Archive for June, 2012
Jun 27th - 12:10 am
Director Josh Fox is out with a new movie about hydrofracking. And again, the natural gas drilling industry is upset. America’s Natural Gas Alliance senior VP for legislative and regulatory affairs Peter Robertson explains why they think Fox is misinterpreting the facts.
Jun 27th - 12:08 am
Here’s the speech from US Senate GOP winner Wendy Long, delivered at her victory party in Manhattan.
Jun 26th - 11:43 pm
Here’s the entire victory speech from Rep. Charlie Rangel, delivered in Harlem outside Sylvia’s restaurant.
Jun 26th - 11:25 pm
A former aide to President Bill Clinton and two governors bested four fellow Democrats in a Hudson Valley Congresssional district Tuesday night to take on Republican Rep. Nan Hayworth.
Sean Patrick Maloney was declared the winner in just after 11 p.m., defeating main rivals including cardiologist and Cortland Councilman Richard Becker and Wappingers Falls Mayor Matt Alexander.
“Democrats have spoken loud and clear, in one voice, echoing off every corner of the Hudson Valley — that we are back; we are strong; we have had enough, and we are ready work together to make Congress work for working people again,” Maloney said in a statement.
Maloney entered the race late, enduring digs from his rivals that he didn’t live in the NY-18 and that he was accepting too much outside cash.
Becker, in particular, mixed it up with Maloney early on, and appeared poised to win the race despite Maloney’s fundraising and union endorsement advantage.
In conceding, Becker pushed his supporters to defeat Hayworth in the fall.
The stakes are just too great for anyone who supported me to sit this campaign out. I wish the voters had made a different choice, but as Democrats we have to respect that decision and move forward together.”
But in the end, Maloney was able to overcome those questions with the help of his labor backing and surely his prominent support from his old boss, Bill Clinton, whose connect the candidate made sure to feature prominently throughout the primary campaign.
In taking on Hayworth, Maloney becomes the Democrats best hope for taking back a seat the party lost in the GOP take back of several suburban and upstate districts in 2010.
Hayworth is viewed as a top target by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, especially since the judge-drawn redistricting lines give the party a better edge than in prior years.
That is not to say Maloney doesn’t have baggage. He was a member of the Spitzer administration right as the then-governor was being investigated during the so-called “Troopergate” scandal, which was investigated by then-Attorney General Andrew Cuomo.
In some ways, the NY-18 is a mirror of the NY-27 in western New York, a lopsided enrollment advantage for the opposition party incumbent on the wrong end of the equation.
Jun 26th - 11:11 pm
Longtime Rep. Charles Rangel, embattled by ethics investigations, public rebukes from newspaper editorial boards and aggressive primary campaigns for the last several cycles, was the apparent victor Tuesday night in a bruising five-way race.
With nearly 50 percent of the precincts reporting, Rangel cruised to victory over his nearest and fiercest competitor, state Sen. Adriano Espaillat.
Rangel recorded more than 52 percent of the vote to Espaillat’s 32 percent. Cylde Williams received 11.4 percent, while Joyce Johnson and Craig Schley barely registered more than 5 percent.
The race was called for Rangel shortly before 11 p.m.
Rangel, 82, will return to the House of Representatives next year to a job he’s held for more than 40 years.
He’s survived a censure by his own colleagues and multiple attempts to end his long run in office.
Through it all, Rangel has held on.
This year’s primary challenge appeared to be the final swan song for Rangel, who was kept from Washington and the campaign trail with chronic back trouble.
Compounding Rangel’s troubles was the newly drawn NY-13 that became majority Latino.
Espaillat, a freshman state senator, would be the first Dominican-American member of Congress.
Espaillat was able to garner multiple and high-profile endorsements.
But once Rangel actually got around to campaigning, he picked up steam quickly, netting the backing of the political establishment in New York.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo endorsed the longtime Harlem pol late last week in an interview with Capital Tonight, saying Rangel is an effective member of the House and knows his way around Washington.
The endorsement was a tribute to Rangel’s incumbency, even if the demographics of the district have passed him by.
Still, Rangel seem embittered by the victory after the major editorial boards and others declined to endorse him and seemed publicly miffed by the snub.
His health could keep him from traveling much for what’s left of his political career.
But should Rangel choose retire between now and 2014, he can claim he went out on his own terms.
Jun 26th - 10:49 pm
Attorney Wendy Long, a first-time candidate who has never held elected office, cruised to victory Tuesday night over Rep. Bob Turner and Nassau County Comptroller George Maragos in a three-way U.S. Senate primary.
With 68.7 percent of precincts reporting, Long held a lead of 53.7 percent to Turner’s 34.4 percent. Maragos, a largely self-funded candidate who had been in the race for more than a year, netted 11.8 percent.
Long takes on Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, a prodigious fundraiser and aggressive campaigner, who is seeking a full, six-year term.
The little-known Long entered the race in February, but quickly worked to establish her street credentials as a conservative judicial activist.
Her connections to radio host and commenator Laura Ingraham opened the doors to other endorsements in the Republican punditocracy, including Sean Hannity.
Long, meanwhile, was able to quickly sew up the support of upstate Republican chairman and the state’s influential Conservative Party Chairman Mike Long (who is no relation).
Long’s showing upstate was staggering. She appeared poised to sweep nearly every upstate county Tuesday evening, save for possibly Albany County, where the Chairman Don Clarey had backed Turner.
If anything, Tuesday’s primary map will surely look a lot like the 2010 primary gubernatorial primary map results.
Two years ago, Buffalo businessman Carl Paladino cruised to an upset victory over former Rep. Rick Lazio to win the GOP nomination for governor.
The trick to Paladino’s surprising success was to tap voter turnout in western New York and hope Lazio’s downstate base stayed home. It appears that Long benefited from similar circumstances this time around.
Long faces an uphill battle for the remainder of the race. Her campaign is in debt and after her swing to the right in the primary, she will have to convince voters in Democratic-heavy New York she is a good fit to represent them in Washington.
Immediately after the Associated Press called the primary race for her, the state Democratic Party blasted out an opposition research news release linking to all the conservative-friendly statements Long has made over the last several months.
Gillibrand’s campaign wasn’t as confrontational Tuesday evening.
“Senator Gillibrand called Wendy Long to congratulate her on winning the Republican primary,” said Gillibrand spokesman Glen Caplin. “Kirsten looks forward to running a strong campaign based on her record of fighting hard and delivering as a strong independent voice for New York families.”
Jun 26th - 10:30 pm
Former Erie County Executive Chris Collins will be the nominee in the NY-27, scoring a relatively narrow win over two-time candidate and Iraq war veteran David Bellavia.
It’s a good win for Collins nonetheless, even if he did under perform in the outlying counties of the newly drawn and very Republican Congressional district.
The NY-27, represented by Rep. Kathy Hochul, is a top target for the national Republican Party, which sees the Democratic victory in a special election an exception, not a rule, for the deeply conservative upstate voters.
But in a sign of what’s to come for the campaign, Hochul blasted out a statement taking on Collins over the budget plan proposed by Rep. Paul Ryan.
“It is time that Chris Collins comes clean with voters about his plans to take the Ryan’s budget further. What more could he do on top of decimating Medicare and protecting the super rich? We hope that now that he is the nominee he willing to answer questions on the issues that matter most to the people of the 27th district.”
Democrats clearly hope their path victory in November against Collins is an effort to tie him to the Ryan budget plan, even if the original proposal is different than its predecessors. Hochul was able to upset Republican Assemblywoman Jane Corwin by waving the pro-Medicaid spending flag.
This race is going to be a lot closer than people expect. Hochul is no pushover.
Jun 26th - 5:51 pm
Reports about turnout in NYC were a mixed bag, but it’s safe to say it was generally low across the state. For CapTon viewers, we’ll be live from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. and then returning to the air after the returns start to come in. Until then, some links:
Assemblyman Rory Lancman might have a problem in the Orthodox community.
The NY-6 primary is a test of both 1) the Queens Democratic Party’s clout, and 2) the power of the growing Asian-American vote.
NYC Councilman Dan Halloran (who recently underwent surgery to remove a benign brain tumor) hasn’t raised much campaign cash for his general election NY-6 run.
Top aides to NYC Council Speaker Christine Quinn are trying to keep NYC Councilman Charles Barron out of Congress.
Ben Smith says Barron’s shot at winning “is a mark in part of his talent and in part of the failure of the mainstream of American urban politics to produce a generation of strong national political figures - a general rule whose leading exception occupies the White House.”
…AND he has his own jingle!
Rep. Nydia Velazquez’s name in Chinese appeared incorrectly on today’s ballot.
Velazquez touts the primary weight-loss diet.
Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver said he thinks a “very bitter, deceitful campaign” has been run against Velazquez, but he declined to assign blame for anonymous literature that attacked her.
Eighteen months after taking office, Gov. Andrew Cuomo today took firm control of the state’s largest public power agency – NYPA – with the selection of Buffalo banker John Koelmel as its new chairman.
A federal appeals court ruled the EPA was “unambiguously correct” in using existing federal law to limit greenhouse gases blamed for global warming.
The state Nurses Association awarded its first-ever endorsement of a district attorney to Albany County DA David Soares.
A union boycott of The Desmond Hotel caused the New York State Trial Lawyers Association to relocate its annual Capital Region Dinner.
The Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund today announced 17 new endorsements of openly LGBT candidates, including Brad Hoylman, who is running for retiring Sen. Tom Duane’s seat.
New York’s first gay divorce.
“One of the great obstacles to forming a successful Catholic coalition on the life issue was the position Gov. Mario Cuomo articulated in a 1984 speech at the University of Notre Dame,” said Carl Anderson, supreme knight of the Knights of Columbus.
News Corp. is mulling a breakup.
The Albany TU and the Albany Newspaper Guild settled their legal dispute over the layoffs of 11 employees back in 2009.
Note to Obama: Do not mess with Red Sox fans – even if you’re only joking.
The administration’s take: It was Yooook, not boo.
Jun 26th - 5:18 pm
Rep. Charles Rangel is 82 and has a history of chronic back troubles that kept him out of Washignton for various periods of time.
But he told supporters after voting in today’s heated five-way primary that his age hasn’t been questioned during the campaign.
“Let me try to get rid of some of the nonsense questions and that is: Am I told to run for re-election? Clearly I’ve gone through the process, I’ve done what candidates are supposed to do, I still have my wife over 40 years,” Rangle said. “I’m not thinking about going into the marathon yet. I’m not going to do anymore dancing until after the election is over. But I don’t think anyone that is running or not running is going to challenge my health.”
Of course, the overriding question isn’t necessarily one about age, but whether Rangel should be granted another term after 42 years in office in a new district that is no longer demographically African-American, but reflects the shift toward Dominican and Latino voters.
But say what you will abour Rangel — even in what is expected to be the final political battle of his career, the guy still has a sense of humor.
Jun 26th - 5:14 pm
An effort to unseat Public Employees Federation President Ken Brynien has succeeded in an election result that is sure to send shock waves around the state labor movement and remake the relationship between the Cuomo administration and the organization.
Susan Kent, the candidate of an insurgent PEF group NY Union Proud, defeated Brynien 8,739 to 7,562, the union announced this afternoon.
Vice President Joe Fox was also ousted by Carlos Garcia, 8,111 to 8,063.
“I offer my congratulations to the New York Union Proud slate and wish them well as they take over the reins of the PEF leadership,” Brynien said in a brief statement.
The leadership of the state’s second-largest union of mostly white-collar workers comes after an unusually tense standoff with Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
The governor had threatened to layoff thousands of workers after rank-and-file members rejected a multi-year contract with deep concessions including a wage freeze that had been signed off on by Brynien.
Cuomo and union negotiators returned to the bargaining table and tentatively agreed to a new, revenue neutral contract that was later ratified, avoiding the mass layoffs.
But the sore feelings from the episode clearly remained. Throughout her campaign, Kent had pledged to take a more aggressive stance with the Cuomo administration, while Brynien sought to play up his credentials as someone who was able to get the best deal for workers in difficult times.
It has not been a good week for New York’s labor leaders, who were already handed high-profile defeats after Cuomo pushed the new, less generous pension tier and achieved savings through newly negotiated contracts.
The vote comes a month after CSEA’s Danny Donohue lost his bid to become the president AFSCME over Lee Saunders, the establishment pick.