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Posts by Liz Benjamin
Aug 19th - 5:11 pm
AG Eric Schniederman’s fraud investigation into ExxonMobile is focused less on the distant past than on relatively recent statements by the company related to climate change and what it means for its future.
Donald Trump released his first general election TV ad this morning, blaming Hillary Clinton for a “rigged system,” emphasizing his anti-illegal immigrant message, and promising that in his America, families will be safe.
Trump announced this morning that his campaign chairman Paul Manafort had resigned, two days after the Republican nominee put in place a new leadership structure that appeared to minimize Manafort’s role.
Clinton campaign spokesman Robby Mook’s response: “You can get rid of Manafort, but that doesn’t end the odd bromance Trump has with Putin.”
Trump’s new campaign manager Kellyanne Conway called for the candidate to release his tax returns in April, according to CNN video highlighted by Media Matters.
As news of Manafort’s departure broke, Trump and his running mate Mike Pence toured some of the areas damaged by recent floods in Louisiana.
After being criticized for not cutting his Martha’s Vineyard vacation short to visit Louisiana, President Obama announced he will travel there next Tuesday.
“People are getting pretty nervous about our candidates because (Trump is) in a death spiral here and nobody knows where the bottom is at,” said U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican who is close to many of his colleagues facing re-election.
Clinton is heading to the Hamptons at the end of the month for a three-day fundraising sprint that includes a dinner hosted by singers Jimmy Buffett and Jon Bon Jovi.
U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is calling on the Department of Health and Human Services to use its funds to fight Zika instead of paying for ObamaCare outreach.
Ex-Rep. Anthony Weiner says the makers of the documentary “Weiner” used footage of his wife, Huma Abedin, without first securing her permission as originally agreed.
Former President Bill Clinton and Trump’s wife, Melania, submitted cookie recipes for Family Circle magazine’s Presidential Cookie Poll, where readers pick between the two cookie recipes. (He played it safe, handing in a family recipe that won in 1992 and 1996.
An animal rights group is calling on the state to rescind its promised $90,000 subsidy to keep the price of a cup of milk at the New York State Fair to 25 cents.
After New Jersey’s sports-betting law was struck down in federal court this month, New York Assemblyman Gary Pretlow said he may seek a state law that would legalize sports betting in a bid to fight the federal ban.
The Cuomo administration appears to be trying to undercut the Obama administration’s efforts to reduce transportation emissions, which isn’t in keeping with the governor’s overall approach on climate change.
It’s wildfire season in the western states and as he’s done in the past, Cuomo is dispatching some firefighters from the DEC to help out.
Republican Wendy Long accused her Democratic opponent, U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer, of engaging in “pay to play” by raising campaign funds from developers who benefit from the federal immigrant investor program.
The largest sugar maple tree in the state, located in Ontario, will come down next week after heavy rains caused a massive branch to fall.
Aug 19th - 5:21 am
Gov. Andrew Cuomo is in the New York City area with no public schedule. NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio is in the city with no public events scheduled.
At 8:15 a.m., NYC Health Commissioner Dr. Mary Travis Bassett speaks at the CityLaw Breakfast to discuss what the city is doing to prevent the spread of Zika virus, 185 West Broadway, Manhattan.
At 10 a.m., LG Kathy Hochul announces Better Buffalo Fund incentive recipients, Varsity Theatre, 3165 Bailey Ave., Buffalo.
At 11:30 a.m., Green Party presidential nominee Jill Stein and running mate Ajamu Baraka discuss the “Green New Deal” and their participation in the upcoming presidential debates, Holiday Inn Lower East Side, 150 Delancey St., Manhattan.
At noon, state and local Hudson River towns elected officials and environmental advocates call on the U.S. Coast Guard to reject the proposed Hudson River anchorage grounds for commercial vessels, Long Dock Park Pier, Long Dock Road, Beacon.
At 1:30 p.m., NYC Councilwoman Rosie Mendez and Assemblywoman Alice Cancel announce the beginning of construction on the first two Community Parks Initiative capital projects in Manhattan, Sol Lain Playground, East Broadway and Henry Street, Manhattan.
At 2:30 p.m., NYC Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito tours the Queens Botanical Garden with Councilman Peter Koo, 43-50 Main St., Queens.
At 3:30 p.m., state GOP Chairman Ed Cox will hold a media availability to discuss the 2016 election, Monroe County Republican Headquarters, 460 State St., Rochester.
At 3:45 p.m., Mark-Viverito vitas the Hindu Temple Society of North America, 45-57 Bowne St., Queens.
The Obama administration said that a $400 million cash payment to Iran seven months ago was contingent on the release of a group of American prisoners. It is the first time the U.S. has so clearly linked the two events, which critics have painted as a hostage-ransom arrangement.
The Clinton Foundation will stop accepting foreign and corporate donations if Hillary Clinton is elected president. This comes as the Democratic presidential nominee has faced many questions over the foundation’s donors – including their access to her when she served as secretary of State.
Donald Trump said he regrets any damage he inflicted with his blunt rhetoric on the campaign trail as the candidate and his revamped campaign staff look to recover from a rough few weeks.
The Trump campaign’s concerted effort to pump up questions about Clinton’s health using innuendo and unfounded speculation now includes an official diagnosis: dysphasia. A spokeswoman alleged the candidate suffers from the language disorder, with which she has never been diagnosed.
Wired magazine made its first presidential endorsement, backing Clinton in the name of optimism.
A naked statue of Trump drew dozens of onlookers to Union Square yesterday until it was unceremoniously ripped down.
In a profile in Esquire magazine of Ivanka Trump’s husband Jared Kushner, a spokesman said that his younger brother Josh Kushner was a “lifelong Democrat” and “would not be voting for Donald Trump in November.” (It’s not clear he’ll be voting for Clinton, however).
Long-shot candidates from the Big Apple running for president say they have a real advantage this election — they’re more likable than the famous New Yorkers on the ticket: Trump and Clinton.
Colin Powell told Clinton she should use a personal email account at the State Department, she told the FBI.
NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton all but endorsed Clinton for president after he and several other law enforcement officials met with the Democratic presidential candidate yesterday behind closed doors in Manhattan for nearly two hours.
In the ongoing court battle over “pay to play” allegations by a Cleveland developer, Biffalo Mayor Byron Brown is shaking up his legal defense team, replacing one big name with another. The change in lead counsel came just weeks after several sources reported that former Deputy Mayor Steven Casey met at least twice with FBI agents investigating public corruption.
Convicted former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver should go straight to jail, Manhattan US Attorney Preet Bharara argued in a letter to a federal judge.
One benefit of the ongoing drought in certain areas of the state: Fewer mosquitos.
After eight months without 421a, and relative silence from Albany on how to revive it, Gov. Andrew Cuomo emerged this week with a possible solution. At the very least, the unions and developers seem to finally be back at the table with a plan that neither side, at least publicly, is denouncing.
NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio said he’s fine with the state subsidizing higher wages for construction workers who build affordable housing in the five boroughs – as long as it doesn’t impact the city’s bottom line.
A state commission to tackle retirement security plans to hold its first meeting next month – eight months after Cuomo announced the commission during his State of the State speech.
The city of Newburgh is seeking guidance from the state Department of Environmental Conservation on how to handle the rising water level in its PFOS-contaminated public water source, which could soon overflow.
Aug 18th - 5:22 pm
New York City and surrounding areas are seeing strong job growth while the Upstate region is experiencing only modest gains as it continues to struggle from manufacturing losses, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York said.
Questions about Hillary Clinton’s health are back in the news, thanks in no small part to Donald Trump and his allies. A letter released by her longtime doctor insists she’s in “excellent” health.
Naked, life-size statues of Trump debuted at famous public spaces in several U.S. cities this morning, including: New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Seattle, and Cleveland.
Before Trump attended his first FBI briefing as the Republican presidential candidate, he discussed national security with about a dozen experts at his Trump Tower office, according to one participant, Long Island Rep. Peter King.
In an effort to force Trump to release his tax returns, the DNC has created “Donald Ducks” – a mascot that will be following the candidate around the country.
The Clinton campaign also released a new TV ad slamming Trump for failing to make his returns public.
The Department of Justice aims to reduce and “ultimately” end its practice of sending inmates to private prisons, Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates said in a memo to the Federal Bureau of Prisons. The directive effects 12 percent of federal prisoners.
Maureen Lewi, chair of Concerned Citizens for Saratoga Racing, which is leading the #WhoaCuomo campaign regarding control of NYRA, said the governor’s office has contacted her and others, urging them to “lighten up.”
NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio is (unsurprisingly) siding with state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli after Gov. Andrew Cuomo dismissed the comptroller’s audits of his economic development programs as “opinions.”
The American swimmers who claimed they were assaulted at gunpoint over the weekend by assailants posing as police officers fabricated their account of the episode, according to Brazilian investigators.
The Buffalo Bills’ home officially has a new moniker. The team announced on Twitter this morning that Ralph Wilson Stadium is becoming New Era Field. The team declined to disclose the terms of the naming-rights deal, but said it will last seven years.
As the House of Representatives Science, Space and Technology committee seeks by subpoena a trove of documents related to an investigation into Exxon Mobil that Schneiderman is involved in, the AG’s office countered today that a decision to cut minority members’ staff out of subpoena discussions represents “partisan gamesmanship.”
The Seneca Niagara Casino does not pay for police coverage, though officers respond to calls there between three and 10 times a day. Local officials would like to see some compensation.
Controversial gossip and entertainment website Gawker.com, which sold at a bankruptcy auction this week for $135 million, will shut down next week. Its new owner, Univision, will shut down Gawker.com, but continue to operate Gawker Media’s other sites, including Deadspin and Gizmodo, according to Business Insider.
Cuomo says removing Interstate 81 bridges in Syracuse could be “transformative.” Like Syracuse, Buffalo has expressways dividing neighborhoods or walling off the waterfront, and the governor’s CNY comment has resonated with some people further west.
Democrat Rachel Barnhart is calling on her opponent, Assemblyman Harry Bronson, to disavow an onslaught of sexist social media and blog posts from his supporters.
Retired NYPD detective-turned-consultant Bo Dietl is hitting back at critics of contracts he received from Nassau for amounts just below the $25,000 threshold for legislative approval.
NY-19 candidates John Faso, a Republican, and Zephyr Teachout, a Democrat, will debate on WAMC/Northeast Public Radio from 1 to 2 p.m. on Sept. 15, the station announced.
Elizabeth Sobol, a veteran of the classical music and recording industry, has been hired by the Saratoga Performing Arts Center to lead the venue into its sixth decade
A Georgia company has withdrawn plans to build a 17-story student apartment tower that Syracuse University criticized as being way too tall for the university neighborhood.
Aug 18th - 5:26 am
Gov. Andrew Cuomo is in New York City with no public schedule.
At 9 a.m., the Islamic Leadership Council of NY and other Muslim organizations hold a press conference regarding the murders of Imam Maulama Akonjee and Thara Uddin; NYC Comptroller Stringer is scheduled to attend, City Hall steps, Manhattan.
At 9:30 a.m., LG Kathy Hochul highlights state support for Long Island’s commercial fishing industry, Montauk Fish Dock, 478 West Lake Dr., Montauk.
Also at 9:30 a.m., the state Urban Development Corp. directors hold a meeting, ESDC, 633 Third Ave., Manhattan.
Also at 9:30 a.m., advocates hold a rally accusing Trump of “ducking” on releasing his taxes, unveiled a new “Donald Ducks” figure that will be following the candidate around, Trump Tower, 725 5th Ave., Manhattan. (A second rally will be held at 7:30 p.m., outside an event at which Trump is scheduled to speak, Charlotte Convention Center, Charlotte, NC).
At 10 a.m., NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio appears live on WNYC.
Also at 10 a.m., the Federal Reserve Bank of New York press briefing on the regional economy, with economists providing an update on regional economic conditions and remarks from President William Dudley, 33 Liberty St., Manhattan.
At 10:30 a.m., state Commissioner of Homes and Community Renewal James Rubin makes an announcement, Glens Falls Civic Center, 1 Civic Center Plaza, Glens Falls.
At 11 a.m., Hochul makes a clean energy announcement, Ditch Plains Beach (end of Otis Road), Montauk, Long Island.
Also at 11 a.m., EPA Regional Administrator Judith Enck discusses stronger protections for farmworkers under the updated Worker Protection Standard, Indian Ladder Farms, 342 Altamont Rd., Altamont.
At 11:15 a.m., Rep. John Katko will host a roundtable discussion with local law enforcement and community stakeholders to discuss threats specific to the four counties in NY-24, McMahon/Ryan Child Advocacy Center, training room, 601 E. Genesee St., Syracuse.
At noon, de Blasio and NYC Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito will host a press conference to make an announcement regarding New York City parks, St. Mary’s Recreation Center, 450 St. Ann’s Ave., the Bronx.
Also at noon, Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, state Sen. Bill Larkin, Assemblyman James Skoufis and more call on the U.S. Coast Guard to hold additional public hearings and conduct environmental impact study before expanding mooring infrastructure on the Hudson, Kowawese Unique Area at Plum Point, 90 Plum Point Lane, New Windsor.
Als at noon, advocates hold press conference in front of the offices of U.S. Sens. Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand to support their call for halt to construction on the Algonquin pipeline project, 780 Third Ave., Manhattan.
Also at noon, Sen. Daniel Squadron, “Love Our Pool: Families United For A Pool in Brooklyn Bridge Park,” and community members will urge the City to keep the Brooklyn Bridge Park pop-up pool open until there are concrete plans for a permanent pool, Pier 2 Uplands, 150 Furman St., Brooklyn.
At 5:30 p.m., ESDC President, Commissioner and CEO Howard Zemsky makes an announcement, Reg Lenna Center for The Arts, 116 East Third St., Jamestown.
At 6 p.m., Hochul delivers the keynote address at the Girls Who Code graduation ceremony, 33 Thomas St., Manhattan.
Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager excoriated Donald Trump’s latest campaign hires — an unusually aggressive attack aimed at staffers from a team that has been keeping a low profile as its rival has self-immolated.
Clinton herself predicted Trump’s staff shake-up wouldn’t do much to alter the course of his campaign. “‘When someone shows you who they are, believe them,” the candidate said, citing Maya Angelou at a rally in Cleveland. “I think it’s fair to say that Donald Trump has shown us who he is.”
Montel Williams, a Republican, says Trump is “is worse than a clown or a bigot; he’s an existential threat to our republic who cannot be trusted to be commander in chief.” He’s backing Clinton, while admitting he would prefer to vote Libertarian.
New York City has upheld a $10,000 fine it levied against Trump Tower — Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s flagship property in Manhattan — for misuse of its public atrium.
A “substantial amount” of material that the FBI delivered to Congress about the Clinton email investigation — including a summary of agents’ interview with top aide Huma Abedin — appears to be unclassified, which means it could possibly be released to the public.
Abedin said her Muslim faith and support from friends and colleagues helped her get through the darkest days of her marriage with ex-Rep. Anthony Weiner. “I tried to block out all the noise and move on with my life,” Abedin told Vogue in an unusually candid interview.
COR Development Co., which is reportedly the subject of a federal investigation, is suing a former lobbyist who is part of the same federal investigation in connection with his work for companies involved in Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s development projects.
The Cuomo administration has offered developers and union officials a wage subsidy for construction workers in the hopes of reviving 421-a – a dormant program that has generated thousands of apartments for poor and moderate-income New Yorkers, and saved property owners tens of millions of dollars in property taxes.
A cautionary tale for New York’s GOP elected officials? New England’s shrinking Republican delegation in Congress is moving toward the brink of political extinction in November with Trump at the top of the party’s ticket.
WNY political operative Steve Pigeon argues in a new court filing that the case against him should be dismissed for several legal reasons, saying evidence was illegally collected in a 2015 raid on his home and questioning AG Eric Schneiderman’s authority to prosecute the case.
Pigeon also called GOP operative Roger Stone, with whom he was partners in a consulting firm called Landen Associates, the “Darth Vader of the Republican Party.”
Republican Rep. John Katko blasted his party’s nominee for U.S. Senate, saying Wendy Long’s tweets about a Syracuse mosque and the Muslim community were disgraceful and inexcusable.
Katko also said he doesn’t know how he would vote if the presidential election was today, but he would not rule out a third-party candidate or leaving the ballot line blank.
Long is using crusading Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara as a hail mary for publicity, slamming her opponent, U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer, for refusing to say whether his former chief counsel should be kept on by the next president.
As NYRA remains under state control, there’s a push underway from the thoroughbred industry to privatize the entity that oversees racing in the state. Cuomo says he’s supportive of the move, but would not give a timeline yesterday.
Cuomo announced a review of the recent scare at Kennedy Airport prompted by unfounded reports of gunfire. A multi-agency panel will examine what happened Sunday night and how authorities can use the experience to improve emergency response.
Aug 17th - 5:14 pm
Former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani tried to put a positive spin on Trump’s latest campaign shakeup, saying it demonstrates his operation is “getting bigger and bigger.”
For America’s wealthiest families, the presidential campaign presents a stark choice: A big tax increase if Clinton wins the election — or a big tax cut if Trump wins. For everyone else? Right now, neither candidate is proposing major tax changes.
Since clinching the nomination in June, Clinton pulled back from the traditional rules of engagement for a major-party nominee, preferring to avoid unpredictable exchanges with voters and restricting her meetings with journalists.
Paul Manafort tried to stop Trump from tweeting a picture of himself eating a taco bowl on Cinco de Mayo.
Trump’s new campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway, is a veteran Republican pollster who “has made something of a specialty out of teaching wild men how to be less threatening to swing voters – especially women.”
The Public Authorities Control Board voted unanimously to authorize sending $78 million to the Rochester photonics institute, freeing up the money for equipment and licensing agreements.
SUNY Board Chairman H. Carl McCall said he “hadn’t heard anything” about Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s plan to appoint a management consultant to make SUNY’s and the City University of New York’s administrations more efficient.
Former Islip Town Parks Commissioner Joseph J. Montuori Jr. and his ex-secretary pleaded guilty today to charges in connection with the dumping of 40,000 tons of contaminated debris at Roberto Clemente Park in Brentwood.
Steve Pigeon, the WNY political operative indicted by a special grand jury on nine counts of bribery and extortion, is answering the charges with a 1 1/2-inch-thick sheaf of pre-trial motions filed by his defense attorneys this week in State Supreme Court.
The federal Second Circuit Court of Appeals ruled today that disgraced former Assemblyman Eric Stevenson’s pension contributions are fair game as the feds seek to recoup $22,000 in ill-gotten gains.
The father of Democratic congressional candidate Colleen Deacon is the focus of her first television ad of the 2016 election against U.S. Rep. John Katko for the Syracuse area’s congressional seat.
Katko’s response to a question about how it feels to be on the ticket with U.S. Senate candidate Wendy Long and Trump: “That’s why God made scotch.”
House Speaker Paul Ryan, one of the GOP’s top fundraisers, is headed to Long Island later this month to rake in the bucks for Republicans in two of the nation’s hottest Congressional races: Sen. Jack Martins and Rep. Lee Zeldin.
The World Health Organization appointed the philanthropist and former mayor of New York City Michael Bloomberg as a global health ambassador to help governments tackle chronic diseases such as diabetes, stroke, cancer and heart disease.
The EPA says Global Companies LLC, which operates a major crude oil ship-loading terminal at the Port of Albany, has run afoul of federal air pollution standards and has been emitting more ozone-producing compounds than they say they are.
Truck shipments carrying high-level liquid nuclear waste over the Peace Bridge and across Western New York’s highways en route to a South Carolina processing facility could start as early as September, though a lawsuit aims to stop that.
Former Gov. George Pataki is out with a fundraising pitch for Republican Assembly candidate Matthew Varvaro, the former research director of Pataki’s unsuccessful 2016 presidential campaign.
Aug 17th - 5:17 am
Gov. Andrew Cuomo is in New York City.
At 8 a.m., “Standards and Testing: What Works, What Doesn’t,” a Center for American Progress discussion featuring CAP K-12 Education Policy Managing Director Scott Sargrad, state Education Department Commissioner MaryEllen Elia, Regents Chancellor Betty Rosa, New York Urban League Programs and Evaluations Senior Director Victor Valentine, and Hudson High School of Learning Technologies STEM Special Education Teacher Suraj Gopal, Fordham University, 113 West 60th St., Manhattan.
At 8:45 a.m., NYC Schools Chancellor Carman Farina delivers remarks at City & State’s education forum, Fordham University, 113 West 60th St., Manhattan.
At 10 a.m., Cuomo makes an announcement, 295 Locust Ave., the Bronx.
At 10:45 a.m., LG Kathy Hochul highlights the state’s investment in advanced manufacturing and job creation, LNK International, 22 Arkay Dr., Hauppauge, Long Island.
At 11 a.m., NYC Public Advocate Letitia James joins the state Nurses Association and Planned Parenthood to announce recommendations to protect New Yorkers from the Zika virus, City Hall steps, Manhattan.
At 11:30 a.m., Cuomo makes an announcement, Jamaica Performing Arts Center, 153-10 Jamaica Ave., Queens.
At 11:45 a.m., NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio, NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton and Reps. Steve Israel, Kathleen Rice and Dan Donovan hold a press conference on Urban Area Security Initiative Funding, 55 Broadway, Manhattan.
At noon, NYC Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, Council Majority Leader Jimmy Van Bramer, Queens Library President Dennis Walcott, Brooklyn Public Library President Linda Johnson, New York Public Library President Tony Marx, and Councilmen Andy King and Costa Constantinides announce permanent baselining of city funding for 6-day library service, Broadway Library, 40-20 Broadway, Queens.
At 12:30 p.m., Hochul visits a STEM Camp and holds a roundtable on promoting diversity in science careers, Brookhaven National Lab
National Synchrotron Light Source, 1 Center St., Upton, Long Island.
At 1 p.m., Rep. Elise Stefanik will host a roundtable with area leaders to discuss progress made on transportation issues, North Country Chamber of Commerce, 7061 Route 9, Plattsburgh.
At 2 p.m., U.S. Senate candidate Wendy Long announces the endorsement of Maggie’s List with former Rep. Nan Hayworth, Women’s National Republican Club, 3 W. 51st St., Manhattan.
At 2:30 p.m., Hocul Long convenes a roundtable with Long Island Farm Bureau leaders, Martha Clara Vineyards, 6025 Sound Ave., Riverhead, Long Island.
At 3 p.m., Community Voices Heard members rally against the RFP for redevelopment of the East 111 Street site for not meeting community’s needs and not conform to the East Harlem Neighborhood Plan, 112th Street and Madison Avenue, Manhattan.
At 6 p.m., U.S. EPA Regional Administrator Judith Enck discusses EPA’s role in addressing environmental and health concerns related to rail transport of crude oil, and other environmental justice issues, Ezra Prentice Community Room, 625 South Pearl St., Albany.
At 7 p.m., Lambda Independent Democrats of Brooklyn host a “Champagne & Dessert” fundraising reception in support of LID’s endorsed candidates for the state Legislature and district leaders who are in contested primaries, home of David Shanton and Randy Sandlin, 43 McGuinness Blvd., Brooklyn.
Donald Trump has shaken up his presidential campaign for the second time in two months, hiring a top executive from the conservative website Breitbart News, Stephen Bannon, and promoting a senior adviser in an effort to right his faltering campaign.
Paul Manafort, the campaign chairman, will retain his title, but Kellyanne Conway, a senior adviser and pollster for Trump and his running mate, Gov. Mike Pence of Indiana, will become the campaign manager.
Trump declared in a speech near riot-plagued Milwaukee last night that he would do for the nation’s troubled cities what former Mayor Rudy Giuliani did for New York City.
“We reject the bigotry of Hillary Clinton, which panders to and talks down to communities of color and sees them only as votes — that’s all they care about,” Trump told a white audience 25 miles outside of the city of Milwaukee.
Trump will receive a classified intelligence briefing today in New York, a federal official confirms. The Office of the Director of National Intelligence will conduct the briefing, making use of a secure FBI facility.
The candidate reportedly plans to bring top advisers Chris Christie, the governor of New Jersey, and retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, a former senior intelligence official and big-time Trump booster, to his FBI briefing.
When Christie took office, casinos founded by his friend Trump owned close to $30 million worth of back taxes, which the state had been battling for years to collect. A year later, in December 2011, after six years in court, the state agreed to accept just $5 million, roughly 17 cents on the dollar of what auditors said the casinos owed, sparking questions of special treatment.
The FBI yesterday handed over to Congress documents related to its investigation of Clinton’s private email server after House Republicans pushed the bureau to surrender material it had gathered before it concluded last month that she should not face criminal charges.
Trump’s closest advisers — his daughter Ivanka and her husband, Jared Kushner — are vacationing this week in Croatia, where they were spotted on a $200 million yacht owned by Hollywood mogul and Democratic donor David Geffen.
A new poll from Zogby Analytics shows Republican presidential nominee Trump leading Clinton among two unusual demographics: NASCAR fans and Wal-Mart shoppers.
Clinton admits her campaign is “doing fine right now,” but is warning supporters not to become “complacent.”
After his overwhelming primary victory in Wisconsin last week, House Speaker Paul Ryan is hitting the campaign trail to help some of his House Republican colleagues and GOP congressional hopefuls – including Sen. Jack Martins, who is running in NY-3 on Long Island – replicate that success.
A HUD audit made public yesterday concluded that New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration mishandled $22 million in federal tourism funds allocated in the wake of superstorm Sandy and other natural disasters, the latest in a string of reports critical of the governor’s administration.
A Muslim civil liberties group demanded an apology from Republican U.S. Senate candidate Wendy Long over a series of tweets she sent about a former Catholic church in Syracuse that was converted into a mosque.
Federal prosecutors have subpoenaed records involving former U.S. Sen. Alfonse D’Amato and other top Long Island political figures as part of a wide-ranging grand jury investigation into the finances of three prominent local foundations that have given out millions of dollars.
Aug 16th - 5:16 pm
The FBI today gave Congress notes about its three-hour interview with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton last month, following on a demand from GOP lawmakers. The notes themselves are classified as secret and are not expected to be made public.
There is no “clear evidence of knowledge or intent” to improperly store or transmit classified information on Clinton’s private e-mail system during her time as secretary of State, according to a letter from FBI.
Former Colorado Sen. Ken Salazar, who served as President Obama’s secretary of the interior and whose name was briefly floated as a possible vice presidential pick for Clinton, will chair the Democratic nominee’s transition team.
Donald Trump says he transformed a Florida golf club that he bought from the Ritz-Carlton and that most members like the changes — despite a $6 million federal lawsuit brought by disaffected members.
Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine, Clinton’s vice presidential running mate, has often been described as “boring,” but he let loose – drinking beer and playing the harmonica – during a visit to Ashville, NC.
A challenge for Clinton: Figuring out who to tap to play Trump in her debate prep.
Former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani said he obviously has not forgotten about 9/11 and claimed that his remark was “misinterpreted” because he simply likes to speak in “abbreviated” language.
It would not be “responsible” to allow a bill to pass because a majority of legislators support it, NYC Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito said.
Asked whether he continues to engage in the sexting behavior that got him in trouble, former Rep. Anthony Weiner replied: “I’m not going to go down the path of talking about any of that.”
Cuomo signed “Tiffany Heitkamp’s Law,” which will strengthen penalties for boating while intoxicated offenses by linking them to prior drinking while driving offenses involving a vehicle.
The governor also signed the “Beagle Freedom Bill” – legislation requiring cats and dogs used for research by higher education institutions be offered for adoption through private placement or shelter organizations.
As polls show de Blasio’s relative weakness, some voices have grown louder calling for his ouster, and potential opponents weigh jumping into the 2017 race, one key question is the best path to defeating him.
The mayor is pushing congressional leaders to act on $1.9 billion in federal funding to tackle the Zika crisis. “We need federal help so badly,” hen said at a press conference – a message he echoed in a letter to House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
EJ McMahon puts the new pension fund numbers into context.
Occupy Wall Street protesters can pursue their claim that police violated the U.S. Constitution when they were targeted for protesting, herded into a press pen and detained outside of a fundraiser for President Obama in 2011, a federal judge has ruled.
After the presidential primary in April was marred by complaints related to party registration — or lack thereof — the state Board of Elections is reminding potential September primary voters that mailed registration forms must be in hand by Aug. 24 at the latest.
The family of a 12-year-old Muslim middle school student has filed a $25 million federal lawsuit against the East Islip school district, claiming the seventh-grader’s civil rights were violated when school officials forced him to sign a false confession saying he was a terrorist.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie signed a law that prohibits the state’s public worker pension fund from investing in companies that engage in the boycott of Israel and support the Boycott, Divest and Sanction movement.
Aug 16th - 5:19 am
Gov. Andrew Cuomo is in New York City with no public schedule.
At 9 a.m., LG Kathy Hochul delivers remarks during a simulator building ribbon cutting ceremony, Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station
10405 Lockport Rd., Niagara Falls.
Also at 9 a.m., NYC Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito kicks off a Digital Inclusion Summit, 156 5th Ave., Manhattan.
At 9:45 a.m., the Council Committee on Public safety holds a public hearing on a measure to require the mayor to appoint a department to oversee the coordination of efforts to address quality of life issues in local communities, Council Chambers, City Hall, Manhattan.
At 11 a.m., NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio, Rep. Carolyn Maloney and Sen. Adriano Espaillat will host a press conference to discuss the Zika virus, Department of Health and Mental Hygiene Public Health Lab, 455 1st Ave., Manhattan.
Also at 11 a.m., Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams kicks off a $1 million smart gun design competition, Brooklyn Borough Hall, 209 Joralemon St., Brooklyn.
Also at 11 a.m. – NYC Councilmen Stephen Levin and Costa Constantinides and others rally in support of Intro 446-A that would bans fracking and oil waste from city water and streets, City Hall steps, Manhattan.
Also at 11 a.m., NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell Silver joins Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., Councilman James Vacca, the Friends of Pelham Bay Park, and community members to break ground on the installation of new adult and youth fitness equipment, and an accessible nature walk at Pelham Bay Park, the Bronx.
At 12:30 p.m., Assembly candidate Marisol Alcantara will join TWU President John Samuelsen and other leaders for a press conference to announce their support of her campaign, TWU HQ, 195 Montague St., 3rd Floor, Brooklyn.
Also at 12:30 p.m., Mark-Viverito holds a press conference before this month’s stated Council meeting, Red Room, City Hall, Manhattan. (The meeting will follow at 1 p.m. in the Council’s chambers).
At 6 p.m., Hochul attends the grand opening of the Westfield World Trade Center, 185 Greenwich St., Manhattan.
Also at 6 p.m., NYC Councilman Corey Johnson and the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene host a “Rat Academy” training to teach New Yorkers about safe and effective methods for rat prevention, LGBT Community Center, 208 West 13th St., Manhattan.
Donald Trump, expanding on the provocative immigration ideas that have propelled his presidential candidacy, proposed a new ideological test that would limit immigrants seeking admission to the U.S. to “those who share our values and respect our people.”
Trump didn’t just stake out a strategy for waging an “extreme” and “vicious” campaign against ISIS yesterday. He also articulated one for reviving his flailing campaign.
Former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani appeared to forget about the worst terror attack in U.S. history – the one that occurred in the city he was in charge of on 9/11 – claiming that there simply had been no such assaults inside America during the presidency of George W. Bush.
Rep. Tom Reed, the second NY House GOP member to endorse Trump, said he has shared concerns with the campaign that the candidate “seems to get bogged down into issues that really aren’t the top of the issues for the American people” and needs to refocus.
Coming out to the music of Bruce Springsteen, Hillary Clinton, whose father was born in Scranton, PA, and native son Vice President Joe Biden quickly showed the crowd they haven’t risen above their roots. “We came to the lakes up here every summer,” Clinton said.
It was Biden’s first appearance on Clinton’s behalf on the campaign trail, and he used it to question Trump’s fitness to serve as commander in chief, citing the Republican candidate’s praise of dictators and accusing him of ignorance on critical national-security issues.
The State Department has agreed to provide the conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch with all official emails sent or received by Clinton that were recovered from her private email server by the FBI investigation.
Clinton has a 30-point lead over Trump in New York state, according to a Siena College survey released yesterday. When the Green and Libertarian party candidates were included, she had a 25-point advantage.
President Obama interrupted his summer vacation on Martha’s Vineyard to help Clinton raise campaign cash. He was scheduled to headline a $33,400-a-head Democratic Party fund-raising dinner last night at the Chilmark home of Hank Goldberg and his wife, Carol Brown Goldberg.
Trump’s presidential candidacy has riven Yale University’s young Republicans. Earlier this month, four of the seven student board members of the organization resigned in protest when the club endorsed the GOP nominee and started a rival campus group.
The Commission on Presidential Debates has released the polls it will use to decide the participants of September’s first presidential debate as third-party candidates struggle to make the stage.
After a rash of Trump lawn sign snatchings from his East Hills Boulevard residence, a prominent Capital Region home builder, Robert Marini, has encased his latest homemade sign in concrete and surrounded it with barbed wire and lights in an attempt to deter would-be vandals and thieves from messing with his show of political pride.
Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis, a Staten Island Republican, is sponsoring a bill to lift the tax burden for New York athletes who win Olympic medals. U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer has similar legislation at the federal level.
American athletes who win gold medals are awarded $25,000 for each medal from the United States Olympic Committee. Silver medalists receive $15,000 and those who take home the bronze $10,000. Not only are the payments subject to federal and state taxes, but the value of the medals themselves are also taxable.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s MO when criticized is to respond with personal attacks – an approach that has strained his relationship with lawmakers, some of whom are fellow Democrats. A spokeswoman says his administration is working aggressively to “correct the record.”
For the second time in about a month, area business officials have been energized by the prospect of a visit by Cuomo to Jamestown only to see the event quickly postponed.
Wendy Long, the Republican nominee for U.S. Senate, has unleashed a series of tweets criticizing the conversion of a Catholic church in Syracuse into a mosque, saying that crime soon followed.
Manhattan Councilman Daniel Garodnick wants the NYC Taxi & Limousine Commission to keep cabbies with three license suspensions over 10 years from getting a new or renewed license. A bill he will introduce today would cover suspensions of TLC and state-issued driver’s licenses.
One of three state Senate candidates in a Sept. 13 upper Manhattan Democratic Party primary – Marisol Alcantara – won’t say which Democratic faction she’s prepared to sit with if elected. The IDC is reportedly endorsing her in her run for Sen. Adriano Espaillat’s seat.
In a blow to Mayor de Blasio’s housing plan, a key City Councilman – Ydanis Rodgriguez – announced he would oppose the first private project proposed under new affordable housing rules.
Police charged Oscar Morel of Brooklyn with murder last night in the killings of an imam and his friend who were shot at close range as they were leaving a Queens mosque on Saturday.
De Blasio joined thousands of mourners in the sweltering heat in East New York yesterday afternoon, for a prayer service to honor the slain imam and his assistant.
While other elected officials rushed to the scene of the murders over the weekend, it took the mayor more than 24 hours to issue a written statement on the killings, and a full two days before he addressed the community, during funeral prayers for the two men.
Aug 15th - 5:33 pm
In a previously unreported exchange from 2008, Donald Trump threw his support behind then-Senator Hillary Clinton’s bid for the Democratic nomination, calling her “fantastic.”
During a speech in Youngstown, OH, Trump today laid out a broad framework for combating global Islamic terrorism, invoking the Cold War era to try new approaches to limiting the influx of immigrants into the country.
Trump called for an ideological test for immigrants, saying he would institute “extreme vetting” for visa applicants.
The GOP nominee also said he would work closely with NATO allies to defeat Islamic State militants if he won the election in November, reversing an earlier threat that the United States might not meet its NATO treaty obligations with allies.
Speaking in Ohio ahead of Trump, Rudy Giuliani, who was the mayor of New York City on 9/11, declared that Islamic extremists hadn’t carried out any terror attacks on American soil before Barack Obama’s presidency.
At a rally in VP Joe Biden’s hometown of Scranton, PA, Clinton, in a surprising turn, introduced Biden — not the opposite — allowing Pennsylvania’s native son to make his 2016 on-the-stump debut.
Clinton is heading to the Hamptons at the end of the month for a three-day fundraising sprint that includes a dinner hosted by singers Jimmy Buffett and Jon Bon Jovi, according to sources familiar with the Democratic presidential candidate’s fundraising schedule.
in the more than a year since he began his White House bid, Trump has not held a single event aimed at black voters in their communities, and has also turned down repeated invitations to address gatherings of black leaders, ignored African-American conservatives in states he needs to win and made numerous inflammatory comments about minorities.
Paul Manafort rebuked a recent New York Times investigation that said the top Trump has ties to a large network that Ukrainian government investigators said was used to loot assets and influence elections, calling it “unfounded, silly and nonsensical.”
Rep. Tom Reed, the second New York congressional Republican to endorse Trump, said he’s concerned about the current state of the nominee’s campaign, and that he had shared his concerns privately with Trump staffers.
Reince Priebus, th longest-serving chairman of the Republican National Committee in history, is reportedly weighing a return engagement as head of the GOP.
A national anti-gambling group is looking at litigation to try to reverse a new law legalizing daily fantasy sports contests in New York.
The SUNY system will pay a private search firm more than $200,000 to round up candidates to replace Chancellor Nancy Zimpher, who will step down next year.
The Syracuse school board will pay Jaime Alicea an annual salary of $190,000 as interim superintendent of the Syracuse City School District. (That’s considerably less than the woman he’s replacing earned).
Kenneth Callahan, the former Old Westbury Village administrator who was removed from his position and rehired by the mayor to “help him out” with maximizing a pension benefit, has resigned from his new village job.
An Albany judge has cleared the way for the state DEC to resume cutting what has become a planned but contested snowmobile trail that would link the Adirondack communities of Newcomb and Minerva.
Absent a miraculous change of heart on the part of New York officials, the Port Authority’s design competition for a new bus terminal on Manhattan’s West Side for New Jersey commuters has reached a mortal impasse.
Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie’s nomination of former Democratic Nassau Comptroller Howard Weitzman to serve on the Nassau Interim Finance Authority board appears to have stalled without explanation.
Longtime Albany City Court Judge Thomas Keefe will resign Sept. 30 amid allegations of repeated judicial misconduct — including profanity-laced diatribes at prosecutors, the improper dismissal of cases and the unconstitutional jailing of a defendant because she called her lawyer against his wishes.
The number of apartments on the market in Manhattan and Brooklyn in July were the highest in years — driving down prices and paving the way for landlords to court would-be buyers with concessions such as covering broker’s fees or offering a free month’s rent.
Cuomo signed legislation on Friday allowing Monroe County to dissolve three local development corporations.
Ivanka Trump is taking a break from the campaign trail to vacation with friends. She shared a scenic snap with Wendi Deng Murdoch, the ex-wife of billionaire media mogul Rupert Murdoch, from Dubrovnik, Croatia
Aug 15th - 5:15 am
Gov. Andrew Cuomo is in New York City with no public schedule.
NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio will be in Connecticut. He will return to New York City in the evening.
At 8:30 a.m., state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli speaks at the NYS Building & Construction Trades Council 36th Annual Constitutional Convention, Saratoga Springs.
At 10:30 a.m., NYC Councilman Barry Grodenchik delivers remarks at the Indian Independence Event, 95-30 225th St., Queens.
At 11:45 p.m., Rep. Louise M. Slaughter will visit the summer food program at Gates Chili High School, 1 Spartan Way, Rochester.
At noon, Citizens Union will unveil its position on a variety of police oversight reforms and urge New York City government officials to enact local laws that create a more cohesive system of public oversight with enhanced accountability to New Yorkers, City Hall steps, Manhattan.
At 12:30 p.m., NY-19 Democratic candidate Zephyr Teachout will issue a challenge to the billionaires supporting her opponent, 635 Broadway, Kingston.
At 2 p.m., LG Kathy Hochul convenes a meeting of the Western NY Regional Economic Development Council, Darwin Martin House, 125 Jewett Pkwy., Buffalo.
At 6:30 p.m., NYC Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez will address the community about the latest discussions on the Sherman Plaza rezoning, corner of Sherman and Broadway, Manhattan.
A New York Times investigation into Paul Manafort’s time consulting for Ukraine’s ruling political party has revealed that the top adviser to GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump has ties to a large network that Ukrainian government investigators say was used to loot assets and influence elections.
Vice President Joe Biden will make his 2016 campaign-trail debut today in blue-collar Scranton, Pa., where he is expected to draw on his boyhood in northeastern Pennsylvania during a joint appearance with Hillary Clinton.
Beset by sagging poll numbers, Trump is stepping up his attacks on news organizations, suggesting that biased coverage is turning the election against him.
Clinton shouldn’t have taken “a victory lap” after the FBI and Justice Department formally declined charges over her use of a private email server while secretary of state, former Gov. David Paterson said.
Two websites created in recent months and whose operators are believed to have ties to the Russian government now serve as portals for leaking sensitive and at times embarrassing information about the Democratic Party and its supporters.
A group of government reform groups received a slap on the wrist after sending a political letter to the government offices of state senators.
Government reform and other groups are urging Gov. Andrew Cuomo to veto or fix a bill requiring more disclosure by Super PACs and non-profit lobbying organizations.
The state Conservative Party plans to endorse Trump for president, while the Independent Democratic Conference seeks to add to its ranks.
State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli shot down a report he might consider a primary challenge in 2018 to Cuomo, who recently has gone back to attacking his fellow Dem publicly.
An unfounded report of shots fired at John F. Kennedy International Airport last night led authorities to evacuate at least one terminal, creating a chaotic scene at the Queens travel hub.
Neighbors and activists in Ozone Park, Queens see religious bias in the recent killing of an imam from Bangladesh, but the NYPD has no evidence to support that theory yet.
As Alauddin Akonjee’s relatives grieved, it was clear that the imam had left a legacy as a scholarly peacemaker whose devotion to both Islam and his family rippled across two communities in two countries.
IDC is expected to back Marisol Alcantara in a three-way Democratic primary in upper Manhattan. She’s running against former NYC Councilman Robert Jackson and Micah Lasher, the ex-chief of staff to AG Eric Schneiderman for the seat Sen. Adriano Espaillat is vacating to go to Congress.
Cuomo’s new commitment to Democratic control of the state Senate after years of backing Republicans is a direct result of Trump’s sinking presidential campaign and the possibility it will take GOP senators down with it, anonymous senior Democrats told Fred Dicker.