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Astorino: Where Did The Businesses Go?

Republican gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino released another web video this morning knocking Gov. Andrew Cuomo for the businesses that have left the state in recent months.

“This is what losing looks like governor,” Astorino, the Westchester County executive, says in the video.

Astorino has released a series of videos, mostly pointing to the money being spent on the START UP NY ad campaign, which Republicans charge is an effort aimed at promoting Cuomo.

The claim that the state has spent $150 million on the campaign, though, is disputed by state officials, who point out that $15 million so far has been spent and that Astorino is conflating spending on other economic development promotions.

Let’s Count Them, Governor Cuomo from Rob Astorino on Vimeo.

Here and Now

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is in Albany with no public schedule.

At 8:30 a.m., Borough President Eric Adams, in partnership with the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, will host the first meeting of the Brooklyn Economic Exchange, Community Room, Brooklyn Borough Hall.

Also at 8:30 a.m., Assemblywoman Janet Duprey hosts a fundraiser at the Albany Room Restaurant, Concourse, Empire State Plaza, Albany.

At 9 a.m., AG Eric Schneiderman will deliver the keynote address at a New York Law School event entitled “Insider Trading 2.0: A New Initiative to Crack Down on Predatory Practices.” A panel discussion will follow. 185, West Broadway, Manhattan.

At 11 a.m., NYC Council members and housing advocates attend a rally and press conference to end the cycle of predatory equity and call for a community-based plan to take over the buildings, improve deplorable living conditions and preserve affordable housing, City Hall steps, Manhattan.

Also at 11 a.m., Westchester County Executive and gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino speaks at the New Yorker’s Family Research Foundation’s Legislative Day, Empire State Plaza, Convention Center, Albany.

At 11:30 a.m., government officials including NYC Public Advocate Letitia James, community, religious and union officials and fast-food restaurant workers criticize labor practices of McDonald’s Corp. franchise restaurants during a demonstration and news conference, coinciding with protests scheduled in cities nationwide; 341 Fifth Ave., Manhattan.

Also at 11:30 a.m., Rep. Tom Reed will formally announce his candidacy for re-election, First Arena, 155 N. Main St., Elmira. He’ll hold a second event at 3 p.m. at the Chamber of Commerce, 1 Franklin Sq., Geneva.

At 1 p.m., advocates and lawmakers hold an event in support of the Healthy Workplace Bill, which addresses repeated abusive mistreatment at work and offers recourse to the targets of workplace bullying, LCA Room (130), LOB, Albany.

At 1:30 p.m., Cardinal Timothy Dolan and bishops from around the state hold a news conference calling on Albany to support an education investment tax credit bill, 4th floor lobby outside Senate gallery, state Capitol, Albany. (They’re also scheduled to meet with legislative leaders throughout the day, and with Cuomo at 3 p.m. in the Red Room).

Also at 1:30 p.m., Rep. Gregory W. Meeks, the pastor of New Jerusalem Baptist Church in Queens, the Rev. Calvin Rice, community officials and families express support for charter schools during a “Speak Out” event sponsored by the group Families for Excellent Schools; 122-05 Smith St., Queens.

At 2 p.m., mental health consumers, families, providers, religious groups and legislative leaders will express their support for statewide implementations of Crisis Intervention Teams, LCA Press Room (130), LOB, Albany.

At 3:30 p.m., a newly organized group of New York City families whose loved ones have been killed or maimed in crashes will demand that lawmakers take action to support Vision Zero – NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio’s policy to eliminate traffic fatalities and serious injuries by 2024, LCA Press Room (130), LOB, Albany.

At 4 p.m., de Blasio holds a meet-and-greet with students participating in Good Shepherd Services’ After-School Programs, bullpen, City Hall, Manhattan.

At 4:30 p.m., the SUNY Board of Trustees meets, State University Plaza, 353 Broadway, Albany.

At 5:30 p.m., Assemblyman and Bronx Democratic Chairman Carl Heastie hosts a fundraiser in Meeting Room 5, Concourse, Empire State Plaza, Albany.

At 6 p.m., Assemblyman Gary Finch hosts a fundraiser at the Fort Orange Club, 110 Washington Ave., Albany.

At 7 p.m., de Blasio attends the Richmond County Democratic Committee St Joseph’s Day Dinner, La Strada Restaurant, 139 New Dorp Lane, Staten Island.

Headlines…

Even though the DREAM Act failed in a 30-29 surprise vote in the Senate, the IDC is declaring victory for getting the measure to the floor. Sen. Dave Valesky called yesterday “the strongest day for this coalition yet.”

Sen. Mark Grisanti was one of only two Republicans who spoke on the floor during the DREAM Act debate. The other was Long Island Sen. Jack Martins, who advocates considered a potential “yes” voter. Both voted “no.”

All the Republicans present voted “no,” along with two Democrats, Ted O’Brien of Rochester and Simcha Felder of Brooklyn. Two Republicans – Phil Boyle and Kemp Hannon, both of Long Island – were not present for the vote.

Businessman Adam Haber, who ran an unsuccessful and largely self-financed Democratic primary race for Nassau County executive last year, has registered a campaign committee to challenge Martins this fall.

Even Latino advocates were taken aback by the abrupt vote. They had planned to lobby in Albany today for the DREAM Act’s passage. Now they’ll express their disappointment about its failure.

“It certainly seems that it was bought up to fail, given the outcome,” said Sen. Michael Gianaris, a Queens Democrat. He said the vote “made a mockery of a very important issue.”

On Day One of the public conference committee meetings, lawmakers repeatedly insisted that they’re “not that far apart” on the budget. On paper, however, the sides look far apart on a number of initiatives – from the Common Core to med-mar.

Local elected officials who appeared with Cuomo in support of his property tax freeze fell silent when asked if there was a special district within their own jurisdiction that that had eliminated – or at least tried to eliminate – to save money.

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Charter Schools Group Launches Digital Campaign

A pro-charter schools group is launching a digital campaign over the next several weeks on social media and other websites opposing multiple de Blasio administration efforts, it announced Monday.

The campaign, which features 30-second videos on YouTube, is part of an effort from Families for Excellent Schools opposing New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s recent reduction of $210 million in capital as well as a new charter rent policy.

“The de Blasio administration has said parent voices matter to them, but they seem to be discounting ours,” said Rafael Lois, the father of two Girls Prep Bronx scholars who is featured in one of the videos. “My daughters are receiving an excellent education, which is their moral and legal right, and I will do everything in my power to make sure they continue to have these opportunities.”

Families for Excellent Schools added in a news release they are also concerned about that the administration “also continues to hint at plans” that would roll back charter co-locations.

New York City has 185 charter schools, which the coalition points out serves students who live in poverty and are 93 percent black or Hispanic.

The push comes a day after de Blasio’s latest trip to Albany for caucus weekend, when he again reiterated his push for a universal pre-Kindergarten program that would be paid for by taxing those who earn $500,000 and more a year.

The mayor did not mention the tax increase in an event with Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who has said he wants a statewide universal pre-K program without the tax increase for New York City.

The YouTube channel can be viewed here.

Cuomo Launching Weekly Web Videos

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office released the first of a series of web videos that act as a rosy week in review of positive news for the administration.

The weekly videos, which essentially are acting as a digital press release, are called “The State of New York” and will be released on Fridays.

The first edition touts the agreement from the federal government for a Medicaid waiver, the governor declaring a state of emergency for snow, private-sector job creation and a New Yorker winning at the Olympics.

Here And Now

Good morning!

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is in Albany, but has nothing public on his schedule at this point.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio at 9 a.m. will hold a news conference in the Blue Room for an announcement.

At 8:15 a.m., the Fiscal Policy Institute will hold presentations on the state budget proposal. A breakfast buffet begins at 7:45. Albany Room, on the concourse level of the Empire State Plaza in Albany.

Also at 9 a.m., Comptroller Tom DiNapoli speaks at the Public Employee Conference Legislative Breakfast, Empire State Plaza, Hart Lounge, Albany.

At 9:30 a.m., the state Senate Racing, Gaming and Wagering Committee meets, Legislative Office Building, Room 510, 181 State St., Albany.

The joint Assembly-Senate budget hearing on housing, Legislative Office Building, Hearing Room B, 181 State St., Albany meets starting at 9:30 a.m.

The Senate Education Committee meets at 10 a.m. in Room 124 at the Capitol.

At 10:25, de Blasio and City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito will participate in a roundtable discussion hosted by Univision and the Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation and Next Generation’s Too Small to Fail “Pequeños y Valiosos” launch. East Harlem Council for Human Services Head Start Program 440 East 116th St.

Lt. Gov. Bob Duffy will be delivering remarks at 11 a.m. for Charter School Advocacy Day at the Convention Center in the Empire State Plaza. At 1 p.m., Duffy will be delivering remarks at the state Association of Counties Convention at the Desmond Hotel, main ballroom, 660 Shaker Road in Albany.

At noon, Senate Deputy Republican Leader Tom Libous will urge the Assembly in a press conference to approve the Public Assistance Integrity Act, Room 332, State Capitol, Albany.

Today is also Commissioner of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservations Rose Harvey’s turn to deliver the regional budget address. She will be at Wells College, Stratton Hall, Room 209 in Aurora to deliver the address at 12:30 p.m.

At 1 p.m., the Senate Democratic conference will hold a press conference on the state’s minimum wage, Capitol, Room 315.

A joint Assembly-Senate budget hearing will be held at 1 p.m. on the human services portion of the spending plan, LOB Hearing Room B. Albany.

The Business Council, along with the Public Policy Institute, will hold a panel dicussion on the business tax climate in the upstate region at 1 p.m. at the Albany Hilton.

Senate session convenes at 3 p.m.

Now your headlines:

An Assembly bill that had been aimed at curtailing boycotts of Israel was withdrawn over free speech concerns.

Trial number two for Assemblyman William Boyland began on Monday.

Boyland’s lawyer claims the lawmaker took bribes, but never did anything in return.

Two of the state’s largest insurers participating in the health exchange still do not have coverage.

New York became a top affiliate of the NRA last year following the passage of the SAFE Act.

A group of environmentalists are moving to block the Adirondack land swap deal approved by voters this past November.

State AFL-CIO President Mario Cilento told members in Albany that tax cuts in the budget will come with cuts to services as well.

While on the clock, six Metro-North workers traveled out of state to buy cigarettes and fireworks.

Mayor Bill de Blasio was in a “jaunty mood” for his Daily Show appearance.

State lawmakers continue to disagree on when to hold a state primary date, with the Senate introducing an August date bill on Monday.

Former New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn has joined the board of Athlete Ally, a non-profit organization that supports gay athletes.

Donald Trump aide Michael Cohen said Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino’s exploratory committee governor doesn’t impact Trump’s plans in the slightest.

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand stumped for the minimum wage increase in Ithaca.

Schools in the Southern Tier aren’t abandoning teaching modules mid-year.

Advocates are calling on de Blasio to ban city uniforms at the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in New York City.

The usually sleepy process of picking Regents is going to be getting a lot more attention.

Chris Bombardier, the latest departure at Patricia Lynch Associates, is joining a rival firm.

State lawmakers are complaining that Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s marijuana plan may not be all that robust.

A Niagara County greenhouse hopes the medical marijuana industry in New York will take off.

The death of Fairport native Philip Seymour Hoffman is putting a focus on the dangers of heroin addiction.

Outgoing Democratic Rep. Bill Owens has $547,000 in his campaign account as he retires from the North Country seat.

There is no timetable for the Tarrytown ramp closure in the ongoing construction of a new Tappan Zee Bridge.

Here is part one of de Blasio’s Daily Show appearance. Watch the rest here.

The Weekend That Was

Republican leaders came out on the Sunday morning talk shows in support of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, including Rep. Paul Ryan, who said the embattled governor deserves the “benefit of the doubt.”

Christie mounted an aggressive defense in response to claims about his involvement in the GWB scandal made by his former Port Authority appointee, David Wildstein, attacking The New York Times and Wildstein himself in an email to friends and allies obtained by POLITICO.

“Nothing yet implicates the governor directly,” said state Assemblyman John Wisniewski, who is co-chairing the investigation into the scandal. “We don’t have any proof right now that the governor said, go and close the lanes.”

The DNC is running an anti-Chrsitie ad during the Super Bowl tonight.

Christie was booed by a huge crowd gathered in Times Square for the ceremonial ‘handing off’ of the Super Bowl to Arizona – next year’s host state.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is attending the Super Bowl with Christie, but is paying his own way – to the tune of $2,000.

Former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani is Christie’s special guest in a luxury box at the game.

Christina Genovese Renna, a member of Christie’s administration who has been subpoenaed in an alleged political payback investigation, has resigned.

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio accidentally dropped Staten Island Chuck, but at least he didn’t get bitten.

For the record, Chuck saw his shadow, which means six more weeks of winter are on tap.

Speaking at an East New York megachurch this morning, de Blasio further celebrated the decision he made last week to end the city’s appeal to a federal ruling on stop-and-frisk.

De Blasio has been underestimating his considerable height, which is presenting numerous challenges at City Hall. It turns out he’s closer to 6-foot-6 than 6-foot-5.

An angry letter writer targeted de Blasio while former Giuliani and several New Jersey hotels near the site of the Super Bowl received notes containing white powder last week, authorities said.

The letter de Blasio received was addressed to his Park Slope home and threatened a nuclear attack against New York City.

The powder was determined to be “not toxic.”

Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley is moving ahead with preparations for a possible presidential bid and says that if he’s going to lay the groundwork for a national campaign, he can’t wait for Hillary Clinton to decide whether she is running.

Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin says Clinton should “start getting out there” if she’s indeed interested in running in 2016.

Clinton would win Florida if she runs for president – even if the GOP nominee turns out to be someone from the Sunshine State, namely former Gov. Jeb Bush or Sen. Marco Rubio – according to a new Quinnipiac University poll.

Wal-Mart scion Alice Walton, financiers George and Robert Soros and the law firm of liberal megadonors Steve and Amber Mostyn all cut $25,000 checks to Ready for Hillary last year, the super PAC said in a public filing.

Health insurance policies purchased through the New York state health exchange are allowing residents to get care at all hospitals in the Lower Hudson Valley except one: Westchester Medical Center.

Former Republican National Chairman Jim Nicholson says Clinton “will be a handful” for the GOP if she runs.

Rep. Charles Rangel’s attorney was barred from appealing his client’s congressional censure because he’s not a member of the bar where he filed the court ­papers.

Rangel raised $143,925 in the fourth quarter of 2013, and has $211,461 on hand for his re-election race this year.

George Will thinks the NY-19 battle between GOP Rep. Chris Gibson and Democratic activist Sean Eldridge might be this year’s most interesting congressional contest.

After a seven month investigation by his Charities Bureau, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is poised to clean house at the embattled Bronx nonprofit behind the Puerto Rican Day ­Parade.

State Health Commissioner Nirav Shah will speak tomorrow when the state Legislature kicks off its second week of budget hearings.

Cuomo on Saturday launched the state’s new civilian disaster-preparedness training program.

For the moment, the Cuomo administration is not entertaining the idea of naming the new Tappan Zee Bridge for Pete Seeger.

Some local government officials – including Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown – are asking Cuomo to rethink his property tax freeze proposal.

Hempstead Town Supervisor Kate Murray, who was thought to be the top GOP candidate for the Long Island seat of retiring Rep. Carolyn McCarthy, has decided not to run.

A bill introduced by Brooklyn Assemblyman Nick Perry would make it illegal for corrupt politicians to use campaign cash to pay legal bills.

Former Mayor Bloomberg has been appointed as UN special envoy for cities and climate change.

Congratulations to Chris Coffey and Adam Riff – two Bloomberg campaign veterans – who married over the weekend.

Extras

The New York Times‘s Eleanor Randolph is writing a biography of Mayor Bloomberg.

Bloomberg is making plans for the day he’ll be “unemployed,” which is rapidly approaching.

President Obama will meet with Bill de Blasio tonight.

Bill Clinton thinks Hillary Clinton would prefer being a grandmother to being president.

…he also insists he has no idea if she’ll run in 2016, but adds: “You know if I did know, I wouldn’t tell you.”

Bono does a pretty good Bill Clinton imitation.

Hillary Clinton hopes America gets a woman president “someday” because that would send “a very strong statement.”

Accused of being a Marxist by his GOP opponent, Joe Lhota, de Blasio notes: “It’s 2013.

New York City, though, has had mayors with socialist ties before.

Gun control – specifically, Cuomo’s Safe Act – has become an issue in the Westchester County executive race.

Onondaga County Sheriff Kevin Walsh has released a copy of the FOIL request from an online data seller for the names and addresses of pistol permit holders and his denial of that request.

Though he was reportedly expected to plead guilty to federal corruption charges today, Assemblyman William Boyland Jr. instead pleaded not guilty, setting up a trial date for December or possibly January.

AG Eric Schneiderman’s office is looking into combating the advantages won by securing early access to market-moving data.

Bloomberg is being asked to take the witness stand in the upcoming criminal trial over the CityTime scheme that bilked taxpayers out of more than $500 million.

Neil Young, Pete Seeger and Dave Matthews all spoke out against fracking at Willie Nelson’s Farm Aid fundraiser.

Another music video from perennial NYC mayoral candidate Jimmy “the Rent is too Damn High” McMillan.

Three out of four of de Blasio’s main Democratic primary rivals have endorsed him. The latest was NYC Comptroller John Liu. Still outstanding: Ex-Rep. Anthony Weiner.

De Blasio has the “smackdown” dance; Lhota does the Hora.

JCOPE has fine tuned its non-disclosure regulations on the sources of financial backers of non-profit organizations.

De Blasio has agreed to participate in three debates with Lhota. This is, unsurprisingly, not enough for Lhota.

Sandra Lee attended the Emmys (sans Cuomo), and wore a vintage Dior gown.

The Halfmoon moose is no longer on the loose.

Sean Eldridge For Congress – Officially

After months of mulling a potential challenge to Republican Rep. Chris Gibson, Democratic activist Sean Eldridge formally announced his campaign in NY-19 via an on-line video posted on his website late last night.

In the video, which is just under three minutes long, the Ohio-born Eldridge, 27, discusses his love for his adopted home – the Hudson Valley – and his efforts to invest there through a fund he created, Hudson River Ventures.

Eldridge also speaks of his participation in the push for campaign finance reform at the state level, in which he had other Democrats with deep pockets have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars in hopes of “taking the big money out of politics,” as they like to say, by establishing a publicly funded system.

In the video, Eldridge outlines the shape of the campaign to come, talking about how the “special interests” are drowning out the voices of everyday New Yorkers and the need for an “independent” like himself to fight against the gridlock in Washington, D.C.

Eldridge plays up his blue collar roots, highlighting the fact that he attended public scools as a child, and speaks obliquely in the video about building his family in the Hudson Valley.

But Eldridge makes no mention of his well-known and very wealthy husband, Chris Hughes, a co-founder of Facebook, with whom he owns a loft in NYC, a $5 million home in Garrison (not in NY-19) and a $2 million home in Ulster County (in NY-19).

Republicans have been anticipating this move by Eldridge for some time, and have already started attacking Eldridge as a rich carpet-bagger who’s out of touch with the needs and values of NY-19 constituents.

NY-19 is a moderate, swing district that was redrawn in the last round of redistricting to skew further south, adding still more Democrats. Nevertheless, Gibson survived a challenge last year from Julian Schreibman, a former chairman of the Ulster County Democratic Party.

Democrats still believe Gibson is vulnerable, however, and are planning to come at him hard in 2014.

The full transcript of the video appears after the jump.

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Extras

Another setback for Obamacare.

Eliot Spitzer says the first thing he’ll do if he’s elected NYC comptroller is audit the MTA.

The Cuomo administration says it has reached an agreement with Microsoft under which the multiple email platforms among various state agencies should be merged by the end of this year.

Councilman Leroy Comrie endorsed his one-time Queens borough president rival, Melinda Katz.

Putnam County’s top prosecutor is filing a $5 million defamation lawsuit accusing the sheriff of orchestrating a smear campaign against him by spreading lies about his ties with a rape suspect.

There’s a Weiner-adorned food truck in NYC.

Weiner insists he didn’t let the cat out of the bag on Clinton 2016.

Scott Stringer used to be a bit of a party guy - back when he owned a bar in NYC.

“NEW YORK TIMES EDITORIAL BOARD (to Mr. Spitzer): We heard what you were saying. You know nothing of our work.”

If you’re at the Altamont Fair at noon tomorrow, look for this impressive ram at the “Sheep Show,” owned by Sen. Cecilia Tkaczyk.

Gov. William Sulzer was impeached 100 years ago today on campaign finance fraud charges.

NYC Councilwoman Tish James slammed her public advocate primary opponent, Sen. Daniel Squadron, calling him a “failed Albany politician.”

In defense of cat videos. Take THAT, Anthony Weiner.

US Sen. Charles Schumer joined local officials in Syracuse, Rochester and Buffalo to call attention to railroad tanker cars that he says are prone to hazardous spills.

The senior senator essentially urged the president to eat his way across upstate next week.

As he gains ground in the polls, mayoral candidate John Catsimatidis continues to dole out cash to GOP county organizations that backed his mayoral candidacy.

First Lady Michelle Obama is releasing a Let’s Move! inspired rap album, on which she will not sing.

Reps. Jerry Nadler and Nydia Velazquez endorsed Ken Thompson for Brooklyn DA.

A Bronx community board manager, who doubles as the chair of the borough’s Puerto Rican Day parade, was fined $7,500 by the city for organizing the parade from his taxpayer-funded office.