faces a host of legal challenges. Dozens of local-level candidates this season have been denied or knock off the ballot line after a state Supreme Court judge ruled no one had control of the party because a majority of the statewide candidates are yet to sign off on rules for the WEP.

“The Women’s Equality Party was proud to endorse Mark Poloncarz, who has shown a strong commitment to the issues of gender equality,” said Diana Cihak, WNY Regional Chair of the Women’s Equality Party, in a statement. “By championing the County’s Pay Equity policy for businesses that contract with Erie County he has been a leader in ensuring Erie County families benefit from the many advantages that are realized when women are paid equal to their male counterparts. This is only one example of his ongoing support for women in Erie County.”

Poloncarz running on the line makes him one of the more prominent candidates to run on the line this election cycle. It doesn’t hurt that Poloncarz, too, is a supporter and ally for Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who created the last year as a way to promote women’s issues in his re-election campaign.
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Cuomo Dials Back Government Shutdown Call Over Gun Control

cuomogunsGov. Andrew Cuomo in a radio interview on Tuesday dialed back his initial call for Democrats to threaten a federal government shutdown over the passage of stricter gun control legislation.

Nevertheless, he still wants Democrats nationally to address gun control in the wake of a mass shooting at an Oregon community college and make it a centerpiece issue in the 2016 elections.

“Just to clarify: I didn’t call for a government shutdown,” Cuomo said on WNYC’s The Brian Lehrer Show. “I said the Republicans are very good at making their priorities known and they’re basically saying if we don’t get a tax cut for the rich, then we’ll shutdown the government. The Democrats should say, well our top priority is gun control. They should put it up at the top of the agenda and threaten Republicans right back on gun control.”

The push for a government shutdown over gun control isn’t necessarily in line with Cuomo’s usual philosophy on government; namely that it should work and seek compromise when necessary.

But last week, in an interview on NY1, Cuomo expressed deep frustration with federal gun control policy as well as Democrats.

“I’d love to see the Democrats stand up and say we’re going to shut down the government or threaten to shut down the government if we don’t get real gun control legislation,” he said in the interview last week. “It should be that high a priority.” More >

Heaney Raises $643K For House Campaign

Republican Congressional hopeful Andrew Heaney will announce having raised $643,256 for his bid to win the 19th district in the Hudson Valley.

The amount of money raised includes more than 500 individual donors. Heaney, a businessman from Millbrook, did not make any personal contributions to the effort, his campaign said.

“With over 500 individual donors and not one penny from Political Action Committees, I’m proud of the strong and broad support our campaign is generating,” Heaney said in a statement.

The fundraising total for the first fundraising quarter of the campaign, which ended on Sept. 30, comes as multiple Republicans are vying for the nomination in the district.

Former Assembly Minority Leader John Faso entered the race last month, and has embarked on multiple fundraising tours already, including an event in Washington, D.C., with the entire New York GOP House delegation scheduled for today.

A third candidate, Robert Bishop, a Delaware County native and farmer, is also entering the race.

Meanwhile, two Republican members of the Assembly — Steve McLaughlin and Peter Lopez — are also mulling bids for the House seat.

Fundraising is key to the district, given that it crosses over multiple media markets in the Hudson Valley.

Incumbent Rep. Chris Gibson is retiring at the end of the current term as he considers a run for governor in 2018.

Wall Street Posts Strongest First Half Since 2011

moneyProfits on Wall Street posted their strongest first six months of the year since 2011, Comptroller Tom DiNapoli announced in an earnings report released on Tuesday.

The state’s securities industry recorded profits of $11.3 billion, despite a recent string of economic uncertainties, especially from overseas markets.

“After a very strong first half of the year, the securities industry faces volatile financial markets and an unsteady global economy,” DiNapoli said. “After years of downsizing, the industry has been adding jobs in New York City, but it may curtail hiring to bolster profits. We’re hopeful that Wall Street’s robust first half will result in a good year. The securities industry continues to be a major contributor to the city’s economy and a large contributor to the state and city budgets.”

Profits on Wall Street have been considered relatively strong over the last two years, averaging $16.3 billion in spite of the continued uncertainty overseas, regulatory framework imposed since the 2008 financial crisis and a series of blockbuster settlements. More >

Faso’s Employer Gave To Democratic Causes

From the Morning Memo:

As some Republicans in the 19th congressional district quietly question the donation GOP candidate Andrew Heaney gave to President Obama in 2008, others are scrutinizing the giving by former Assembly Minority Leader John Faso.

No, Faso hasn’t given directly to a Democratic candidate or campaign.

But he has with regularity over the last decade given to the political action committee of his employer, Manat, Phelps and Phillips.

The Golden State PAC, as it is called, has given steadily in turn to Obama, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid a combined $11,600 (Obama’s committee refunded his contribution after his 2004 Senate victory).

Meanwhile, the PAC has given to Democratic campaign causes on the federal level, including tens of thousands of dollars to the Democratic Campaign Committee and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.

Both Faso and Heaney are running in the 19th congressional district, a Hudson Valley seat being vacated by Rep. Chris Gibson, who is considering a statewide campaign for 2018.

Another Republican Enters NY-19 Race

ny19From the Morning Memo:

A third Republican is looking at joining the 2016 race to replace Rep. Chris Gibson, who is retiring at the end of the year with an eye toward a possible run for governor in 2018.

Robert Bishop, a Delaware County native, local farmer and self-described “close personal friend” of Gibson’s, says he plans to soon formally announce his candidacy for the seat.

“I have been considering running for Congress for some time, and the next cycle looks like the best opportunity,” Bishop wrote in an email to CapTon.

“I have worked closely for Chris since he first campaigned, and now that he has announced he is not running again, I certainly think I am the one who can step up and continue the successes for NY-19 that he has achieved.”

Bishop, who has held several local elected posts, but has never before run for an office of this level, said he will provide an outsider’s view of politics.

So far, two Republicans – former Assembly Minority Leader and 206 GOP gubernatorial candidate John Faso and businessman Andrew Heaney – have declared their intentions to run for Gibson’s seat. More >

Hochul: Plenty Of WEP Candidates Not Facing Legal Challenges

hochulFrom the Morning Memo:

While dozens of candidates running on the Women’s Equality Party ballot line have been tossed or denied access, there are some candidates not facing any legal challenges, Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul said on Monday in western New York.

“Actually, in many parts of the state, there are no challenges whatsoever,” Hochul said. “I think that’s the story that’s not being heard, that there are candidates who are eligible for this who will be on the ballot this November. There are a few cases in which there have been challenges and we’re waiting for the court process to work its way through and we’ll know very shortly.”

Hochul did not say how many candidates will retain ballot status this November, the first off-cycle election for the fledgling ballot line that was formed last year during Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s re-election campaign.

Local candidates running in elections have been denied ballot access for the WEP, which was created by Cuomo’s re-election effort in order to promote women’s issues in the election. More >

Lawmakers Hope For Second Look At Teacher Evaluations

testsFrom the Morning Memo:

As a task force created by Gov. Andrew Cuomo prepares to consider overhauling the state’s controversial Common Core standards, state lawmakers hope the latest teacher evaluation law will also be up for changes, too.

“We are seeing a reset button being hit in regards to Common Core, but it is going to have an impact on evaluations as well,” said Democratic Assemblyman John McDonald, who represents a Capital Region-area district.

Cuomo last week formed a new task force that will consider changes to the standards, which New York adopted in 2010, before he becamse governor. But Cuomo has felt the brunt of the opposition to the standards, with parents and teachers criticizing what they see as an over reliance on testing.

“The goal should be simple: The best education system for our children,” Cuomo said in a video released to promote the task force’s formation. “That’s it.”

Cuomo, too, signaled he was potentially open to considering changes to the evaluation system, which was updated with new criteria in the April state budget.

“No one wants an evaluation system that is inaccurate or unfair,” Cuomo said. More >

Here and Now

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is in New York City.

At 8:45 a.m., Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, a 2016 GOP hopeful, discusses the “unique challenges facing businesses in the sharing economy that have resulted directly from outdated leaders in government”, followed by a discussion with New York Civic Hall Founder Andrew Rasej, Civic Hall, 156 5th Ave., Manhattan.

At 9:15 a.m., AG Eric Schneiderman will be a guest on NPR’s “The Takeaway” discussing the multi-state investigation into Volkswagen.

At 10 a.m., state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli releases annual report on profitability of securities industry on a conference call with media.

Also at 10 a.m., NYC Sanitation Commissioner Kathryn Garcia joins state Sen. Martin J. Golden at a school assembly to kick-off an Anti-Litter Essay Contest for elementary school students, P.S. 127, 7805 7th Ave., Brooklyn.

At 11 a.m., LG Kathy Hochul delivers remarks on behalf of the governor at the 18th annual New York State fallen firefighters memorial ceremony, Empire State Plaza, Albany.

Also at 11 a.m., Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner joins community leaders for a short parade marking formal opening of a new crosswalk along West St., 109 Otisco St., Syracuse.

Also at 11 a.m., NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio ill deliver remarks at the ribbon-cutting for the Brooklyn College Barry R. Feirstein Graduate School for Cinema at Steiner Studios, 25 Washington Ave., 6th Floor, Brooklyn.

Also at 11 a.m., the Assembly will hold a roundtable discussion on the interplay between child daycare and pre-kindergarten programs in the state, LOB, Room 711-A, Albany.

Also at 11 a.m., Sen. Tony Avella and members of the Task Force on the Delivery of Social Services in New York City will hold a public forum titled, “The Current State of Homelessness in New York City,” 250 Broadway 19th Floor, Manhattan.

At noon, Queens elected officials, including Sens. Mike Gianaris and Toby Stavisky, Assemblyman Ron Kim and NYC Councilman Peter Koo, and community members will call for improved safety and awareness in the vicinity of College Point Boulevard and Roosevelt Avenue in the wake of Sunday morning’s fatal hit-and-run, Southeast corner of College Point Boulevard and Roosevelt Avenue, Queens.

At 1 p.m., Hochul tours the New York State Education and Research Network (NYSERNET), 405 Jordan Rd., Tory.

At 2 p.m., Sen. Jose Peralta and NYC Councilman Costa Constantinides recognize the First Annual Organ Donor enrollment day and unveils bill to include assistance for kidney transplantation for undocumented New Yorkers, 78th St. and 37th Ave., Jackson Heights, Queens.

At 4:30 p.m., Hochul tours Equinox, 95 Central Ave., Albany.

At approximately 5 p.m., de Blasio will appear on WCBS 880.

At 7 p.m., NY1’s “Inside City Hall” host Errol Louis moderates a live debate between the Staten Island DA candidates, College of Staten Island.

Also at 7 p.m., Cuomo and de Blasio attend a 48th birthday celebration for Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, La Marina, 348 Dyckman St., Manhattan.


IDC Leader Jeff Klein’s alliance with Republicans has paid off. The Bronx state senator has been awarded $11.7 million in earmarks over the last three years — more than triple the amount of any other member of the chamber.

Nearly $8 million in new capital project money publicly itemized for the first time by the Senate GOP is tied to five men no longer serving in the chamber. The money, which critics decry as pork-barrel spending, makes up nearly 11 percent of the total $74.7 million unveiled by Senate Republicans.

New Buffalo Schools Superintendent Kriner Cash has an ambitious reform agenda, but is realistic about the many roadblocks in his path. Knowing how past superintendents have been treated, he has rented, not purchased a place to live in the Queen City.

Nearly one of every four workers on the SolarCity construction project during July were women or minorities, exceeding the workforce diversity targets set for the $900 million solar panel factory, Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown said.

Federal law-enforcement authorities are investigating an alleged bribery scheme involving payments to officials at the United Nations to gain support for real-estate development in Macau, people familiar with the matter said.

While promoting her new proposals to limit the availability of firearms, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton suggested at a town hall in New Hampshire that “responsible gun owners” should join together to create an alternative to the NRA.

Clinton is lashing out at the special House committee investigating the deadly attacks in Benghazi, Libya. She said in a televised interview that the panel’s inquiry was a partisan political exercise designed to “exploit” the deaths of four Americans.

The Oneida Indian Nation blasted Donald Trump after the GOP presidential candidate said he knows Indians who are proud of the Washington Redskins football team name, and he sees no reason to change it.

A nonprofit group filed a lawsuit challenging the recent move by the predominantly Hasidic village of Kiryas Joel north of New York City to annex land from the town of Monroe.

Advocates dressed up in fake pregnant bellies and wearing shackles rallied in front of Cuomo’s Manhattan office, pressing him to sign a bill that would strengthen a 2009 law that banned the shackling of incarcerated women during childbirth.

Federal prosecutors are turning over tens of thousands of pages of records, including those from 300 bank accounts, to attorneys for Harendra Singh, the prominent Long Island restaurateur, in preparation for his trial on bribery and other felony charges.

Ex-NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly and former Department Chief Joseph Esposito made false and misleading statements about their email usage in sworn declarations they gave in a class-action lawsuit over department summonses, the plaintiffs’ lawyer alleges in court papers.

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Former Governor and former AG Eliot Spitzer tackles the prison brutality problem, saying the current AG, Eric Schneiderman, should be given power by the current governor, Andrew Cuomo, to investigate such cases, and state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli should “conduct an audit to determine why the discipline of corrections officers has been so inadequate.”

A second body has been found at the site of Saturday’s gas explosion in Brooklyn, fire officials said.

Confidants of Vice President Joe Biden expect him to make a decision next weekend, or shortly thereafter, on whether to launch an epic battle with Hillary Clinton for the Democratic presidential nomination, and several believe he’s leaning toward “yes.”

Harvard law Prof. Lawrence Lessig raised more than $1 million in one month for his insurgent presidential campaign – a haul that he is using to bolster his argument that he should be included in the Democratic debates.

Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia has checked himself into an alcohol rehab facility and will not be able to pitch for the team this season.

After a six-year absence, legislative earmarks — and howls about “pork” spending — have returned to the Capitol.

Shortly after NYC Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez called on his colleagues to pass a resolution supportive of congestion pricing, Mayor Bill de Blasio said that while he’s open to the idea, Albany – which must sign off on the idea – is not.

Punching back at a series of newspaper ads from the TWU blasting de Blasio, liberal allies of the mayor accused the union of doing Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s dirty work in his ongoing feud with City Hall.

The “Hunger Games” applications are due today.

New York’s first legal hemp seeds are one step closer to being grown by universities and local farmers after the state made a new round of revisions to the regulations.

New York residents are increasingly dependent on natural gas produced in other states to heat their homes, according to new federal data.

The New York Times now has more than one million digital-only subscribers, more than any other publication in the world.

Long Island’s largest labor group is taking a pass on endorsing either candidate in the hotly contested Nassau district attorney race between the acting District Attorney Madeline Singas, a Democrat, and her Republican challenger, Hempstead Town Supervisor Kate Murray.

A $2.5 million federal grant will enable two South Buffalo public schools to address many of the outside learning obstacles that hurt their students.

A group of ministers and elected officials is calling on Cuomo to ensure that 30 percent of the $4 billion plan to rebuild LaGuardia Airport is handled by firms owned by minorities at the highest levels of the project.

PEF President Wayne Spence has announced that the union’s new lead negotiator for contract talks with the state will be Mark Richard, a Miami-based labor lawyer with long-time ties with the American Federation of Teachers.

NYC Public Advocate Tish James, NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer and Assemblyman Keith Wright got into the spirit (and costumes) at MedievalFest.

A plane with 152 aboard and headed for Boston was diverted safely to Syracuse this morning after a pilot died.