Liz Benjamin

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Posts by Liz Benjamin

Here and Now

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is in the New York City area with no public events scheduled.

The state Legislature is in session.

The state Democratic and GOP conventions are taking place, on Long Island and in Manhattan, respectively.

Two former presidential candidates – Hillary Clinton and ex-VP Joe Biden – will be addressing the Democrats, today and tomorrow, respectively, and also endorsing Cuomo for re-election to a third four-year term.

Former Gov. George Pataki – the last Republican to hold statewide office in New York – is scheduled to introduce Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro at the GOP convention before he accepts the party’s nomination to challenge Cuomo in the November general election.

President Donald Trump is also expected to be on Long Island today. He’ll participate in an immigration roundtable at the Morrelly Homeland Security Center in Bethpage at around 2 p.m.

After that roduntable, Trump will head to the Lotte New York Palace Hotel in Manhattan, where he will participate in a roundtable and dinner with supporters, after which he will return to the White House in Washington, D.C.

At 8:45 a.m., Democratic candidate for governor Cynthia Nixon will hold a press conference on the Long Island Railroad platform of the Hempstead Transit Center before heading to the Democratic convention.

9 a.m., the MTA board meets, MTA Board Room, 2 Broadway, 20th floor, Manhattan.

Also at 9 a.m., the NYC Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings opens a Neighborhood Pop-Up Court to hold hearings on recently issued Department of Sanitation summonses, New York City Councilman Ritchie Torres’ office, 573 E. Fordham Road, Bronx.

Also at 9 a.m., state Sens. Robert Ortt and Catharine Young and others rally for increased employment opportunity for New Yorkers with disabilities, Legislative Office Building, The Well, Albany.

At 10 a.m., Elizabeth Crothers, a former Assembly staffer who accused then-Democratic majority counsel Michael Boxley of rape, will join NY-25 candidate Rachel Barnhart to discuss the race for the seat of the late Rep. Louise Slaughter, Hampton Inn, Greece, 500 Center Pl Dr., Rochester.

At 10:30 a.m., Nassau County Police PBA President James McDermott will join other police officials in a media availability to discuss Trump’s visit to Long Island, 89 East Jericho Turnpike, Mineola.

At 11 a.m., the state Senate is in session, state Capitol, Albany.

Also at 11 a.m., NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio and NYC Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza will visit a 3-K for All class and will make an education-related announcement, Learning Through Play Pre-K Center, 535 Union Ave., the Bronx.

Also at 11 a.m., Long Islanders will hold a #UnitedAgainstHate rally to “denounce Donald Trump’s appearance in Bethpage,” Morrelly Homeland Security Center, 510 Grumman Rd. W.

Also at 11 a.m., NYC Councilman Rafael Espinal announces a bill to ban plastic straws at New York City establishments, Pier A Harbour House, 22 Battery Place, Manhattan.

At 11:30 a.m., the American Heart Association backs NYC Councilman Ben Kallos’ bill designed to take sugary drinks off the kids menu at New York City restaurants, outside City Hall Park on the Broadway side, Manhattan.

At 1 p.m., NYC Council members Vanessa Gibson, Daniel Dromm and Keith Powers join advocates to support alternatives to incarceration and prisoner re-entry programs, City Hall steps, Manhattan.

At 1:30 p.m., the NYC Council meets, Council Chambers, City Hall, Manhattan.

At 1:30 p.m., state Board of Regents Chancellor Betty Rosa speaks on a panel about reinvigorating civics education in New York schools, Teachers College, Columbia University, Milbank Chapel, 525 W. 120th St., Manhattan.

At 4:30 p.m., Assemblyman Michael Blake hosts a Democratic National Committee reception and briefing at the New York State Democratic Convention, Hofstra University, 100 Hofstra University, Hempstead.

At 6 p.m., the New York Republican State Committee hosts its annual gala and honors Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam, Ziegfeld Ballroom, 141 W. 54th St., Manhattan.

Headlines…

Former Dallas sheriff Lupe Valdez won the Democratic primary runoff yesterday to become the state’s first-ever openly gay and Latina gubernatorial nominee from a major party.

Stacey Abrams won the Democratic primary in Georgia’s gubernatorial race, becoming the state’s first woman nominee for governor from either major party. If she wins the general election in November, she’ll become the first black female governor in the US.

A Senate panel rebuked Trump’s efforts to ease sanctions on the Chinese telecom firm ZTE, which the intelligence community and trade regulators have warned poses a national security risk for the U.S.

The House voted 258-159 to approve legislation rolling back the landmark Dodd-Frank law, sending the bill to Trump. He is poised to sign it into law to deliver on a campaign pledge of gutting Dodd-Frank.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said financial records of Trump’s personal lawyer Michael Cohen appear to have been leaked from his agency and the inspector general is investigating.

Evegny “Gene” Freidman, a New York taxi kingpin and business partner of Trump’s attorney Michael Cohen, has agreed to cooperate with the government.

A group of House Republicans who have been among the most vocal critics of Robert Mueller renewed their calls for a second special counsel to investigate the Justice Department and FBI’s handling of the investigation into the president’s 2016 campaign and Russia.

The New York Stock Exchange is set to get its first female leader in its 226-year history. Stacey Cunningham, the NYSE’s chief operating officer, will become the Big Board’s 67th president.

The state Legislature named Barbara Underwood as the first woman attorney general of New York in a rare joint legislative session, just weeks after Eric Schneiderman resigned in disgrace over reports that he abused four women.

“It is a tremendous honor,” Underwood said in a statement. “I’ve served in many roles in government throughout my career. But I believe this job — at this moment in history — is the most important job I have ever had.”

Underwood will remain in the AG’s office through the end of the year; she has said she will not run in the fall elections to keep the job.

The symbolism of Underwood’s appointment — in an age of #MeToo and renewed and reinvigorated calls for women’s equality in the workplace — was deeply felt in Albany, particularly among female members of the Legislature.

On the eve of the Democratic state convention on Long Island, NYC Public Advocate Letitia “Tish” James got a major boost in her bid for attorney general when Gov. Andrew Cuomo endorsed her — a move that all but assured she would become the nominee to run to replace Schneiderman this fall.

Cuomo called James “a talented lawyer and a powerful advocate” and said that “as Attorney General she will champion our progressive values and fight back against Donald Trump and the ultra right wing Republicans’ divisive, hateful agenda.”

Two Buffalo-born candidates are running for state AG – Leecia Eve, a Democrat; and Keith Wofford, a Republican.

Businesses that take advantage of a controversial U.S. Supreme Court ruling this week and bar workers from bringing class action lawsuits against their employer would have to disclose it in their job ads under legislation proposed by James.

State Sen. Brian Kavanagh forced a vote on S1733a at the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing – a bill that would allow judges to issue temporary orders prohibiting someone from buying or possessing a gun, which passed 19-3.

Cop killer Herman Bell, who was recently released from prison, is among the more than 24,000 parolees granted conditional pardons by Cuomo so they can vote. The governor’s office did not provide a list of names of those pardoned, but a state corrections website shows Bell was issued one.

The NYC Council and NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio have launched dueling Charter Review Commissions — and now the council’s will include a de Blasio primary foe: Sal Albanese, a former councilman and vocal critic of the mayor who ran against him for the Democratic primary in September.

Nick Libous, the son of late former state Sen. Tom Libous, announced his candidacy for the state Assembly’s 122nd district seat.

More >

Extras

President Trump said that his planned summit meeting next month with North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un, might be delayed.

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said a meeting between law enforcement officials and congressional investigators to discuss release of Russia-probe documents will happen Thursday.

The Democratic state convention will be the Gov. Andrew Cuomo vs. Cynthia Nixon show, with a side dish of “who will get the AG nod” intrigue, for good measure.

While Cuomo has been a vocal critic of Trump, the two New Yorkers have had a number of donors and supporters in common, including former White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci, and former NYC Mayor-turned-Trump-attorney Rudy Giulani.

Former Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin’s 2016 laptop and emails are back in the spotlight, this time causing problems for FBI leaders as part of a forthcoming inspector general report that is expected to fault bureau officials for sitting on those emails in the first place.

Cuomo has issued the first set of conditional pardons for restoring the right to vote to New Yorkers on parole, and says more than 24,000 individuals will be included.

Senate Deputy Majority Leader John DeFrancisco says he will skip the convention in New York City this week where members of the New York Republican State Committee will nominate a candidate for governor that isn’t him.

The law firm of Stormy Daniels’ attorney Michael Avenatti was hit with a $10-million judgment in U.S. Bankruptcy Court after he broke his promise to pay $2 million to a former colleague.

Turnout for school budget votes has plummeted 37 percent since 2012, the state School Boards Association said, as voters appear complacent if their districts stay under the property-tax cap.

Upstate district attorneys are not making plans to follow New York City’s decision to no longer prosecute people who are arrested for publicly smoking marijuana or low-level possession.

U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chair Bob Corker, a Tennessee Republican who is retiring after 2018, turned down an offer from the Trump administration to be the next ambassador to Australia.

The New York Times takes a deep dive into MTA Chair Joe Lhota’s reach as a power broker, which has grown with new board appointments in Manhattan and on Long Island, giving him extraordinary sway over some of the most important aspects of New York life – and a number of potential conflicts of interest.

Federal prosecutors in Manhattan are turning a blind eye to “the largest health and insurance fraud in New York” to protect a key witness in the case against former State Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos, an attorney for the disgraced Nassau County Republican said.

Suffolk Democrats will not hold a party convention to designate candidates before petitions to qualify contenders for the ballot go out on the street June 5.

The royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle – now the duke and duchess of Sussex – was a huge ratings draw, with 29 million people tuning in on Saturday morning, according to Nielsen’s total of the 15 channels that showed the nuptials.

The New York State Republican Party is holding its annual gala tomorrow night in midtown Manhattan, just a few blocks from where Trump will be attending a separate fundraiser, but the president will not drop in on the state GOP event.

The Power Play Burger from Syracuse’s Ale ‘n’ Angus Pub is the best burger in New York, according to the New York Beef Council.

Here and Now

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

The Democratic and GOP conventions are upon us, oddly, taking place on the very same days. Here’s what to expect at both. More here.

The state Legislature is in session in Albany, and supposedly a vote on an interim AG could take place as early as today, but it’s unclear when that’s actually going to happen.

President Donald Trump this morning receives his daily intelligence briefing, and then meets, and has a working lunch with, with the President of the Republic of Korea.

This afternoon, the president meets with the Secretary of State, and then departs the White House en route to the National Building Museum, where he will deliver remarks at the Susan B. Anthony List 11th Annual Campaign for Life Gala.

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio is in the city with no public events scheduled.

At 9 a.m., LG Kathy Hochul will deliver the keynote address at the Low Income Forum on Energy (LIFE) 2018 Statewide Conference presented by the PSC, NYSERDA, and the LIFE Steering Committee, Albany Capital Center, 55 Eagle St., Second Floor General Session Room, Albany.

Also at 9 a.m., at the ABNY breakfast, Carolyn Grossman Meagher, director of Regional Planning for the NYC Department of Planning, will present an overview of regional trends in employment and residential growth, and unveil NYC Metro Region Explorer, CBRE, 200 Park Ave., 21st Floor, Town Hall, Manhattan.

At 10 a.m., state Sens. Kemp Hannon, George Amedore Jr., Fred Akshar and Chris Jacobs hold a roundtable discussion on access to opioids, state Capitol, Room 124, Albany.

Also at 10 a.m., NYC Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza will deliver testimony on the FY2019 Executive Budget before the City Council Committees on Finance and Education, Council chambers, City Hall, Manhattan.

At 11 a.m., Assembly members Ron Kim and Yuh-Line Niou announce the 2018 Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month Celebration, Hearing Room B, Legislative Office Building, Albany.

Also at 11 a.m., Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams and New York City Councilmen Antonio Reynoso and Robert Cornegy Jr. join charter educators and families to demand equitable access to school security guard funding, Brooklyn Borough Hall, 209 Joralemon St., Brooklyn.

Also at 11 a.m., state Senate Minority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins and state Senate Democrats hold a press conference to urge the passage of a bill allowing extreme risk protection orders, state Capitol, outside Room 123, Albany.

Also at 11 a.m., “The Capitol Pressroom” with Susan Arbetter features state Sen. John Bonacic and Working Families Party State Director Bill Lipton, WCNY.

At noon, state Sen. Marisol Alcantara, Assemblyman Marcos Crespo and criminal justice reform advocates hold a press conference in support of the One Day to Protect New Yorkers Act, Legislative Office Building, Room 130, Albany.

At 1 p.m., state Sen. Thomas O’Mara and Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo host a hemp forum, featuring a panel discussion on the growth, manufacturing and processing of industrial hemp in New York state, Legislative Office Building, Room 711A, Albany.

Also at 1 p.m., Hochul delivers remarks and presents an award at Older New Yorkers Day, The Egg, Hart Lounge, Albany.

Also at 1 p.m., labor, MWBE contractors, faith, civil rights, and community groups rally to support Assemblywoman Crystal Peoples-Stokes legislation that reauthorizes Article 15-A of the state Executive Law until 2023, and establishes a commission to study the minority and women-owned business enterprise program and a mentor-protégé training program, Senate staircase, state Capitol, Albany.

At 2:50 p.m., Stewart-Cousins and state Senate Democrats hold a press conference to announce plans to force the Child Victims Act onto the Senate floor for a vote, state Capitol, outside of the state Senate glass doors, Albany.

At 3 p.m., the NYC Loft Tenants hold a press conference and rally in support of their bill A8409/S6828, state Capitol, Albany.

At 4 p.m., former NYC Department of Education Chancellor Carmen Fariña speaks at the Pace University commencement ceremony, Radio City Music Hall, 1260 Sixth Ave., Manhattan.

At 6 p.m., Hochul will be speaking at the Stars and Stripes Democratic Club’s Annual Dinner, Sirico’s, 8023 13th Ave., Brooklyn.

At 6:30 p.m., Carranza will attend a town hall meeting of District 25’s Community Education Council, PS 107 Thomas A. Dooley, 167-02 45th Ave., Queens.

At 7 p.m., Regent Catherine Collins will attend the Senior Dinner for the City Honors School graduating class and will present five scholarships, Buffalo RiverWorks Buffalo, 73359 Ganson St., Buffalo.

Headlines…

A string of victories for women in primary elections across the country is beginning to reshape the face of the Democratic Party and accelerate a conversation about its future — with consequences that reach well beyond the 2018 midterm election horizon.

Leecia Eve, a former top aide to Hillary Clinton and Gov. Andrew Cuomo, plans to enter the state attorney general race, adding intrigue to a Democratic primary that now features two well-connected black women – the first being NYC Public Advocate Tish James – seeking an office that has been held only by white men.

Clinton’s expected endorsement of Gov. Andrew Cuomo for a third term at the state Democratic convention has raised eyebrows for snubbing his primary opponent, insurgent progressive female candidate and “Sex and the City” star Cynthia Nixon.

Clinton will be delivering the keynote address at the convention being held at Hofstra University on Long Island tomorrow.

Eric Schneiderman’s resignation has triggered what could be a domino effect in New York politics, potentially creating vacancies in local offices and perhaps leading to New York City’s first citywide special election.

NYPD detectives have reached out to two of the four women who claimed they were brutalized by Schneiderman, a police source told the NY Post.

NYC Council Speaker Corey Johnson announced his support for James’ state AG run. Meanwhile, James called the Working Families Party, whose line she did not seek, “friends” and “family,” adding: “(N)o one can get in the middle between our relationship.”

The Women’s Equality Party, created by Cuomo during his last re-election bid, will soon make statewide endorsements.

The White House brokered an agreement with intelligence and law enforcement officials that will allow Republican congressional leaders to view some of the most highly classified information related to the Russia investigation, administration officials said.

Frustrated and impatient, fed up with waiting and eager to fight back, President Trump has embarked on what amounts to a two-prong strategy to contain the threat and undercut the credibility of the escalating investigations targeting him and his associates.

Ceaseless infighting and jockeying for influence on the White House’s trade team helped deprive Trump of a quick victory on his most cherished policy agenda: A multibillion dollar trade deal with China.

Confronting growing doubts about whether a planned meeting between Trump and Kim Jong-un, North Korea’s leader, would take place, a South Korean official said Monday that there was a “99.9 percent” chance of it happening.

Trump reportedly uses cellphones that are not equipped with “sophisticated security features,” which could make them vulnerable to hacking.

Trump’s personal attorney Michael Cohen sent the satirical site The Onion a cease-and-desist letter in 2013 for a piece written as his Trump Organization client and it went unnoticed until recently, the publiciation revealed.

In decision that could impact 25 million nonunionized employees, a divided U.S. Supreme Court handed a victory to employers by ruling that businesses can prohibit workers from banding together to fight for better pay and conditions.

Advocates for tougher gun laws are launching a last-ditch effort today to pass legislation in New York before the current session ends that would make it easier to take weapons away from dangerous individuals.

Senate GOP spokeswoman Candice Giove, the former spokeswoman for the IDC, railed against its erstwhile leader, Bronx Sen. Jeff Klein, on Twitter, referring to him as “an accused predator” during a Twitter exchange with her counterpart for the Senate Democratic conference.

The New York Police Department is investigating a second sexual assault complaint against the celebrity chef Mario Batali, a person familiar with the matter said.

New York schools expended more per elementary and secondary school pupil than any other state in the country in 2016, according to a new analysis of US Census data.

As Mayor Bill de Blasio has come out in support of supervised injection centers in New York City, his stance has been shaped by Canada’s lead, and officials suggest that the U.S. Justice Department may be reluctant to interfere with a city-backed effort to combat an seemingly unstoppable surge of deaths.

More >

Extras

Former President Obama and his wife, Michelle, signed a multiyear agreement to produce films and series for Netflix. The deal can include scripted and unscripted series, as well as documentaries and features.

In a case involving the rights of tens of millions of private-sector employees, the U.S. Supreme Court, by a 5-4 vote, delivered a major blow to workers, ruling for the first time that workers may not band together to challenge violations of federal labor laws.

As she was sworn in as director of the CIA – the first woman ever to hold the post – Gina Haspel promised to strengthen the agency, send more officers into the field, boost foreign-language proficiency, and strengthen partnerships abroad and at home.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has agreed to debate his Democratic primary opponent, Cynthia Nixon, though details have yet to be announced.

Hillary Clinton plans to speak tomorrow at the New York Democratic convention and endorse Cuomo, who worked for her husband’s administration as HUD secretary, for a third term.

Despite her plans to back Cuomo and Sen. Diane Feinstein, of California, Clinton will not be front and center in any campaigns, partly because her very presence continues to be a red flag for both the left and right.

Former President Clinton, meanwhile, has been all but invisible so far this election cycle.

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders announced he will seek re-election this year, with a formal kickoff in June as he angles for a third term.

A not-yet-public Justice Department inspector general report criticizes the FBI for not acting quickly enough to review Clinton’s emails ahead of the 2016 election, according to the Associated Press.

Jurors in the federal corruption trial of former Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano and former Oyster Bay Supervisor John Venditto asked for information relating to two county contracts that the two allegedly secured for restaurateur Harendra Singh.

Michael Boxley, the former Assembly counsel who pleaded guilty to sexual misconduct in 2003, left influential Albany lobbying firm Brown & Weinraub, which hired him in 2011, after he “decided to pursue new avenues in his career.”

New York surpassed all states with per-pupil elementary and secondary school spending of $22,366 per pupil as of 2016, according to the latest U.S. Census data.

Cuomo is in Saratoga Springs today for a high-dollar fundraiser, with donors giving up to $2,000 for a round of golf and a chance to see him at dinner.

Mount Vernon Mayor Richard Thomas’ attempt to block the state attorney general’s office from prosecuting him on criminal charges has been shot down.

A day after the Times Union reported on apparent fabrications in the professional biography of Upstate Medical University’s chief of staff, the State University of New York school in Syracuse has placed the official on leave and is conducting a review of the matter.

Parents of public school students should consider pulling their children out of school until the nation passes new restrictions on gun laws, former U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan tweeted.

An anonymous “U.S. official” says Giuliani’s claim the Mueller probe will be complete by Sept. 1 is “entirely made up” and “another apparent effort to pressure the special counsel to hasten the end of his work.”

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is rescinding the honorary degree the school gave to Bill Cosby in 2001.

New York’s gambling regulators are working on rules that would allow sports betting even if state lawmakers don’t act.

Former U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara has the Reform Party’s line for AG if he wants it, though he hasn’t indicated whether he plans to actually run.

NYC Council Speaker Corey Johnson threw his support behind NYC Public Advocate Letitia James’ run for state attorney general, calling her the “most qualified candidate” for the office.

As part of a Civics for All initiative, the de Blasio administration distributed voter registration forms to high schools across the city today, so as to register students who are 18 or will be by the midterm elections on Nov. 6.

RG&E and NYSEG must dip into corporate profits to pay $3.9 million to resolve a state investigation that found the companies mishandled their response to the ferocious March 2017 windstorm.

Despite ongoing concerns about the fate of the Affordable Care Act, demand for health coverage under the state’s health insurance marketplace remained strong as individual enrollment increased by nearly 700,000 this past year to 4.3 million covered New Yorkers.

A Hudson Valley woman is suing the town she lives in (Red Hook) because she believes her right to tend her garden while topless was violated.

After a toxic algae bloom threatened drinking water supplies last fall, Skaneateles Lake residents are banding together to spot any potential blooms as they develop.

Lypsinka, AKA John Epperson, hosted a fundraiser in Kingston this past weekend for NY-19 Democratic candidate Brian Flynn.

Here and Now

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is in Albany and Saratoga Counties and the New York City area with no official government public events announced.

The state Legislature isn’t in session until tomorrow.

President Donald Trump this morning participates in the swearing-in ceremony of the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency at its HQ in Langley, VA.

Back at the White House this afternoon, Trump participates in the signing ceremony for S.J. Res. 57 and hosts the NASCAR Cup Series champion Martin Truex Jr. and team.

This evening, the president has dinner with governors on border security and safe communities.

At 7:30 a.m., NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer will appear on Fox 5 “Good Day New York.”

At 8 a.m., Stringer will speak at the Eleanor’s Legacy Spring Breakfast, which features special guests U.S. Sen. Kirten Gillibrand and The Wing co-founder Audrey Gelman, The Yale Club, 50 Vanderbilt Ave., Manhattan.

At 8:30 a.m., the MTA holds a day of board meetings, MTA Board Room, 2 Broadway, 20th floor, Manhattan.

Also at 8:30 a.m., Dutchess County Executive and GOP gubernatorial candidate Marc Molinaro will be on Hudson Valley Focus Live 1450/1370 AM/ 98.5 FM speaking with Ed Kowalski.

At 9 a.m., the executive committee of the board of trustees of the NYC Board of Education Retirement System participates in a common investment meeting, 1 Centre St., 10th floor, Manhattan.

At 10 a.m., Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, and NYC Councilmen Ritchie Torres, Robert Cornegy Jr. and Mark Levine announce legislation that would codify the city’s ability to install and utilize remote temperature monitors to enforce the housing code, 509 W. 134th St., Manhattan.

At 10 a.m., “The Brian Lehrer Show” features Rep. Jerrold Nadler, WNYC.

At 10:30 a.m., Gillibrand and Rep. Nydia Velázquez discuss their legislation that would make it easier for employees to acquire ownership of the companies they work for, Ice Stone, Building 12, Brooklyn Navy Yard, Brooklyn.

At 11 a.m., a press conference will he held to announce the state’s largest tribute for the 17 people tragically killed in the Parkland, FL shooting at Long Island Pride on June 10, Nassau County Executive Building, 1550 Franklin Ave., Mineola, Long Island.

Also at 11 a.m., Rep. Adirano Espaillat, Assemblyman Marcos Crespo, and community leaders call for safe housing for Puerto Rico in support of the Housing Victims of Major Disasters Act, introduced by Espaillat in Congress, City Hall Park, Manhattan.

At 11:15 a.m., Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano and Lime Bike representatives launch the first dockless bikeshare program in the New York City area, 71 Water Grant St., Yonkers.

At 11:30 a.m., Sen. Sue Serino; Gae Marie Cannon, local community leaders and disability advocates hold a press conference announcing the introduction of “Bailey’s Law,” 85 Civic Center Plaza, Poughkeepsie.

At noon, NYC Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza will join de Blasio and Deputy Mayor Thompson to meet with high school students at Manhattan Hunter Science High School who are registering to vote, and deliver remarks in celebration of the first ever citywide student voter registration day, 122 Amsterdam Ave., Manhattan. (De Blasio will deliver remarks at 12:30 p.m.)

At 12:30 p.m., NYC Public Advocate Letitia James and NYC Council Speaker Corey Johnson will make an announcement regarding James’ bid for state attorney general, New York State Supreme Court Steps, 60 Centre St., Manhattan.

At 1:30 p.m., the state Gaming Commission meets, Empire State Development Corp., 36 Floor, 36-A Conference Room, 633 Third Ave., Manhattan.

At 3:30 p.m., Westchester County Executive George Latimer and Assemblyman David Buchwald announce intergovernmental findings on the power restoration response from storms in March, Michaelian Office Building, 148 Martine Ave., ninth floor, White Plains.

At 4 p.m., the SUNY board of trustees holds a special audit committee meeting, The SUNY Global Center, 116 E. 55th St., Manhattan.

At 5 p.m. and 6 p.m., “MetroFocus” features City & State reporter Jeff Coltin on the Albany Power 100, WLIW21 (5 p.m.) and WNET Thirteen (6 p.m.)

Also at 5 p.m., de Blasio delivers remarks at the funeral service for Mary Sansone, St. Athanasius Church, 2154 61st St., Brooklyn.

At 6:15 p.m., LG Kathy Hochul delivers remarks at the Western New York Women’s Foundation “What She’s Made Of” event, Albright-Knox Art Gallery, 1285 Elmwood Ave., Buffalo.

At 7 p.m., de Blasio appears live on “Inside City Hall,” NY1.

Headlines…

The special counsel hopes to finish by Sept. 1 the investigation into whether President Trump obstructed the Russia inquiry, according to the president’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani, who said that waiting any longer would risk improperly influencing voters in November’s midterm elections.

Trump himself demanded on Twitter that the Justice Department investigate whether the department or the FBI “infiltrated or surveilled” his campaign at the behest of the Obama administration, following through on his frequent threats to intervene in the special counsel inquiry as he targets those he views as political enemies.

Trump said on Twitter that he will demand that the Department of Justice investigate whether the department or the FBI “infiltrated or surveilled” his 2016 campaign for political purposes and if any such requests were made by the Obama administration.

The Trump administration has suspended its plan to impose sweeping tariffs on China as it presses forward with trade talks, a gesture that will temporarily ease tensions between the two nations but rapidly increase pressure on the president to secure the type of tough deal that he has long said is necessary to protect American workers.

Trump will travel to New York on Wednesday for an immigration event in Long Island, speaking at the Morrelly Homeland Security Center in Bethpage, according to reps for Rep. Peter King and the New York GOP.

Trump’s confidant and dirty trick specialist Roger Stone said he is “prepared” to be indicted in Mueller’s investigation.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is expected to spell out a new “comprehensive strategy” toward Iran today in a speech in Washington that comes not long after Trump pulled out of the 2015 deal aimed at curbing Iran’s nuclear program.

Hillary Clinton returned to Yale University this weekend, warning the graduating class of the “tumultuous times” that await them and using the school’s tradition of over-the-top headwear to rib Trump with her own unusual hat: a Russian fur cap.

New York state’s de facto first lady and Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s longtime girlfriend, TV chef Sandra Lee, is conspicuously absent from his campaign website as he seeks re-election and lays the groundwork for a potential presidential bid.

In an unexpected announcement, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio said he’s eager to see the NYPD stop busting pot smokers and instead hand out summonses for sidewalk toking, adding: “While I still have real concerns (about legalization) we must work through, it isn’t difficult to see where this is headed and any responsible policymaker must prepare for that eventuality.”

De Blasio also said he’ll put together a task force of city officials to lay the groundwork for full legalization, figuring out issues like how cops will deal with public smokers, what kind of zoning will be needed for pot dispensari

Though she declined to seek their nomination for her state AG run at this moment, NYC Public Advocate Tish James tweeted that she and the Working Families Party are “joined at the hip, adding: “I am proud to be their standard bearer and to be the face of the WFP going forward.”

Some anonymous supporters of Fordham Law School Prof. Zephyr Teachout say she shouldn’t seek to primary James for the Democratic line.

State Senate Democrats, in a report to be released this week, say a GOP bill that would create a $300 million fund to help adults who were victims of child abuse is woefully inadequate, while protecting the predators themselves.

New York Republicans, who haven’t won a statewide race since 2002, were still unsettled as of last night over who they will nominate for two key positions – AG and state comptroller – at their party convention this week.

Heading into their own convention, some of the state’s top Democrats have still not said who they are endorsing in the primary battle between Cuomo and actress Cynthia Nixon.

Nixon’s gubernatorial campaign is beefing up its communication staff, hiring Lauren Hitt, who served as Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kennedy’s communications director and worked for Democrat Randy Bryce, as its chief spokeswoman.

With the battle for control of the state Senate heating up, the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee today will report having about $700,000 on hand after spending about $1 million in a recent special election in Westchester County that they won – about half a million more than at this point two years ago heading into election season.

Freshman Democratic Sen. John Brooks formally announced his re-election campaign for a Long Island seat that will be key in the battle to control the chamber.

Former IDC Leader Jeff Klein got another taxpayer-funded car, though it’s not as nice as the 2017 Ford Explorer SUV the Republicans took from him when he and his fellow breakaway Dems broke their leadership coalition with the GOP and returned to the Democratic conference.

More >

The Weekend That Was

Pesident Donald Trump said he’ll “demand” an investigation into possible infiltration of his campaign for political purposes by the Obama administration or others.

Stefan Halper, a Cambridge professor with deep ties to American and British intelligence, has been outed as an agent who snooped on the Trump presidential campaign for the FBI.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said Republican lawmakers’ efforts to uncover the identity of an FBI informant in order to obstruct special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation comes close to “crossing a legal line.”

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes said that he won’t meet with the Justice Department until he is handed documents related to a confidential FBI source who spoke with Trump campaign aides in 2016 about Russian interference in the election.

The president’s attorney, Rudy Giuliani, said Trump could be “walking into a trap” unless federal prosecutors make clear the role played by the suspected informant and whether the person compiled any “incriminating information” about Trump’s associates.

Trump can prepare for his special counsel interview after rounds of golf, according to Giuliani.

Just hours after 10 people were killed in a school shooting in Santa Fe, Tex., the police chief in nearby Houston issued a defiant condemnation of elected officials who have failed to act on gun control, saying he had “hit rock bottom.”

Pope Francis said he would elevate 14 Roman Catholic prelates to the high rank of cardinal, the elite group of churchmen who are his closest advisers and can enter a conclave to choose his successor if they are under 80.

First Lady Melania Trump was released from the hospital Saturday morning, after undergoing a kidney procedure earlier in the week, and returned to the White House “in high spirits,” an aide said.

Hillary Clinton is being honored with a medal during Harvard University’s graduation week. The former First Lady, U.S. Senator, Secretary of State and Democratic candidate for president will be given the Radcliffe Medal, which the university says honors individuals whose life and work have had a “transformative impact on society.”

Donald Trump Jr. met with a Gulf emissary promising foreign help for his father’s campaign and an Israeli specialist in social media manipulation months before the 2016 presidential election.

Trump announced Friday he is nominating Acting Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie, a former Pentagon undersecretary for personnel and readiness who has led the agency since Trump fired David Shulkin two months ago, to permanently lead the beleaguered department.

In Onondaga County, the median white household makes nearly twice as much as the median non-white household. That racial income gap is one of the worst among the nation, according to a new report from the Brookings Institution’s Metropolitan Policy Program.

Nearly 40 legislative staff members who worked for the Independent Democratic Conference or its members lost their jobs after the breakaway group rejoined the mainline Democratic Conference, according to an analysis of the latest biweekly state Senate payroll record.

Sidney Walton, of San Diego, met Cuomo in Albany on Friday, making it five governors the New York native has visited since launching his “No Regrets Tour” in March at the National WWII Museum in New Orleans. He’s visiting all 50 states so people who have never met a WWII vet can do so before they’re all gone.

Central New York Rep. John Katko has joined a group of 20 Republican moderates openly rebelling against party leaders by trying to force a vote on a series of immigration bills.

Also on board are a number of other New Yorkers, including longtime Trump ally Rep. Chris Collins, of Buffalo; Rep. John Faso and Rep. Elise Stefanik.

The state Democratic Party will likely pass a resolution at its convention next week to support a primary against rogue Brooklyn Democratic state Sen. Simcha Felder, who caucuses with the Republicans and whose vote is the only reason the GOP controls the chamber.

Cynthia Nixon received the formal endorsement for her gubernatorial campaign from the Working Families Party, but the moment was complicated – and made awkward – by the party’s scramble to find an AG candidate after NYC Public Advocate Tish James, a longtime ally, snubbed it – possibly at the governor’s request.

The WFP responded with the unusual move of announcing support for both James and Fordham Law Prof. Zephyr Teachout – the only candidate to actually seek its line for AG, and putting a placeholder on the ballot until after the Democratic primary.

Nixon will be seeking the nomination for governor at the state Democratic convention next week, though there had been questions whether the “Sex And The City” actress would skip the event in protest and simply petition her way on to the ballot.

Sergio A. Garcia, a top official at SUNY Upstate Medical University in Syracuse and former U.S. State Department foreign affairs officer, made claims during a lecture last fall that have been refuted, could not be verified, or are so far-fetched that longtime State Department and other current and former U.S. government officials said do not appear to be credible.

Short-lived White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci spoke at a Staten Island fundraiser for former Rep. Michael Grimm, who is trying to make a congressional comeback, that raised an estimated $20,000.

An upstate-downstate divide emerged during a state hearing in Albany on Friday that explored eliminating the lower minimum wage for tipped workers.

New York City has a government with more than 300,000 employees, the largest municipal police force in the US and an Office of Emergency Management, but it hasn’t been able to figure out what to do about the wild turkeys of Staten Island.

De Blasio said his major concern about legalizing marijuana is that big corporations will take over the industry and exploit its “addictive” nature to try to hook kids, just like the tobacco companies.

NYC Council Speaker Corey Johnson told the Rev. Al Sharpton’s National Action Network Saturday that he supports “full legalization” of marijuana and “in the meantime,” sending pot smokers along with a summons and not to Rikers Island.

The Cayuga Nation has hired a former New York State Police troop commander, Col. Mark L. Lincoln, to serve as Cayuga Nation’s first superintendent of police.

The Metropolitan Opera said in court documents that it found credible evidence that conductor James Levine engaged in sexually abusive or harassing conduct with seven people that included inappropriate touching and demands for sex acts over a 25-year period.

Staten Island parents are begging Cuomo to stop NYC from appointing Oneatha Swinton as principal of Port Richmond HS, citing “unprecedented corruption and criminal activity.”

“(T)hough Mr. Cuomo portrays himself as a champion of cutting greenhouse-gas emissions, his simultaneous opposition to a New York City-area nuclear plant exposes his wind plan as a mere play for progressive prestige.”

Next fall, the Saratoga County Sheriff’s Office will partner with some area school districts to implement a new School Resource Officer (SRO) program.

A new Democratic hopeful for state Sen. Kathy Marchione’s open seat emerged this past week: Aaron Gladd, a policy adviser to Cuomo, who was one of four legislative candidates backed by the Saratoga County Democratic Committee.

The Rensselaer County Republican Committee Saturday put off endorsing a candidate for the 43rd State Senate District for two weeks, but endorsed District Attorney Joel E. Abelove of Rensselaer and newly elected Assemblyman Jake Ashby, R-Schodack, for re-election.

Germany’s Puma has signed a lease deal to creating a marquee location on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan that will be the first of its kind for the company in North America.

Several county legislators are calling for an independent investigation of New York State Electric and Gas after a storm last week left thousands without power for several days.

Experts from a wildlife conservation group say a dead whale that washed up on a New York beach was likely hit by a boat.

The American “Suits” actress, Meghan Markle, 36, tied the knot with Prince Harry in a wedding ceremony at London’s St. George’s chapel at Windsor Castle on Saturday attended by the royal family as well as celebrity pals including Oprah Winfrey, George and Amal Clooney, Serena Williams, James Corden and Priyanka Chopra.

Markle, who has long identified herself as a feminist, entered the chapel alone rather than being given away by her father or any other man, a departure from tradition that in itself sent a message to the world. She was met halfway by Prince Charles, her future father-in-law and presumably the future king of Britain.

Sharpton said the royal wedding between Prince Harry and Markle, who is biracial, is a sign that white supremacy is “on its last breath.”

The season’s last episode of Saturday Night Live opened with a nod to Tony Soprano including Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin'” playing on the jukebox.

Also featured: Tina Fey’s Russian spy Natalia Veselnitskaya mocking Donald Trump Jr., and Nicki Minaj was the musical guest.

Actor Jon Heder stopped by Sato Brewpub in Buffalo for some Katsu and curry on Friday. He was in town for the Nickel City Con at the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center in Buffalo, and was to be signing autographs at the show through the weekend.

Extras

A shooter opened fire at a Texas high school, killing at least eight people this morning.

Authorities said they had a person in custody – identified as Dimitrios Pagourtzis, 17 – after the shooting and that explosive devices were located at the school and off campus.

Speaking at a White House prison reform summit, Trump called for a compromise to “restore the rule of law, keep dangerous criminals off our street, and help inmates get a second chance on life.”

Crowds of well-wishers cheered Britain’s Prince Harry as he made an impromptu walkabout outside the ancient walls of Windsor Castle on the eve of his wedding to U.S. actress Meghan Markle.

A Buffalo business executive who is a defendant in a federal case alleging the bid-rigging of massive upstate development projects was scheduled to plead guilty this afternoon and begin cooperating with the government.

Former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani said Trump would not commit perjury in a potential interview with Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

Giuliani has a lot on his plate these days, but he says he’s going to take time to campaign for Staten Island Rep. Dan Donovan to keep his seat from falling into Democratic hands.

“We have been getting schooled in the mechanics of compartmentalization at least since the sex scandals of the Clinton presidency, and we have been given epic refreshers at the hands of New York Democrats.”

Zephyr Teachout is stepping down as Cynthia Nixon’s gubernatorial campaign treasurer so she can run for state attorney general, leaving the Working Families Party, which is holding its nominating convention on tomorrow, with a tough decision on whom to endorse for AG.

Tim Wu, a Columbia Law professor credited with coining the term “net neutrality,” is considering a run for state attorney general, four years after he unsuccessfully ran for lieutenant governor as Teachout’s running mate.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio urged New York City Public Advocate Letitia James to reconsider seeking the Working Families Party’s nomination in her bid to become attorney general.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton addressed a female coalition at the DNC Women’s Leadership Forum she founded as First Lady alongside Tipper Gore, 25 years ago.

The state Department of Taxation and Finance is working on an unincorporated business tax that might allow partners at law firms and investment banks and similar high-paying places to get around the federal limitation on deducting state and local taxes.

Members of Nassau County legislature’s Republican majority called on Gov. Andrew Cuomo to extend deadlines for homeowners seeking state disaster recovery funds to rebuilding their homes after superstorm Sandy.

If betting on sports comes to New York, it could bring in an influx of new state tax revenue – and at least one state lawmaker, Long Island Sen. Todd Kaminsky – would want it to be used on the environment.

Remington Outdoor Co., one of the world’s leading firearms makers, has emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy with new owners – its lenders.

There are more than 17,500 gang members in New York City, the NYPD says, but it still has not said what mechanism, if any, is in place to remove someone from its database. That’s according to the Legal Aid Society, which plans to sue over this issue.

Consultants hired by the state have suggested that 18 acres of land off New Scotland Avenue near Albany Medical Center would be the best site for a proposed new $750 million Wadsworth Center, the state’s public health laboratory.

Will the new-and-improved Carrier Dome still bear the name “Carrier”?

Most retired employees of the Buffalo school district receive a benefit not enjoyed by their counterparts in suburban school districts – lifetime health insurance. And not just any old health insurance, but about the best money can buy.

Here and Now

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

The Legislature is not in session

President Donald Trump this morning delivers remarks at the Prison Reform Summit, and then meets with the Secretary-General of the United Nations.

At 10 a.m., state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli releases an economic snapshot of Queens, Queens Borough Hall, 120-55 Queens Blvd., Queens.

Also at 10 a.m., NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio will appear live on WNYC’s The Brian Lehrer Show, and take calls from listeners.

Also at 10 a.m., the state Department of Labor holds a public hearing on the possible elimination of the tipped hourly minimum wage, Hearing Room B, LOB, Albany.

At 10:30 a.m., LG Kathy Hochul makes an announcement, The High School for Math, Science and Engineering, City College of New York, Baskerville Hall, 240 Convent Ave., Manhattan.

At 11 a.m., District Council 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido and library advocates urge the New York City Council and mayor to invest in libraries, City Hall steps, Manhattan.

Also at 11 a.m., NYC Councilman Jumaane Williams, Assemblywoman Rodneyse Bichotte, Assemblyman Nick Perry, state Sen. Kevin Parker and other elected officials announce the Little Haiti Business and Cultural District, intersection of Nostrand and Newkirk avenues, Brooklyn.

At 11:06 a.m., Hochul is a Guest on WCNY’s the Capitol Pressroom with Susan Arbetter.

At noon, de Blasio will make an announcement about road repaving, NYC DOT Street Maintenance, Dubois Yard, 5 Dubois Ave., Staten Island.

At 2 p.m., NYC First Lady Chirlane McCray will kick off #ThriveTogether: A Weekend for Mental Health which is being participated in by over 2,000 faith and community groups across all fifty states, Yankasa Masjid Mosque, 1707 Townsend Ave., the Bronx.

At 2:30 p.m., Rep. Nydia Velazquez, Assemblywoman Maritza Davila, state Sen. Martin Malavé Dilan, NYC Councilman Antonio Reynoso rally for gun violence awareness, Bushwick Houses Community Center, 50 Humboldt St., Brooklyn.

At 6:30 p.m., de Blasio and McCray will attend the Seneca Strategies launch party, and the mayor will deliver remarks, The Armory, 67 4th Ave., Brooklyn.

At 7 p.m., state Sen. Jeff Klein announces $170,000 for a new Stand Up to Violence Program at the New York City Housing Authority’s Throggs Neck Houses, 550 Balcom Ave., Bronx.

At 7:30 p.m. NYC Public Advocate and state AG candidate Tish James receives the “Public Servant of the Year Award” at the Metropolitan Black Bar Association (MBBA) 34th Anniversary Awards Gala, Pier Sixty, 60 Chelsea Piers, Manhattan.

Headlines…

The Trump administration will announce an abortion policy policy, based on the global “gag rule” introduced by former President Ronald Reagan, that threatens to cut off federal funding for family-planning clinics like Planned Parenthood.

Trump will time from his schedule to prepare for an interview with Special Counsel Robert Mueller, according to his lawyer Rudy Giuliani.

Giuliani said he “would be surprised” if the president knew at the time of the controversial June 2016 Trump Tower meeting between campaign officials and Russians.

Trump defended his use of the word “animals” to describe dangerous criminals trying to cross into the United States illegally, saying that he had been referring to members of the brutal transnational gang MS-13 when he used language critics called inappropriate.

Trump is expected to return to Long Island next Wednesday for a forum on the MS-13 gang, Rep. Peter King said.

The White House has jumped in on the “Yanny vs. Laurel” audio debate and it turns out Trump doesn’t hear either of the names that have split the nation. “I hear covfefe,” the president joked in a video posted to Twitter.

A New York court said that former “Apprentice” contestant Summer Zervos can proceed with her defamation lawsuit against Trump, at least for now.

With NYC Public Advocate Letitia “Tish” James snubbing its nominating convention tomorrow, the minor Working Families Party is frantically trying to figure out who to back for attorney general, and will likely either back Fordham Law Prof. Zephyr Teachout or a palceholder.

Former Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara was purged from the voter rolls effective Jan. 31, 2006 and never bother re-registering – even after he was fired by Trump, which Republican consultant O’Brien Murray called the “height of hypocrisy.”

The NY Post: “Preet Bharara’s image as a tough prosecutor and critic of President Trump has put him at the top of the list of possible candidates for New York attorney general among the Resistance. Yet his beef with Trump should disqualify him from consideration.”

Staten Island Councilman Joe Borelli is being considered “very seriously” to run with presumptive Republican candidate for governor Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro on the GOP ticket, the chairman of the Conservative Party confirmed.

Republican Bob Antonacci, the Onondaga County comptroller, moved a step closer to locking up the Conservative Party ballot line in the race for the New York State Senate seat left open by the retirement of John DeFrancisco.

The U.S. Commerce Department should drop plans to move forward with a tariff on Canadian paper imports because it would place an “unfair and unwise burden” on the struggling newspaper industry, U.S. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said.

The Midtown lawyer caught yelling racist comments at Spanish-speaking restaurant workers in a viral video was treated like a pariah by fellow attorneys at a Queens court, lawyers there told The NY Post. (Apparently, he’s done this before).

New York’s U.S. senators are backing two different fixes for how Capitol Hill deals with sexual harassment and discrimination.

Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie began his third statewide tour with a visit to miSci in Schenectady yesterday.

Former State Senate leader Dean Skelos got a split result in his bid to subpoena damaging information about two key witnesses against him in his upcoming retrial on corruption charges in Manhattan federal court.

Former Queens Councilman Peter Vallone Jr. was slapped with more than $21,000 in fines by the NYC Campaign Finance Board for numerous violations during his failed 2013 bid to become borough president.

Facing strong criticism from black leaders, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Cynthia Nixon said she would no longer refer to “reparations” in her push to legalize marijuana.

Acting New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood and Gov. Andrew Cuomo have announced the state intends to file a lawsuit against Purdue Pharma over its marketing of opioid pain medication.

More >

Extras

The U.S. Senate confirmed Gina Haspel to be director of the CIA, ending a bruising confirmation fight centered on her ties to the spy agency’s past use of waterboarding and other brutal interrogation techniques.

Trump asserted that federal investigators attempted to infiltrate his 2016 campaign with a confidential informant — a scandalous overreach, he said, that would be “bigger than Watergate!”

While railing against California for its so-called sanctuary immigration policies, Trump referred to some people who cross the border illegally as “animals” — drawing a sharp rebuke from Democratic leaders for the harsh rhetoric.

Millions of dollars have been allocated for a second year in a row to help students enrolled in New York’s public colleges off-set the high cost of textbooks.

Responding to a growing debate in the state Legislature, of which he was once a member, Erie County Clerk Mickey Kearns has decided that Erie County Auto Bureaus won’t process driver’s licenses for undocumented immigrants.

Democratic candidate for governor Cynthia Nixon held a campaign event on the L line of the NYC subway, shaking hands with riders, posing for photos, and ultimately, due to delays, taking a 20-minute trip a mere two stops away.

Nixon asked weary subway riders to talk about their commutes on social media this morning and call out Cuomo’s “sham subway plan.”

Nixon’s latest campaign blitz attacks Cuomo over the sorry state of the city’s subways with $30-a-pop T-shirts bearing the trademarked F-train logo — which she’s selling without the MTA’s permission.

Hank Sheinkopf: “Right now, Nixon’s riding a wave of name recognition from her time on a show about rich white women galavanting around the Upper West Side, but that’s not going to cut it when it comes to turning out support from black women.”

Former U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara is being courted to run for AG by people all across the political spectrum. He’s leaning against it, but hasn’t yet formally said “no,” either.

One party insider said John Cahill, a former Pataki administration official and 2014 attorney general candidate, is 90 percent committed to running again this year after no major GOP figure showed interest before Schneiderman’s departure.

Rep. Dan Donovan, a Staten Island Republican, says in his first TV ad of the GOP primary race that he “stands tough with Trump.”

The Buffalo School Board member who replaced Carl Paladino has abruptly resigned. Catherine Flanagan-Priore, who was appointed in September to fill the vacant Park District seat, gave a prepared letter of resignation to Board President Barbara Seals Nevergold after last night’s meeting.

Former AG Robert Abrams offers some (unsolicited) advice to those who are putting themselves forward as potential successors to ex-AG Eric Schneiderman.

Trump’s lawyer, former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani, said there was nothing illegal about Trump campaign advisers meeting with a Russian lawyer purportedly offering dirt on Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

Giuliani and his staff “doored” a pedicab driver in Midtown today, officials said.

Steve Barnes, the TU’s “Table Hopping” columnist, believes the governor’s proposal to end the tipped hourly wage will significantly hurt New York’s restaurant industry and its workers.

“…In related news, the Troy location of Slidin’ Dirty, normally open for lunch, will be closed until 5:18 p.m. Friday to allow its staff to participate in a rally opposing the change, management said.”

Embattled Mount Vernon Mayor Richard Thomas has been indicted by a grand jury for allegedly stealing campaign funds and failing to disclose funds that he used for personal expenses.

Cuomo and New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy appear ready to clash over filling the vacant post of deputy executive director of Port Authority, which the two control. Murphy wants to fill the position, while Cuomo looks likely to stymie such an appointment. Murphy could retaliate by delaying authority projects

Leticia Astacio is appealing the decision by the Commission on Judicial Conduct to remove her as a Rochester City Court judge.

Sen. Diane Savino, a Staten Island member of the now-defunct IDC, has a Democratic primary challenger, Jasmine Robinson, who is being supported by a number of progressive groups and the WFP.

Tuition would rise and security would be strengthened at Niagara County Community College under a tentative budget for the next academic year, which includes $250,000 for two armed peace officers and a contract with a local police agency to supply a regular police officer to patrol during the day.

Extras

President Donald Trump reported that he reimbursed personal attorney Michael Cohen for costs apparently incurred in paying adult film star Stormy Daniels for a non-disclosure agreement, according to a federally required annual financial disclosure form released by the Office of Government Ethics.

In a monumental decision that will resonate through election season, the U.S. Senate voted to reinstate the net neutrality protections the Federal Communications Commission decided to repeal last December.

The White House brushed aside threats by North Korea to cancel an upcoming summit meeting between the president and the North’s leader, Kim Jong-un, saying it’s “hopeful” the meeting will happen — but Trump would be fine if it doesn’t.

Swiss pharmaceutical giant Novartis announced the retirement of its top legal expert, as he apologised for payments made by the firm to Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Michael Cohen.

The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, which has been conducting one of the investigations into the Trump campaign’s contacts with Russians, released more than 2,000 pages of testimony and exhibits. (More here).

Heeding Cuomo’s reported request, NYC Public Advocate Letitia James won’t seek the ballot line of the liberal Working Families Party in her campaign for state attorney general, a spokeswoman confirmed.

“Being the first African-American woman elected statewide in New York could at least provide some measure of redemption for an office still reeling from the fallout of Eric Schneiderman’s abrupt departure.”

The leadership team at the AG’s office is now predominantly female.

Advocates are hopeful that increased awareness around domestic violence in the wake of last week’s stunning physical abuse allegations against Schneiderman will propel new legislation and resources.

Cleanup was under way following powerful storms that pounded the Northeast and resulted in the deaths of at least four people, including a child.

Cuomo’s emergency order for the New York City Housing Authority could be counterproductive to efforts to improve public housing, NYCHA’s general manager said.

Republican Bob Antonacci became the first candidate to secure a third-party ballot line in the race for the 50th Senate District seat left open by the retirement of Sen. John DeFrancisco.

At an event outside the Capitol with more than a dozen Democratic state legislators, LG Kathy Hochul highlighted accomplishments during her first term in office and laid out some priorities for the next four years.

Payroll data for 74,660 public authority employees, totaling $4.4 billion, have been added to SeeThroughNY, the Empire Center’s transparency website.

Richmond County District Attorney Michael McMahon is not on board with the push from Manhattan and Brooklyn to stop prosecuting marijuana smokers, sounding a note of caution and saying the issue should be left up to the state Legislature.

New York state has moved to recover more than $1.4 million that the state says is owed Feher Rubbish Removal workers for back wages, plus penalties and interest, according to court documents.

In his latest battle against the opioid epidemic in Ithaca, Mayor Svante Myrick penned a letter to Cuomo last week requesting approval from the State Department of Health of a supervised drug injection pilot program.

Actor Kiefer Sutherland was in Albany, days ahead of his concert at The Egg tomorrow night.