Liz Benjamin

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Posts by Liz Benjamin

Q Poll: Cuomo Part of Corruption ‘Problem,’ NYers Like Him Anyway

A whopping 83 percent of New York voters think state government corruption is either a very or somewhat serious problem, and close to half (48 percent) believe Gov. Andrew Cuomo is contributing to the mess, according to a Quinnipiac poll released this morning.

Forty-one percent of those polled said Cuomo is part of the solution to the swamp that has engulfed Albany.

Concern over corruption and the governor’s role in combatting it (or failing to do so) has so far not had much of an impact on either his favorability rating or his lead over all challengers in the fall elections.

Cuomo continues to enjoy a massive lead over his GOP opponent, Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino, trouncing him 56-28, which is virtually unchanged from 57-28 in a May Q poll (conducted well before the Moreland mess heated up, thanks to a July 23 New York Times report).

As for Cuomo’s Democratic primary challenger, Fordham Law Prof. Zephyr Teachout, 88 percent of New Yorkers have no idea who she is. Ditto (or nearly, at 89 percent) for Green Party gubernatorial candidate Howie Hawkins.

“Is the governor’s race all over? Did it ever start?” said Q pollster Mickey Carroll.

“Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino gets only the standard Republican numbers. Voters give Gov. Cuomo a big lead and say he deserves reelection.”

“First, Cuomo has the primary challenge from Zephyr Teachout, who’s about as anonymous as a candidate can be,” Carroll added.

The governor’s favorability rating is 55-36, and 57-28 approve of the job he has been doing. Fifty-three percent of voters say Cuomo deserves to be re-elected, which is about the same as in May.

Fifty percent of voters disapprove of the way Cuomo is handling ethics in government, but 50 percent also say he’s honest and trustworthy.

Of the 51 percent who have read or heard anything about the governor’s decision to shutter the anti-corruption Moreland Commission, 77 percent say the shutdown was a political deal with legislative leaders while 11 percent say the decision was good government.

Even Cuomo’s fellow Democrats believe – 68-15 -that the demise of Moreland was the result of a political deal.

Forty-six percent of all voters think the feds should continue the defunct commission’s work, though another 46 percent said they haven’t heard enough about this issue to have an opinion one way or the other.

Here and Now

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

At 8:30 a.m., as part of its Executive Breakfast Series, the Long Island Association will host the Executive Director of the New York and New Jersey Port Authority, Patrick Foye, 300 Broadhollow Rd., Melville.

At 9:30 a.m., NYC Councilmen Dan Garodnick and Brad Lander and advocates promote two bills that would require additional disclosure on political campaign mailers of candidates and groups involved in sending the mailers; steps, City Hall, Manhattan.

Also at 9:30 a.m., Brian Jones, the Green Party candidate for LG, will speak at a protest on wage theft and the minimum wage, 75 Varrick St. (in front of the state Labor Department), Manhattan. Democratic gubernatorial candidate Zephyr Teachout is also expected to attend.

Also at 9:30 a.m., the New York State Fair butter sculpture is unveiled, TWC News will air the momentous event live.

At 10:15 a.m., Democratic LG candidate Kathy Hochul visits the Bayside Senior Center with Assemblyman David Weprin, 221-15 Horace Harding Expressway, Bayside, Queens.

At 10:30 a.m., AG Eric Schneiderman makes an announcement, SUNY Purchase, University Police Department Office, 735 Anderson Hill Rd., Purchase.

At 11 a.m., NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio attends an interfaith roundtable with New York City clergy members hosted by Timothy Cardinal Dolan, 452 Madison Ave., Manhattan. (A media availability will follow, though the meeting is closed to the press).

Also at 11 a.m., the FDNY Union of the Uniformed Fire Officers Association endorses Senate GOP Leader Dean Skelos, Hochul, and state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli, Russo’s on the Bay, 162-45 Cross Bay Blvd., Howard Beach, Queens.

Also at 11 a.m., LG Bob Duffy makes remarks at the Lion Heart Residences of Cohoes groundbreaking, 51 Manor Ave., Cohoes.

Also at 11 a.m., representatives of the statewide Coalition of Hispanic Chambers of Commerce and community, government and union officials call for the mayor to disclose more details about efforts to award contracts to businesses owned by minority residents and women, and seek a federal investigation of changes in city laws regulating certification of such businesses; steps, City Hall, Manhattan.

At 11:30 a.m., GOP AG candidare John Cahill attends the Dutchess County senior picnic, Freedom Park, 212 Skidmore Rd., LaGrange.

Also at 11:30 a.m., Assemblyman Felix Ortiz and health experts hold a press conference to discuss an annual study assessing the health of adults, 404 55th St., Brooklyn.

At 12:30 p.m., Duffy marks remarks at the at the Tech Valley High School ribbon cutting ceremony, Tech Valley High School, SUNY College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering, 246 Tricentennial Dr., Albany.

Also at 12:30 p.m., Cahill attends the Dutchess County Fair, 6550 Spring Brook Ave., Rhinebeck.

From 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., Rep. Dan Maffei will answer questions live on Syracuse.com for the first time in the NY-24 campaign.

At 3 p.m., Cahill highlights step one in his plan to fight corruption in Albany, Robert Abrams Building for Law and Justice, (in front of building on State Street, across from the state Capitol), Albany.

At 4:30 p.m., Real Affordability for All, Rev. Michael Walrond and others hold march to escalate a campaign urging developers to set aside 50 percent of all new apartments as real affordable units, First Corinthian Baptist Church, 1912 Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvd., Manhattan.

At 6 p.m., Rep. Charlie Rangel attends a campaign event for former NYC Councilman/Senate candidate Robert Jackson, 193 Malcolm X Blvd., Manhattan.

At 7 p.m., Chemung County Sheriff and GOP LG candidate Chris Moss attends and speaks at the Ulster County Conservative Committee Dinner, La Mirage Restaurant and Catering, 423 Broadway St., Ulster Park.

Headlines…

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio’s meeting today with religious leaders at the home of Cardinal Timothy Dolan is meant to soothe tensions ahead of a weekend march to protest the death of a Staten Island man in an apparent police chokehold.

When the Rev. Al Sharpton marches on Staten Island to protest the death of Eric Garner, he won’t be joined by any of the city’s top Democrats.

A Staten Island grand jury will hear evidence next month in the Garner case, potentially forcing the police officers implicated in the apparent chokehold death to testify under oath if they hope to avoid indictment.

De Blasio, who “shot to fame denouncing stop-and-frisk tactics and luxury condominiums, is now defending hard-nosed policing and cutting deals with developers, bowing to the realities of leading an unruly city but also angering an activist left that propelled his rise to the Democratic elite.”

Good-government groups are preparing to do battle with each other over a ballot proposal to change the state’s redistricting process.

For the first time, indicted Sen. Tom Libous addressed a report that the FBI raided his home on Aug. 8th, saying: “I’ve said it all along; I’m very confident. I sleep well at night. We’re going to fight it and the great thing here is I’m going to continue to work hard and do my job every day because I was elected to do so. I’m running hard for re-election and I’ll let the people decide.”

Brooklyn Councilman Jumaane Williams is considering backing Zephyr Teachout over Cuomo in advance of the Sept. 9 Democratic gubernatorial primary.

The NYT endorses NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer’s “ClaimStat” initiative, and wonders why the mayor’s office offered only “mild praise” of the idea.

More >

Extras

Staten Island DA Dan Donovan will convene a grand jury to determine if the NYPD officers involved in the death of Eric Garner will face criminal charges.

The Rev. Al Sharpton is still insisting that the case be turned over to the federal government.

Jimmy Fallon’s love affair with Syracuse continues.

Bronx Councilman Jimmy Vacca will introduce a bill requiring the NYC Board of Elections to use tech-savvy methods to provide voters with election information.

The Post-Standard calls Syracuse students English and math test scores “worse than dismal” and “unacceptable.”

RIP Frank Fossella, a former NYC councilman who also served as first vice chairman of the Staten Island Democratic Party.

WFP co-founder Bertha Lewis, a Teachout supporter, is disappointed that her ally, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio, is backing Cuomo for re-election.

Former NYC Council Speaker Chris Quinn thinks Teachout’s running mate, Tim Wu, should apologize “to the legacy of Susan B. Anthony” for his comments on women’s suffrage.

Democratic LG candidate Kathy Hochul announced the Women’s Equality Party has received more than 100,000 signatures in a recent petitioning drive.

Nine Democrats running for state Senate will file petition signatures to run on the Women’s Equality Party line – including IDC Leader Jeff Klein.

De Blasio has been avoiding the more conservative areas of Brooklyn that he lost to Republican Joe Lhota in 2013.

Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley has made three trips in nine months to New Hampshire, home to the first presidential primary.

“Is it any wonder that more women don’t run for office?”

Emmy nominee Laverne Cox of “Orange is the New Black” fame is lending her voice in support of a petition demanding safe housing for trans people in New York prisons.

Howard Dean is a supporter of Hillary Clinton 2016, but thinks she “will have a challenger in the Democratic field – maybe several. (Not him).

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation announced a $1.25 million challenge grant to Buffalo State’s Art Conservation Department to bolster graduate student fellowships in the flagship program.

Uber, the fast-growing private car start-up, has hired President Obama’s former campaign manager David Plouffe to be its senior vice president of policy and strategy.

According to the website RateMyProfessors.com, Teachout’s Fordham Law students admire her professorial skills – and think she’s hot.

GOP Rep. Tom Reed says he has lost 110 pounds since undergoing bariatric surgery. A marathon is on his “bucket list.”

Another 50-state economic ranking list – New York is 23rd.

Here and Now

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

At 9 a.m., NYC Public Advocate Tish James attends a Federal Immigration Court migrant children screening, 26 Federal Plaza, Manhattan. (Media availability to follow).

At 9:05 a.m., NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio delivers remarks at the “Getting Ready for Pre-K” Summer Professional Development Institute for Pre-K Teachers, Whitman Hall Auditorium, Brooklyn College, 2900 Bedford Ave., Brooklyn.

At 9:30 a.m., Sen. Ruben Diaz Sr. and Assemblyman Marcos Crespo will hold a press conference to protest the 24-hour eviction of residents who have been residing in a “cluster” homeless shelter, 941 Intervale Ave., the Bronx.

At 10 a.m., Democratic gubernatorial candidate Zephyr Teachout is back in court, defending a lower court decision in her favor regarding Cuomo’s residency challenge, Appellate Division, Second Department, Monroe Place, Brooklyn. (Teachout and her LG running mate, Tim Wu, hold a press conference prior to the hearing).

Also at 10 a.m., Westchester County Executive and GIO gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino will unveil a comprehensive jobs plan, Bob Carr 2.0 Printing and Mailing, 12 Hall St., Binghamton.

Also at 10 a.m.,Bronx Overall Economic Development Corp. President Marlene Cintron, Bronx BP Ruben Diaz Jr., state Labor Commissioner Peter M. Rivera and other officials mark the opening of a “New York Works” satellite office of the state Department of Labor’s Division of Business Services; Room 123, 851 Grand Concourse, the Bronx.

Also at 10 a.m., NYC Councilman Andy King and NYCHA Chairwoman and CEO Shola Olatoye, joined by state Sen. Ruth Hassell-Thompson, lead a tour of the authority’s Boston Secor Houses, as King discusses nearly $1.5 million in funding for projects to install security cameras and renovate the public housing development’s senior center and track and field; 3475 Bivona St., the Bronx.

Also at 10 a.m., Senate candidate/Dutchess County Legislator Sue Serino, Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell, Yorktown Councilman Terrence Murphy and Carmel Supervisor Ken Schmitt hold press conference on pension reform, Carmel Town Hall, 60 McAlpin Ave., Mahopac.

At 10:15 a.m., Democratic LG candidate Kathy Hochul speaks at a Women’s Equality Party press conference, City Hall steps, 260 Broadway, Manhattan.

At 10:40 a.m., Astorino will be a guest on WNBF Binghamton Now with host Bob Joseph.

At 11 a.m., employees at El Diario join representatives of the Newspaper Guild of New York and the New York City Central Labor Council and others at a rally to end firings of union-represented workers at the newspaper, City Hall steps, Manhattan.

At 11:45 a.m., Onondaga County Comptroller and GOP state comptroller candidate Bob Antonacci attends the Auburn-Finger Lakes Region Rotary Club luncheon, Holiday Inn, 75 North St., Auburn.

At noon, civic groups hold a virtual press conference to launch the “Vote Yes for Progress” push in favor of the redistricting constitutional amendment that will appear on the November ballot, register here: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/682726712586272002.

Also at noon, Sen. Tony Avella will unveil “Made in Queen” – a comprehensive six-point economic plan in order to boost employment opportunities and attract new businesses to the borough, Cascarinos Brick Oven Pizzeria, 14-60 College Point Blvd., Flushing.

At 12:30 p.m., Sen. Diane Savino and environmental advocates from groups discuss the Legislature’s passage of the “Community Risk and Resiliency Act” and call for the governor to sign it; parking lot across the street from Savino’s district office, 36 Richmond Terrace, Staten Island.

At 2 p.m., NYC Council members, inmate advocates and former guards and inmates from the city’s Rikers Island Correctional Facility discuss proposals for overhauling treatment of inmates at the jail; Urban Justice Center, 16th floor, 123 William St., Manhattan.

At 3:15 p.m., Astorino will continue his jobs plan unveiling tour, Buffalo Central Terminal, 495 Paderewski Dr., Buffalo.

At 4:30 p.m., Antonacci attends the Erie County Conservative Party family picnic, 299 Leydecker Rd., Buffalo.

At 5:30 p.m., Hochul campaigns at the W 72nd Street 1/2/3 Subway Station with Rep. Jerry Nadler, state Sens. Senators Brad Hoylman, Jose Serrano and Assemblymember Linda Rosenthal, Upper West Side, Manhattan.

At 6 p.m., Chemung County Sheriff and GOP LG candidate Chris Moss attends and speaks at the Erie County Conservative Committee Picnic, VFW Post 8113, Chicken Coop, 299 Leydecker Rd., West Seneca. (Astorino will also attend).

Also at 6 p.m., de Blasio delivers remarks at the Mayor’s Awards in honor of the Americans with Disabilities Act reception, Celeste Bartos Forum, New York Public Library, 5th Avenue and 42nd Street, Manhattan.

At 7 p.m., Antonacci attends the Buffalo Bisons’ baseball game, Coca-Cola field, Buffalo.

Headlines…

Republican Rep. Peter King and former Gov. David Paterson, Cuomo’s hand-picked state Democratic chairman, next week will join the stream of American politicians going to Israel to show solidarity against Hamas.

Labor sources said the AFL-CIO endorsement of Gov. Andrew Cuomo labor was blocked primarily by NYSUT and AFSCME – a parent organization of public employee unions.

“I find it hard to imagine that anything the unions are doing is ultimately going to make a big difference in a primary,” said Joe Mercurio, a Democratic political consultant. “This is going to be a turnout-driven election, and (Cuomo) has way more resources than (Teachout) does to generate turnout.”

Cuomo signed a new law designed to make life easier for U.S. service members. The measure eases certain educational and job related restrictions.

NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton called a graffiti exhibit at the Museum of the City of New York “outrageous.”

Bratton insisted that gun violence in NYC is at a historically low level and that the majority of shooting incidents are in the same areas that have been hot spots for decades.

A federal appeals court ruled that Erie County must unseal reports on jail conditions as part of its monitoring by the U.S. Department of Justice.

More >

Extras

US Attorney Preet Bharara told the New York Times: “I have no interest and desire to seek political office…Now or ever.”

At least 105 jobs are being lost at Remington Arms in Ilion as part of the gun maker’s plans to move two assembly lines to Alabama.

While several members of Congress have called for a federal prosecutor in the death of Eric Garner in NYPD custody, Mayor Bill de Blasio believes Staten Island DA Dan Donovan is capable of leading the investigation.

An agenda distributed to labor activists who gathered at a Manhattan hotel today for the AFL-CIO convention did not include anything about the governor’s race.

Morning Joe included Gov. Andrew Cuomo in a report on “governors in trouble,” and discussed his transparency problem.

NRCC Chairman Greg Walden is coming to Syracuse tomorrow, but so far does not plan to campaign in public with John Katko, the GOP NY-24 candidate.

Hillary and Bill Clinton will return to Iowa next month as headliners for the 37th Harkin Steak Fry.

LG Bob Duffy tweaked NJ Gov. Chris Christie on Twitter.

Donald Trump charged the Rev. Al Sharpton with fanning the flames in Ferguson, Missouri, saying that causing controversy is a “cottage industry” for  the MSNBC host.

Sharpton called out Hillary Clinton, Christie and other potential 2016 presidential candidates for keeping quiet on the situation in Ferguson.

A mega-developer looking to build a $750 million casino resort in Orange County has been repeatedly accused of racial discrimination in other states.

“ Tim Russert country” (Western New York) is not to blame for David Gregory’s “Meet the Press” failure.

The state is routing $340 million in funding to expand full-day pre-kindergarten programs for nearly 37,000 children. The lion’s share of that cash is going to NYC.

Sen. Liz Krueger donated $2,000 from her campaign to Sen. Tony Avella’s primary challenger, John Liu, despite a detente between the mainline Democratic conference and the IDC.

Why is the Environmental Defense Fund spending big to help re-elect GOP Rep. Chris Gibson?

Democratic NY-4 candidate Kathleen Rice called on her Republican opponent, Bruce Blakeman, to join her in endorsing a federal minimum wage increase.

A couple NYC Council members blamed Norman Seabrook, the president of the correction officers union, for stonewalling reforms at the violence-plagued Rikers Island.

RIP former Vermont U.S. Sen. James Jeffords, who in 2001 tipped control of the Senate when he quit the Republican Party to become an independent.

It’s been business as usual for the Buffalo Sabres even though owner Terry Pegula and his wife, Kim, are in the thick of the bidding to become owners of the Buffalo Bills.

The U.S.Department of Health and Human Services has abandoned a controversial plan to open dozens of temporary shelters across the nation for immigrant children awaiting deportation.

Cahill Stands With Donovan

ICYMI, this was the second item in today’s Morning Memo:

Republican state attorney general candidate John Cahill has issued a statement of support for Staten Island DA Dan Donovan, the GOP’s 2010 AG contender, as he continues his investigation into the death of Eric Garner.

“There is not a more conscientious, better prepared or more fair minded prosecutor than Dan Donovan,” Cahill said yesterday. “There is not a law enforcement official in America better suited to conduct this investigation…The death of Mr. Garner is tragic and his family deserves the facts, all the facts, not a political football.”

“Demagoguing New York’s law enforcement community and passing the buck yet again to a federal judge or US Attorney only deepens the divisions between those responsible for enforcing the law and the communities they are charged to protect,” Cahill concluded.

Republicans are rallying around Donovan in the face of claims – mostly from Democrats – that the DA is too close to the NYPD to conduct a fair and transparent probe into the circumstances of Garner’s death, which occurred after an officer put him in an apparent chokehold while trying to arrest him for allegedly selling untaxed, loose cigarettes.

Downstate Democratic members of New York’s congressional delegation want US AG Eric Holder to step in to investigate Garner’s death and also the NYPD’s so-called “broken windows” policy, which they believe unfairly targets blacks and Latinos.

Donovan was elected in 2003 and has twice easily won re-election on Staten Island. He’s next up in 2015, but says he hasn’t yet given any thought to whether he’ll be running – a decision that could no doubt be significantly impacted by his handling of this case.

Donovan lost the 2010 AG’s race to then-Democratic state Sen. Eric Schneiderman, who won a five-way Democratic primary in September prior to continuing on to the November general election.

In his uphill battle against Schneiderman this fall, Cahill, a former top Pataki administration aide, has been sticking largely to a law-and-order message, assailing the Democratic incumbent’s record on fighting crime. Cahill has also been hammering on Schneiderman for his role – or lack thereof – in the Moreland mess.

Despite Cahill’s repeated attacks, Schneiderman has consistently maintained a double-digit lead over his GOP opponent in public opinion polls, even widening his lead by five percentage points (from 22 to 27) in last week’s Siena poll.

In Some Races, PEF Plays It Safe

From the Morning Memo:

Much was made last week of the endorsement by PEF, the state’s second-largest public workers union, of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Democratic primary challenger Zephyr Teachout.

The nod was seen both as political muscle flexing by the union’s new president, Susan Kent, and a shot across Cuomo’s bow at a time when his relationship with several public sector unions is strained.

PEF also bucked the institutional Democratic trend and backed former NYC Councilman Oliver Koppell over IDC Leader Jeff Klein, despite the Cuomo-backed deal for Klein and his fellow renegades to abandon the GOP and strike a new deal with the so-called “regular” Democrats in exchange for (among other things) seeing primary challenges to IDC members dropped.

But a full list of PEF’s legislative endorsements provided to CapTon reveals the union wasn’t so politically provocative in all its candidate selections, even opting to sit on the sidelines rather than choose sides in races where incumbents have been charged with wrongdoing.

PEF did not issue endorsements in the Brooklyn race where embattled former Senate Democratic Leader John Sampson is fighting for his political life; or in the Binghamton race where Sen. Tom Libous, the chamber’s No. 2 Republican, is doing the same.

Both Sampson and Libous have been slapped with federal corruption charges.

The union’s regional leaders recommended backing Sampson’s primary challenger Dell Smitherman, a former 1199 SEIU political coordinator, and Libous’ Democratic opponent, former Vestal Town Supervisor Anndrea Starzak; but those suggestions were not heeded when a final vote was taken at PEF’s conference last week.

PEF did back a primary challenger to another scandal-scarred senator, supporting former NYC Councilman Leroy Comrie over Sen. Malcolm Smith (another former Senate Democratic leader) in Queens.

On Long Island, PEF mostly stayed with the status quo, except in one notable case: It backed Democrat Ethan Irwin, a Levittown lawyer and former US Marine, over veteran GOP Sen. Kemp Hannon.

In two open seats on Long Island, PEF backed the Democratic candidates, choosing environmental activist Adrienne Esposito in the battle for GOP Sen. Lee Zeldin’s district (he’s running for Congress), and Dave Denenberg for ex-Sen. Chuck Fuschillo’s district.

PEF also opted for “no endorsement” in another Brooklyn district, which is represented by Sen. Simcha Felder – a Democrat who conferences with the Republicans.

In Western New York, PEF issued no endorsement in the 59th SD, which is represented by Republican Sen. Patrick Gallivan. It is also sitting out the 60th SD race, where GOP Sen. Mark Grisanti faces a primary challenge from attorney Kevin Stocker and a general election challenge from Democratic attorney Marc Panepinto.

And PEF also passed up the opportunity to choose sides in the battle over retiring GOP Sen. George Maziarz’s seat in Niagara Falls, but did give a nod to Elaine Altman – a Democrat challenge Republican Sen. Michael Ranzenhofer.

Also seeing “no endorsement” votes in their districts from PEF were GOP Sens. Cathy Young (57th SD) and Jim Seward (51st SD).

In several contested races on which control of the Senate chamber could hinge, PEF sided with the Democrats. It backed Sen. Cecilia Tkaczyk over her GOP opponent (for the second election cycle in a row) ex-Assemblyman George Amedore; Sen. Terry Gipson over Republican Dutchess County Legislator Sue Serino; and Sen. Ted O’Brien over his Republican challenger, former TV news anchor Rich Funke.

Here and Now

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

At 10 a.m., Westchester County Executive and GOP gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino ill hold a press conference with Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis addressing Staten Island transportation issues and calling on the MTA to draft a 2015 capital plan, Front Street, between Thompson and Canal Streets, Staten Island.

At 11 a.m., Nassau County DA and NY-4 Democratic candidate Kathleen Rice will hold a press conference tomorrow morning to call for bipartisan congressional action to raise the federal minimum wage, Rice Campaign Office, 311 Nassau Blvd S., Garden City South.

At 11:30 a.m., Caesars New York will host Woodbury officials and members of the regional chambers of commerce to celebrate its office’s grand opening with a ribbon-cutting ceremony, 500 Route 32, Highland Mills.

At noon, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio makes a personnel announcement, Blue Room, City Hall, Manhattan.

Also at noon, NYC Council Members Daniel Dromm and Andy King, the Jails Action Coalition and other groups hold rally to push for changes in treatment of people detained and incarcerated on Riker’s Island, City Hall steps, Manhattan.

At 12:35 p.m., Astorino will visit and deliver remarks at the Korean Community Center, Flushing Senior Center, 42-15 166th St., Flushing.

At 1 p.m., Sen. David Carlucci and the Mental Health Association of Rockland will announce a suicide prevention “safeTALK” class for the general community, 140 Rte. 303, Valley Cottage.

At 1:30 p.m., Astorino will meet with and tour the Flushing Chinese Business Association, 4048 Main St., Flushing.

At 3 p.m., Astorino will tour various businesses in the Jackson Heights Merchants Association, beginning at Amba Jewelers, 37-13 74th St., Jackson Heights, Queens.

At 3:45 p.m., Astorino will meet with officials from the Jackson Heights Merchants Association, Jackson Diner, 37-47 74th St., Jackson Heights, Queens.

At 5:15 p.m., Astorino will visit Brooklyn’s Chinatown and meet with local merchants and the NYPD’s precinct captain and community officer about issues facing the community.

At 7:15 p.m., de Blasio speaks at the Wingate Park Concert Series, Wingate Field, Brooklyn Ave between Rutland Road and Winthrop Street, Brooklyn.

Headlines…

At least 23 people in New York City were struck by bullets this weekend – two are dead. This adds to a tally of shooting victims that is an increase of more than 10 percent over last year, to more than 822 citywide.

Dropping a health bombshell on Twitter, NYC Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito disclosed Sunday that she has “high risk HPV.”

Mark-Viverito also revealed it had been two years since her last gynecological exam, and she will undergo a biopsy to determine if she has cervical cancer.

Jim Kelly recently met with Jon Bon Jovi to discuss partnering up in pursuit of the Buffalo Bills, but the Hall of Fame quarterback declined to enlist over lingering concerns the team could move.

Democratic Sen. Ted O’Brien – a top GOP target this fall – said he will submit 5,000 petitions on Monday to run on the “Upstate Tax Relief” line in his bid for a second term in the 55th Senate District. He’s running against the GOP’s Rich Funke.

Also launching a new ballot line: Disability rights crusader, one-time state Senate candidate and persistent Cuomo critic Michael Carey. He’s calling it the Life and Justice Party, and he wants to use it for his own gubernatorial run.

The Metropolitan Opera continued talking early this morning with the unions representing its orchestra and chorus, going past the deadline it had set of midnight Sunday for either reaching a deal or locking out its workers a little more than a month before opening night.

UPDATE: There’s a tentative deal between the Met Opera and the unions after an all-night bargaining session.

No one thinks Fordham Law School Prof . Zephyr Teachout will beat Cuomo in the Sept. 9 Democratic primary, but she could hurt him, experts said.

NYC Mayor de Blasio is in the midst of a hiring spree that will add more than 1,000 workers to the public payroll — reversing a six-year trend of downsizing city government.

Fare-beating busts on the subway have surged in recent years, and so has the number of people doing time for the $2.50 crime, making it one of the top charges that has led to incarcerations, a Daily News analysis has found.

My dad and former NYC Corporation Counsel Fritz Schwartz write in the NYDN: “The swirl of attention around Gov. Cuomo’s shuttering of the Moreland Commission is an easy distraction. Like a magician’s trick, it takes our attention off of where it should really be focused: on the commission’s crucial recommendations for campaign finance reform.”

After a brief respite from Moreland questions during his Israel trip, Cuomo returned to…more Moreland questions – even from a “friendly” interviewer, like FOX News’ Maria Bartiromo.

More >

The Weekend That Was

Texas Gov. Rick Perry defended the veto that led a grand jury to indict him on two felony counts of abuse of power, noting that even some Democrats have questioned the move by prosecutors and insisting: “I stood up for the rule of law in the state of Texas.”

The state Education Department dropped the number of raw points needed to hit proficiency levels in six of the 12 English and math exams given to students in grades 3 to 8, officials acknowledged.

In interviews with about a dozen members of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s various commissions since he took office in 2011, some said they never felt pressured to reach a particular outcome, while others described frustrations with the governor’s office’s oversight of the panels’ work.

Despite mounting criticisms, officials from the UFT doubled down on their decision to participate in the march that Rev. Al Sharpton is leading on Staten Island next Saturday to protest the death of Eric Garner.

PBA President Pat Lynch called it “disgraceful” and “ridiculous” for UFT President Mike Mulgrew to get involved with the march. The UFT declined to comment.

The family of Michael Brown, the unarmed black teenager who was fatally shot by a suburban St. Louis police officer last Saturday, may attend Sharpton’s “We Will Not Go Back” march.

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder has asked that a federal medical examiner do an autopsy on Brown’s body as soon as possible because of “extraordinary circumstances involved in this case and at the request of the Brown family.”

Former NYPD Commissioner Bernard Kerik defended the military gear and tactics used by law enforcement in Ferguson to quell violence after Brown’s death, saying it was “absolutely needed.”

Multiple sources on both sides of the border have told The Buffalo News that Bon Jovi and his Toronto-based partners reached out to Jim Kelly within the past five days for a Hail Mary attempt to help salvage their beleaguered bid.

Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown’s son, 23-year-old Byron Brown Jr., is moving past “the incident” that occurred seven years ago and believes he has found his niche as a filmmaker.

Erie County Comptroller Stefan Mychajliw’s public office is “Buffalo’s strangest new art gallery.”

The two young Amish sisters who were kidnapped from their farm in Oswegatchie, N.Y., near the Canadian border last week were sexually assaulted, authorities say.

On Saturday, Republican gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino was at a pro-gun rally in Ontario County.

A Bronx judge kept NYC Councilman Fernando Cabrera on the ballot in his primary challenge against Sen. Gustavo Rivera because Rivera’s team failed to properly serve a subpoena to the petition carrier for Cabrera who allegedly collected fraudulent signatures.

Hillary Clinton likes to travel in style.

Clinton’s East Hampton book signing was not a low-key affair.

Kevin Spacey, as Frank Underwood, helped Clinton celebrate the 68th birthday of her husband, the former president.

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio spends hours on the phone seeking counsel from liberal confidants like Sharpton, SEIU 1199 President George Gresham, political consultants Valerie Berlin and Jonathan Rosen, and top aides to Bill Clinton, a “well-placed Democratic insider” told The Post.

NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer found the Parks Department has been paying contractors for tree pruning that was never done, and also paying them to prune the wrong trees.

The Southampton and Tuckahoe school districts on Long Island will once again attempt to merge after voters wary of tax hikes rejected the idea last year.

The NY Daily News sides with Donald Trump in his effort to get JCOPE to investigate AG Eric SChneiderman.

The state is still trying to collect $68,000 in back rent from Rep. Charlie Rangel, but his office insists he’s up to date on payments.

Former Manhattan DA Robert M. Morgenthau and his wife, Lucinda Franks, were an original “power couple,” and she has memorialized their nearly 40-year union in a new book.

The first steps to securing two giant pandas for the city are underway, Rep. Carolyn Maloney said today after returning from a two-week trip to China.

The world’s best bass fishing professionals are schooling in the Village of Union Springs, Cayuga County, on the east side of Cayuga Lake this week for the A.R.E. Truck Caps Bassmaster Elite Series Tournament.

Extras

In an rare national network appearance, Gov. Andrew Cuomo will be on Fox news’ Sunday Morning Futures with Maria Bartiromo at 10 a.m. Sunday.

Zephyr Teachout: “I am a down-the-line, traditional Democrat. I would be right at home in Mario Cuomo’s cabinet.”

US Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand still believes she can convince the last several senators who voted against her sweeping and controversial effort to change the way the military prosecutes sexual assault.

Sen. Malcolm Smith told a Queens audience that racially motivated forces of gentrification are behind his indictment on charges he tried to bribe his way onto the GOP line in the 2013 NYC mayor’s race.

In addition to stoking a bit of healthy controversy, The New York Times’ recent opinion series endorsing marijuana legalization was a big boon for online traffic.

Despite headaches from Moreland, Cuomo raised more money in July than in any other month of his term, according to NYPIRG’s Bill Mahoney.

PEF backed former NYC Councilman Oliver Koppell over his primary target, IDC Leader Jeff Klein.

A group of young French tourists pronounced Senate GOP Leader Dean Skelos “very handsome” during his trip to Israel.

DC 37, NYC’s largest public workers union, released its legislative endorsements for the Sept. 9 primary.

A month after he and Queens BP Melinda Katz dismantled the Queens Borough Public Library board of trustees, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio has appointed the board’s first new member.

Six months after Long Island political power broker Gary Melius was shot by a masked gunman in a bungled assassination attempt on the grounds of his estate, Oheka Castle, police still have no leads.

At a concert in Albany last night, Jackson Browne paid tribute to the late Pete Seeger the anti-fracking movement.

In a rare move, NYSUT turned its back on a veteran Brooklyn assemblyman, Felix Ortiz, to endorse a relatively unknown rival, Ceasar Zuniga.

Assembly Majority Leader Joe Morelle drew criticism for being “a little liberal with his computer’s cut-and-paste function” when it comes to the proposed Time Warner Cable/Comcast merger.

UUP wants a congressional resolution calling for the release of Warren Weinstein, a former union member and development expert who has was taken captive in Lahore by al-Qaeda in 2011.

Five people were arrested in New York City last night in connection with protests against the police shooting of an unarmed black teenager in Ferguson, Mo.

Forty-eight media organizations sent a letter to law enforcement authorities in Ferguson to protest the police’s treatment of reporters and ask for greater transparency regarding the death of Michael Brown.

Members of the unions representing most Long Island Rail Road workers have overwhelmingly approved the four-year contract that was negotiated last month.