Liz Benjamin

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Posts by Liz Benjamin

Extras

A Gawker writer castigates the New York Times for its non-endorsement in the gubernatorial primary, saying the paper “is unwilling to endorse the idea of voting for someone to actually defeat Cuomo.”

The Times laments that most readers didn’t really get the purpose of its editorial. “It’s worth pointing out that an endorsement is not the same as an actual vote.”

The Nation endorsed Zephyr Teachout.

In her forthcoming book, US Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand reveals a male colleague told her not to lose too much baby weight because “I like my girls chubby.”

When is it appropriate to comment on a colleage’s body? Simple: Never.

Unless the state’s top court intervenes, there will be a Republican primary between incumbent state Sen. Tom. Libous and challenger Denver Jones.

Under fire for walking away from questions on Social Security, Medicare and raising the retirement age, NY-21 GOP candidate Elise Stefanik released a new web ad on the issues.

The NYC Council will hold an oversight hearing next month on an NYPD review of its training procedures following Eric Garner’s death.

New York voters could see as many as 12 parties putting up candidates for governor this fall, with six independent parties petitioning to get onto the ballot.

Introducing the Sapient Party.

An anti-charter school PAC has debuted a new digital ad promoting former NYC Comptroller John Liu’s primary challenge to Sen. Tony Avella.

President Obama will attend two fundraiser in Westchester this Friday.

Former NYC Mayor Mike Bloomberg and his former deputy, Dan Doctoroff, did the ice bucket challenge.

A review of financial disclosures filed by Teachout and her running mate, LG candidate Tim Wu, reveal neither are rich, but both received book advances.

You can read a full transcript of Mark David Chapman’s latest parole hearing here. (His parole request was denied for the eighth time).

Former US Sen. Alfonse D’Amato is pleased Cuomo is finally “free” of the need to curry favor with the AFL-CIO and NYSUT, which didn’t endorse his re-election.

Former President Clinton campaigned in Rhode Island today for Democratic general-treasurer candidate Seth Magaziner - the son of a longtime close Clinton confidante.

Clinton and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi will headline “the ultimate  women’s power lunch” on Oct. 20 to benefit the DCCC.

Gillibrand on whether Clinton will run in 2016: “Anytime I’ve ever talked to her, I’ve offered every bit of help in the world and she’s never said no.”

Democratic NY-19 candidate Sean Eldridge lashed out at Burger King for supposedly dodging taxes, but his husband, whose fortune is financing the congressional run, stands to benefit from the move.

A Hillary Clinton-inspired clothing shop in Kosovo is very popular.

Woolf Won’t Choose Sides in Gubernatorial Primary

From today’s Morning Memo:

Aaron Woolf, the Democratic candidate seeking to replace retiring Rep. Bill Owens in NY-21, declined yesterday to choose a favorite in the upcoming Democratic gubernatorial primary.

Asked if he would be supporting either Gov. Andrew Cuomo or his challenger, Fordham Law School Prof. Zephyr Teachout, Woolf replied:

“I’m going, I’m going to reserve…just as I sought support from many colleagues when there was a possibility of me having a primary and they refused to comment, I think we’ll let the democratic process play out.”

Woolf has drawn some criticism in his successful push to toss his own primary challenger, Stephen Burke, off the Sept. 9 ballot, paying an attorney with ties to Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver to assist in that effort.

Given his New York City roots and background as a documentary filmmaker focusing on issues like big agriculture, the automotive industry and human trafficking, Woolf might seem like someone who would support Teachout in her long-shot bid to upset Cuomo. Woolf is also a political outsider who has never before run for elected office – much like Teachout herself.

But Teachout is running to Cuomo’s left, and Woolf is trying to position himself as a centrist in a district that – before Owens’ surprise victory in a 2009 special election – was viewed as a GOP stronghold.

The district has a considerable GOP enrollment edge, with 181,832 Republicans to 127,262 Democrats and 90,227 so-called “blanks” who are not affiliated with any political party. Woolf has his own challenger on the left, the Green Party’s Matt Funiciello.

The NRCC has recently been trying to boost Funiciello, highlighting his candidacy in an attempt to bring down support for Woolf and assist the Republican/Conservative in the race, Elise Stefanik.

Allying himself with Cuomo might not be such a great idea for Woolf, either, even though the governor did fairly well in the North Country in 2010 and has been working hard to boost his numbers there ever since (pushing particularly hard when it comes to helping the tourism industry in the Adirondack Park).

Opposition to Cuomo’s controversial gun control law the SAFE Act gets stronger the further north (and west) of Albany you travel, and the rural areas continue to trend Republican, though their vote hasn’t been strong enough to counter Democrat-dominated NYC’s clout.

President Obama carried NY-21 by six points over Mitt Romney in 2012 – two points higher than the president’s national margin.

But the race between Cuomo and his GOP opponent, Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino, isn’t competitive enough to draw anywhere near the kind of turnout a presidential race does, so Woolf is fighting an uphill battle – especially with Funiciello in the race, potential drawing votes away from him to Stefanik’s advantage, (though that’s definitely not how Funiciello sees it).

Here and Now

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

AT 8:30 a.m., Democratic gubernatorial candidate Zephyr Teachout and running mate Tim Wu hold a press conference to launch a “whistleblower tour” at the foot of luxury tower One57, 157 West 57th St., New York

At 11 a.m., LG Bob Duffy delivers remarks at Binghamton University’s Smart Energy Research and Development facility groundbreaking, Binghamton University, Innovative Technologies Complex, 85 Murray Hill Rd., Vestal.

Also at 11 a.m., Rep. Michael Grimm will host a press conference at the home of Staten Island Sandy victim, Kathleen Cole, to highlight failures of NYC’s “Build it Back” program, 1178 Mason Ave., Staten Island.

Also at 11 a.m., GOP gubernatorial candidate/Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino will attend the New York State Fair with his wife, Sheila, three children and Senator John DeFrancisco, 581 State Fair Blvd., Syracuse.

At 11:30 a.m., Chemung County Sheriff and GOP LG candidate Chris Moss joins Port Chester Mayor Neil Pagano and Trustee Joseph Kenner to visit the Port Chester Senior Center, 222 Grace Church St., Port Chester.

Also at 11:30 a.m., Democratic LG candidate Kathy Hochul visits the Northwest Buffalo Community Center with Erie County Legislator Peter Savage, 155 Lawn St., Buffalo.

Also at 11:30 a.m., GOP AG candidate John Cahill calls on Democratic AG Eric Schneiderman to “come clean” on his role in the Moreland Commission mess, AG’s Buffalo Regional Office, Main Place Tower 350 Main St., Buffalo.

At noon, Hochul and Savage visit the North Buffalo Community Center, 203 Sanders Rd., Buffalo.

Also at noon, while calling for MTA officials to take further steps to reduce subway noise and vibrations, Assemblyman William Colton discusses provisions of his transit noise abatement legislation passed Monday, June 9, but not signed by the governor to date; 2050 Stillwell Ave., Brooklyn.

Also at noon, NYC Schools Chancellor Carmen Farina, joined by the executive director of the Children’s Environmental Literary Foundation, Katie I. Ginsberg, speaks to about 60 public school teachers during a training program about including environmental lessons in classwork; room DE, 19th floor, United Federation of Teachers, 52 Broadway, Manhattan.

At 12:15 p.m., Moss tours Port Chester Main Street area with Mayor Pagano and Trustee Kenner, Main Street, Port Chester.

Also at 12:15 p.m., NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio makes an announcement, NYCHA Lincoln Houses, 60 East 135th St., Manhattan.

At 1:30 p.m., Tachout and Wu visit fracking wells in Pennsylvania, meet at Price Chopper, 16750 Pennsylvania 706, Montrose, PA. There will also be “whiteblower tour” stops in Binghamton, Buffalo, Elmira, and Goshen (at 11 a.m.)

At 3 p.m., Hochul tours the Midtown Rising Redevelopment Project with LG Bob Duffy and Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren, corner of Clinton and Broad streets, Rochester.

At 4:30 p.m., Moss walks door-to-door with state Senate candidate Sue Serino, Poughkeepsie.

At 5:30 p.m., Cahill attends an Erie County GOP fundraiser, Osteria 166, 166 Franklin St., Buffalo.

At 6 p.m., de Blasio delivers renarks at the West Indian American and Caribbean American Heritage Reception 2014, Gracie Mansion, 88th Street and East End Avenue, Manhattan.

At 6:30 p.m., Moss attends and speaks at Assemblyman Kieran Michael Lalor’s Campaign Kickoff Dinner, The Blue Fountain, 826 Route 376, Hopewell Junction.

Also at 6:30 p.m., Hochul addresses Erie County Democratic leaders, 701 Seneca St., 2nd floor, Buffalo.

Headlines:

In a rebuke to Gov. Andrew Cuomo for failing to deliver on reform promises, the New York Times issued no endorsement in the upcoming gubernatorial primary.

Teachout: “Cuomo likes to present himself as a can-do guy, someone who will twist arms hard to fix a problem. But apparently, whenever Christie is in the room and New York infrastructure is at stake, Cuomo sits silent as our state gets rolled.”

Though it provided a forum for her comments, the DN makes clear it disagrees with Teachout on the now-defunct (killed by Christie) ARC project.

NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton’s job approval rating has dropped sharply in the aftermath of the chokehold death of Eric Garner, while NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio’s has stayed steady, a new Q poll found.

The debate over debates continues, and it is not limited to Cuomo and his primary opponent, Teachout.

Former NYC Comptroller John Liu filed a state Board of Elections complaint about campaign mailings sent by a PAC controlled by IDC Leader Jeff Klein.

Klein and his primary opponent, former NYC Councilman Oliver Koppell, sparred during a NY1 debate.

More >

Extras

A new Q poll says New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s approval rating has held steady despite a tumultuous summer for the Big Apple.

Black voters continue to like the mayor more than white voters.

Rob Astorino’s campaign said Castle Cable has agreed to pull the ads that the GOP gubernatorial candidate deemed grossly misleading, from its airwaves.

Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. makes a cameo in a Spanish-language TV ad for IDC Leader Jeff Klein.

Two New York congressmen won’t have opponents this fall: Democratic Rep. Eliot Engel and Republican Rep. Richard Hanna.

The Rev. Al Sharpton’s effort to get Hillary Clinton on the record on Ferguson can in many ways be traced back to Bill Clinton’s first presidential campaign.

A group dedicated to defending Clinton’s record ahead of a possible 2016 presidential bid used Women’s Equality Day to tout her record of promoting women.

Congrats to GOP NY-4 candidate Bruce Blakeman, who got engaged during a trip to Israel.

Sergeants Benevolent Association President Ed Mullins castigated de Blasio and his bid to  host the 2016 Democratic National Convention in open letter to the New York Times.

Senate GOP Leader Dean Skelos celebrated Happy National Dog Day by posting a photo of his canine companion, Rocky, on Twitter.

Though she often voted with the House GOP majority while in Congress, Kathy Hochul’s former liberal colleagues are coming to her defense as she runs for LG.

DCCC Chair Steve Israel is promising an unprecedented effort to drive out GOP Rep. Michael Grimm and elect his Democratic rival, former NYC Councilman Domenic Recchia.

Atlanta-based IFS Securities hired former Gov. David Paterson as chief strategist of U.S. affairs and chairman of the firm’s advisory board.

Actor Alec Baldwin attended the New York State Fair today to support his mother’s Carol M. Baldwin Breast Cancer Fund.

Rep. Pete King said he and Paterson were touring a damaged home in an Israeli border town when “suddenly the sirens went off” and they were forced to run for cover.

The de Blasio administration has reached a deal to settle the $35 million gender discrimination lawsuit filed by school safety agents.

A vote today on whether to dissolve the WNY Village of Wilson is expected to be close.

“Gasland” producer Josh Fox is backing Democrat Zephyr Teachout for governor.

Success Academy C.E.O. Eva Moskowitz is the subject of a glowing seven-page profile in MORE Magazine, which celebrates women “of style and substance.”

NY1 anchor and theater critic Roma Torre has been diagnosed with colon cancer and will be taking a leave of absence from the news station for surgery and treatment.

After an emergency C-section at the State Fair’s Dairy Cow Birthing Center, PETA now demands that the exhibit be replaced with a more realistic representation of the birthing process on farms.

Thruway Authority spokesman Dan Weiller had a bad experience at a Subway in Bushnell’s Basin.

Here and Now

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

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

At 10 a.m., Westchester County Executive and GOP gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino will visit Letchworth State Park with his wife, Sheila, and three children, 1 Letchworth State Park, Castile.

Also at 10 a.m., the Bangladeshi American Advocacy Group holds a press conference to endorse Democratic gubernatorial candidate Zephyr Teachout, Diversity Plaza, Jackson Heights, Queens.

Also at 10 a.m., the Chris Gibson for Congress Campaign will be announcing an Agriculture Coalition in support of the congressman’s re-election, 34684 New York 10, Walton.

At 10:30 a.m., Sen. Ruth Hassell-Thompson announces hr re-election campaign, Bronx Borough Hall.

At 11 a.m., Cuomo makes an announcement, Upper Jay Firehouse, 161 Valley Rd., Jay.

Also at 11 a.m., Onondaga County Comptroller Bob Antonacci, the GOP state comptroller candidate, will issue a “challenge” to his Democratic opponent, state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli, west Capitol steps, Albany.

Also at 11 a.m., Rep. Steve Israel promotes legislative proposals that would establish federal and state tax credits to reimburse the cost of college admission exams, placement exams and preparation courses; 64-31 Douglaston Pkwy., Queens.

Also at 11 a.m., the executive director of the Bella Abzug Leadership Institute, Liz J. Abzug, Manhattan BP Gale Brewer, former Manhattan BP C. Virginia Fields, the executive director of the New York City CFB, Amy M. Loprest, Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney and state lawmakers take a pledge to register women to vote; steps, City Hall.

At approximately 12:15 p.m., Cuomo receives a briefing on progress on construction on Whiteface Veteran’s Memorial Highway, Whiteface Veteran’s Memorial Highway, Lake Placid turn, Wilmington.

At 12:30 p.m., Astorino will be a guest on Long Island News Radio with host John Gomez.

At 2 p.m., Teachout and National Organization for Women New York State President Zenaida Mendez hold a press conference to discuss NOW-NYS’s endorsement of Teachout, Eleanor Roosevelt Statue, 72nd St. and Riverside Drive, Manhattan.

Also at 2 p.m., Sens. Patrick Gallivan and Mark Grisanti hold press conference to present grant for alternative to incarceration program, National Federation for Just Communities Inc. headquarters, 360 Delaware Ave., Buffalo.

At 3 p.m., Astorino will hold a press conference continuing his state tour unveiling the Astorino/Moss jobs plan, Cobbs Hill Reservoir Overlook (near Cobbs Hill Monument), Reservoir Rd., Rochester.

At 6 p.m., NY-24 GOP candidate John Katko holds a town hall-style meeting, Palace Theater, 2384 James St., Syracuse.

At 6:30 p.m., supporters of the Coalition to Ban Horse-Drawn Carriages hold a demonstration near Gracie Mansion; East End Avenue and 88th Street, Manhattan.

At 7:30 p.m., Chemung County Sheriff and GOP LG candidate Chris Moss attends and speaks at the Queens Village Republican Club Meet the Candidates Rally, Knights of Columbus, St. Annes Council, 263-15 Union Turnpike, Glen Oaks. (GOP AG candidate John Cahill will also attend the rally, arriving at 8 p.m.)

At 8:45 p.m., Moss attends and speaks at the Bay Terrace Community Alliance Meet the Candidates Night, Bay Terrace Jewish Center, 1300 209th St., Bayside, Queens.

Headlines…

Former NYC Council Speaker Chris Quinn, who has kept a low profile since losing the mayoral race last fall, was tapped by Cuomo to organize the women’s party, which the governor formed this summer to energize female voters.

The GOP may challenge the governor’s Women’s Equality Party petitions – just one of several independent party challenges pending at the state Board of Elections.

Also back: Jimmy “Rent is too Damn High” McMillan.

More >

Extras

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio endorsed Sen. Gustavo Rivera in his Democratic primary battle with NYC Councilman Fernando Cabrera.

An emergency c-section was performed at the State Fair’s live birthing exhibit. The mother cow lived; sadly, the calf did not.

NY-21 GOP candidate Elise Stefanik pledges to “work with anyone” in her first TV ad of the general election campaign.

More than three times as many Massachusetts Democrats would vote for Hillary Clinton if she ran for president in 2016 than would back the state’s senior senator, Elizabeth Warren, according to a new poll.

Whoopi Goldberg, who suffers from glaucoma, is not covered by New York’s medical marijuana law, but hopes it will be expanded soon.

Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, a possible 2016 contender, is preparing to dispatch more than two dozen campaign staffers to other states with competitive elections this year – including Iowa and New Hampshire.

De Blasio previewed the city’s $145 million after-school expansion, announcing that 78,000 middle schoolers will have access to the programs by the end of the upcoming school year.

De Blasio sent a letter to regulators pushing them to require broader Internet access and enforce net neutrality in the Comcast-Time Warner Cable merger.

In the 13 states that passed laws allowing for the use of medical marijuana between 1999 and 2010, 25 percent fewer people die from opioid overdoses annually.

NY-4 GOP candidate Bruce Blakeman is in Israel.

U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand among the visiting authors at UAlbany’s Writers Institute.

Zephyr Teachout and Rob Astorino will hold a radio debate on Sept. 4 — with or without Gov. Cuomo.

Rob Astorino is sending a “cease and desist” letter to TV stations asking them to not air a Cuomo ad that he says is inaccurate.

Bummer.

NYLCV Taps Avella as Pre-Primary ‘Top Priority’

As he faces a tough primary challenge from former NYC Comptroller John Liu, Sen. Tony Avella has picked up the support of the New York League of Conservation Voters, which today will name the Queens senator its top priority candidate in advance of the Sept. 9 election.

In an email to its members, the NYLCV touted Avella’s “tireless work” on some of the organization’s key agenda items, like getting toxic chemicals out of children’s products, promoting clean energy and protecting clean drinking water.

“Whether he was leading the charge on the Child Safe Products Act, or making sure regulations are in place that will safeguard our drinking water from hydraulic fracturing, Tony has kept the environment a top issue in the Senate,” the email states.

“And that’s just what we need if we’re going to make New York safer and healthier for everyone.”

The NYLCV’s support comes with a “significant” five-figure independent expenditure on Avella’s behalf that will include phone banking, door knocking and a GOTV strategy.

Avella can certainly use the assistance. He has been trailing Liu in fundraising, and this primary fight has divided Queens Democrats and organized labor.

A few unions are sticking with Liu despite the deal for the IDC and regular Democrats to reunite after the general election – an agreement that grew out of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s endorsement battle with the labor-backed Working Families Party.

Avella, however, is being supported by NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio, who helped broker Cuomo’s WFP endorsement deal, and the healthcare workers union SEIU 1199.

The WFP initially backed Liu, but is now neutral in this primary battle, along with one in the Bronx, where former NYC Councilman Oliver Koppell is trying to topple IDC Leader Jeff Klein.

A source familiar with the NYLCV endorsement process said both Liu and Avella filled out questionnaires and interviewed to receive the group’s nod.

But at the end of the day, the source said, Avella impressed the NYLCV board with his record and “political courage” on the organization’s issues – especially his push for the Child Safe Product Act, even though it never got to the Senate floor for a vote.

When he defected from the so-called “regular” Democrats to join the IDC this past February, Avella was bumped up to vice chair of the Senate’s Environmental Committee from the position of ranking member.

The NYLCV is also increasing its PAC budget this year from $350,000 in 2012 to $385,000 – in part due to greater independent expenditure spending.

Avella isn’t the only candidate the NYLCV is backing in advance of the September primaries. Its full list of endorsed candidates can be found here. There will be another round of endorsements – including in statewide races – in late September.

The pre-primary list includes GOP Sen. Jack Martins, whose support by the NYLCV has sparked a bit of a war between the NYC-based organization and a Long Island environmental group.

The Long Island Environmental Voters Forum protested Martins’ support by the “Manhattan-based” League.

The local group is particularly upset that the Senate never voted on the Long Island Water Quality Control Act, and has expressed support for Martins’ Democratic challenger, Adam Haber.

Honing In on Hochul

Now that Democratic gubernatorial candidate Zephyr Teachout has survived Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s residency challenge and is assured a spot on the Sept. 9 primary ballot, her campaign is turning up the heat on Cuomo’s running mate, Kathy Hochul.

Last night, Teachout and her running mate, Columbia Law Prof. Tim Wu, released a video highlighting Hochul’s voting record and statements – both as the Erie County clerk and as a congresswoman – that they say was compiled by a campaign volunteer identified only as “Tim from Brooklyn.”

The video features Hochul boasting that she had the Conservative Party’s endorsement “every time I’ve run for office,” and also saying that she didn’t support “Obamacare” 100 percent – even voting “many times to repeal it.”

“I’ve become very conservative in my voting record,” Hochul proudly proclaims at one point in the video.

There’s also footage of Hochul touting her backing from the NRA, support for the Keystone Pipeline, and opposition to former Gov. Eliot Spitzer’s push to let undocumented immigrants get driver’s licenses, which is something Wu has been hammering her on for weeks.

“I’ve heard from a lot of Republicans, they think I’m a different kind of Democrat, and I’ll take that as a compliment,” Hochul says. “…I’ve talked to hundreds of people, many, many Conservatives and Republicans, and they are with me on the issues.”

The video concludes by deeming Hochul the “wrong” kind of Democrat for New York, and highlighting Wu as a “progressive” candidate for LG.

Hochul’s past conservative positions are in no small part due to the large GOP enrollment edge in her old district, NY-27, which actually became even more Republican after the last round of redistricting, causing her to lose the seat to former Erie County Executive Chris Collins in 2012.

Since she was tapped in May by Cuomo to run for LG, the former congresswoman has refused to repudiate some of her record – like the opposition to undocumented immigrant driver’s licenses – even as she embraces more liberal policy proposals like the DREAM Act.

Hochul has also said she backs the SAFE Act, which has caused gun rights advocates to call for the NRA to withdraw its support of her.

The Teachout-Wu focus on Hochul is a testament to the fact that there are no set tickets until after the primary, which means Cuomo could end up running with Wu on the Democratic line if Wu somehow manages to beat Hochul on Sept. 9.

There’s ample precedence for this.

It happened in 2010 Carl Paladino, who ended up running with then-Chautauqua County Executive Greg Edwards, the running mate of Paladino’s vanquished gubernatorial primary foe, former Rep. Rick Lazio, after Edwards beat Paladino’s LG pick, former NYC Council Minority Leader Tom Ognibene in the primary.

It also happened to Cuomo’s father, former Gov. Mario Cuomo, when his preferred LG candidate, H. Carl McCall, lost the primary to Westchester County Executive Al DelBello, who was running with then-NYC Mayor Ed Koch.

Koch failed to defeat Mario Cuomo in the primary, so Cuomo and DelBello became a not-terribly-happy team. They won the general election, but DelBello ended up resigning before his four-year term was through, complaining that the governor hadn’t given him enough to do.

Here and Now

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

At 7:45 a.m., the charter school advocacy group Families for Excellent Schools hosts the grand opening of Boys Prep Elementary School, 1695 Seward Ave., the Bronx.

At 9 a.m., there will be a hearing on the designating petitions circulated by Sen. Tom Libous’ GOP primary opponent, Denver Jones, state Supreme Court, Albany.

At 10 a.m., the Rev. Al Sharpton delivers the eulogy for Michael Brown in St. Louis, Missouri.

At 11 a.m., NY-4 Democratic candidate and Nassau County DA Kathleen Rice will hold a press conference to call on her opponent, Republican and Conservative candidate Bruce Blakeman, to say whether or not he supports the 2014 Republican budget proposal, 311 Nassau Blvd. S., Garden City South, Long Island.

At noon, NY-23 Democratic candidate Martha Robertson holds s press conference, 609 W. Clinton St., Ithaca.

At 12:15 p.m., NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio speaks at a SASF Professional Development training for SONYC program staff members, Boys and Girls Club of Metro Queens – 1st Floor, Conference Room, 110-04 Atlantic Ave., Queens.

At 1 p.m., Democratic gubernatorial candidate Zephyr Teachout and her running mate, Tim Wu, hold a conference call on to criticize former Congresswoman/LG candidate Kathy Hochul’s congressional record.

At 5 p.m., 5 p.m. Robertson holds an endorsement event with Bowzer from Sha Na Na, Tioga Opportunities, 9 Sheldon Guile Blvd., Owego.

From 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., New York County Democratic Committee members, including the committee’s chairman, Assemblyman Keith Wright, hold a cocktail reception and political fundraiser; AFSCME District Council 1707, 420 W. 45th St., Manhattan.

At 6:15 p.m., de Blasio speaks at the Queens Jewish Community Council’s Testimonial Dinner, Young Israel of Jamaica Estates – Sanctuary, 83-10 188th St., Queens.

At 7 p.m., GOP state comptroller candidate/Onondaga County Comptroller Bob Antonacci attends a TriCity Valley Cats game, 80 Vandenburg Ave., Troy.

At 7:50 p.m., de Blasio speaks at the 2014 US Open Opening Ceremony, Flushing Meadow-Corona Park, USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, Flushing, Queens.

Headlines…

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Zephyr Teachout insists that she is gaining momentum, and is “zestily campaigning with a kind of cynicism-free optimism that makes her a sunny surprise.”

For Tim Wu, a first-time candidate at 42, the decision to run for the low-profile, relatively powerless office of lieutenant governor “is at once unlikely and perfectly in keeping with a scattershot resume that has made him an offbeat quasi-celebrity in the buttoned-up world of the legal academy.”

Over the course of a month, the WFP “built” Teachout into a politician who could challenge Gov. Andrew Cuomo from the left, even showing her flashcards of the names of elected officials she would need to know.

The Rev. Al Sharpton: “In New York, you are competing with Times Square lights and all of that, so you’ve got to be 300 pounds and crazy to get anyone’s attention. Then, you can refine yourself. I always knew under those 300 pounds and tracksuits was a refined, slim, dignified man.”

Twenty-eight months after being asked by the state’s Franchise Oversight Board to investigate the 15 months that NYRA improperly overcharged bettors, Inspector General Catherine Leahy Scott described the episode as an inexcusable subversion of public trust.

As NJ Gov. Chris Christie considers a run for president in 2016, he has a lot in common with former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani, whose own presidential bid did not go well – from shared aides and donors to a brash style and moderate views.

The New York state Education Department is urging districts to eliminate as much local testing as possible for the purposes of teacher evaluations, and is committing federal money to help make it happen. But some educators are opposing the increased reliance on state exams.

With the school year less than two weeks away, New York City is racing to complete an unprecedented prekindergarten expansion – and its success or failure could have major political implications for its first-year mayor, Bill de Blasio.

When fans arrive at the U.S. Open today, they’ll see the beginnings of a transformation from an aging, often cramped place to watch tennis to a facility that has more open space, a smarter layout, more places to sit and eat, and better sightlines for matches and snapping photos of stars.

The Buffalo School Board approved more than $1.2 million in consulting contracts last week and, in a rare moment of solidarity, none of the board members was happy about it.

The calm of Sharpton’s Staten Island march Saturday – 5,000 strong by a law enforcement estimate – wasn’t sheer luck. It was the culmination of weeks of careful planning by City Hall, police officials and march organizers, and of decades of lessons learned from policing the nation’s largest and most diverse city.

More >

The Weekend That Was

President Barack Obama’s summer vacation on Martha’s Vineyward is nearing an end. He’s due back at the White House late tonight.

The Rev. Al Sharpton’s march on Staten Island with what police estimated to be more than 2,500 protesters culminated at a rally on Saturday over the death of Eric Garner while in NYPD custody.

Garner’s wife, Esaw Garner, spoke at the rally, urging a peaceful protest. The mother of Amadou Diallo, who was killed in a 1999 shooting by four NYPD officers, also spoke. There were no arrests.

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio said the march “clearly was an example of police and protesters finding a way to get things done in a positive, democratic fashion” and was something New Yorkers “should all be proud of.”

NYC Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and Democratic gubernatorial candidate Zephyr Teachout marched, as did former Gov. David Paterson.

Even after $130 million in renovations this year, the Ralph is not – and probably never can be – the moneymaking machine that the NFL now favors.

Bob McCarthy: “Enthusiasm for the race between Democratic incumbent Andrew Cuomo and Republican challenger Rob Astorino ranks up there with Jon Bon Jovi buying the Buffalo Bills.”

One of the high-tech companies that was supposed to help pay for Cuomo’s $1.5 billion Nano Utica computer chip research initiative says it was never part of the program.

When it comes to 2016, party activists and Democratic insiders say, Cuomo has done little to put himself in a position to be a national candidate, while other Democrats, like Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley and even Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, have.

More than a dozen people lined the sidewalk on Main Street in Westhampton Beach this morning hours in advance to see Hillary Clinton at her latest book signing for “Hard Choices.”

Teachout: “I’m not going to tell you how to write your story, but I just want you to keep in mind that talking about a female candidate’s appearance can damage her chances of winning, even if it’s not negative.”

Indicted state Sen. Malcolm Smith is getting some divine intervention in his bid for re-election: an endorsement from the most influential pastor in his Queens district, the Rev. Floyd Flake.

Cuomo this weekend hosted the 2014 Long Island Wine and Craft Beverage Tour – an event organized to promote New York State’s beverage industry and boost tourism to the state’s growing number of wineries, breweries, distilleries and cideries.

He also participated in the Bassmaster Governor’s Challenge at Owasco Lake.

Cuomo was not forthcoming about his catch, but did say he didn’t get “skunked” like DEC Commissioner Joe Martens.

The Times Union urges New Yorkers to reject the constitutional redistricting amendment that will appear on the November ballot, calling it a “sham.”

The Auburn Citizen: “It’s time for the governor to start acting like the transparent, straight-talking leader he has often claimed to be.”

New York state senators sent out $3.2 million worth of state-funded mailings for the six-month period ending March 31, 2014, the latest expenditure filings show.

A state Court of Claims judge found New York state to be “100 percent liable” in the March 2009 death of a developmentally disabled woman who perished in a fire that tore through her state-run group home in the Adirondack community of Wells.

Sarah Palin became the latest politician to accept the ALS ice bucket challenge, posting a video to her Facebook page and challenging both Clinton and Sen. John McCain.

Airbnb plans to hand over the names and addresses of 124 hosts on its service to AG Eric Schneiederman.

Former NYC Mayor Bloomberg: “I don’t have anything in common with people who stand on escalators…I always walk around them — why waste time? You have eternity to rest when you die.”

De Blasio’s new neighborhood of Yorkville on Manhattan’s Upper East Side – home to Gracie Mansion – isn’t all that different from the Park Slope, Brooklyn ‘hood he left behind.

A handful of freshmen elected NYC Council members have swapped cars and public transit for bicycles, reflecting the growing trend of New Yorkers who prefer riding on two wheels.

‘VE Day’ won the Travers, surging from behind and prompting a photo finish.

Former Gov. Eliot Spitzer and his girlfriend, Lis Smith, are enjoying a romantic vacation in Paris.