Liz Benjamin

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Posts by Liz Benjamin

Extras

While in Chinatown, Democratic LG candidate Tim Wu slammed his primary opponent, Kathy Hochul, for her “damning” record on immigration.

The Personal Democracy Forum endorsed Teachout and Wu, saying they “get” how technology can improve democracy and empower “ordinary” citizens.

Teachout has raised nearly 65 percent of her campaign cash from New Yorkers compared to 81 percent for GOP candidate Rob Astorino and 82 percent for Gov. Andrew Cuomo, NYPIRG found.

Despite the Moreland mess, the New York real estate sector is “doubling down on the ‘Prince of Darkness’ (Cuomo).”

Wu raised $30,000 from a tech executive and companies tied to IAC chairman Barry Diller, who has been outspoken in his support of net neutrality.

Sen. Tom Libous has spent more than $100,000 in campaign funds on attorneys this year.

NYS Rifle and Pistol Association President Tom King on Hochul: “She used to be one of us and just like (US Sen.) Kirsten Gillibrand she switched to the other side.”

NY-23 candidate Martha Robertson’s new TV ad (the second of this cycle), doesn’t mention she’s a Democrat.

The NY Daily News endorsed Cuomo, saying he has been a “superior governor”, but makes no mention of his running mate, former Rep. Kathy Hocul.

Teachout slammed the way Cuomo handled the casino referendum, calling it “shameful.”

NYC’s first lady, Chirlane McCray, campaigned in Brooklyn with Hochul, whom she called her “friend” and a “fabulous person.”

Rep. Michael Grimm’s trial on mail, wire fraud and tax charges will begin with jury selection on Dec. 1.

Bloomberg has hired Dave Weigel, a senior political reporter at Slate, for its new politics venture being helmed by Mark Halperin and John Heilemann.

State Education Commissioner John King released a “back to school” video.

IDC Leader Jeff Klein vs. Hochul on the Women’s Equality Act.

By a 66-23 percent margin, New York City voters want to host the 2016 Democratic National Convention, according to a new Q poll.

The publication of Cuomo’s memoir has been pushed back once again. The new release date is Oct. 14.

The White House Office of Management and Budget has started to review new regulations for fracking on federal land – the last step before the rules can be made final.

Hillary Clinton starts off the 2016 election cycle with the lead in the key swing state of Florida over two Republicans from the Sunshine State.

The Sierra Club and Citizen Action of New York launched a petition campaign urging GOP AG candidate John Cahill to disclose his clients.

Cuomo signed legislation prohibiting the launch of watercraft in New York without taking reasonable precautions to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species.

Former President Bill Clinton is scheduled to be in New Orleans this Saturday as the featured speaker at a fundraiser for Sen. Mary Landrieu.

Anti-tax activist Grover Norquist went to Burning Man.

Here and Now

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

Democratic LG candidate Kathy Hochul will be in the “New York City area” meeting voters at several events, including senior centers. Details “will be forthcoming,” her campaign says.

At 9:30 a.m., NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio makes an announcement in front of P.S. 95, 3961 Hillman Avenue, corner of Sedgwick Avenue, the Bronx.

At 11 a.m., Westchester County Executive and GOP gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino will outline his plan to improve public education, outside Hawthorne Elementary School, 225 Memorial Dr., Hawthorne.

Also at 11 a.m., AG Eric Schneiderman will make a “major civil rights announcement” at his Buffalo regional office, Main Place Tower, Suite 300A, 350 Main St., Buffalo.

Also at 11 a.m., Democratic LG candidate Tim Wu discusses the immigration record of his primary opponent, Hochul, and releases a new “dossier” on the subject, Chatham Square, Chinatown, Manhattan.

At 11:30 a.m., Democratic gubernatorial candidate Zephyr Teachout holds a press conference criticizing Cuomo’s education policies, Comsewogue High School, 565 Bicycle Path, Port Jefferson Station.

At 12:30 p.m., Sen. Tony Avella visits the College Point Senior Center, 22-38 College Point Blvd, College Point, Queens.

Also at 12:30 p.m., Dr. David Danielson, Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy will join Rep. Paul Tonko to discuss clean energy manufacturing, RPI, Troy.

At 2 p.m., Avella announces announces a funding allocation for the Association for Neurologically Impaired and Brain Injured Children Center, Grand Central South Service Road and Commonwealth Blvd., Bellerose, Queens.

Also at 2 p.m., 2 p.m. – Sen. David Carlucci presents a local WWII vet with Medal of Good Conduct, 2000 Fountainview Dr., Monsey.

At 3 p.m., Assemblyman Ron Kim and Korean community leaders rally in support of Sen. Toby Ann Stavisky’s re-election bid; Corner of Kissena Blvd and Barclay Ave, Flushing, Queens.

Also at 3 p.m., Democratic SD52 candidate Anndrea Starzak holds a press conference regarding education funding, Recreation Park, East Side across from Horace Mann Elementary School, Laurel Ave, Binghamton.

At 4 p.m., Wu holds a conference call to discuss his latest online video slamming his primary opponent, Hochul.

At 8 p.m., NYC Councilman Vincent Gentile, Sen. Marty Golden, Rep. Michael Grimm, Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis and others participate in a news conference featuring more than a dozen Times Square signs illuminated in gold to promote awareness of childhood cancer, Seventh Avenue between 43rd and 44th streets, Manhattan.

Headlines…

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s hand-picked LG running mate, former Rep. Kathy Hochul, said the suggestion she’ll be booted from the ballot “reached new heights of absurdity.” She embraced the role of underdog, saying it will boost turnout in her Western New York base.

Democratic LG candidate Tim Wu says he prefers martinis to pot, but admits to having smoked the drug and believes it should be legalized. (He has also been to Burning Man, and highly recommends it). A “campaign source” says Hochul has never tried illicit drugs.

Cuomo and his long-shot primary challenger Zephyr Teachout crossed paths for the first time in this campaign at Brooklyn’s West Indian Day Parade. Wu also saw Cuomo and said he asked about a debate, but the governor “sort of smiled and looked away.”

“Instead of a nail-biting political contest, this year’s race has produced something else: months of grievances by union members, gun owners, liberal activists and others unhappy about Mr. Cuomo’s time in office.”

Two key labor unions – HTC and 1199 SEIU – are ramping up their efforts to help Cuomo and Hochul ahead of next Tuesday’s Democratic primary.

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio says he respects Teachout, but doesn’t know her work well.

AG Eric Schneiderman is taking aim at Evans Bank, a regional lender in the Buffalo area, as part of a sweeping investigation into whether banks are “redlining” – deliberately choking off mortgage lending to predominantly minority communities.

A lawsuit, expected to be filed today by the AG in U.S. District Court of Western New York, alleges that Evans denied access to mortgage loans to predominantly African-American neighborhoods in the city because of their racial composition.

Multiple sources with deep knowledge of the Senate IDC and Republican conferences’ dealings confirm Cuomo was not a passive player in the formation of the coalition. He actively encouraged the marriage, and offered advice after its consummation.

More >

Labor Day Wrap-Up

The West Indian Day Parade in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, drew all manner of elected officials and candidates, including both Gov. Andrew Cuomo and his Democratic primary opponent, Zephyr Teachout, and her running mate, Tim Wu.

Cuomo dismissed speculation that his running mate, former Rep. Kathy Hochul, could lose the Sept. 9 primary to Wu, insisting: “It’s not going to happen.”

“Ask Nancy Pelosi about Kathy Hochul,” Cuomo said. “Ask Charlie Rangel about Kathy Hochul. She represented a district in upstate New York that had some very conservative areas, some areas more conservative than New York City, but she’s a progressive through and through, there’s no doubt about that.”

Hochul did not attend the West Indian Day Parade, but marched with Rep. Brian Higgins in her native Buffalo.

Richard Johnson: “(D)on’t underestimate the number of knee-jerk liberals who will vote for Wu just because he has the endorsement of the New York Times.”

It’s “Hochul” – rhymes with “local” – not “Hoople” or “Hopeful,” (although technically speaking, that last one is applicable).

According to Fred Dicker, Cuomo’s political operatives are eyeing a “painful scenario” to dump Hochul as the governor’s lieutenant governor candidate amid growing signs Wu is picking up steam.

Former Gov. David Paterson criticized Wu, saying he’s treating the post of LG “like it’s a joke instead of a real job.”

Wu called the attack by the former governor (and LG) a “sign of desperation,” adding: “I’m going to do a lot more than David Paterson did in that job.”

Wu could be the first Asian-American to win statewide office. He has campaigned heavily in Flushing, Chinatown and Sunset Park, and even used his fluent, if slightly out of tune, Mandarin.

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio is backing Sen. Toby Ann Stavisky in her primary battle with businessman and activist SJ Jung.

The de Blasio family reprised their “Smackdown” dance at the West Indian Day Parade.

The DCCC has launched its second TV ad attacking Rep. Michael Grimm over his indictment — reprising the tagline “Can you believe this guy?”

AG Eric Schneiderman issued a Labor Day report containing highlights of his office’s labor enforcement work over the past three years.

A week before the Democratic primary, Cuomo is scheduled to meet tomorrow with a group of prominent Jewish leaders in New York City to brief them on his recent trip to Israel.

With the Senate Republicans striving to hold on to power in Albany and GOP gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino trying to gain it, their message isn’t always in unison.

Talk of a Mitt Romney 2016 run is heating up. A USA Today poll shows Romney with a huge lead in Iowa, far ahead of 14 other potential GOP candidates.

For the first time in the contest’s 13-year history, the U.S. National Buffalo Wing-Eating Championship was broadcast live on ESPN3. Joey Chestnut, the No. 1-ranked eater in the world, won by eating 192 wings in 12 minutes.

A new study found that the proportion of working-age New York City residents who were members of unions had rebounded in the last 18 months to nearly one in four.

Time and again, villagers have steadfastly voted down attempts to wipe their boundaries from the map. The New York Department of State says 11 villages have shut down since 2009.

Capital Region leaders hoping to reap fiscal rewards from gambling should be rooting for the Rensselaer casino project with the Hard Rock brand, if anticipated gross gaming revenues are considered.

New York’s late arrival at the betting table is forcing developers to think smaller.

Former Brooklyn BP Marty Markowitz is backing indicted state Sen. John Sampson’s re-election bid.

More people have attended this year’s New York State Fair than last year, and the first-ever Dollar Day is still going strong.

Chobani yogurt, which is based in the upstate town of Norwich, has planted branded refrigerators filled with its Greek yogurt in the DC offices of US Sens. Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand and Rep. Richard Hanna.

A new invasive insect has devastated northeastern berry crops, and growers are working with Cornell University plant experts to develop strategies to fight it.

The Weekend That Was (So Far)

The New York Times endorsed two Democratic primary challengers – Oliver Koppell and John Liu – to IDC Leader Jeff Klein and IDC member Tony Avella, respectively.

The Buffalo News endorsed Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s running mate, Kathy Hochul, for LG, saying she is “eminently qualified” to serve as LG and will be an advocate for Western New York at a “critical time” in the region’s history.

A Cuomo campaign official said the governor won’t be spending big money on a GOTV operation against Zephyr Teachout, insisting to do so would be “silly.” Team Cuomo is also doing some pre-primary spin, saying any protest candidate will get around 20 percent of the vote.

Facing a lack of resources to raise her name recognition, Teachout is criss-crossing the state, campaigning hard.

Local officials in New York City did not take kindly to comments Sen. Ted Cruz’s Bronx bashing.

Millions of New Yorkers will be getting two rounds of rebate checks from the state this fall. But that easy money that shows up in their mailboxes isn’t exactly free. The postage for those roughly 4 million checks will cost the state $1.6 million.

Former Gov. David Paterson says US Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand was not his first choice to replace Hillary Rodham Clinton in the Senate after Clinton was confirmed as secretary of state. Paterson wanted to name himself to the seat.

Brooklyn – along with backing of deep-pocketed New Yorkers — should be a “slight favorite” to land the 2016 Democratic National Convention, former party chief Ed Rendell said.

NYC Schools Chancellor Carmen Farina is an “active and engaged grandmother” of two boys.

Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama were guests Saturday night at the nuptials of Sam Kass, their devoted family chef, and MSNBC host Alex Wagner.

The state is investigating equine fatalities during the Saratoga Race Course meet this year — 11 thoroughbred deaths compared with eight last year, the Gaming Commission said.

The controversy about Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s influence over the Moreland Commission on Public Corruption is a reminder that Moreland Commissions can have unintended consequences for governors.

During the past two fiscal years, the Schenectady school district’s surplus plunged 73 percent, or about $4 million, so it could cover its bills, state auditors said.

The New York State Fair set a new single-day attendance record Saturday, welcoming the largest crowd ever to the fairgrounds in its history.

Hillary Clinton will be in Ottawa Oct. 6 for a luncheon speech. She’ll arrive at a time of what many observers say is a strained Canada-U.S. relationship over a variety of issues.

Former President Bill Clinton, widely considered the leading Democratic fundraiser, will visit Miami on Friday, Sept. 6, to campaign for Republican-turned-Democrat gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist.

Former President Bill Clinton will headline a fundraiser this coming Tuesday in New Haven, Conn. for the state Democratic Party in an effort to help Gov. Dannel P. Malloy as he seeks reelection this fall.

The I-594 advocacy group Washington Alliance for Gun Responsibility in Seattle, Washington is getting a $1 million donation from Everytown for Gun Safety, the umbrella organization driven by dollars from former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

The latest data from the Department of Education’s Fitnessgram assessment program show the Washington Heights neighborhood has the heaviest kids, with 47 percent listed as overweight or obese.

The Manhattan DA’s office said it would investigate the NYPD’s role in the death of a man who was high on a hallucinogenic drug and subsequently restrained in a protective body wrap by officers.

New York State United Teachers is seeking to intervene in an anti-tenure lawsuit filed against the state.

The Showboat Casino Hotel is closing though it remains profitable to reduce the number of casinos in Atlantic City, which has been struggling with plunging revenue and increased competition. Its owner, Caesars, will still own three other casinos in Atlantic City.

Luna, the Buffalo Zoo’s 1½-year-old polar bear cub, fell about 14 feet into the dry moat of the tiger exhibit early Saturday afternoon, where she has been staying while the zoo undergoes its transformation.

Joseph Persico, best-selling author, historian and speechwriter for Gov. Nelson A. Rockefeller, has died. He was 84.

Extras

A quick note heading into this holiday weekend: There will be sparse blogging over the next three days, and no Morning Memo on Monday (Labor Day). Regularly scheduled blogging will return Tuesday, Sept. 2. For those SoP readers who are also CapTon viewers, there will be no show on Monday night. We will return Tuesday night at 8 p.m. And now, some late afternoon headlines…

Chelsea Clinton is leaving NBC News.

Syracuse Post-Standard: “Come out, come out, wherever you are, Gov. Andrew Cuomo” (and debate Zephyr Teachout).

Former Gov. David Paterson told radio listeners he believes the recent spike in heroin overdose deaths is a consequence of over-medicating children.

NYSUT filed a motion to intervene in the lawsuit challenging teacher tenure.

While at SUNY New Paltz, Teachout said higher education should be “basically free.”

Cuomo has directed state agencies to suspend road construction that would cause traffic delays over the Labor Day holiday weekend.

Roger Stone believes a yet-to-break scandal will prevent Hillary Clinton from running for president in 2016.

Teachout slammed one of Cuomo’s most prized initiatives by calling for a reversal of what she claims was an unconstitutional reorganization of the Long Island Power Authority.

Donald Trump did the ice bucket challenge in a suit and tie, with the help of Miss USA and Miss Universe.

Onondaga County GOP Chairman Tom Dadey – assisted by two youngsters, no beauty queens – also did the ice bucket challenge in a suit.

Sen. Greg Ball did his ice bucket challenge on a Texas beach, in what was possible the “most Greg Ball video ever.”

Phil Reisman is annoyed by the president’s Westchester visit.

Disgraced ex-Senate Majority Leader John Sampson refused to acknowledge he was booted from the Democratic conference after his indictment on embezzlement charges.

“The President stands squarely behind the decision he made yesterday to wear his summer suit,” White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said.

Rep. Pete King is furious about the tan suit.

Democratic Syracuse City Councilor Jean Kessner, briefly a state Senate candidate, pressed NY-24 GOP candidate John Katko on the 2000 theft of his loaded gun.

There are big deals to be had at the State Fair on Labor Day.

The “Twinx” probably contains about 1,000 calories, but fairgoers don’t seem to care.

US Sen. Charles Schumer doesn’t always endorse in Democratic primaries, but he has made an exception for Queens Sen. Toby Ann Stavisky.

It was 25 years ago this month when Ralph C. Wilson Jr. caused panic and outrage with the idea he might move the Bills out of Orchard Park at the end of the team’s original lease on Rich Stadium.

Harry Reid’s alma matter, Southern Utah University, is removing his name from a school building after citizens and alumni lobbied the school president and pledged more than $40,000 to the cause.

An unusual post-layoff goodbye.

Dems Shun Anti-Cuomo Clemency Event

From today’s Morning Memo:

Our report on State of Politics yesterday about a march and vigil to call out Gov. Andrew Cuomo for failing to exercise his clemency powers appears to have touched a nerve.

Minutes after we posted an item about the event, which is to be held outside the Mount Kisco home Cuomo shares with Food Network star Sandra Lee on Sept. 6 – three days before the Democratic gubernatorial primary – our phone started ringing off the hook.

On the line were members of the Senate Democratic conference and one Senate candidate whose names were listed on a flyer for the vigil as “participating or supporting.”

They were calling to make sure we knew that they had no intention of actually showing up on the governor’s doorstep to protest anything at all, though one senator did assure me that he’s very much in favor of clemency “when it’s appropriate.”

Those who went out of their way to call (either in person or via emissary) were: Sens. Jose Peralta; Liz Krueger; Gustavo Rivera (“I’m very busy in my primary campaign and in my district,” he said); and Brad Hoylman.

Also not attending: Former NYC Comptroller John Liu, who is challenging Sen. Tony Avella, an IDC member, in the Sept. 9 primary; and former Assemblyman Guillermo Linares, who called this afternoon to say that he had been asked to sign on to a letter described as “harmless” that would express support for clemency, but did not agree to participate in an event that is “clearly an attack on the governor.”

The Sept. 6 event is being supported by a number of organizations and individuals that have made clear their disappointment with Cuomo this campaign season, including NOW-NYS (which endorsed his primary opponent, Fordham Law Prof. Zephyr Teachout), the Village Independent Democrats (also backing Teachout), and Democratic gadfly/donor Bill Samuels.

Several actors from the Netflix hit “Orange is the New Black” are scheduled to participate, as is “Law and Order: Criminal Intent” star Kathryn Erbe.

The vigil is being organized by Allen Roskoff, who is president of the Jim Owles Democratic Club and an outspoken – and often controversial – LGBT activist.

In a series of telephone and email conversations yesterday, Roskoff said only one person – Liu – had actually renegged on attending this event.

The others, he said, made it clear to him that they’re supportive but weren’t able to make it that night.

Roskoff also accused the governor and members of his staff of “strong arming people to not participate in a peaceful vigil for clemency” instead of “debating a primary opponent and governing the state.”

One source did say that calls had been made after our blog post appeared by “interested parties” connected to Cuomo seeking information about who planned to attend. But that source refused to name names.

Cuomo has exercised his clemency power far less than his predecessors – something that has drawn criticism from the left, including from comedian/activist Randy Credico, who is mounting a long-shot primary challenge to Cuomo this fall.

In December 2013, Cuomo issued three pardons to New Yorkers who had completed their sentences, but “whose legal status and rights were hampered by their criminal records,” according to his office.

‘Friend & Neighbor’ Amedore’s First TV Ad (Updatedx2)

Former Assemblyman George Amedore has won the airwaves race in his re-match with Democratic Sen. Cecilia Tkaczyk, releasing the first TV ad of the 46th Senate District contest.

Interestingly, the spot makes almost no mention of the campaign, focusing instead on Amedore’s work assisting flood with clean-up in the aftermath of Irene and Lee, which hit parts of the district very hard.

The ad, which will start to air next week, portrays Amedore as a sort of hometown hero, with testimonials from people who witnessed him helping others.

This is all part of an effort to soften Amedore’s image following his close loss to Tkaczyk – by just 18 votes – two years ago.

In that race, the former Republican assemblyman came off as a sharply-dressed successful businessman (his family owns Amedore Homes in Guilderland) and political insider, while Tkaczyk, a former school board member and farmer, was the political newcomer just trying to fix a broken government system.

This time around, Amedore has ditched the suits and ties in favor of button-down shirts with the sleeves rolled up. What he hasn’t given up are his conservative positions – particularly when it comes to abortion rights, which is shaping up to be a big sticking point in this race.

Now it’s Tkaczyk who’s the insider, and – according to Amedore and his fellow Republicans – a member of the downstate dominated Democratic conference that wants to take control of the chamber and give upstate the short end of the stick.

And Tkaczyk also has an incumbent’s edge when it comes to fundraising, with $236,643 on hand as of the last state Board of Elections’ filing in mid-July to Amedore’s $142,183.

This race is one of a handful of closely contested contests being fought around the state as the Republicans and Democrats battle (again) for control of the chamber.

In 2012, outside interests keen on making Tkaczyk into the poster child for public campaign financing spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on her behalf. So far, that kind of independent expenditure spending has not materialized this year.

Here’s the script for Amedore’s ad:

Rita Treesdale: He was here every day, full of mud from head to toe.

Female narrator: When the floodwaters devastated our community, George Amedore was there helping, day after day.

Ollie Rhimer: I’d always see him working away with his family, tearing down walls and helping everybody. He was ripping down sheetrock, and pulling up old rug, and cleaning up mud and debris, right alongside the victims.

It was just like some neighbor coming over to give you a hand.

Female narrator: Our friend, our neighbor. George Amedore.

Updated: Senate Democrats sent over two statements.

“George Amedore can try to hide the truth but voters will see through his lies,” said spokesman Gary Ginsburg. “The facts are simple, George’s values are way too extreme and out-of-step with those of the residents of the 46th Senate District and George has a history of supporting businesses who ship jobs overseas and standing against equal pay for equal work for all New Yorkers.”

Shortly after, Ginsburg sent a second statement from Fort Plain Mayor Guy Barton.

“When the floods hit Fort Plain last year, Senator Tkaczyk was here immediately, helping with our clean-up and recovery efforts. And she kept coming back, bringing State officials, community development experts and investors with her. She said she would do all she could to help us, and she kept her word.”

UPDATE2: And now we have a statement in response to the Democratic statements from Senate GOP spokesman Scott Reif, who will be getting the last work here, because we won’t be accepting any more statements.

“The hardworking residents of the 46th Senate District can see with their own eyes that Cecila Tkaczyk has a habit of saying one thing and doing another, just like when she pledged not to send political mail at taxpayer expense and then went on to spend $81,000 in just six months – - more than any other Democrat in the entire State Senate,” Reif said. “Despite what her political cronies say, it’s clear that Cecilia Tkaczyk doesn’t keep her word.”

Here and Now

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is in the New York City area and Rhode Island. (His daughter Mariah attends Brown University and is starting her sophomore year).

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio has no public schedule today. He’ll also be in Rhode Island this evening, and is spending the night there.

President Obama is headlining a fund-raiser in Newport, RI tonight – that’s after he hits two fund-raisers in Westchester. He’ll spend the night in Westchester, too. He’ll attend the wedding of his personal chef, Sam Kass, to MSNBC’s Alex Wagner at a Pocantico Hills restaurant tomorrow.

At 9 a.m., Democratic gubernatorial candidate Zephyr Teachout and running mate Tim Wu hold a press conference as part of “whistleblower tour,” Time Warner Cable, 142 Schwenk Dr., Kingston.

At 11 a.m., Teachout and Wu hold a press conference as part of “whistleblower tour,” SUNY New Paltz, Jacobson Faculty Tower, New Paltz.

At 11:30 a.m., Democratic LG candidate Kathy Hochul visits the Town Of Amherst Senior Center with Councilman Mark Manna, 370 John James Audubon Pkwy., Amherst.

At 12:15 p.m., Hochul appears on Buffalo Common Council President & True Bethel Pastor Darius Pridgen’s Radio Show, WUFO 1080AM.

At 1 p.m., the Teachout-Wu “whistleblower tour” continues at White Plains City Hall, 255 Main St., White Plains.

At 2:45 p.m., Another “whistleblower tour” stop, this time at the New York Department of Taxation, 8002 Kew Gardens Rd., Kew Gardens.

At 4:30 p.m., Teachout and Wu hold a final press conference as part of their “whistleblower tour,” LIPA, 333 Earle Ovington Blvd., Uniondale.

At 5 p.m., Hochul greets voters with Assembly Majority Leader Joe Morelle, Nick Tahou’s, 320 W Main St., Rochester.

At 6:30 p.m., Hochul marches in the Rochester Labor Day Parade, Charlotte Street between Pitkin and Scio streets, Rochester.

Headlines…

Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the state Democratic party apparatus are mobilizing their considerable resources in an effort to protect Cuomo’s running mate, Kathy Hochul, following attacks from her primary opponent, Tim Wu, and a blistering critique from the New York Times.

Daily Kos has endorsed Wu over Hochul in the Democratic LG primary.

Low voter turnout, as is traditional in New York primaries, could help Wu.

Wu slammed Hochul for voting with House Republican leadership while she was a congresswoman on environmental bills – including legislation that would weaken the Clean Air Act and boost oil drilling

The second day of Zephyr Teachout’s “whistleblower” bus tour was more tightly run than the first, when the campaign was forced to cancel one event, and arrived an hour late to at least two others.

Making good on a pledge to go after the pensions of corrupt public officials, US Attorney Preet Bharara announced former NYC Councilman Miguel Martinez, who was convicted in a federal corruption case, had agreed to forfeit his city pension until he pays back $106,000 that he stole.

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that the city was close to reaching its pre-K enrollment goal, with 50,407 children signed up so far.

De Blasio and NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer faced off over pre-K contracts in back-to-back press conferences yesterday afternoon – the most direct confrontation thus far between de Blasio and another top elected city official.

The son of Oheka Castle owner and political donor Gary Melius has emerged as a “person of interest” in the shooting six months ago that left Melius seriously wounded.

NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton said the department is “actively looking” at equipping officers with body-worn cameras – the strongest statement of support he has made for implementing the technology in New York since becoming police commissioner here.

Bratton strongly refuted claims by the NYPD sergeants’ union president that the city is starting to resemble its crime-ridden past.

More >

Extras

Former New York Times editorial board member Joyce Purnick called the “non-endorsement” of a Democratic gubernatorial primary candidate “a major departure” from the paper’s tradition.

LG candidate Tim Wu released a “dossier” on the environmental voting record of his Democratic primary opponent, Kathy Hocul.

The latest round of teacher evaluation scores can be found here.

Teachers and principals in New York’s large, urban school districts received lower ratings on the first year of state-mandated evaluations than their counterparts in other districts.

Wu said he and his running mate, Zephyr Teachout, are trying to mobilize New York’s growing Asian-American vote to beat the Cuomo-Hochul ticket.

The Teachout-Wu campaign launched “AskCuomo.com” – an “exciting Internet debate between supporters and the governor.”

More than 4,000 Tweets were posted about the president’s tan suit during his press conference this afternoon.

Former Binghamton Mayor Matt Ryan is facing harassment charges after a fight (over fracking) in a town of Barker bar last week.

Former NYC Councilman Miguel Martinez is forfeiting his pension benefits to satisfy an order against him. US Attorney Preet Bharara wants ex-Assembylman Eric Stevenson to do the same.

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka thinks Hillary Clinton is “very, very qualified” to be president, but he’s not ready to endorse her just yet.

Clinton made her first public comments on the situation that unfolded in Ferguson, Missouri during her keynote speech at the Nexenta  OpenSDx Summit in San Francisco.

Joan Rivers is in critical but stable condition at a NYC hospital.

Rep. Dan Maffei and his GOP opponent, John Katko, held dueling press conferences at the State Fair.

The full-time medical director for the Syracuse City School District, Dr. Maritza Alvarado, abruptly quit her $92,000-a-year job, effective immediately.

Green Party gubernatorial candidate Howie Hawkins criticized his GOP opponent, Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino, after a politically connected aide to Astorino resigned following a drunken driving arrest.

Erie County Dems last night presented Hochul with a huge cake that said “Happy Birthday to our Favorite Daughter,” with candles that spelled “LG.”

Bloomberg LP CEO Dan Doctoroff thinks he knows who has the power to make environmental sustainability Wall Street’s top priority: the SEC.

The State Democratic Committee defended its ad that accuses Astorino of “racketeering, conspiracy and fraud” in a letter to television stations around the state.

President Obama’s upcoming fundraising spree through Westchester and Rhode Island is throwing a wrench into travel plans for wealthy New Yorkers flying to the Hamptons for Labor Day weekend.

The NYC CFB has a primary voting guide for races in the five boroughs.

All three candidates vying to replace retiring Brooklyn Assemblywoman Joan Millman blasted Cuomo at a debate, with two saying  outright they supported his primary challenger Zephyr Teachout.

Dems Participate in Pre-Primary ‘Candles for Clemency’ Demo in Cuomo’s Backyard (Updatedx4)

 

 

…A coalition of celebrities, Democratic clubs, candidates and sitting state lawmakers plan to hold a rally in Mount Kisco on Sept. 6 in an effort to push Gov. Andrew Cuomo to exercise his power of clemency.

The event, advertised as a “rally, march and vigil” by the Jim Owles Liberal Democratic Club, is set to feature of a range of organizations, many of which have endorsed Fordham Law professor Zephyr Teachout.

Groups scheduled to participate include the National Organization for Women (NYS chapter), the Chelsea Reform Democratic Club and the Coalition for a District Alternative.

A number of sitting Senate Democrats are also either expected to attend or have given a signal they support the vigil, including Sens. Liz Krueger, Gustavo Rivera, Brad Hoylman and Jose Peralta.

At the same time, Senate candidates John Liu, Oliver Koppell and Robert Jackson have also endorsed the vigil.

UPDATE: Liu sent the following statement: “I am not participating in this event, nor did I agree to lend my name to it.” UPDATE2: I’ve learned that Sen. Jose Peralta (Queens) is also not participating, despite the fact that his name appears on the flyer. The same goes for Sen. Brad Hoylman (Manhattan, Chelsea area). UPDATE3: Add to the list of non-attendees Sen. Gustavo Rivera (Bronx), who called to say: “I’m very busy in my primary campaign and in my district.” UPDATE4: I just received a call made on behalf of Sen. Liz Krueger (Manhattan, East Side) informing me that she’s not going to be there, either.

Do you see a pattern developing here?

There are also a number of Cuomo critics, including Bill Samuels and former NYc Public Advocate Mark Green (who was one of Cuomo’s 2010 AG primary opponents), listed.

A flyer advertising the event notes that Ronald Reagan, as governor of California, issued clemency 579 times, while Democratic Gov. Hugh Carey of New York did so 155 times.

In addition to the flyer — with 1,000 being distributed around Mount Kisco, Bedford and the surrounding towns — the group is mailing it as well. The flyer notes that Mount Kisco is the “home of Gov. Cuomo”, and the vigil will be held, literally, at the house Cuomo shares with Food Network star Sandra Lee.

The governor has granted pardons — which is different than clemency — on rare occasion.

Cuomo issued three pardons to New Yorkers who had completed their sentences, but “whose legal status and rights were hampered by their criminal records,” according to his office.