Liz Benjamin

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Homepage: http://nystateofpolitics.com


Posts by Liz Benjamin

Extras

The Rev. Al Sharpton said civil rights groups will mobilize against Rob Astorino if he does not start living up to the terms of a fair housing settlement with the federal government.

“It’s my commission. I can’t ‘interfere’ with it, because it is mine. It is controlled by me.”

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio received some unlikely words of support from Astorino.

Sen. John DeFrancisco is preparing for his big boxing match on Saturday.

“We’ll take anybody’s money,” said DeFrancisco, a Republican. “Even some Working Families Party money.”

Brooklyn BP Eric Adams is open to a future mayoral run.

DC37 endorsed Rep. Charlie Rangel for re-election.

Nassau DA Kathleen Rice’s congressional campaign, for the third consecutive day, announced a sought-after local endorsement for the upcoming Democratic primary.

NYC Frist Lady Chirlane McCary posted a poem for the city’s 12th annual “poem in your pocket” day.

Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren’s first 100 days video doesn’t mention anything about the bumps in the early days of her tenure.

McCray selected the winners of the #NYCPoetweet Twitter poetry contest.

Retiring NY-21 Rep. Bill Owens officially endorsed the Democrat seeking to replace him in office, Aaron Woolf.

Cuomo agreed to expand the state’s solar energy industry with $1 billion in incentives for photovoltaic systems through 2023.

NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer is exerting some independence from de Blasio.

The director of the Buffalo Jills has suspended all activities for the Buffalo Bills cheerleaders until further notice.

With Hillary Clinton’s memoir a likely bestseller and possible curtain raiser on her 2016 presidential ambitions, the TV networks have begun jockeying to be the first to interview her.

A judge has agreed to a partial release of records related to the bloody Attica prison riot of 1971.

A horse-carriage accident near Central Park has prompted more protests and renewed calls from de Blasio and animal rights activists to ban the buggies.

Buffalo’s 43North business idea competition is trying to pilfer away Rochester’s best and brightest.

Broome County Executive Debbie Preston has lung cancer, but will not be leaving office while she gets treated.

Astorino’s Pro-Gun, Anti-Gannett Appeal

ICYMI from today’s morning memo:

Republican gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino is continuing his effort to woo gun owners angry with Gov. Andrew Cuomo over the SAFE Act by resurrecting the uproar over his local newspaper’s posting of pistol permit holders’ personal information.

A fundraising appeal that arrived at my Capital Region residence yesterday asked: “Would you want your home address published in the local newspaper and online, marking your household as a place where a pistol could be found?”

“Probably not. But that’s exactly what happened in Westchester County last year when a Gannett editor decided to make headlines,” the letter continues.

“Thousands of law abiding pistol permit owners in that county were treated like sex offenders, and put at risk of home break-ins through this stunt, which clearly emanated from Andrew Cuomo’s anti-Second Amendment hysteria in Albany.”

The appeal goes on to state that just one New York elected official “above all others” stood up for the gun owners, “even though by doing so he’d be publicly criticizing the editors of his home county newspaper.”

That “one official” is, of course, Astorino, who, according to his campaign, “demanded the maps come down and widely chastised the newspaper’s decision to publish it. It made him no friends at the paper, but it was the right thing to do.”

This all dates back to the winter of 2012 when The Journal News, a Gannett publication, decided to post an interactive map of pistol permit holders in Westchester and Rockland counties in the wake of the Dec. 14 Sandy Hook massacre in Newtown, Conn.

The mass shooting had reignited the gun control debate in both New York and Washington, D.C. Cuomo was aggressively pushing for action by the Legislature, hoping to beat President Obama to the punch in the process.

Pistol permits were, at the time, considered public documents, though Putnam County officials refused to heed the paper’s Freedom of Information request for information on their local holders.

About a month into this fight, which generated considerable consternation – including threats to Journal News staffers – the paper eventually heeded the calls from Astorino and others to take down its map, citing a provision in the new SAFE Act that enabled permit holders to opt out of having their information be publicly available.

Thousands of New Yorkers availed themselves of that opt-out clause, creating a lot of additional work – and headaches – for the state’s county clerks.

Astorino has been consistently reaching out to gun owners for support in hopes of exploiting the still-simmering upset with Cuomo over the SAFE Act – the passage of which marked the start of the downward slide in the governor’s approval ratings upstate.

The fundraising appeal – a no-frills affair comprised of just two sheets of paper, a letter and a contribution form – concluded thusly:

“County Executive Astorino will be vastly outspent by Governor Cuomo, but Mr. Astorino is a demonstrably better leader. If he can raise even a third of what Mr. Cuomo spends, we think he’ll be our next governor.”

As of mid-January, Cuomo had amassed a campaign war chest of more than $33 million, compared to Astorino’s $1 million on hand.

For the record, both my husband and I are registered independents. We are technically a gun-owning household, as my husband is in law enforcement.

Rob Astorino fundraising appeal, hits Gannett for publication of pistol permit information. by liz_benjamin6490

Here and Now

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is in New York City.

At 8:30 a.m., AG Eric Schneiderman speaks at the Crain’s Business Breakfast Forum, New York Athletic Club, 180 Central Park W., Manhattan.

Also at 8:30 a.m., Texas Gov. Rick Perry appears on CBS’ This Morning.

At 10 a.m., retiring NY-21 Rep. Bill Owens and the Democrat running to replace him, Aaron Woolf, will kick off a jobs and small business tour, starting in St. Lawrence County, Ductman Mechanicals, 8449 New York 56, Norfolk.

Also at 10 a.m., Rep. Paul Tonko attends an event that encourages high school students to explore careers in construction, Navy Operations Center, 251 Rudy Chase Dr., Glenville.

At 10:30 a.m., Cuomo attends the opening of the Perelman Emergency Center at NYU Langone, NYU Langone Medical Center, Smilow Multi-Purpose Room, 570 First Ave., Manhattan. NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio will also attend, and is scheduled to speak.

At 11 a.m., Owens and Woolf will visit Potsdam Agway, 14 Market St., Potsdam.

At 11:10 a.m., NYC First Lady Chirlane McCray speaks at the Bryant Park ‘Poem in Your Pocket Day’ celebration, Bryant Park Reading Room, 42nd Street and Avenue of the Americas, Manhattan.

At 11:30 a.m., Owens and Woolf will stop by Northern Music & Video, 29 Market St., Potsdam.

At noon, de Blasio hosts a press conference to make an announcement in the Blue Room at City Hall, Manhattan.

Also at noon, DEC Commissioner Joe Martens, Sen. Cecelia Tkaczyk, Assemblywoman Pat Fahy and others attend the announcement of $1.4 million in conservation grants to land trusts statewide, Indian Ladder Farms, 342 Altamont Rd., Altamont.

Also at noon, Real Affordability for All, the largest citywide affordable housing coalition representing thousands of tenants, will unveil a major new affordable housing plan for de Blasio, City Hall steps, Manhattan.

Also at noon, Owens and Woolf will have lunch with business and labor leaders at Sergi’s Italian Restaurant, 10 Market St., Potsdam.

Also at noon, Tonko attends the Celebration of Independence awards luncheon honoring excellence in disability leadership, Polonaise Banquet Conference Center, 225 Washington Ave., Albany.

Also at noon, Rep. Dan Maffei speaks at the Cayuga County Economic Development Agency luncheon, Springside Inn, 6141 West Lake Rd., Auburn.

At 1 p.m., NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer presents an award at the third annual TechDay NYC, Pier 92, 711 12th Ave., Manhattan.

At 2 p.m., Owens and Woolf will tour the new 135 bed skilled nursing/30 bed assisted living facility at the Alicia Hyde Medical Center, 133 Park St., Malone.

At 3 p.m., Schneiderman presents an award to the Best Green Startup at the third annual TechDay NYC, Pier 92, 711 12th Ave., Manhattan.

At 6 p.m., Rep. Chris Gibson will attend the Klyne Esopus Museum Reception, Stone Hedge Restaurant, Route 9W, Ulster Park.

Also at 6 p.m., Sens. Greg Ball and Phil Boyle host public forum on heroin and opioid addiction, Paladin Center Tactical Training Facility, 39 Seminary Hill Rd., Carmel.

Also at 6 p.m., Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano attends his 50th birthday party, Alley 810, Empire City Casino, 810 Yonkers Ave., Yonkers.

At 6:05 p.m., McCray speaks at Tribeca Film Institute’s ‘Our City, My Story’, Tribeca Performing Arts Center, 199 Chambers St., Manhattan.

At 5:30 p.m., GOP gubernatorial candidate and Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino will attend the Hudson Valley Construction Industry Partnership Dinner, DoubleTree, 455 S. Broadway, Tarrytown.

At 7 p.m., Astorino will attend and deliver the keynote address at the Bronx-Manhattan North Association of Realtors Dinner, Marina del Rey, 1 Marina Dr., Throgs Neck.

At 7:30 p.m., Vice President Joe Biden will attend an event for DCCC Chairman Steve Israel at the Crest Hollow Country Club on Long Island.

Headlines…

Gov. Andrew Cuomo threw his support behind a proposal to provide a property tax break to New York City victims of superstorm Sandy who have rebuilt their homes, backing a key request by Mayor Bill de Blasio to the state Legislature.

“Like many couples, Mr. de Blasio and Mr. Cuomo do seem to enjoy each other’s company, at least when they are not fighting.”

Asked about the unrest on his left, Cuomo blamed the state Senate for failing to pass most of the progressive legislation he purports to support.

After his longtime friend, Willie Rapfogel, pleaded guilty to defrauding the charity he once ran, the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver said he is “deeply saddened by this entire episode.”

The source of U.S. paper currency stamped “Cuomo Must Go! Your Vote Counts” is is a stamp sold by Jim Arendt, a Spencerport retailer who specializes in gun rights and outdoors paraphernalia.

Cuomo won’t be debating his fellow potential 2016 presidential hopeful Texas Gov. Rick Perry any time soon.

The de Blasio administration is reportedly negotiating a sweetheart deal with horse- carriage owners that would give them recession-proof yellow taxi medallions worth about $1 million each to compensate them for a ban on their business.

An engineering firm hired by Auburn to clear the way for the city to accept wastewater from gas drilling has concluded the city’s wastewater treatment plant can’t handle it.

A day after a NYPD effort to engage the public on Twitter seemingly backfired, Commissioner William Bratton defended the campaign and said it would continue.

More >

Extras

The US Supreme Court’s decision upholding Michigan’s affirmative-action ban was far from a shock, but it generated considerable strife on the high court.

The recently fired head of Westchester’s Solid Waste commission has written to GOP donors, asking them not to give money to Rob Astorino.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s 1975 Corvette and 2011 Harley-Davidson Electra Glide Classic are on display at the New York auto show.

The MTA estimates the price tag of a tentative contract agreement with its largest union, the TWU, at $411 million.

NYSUT is planning a “picket in the pines” of an exclusive Adirondack education reform conference next month.

Someone stamped an anti-Cuomo slogan on a ten dollar bill.

NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer endorsed “proven fighter” Sen. Adriano Espaillat’s primary challenge to Rep. Charlie Rangel.

Even though NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the lowest water and sewer rate increase since 2006, Queens Councilman Rory Lancman still thinks he’s breaking a campaign promise.

Espaillat slammed the Clintons for backing Rangel over him, saying they are “not on the side of change.” (He would also prefer the president’s endorsement).

Cuomo stepped on de Blasio’s Albany press conference by holding a competing press conference of his own.

This summer, the Republican Party is rolling out the first-ever political website suffix: .gop.

The DCCC “sent” NY-21 GOP candidates Elise Stefanik and Matt Dohney a “Republican Budget for Dummies” primer so they can stop evading questions.

A federal judge has ordered former Village Voice reporter Graham Rayman to turn over documents he gathered while reporting on police misconduct in the NYPD.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry thinks the START-UP NY ads are good, but wonders why they’re being run in New York City.

Former LG Richard Ravitch warned that the fiscal crisis facing state and local governments nationwide isn’t over, despite calls for tax breaks by many governors.

A discussion over the future of the 3 World Trade Center tower has exposed deep rifts among board members of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

De Blasio and NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton rejected the NYC Council’s call to hire another 1,000 police officers.

Brooklyn DA Ken Thompson no longer plans to criminally prosecute potheads without previous criminal records who are busted for possession of small amounts of marijuana.

The Cicero Town Board will vote on whether to conduct an ethics investigation into Supervisor Jessica Zambrano’s relationship with a member of the town’s engineering firm.

Here and Now

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is in Albany and New York City.

From 7 a.m. to 9 a.m., the Auburn Theological Seminary honors Chelsea Clinton and Linda G. Mills, Ph.D., Patricia Fili-Krushel, Sapreet Kaur, the Rev. Dr. Jacqueline J. Lewis, and Rabbi Jennie Rosenn at the 18th annual Lives of Commitment Benefit Breakfast, Cipriani 42nd Street, 110 East 42nd St., Manhattan.

From 8 a.m. to 9:30 a.m., ABNY presents a breakfast panel discussion about the Center for an Urban Future’s March report titled “Caution Ahead: Overdue Investments for New York’s Aging Infrastructure”; auditorium, first floor, New York Genome Center, 101 Sixth Ave., Manhattan.

At 9:05 a.m., NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio hosts an immigrant heritage breakfast at Gracie Mansion, 88th Street and East End Ave., Manhattan.

At 9 a.m., GOP gubernatorial candidate and Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino will attend the Archdiocese of New York Conversation with former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Union League Club, 38 E. 37th St., Manhattan.

From 9 a.m. to noon, Assemblyman Steve McLaughlin, Sen. Kathy Marchione and others host a forum on heroin and opioid addiction throughout the community, Hudson Valley Community College’s Bulmer Telecommunications Center Auditorium, Troy.

At 10 a.m., the governor attends the NY Rising Conference, Convention Center, Empire State Plaza, Albany.

Also at 10 a.m., Brooklyn BP Eric Adams will will speak out against rape and sexual assault in observance of Denim Day, an event where people are encouraged to wear denim in order to raise awareness of sexual violence, Brooklyn Borough Hall rotunda, 209 Joralemon St., Brooklyn.

Also at 10 a.m., airport workers attend press conference for higher wages and benefits at the Port Authority Headquarters, 225 Park Ave. South, Manhattan.

Also at 10 a.m., US Sen. Charles Schumer launches a tech conference featuring CEO’s from Brooklyn-based tech firms and Brooklyn colleges, National Grid Auditorium at 1 Metro Tech Center, Brooklyn.

At 11 a.m., NYC City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, Finance Committee Chair Julissa Ferreras and fellow Council members will deliver the FY 2015 budget response, Red Room, City Hall, Manhattan.

At 11:30 a.m., Rep. Michael Grimm kick off a petition drive calling on HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan not to move forward with plans to divert upwards of $1 billion in disaster relief funding away from Sandy recovery, 274 Coloney St., Staten Island.

At noon, Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis and Assemblyman Felix Ortiz publicize passage of legislation to award state contracts to businesses owned by disabled veterans; outside of U.S. Army Garrison Fort Hamilton, Fort Hamilton Parkway and 101st Street, Brooklyn.

At 12:30 p.m., de Blasio speaks at Cuomo’s NY Rising Conference, Empire State PLaza Convention Center, Albany. (The mayor will hold a press availability after his remarks in Meeting Room 5).

At 1 p.m., Sen. Adriano Espaillat receives a “major” endorsement for his primary challenge to Rep. Charlie Rangel, City Hall steps, Manhattan.

Also at 1 p.m., former LG Richard Ravitch speaks about his career in state government, Rockefeller Institute of Government, 411 State St., Albany.

At 1:30 p.m., Texas Gov. Rick Perry holds an event to discuss his “business recruitment trip” to NYC, Hill Country BBQ, 30 West 26th St., Manhattan.

At 2 p.m., the Port Authority Board of Commissioners meets, 15th floor of Port Authority headquarters, 225 Park Ave. South, Manhattan.

At 6 p.m., NYCHA and Assemblyman Keith Wright co-host a tenant workshop, Manhattanville Community Center, 530 W 133rd St., Manhattan.

Also at 6 p.m., Astorino will attend the Hispanic Federation Gala, Waldorf Astoria, 301 Park Avenue, Manhattan.

Also at 6 p.m., NY-21 GOP candidate Matt Doheny attends the Italian-American Civic Association Dinner, 192 Bellew Ave. S, Watertown.

At 7 p.m., de Blasio attends the Hispanic Federation Gala cocktail reception,
Basildon Room, Jade Room and Astor Room, Waldorf Astoria, 301 Park Ave., Manhattan.

At 8:15 p.m., Astorino will attend and deliver remarks at the Westchester Business Council Hall of Fame Dinner, Glen Island Harbor Club, 299 Weyman Ave., New Rochelle.

Headlines…

William Rapfogel, the former head of the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty, is expected to accept a plea deal in Mahattan Supreme Court with the state Attorney General’s Office that will put him behind bars for three to 10 years.

Another defendant charged in the Met Council scheme, David Cohen, who was Rapfogel’s predecessor at the council, is also scheduled to plead guilty before Judge Michael J. Obus.

The Cuomo administration did not immediately respond to Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s debate challenge, but the Democratic Governors Association did, recalling his poor performance in a 2011 presidential debate.

“A little free advice for Rick Perry: the fewer debates with anyone, the better,” said DGA spokesman Danny Kanner. “Oops!”

More >

Extras

“Issue-grabber” Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand is among the women whose political futures are complicated by Hillary Clinton’s possible 2016 run. Is there room for a two-woman ticket?

US Attorney Preet Bharara’s perfect record of 80 insider trading convictions without a single defeat, is on thin ice.

Former President Bill Clinton will endorse embattled Harlem Rep. Charles Rangel’s re-election to a 23rd term and work all-out to help him win.

Former LG Richard Ravitch was tapped by a federal judge to serve as a non-testifying consultant in the Detroit bankruptcy case. He won’t be paid.

De Blasio announced what his office called “the most sweeping update to New York City’s Air Pollution Control Code since 1975.”

Queens councilman Donovan Richards wants the mayor to appoint a permanent fire commissioner, and is calling for an investigation into NYC’s emergency medical system response time.

Nassau County DA Kathleen Rice picked up endorsements for her congressional campaign from some erstwhile contenders.

Members of the Broome County Democratic Caucus called on the AG’s office to investigate what they believe was a violation of state ethic laws by the county executive’s office.

Former Sen. Darrel Aubertine, now a special assistant to state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli, is involved in a controversy over a private water district in the North Country.

For the first time in his 12-term career, Assemblyman Bill Magee has lost the support of the Madison County Democrats.

The NY Observer’s “political power 80” is out.

IDC Leader Jeff Klein officially kicked off his re-election campaign, and has a campaign website.

The NYC Council’s proposed city budget, to be unveiled tomorrow, will include a $24 million universal school lunch program for all kids – regardless of how much money their  families make.

Dutchess County Comptroller Jim Coughlan, one of three GOP state Senate candidates in the 41st District, and the consulting/lobbying firm Park Strategies, have cut ties for the time being.

Five former Buffalo Jills cheerleaders sued the Buffalo Bills, alleging the team has exploited them by failing to pay them in accordance with the state’s minimum wage laws.

Fifty years after the 1964 World’s Fair opened, the New York State Pavilion was named a “National Treasure” on Tuesday by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

The Onondaga County Conservative Party has designated Democrat Toby Shelley as the party’s candidate for sheriff.

New York ranks in the bottom third of states with the worst taxpayer return on investment, a new report by WalletHub shows.

Mayor Stephanie Miner wants Syracuse residents to report potholes via Twitter, Facebook, email, or the city’s complaint website.

Here and Now

Happy Earth Day!

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

At 10 a.m., Brooklyn BP Eric Adams will commemorate Earth Day by joining the Citizens Committee for New York City to announce the awarding of a total of $15,465 in grants to 25 Brooklyn composting projects, Brooklyn Borough Hall rotunda, 209 Joralemon St., Brooklyn.

Also at 10 a.m., Rep. Chris Gibson attends a career fair at Columbia-Greene Community College, Route 23, Greenport.

At 10:45 a.m., Queens BP Melinda Katz and Assemblywoman Marge Markey join the National Trust for Historic Preservation to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the 1964 World’s Fair at Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Queens.

At 11 a.m. Former Mobil Oil executive vice president Lou Allstadt and local elected officials hold a press conference on hydrofracking, LCA Room (130), Legislative Office Building, Albany.

Also at 11 a.m., NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio will speak at Earth Day 2014 at Union Square, Manhattan.

At 12:15 p.m., Jim Halpert of DLA Piper discusses online privacy at a Business Council Technology Roundtable, The Hilton Albany, 40 Lodge St., Albany.

At 1 p.m., Sen. Cecilia Tkaczyk hosts a public forum on job creation in the Mohawk Valley, Fulton-Montgomery Community College, 2805 Route 67, Johnstown.

At 2 p.m., IDC Leader Jeff Klein launches his re-election campaign in Morris Park – the community where he grew up and currently resides, 1934 Yates Ave., the Bronx.

From 3 p.m. to 4 p.m., HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan and a member of the Bipartisan Policy Center’s Housing Commission, Realogy Holdings Corp. President and CEO Richard A. Smith, discuss U.S. housing sales and proposals to change mortgage regulations; Rudin Family Forum for Civic Dialogue, second floor, NYU Wagner, Puck Building, 295 Lafayette St., Manhattan.

At 4 p.m., former LG Richard Ravitch will deliver a talk on “The Fiscal Challenges Facing Local Governments” for the 2014 Edwin L. Crawford Memorial Lecture on Municipal Law, and also sign copies of his new book, Albany Law School.

At 5 p.m., Arizona Sen. John McCain attends a fundraiser for congressional candidate and state Sen. Lee Zeldin at 10 East 70th St., Manhattan.

From 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., Gibson will hold his official campaign kickoff at his campaign HQ, 2532 State Route 9H, Kinderhook.

Headlines…

This morning’s Siena poll also found that New Yorkers overwhelmingly disagree with Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s decision to shutter the corruption-busting Moreland Commission.

A contract agreement struck last week between the MTA and its largest union with Cuomo’s help contains a $2 million sweetener left unmentioned at a news conference announcing the deal.

A group of “outsiders” recommended curtailing the influence of the governors of New York and New Jersey in the Port Authority and operating it with less secrecy – tantamount to heresy for an agency board that has traditionally done little more in public than announce its decisions.

Comptroller Tom DiNapoli said the state is “in better fiscal shape thanks to an improving economy and difficult fiscal choices” in the new budget made by Cuomo and the state Legislature. But he also has some concerns about the spending plan.

Just weeks after New York signaled it would not send student information to inBloom, Inc., a nonprofit funded by philanthropists that aimed to build state-level databases, the company announced it would “wind down” its operations.

AG Eric Schneiderman, facing re-election this year, has hired former NYC Council Speaker and mayoral candidate Christine Quinn’s campaign manager Matt Tepper to fill the same role for him.

Sources tell the Daily News at least three top Cuomo administration officials, including Chief of Operations Howard Glaser, plan to leave this year.

The Assembly will continue to retain the firm Roemer, Wallens, Gold & Mineaux LLP for a fee of $80,000 to assist with “investigations pursuant to the Assembly sexual harassment/retaliation policy.”

The NYC Council has yet to pass a bill legalizing municipal identification cards, but that isn’t stopping Mayor Bill de Blasio from moving to enact the idea.

Phil Reisman notes Astorino’s team is hoping his 2009 come-from-behind win against entrenched Democratic Westchester County Executive Andy Spano is the template for his statewide run this year.

The Westchester Board of Legislators has turned down a request by Astorino to sue the federal government a second time over the loss of community development grants.

More >

Extras

A “mass exodus” from the Cuomo administration is expected after the November election due to a “miserable” and “micromanaged” working environment.

Josh Vlasto, who until recently served as Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s chief of staff before moving over the campaign, is heading for a private sector gig with JP Morgan Chase.

A clarification: The man behind the infamous “Dante’s Afro” ad,  John Del Cecato, is not working for Cuomo 2014. His partner, Michael Donilon, who didn’t work on that ad, is.

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio presented “The View” co-host Barbara Walters with an official proclamation declaring May 16 – the day she is expected to retire from the show - “Barbara  Walters Day.”

De Blasio heaped praise on IDC Leader Jeff Klein at a joint appearance today, but stopped short of endorsing the senator outright.

A major Pennsylvania health-care system invited New York to participate in a long-term, extensive study of fracking’s human impacts, but a partnership never materialized.

Activist/comedian Randy Credico channels Popeye in web video promoting his gubernatorial campaign.

John Cahill, the likely Republican candidate for attorney general, is expected to form an exploratory committee this week.

The WFP endorsed Rep. Charlie Rangel quickly in 2010, but so far has declined to back him in this election cycle.

FDNY Commissioner Sal Cassano is not sticking around in the de Blasio administration.

About 71 percent of NYC kids got their first choice for kindergarten.

State Budget Director Bob Megna called state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli’s concerns about the 2014-15 bduget “a bit stale.”

Citing “misunderstandings” and “misdirected criticism” in New York, inBloom’s CEO decides to “wind down” the organization in the coming months.

Hillary Clinton’s biographer Jonathan Allen says she is “campaigning for president right now; she’s just not an official candidate.”

De Blasio insists that businesses are not leaving NYC en masse.

Cuomo today urged the federal government to recall a toy known as “Clingy Darts,” which poses a significant danger to children.

In late 2012, activist and presidential candidate Ralph Nader sought a meeting with DEC commissioner Joseph Martens about fracking and got turned down.

The City of Niagara Falls is in danger of losing out on $2.2 million in guaranteed money used for things like demolition of blighted housing and youth programs.

National Grid is seeking regulatory approval to provide $4.2 million in emergency bill credits to low-income upstate customers hammered by high winter electric bills this year.

Here and Now

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

At 9 a.m., Members of a special oversight committee of the Port Authority’s board of commissioners hold a “Reform Panel Discussion” in public session, 225 Park Ave. South, Manhattan.

At 10:30 a.m., Yolanda Garcia, the late-entry candidate in NY-13, protests the “machismo” of Sen. Adriano Espaillat for challenging her petition signatures. 210 Sherman Ave., Manhattan.

At 11 a.m., NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio and First Lady Chirlane McCray appear live on “The View,”

Also at 11 a.m., Espaillat, challenging incumbent Rep. Charlie Rangel in NY-13, accepts an endorsement from the Laundry, Distribution & Food Service Joint Board, Workers United SEIU; Ernest Winzer Cleaners LLC, 1828 Cedar Ave., Bronx.

At 12:10 p.m., de Blasio visits a pre-K classroom, Riverdale Neighborhood House, 5521 Mosholu Ave., the Bronx. (After the visit, he’ll hold a press conference to encourage families to apply for pre-K).

At 2 p.m., NYC Public Advocate Letitia James attends the New York City Board of Health Hearing, 42-09 28th St., Long Island City, Queens.

From 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., Sen. Jose Peralta hosts a “small business forum” focused on the city’s new paid sick leave law, Langston Hughes branch, Queens Library, 100-01 Northern Blvd., Queens.

At 6:50 p.m., de Blasio speaks at the New York Times Cities For Tomorrow Conference, TimesCenter, 242 West 41st St., Manhattan.

Headlines…

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has assembled his re-election team of consultants and advisors – including AKPD Message and Media – the firm that made a star in last year’s NYC mayor’s race of Dante de Blasio and his Afro.

Howard Glaser, the man widely considered Cuomo’s top deputy, is reportedly stepping down at the end of the legislative session in June, and some insiders put a high probability on his landing a lucrative slot in the real estate industry.

Stuart Appelbaum, president of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, is the first major union leader to back IDC Leader Jeff Klein as he faces a potential primary from former NYC Councilman Oliver Koppell.

Prominent- and anonymous – Democrats tell Fred Dicker they don’t believe party members will support Cuomo for president in 2016 if Hillary Clinton doesn’t run.

Former Gov. David Paterson’s papers at Columbia University reveal the backstory of how he picked former Rep. Kirsten Gillibrand for Clinton’s US Senate seat when so many others – including Cuomo – were jockeying for it.

Nearly two-thirds of the city apartments recently listed on Airbnb were being offered in violation of the law, an analysis by the AG’s office has found.

Former LG Richard Ravitch is returning to Albany tomorrow to discuss the financial challenges facing local governments at Albany Law School.

More >

The Weekend That Was

The Common Core was introduced with the overwhelming support of Republican governors, but has since incited intense resistance on the right and prompted some in the party to reverse field and join colleagues who believe it will lead to a federal takeover of schools.

“At a time when many New Yorkers are confused or dismayed by the rapid pace of change in the public schools, (GOP gubernatorial candidate Rob) Astorino has a chance to shape an education platform that might appeal to diverse groups of Common Core critics.”

Brands including Barbie, iPod, Mug Root Beer and Life Savers showed up on the Common Core tests more than a million students in grades 3 through 8 took this month, leading to speculation it was some form of product placement advertising. Education officials insist this isn’t the case.

The U.S. energy boom is blurring the traditional political battle lines across the country. Democrats are split between environmentalists and business and labor groups, with the proposed Canada-to-Texas oil pipeline a major wedge.

Federal officials are considering spending more than $1 billion of the remaining $3.6 billion of rebuilding aid on disasters other than superstorm Sandy – money that New York and New Jersey are banking on to finish repairs to thousands of homes and complete major infrastructure projects.

Self-professed gearhead Gov. Andrew Cuomo opened up the New York Auto Show to the public on Saturday.

Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly will be fielding offers to join an ownership group for the Buffalo Bills while he continues his treatment for sinus cancer at a Buffalo hospital.

Much of the work that remains for the Legislature when it returns to Albany later this month falls in the so-called “progressive” category, and puts the focus on the bipartisan Senate leadership coalition.

Michael Hennessy, a primary challenger to veteran Assemblyman Bill Magee, said he has has gained new momentum in the race after landing the endorsement of Democrats from the incumbent’s home turf — Madison County.

Animal lovers rallied outside actor Liam Neeson’s Upper West Side apartment to oppose his loud support for the horse carriages in Central Park.

Bill O’Reilly doesn’t agree with the National Popular Vote bill that passed the Legislature and was signed into law by Cuomo.

Developer David Flaum once said a Catskills casino was the only gambling facility he planned to build in New York. It turns out this is not the case.

Some of the embattled Port Authority’s most formidable watchdogs were invited to its Manhattan headquarters on Monday to air their criticisms during a first-of-its-kind public discussion.

Bob McCarthy: “If Donald Trump’s “very serious” effort to buy the Buffalo Bills eventually succeeds, he might chalk it up to his not-so-serious flirtation with running for governor this year.”

A day after the MTA offered its workers a new contract with retroactive pay, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio insisted the deal doesn’t set a precedent for the city’s ongoing negotiations with its unions.

Security is tight in Boston as the city prepares for the first marathon one year after the deadly finish line bombing.

Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams responded to the Toronto Raptors’ trash-talking with a little trash-talking of his own.

The Dante de Blasio college tour stayed local Saturday, with NYC’s first family checking out Columbia University.

The State Police kept secret an evidence-handling scandal that erupted in 2011 at a bustling barracks in Westchester County in which drugs and other evidence were lost, leading to botched prosecutions, the retirement of two senior investigators and the forced resignation of a trooper accused of lying to internal affairs investigators.