Liz Benjamin

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Homepage: http://nystateofpolitics.com


Posts by Liz Benjamin

Extras

President Donald Trump said he can understand why his “friend” and former chief White House strategist Steve Bannon has declared war on the Republican establishment, including U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Trump stressed that he has “great relationships with many senators,” but added: “They not getting the job done, and I’m not going to blame myself.”

Trump told reporters he is “looking very, very strongly” at reforming the nation’s welfare system.

The president reportedly loves reminding his underlings who is in charge, and gets a kick out of joking about Vice President Mike Pence’s bigoted, anti-gay ideologies to his face, once saying that Pence “wants to hang” all gay people.

“I’m concerned he’d be a President that the Kochs would own,” Bannon said of Pence.

Following a report that Republican Pennsylvania Rep. Tom Marino, his nominee to head the Office of National Drug Control Policy, had played a leading role in weakening federal agents’ ability to stop suspicious shipments of opioids, Trump said he would “be looking into” the choice.

Hillary Clinton drew parallels between Harvey Weinstein and Trump, calling the disgraced Hollywood mogul’s behavior “disgusting” and “heartbreaking” – just like the presidential candidate once caught on camera bragging about sexually assaulting women.

The Weinstein Co. will receive an immediate cash infusion from Colony Capital, and is in negotiations for the potential sale of all or a significant portion of the company responsible for producing films such as “Django Unchained,” “The Hateful Eight” and “Lion.”

NBC play-by-play man Al Michaels has quickly apologized after making a joke about Weinstein during “Sunday Night Football.”

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt issued a directive to his agency seeking to end the practice of settling lawsuits with environmental groups behind closed doors, saying the groups have had too much influence on regulation.

The former presidential candidate arrived wearing a surgical boot to the BBC program The Graham Norton Show, as she revealed she took a tumble in high heels while holding a cup of coffee.

In her first interview since her initial comments regarding the Weinstein scandal, fashion designer Donna Karan couldn’t fully explain the “asking for it” comment, saying that she can’t believe those words came out of her mouth.

In the midst of the worst drug epidemic in American history, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s ability to keep addictive opioids off U.S. streets was derailed, according to a whistleblower and former DEA official, Joe Rannazzisi.

Trump’s youngest daughter Tiffany celebrated her 24th birthday last Friday evening in New York City surrounded by friends, family and, of course, the paparazzi.

Over the weekend, Trump enjoyed a night out with the first lady and his youngest son, Barron, for dinner at his hotel property in DC. It was the first time all three had been seen together publicly since Barron Trump returned with his parents from an overnight trip to Camp David earlier in August.

Stymied in their effort to get the Legislature and the governor to get on board with full legalization, marijuana advocates are supporting the idea of a constitutional convention.

Brooklyn’s Airbnb black market is booming despite the city’s best efforts to stamp out illegal rentals, according to an investigator hired by a hotel-industry group.

With more than a year to go until the 2018 election, Rep. John Katko holds a large financial advantage over one of his potential Democratic opponents in NY-24.

NY-22 Republican Rep. Claudia Tenney said she expects to be outspent by Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi and his Democratic supporters in the 2018 midterm elections after he raised almost twice the amount from campaign donors in the last quarter.

Harry Wilson, the 2010 Republican state comptroller candidate, is “seriously exploring” a gubernatorial bid in 2018, and plans to make a final decision by late fall.

A drone collided with a commercial aircraft in Canada last week — the first time such a crash has happened in North America, transportation officials said.

More than 32,000 state employees took home more than $100,000 in compensation last year, according to data obtained from the state comptroller’s office.

Long Island’s public schools, after more than $80 million spent on cleanup, repairs and renovations from damage caused by Superstorm Sandy, still lack adequate safeguards against flooding and power losses that caused massive disruptions of classes five years ago, educators said.

The State Board of Regents announced new regulations that will allow teachers from storm-ravaged Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands to get a temporary certification for work in New York.

Martins Backer Calls for BofE Probe of Curran Camapign (Updated)

As Election Day draws closer, the Republicans are continuing to hammer the Democratic Nassau County executive candidate, County Legislator Laura Curran, for her selection of the well-known Manhattan-based consulting firm BerlinRosen, which has been involved in controversies surrounding NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio.

In the latest salvo, a supporter of the GOP candidate, ex-Sen. Jack Martins, has penned a letter to Risa Sugarman, chief enforcement counsel at the state Board of Elections, calling for a probe of the transfer of just over $66,000 in three separate transactions by the Curran campaign to the state Democratic Party, which then turned around and used the money to pay BerlinRosen for direct mailers for Curran.

It’s a standard practice for state parties, which get reduced preferential postage rates from the U.S. Postal Service, to pay for mailers on behalf of candidates and campaigns. Even Martins himself is seeing the state GOP pay for mailers on his behalf, financial filings with the Board of Elections show.

But the complainant in this instance – one Donald Derhem of Floral Park, whom the Martins camp described as a longtime supporter with no formal campaign role – deemed the Curran campaign transfers to the state Democratic Party “illegal pass throughs,” noting candidates are not afforded the same taxpayer-funded benefit.

“By laundering its direct mail expenditures through the New York State Democratic Committee, Laura Curran 2017 illegally accessed a taxpayer subsidy expressly reserved for state party committees, and, as such, both violated the law and improperly converted public money to benefit her campaign,” Derhem wrote.

Derhem demanded that the “brazen scheme” result in the “suspension or revocation” of the state Democratic Party’s subsidized postage rate, and he made sure to cc the postmaster general on his letter to Sugarman.

He also noted – as if she needed any reminder – that BerlinRosen was a “central actor” in Sugarman’s investigation in de Blasio’s “conspiracy to circumvent campaign finance limits” by steering campaign contributions to county party committees to pay various vendors (including the consulting firm in question) that were assisting the Senate Democrats in their failed attempt to re-take the majority in 2014.

A report by Sugarman in 2016 found “willful and flagrant” violations of election law by a group of political operatives known as Team de Blasio in channeling cash through county and state party committees to three ultimately unsuccessful Democratic Senate candidates’ campaigns.

De Blasio’s campaign attorney insisted that the activities outlined by Sugarman were, in fact, “unquestionably authorized by the existing law.”

The report was forwarded to the office of Manhattan DA Cyrus Vance Jr., who eventually declined to bring any charges in connection with the probe.

The DA did, however, chastise de Blasio and his team for their actions that “appear contrary to the intent and spirit of the laws.”

And he also said his decision not to prosecute “does not foreclose the BOE or others from pursuing any civil or regulatory action that they determine might be warranted by these facts; such a remedy might well provide guidance to those involved in the electoral process.”

The Republicans clearly are still holding a grudge against de Blasio and BerlinRosen for their efforts back in 2014. And Martins is also taking a page from the playbook of his former conference by holding out the NYC mayor as some sort of liberal boogeyman intent on extending his political reach outside the confines of the five boroughs.

Also, ethics has been a big focus of this particular race, thanks to the corruption scandal that prevented the current GOP incumbent, Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano, from seeking another term. Curran’s camp has sought at every turn to tie Martins to various ethics scandals, including the one that ousted former Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos from office.

We reached out to the Curran campaign seeking comment on the Derhem letter, but so far have not received a formal response.

UPDATE: Curran campaign spokesman Philip Shulman emailed this response:

“Jack Martins is once again showing his true colors as a hypocritical machine career politician – hurling baseless allegations about something he is doing himself. Martins is running a desperate campaign to try to distract from his history of looking the other way on corruption, having defended his mentor Dean Skelos even after he was arrested on federal charges.”

Martins backer calls for B of E probe of Curran campaign. by liz_benjamin6490 on Scribd

Here and Now

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

President Donald Trump travels to Greer, SC this afternoon, where he will ­give remarks at a “McMaster for Governor” reception before returning to D.C. and the White house.

Prior to his departure, Trump will receive his daily intelligence briefing, and then he and Vice President Mike Pence will hold a cabinet meeting at 11:30 a.m.

Afterwards, Pence and Trump will lunch with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Later in the day, the VP will participate in the second round of the U.S.-Japan Economic Dialogue with Deputy Prime Minister Tarō Asō.

At 8 a.m., Assemblywomen Nily Rozic and Aravella Simotas speak at the Women Making it Work Breakfast, hosted by The Pregnancy Project, Cornell Club, 6 E. 44th St., Manhattan.

At 9 a.m., the state Board of Regents holds its two-day October meeting, 89 Washington Ave., Albany.

At 9:20 a.m., NYC Councilman Rory Lancman, the Legal Aid Society, other legal services providers and labor unions call for increased city funding to support legal services for low-wage workers, City Hall steps, Manhattan.

At 10 a.m., Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. will host a press conference at Woodlawn Cemetery to encourage cyclists to take part in the 23rd Annual Tour de Bronx, the largest free bicycling event in New York, 3800 Jerome Ave., the Bronx.

Also at 10 a.m., NYC Council members Helen Rosenthal and Ydanis Rodriguez will gather with advocates and others to call for the creation of an independent commission to study cost reform at the MTA, City Hall steps, Manhattan.

Also at 10 a.m., the NYC Department of Citywide Administrative Services holds a public hearing, 125 Worth St., second floor auditorium, Manhattan.

At 10:30 a.m., Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer attends ribbon-cutting for NYPL Schomburg Center renovations, Schomburg Center, 515 Malcolm X Blvd., Manhattan.

At 11 a.m., U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor hosts a Q&A with Queens College students, Queens College’s LeFrak Concert Hall, 65-30 Kissena Blvd., Queens.

Also at 11 a.m., UPROSE, The Climate Justice Alliance, Greenpeace USA and others in the #Our Power Puerto Rico campaign announce a brigade traveling to Puerto Rico to deliver aid, Brooklyn Bridge Park, Pier 6, Brooklyn.

At 11:30 a.m., the NYU Tandon School of Engineering celebrates the launch of the Veterans Future Lab, Veterans Future Lab, 87 35th St., second floor, Brooklyn.

At noon, Assemblyman Dan Quart, state Sen. Diane Savino, NYC Councilwoman Vanessa Gibson and advocates call for Gov. Andrew Cuomo to support reforming New York’s gravity knife laws, 100 Centre St., South Entrance Hall, Manhattan.

At 12:30 p.m., NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio holds a public hearing and bill signing, City Hall, Blue Room, Manhattan.

Also at 12:30 p.m., NYC Schools Chancellor Carmen Farina makes a College Access for All announcement, Pace High School, 100 Hester St., Manhattan.

At 1:15 p.m., de Blasio will hold a public hearing for and sign Intro. 1447-C, which increases safety training requirements for construction workers, City Hall, rotunda, Manhattan.

At 4 p.m., Brewer speaks at Municipal Art Society 2017 Summit panel discussion, Morgan Library & Museum, 225 Madison Ave., Manhattan.

At 4:45 p.m., Brewer speaks at the CUNY Board of Trustees Manhattan public hearing, CUNY Baruch College, 55 Lexington Ave., Room 14-220, Manhattan.

At 5:30 p.m., the Queens Borough Board meets, Queens Borough President Conference Room, 120-55 Queens Blvd., second floor, Queens.

At 6 p.m., Rep. Brian Higgins and the office of U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand host the 2017 Service Academy Night, 5950 Main St., Williamsville.

Also at 6 p.m., Rep. Joe Crowley hosts an event to celebrate Italian Heritage Month with the Bronx and Queens Italian-American communities, featuring keynote speaker Rep. Tom Suozzi, F & J Pine Restaurant, 1913 Bronxdale Ave., the Bronx.

Also at 6 p.m., NYC First Lady Chirlane McCray and the Gracie Mansion Conservancy will launch the second season of the Gracie Book Club with a discussion of Ann Petry’s “The Street,” Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, New York Public Library, 515 Malcolm X Blvd., Manhattan.

At 7 p.m., IDC Leader Jeff Klein, along with Rep. Eliot Engel, NYC Councilman Andrew Cohen and the Fieldston Property Homeowners Association will host an Anti-Hate Forum, Ethical Culture Fieldston School, 3901 Fieldston Rd., the Bronx.

At 7:30 a.m., de Blasio hosts a town hall meeting with residents of the 28th Council District, August Martin High School, 156-10 Baisley Blvd., Queens.

Headlines…

The Clinton Foundation told DailyMail.com it will not return as much as $250,000 in donations from Harvey Weinstein, saying the money had already been spent on the organization’s programs and used for charitable purposes.

The NYT details at great length the NYPD investigation into Weinstein’s 2015 groping in a Manhattan hotel of Ambra Battilana, a 22-year-old model from Italy, which eventually ended with no charges brought against the then-mogul by DA Cy Vance Jr.

The director Woody Allen, whose estranged son, Ronan, played a role in exposing the Weinstein scandal, addressed the wave of allegations against the ex-mogul, calling it “tragic for the poor women” but also warning against a “witch hunt atmosphere.” He later released a statement calling Weinstein “a sad, sick man.”

Weinstein traces the roots of his show business dominance to his arrival at the University of Buffalo campus in the fall of 1969.

By the time Vance Jr. met with the lawyer representing NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio in his year-old campaign finance probe of the mayor, the attorney’s firm and its partners had donated $70,000 to the top prosecutor, which he did not return to avoid a potential conflict of interest.

In a Daily News OpEd, Vance insisted he has “never allowed someone’s wealth, power, race, or campaign contributions to influence my decisions,” and announced the Center for the Advancement of Public Integrity has begun a 90-day independent review of how he handles contributions. In the meantime, he won’t be accepting “a single dollar more.”

Famed former Manhattan sex-crimes prosecutor Linda Fairstein, a best-selling novelist who in 2007 wrote a Vanity Fair column about wanting to make a movie with Weinstein, worked as a consultant for the mogul after he was accused of groping the Italian model.

As Vance’s campaign contributions have come under scrutiny, state Assemblyman Dan Quart said he’s introducing a bill to reign in how much New York prosecutors can accept in donations from defense attorneys.

Weinstein’s former company received more than $400,000 in state tax credits, and state Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal says it’s time to stop rewarding companies that turn a blind eye to sexual harassment.

The NYPD is investigating ​a woman’s claim, filed just last week, that Weinstein forced her to perform oral sex on ​him inside his Tribeca office more than a decade ago.

The Trump campaign spent more than $1.1 million on legal fees over the last three months — a sharp increase that coincided with the escalation of investigations into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson avoided the question of whether he truly called Trump a “moron,” dismissing the brouhaha as the “petty stuff” of Washington. Asked about a leading GOP senator’s comment – “You cannot publicly castrate your own secretary of state” – Tillerson replied: “I checked. I’m fully intact.

With a full-page ad in the Washington Post, “Hustler” publisher Larry Flynt has offered a $10 million bounty for anyone with information on the president that would lead to his “impeachment and removal from office.”

Trump, who has already appointed Neil Gorsuch to replace late Justice Antonin Scalia, reportedly predicted that Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg won’t last long in the Supreme Court.

Summer Zervos, a former contestant on “The Apprentice” who accused Trump of groping her a decade ago, has subpoenaed all documents from his campaign about every woman who has accused him of sexually inappropriate behavior.

Hillary Clinton has compared Russia’s alleged interference in the 2016 presidential election and her subsequent loss to Trump with the devastation of 9/11.

Clinton acknowledged that Russian President Vladimir Putin has notched some victories against the US and issued a warning that he still poses a significant threat, saying: “Keep an eye on him, because he’s not done.”

Former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick — who last year ignited a national discussion about racial injustice and, eventually, the national anthem — has filed a grievance against the NFL, contending that owners colluded to stop him from playing this season.

Puerto Ricans left powerless by Hurricane Maria should be back on line by mid-December, three months after being plunged into darkness, the island’s governor said.

Pop star Jennifer Lopez emotionally spoke out for hurricane-battered Puerto Rico Saturday at the benefit concert “One Voice: Somos Live!,” trying to assure the citizens of that U.S. territory that despite Washington’s much-criticized disaster response, their island is not forgotten.

More >

The Weekend That Was

The U.S. Justice Department has dispatched an experienced federal hate crimes lawyer to Iowa to help prosecute a man charged with murdering a transgender high school student last year, a highly unusual move that officials said was personally initiated by Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

Despite making quite clear his despise for his predecessor’s top domestic and international legacies in the form of Obamacare and the Iran nuclear deal, President Donald Trump hasn’t quite managed to do away with either of them yet, the New York Times reports.

Trump criticized the New York Times story stating that he has failed to fulfill campaign promises on undoing key Obama administration policies, calling the newspaper “failing” and pointing to early successes like exiting the international Paris climate accord and getting conservative Judge Neil Gorsuch on the U.S. Supreme Court.

Trump’s decision to end a provision of the Affordable Care Act helps fulfill a campaign promise, but it also risks harming some of the very people who helped him win the presidency, as nearly 70 percent of those benefiting from the so-called cost-sharing subsidies live in states he won last November.

Children are being given “short shrift” in the Brexit process, with some left feeling worried and unsafe, Hillary Clinton said while speaking at Swansea University in Wales, which presented her with an honorary doctorate.

Clinton cautioned Britain over its push to secure a trade deal with Trump after it leaves the European Union.

Clinton denied a report that her husband, former President Bill Clinton, told her not to publish her book about last year’s election, calling it “a flat-out lie.”

In an interview with CNN, Clinton again blamed former FBI Director James Comey for her loss in the 2016 presidential election.

Reacting in large part to Russian efforts to hack the presidential election last year, a growing number of states are upgrading electoral databases and voting machines, and even adding cybersecurity experts to their election teams.

Investigators for the special counsel’s office on Friday interviewed Trump’s former chief of staff, Reince Priebus, making him the first senior administration official known to have been interviewed by the special counsel’s office.

Bob Weinstein has no sympathy for his brother Harvey — who he claims has no “remorse” for his actions against his alleged victims.

“Saturday Night Live” finally got around to addressing the Harvey Weinstein scandal a week after it broke and seemed to atone by spending ample time on it.

Lisa Bloom regrets ever signing on to represent Harvey Weinstein as more and more women have come forward accusing him of sexual misconduct, saying it was a “colossal mistake.”

Long before Harvey Weinstein became one of the most powerful people in Hollywood – and now one of the most reviled – a Buffalo woman who worked as a production assistant on his first movie, “The Burning,” in 1980 says she was the target of his unwanted advances.

Anna Wintour, the artistic director of Condé Nast, broke her silence on the Weinstein scandal, saying his behavior is “is appalling and unacceptable,” and adding: “We all have a role to play in creating safe environments where everyone can be free to work without fear.”

France is reportedly considering stripping Weinstein of the state’s highest civilian distinction award, the Legion of Honor.

Weinstein‘s Academy membership has been revoked after the 54-member group held an emergency meeting on Saturday in the wake of countless accusations of sexual misconduct against the movie mogul.

The NYT editorial board weighs in on Manhattan DA Cy Vance Jr., who is under fire for his fundraising practices and failing to prosecute both Weinstein and Ivanka Trump and Donald Trump Jr., saying: “(A)s Mr. Vance belatedly realized, appearances matter, especially for those whose positions give them power to decide other people’s fates.”

Sen. Bob Corker, who publicly engaged in a war of words with the president earlier in the week, again said that Trump is undermining the work of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, attempting to “publicly castrate” him and endangering the U.S with his tweets and actions.

The nation has seen Corker, a reliable Republican senator from Tennessee, stunningly undermining his president. Chattanooga has seen it coming, for better or worse.

After threats of a lawsuit and accusations of bad faith, the Cuomo administration announced that it would release some $360 million in federal aid it had withheld from New York City’s public hospital system.

Rep. Chris Collins told the House Ethics Committee he once wired $1.3 million to Innate Immunotherapeutics and that he’d be remembered for its supposed miracle cure, but he also asked an NIH staffer to help the company and may have violated insider trading rules.

Collins backers are taking heart in the fact that nowhere in the 29-page Office of Congressional Ethics report is there any claim or any evidence that he wrote legislation on behalf of Innate Immunotherapeutics – the most explosive charge leveled against him by Rep. Louise Slaughter.

Former Trump adviser Steve Bannon rallied his shock troops Saturday at the Values Voter Summit, promising evangelical leaders a 400-electoral-vote re-election win for the president in 2020.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie projected confidence that federal funding for the full Gateway project will be secured, as he broke ground on a new Portal Bridge over the Hackensack River, part of the larger Gateway Tunnel project.

A climate change denier who believes carbon dioxide is a harmless gas and once said there are “almost no major environmental problems” has been nominated by Trump to serve as a top environmental adviser.

Twenty employees and volunteers from the state Department of Environmental Conservation went to Northern California to assist with wildfire efforts, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced.

The number of educators in New York is down nearly 15,000 positions over the past seven years, while salaries are up 10 percent over that stretch, new state records show.

The state Department of Labor has issued an emergency update to its minimum-wage regulations that reinforces its longstanding guidance to home health care employers to pay workers for just 13 hours of a 24-hour shift.

Some New York City teachers who got in trouble for insubordination or sleeping on the job who are part of the Absent Teacher Reserve could be permanently back in classrooms, as the Education Department places them in jobs this month.

A defense lawyer for the man accused of blowing up a bomb in Chelsea last year all but conceded that her client committed the crime, instead focusing her closing arguments to jurors — and claims of innocence — on a second, unexploded device found four blocks away.

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio’s re-election campaign begged supporters on Saturday to send him cash, blaming Trump in part for a recent fundraising advantage held by his GOP opponent, Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis — who said the desperate plea is proof the Democratic incumbent is “running scared.”

For the fourth consecutive year, de Blasio plans to hand out money to boost the salaries of school-bus drivers under a program that has already cost taxpayers nearly $100 million.

Five NYC Council members representing majority non-white districts have taken the unusual step of asking a judge to declare the city’s byzantine property tax system illegal, paving the way for reform.

HIV diagnoses in New York City last year fell to an all-time low of 2,279 in 2016, a decrease of more than 200 from 2015, thanks in large part to a new preventive drug, according to city health officials.

A former Rensselaer County assistant district attorney testified Friday before a special grand jury that’s investigating whether District Attorney Joel E. Abelove violated any laws in his controversial handling of an April 2016 fatal police shooting in Troy.

A $10 toll to cross the new Gov. Mario M. Cuomo Bridge would be much too high for Rockland County Executive Ed Day.

A rash of Canada geese deaths in Malone was caused by aspergillosis, a fungal disease that can infect the lungs and air sacs of waterfowl when they eat moldy grain, such as bread or livestock feed, or agricultural waste, local law enforcement officials determined.

The state’s judicial watchdog should investigate controversial Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Noach Dear, according to Assemblyman Michael Montesano, the ranking Republican member of the Judiciary Committee.

Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota has awarded almost $2.7 million in bonuses to prosecutors since 2012 without approval from county legislators, according to county records provided by County Executive Steve Bellone’s office.

Nassau County and its three towns say new or strengthened ethics laws will curb nepotism, but more than 100 current or former elected officeholders, high-level appointees and political club leaders — Republican and Democrat — have had at least one family member working in local government at some point since 2015.

A native caterpillar is wreaking havoc on sugar maple trees across northern New York, and one local expert said it could have a big impact on maple syrup production next year.

Despite fences erected to keep them away from a black-tie gala, hundreds of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute students on Friday voiced their anger at President Shirley Ann Jackson in a protest over the fate of their student union.

Officials at the Sage Colleges said they have recently concluded a $62.4 million fundraising campaign that surpassed their original $50 million goal and was the most successful fundraising effort in the institution’s history.

Troy police officers and sergeants will get a 2.01 percent raise under a settlement reached between the city and the Police Benevolent Association.

A Nassau bagpipe band has passed on the Jets’ invite to play during halftime over NFL players taking a knee during the national anthem, officials said.

When James J. Allen retired as executive director of the Amherst Industrial Development Agency in April 2016, the IDA kept paying him for another eight months. It wasn’t a payroll mistake.

Buffalo doctors are at the center of a national debate among surgeons: Skullcap or bouffant? It’s a question that has embroiled the medical community in a heated controversy over whether the head attire surgical teams wear could pose a risk of infection.

Officially speaking, Ross M. Cellino Jr. and Stephen E. Barnes are still partners in charge of their Buffalo-based Cellino & Barnes personal injury law firm. But in State Supreme Court, the two men continue to clobber away at each other — in an ugly legal dispute, now in its sixth month.

Ulster County’s Karen Peters marked her impending retirement from the Third Department’s Appellate Division by taking to the bench in her home county for the final time Friday.

Extras

President Donald Trump struck a blow against the 2015 Iran nuclear agreement in defiance of other world powers, choosing not to certify that Tehran is complying with the deal and warning he might ultimately terminate it.

Democratic state attorneys general today announced the first lawsuit challenging the Trump administration’s decision to halt subsidy payments that help lower the cost of health insurance for low-income Americans who are covered under Obamacare.

The Cook Political Report has deemed the NY-19 race, in which freshman GOP Rep. John Faso will be seeking re-election next year, a “toss-up.”

The House Democrat who represents the site of the Newtown, Conn. shooting, Elizabeth Esty, has introduced a bill in the wake of the Las Vegas massacre to ban guns with enhanced firing capability.

Ginia Bellafonte laments the lack of “a vibrant, impressive (and young) political class” in NYC.

Disgraced mogul Harvey Weinstein, who is facing possible expulsion from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences tomorrow, could also find his membership in the Producers Guild of America revoked before the day is over.

Director Oliver Stone initially came to Weinstein’s defense, but now he’s backing off — and he’s also facing sexual harassment allegation of his own.

The creators of “In the Heights” – including Lin-Manuel Miranda – are asking The Weinstein Co. to release the rights to a movie adaptation of the musical.

Speaking at a press conference for his film “Mother!,” director Darren Aronofsky addressed the Weinstein scandal saying: “It’s disgusting and it needs to be battled by everyone.”

Hachette Book Group has terminated its Weinstein Books imprint – the latest entity to distance itself from the scandal-scarred former Hollywood bigwig.

The fallout from the Weinstein scandal continued today, as protestors gathered outside Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance’s office to show their outrage over the way prosecutors handled a case involving the alleged sexual assault of a model in 2015.

Ending months of speculation, Maine Sen. Susan Collins announced she will forgo a run for governor to stay in the U.S. Senate, where she has become a crucial swing vote in Republicans’ narrow two-seat majority.

Two of the nation’s best known political strategists, Democrat David Axelrod and Republican Karl Rove, will see if they can find common ground next week in a joint appearance at Hamilton College.

The Citizens Budget Commission released a policy brief saying that tolls on the $4 billion replacement for the Tappan Zee (Mario M. Cuomo) may have to double to pay for it, in a proposed increase from $5 to $10.70.

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone says “unauthorized bonus payment” to longtime District Attorney Thomas Spota’s prosecutors were given without approval for the past five years, with the three most recent payments resulting in a nearly $900,000 hole in the county’s budget.

Rep. Elise Stefanik, whose northern New York district includes the Adirondack Park, has a nuanced response to the Trump administration canceling the Clean Power Plan, which would have reduced emissions from coal-fired power plants.

State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli thinks Cuomo has “made every indication that he’s running for re-election” next year, and won’t directly say whether he’ll run himself if the governor doesn’t.

Southampton, Long Island has issued notices to the owners of dozens of homes and hotel properties for overcrowding and a host of other code and safety violations, Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman said.

East Syracuse Minoa High School was locked down today after authorities found a threatening message this afternoon, though police searched the school and located no weapons.

Here and Now

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

President Donald Trump this morning will attend and speak at the 2017 Values Voter Summit at the Omni Shoreham Hotel.

In the afternoon, the president will deliver remarks on the Iran Strategy, and then later, together with First Lady Melania Trump, will visit the United States Secret Service James J. Rowley training facility.

Vice President Mike Pence will travel to New York City to deliver remarks at The Seminar Network’s Policy and Political Strategy Planning Retreat (at 1:45 p.m.), returning to D.C. this evening.

At 8:15 a.m., New York Law School’s CityLaw Breakfast Series continues with New York City First Deputy Mayor Anthony Shorris, New York Law School, 185 W. Broadway, Manhattan.

At 10 a.m., state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli holds a press conference to discuss the Dignity for All Students Act and how well schools are doing in enforcing the act, OUT Alliance, 100 College Ave., Rochester.

Also at 10 a.m., the NYC Campaign Finance Board meets, 100 Church St., 12th floor, Manhattan.

At 11 a.m., NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio will deliver remarks at the Battery Park Police Memorial Wall ceremony, 385 South End Ave., Manhattan.

Also at 11 a.m., U.S. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer launches an effort to push the House of Representatives to quickly pass the Harmful Algal Bloom and Hypoxia Research and Control Amendments Act of 2017, Old Grist Mill Restaurant, 69 Hamilton Rd., Burlingham.

Also at 11 a.m., Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie joins Assemblyman Frank Skartados on a tour of the former Beacon Correctional Facility , 50 Camp Beacon Rd., Beacon.

At noon, the National Organization of Women’s New York Chapter rallies outside of Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr.’s office in response to his failure to prosecute Harvey Weinstein for sexually assaulting a young model in 2015, 100 Centre St., Manhattan.

Also at noon, prominent leaders of Westchester’s African-American community are joining together to endorse County Executive Rob Astorino for re-election, Friendship Worship Center, 261 E. Lincoln Ave., Mount Vernon.

At 1 p.m., LG Kathy Hochul honors the legacy of New York Suffragists at Carrying the Torch: Girl Scouts Convention, Wesleyan Chapel, 136 Fall St., Seneca Falls.

Also at 1 p.m., Schumer, joined by patients, doctors, and administrators at Nathan Littauer Hospital calls for the immediate renewal of two Medicare payment programs critical to the health of rural hospitals across the Capital Region, Nathan Littauer Hospital, 99 E. State St., Gloversville.

At 2:20 p.m., de Blasio will appear live on “Keepin’ It Real with Reverend Al Sharpton” on SiriusXM Urban View Channel 126.

At 2:30 p.m., Schumer visits Niagara Engine Co. 6 to present a flag, which was flown of the U.S. Capitol, to the entire fire company as they prepare to open their new firehouse on Saturday, 114 Fort Rd., Schoharie.

At 6:30 p.m., Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. is honored at Lincoln Hospital’s Hispanic Heritage Month Celebration, Lincoln Hospital Auditorium, 234 E. 149th St., the Bronx.

Headlines…

President Donald Trump plans today to deliver a broad and harsh critique of Iran in a speech declaring that the landmark Iran nuclear deal is not in America’s national security interests.

Trump will scrap subsidies to health insurance companies that help pay out-of-pocket costs of low-income people – a decision disclosed hours after he ordered potentially sweeping changes in the nation’s insurance system, including sales of cheaper policies with fewer benefits and fewer protections for consumers.

Attorneys general from California and New York say they are prepared to sue the Trump administration to protect health-care subsides that the White House said would be cut off.

New York Democrats and health-care advocates said Trump’s policy provisions would undermine the delicate financial balance undergiurding health insurance — younger, healthier insurance policyholders and older, sicker ones paying into the same risk pool to keep costs at reasonable levels.

Trump will extend a March 5 deadline to end protections for young undocumented immigrants if Congress fails to act by then, according to a Republican senator who spoke directly with the president about the issue.

If the DACA deal-making in D.C. drags on too long, it could be disrupted by a different force: a federal judge in Brooklyn who has sternly warned that should policy makers prove unable to repair the program, he might have to do it.

John Kelly, the White House chief of staff made an unusual appearance from the briefing room podium yesterday, addressing head on rumors about his future in the West Wing. (He said that as of yesterday, he’s not going anywhere or being fired).

Kelly said the president is frustrated by both the media and Congress.

CNN anchor Erin Burnett labeled Trump the “hypocrite-in-chief” after he signed his 50th executive order in office – something he he harshly criticized former President Obama for doing.

House Speaker Paul Ryan went on the offensive against high-tax states like California, New York and New Jersey, even though disgruntled GOP lawmakers from those states need to be brought on board to support the $6 trillion tax overhaul.

The choice of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders as the lead speaker at the women’s convention in Detroit has sparked criticism from commentators, who suggested that a woman should have opened the event.

Former U.S. Secretary of State and presidential nominee Hillary Clinton is in talks with Columbia University to take on a formal role at the Ivy League — and potentially house her archives there, multiple sources told the Daily News.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said yesterday he will give away all contributions Harvey Weinstein made to his political campaigns, hours after defending his decision to donate less than half.

In a statement, Cuomo’s campaign signaled it would donate more than $111,000 to unnamed women’s organizations, reversing its previous decision to give away only $50,000, the amount the disgraced film mogul gave to the governor’s 2018 campaign.

Basil A. Smikle Jr., the executive director of the state Democratic Party, who issued the statement on behalf of the governor’s campaign, said such a move was necessary to “dispense with the Republican ploys and focus on the real issues.”

“My message to everyone with current accounts with money from Harvey Weinstein is: Give that money back. Give it to charity. Get the hell away from it,” NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio said. “No one in their right mind should be keeping money from Harvey Weinstein.”

The lawyer who helped Weinstein avoid charges for admittedly groping a model in 2015 has donated $26,550 in campaign cash to Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. — including $2,100 after Vance let Weinstein off the hook.

The National Organization for Women of New York will hold a demonstration today outside Manhattan Criminal Court at noon to protest the DA’s decision not to bring charges against the film titan.

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Extras

President Trump signed an executive order that clears the way for potentially sweeping changes in health insurance, including sales of cheaper policies with fewer benefits and fewer protections for consumers than those mandated under the Affordable Care Act.

White House chief of staff John Kelly insists he’s not leaving his position, despite recent reports claiming he’s at odds with Trump.

Trump suggested that Puerto Rico is going to have to shoulder more responsibility for recovery efforts from Hurricane Maria, saying the federal government’s emergency responders can’t stay there “forever.”

Actress Rose McGowan’s Twitter account was temporarily suspended because one of her tweets regarding the Harvey Weinstein scandal included a private phone number, according to the social-media company.

Without mentioning the governor by name, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio demanded his fellow Democrats purge their coffers of contributions from Weinstein, saying anyone who keeps his cash is “not in their right mind.”

But, like Cuomo, de Blasio also said he can’t give back any cash he received from Weinstein – in his case, a $500 contribution made in 2001 during his successful run for the NYC Council – that has already been spent.

The NYPD has launched an investigation to find out whether there are additional sexual harassment or assault accusations against Weinstein.

“Dawson’s Creek” actor James Van Der Beek revealed on Twitter that he’d been groped by an older male executive in a position of power in the past.

About 1,000 state agency computers were frozen for two days this week due to a glitch in a security patch that Microsoft sent on Tuesday night, with the “blue screen of death” displaying on the state Department of Health and other agencies’ computers since Wednesday morning.

Russian efforts to meddle in American politics did not end at Facebook and Twitter. A CNN investigation of a Russian-linked account shows its tentacles extended to YouTube, Tumblr and even Pokémon Go.

The Department of Justice sternly warned a group of major cities – including New York – that they remain in violation of federal law by adopting so-called “sanctuary city” policies that shield undocumented immigrants from being reported to the feds.

Long Island can “own the space” in biomedical technology if it succeeds in commercializing the region’s research, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said today at a groundbreaking for the $75 million Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Center for Therapeutics Research.

After Steve Bannon appeared on Fox News on Monday to declare war on Republican Senate incumbents and call for Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker to resign, he received a text from an unlikely fan: Jared Kushner.

NYSUT and its largest local affiliate, the UF, today sued to block the SUNY Charter Schools Committee from implementing illegal regulations that undermine the teaching profession by allowing unqualified teachers to work in SUNY-authorized charter schools.

Nicholas Wan, a 27-year-old Binghamton man promising “America’s most radical congressional campaign,” has launched an unconventional bid to challenge conservative Rep. Claudia Tenney in a Republican primary.

The car used by Franklin Delano Roosevelt during his time as New York governor got its turn in the reality television spotlight last month, featured in the Sept. 5 episode of Chasing Classic Cars, though few state-government watchers seemed to notice.

Suffolk County Legislator Kate Browning announced she will seek the Democratic nomination to run against Rep. Lee Zeldin next year.

Ithaca Mayor Svante Myrick: “Financial adversity and scarcity and austerity, and being shocked into a global awareness, means that our generation is primed and prepared for greatness.”

New York is a top-10 contender for Amazon’s much-sought-after second headquarters but faces stiff competition, according to a just-released analysis from Moody’s Analytics.

At a meeting of a plastic bag task force created by the governor, representatives of various groups seemed to agree that they would by year end recommend some sort of control on the bags which can be seen littering roadsides across the state.

Former Syracuse Chiefs general manager John Simone has made his views known about the planned deal to sell the franchise to the New York Mets, accusing Chiefs president Bill Dutch of cashing out on the team and being a sellout.

Putnam town supervisors have turned on County Executive MaryEllen Odell, claiming she snubbed them this summer over a shared-services plan to save tax dollars.

Here and Now

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is in Suffolk County and New York City.

President Donald Trump will be joined by Vice President Mike Pence as he signs an Executive Order to promote healthcare choice and competition.

Later in the day, Pence attends Trump’s announcement of the Secretary of Homeland Security nominee.

At 9 a.m., a bi-partisan coalition of community leaders and residents call for a complete review of environmental hazards in the residential communities of Southeastern Queens, Tuskegee Airmen Way.

At 9:30 a.m., Republican NYC mayoral candidate Nicole Malliotakis meets with Sen. Ruben Diaz Sr., a conservative Democrat who will likely soon be a NYC Council member, Christian Community Neighborhood Church, 1437 Longfellow Ave., the Bronx.

At 10 a.m., Cuomo delivers remarks, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, 1 Bungtown Rd., Cold Spring Harbor, Long Island.

Also at 10 a.m., NYC Council members Brad Lander, Carlos Menchaca, Bill Perkins, Mark Levine and Corey Johnson plan to introduce legislation that will guarantee the city’s underground location and utility damage prevention workers are not subject to abusive employment practices, City Hall steps, Manhattan.

At 10:30 a.m., independent Syracuse mayoral candidate Ben Walsh holds a press conference to announce his youth jobs plan at the future office of the Digital Hyve, 126 N. Salina St., Syracuse.

At 10:45 a.m., Malliotakis holds a roundtable with members of the Latino press, 120 W. 45th St., 10th Floor, Manhattan.

At 11 a.m., NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio and NYC Schools Chancellor Carmen Farina visit a workshop for 3-year-olds and their parents at the Queens Explorers Elementary School, 90-07 101st Ave., Ozone Park, Queens. (A media availability will follow).

Also at 11 a.m., state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli, other elected officials and parents of children with disabilities hold a press conference on a new savings/investment program to help people with disabilities pay for expenses without losing their federal benefits, 110 State St., Manhattan.

Also at 11 a.m., Sen. Jose Peralta announces a capital improvement project for the Lexington School for the Deaf, 25-26 75th St., Queens.

Also at 11 a.m., public school parents, StudentsFirstNY and prominent clergy leaders rally to insist that de Blasio scrap his proposal to force unwanted teachers into New York City schools, City Hall Steps, Manhattan.

At 11:45 a.m., Cuomo delivers remarks, CYO-MIV Community Center, 6541 Hylan Blvd., Staten Island.

At noon, Common Cause/NY, Easy Elections NY, and partners rally in Halloween costumes and masks to warn New Yorkers and lawmakers about the Friday the 13th deadline for party registration in the 2018 primaries, City Hall Steps, Manhattan.

Also at noon, LG Kathy Hochul highlights the impact of federal funding cuts on new York families, Health Alliance Hospital, Mary’s Avenue Campus, 105 Mary’s Ave., Kingston.

At 1 p.m., Malliotakis starts a walking tour of Chinatown, during which she will meet with local community and business leaders, starting at the Joy Luck Palace Restaurant, 98 Mott St., Manhattan.

At 1:30 p.m., Democratic Syracuse mayoral candidate Juanita Perez Williams and the Onondaga County Veterans Party will hold a joint press conference announcing the endorsement of her campaign, DeWitt Town Hall, 5400 Butternut Dr., East Syracuse.

Also at 1:30 p.m., Success Academy Charter Schools CEO Eva Moskowitz and Bronx Charter School for the Arts Principal Richard González rally to demand that de Blasio provide public space for them to open six public charter middle schools next year, City Hall steps, Manhattan.

At 2:30 p.m., Hochul tours the Fage Yogurt Factory, 1 Opportunity Dr., Johnstown.

At 3:30 p.m., NYC Public Advocate Letitia James releases a plan to support Puerto Ricans and U.S. Virgin Islanders who were displaced from their homes following hurricanes Maria and Irma, Office of the Public Advocate, 1 Centre St., 15th floor N., Manhattan.

At 4 p.m., Hochul participates in a walking tour of downtown Cobleskill with Mayor Linda Holmes, starting at the Brick House Bakery, 503 West Main St., Cobleskill.

At 5:30 p.m., Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. hosts an Italian Heritage Month Dinner, Schiff Family Great Hall, Bronx Zoo, 2300 Southern Blvd., the Bronx.

At 6 p.m., the state Conservative Party holds its fall reception, Sheraton New York Times Square Hotel, 811 7th Ave., Manhattan.

At 6:15 p.m., Hochul delivers remarks at the Celebrating the Women of the Mohawk Valley YWCA event, 4579 State Route 28, Herkimer.

At 7 p.m., de Blasio participates in a town hall, P.S. 188, 442 East Houston St., Manhattan.

At 8:40 p.m., Malliotakis meets with the North Queens Homeowners Civic Association of Jackson Heights, Lexington School and Center for the Deaf, 25-26 75th St., Queens.

At 9:10 p.m., Malliotakis meets with the Queens County Civic Association, Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, 246-55 87th Ave., Queens.

Headlines…

President Donald Trump continued to threaten to abandon NAFTA, even as Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau stressed that changes could improve it and as lawmakers such as Rep. Tom Reed of Corning pushed for provisions that would benefit farmers in New York.

Trump announced he will be signing an executive order today to undermine Obamacare after efforts to repeal and replace it failed in Congress.

The president will seek to relax health care standards on small businesses that band together to buy health insurance and may take steps to allow the sale of other health plans that skirt the health law’s requirements.

Trump pitched his tax plan as a boost for truckers at an event in Pennsylvania, saying, “America first means putting American truckers first.”

A maintenance worker said he told hotel dispatchers to call police and report a gunman had opened fire with a rifle inside Mandalay Bay before the shooter began firing from his high-rise suite into a crowd at a nearby musical performance.

House Speaker Paul Ryan called for regulatory action – not legislation – on bump stocks, the device used by the Las Vegas shooter to convert semi-automatic weapons into automatic firearms, calling that the fastest and most efficient way to address this problem.

Sen. Ben Sasse, a Nebraska Republican, took Trump to task for his renewed attacks on the media, saying: “Are you tonight recanting of the oath you took on January 20th to preserve, protect, and defend the First Amendment?”

Fueled by the return of strong winds, the wildfires tearing through California wine country exploded in size and number as authorities ordered new evacuations and the death toll climbed to 23 – a figure expected to rise higher still.

The New York GOP slammed Cuomo for failing to return all the campaign contributions he received from scandal-tarred movie executive Harvey Weinstein.

The Democratic National Committee itself stopped short of promising a full giveaway of Weinstein cash, pledging to give “over $30,000” of the more than $300,000 donations he made to political groups that work to elect women.

Hillary Clinton tore into Weinstein over the plethora of sexual abuse allegations against him, vaguely suggesting she would give away to charity the money he’s contributed to her political campaigns.

Clinton said that the donations will be “part of” the 10 percent of her income that she donates to charity each year, but it was unclear whether she meant that the money from Weinstein would be in addition to that existing amount.

Celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain is not letting Clinton off the hook for her friendship with Weinstein, calling her response “shameful in its deflection and its disingenuousness.”

Bob Weinstein and three other members of the rapidly dwindling board of The Weinstein Company said they were shocked by the allegations and unaware of payments made to women who complained about Harvey Weinstein’s behavior. But it appears the company knew of the situation for at least several years.

The NYPD has Weinstein back in its sights — dispatching detectives to search for evidence against the disgraced movie mogul who’s been accused of rape and sex assault by at least three women.

Under the state constitution, Cuomo could – if he so chooses – remove from office Manhattan DA Cy Vance Jr., who is under fire for declining to prosecute cases against Weinstein and Trump’s eldest children and accepting campaign cash from lawyers linked to those would-be defendants in the process.

More >

Extras

President Donald Trump continued to assail the media today, saying: “It is frankly disgusting the press is able to write whatever it wants to write. People should look into it.”

Trump suggested that NBC’s broadcast license should be pulled as punishment for the network’s reporting on his national security meetings, opening a new front in the president’s long-running battle with the press.

Several people close to the president have recently – anonymously – said that Trump is “unstable,” “losing a step,” and “unraveling.” (The White House denies this).

Trump’s planned visit to the United Kingdom next year has been downgraded from a “state visit” to a “working visit,” which will not include an audience with the Queen nor the “pomp and flummery” that an official state visit calls for.

NAFTA, long a punching bag for Trump, is edging closer toward collapse as negotiators gather for a fourth round of contentious talks in Washington, D.C. this week.

The president’s increasingly bellicose rhetoric aimed at North Korea has pushed the US and the communist dictatorship to the brink of nuclear war, according to the North’s foreign minister.

Trump has reportedly selected Kirstjen Nielsen, a top White House aide and a former homeland security official in the George W. Bush administration, to lead the Department of Homeland Security.

Embracing a historic change, the Boy Scouts of America announced plans to admit girls into the Cub Scouts starting next year and to establish a new program for older girls using the same curriculum as the Boy Scouts.

Google searches for hundreds of state and local Republican committees across the nation, including those in Nassau and Suffolk, appeared today to have been hacked to show a slogan saying “Repeal and Replace Trump,” with the “T” replaced with the hammer and sickle, a communist symbol.

The University at Buffalo has begun the process to revoke the honorary degree it granted Harvey Weinstein, the longtime Hollywood producer who is now the subject of numerous allegations of sexual assault and harassment from women.

Jay-Z is reportedly talking with his team about buying Weinstein’s interest in The Weinstein Company.

In the wake of news that Manhattan DA Cyrus Vance declined to bring charges against Weinstein over an alleged assault of an Italian model, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio says he isn’t second-guessing the prosecutors, though he called the allegations against the former Hollywood mogul “serious.”

Vance said he has no regrets about his decision to not prosecute Weinstein in 2015, but will “rethink” his practice of taking campaign contributions from law firms representing clients who might be prosecuted by his office.

Vance has a last-minute, write-in challenger in November: former Brooklyn Assistant District Attorney Marc Fliedner.

Rep. Tom Reed hopes Trump and Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman Bob Corker can resolve their dispute over the senator’s recent criticism of the president, but he’s “comfortable” with Trump and his leadership.

Buffalo Bills Hall of Famer Thurman Thomas said he supports NFL player protests during the playing of the national anthem at games and doesn’t believe the players should be viewed as disrespecting the military. “This is something that we as African-Americans feel very, very proud of, what we’re doing right now,” he added.

Local governments would receive more money from Western Regional Off-Track Betting Corp. if its Batavia Downs Gaming site was taxed at the same rate as other sites in the state. Western OTB President and CEO Henry F. Wojtaszek called for tax parity legislation today.

A Minoa woman has been accused of leaking grand jury secrets to acquaintances, one of whom fled the state to avoid arrest in a large drug bust, the state Attorney General’s Office said.

The leaders of the Republican, Conservative and Working Families parties all have come out against the referendum to hold a state constitutional convention. Now, the head of the state Democratic Party – Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown – has joined them.

The town of North Elba will enlist a UAlbany law school professor to, on the town’s behalf, appeal the decision of a Franklin County judge that the state’s plan to build a 34-mile rail trail from Lake Placid to Tupper Lake was “arbitrary and capricious” and failed to follow numerous state laws.

Sen. John Brooks has asked the state comptroller to retract a controversial request for proposals to develop five parcels at Republic Airport in East Farmingdale, citing insufficient competitive bidding and community input.

As Rep. John Katko testified before a House subcommittee today, he shared the stories of young central New Yorkers whose lives were cut short due to opioid or synthetic drug overdoses.

Cuomo received his first batch of bills – 42 in all – in roughly a month today, including a measure that would decriminalize certain types of knives that often are used as work tools while keeping in place a ban on gravity knives and switchblades.

After finding a bed bug in one of its schools, the Baldwinsville Central School District plans to use specially trained bed bug-sniffing dogs to search all of its buildings to see if there are more of the insects.

Here and Now

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

President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump this afternoon will welcome Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mrs. Grégoire Trudeau of Canada to the White House, after which the president and the prime minister will meet.

Later, Trump will depart the White House for Joint Base Andrews, en route to Harrisburg, PA, where he will give remarks on tax reform before returning to spend the night in D.C.

Late this afternoon, Vice President Mike Pence and Second Lady Karen Pence will host a National Hispanic Heritage Month reception at the VP’s residence at the Naval Observatory.

At 7:30 a.m., Republican NYC mayoral candidate Nicole Malliotakis appears on “Good Day New York,” Channel 5 – Fox 5 WNYW.

At 9 a.m., Columbia University holds a panel assessing 50 years of activist by the Rev. Al Sharpton, where expected attendees include the Rev. Jesse Jackson, former NYC Mayor David Dinkins, former Gov. David Paterson, NY1’s Errol Louis and others, 2950 Broadway, Manhattan.

At 10 a.m., the NYC Taxi and Limousine Commission hosts its 4th annual Vision Zero Safety Honor Roll event for the safest drivers, bases and fleets, Tribeca Performing Arts Center, 199 Chambers St., Manhattan.

Also at 10 a.m., LG Kathy Hochul highlights the impact of federal funding cuts on NY families, John E. Pound Early Childhood Center, 51 High St., Lockport.

At 10:30 a.m., leaders from Batavia Downs Gaming/Western Regional Off-Track Betting Corporation and spokesman Thurman Thomas will join Niagara County leaders to present a significant community development contribution, Niiagara County Courthouse Rotunda, 175 Hawley St., Lockport.

At 11 a.m., NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio delivers remarks at a FDNY Memorial Day Ceremony, Firemen’s Memorial, W. 100th Street and Riverside Drive, Manhattan.

At 11:30 a.m., Suffolk County Presiding Officer DuWayne Gregory and LGBT Network President/CEO Dr. David Kilmnick will join other officials to discuss the steady rise of LGBT harassment in schools and the workplace, Suffolk County Legislature, 725 Veterans Memorial Highway, William J. Lindsay Complex, Smithtown, Long Island.

Also at 11:30 a.m., groups representing immigrants will join with labor leaders and elected officials to urge New Yorkers to vote “no” on Nov. 7 on the ballot question that calls for a state constitutional convention, UFT headquarters, 52 Broadway, Manhattan.

At noon, NYC Councilman Mathieu Eugene joins elected officials, school administrators, and clergy members for the launch of “District 40 Cares,” a collaborative relief effort to provide supplies to those affected by the devastation caused by hurricanes in Puerto Rico and the Caribbean and the earthquake in Mexico, 900 Rogers Ave., Brooklyn.

Also at noon, the Stonewall National Monument hosts special ceremony dedicating the Rainbow Flag, marking the first time that the flag is displayed permanently on federally-funded land, West Fourth Street, Manhattan.

Also at noon, Assemblyman Sean Ryan will announce state funding for Jewish Family Service (JFS) of Buffalo and Erie County to be used to expand services for WNY Holocaust survivors, Temple Beth Zion (Auditorium), 805 Delaware Ave., Buffalo.

At 12:15 p.m., Hochul delivers the keynote address at the Upstate Latino Summit, 200 Genesee St., Utica.

At 1:30 p.m., Malliotakis holds a press conference with NYC Council candidate John Cerini, in front of 2800 Bruckner Blvd., the Bronx.

Also at 1:30 p.m., Democratic Westchester County executive candidate George Latimer will announce a new measure to increase transparency and hold county officials accountable, Rye City Village Green, 1051 Boston Rd., Rye.

At 2 p.m., Oneida County Executive Anthony J. Picente Jr. will present the finalized Oneida County Shared Services Panel Savings Plan to the public during the monthly meeting of the Board of Legislators, Oneida County Board of Legislators Chamber, 10th Floor, Oneida County Office Building, 800 Park Ave., Utica.

At 3 p.m., Hochul highlights the impact of federal funding cuts on NY families, Elsie Owens Community Health Center, 82 Middle Country Rd., Coram.

At 6 p.m., Queens College hosts reception celebrating the 80th anniversary of the first day of classes at the school, with Queens Borough President Melinda Katz, CUNY Chancellor James Milliken, and Queens College President Felix Matos Rodriguez, Aaron Copland School of Music, 65-30 Kissena Blvd., Flushing, Queens.

Also at 6 p.m., former VP Joe Biden will be honored at the Anti-Violence Project’s Annual Courage Awards, Pier 59, 23rd St and West Side Highway, Manhattan.

Also at 6 p.m., the MTA hosts the second in a series of open houses on a planned redesign of Staten Island’s express bus network to align with the results of a comprehensive two-year customer experience study, Regina M. McGinn, MD Medical Education Center, 475 Seaview Ave., Staten Island.

Headlines…

The Trump administration is seeking an additional $4.9 billion in emergency hurricane aid to stave off what Puerto Rico’s governor recently warned could become a fiscal catastrophe.

Senate Republicans are imploring Trump and Sen. Bob Corker to end their increasingly ugly feud, fretting that it’s threatening to further hobble the party’s flagging agenda. But the public tit-for-tat has shown no sign of abating.

Former President Obama and 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton both denounced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein as allegations of rape and sexual harassment increased against the prominent Democratic donor.

Top actresses Gwyneth Paltrow and Angelina Jolie came forward with their own allegations of sexual harassment against the mogul.

At 22 years old, and newly cast by Weinstein for the lead in the Jane Austen adaptation “Emma,” Paltrow said she rebuffed the mogul’s advances, and told her then-boyfriend, Brad Pitt, who confronted Weinstein, after which Weinstein told Paltrow not to mention the incident to anyone else.

Actress Rose McGowan accused Ben Affleck of lying about his knowledge – or lack thereof – of Weinstein’s alleged sexual harassment and assaults of women.

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. reportedly had evidence of Weinstein’s sexually predatory behavior toward a woman, but didn’t pursue the case.

Weinstein’s wife, fashion designer Georgina Chapman, broke her six-day silence on the scandal involving her husband to announce she’s leaving him.

Weinstein could still be on the hook for criminal charges — following an actress’ horrifying allegation of forced oral sex in his Tribeca office and an anonymous employee’s rape claim.

In a video that aired last night during BET’s Hip Hop Awards, rapper Eminem performed a freestyle feature, slamming Trump as “a kamikaze that’ll probably cause a nuclear holocaust.”

Authorities have revised the timeline for last week’s mass shooting in Las Vegas, raising new questions about the hotel’s response to an attack that killed 58 people and injured several hundred more.

The U.S. Supreme Court dismissed an appeal in one of the cases challenging President Trump’s efforts to limit travel to the United States, calling an earlier version of the ban moot because it has expired.

Email correspondence revealed about a July 2016 meeting between Donald Trump Jr. and a Russian attorney at Trump Tower contradict previous reports, suggesting the meeting was not set up to pass on damaging information about Clinton on behalf of the Russian government.

The three leading candidates for NYC mayor faced off at Manhattan’s Symphony Space last night during a debate that at times felt more like a wrestling match or a street fight than a moderated discussion.

“It’s a real New York debate!” moderator Errol Louis, host of NY1’s “Road to City Hall,” said over the cheers and chants of the raucous crowd.

The spark-emitting, 90-minute free-for-all quickened the pulse of a campaign that has often seemed without one, even with just four weeks until the Nov. 7 election.

After months of criticism on policy from all sides, this was the first time the three rivals – Democratic incumbent Bill de Blasio, Republican Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis and independent Bo Dietl – had been in the same room together to take on the issues most important to NYC voters.

A quick analysis of assertions made at the wild debate suggests de Blasio found comfort in relying on the facts of his record, while his opponents assailed it.

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