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Here and Now

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is in New York City with no public schedule.

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio is also in the city with no public schedule.

At 7:30 a.m., NYC Councilman Jumaane Williams, Assemblymen Nick Perry and Rodneyse Bichotte, anti-gun violence activists, community leaders and parents will announce the launch of a community-based anti-gun violence initiative, St. Therese Lisieux, 4402 Ave. D, Brooklyn.

At 9:30 a.m., Rep. Louise Slaughter will stand with Hickey Freeman employees to announce the introduction of the Reciprocal Markets Access Act (RMAA) and discuss her opposition to the massive Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal, Hickey Freeman, 1155 North Clinton Ave., Rochester.

At 10 a.m., LG Kathy Hochul makes an announcement, New York State Olympic Regional Development Authority
2634 Main St. Lake Placid.

Also at 10 a.m., Teamsters President James Hoffa will swear in Local 237 President Greg Floyd, various elected officials are expected to attend, Marguerite Feinstein Conference Room, 216 W. 14th St., Manhattan.

At 11 a.m., American Immigration Lawyers Association’s regional chapter Chair Neena Dutta and Rep. Grace Meng hold a news conference to discuss President Barack Obama’s planned executive actions concerning immigration enforcement, Meng’s district office, suite 1B, 32-26 Union St., Queens.

Also at 11 a.m., critics of NYPD police officials and police practices participate in a “Breaking Broken Windows” rally and “speak out” event sponsored by supporters of the Coalition to End Broken Windows, including the Police Reform Organizing Project or PROP; in front of the PBA’s office building, 125 Broad St., Manhattan.

From 1 p.m. to 7 p.m., representatives of the state’s health insurance exchange established as part of the federal health care overhaul, New York State of Health, offer assistance with insurance enrollment at a “Sign Up NY” booth at the Queens Center mall; near apparel retailer Forever 21 Inc.’s store, first level, 90-15 Queens Blvd., Queens.

At 3 p.m., Rep. Carolyn Maloney, India’s consul general in New York, Ambassador Dnyaneshwar M. Mulay, the chairwoman of the “Diwali Stamp Project” and others promote Maloney’s proposed resolution calling for the U.S. Postal Service to issue a commemorative stamp marking the observance of the Hindu harvest festival of Diwali; Consulate General of India-New York, 3 E. 64th St., Manhattan.

At 6:30 p.m., Cardinal Timothy Dolan, archbishop of New York, delivers opening remarks to mark the start of a “New York Encounter” cultural festival presented by the Roman Catholic lay movement Communion and Liberation; Metropolitan Pavilion event space, 215 W. 18th St., Manhattan.


Gov. Andrew Cuomo spent $100,000 from his campaign fund in December on a law firm that he hired to represent the governor’s office amid a federal investigation into the defunct Moreland Commission.

The governor, who is believed to have future presidential aspirations, also reported spending $75,000 last week on an Iowa-based consulting firm with ties to President Obama, Analytics Media Group. In November, he paid the firm $100,000. And his latest disclosure shows that he still owes $103,877 to the firm.

Cuomo entered 2015 with over $8.8 million in his campaign account – an apparent record for any New York governor at the beginning of a term – though his fundraising pace slowed significantly after the 2014 election.

Calling economic improvements in Buffalo “a national success story,” Cuomo proposed a program modeled on his Buffalo Billion initiative that will spend $1.5 billion on three other struggling upstate areas. Unlike Buffalo, other regions have to compete for the cash.

“If I just gave you the money, you wouldn’t do all the hard things you have to do to actually get the money,” the governor said. “And the competition amongst yourselves, I’m telling you, brings up the performance of everybody.”

New York’s top state court, controlled by Republicans for more than a decade, will likely have a wide Democratic majority after Cuomo nominated a longtime judge from Buffalo, Eugene Fahey, to a vacancy.

Fahey, whose early political career included terms on the Buffalo Common Council before and after his law school years, later won two elections to the State Supreme Court in Western New York. His work as a trial judge ranged from issuing a pivotal Peace Bridge ruling to arraigning a fugitive sniper murderer.

Fahey wrote the 2012 decision that rejected a challenge to the legalization of same-sex marriage a year earlier. Writing for a unanimous five-judge panel, he determined Cuomo’s closed-door meetings with members of the state Senate’s GOP conference did not violate the state’s Open Meetings law – and even if they had, such violations wouldn’t be sufficient to overturn the Marriage Equality Act.

The pro-charter school group StudentsFirstNY will release a TV ad today in response to NYSUT’s ad campaign launched yesterday. The new ad buy will reportedly be in the high six figures.

Cuomo’s new property tax relief plan will impact more than 1 million homeowners and 1 million renters, but it’s unclear whether co-op and condo owners would be affected.

Even though he isn’t apologizing for statements police union leaders say have undermined officers’ efforts to do their jobs, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio has been more supportive of the NYPD in recent days, the head of the Detectives Endowment Association said.

By overwhelming margins, New York City voters objected to the back-turning protests and work slowdown that have roiled the Police Department, a new Q poll found. That’s an auspicious turn for de Blasio as he seeks to end weeks of open tensions between officers and City Hall.

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NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton said progress is being made in healing the rift between NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio and officers, even as the head of a police union said he had mostly “given up” on dealing with the mayor.

Attendees at a pro-NYPD rally accused de Blasio and the police reform movement of denigrating cops and sewing discord in the city.

Shouting and shoving erupted among cops at a tense Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association meeting in Queens today.

In a major first step towards patching up his relationship with the NYPD, de Blasio announced he’ll veto a proposed bill that would make chokeholds illegal if it passes the Council.

The “Stop Common Core” ballot line that received enough votes in the Nov. 4 elections for permanent ballot status is changing its name to the Reform Party and will broaden its focus to include an array of issues.

RNC Chairman Reince Priebus says Bill Clinton’s personal life would be “fair game” if Hillary Clinton makes her widely predicted run for the presidency.

HUD Secretary Julian Castro fueled rumors during a forum in Washington that he is on the shortlist to be the vice presidential nominee for Democrats in 2016.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo proclaimed January Human Trafficking Awareness Month, and unveiled a new poster that lists possible trafficking red flags and a free, confidential hotline.

The TwinX (a deep-fried Twix bar stuffed in a Twinkie and wrapped in bacon, served at the NYS Fair) is under attack by Mars Inc.

State Sen. Tom O’Mara apologized for his outburst at a man who had been peppering him with questions about the lawmaker’s support for the proposed liquified petroleum gas storage facility near Seneca Lake.

Staten Island DA and congressional candidate Dan Donovan continued to defend the state’s secretive grand jury process, calling it the “greatest system in the world.”

NYC has rolled out a trio of clips mixing celebrities and “everyday New Yorkers” lending their support to de Blasio’s bid to bring the 2016 Democratic National Convention to Brooklyn.

Democrats in NY-11 seem to have a long way to go before settling on their candidate to run for former Rep. Michael Grimm’s seat.

John Podesta, a top White House adviser, will take on a senior advisory role in Hillary Clinton’s emerging presidential bid after he leaves the administration in February.

The Dart Center is offering a two-day workshop for journalists on covering guns and gun violence, April 17-18, in Phoenix, AZ, funded by former NYC Mayor Bloomberg’s Everytown for Gun Safety.

Sen. John Bonacic says Cuomo opened “Pandora’s Box” by directing the Gaming Facility Location Board to reconsider the S. Tier for a casino license.

The NYS Court of Appeals is (finally) on Twitter.

Pop artist Peter Max painted Mario Cuomo in the 1970s and 80s; he plans to return to the studio to paint more as a tribute to the late governor.

Members of the state Assembly dedicated their session today to former governor, who died of heart failure earlier this month.

The American Rock Salt, the largest salt mine in the country, will invest $4 million into its Livingston County facility to extend its current rail sliding and relocate its ice melting packaging company, Vaporizer.

The state Education Department agreed to improve its enforcement of school safety after a state audit found seven schools in New York failed to report cases of violence, sexual offenses and bullying.

The son of a former Buffalo public school leader was charged with stealing anti-poverty funds while working for the schools.


While eulogizing his father, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said his dad was a “progressive pragmatist” and “keynote speaker for our better angels.”

“At his core, he was a philosopher. He was a poet. He was an advocate. He was a crusader,” the governor said of former Gov. Mario Cuomo.

CNN anchor Chris Cuomo aired a six-minute tribute to his father this morning, recounting his rules for life and challenging those who dubbed him the “Hamlet on the Hudson.”

A Reuters photographer captured a difficult but beautiful moment between the governor and his mother outside the church where Mario Cuomo’s funeral was held.

John Boehner retained the title of House speaker despite some GOP opposition, receiving 216 votes.

Boehner starts his third term in this leadership role with the most votes cast against a sitting speaker since 1923.

Rep. Chris Gibson, who announced he won’t be running for re-election in 2016, did not vote for Boehner, siding instead with House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy.

Gibson supported Boehner two years ago.

The release date of Michael Shnayerson’s eagerly awaited Andrew Cuomo biography “The Contender” will be March 31 – the deadline for on-time passage of the state budget.

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio’s office is seeking “everyday New Yorkers” to lend their “beautiful faces” to short videos in support of the city’s bid for the 2016 Democratic National Convention.

Senate Republicans will ultimately be in charge, but they are willing to carve out a role for the IDC, Sen. Thomas Libous said.

The de Blasio administration has reached a tentative $248 million deal with two unions representing public school custodians, firemen and stationary engineers – a cost that City Hall says will be offset by $41 million in mandated health-care savings.

NYC Council members are joining the fight to extend the Zadroga Act for ailing 9/11 first responders. A resolution calling for its extension will be introduced tomorrow.

Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid, recovering at home after hurting himself while exercising, recorded a video message discussing the opening of the 114th Congress. (He’s working from home).

PBA President Pat Lynch denied reports of an illegal and deliberate work slowdown, claiming the steep decline in arrests and summonses in the past weeks is the result of officers having to escort anti-police demonstrators around the city.

The Onondaga County Legislature postponed a vote on proposed raises for elected officials.

About a quarter of the $175 million intended to rebuild Buffalo’s crumbling schools during the fifth phase of a massive renovation project cannot be publicly accounted for.

Happy 70th anniversary to former President George HW Bush and his wife, Barbara.

RIP Joshua, the Syracuse Zoo’s 14-year-old African lion.

The Weekend That Was

Cardinal Timothy Dolan, in a Sunday Mass one day after the execution-style killing of two NYPD officers, told police and city officials in attendance that the Church is praying for the police department, as he called for unity and healing in a city “tempted by tension and division.”

Former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani blamed President Obama for the officers’ deaths. “We’ve had four months of propaganda starting with the president that everybody should hate the police,” he said.

Obama issued a statement saying he unconditionally condemns the murder of the two officers, Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu.

Investigators believe the incident was a crazed gunman’s ­assassination-style mission to avenge Eric Garner and Michael Brown – two unarmed black men killed by white police officers.

The shooter, Ismaaiyl Brinsley, 28, killed himself on a nearby subway platform while being pursued by police.

The Rev. Al Sharpton: “Any use of the names of Eric Garner and Michael Brown, in connection with any violence or killing of police, is reprehensible and against the pursuit of justice in both cases.”

PBA President Pat Lynch said there is “blood on many hands” – including NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio’s – adding: “Those who allowed this to happen will be held accountable.”

On Saturday, some officers turned their backs on de Blasio as he walked into the hospital following the shooting deaths of Ramos and Liu.

A spokeswoman for de Blasio scolded Lynch for his remarks, saying: “It’s unfortunate that in a time of great tragedy, some would resort to irresponsible, overheated rhetoric that angers and divides people.”

Giuliani said he “feels bad” for de Blasio, and it “goes too far” to blame him for the murder of the two officers or call for his resignation in response to their deaths.

A former NYPD officer was killed in the line of duty this morning in Florida.

Days after his administration outlined its proposed rules to regulate a new medical marijuana program, Gov. Andrew Cuomo reiterated his opposition to the outright legalization of pot.

The Oneida Indian Nation will open a $20 million, Wizard of Oz-themed casino in Chittenango in 2015, expanding its gaming empire as New York welcomes its first non-Indian casinos.

Landowners in the state’s Southern Tier region who had hoped to reap royalties from gas production don’t have that option, thanks to the fracking ban the Cuomo administration plans to put in place.

“You’ve heard of the Buffalo Billion? Well, I want the Southern Tier Billion,” said Sen. Tom Libous. “If Buffalo can get a billion dollars, then we should get a billion dollars here in the Southern Tier for economic development and bringing in new business and companies.”

Bloomberg View: “No one doubts Governor Andrew Cuomo’s concern for the well-being of New Yorkers. It’s just not clear that a ban on fracking protects it – or how the ban can help make fracking safer and less destructive in states where it is practiced.”

The Times Union calls the fracking ban “the right decision.” “There might come a time when the process is safe enough for some use in New York. But the science today is clear: that time isn’t now.”

Joe Nocera called Cuomo’s claim that his health and DEC commissioners made the fracking decision a “cop-out,” adding: “He gets to please his liberal base, abandon the southern part of his state and then wash his hands of the decision.”

Will New York’s fracking ban impact drilling already underway in Pennsylvania or the debate over the controversial practice in Colorado?

Former Gov. George Pataki, who’s flirting with a potential 2016 run, said the United States should declare a “cyber war” on North Korea in the wake of the Sony hacking scandal.

Rather than launch a $100,000 local effort to control the urban deer population, Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner has asked the state Department of Environmental Conservation to do the job – and to pay for it.

Dominique Sharpton, who grew up visiting her father, says she was “pretty much born into” activism.

Cuomo signed a bill into law that will provide benefits to firefighters and ambulance workers injured while assisting at a scene before an officer in command is established.

The Cuomo administration said that movie theaters statewide will begin screening spots, including one from a mother who lost her son to drug abuse, urging people to be alert for warning signs of heroin addiction.

Michael Goodwin calls Cuomo’s recent actions “weird,” and wonders: “Is he authentic? Is he honest? Does he know who he is and what he believes?”

Between her three kids, her dog and her magazine work, Cristina Cuomo, sister-in-law of the governor and wife of CNN’s Chris Cuomo, has very busy Sundays.

The state is looking to reclassify some 2,500 PEF members as management/confidential – not 1,000 as originally thought.

Melvin Lowe, a former top aide to indicted Sen. John Sampson, was sentenced to three years in prison for tax fraud and for conspiring with his former boss to steal $100,000 from the state Democratic Senate Campaign Committee.

The New York Power Authority’s Board of Trustees announced a 2-percent hike in the statewide public power utility’s operating budget for 2015.

Cuomo will give an inaugural address for his second term at the World Trade Center site in New York City, followed by another in Buffalo.

Obama signed into law a measure that included a provision creating a national historical park at Harriet Tubman’s former home in Central New York and in Maryland.

The Journal News questioned the lack of transparency in the Thruway Authority’s 2015 budget, approved last Friday, which includes a multimillion dollar hole and no mention of toll increases.

The MTA is trying to address the scourge of “manspreading” on the NYC subway system.

Bob McCarthy pens a political Christmas poem.

Judge Approves Limited Release Of Garner Grand Jury Proceedings

A Staten Island judge on Thursday approved a limited release of information detailing the grand jury proceedings and investigation into the death of Eric Garner at the hands of a New York City police officer.

The court revealed that the grand jury sat for nine weeks, and heard 50 witnesses give testimony, 22 of whom were civilians. The rest were police, emergency medical personnel and doctors.

The grand jury also was present with 60 exhibits entered in evidence, which included four videos, records on NYPD policies, medical records on Garner’s treatment and autopsy photographs. Records related to NYPD training were also made available.

No details were provided as to what specific evidence was examined or the identities of the witnesses along with what information they told the jury.

Judge Stephen Rooney wrote in his decision that while the proceedings of a grand jury in state law should continue to be considered confidential, trust in the criminal justice system has been shaken by the decision to not indict Officer Daniel Pantaleo in Garner’s death.

“It is from this vantage point that a limited incursion into the sacrosanct principle of grand jury secrecy is deemed necessary to serve overarching public interest,” Rooney wrote in his ruling.

At lengthy, Rooney in his order wrote the confidentiality of grand jury proceedings not be infringed. However, the Garner case warranted what he considered a special consideration.

“Somewhat uniquely in this matter, the maintenance of trust in our criminal justice system lies at the heart of these proceedings, with implications affecting the continuing vitality of our core beliefs in fairness, and impartiality, at a crucial moment in the nation’s history, where public confidence in the even-handed application of these core values among a diverse citizenry is being question,” Rooney wrote.

Staten Island District Attorney Dan Donovan said in a lengthy statement released on Wednesday that he was seeking the court order to release details on the grand jury proceedings following the vote to not indict Garner.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo indicated earlier today he would seek changes to the grand jury process, including potential transparency provisions.

Garner 2014 by Nick Reisman


The state will be flush with more than $5 billion in money from bank settlements next fiscal year, but don’t plan on it going to fund schools or other ongoing expenses.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has not held a single public event since winning re-election on November 4.

Medicaid has overpaid hospitals and insurers more than $12 million in claims for the care of low-weight newborns, according to an audit released Friday by state Controller Thomas DiNapoli.

President Obama’s Affordable Care Act will face a substantial new test starting Saturday, when the second enrollment period for buying health insurance under the law begins and proponents embark on a three-month mission to persuade millions more Americans to sign up.

Jonathan Gruber, one of the architects of the law more commonly known as Obamacare, talked about how the bill would get rid of all tax credits for employer-based health insurance through “mislabeling” what the tax is and who it would hit.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio signed two bills into law Friday that will change how the city cooperates with Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials.

Mayor Bill de Blasio says he’s not worrying about recent media reports that have poked fun at his routine tardiness.

Facebook: The place to share fun photos, goofy videos, and… in the case of one former state assemblywoman, your thoughts on taking off for a year-long stay at Club Fed.

Facing criticism over a potential huge raise, SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher in a letter this week rejected a new compensation package, saying she has declined a change in her salary.

The city of Rochester is dealing with a spike in heroin use, with overdose calls more than tripling in the past month.

Erie County is doubling down on its efforts to ensure that vendors doing business with the county adhere to federal and state laws requiring men and women receive equal pay for doing the same job.

A White Plains federal judge shot down a bid by Hasidic community leaders for an order allowing them to complete construction on a 396-unit town house and school.

The House on Friday voted 252 to 161 to approve a bill that would direct the federal government to move forward on the Keystone XL oil pipeline.

Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney was among 31 Democrats who voted in favor of the Keystone XL pipeline today as Congress jockeys to approve the bill ahead of a run-off election for a Senate seat in Louisiana.

All four senators from New York and New Jersey on Friday called for an inquiry into whether engineers for insurance companies routinely rewrote reports to avoid paying claims to superstorm Sandy victims.

8 things new members of Congress definitely should not do.

The federal investigation into the George Washington Bridge lane closures likely won’t wrap up until sometime in 2015.

Gov. Chris Christie’s chief of staff will step down from the administration later this month to work for Cooper University Health Center.

Several groups from across the United States, and even from abroad, are preparing to take to the streets [of Ferguson, MO] in actions of nonviolent civil disobedience, particularly if the grand jury finds no criminal trial is warranted.

Prince William and Kate will cross the pond in December.

Cheers to the weekend!

Here and Now

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is in New York City with no public schedule.

At 8 a.m., NYC Public Advocate Tish James addresses ABNY members during a breakfast event; Alvin and Carnegie rooms, conference level, Grand Hyatt New York hotel, 109 E. 42nd St., Manhattan.

Also at 8 a.m., the blue spruce that will light up Empire State Plaza this holiday season begins its journey to Albany from its current home at 834 Woodland Ave., Schenectady. (The tree is being donated by the VanAken family).

Also at 8 a.m., to introduce a nonprofit journalism project at New York Law School’s Impact Center for Public Interest Law that will report on the criminal justice system, officials from “The Marshall Project” – including the project’s founder and chairman, documentary filmmaker Neil Barsky, and the project’s editor, former The New York Times executive editor Bill Keller – speak during a news conference; 185 W. Broadway, Manhattan.

At 9:05 a.m., NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio delivers remarks at the Flight 587 13th annual memorial service, Flight 587 Memorial Park, Beach 116th Street, Queens.

At 11 a.m., online publisher AOL Inc. CEO Tim Armstrong, NYC Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development Alicia Glen, the dean and vice provost of Cornell University’s Cornell Tech graduate school in Manhattan, Daniel Huttenlocher, and EDC President Kyle Kimball discuss the formation of a “Connected Experiences Laboratory” at the graduate school; third floor, 111 Eighth Ave., Manhattan.

Also at 11 a.m., SUNY Commissioner Bruce McBride and Deputy Commissioner Paul Berger will honor officers from campuses across SUNY for heroism and professional service, SUNY Plaza, Federal Building, Small Courtroom, 353 Broadway, Albany.

Also at 11 a.m., Assembly Majority Leader Joe Morelle and Monroe County Legislator Justin Wilcox announce the launch a three-part Cybersecurity Panel Series, Ebenezer Watts Conference Center, Large Conference Room, 49 South Fitzhugh St., Rochester.

Also at 11 a.m., MTA officials will join disabled subway customers to challenge app developers to build apps that can help transit riders – particularly the disabled – better navigate the MTA transit system, Grand Central, 42nd Street Subway Station, Manhattan.

Also at 11 a.m., state Education Commissioner John King delivers keynote at forum on pre-kindergarten, Rockefeller Institute of Government, 411 State St., Albany.

At 12:30 p.m., LG Bob Duffy attends a groundbreaking ceremony for the Robert Moses Parkway Reconfiguration, between John Daly Boulevard and 4th Street, Niagara Falls.

At 1:20 p.m., de Blasio appears on “Keepin’ It Real” with the Rev. Al Sharpton. Listen live:

At 1:30 p.m., NYC First Lady Chirlane McCray will attend the Hope for Depression Research Foundation’s Annual Hope Luncheon Seminar, where her daughter, Chiara de Blasio, will be honored, 583 Park Ave., Manhattan.

At 2:00 p.m., de Blasio and NYC Schools Chancellor Carmen Farina tour a classroom and then make an announcement, Spruce Street School, 12 Spruce St., Manhattan.

At 4 p.m., anti-frackers will protest the Independent Oil & Gas Association of NY’s annual event to tell keynote speaker Jack Hubbard – an oil and gas industry lobbyist – to “go back to Washington,” Hyatt Regency, Pearl and W. Huron Streets, Buffalo

At 6:15 p.m., former NYC Mayor Bloomberg, architecture critic Paul Goldberger and New Museum Director Lisa Phillips speak during The Dorothy & Lillian Gish Prize award ceremony and reception honoring artist, designer and environmentalist Maya Lin; The Museum of Modern Art, 11 W. 53rd St., Manhattan.

At 6 p.m., Manhattan BP Gale Brewer and Farina hold a town hall meeting on getting involved with Community Education Councils, discussion of new initiatives, technology in schools (post passage of Prop. 3), John Jay College, 524 West 59th St., Manhattan.

At 6:30 p.m., members of the NYC Civilian Complaint Review Board hold a monthly public meeting; Adult Lounge, main floor, Mosholu Montefiore Community Center, 3450 Dekalb Ave., the Bronx.

At approximately 8 p.m., de Blasio appears live on “All In With Chris Hayes” on MSNBC.


New York City’s defense against the Ebola epidemic — and at least the hypothetical threat that it will percolate through the city’s mass transit system, schools and dense neighborhoods — is a 24-hour-a-day operation now keeping track of almost 300 people, believed to be the largest monitoring effort in the country.

In the days before his release from New York’s Bellevue Hospital Center, Dr. Craig Spencer was able to enjoy some small luxuries as he completed his course of treatment for the Ebola virus. He played the banjo, communicated with friends and family electronically, and watched sports on TV.

Spencer’s fiancee has been released from quarantine.

Like other recovered Ebola patients before him, Spencer faces an uncertain welcome from his Harlem community and neighbors upon his return.

Health workers on the front line of the Ebola crisis say the need for urgent help isn’t letting up, as Congress begins considering President Barack Obama’s $6.2 billion emergency aid request to fight the disease.

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio pushed the state Legislature to approve an increase in the state minimum wage “whenever it first can be done” – a request that comes as labor advocates and some elected officials encourage Gov. Andrew Cuomo to call a special legislative session before the year’s end.

Pro-charter groups who spent millions on advertising, lobbying and campaigns in the fall want favorable treatment from the Legislature and Cuomo. They seek to limit de Blasio’s control of charter schools, expand funding and lift the cap on charters in New York, allowing for the creation of more such schools both in the city and across the state.

Cuomo’s plan to redefine “consent” for adjudicating sexual assault allegations on college campuses has presented a political dilemma for New York’s Republican leaders, some of whom have substantive problems with his proposal but risk fueling claims that they are anti-woman if they oppose it.

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The state Democratic Party is writing to registered Democrats telling them that unnamed organizations are monitoring their neighborhood’s election turnout and the party will want an explanation if they don’t cast a ballot.

Senate Democratic Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins sidestepped questions about whether NYSUT’s battered woman to knock Republicans was inappropriate.

A day after appearing in person with GOP Rep. Michael Grimm, Cuomo endorsed the congressman’s Democratic opponent, former NYC Councilman Domenic Recchia, but has not plans to campaign for him.

GOP LG candidate Chris Moss said Cuomo’s campaign’s criticism of Astorino over a Westchester County housing dispute is the “pot calling the kettle black.”

“I would say to fellow African-Americans…remember it’s Andrew Cuomo who screwed up Carl McCall’s run for governor and who stepped in the way of David Paterson,” Moss said. (Paterson rebuked the sheriff for his comments).

Errol Louis laments the governor’s unwillingness to debate, saying: “Few politicians in recent memory have gone as far as Cuomo to duck a true accounting of his record.”

El Diario endorsed AG Eric Schneiderman.

The Niagara Gazette endorsed Republican AG candidate John Cahill.

The Onondaga County Board of Elections will try out new electronic poll book technology at polling places visited by about 3,000 voters in Syracuse and DeWitt in Tuesday’s election.

The state has added Erie County Medical Center and Women and Children’s Hospital of Buffalo to the initial list of 10 hospitals designated to care for patients potentially afflicted with Ebola, joining two other upstate facilities.

Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown has announced a plan in accordance with President Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper Community Challenge, which calls on addressing persistent opportunity gaps faced by young men of color in order to help them reach their full potential.

Brooklyn Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, Sen. Liz Krueger, Brooklyn BP Eric Adams, Brooklyn and Queens Councilman Antonio Reynoso and former Brooklyn Councilman Lew Fidler joined activists in protesting Prop. 1.

Cuomo’s plan to make New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport more passenger-friendly by cutting out most cargo facilities risks backfiring, a shipping-industry group and analysts say.

Ben Smith explains explains why BuzzFeed News is investing so heavily in “putting great, experienced reporters around the world, doubling our foreign desk to more than a dozen correspondents.”

RIP former Boston Mayor Tom Menino, who died from cancer at the age of 71.

Past and current lawmakers – including the president – offered tributes to Menino.

Taylor Swift’s new gig as New York City’s global tourism ambassador is getting a Bronx cheer from locals who questioned her street cred and mocked the videos she made for the city’s tourism agency, NYC & Co.

Cuomo: Vote Women’s Equality, Get Them To 50K Votes

As new public fissures open up between Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the labor-backed Working Families Party, his re-election campaign is urging supporters to vote for him on the Women’s Equality Party ballot line.

In an email sent this morning, Cuomo writes that a vote for him and his running mate, former Rep. Kathy Hochul, sends a message about backing the Women’s Equality Agenda.

“We have demanded equal rights at the top of our lungs,” Cuomo wrote in the email. “But the Conservative party and other ultra-right-wing forces are out there shouting at the top of theirs to drown us out. Together, we need to speak loudly enough to cut through the clamor. That’s why we need the Women’s Equality Party.”

Cuomo adds that his goal is to get 50,000 votes for the Women’s Equality Party — a ballot line he formed this year — in order for the party to have automatic ballot status in the next election cycle.

More from the email:

“Yes, I’m a man. I’m a man who has seen Albany disregard women, and I’m sick of it. I have made it my mission, as a father, as a governor, and as a human being, to do everything I can to make sure the women I love, and every woman or girl in New York, is every bit as equal under the law as any boy or man anywhere.

That’s why Kathy Hochul and I are putting our names on the ballot on the Women’s Equality Party line. It’s time for a party whose singular goal is equality for women, a party that knows women work as hard as men do and is committed to getting them equal pay. A party where protecting a woman’s right to choose is a priority, not an afterthought. A party that believes women deserve to stand at the front of the line.

The appeal — which includes a very WFP-like ask for signing a petition that also happens to collect email addresses — comes as the Working Families Party is pushing hard for votes this election cycle.

The party’s leadership has been openly skeptical of the Women’s Equality Party and has released two videos over the last several days calling on liberals to vote for the governor on their ballot line.

The concern for the WFP is that it could lose its ballot position (currently Row E), between the competition from the Women’s Equality Party and a surging Green Party candidate, Howie Hawkins.

On Wednesday, the WFP’s director, Bill Lipton, knocked Cuomo in a statement after the governor pledged to break up the public school “monopoly.”

Cuomo had to fight for the Working Families Party’s endorsement in May, which considered running Zephyr Teachout on their ballot in his place.

In doing so, Cuomo pledged to help Democrats take full control of the state Senate and enact a host of liberal measures, including a faster increase of the state’s minimum wage to $10.10.

In a policy book released this month, Cuomo said he backed a minimum wage hike, but left it unspecified.

Here and Now (Updated)

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is in New York City, and will do a trio of TV interviews this morning.

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio is in the city, but has not yet released details of his public schedule.

At 7 a.m., Cuomo will be a guest on the Today Show on NBC.

At 7:15 a.m., Chemung County Sheriff and GOP LG candidate Chris Moss greets voters at the corner of Archer Avenue and Parsons Boulevard near Jamaica Station, Queens.

At 7:20 a.m., Westchester County Executive and GOP gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino will be a guest on WIBX 950 with host Bill Keeler.

At 7:30 a.m., Cuomo will be a guest on CNN’s New Day, which is co-hosted by his brother, Chris.

At 7:45 a.m., Astorino will be a guset on WENY with host Frank Acomb.

At 8:00 a.m., Astorino will be a guest on WUTQ 100.7FM.

Also at 8 a.m., Cuomo will be a guest on CBS This Morning.

Also at 8 a.m. (and until 3 p.m.), Sen. David Carlucci and Nyack Hospital will be offering free breast cancer screening at the Breast Center at Nyack Hospital for women over the age of 40. The hospital will be offering free clinical breast exams, mammography, pelvis exams and PAP tests, 160 North Midland Ave., Nyack.

At 8:30 a.m., Astorino will be a guest on WACK/WUUF with host Barry Vee.

At 9 a.m., Astorino will attend the 119th Annual NYS Empire Missionary Baptist Convention, Holiday Inn, 439 Electronics Pkwy., Liverpool.

Also at 9 a.m., AG Eric Schneiderman and state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli make the first stop of a three-stop GOTV tour of Long Island and the Hudson Valley, American Legion, 730 Willis Ave., Williston Park, Nassau County.

Also at 9 a.m., Moss appears live on “Talk of the Town” on WUTQ 100.7 FM Utica.

At 9:45 a.m., during a ribbon-cutting ceremony, Sen. Brad Hoylman, Rep. Jerrold Nadler, Gay Men’s Health Crisis officials, The Mount Sinai Hospital administrators, executives from Walgreens Co. and Duane Reade drugstores and city officials mark the opening of an HIV-specialized Duane Reade pharmacy in GMHC’s David Geffen Center for HIV Prevention and Health Education; 224 W. 29th St., Manhattan.

At 10:20 a.m., Moss appears live on “Live from the State Capitol with Fred Dicker” on Talk 1300 AM, Albany.

At 10:30 a.m., Brooklyn BP Eric Adams will be joined by local elected officials to respond to the report of the first Ebola patient in New York City, corner of Berry Street and N. 14th Street, Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

At 11 a.m., Nanette Bourne, chair of the NYLCV’s Westchester Chapter, will join Senate candidate Justin Wagner for a media availability, endorsement event, and policy announcement in Peekskill, Charles Point Pier Park, end of Louisa Street.

At 11:30 a.m., Schneiderman and DiNapoli make stop No. 2 on their GOTV tour, CSEA HQ, 595 West Hartsdale Ave., White Plains.

At noon, Democratic LG candidate Kathy Hochul attends the Ibero American Action League annual luncheon, Hyatt Regency Rochester, 125 E Main St., Rochester.

At 1:30 p.m., Astorino will hold a press conference unveiling the Astorino/Moss Empowerment and Opportunity Plan with Monroe County Executive Maggie Brooks, Highland Bowl Ampitheater, South Avenue, Rochester.

At 3 p.m., stop No. 3 of the Schneiderman/DiNapoli GOTV tour, Teamsters Local 445 Hall, 15 Stone Castle Rd., Rock Tavern.

At 4:30 p.m., former President Clinton will attend a rally on behalf of and endorse Democratic NY-24 Rep. Dan Maffei, Syracuse Landmark Aviation Hangar #113, 13 Tuskegee Rd., Syracuse.

At 6:30 p.m., Astorino will attend the Orleans County GOP Fall Dinner, Hickory Ridge Country Club, 15861 Lynch Rd., Holley.

At 7:30 p.m., Moss attends and delivers remarks at the Lynbrook Republican Gala, Lynbrook VFW Hall, 235 Merrick Rd., Lynbrook.


Craig Spencer, a doctor in New York City who recently returned from treating Ebola patients in Guinea became the first person in the city to test positive for the virus, setting off a search for anyone who might have come into contact with him.

City officials said that while they were still investigating, they did not believe Dr. Spencer was symptomatic while he traveled around the city on Wednesday and therefore had not posed a risk to the public.

But Spencer’s case has raised complicated logistical issues of how to trace the possible contacts of an infected patient in a city of more than 8 million people with a sprawling mass transit system and millions of commuters – some even from other states.

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio: “There is no reason for New Yorkers to be alarmed. Ebola is an extremely hard disease to contract. It is transmitted only through contact with an infected person’s blood or other bodily fluids – not through casual contact. New Yorkers who have not been exposed to an infected person’s bodily fluids are not at all at risk.”

Gov. Andrew Cuomo spoke to President Obama’s Ebola czar, Ron Klain, who following the discussion directed a CDC team to travel to New York to assist at Bellevue in the event it is needed.

Bellevue officials say staff at the 828-bed complex overlooking the East River in Manhattan has been training for more than 2½ months to handle any suspected case of the disease.

Officials said Spencer has come into close contact with at least four people – his fiancee, two friends and an Uber driver. None of the four is showing symptoms and the driver is not being monitored. One of the others is also at Bellevue.

Republican gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino criticized Cuomo and Obama for not closing air travel between the US and countries in West Africa hit with an Ebola epidemic, saying the Spencer case was “avoidable.”

Bellevue Hospital, where Spencer is isolated, is one of the eight hospitals statewide that Cuomo specially designated earlier this month to treat Ebola patients as part of the State’s Ebola Preparedness Plan.

Schools are responding to fears of an Ebola outbreak by drafting first-of-a-kind policies that include isolating students, querying parents about travel and requiring documents showing a clean bill of health for new enrollees from West Africa.

A 2-year-old girl in Mali has been diagnosed with Ebola, making her the West African nation’s first confirmed case of the disease. WHO officials said the child was brought to Mali from neighboring Guinea.

Astorino tried to capitalize on his one and only televised debate with Cuomo, and said he had received a “flood of donations” after the event. Meanwhile, Cuomo moved on, and sought to downplay talk of any other debates.

The most unexpected news of the day was the midafternoon release of “Moving the New NY Forward,” a 245-page policy manifesto for Cuomo’s longed-for second term. Half adulatory progress report and half blueprint, the book included numerous previous Cuomo proposals yet to be achieved.

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