Liz Benjamin

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Posts by Liz Benjamin

Cuomo: ‘Saddened And Profoundly Disappointed’ By Percoco Charges

Gov. Andrew Cuomo just released a statement in response to the public corruption charges brought by U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara against a number of individuals with close ties to his administration, including his former top aide, Joe Percoco, whom he once described as like a third son to his late father, former Gov. Mario Cuomo.

In the statement, Cuomo does not mention Percoco by name. He severed ties with Percoco, known alternately as the governor’s muscle and right-hand man – perhaps closer to him than anyone else, and someone who followed him from job to job – when allegations of wrongdoing first became public this spring.

Cuomo does not mention anything about Todd Howe, the former lobbyist who is accused by Bharara of being involved in two complex bribing and bid-rigging schemes with Percoco and SUNY Poly head Alain Kaloyeros, also known as New York’s nano czar, who has long been one of the state’s top paid public employees.

Howe also has longstanding ties to Cuomo that date back to his father’s tenure in Albany.

According to the governor, SUNY has “relieved” Kaloyeros of his duties and suspended him without pay. According to Bharara’s complaint, Kaloyeros was earning in the neighborhood of $1.3 million.

Here’s the governor’s full statement:

“I learned this morning of the charges filed by the U.S. Attorney’s office that include a former member of my administration. If the allegations are true, I am saddened and profoundly disappointed. I hold my administration to the highest level of integrity.”

“I have zero tolerance for abuse of the public trust from anyone. If anything, a friend should be held to an even higher standard. Like my father before me, I believe public integrity is paramount. This sort of breach, if true, should be and will be punished.”

“SUNY has rightly relieved Alain Kaloyeros from his duties and has suspended him without pay, effective immediately.”

“This matter is now in the hands of the court, which is exactly where it belongs. My administration will continue to be fully cooperative in the matter as we have been since it began.”

Asked after his press conference whether Cuomo is in any way implicated in this case, Bharara said:

“What I can say at this moment is that there are no allegations of any wrongdoing or misconduct by the governor anywhere in this complaint. That’s all I’m going to say.”

Asked if it was “realistic” to believe that Cuomo, who is known as a very hands-on manager, did not know what his top aide was up to, Bharara replied:

“It’s not my job to comment on what is realistic or unrealistic.”

According to the U.S. attorney, this investigation is ongoing.

Sen. O’Mara Gets the Lead Out

Southern Tier Republican Sen. Tom O’Mara has launched the second TV ad of his re-election campaign, which focuses on his success in getting a bill passed through the Legislature and signed into law that mandates the testing of public school water for lead.

It’s a pretty straightforward spot, featuring reproductions of multiple news stories on the issue. Here’s the script:

“When the news broke about lead contamination in the drinking water in some of our schools, Senator Tom O’Mara went to work. He won bipartisan approval of a law setting testing and safety standards for drinking water in every public school – the first law of its kind in the United States. Keeping our kids safe, one more example of Tom O’Mara working for us, and getting results.”

The ad doesn’t mention that O’Mara worked across the aisle with his Democratic colleague, Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo, with whom he has a close working relationship. But the senator hasn’t been stingy with his praise of Lupardo, readily admitting in multiple interviews (including on Capital Tonight) that she played a key role in pushing this bill through her house.

The duo has also said that this measure is merely a first step, recognizing that it leaves a lot of ground untouched – like, for example, the question of private schools and other buildings where children (who are particularly vulnerable when it comes to lead exposure) are likely to be present, like libraries and daycare centers.

O’Mara, who is seeking a third term, is facing a challenge in November from Democrat Leslie Danks Burke, an attorney from Ithaca who lost a 2012 primary to challenge Republican Rep. Tom Reed.

Here and Now

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

At 8 a.m., the New York Housing Conference holds a policy symposium to discuss how NYCHA can apply affordable housing strategies, CUNY Grad Center, 365 Fifth Ave., Manhattan.

At 8:30 a.m., New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer speaks to the members of the Association for a Better New York, Hilton Hotel, 1335 Ave. of the Americas, Manhattan.

At 10 a.m., LG Kathy Hochul launches the state’s first Green Cities Commuter Challenge to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, Yonkers Riverfront Library, 1 Larkin Center, Yonkers.

Also at 10 a.m., NYC Schols Chancellor Carmen Fariña will attend a naming and inauguration ceremony for the new Gabriela Mistral Campus, 98-11 44th Ave., Corona, Queens.

At 11 a.m., NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio, Bronx District Attorney Darcel Clark and NYC Department of Correction Commissioner Joseph Ponte will officially open the Bronx District Attorney’s Office Rikers Island Prosecution Bureau on Rikers Island.

Also at 11 a.m., the Commission on Legislative Compensation holds its final public hearing on a potential pay raise for executive chamber employees and state lawmakers, New York City Bar Association, 42 W. 44th St., Manhattan.

Also at 11 a.m., the state Senate Standing Committee on Social Services holds a public meeting on “Food Pantries – Identifying Best Practices to Address Food Insecurity,” Meals on Wheels Headquarters, 121 West Nyack Rd., Nanuet.

At 11:30 a.m., NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell Silver, FAICP, UNIQLO USA CEO Hiroshi Taki, UNIQLO Global Director of Corporate Social Responsibility Jean Shein, NYC Councilwoman Laurie Cumbo, artist Alexandre Arrechea and community members announce a partnership project that will bring more public art to city parks, Fort Greene Park Plaza, corner of Washington Park and Myrtle Avenue, Brooklyn.

At noon, Sen. Ruben Diaz Sr. will be honored during the Bronx Chamber of Commerce Hispanic Heritage Luncheon, Tosca Marquee, 4034 East Tremont Ave., the Bronx.

At 12:30 p.m., members of NOW and Feminist Majority protest labor exploitation at Trump Model Management, and demand immediate shutdown of the modeling agency, Trump Tower, 725 Fifth Ave., Manhattan.

Also at 12:30 p.m., immigrant New Yorkers rally in support of Martin Batalla Vidal, the plaintiff in a first-of-its-kind lawsuit demanding the implementation of the Obama administration’s 2014 immigration relief initiatives, Brooklyn Borough Hall, 209 Joralemon St., Brooklyn.

At 1 p.m., Farina joins de Blasio for a classroom visit and press conference, M.S. 223- The Laboratory School of Finance and Technology, 360 East 145th St., the Bronx.

Also at 1 p.m., recovering heroin addicts and elected officials hold a press conference to highlight the importance of medically assisted recovery, LCA Room, LOB, Albany.

At 5:30 p.m., Hochul addresses the Queens Chamber of Commerce, North Hills Country Club, 200 LIE North Service Rd., Manhasset.

Also at 5:30 p.m., Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie and Assembly Majority Leader Joe Morelle hold a fundraiser to benefit DACC, W. New York Times Square, 1567 Broadway, Manhattan.

At 7 p.m., de Blasio and NYC Councilman Alan Maisel will participate in a town hall meeting with Brooklyn residents to discuss Equity and Excellence For All, Hebrew Educational Society, 9502 Seaview Ave., Brooklyn.

At 7:30 p.m., Democratic NY-3 candidate Tom Suozzi hosts a substance abuse and mental health policy town hall, Hicksville VFW, Post 3211, 320 S. Broadway, Hicksville.

Headlines…

Federal authorities plan to unseal charges against Joe Percoco, a former top aide to Gov. Andrew Cuomo, as early as today in connection with an alleged bribery and kickback scheme involving the governor’s signature economic-development program, according to people familiar with the matter.

Federal agents yesterday interviewed two members of the Erie County Democratic Committee as part of U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara’s probe of money spent in the 60th District race in 2014 won by outgoing Democrat Sen. Marc Panepinto, according to a source familiar with the situation.

New York terror suspect Ahmad Rahami assembled much of his bomb-making material in plain view, ordering components on eBay, having them delivered to a New Jersey business where he worked, and even testing some of the material in his family’s backyard, according to authorities.

When Rahami returned in March 2014 from a nearly yearlong trip to Pakistan, he was flagged by customs officials, who pulled him out for a secondary screening. Still concerned about his travel, they notified the National Targeting Center, a federal agency that assesses potential threats, two law enforcement officials said.

Though he has weathered some criticism for his measured response to the Chelsea bombing, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio was also praised by a number of prominent officials with experience in counterterrorism – including several involved in the city’s 9/11 response under former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who is among the critics in this instance.

Cuomo said he reached an agreement with legislative leaders to help businesses and residents affected by Saturday’s bombing in Manhattan cover damages and injuries with insurance.

Port Authority Executive Director Pat Foye, a Cuomo appointee, admitted during his Bridgegate testimony that he repeatedly authorized false statements about the George Washington Bridge lane closure scandal to the press.

On the day Foye ordered access the lanes reopened to local traffic, he said he got two visits from his New Jersey counterpart, Bill Baroni, who told him the lanes should be closed again even though they had caused huge traffic jams in Fort Lee, N.J., because they were “important to Trenton.”

Cuomo called the latest allegations against former Rep. Anthony Weiner – that he exchanged sexually explicit text messages with a 15-year-old girl – “sick” and “possibly criminal.”

Legal experts said if the story is true, than Weiner could be exposed to a slew of state and federal charges — including one that carries a mandatory minimum of 15 years in prison.

Weiner acknowledged he communicated online with the underage girl, but said he’s also been the subject of a hoax. The former congressman issued a statement apologizing but not directly addressing the issue of whether he had engaged in chats with the girl.

Weiner gave The Associated Press an email, written by the girl to her teacher, in which she recanted her story. The girl told the Daily Mail she wrote the email at Weiner’s request but never sent it to the teacher.

Hillary Clinton is maintaining her edge over Republican rival Donald Trump despite recent campaign setbacks, but the 2016 presidential race continues to tighten going into the homestretch, a new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll has found.

Even as newly released financial disclosures reveal that Clinton enjoys a substantial fund-raising advantage over Trump, she is struggling to replicate the sort of small-dollar juggernaut that President Obama enjoyed in his campaigns and Sen. Bernie Sanders relied on in this year’s Democratic primaries.

In a seeming disconnect during his courting of black voters, Trump called for the broad use of the contentious stop-and-frisk policing strategy in America’s cities, embracing an aggressive tactic whose legality has been challenged and whose enforcement has been abandoned in New York.

Trump paid his former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski $20,000 in August for “strategy consulting,” two months after Lewandowski left the team and was hired by CNN as a commentator.

More >

Extras

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the state Department of Financial Services will assist business and home owners in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood with filing expedited insurance claims for damages sustained to their properties during Saturday night’s bombing on West 23rd Street.

Hillary Clinton penned a NYT OpEd about her plan to address poverty in the U.S., saying she wants to expand Low Income Housing Tax Credits in high-cost areas to increase our affordable housing supply, and fuel broader community development.

Introducing Donald Trump to a group of pastors in Cleveland, boxing promoter Don King called the GOP nominee “the only gladiator” who can take on a system that King said is “rigged” and “racist” and “sexist.”

Writing in USA Today, former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani assailed Clinton and President Obama for their responses to the New York and New Jersey bombings, accusing them of “dereliction of duty,” and said Trump is better equipped to address the threat of terrorism.

Patrick Foye, executive director of the Port Authority, testified in the Bridgegate trial that he was told by an appointee of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie that closing bridge lanes was “important to Trenton.”

Libertarian Party presidential candidate Gary Johnson got into a testy exchange with a journalist during a Facebook Live interview, saying that rumors his running mate Bill Weld will drop out of the race are “bullshit.”

Assemblyman John McDonald, a pharmacist, wants AG Eric Schneiderman to expand his EpiPen probe.

With his fist in the air, Buffalo Common Council Member Ulysees O. Wingo Sr. silently protested the killing of unarmed black people by police in the country during the Pledge of Allegiance prior to yesterday’s council meeting.

Rep. John Katko’s campaign is once again using Democratic candidate Colleen Deacon’s own words against her in a television commercial – this time with a focus on foreign police and fighting ISIS.

A student who was expelled from UAlbany this spring for her role in what was initially thought to be a racially charged bus attack is suing the university, alleging the process it used to expel her was unfair and unconstitutional.

Dan Janison: “The three broad categories released as topics for the Hofstra presidential debate on Monday describe little — and may be stretched to encompass anything.”

Some 10,000 demonstrators are expected to converge on the university for the debate, and Nassau County officials estimate security will cost taxpayers up to $2 million, officials said.

Ivanka Trump’s Secret Service codename has been revealed as “Marvel.” Her father’s is “Mogul,” and Melania’s is “Muse.”

CNN denied a report that it has suspended Corey Lewandowski, Trump’s former campaign manager.

According to the Daily Mail, former Rep. Anthony Weiner carried on a months-long online sexual relationship with a 15-year-old girl during which she claims he asked her to dress up in “school-girl” outfits for him on a video messaging application and pressed her to engage in “rape fantasies.”

Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s office has asked Cuomo to veto two bills he said would weaken the state’s three-year-old electronic prescription monitoring system.

During an event for Empire State Building owners on Monday night, former Gov. David Paterson moved to squash a report earlier this month that implied the iconic tower was on the block for upwards of $5 billion.

State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli is out with his latest cash report, noting that tax collections through August are down 3 percent compared to the year before. The main reduction is in personal income taxes collected so far.

Three New York State corrections officers were arrested by FBI agents this morning on conspiracy and fraud charges in connection with the beating of an inmate who sustained numerous broken bones and a collapsed lung, and had his dreadlocks ripped out.

The state Education Department announced proposed revisions to the controversial Common Core learning standards after two committees made up educators and parents recommended changing more than 55 percent of the standards

The Clinton Global Initiative reportedly has alerted dozens of employees that their jobs will be eliminated at year’s end, even as it plans to retain some staff to continue working with donors.

The federal government will provide almost $10 million to extend the Onondaga Creekwalk in Syracuse and build a new section of the recreation trail looping around Onondaga Lake.

Cuomo Coy On Legislative Pay Raise

With the commission charged with considering a potential raise for state lawmakers and Cuomo administration officials poised to holds its final public meeting tomorrow before rendering a recommendation on the issue in November, the governor today declined to take a position on whether he believes a pay hike is warranted.

“I don’t want to get ahead of the commission,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said following an event at which he announced a $63 million transformation plan ($40 million of which will come from the state) for the Greater Rochester International Airport.

“We put together a commission to explore just that question; and we want the opinion of the public,” the governor continued. “I do believe that the commission’s point is right, they need to hear from everyone – including the legislators – as to what their position is and do they believe they deserve a raise and why.”

“And that’s what the commission is going through. Once the commission finishes, they will submit their findings, their opinion, their record. And then I’ll have an opinion that I’ll state. informed by the commission. But the purpose of the commission is to advise me on that question.”

When asked what he might do if a proposal for a 47 percent pay boost – which has been floated during the commission’s deliberations – reached his desk, raising the yearly compensation of New York lawmakers from $79,500 to $116,900 and making them the highest paid legislators in the nation, despite the public corruption scandals that have consumed Albany, Cuomo replied:

“That is an opinion that they’re considering. They’re considering options from zero – right – to forty seven. So there’s a big gap. I don’t want to do an if but let the commission do their work and then I will have a very clear opinion. But I want to be informed by them. They’ve done a lot of hard work. They’ve been all across the state. So let them finish their job. Let them do their report, and then we’ll take it from there.”

The panel was created without any fanfare during this year’s budget negotiations. Its recommendations are due by Nov. 15 and would automatically become law unless legislators vote to reject them. The raises would take effect on Jan. 1, 2017. Critics – and a number of lawmakers – have said that raises should not be awarded absent passage of reforms like banning outside income or at least significantly limiting it, which is something the governor, who received a hefty payment for authoring a poorly-selling book, has proposed.

Three panel members were appointed by the governor, one by the chief judge of the Court of Appeals and one each by the Senate and Assembly.

The Legislature last received a raise in 1999, when lawmakers cut a deal with then-Gov. George Pataki that enabled creation of the state’s first charter schools and also required them to forgo their paychecks – temporarily – in the event of a late state budget, though that didn’t immediately end the state’s chronically delayed spending plans.

Lawmakers previously agreed to create a judicial compensation commission, decoupling their salaries from those of the state’s judges. That commission recommended a $29,100 pay raise for New York jurists.

Citing Gun Control, Cuomo Backs Throne-Holst in NY-1 (Updated)

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has issued what I believe is his first endorsement of this general election campaign, announcing his support for Anna Throne-Holst, who is challenging Republican Rep. Lee Zeldin in the 1st Congressional District on Long Island.

In a press release sent by his campaign committee, (Cuomo 2018), the governor called Throne-Holst a “proven leader who will represent the interests of Suffolk County residents in Congress.”

“During her eight year tenure as Southampton Town Supervisor, Anna established herself as a no-nonsense executive who reached across the aisle to cut wasteful spending, audit the budget, and eliminate inefficiencies so taxpayer dollars could be focused where they were needed most,” Cuomo said.

“In fact, it was her initiative and leadership that helped make the New York State Center for Clean Water Technology at Stony Brook University a reality,” the governor continued.

“Not only does this state-of-the-art research center encourage innovation and job growth in the First District, but it also helps make our communities more resilient in the face of extreme weather like Superstorm Sandy and examines nitrogen loading that has adversely affected ground and surface water across Long Island.”

The governor also said Throne-Holst will work to address “common-sense gun control laws” – one of his pet issues since he pushed the controversial SAFE Act through the Legislature in early 2013 in the wake of the Sandy Hook elementary school massacre.

Cuomo noted that Zeldin opposed the SAFE Act when he was a member of the Senate Republican conference, and has voted against gun control measures since arriving in Congress.

“Senseless acts of violence continue to claim the lives of too many citizens across our state and country, and this issue is critical to the people of Suffolk County,” the governor said. “Lee Zeldin has allowed the grip of the NRA to persuade his positions, forgoing the needs of his constituents for the deep pockets of the gun lobby.”

The NY-1 race is one of a handful of contested congressional contests occurring throughout the state this year. It’s a safe bet there will be more endorsement announcements where this one came from, but the main question is: How much will the governor do to assist the candidates he says he supports?

Will he record robocalls – a favored method of his, especially as Election Day nears? Make personal appearances? Contribute campaign cash?

Political observers are also waiting to see just how far the governor is willing to go to assist his fellow Democrats in their quest to re-take the state Senate majority this year. He has said that he supports their effort, but has yet to really make any significant moves to help them.

Cuomo has publicly stated his desire to see the Senate in Democratic hands in the past – most notably in 2014, when doing so was a condition of his endorsement by the Working Families Party over his primary challenger, Zephyr Teachout.

But he subsequently failed to deliver in a significant way, leading to widespread speculation that he actually prefers to see the GOP in control, since that offers him a handy foil if things go wrong, and also provides a check to the more liberal policies pushed by the downstate Democrats.

The governor recently said he believes the question of who will control the chamber will again come down to the IDC, which is poised to grow from five members to six, thanks to expected addition of Marisol Alcantara, who won the four-way primary for Sen. Adriano Espaillat’s Upper Manhattan seat.

UPDATE: Zeldin’s campaign sent the following statement from the congressman:

:”Being that I have long held deep concerns with the Governor’s obsessive push for Common Core in our schools, safe fracking bans, money grabbing red light cameras throughout Suffolk County, awfully written gun laws and drastic increases to the state’s Medicaid budget, which is now well over $1 billion per week and more than Texas, Illinois and Florida combined, I won’t lose any sleep over this one.”

“After his preferred candidate gets crushed in 7 seven weeks at the polls, hopefully the Governor will choose to be a little less partisan and political for the best interest of New Yorkers. We are at a cross roads in our state and country where elected leaders should be working together in an inspired pursuit of common ground. There is no better way to move New York forward than united.”

Alcantara Sidesteps Senate Leadership Fight

Last week’s victory by Marisol Alcantara in the four-way Democratic primary to succeed outgoing Sen. Adriando Espaillat was a win for IDC Leader Jeff Klein, as Alcantara confirmed that she plans to join his breakaway conference and not the so-called “regular” Democrats in Albany come January.

Since then, there has been much speculation that Klein is again preparing to flex his growing political muscle in favor of the Senate Republicans, should they require his assistance in maintaining control of the chamber after the November elections.

But Alcantara is playing her cards close to the vest when it comes to whether she’s prepared to support a power-sharing deal that keeps the regular Democrats in the minority, deftly side stepping the question during a CapTon interview last night by saying:

“You know, I’m the Democrat nominee. What I am prepared to do is to go to Albany to fight for the DREAM Act, fight for licenses for the undocumented, fight for the people in my district and the state of New York.”

When I noted that many DREAM Act supporters blame Klein for the death of the measure on the Senate floor in 2014, Alcantara replied: 

“I don’t know what happened when Jeff Klein was there. All I know is that is one of my main priorities to go to Albany and push for the DREAM Act. It’s a shame that a place like Texas has a DREAM Act and we don’t have one in New York. This is one of the most progressive states in the country.”

No one is questioning Alcantara’s progressive credentials. Aside from a long history in the labor movement as an organizer for the state Nurses Association, she was also a delegate for Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders during the New York presidential primary. 

As a result, some regular Democrats are scratching their heads over whey Alcantara would join up with the IDC – a group that Klein’s erstwhile colleagues argue actually prevents the passage of more progressive measures in the Senate. 

As it turns out, her motivation was simple: The IDC supported her when she felt no one else was willing to do so. 

Alcantara said she reached out to “everyone you can think of” when she was mulling a Senate run, and the “one person who was receptive” to the idea of her running for office was Sen. Diane Savino, a Staten Island Democrat and former labor organizer herself, who is currently the IDC’s lone female member. 

Alcantara noted that should she win in November, as is widely expected, then she will make history was the first Dominican woman in the chamber.

She would also be the first Latina elected to the Senate since the departure of the late former Sen. Olga Mendez, a Bronx Democrat who often sided with Republicans and officially changed her registration to the GOP in 2002, in 2004.  

Mendez, the first Puerto Rican woman elected to the state Legislature in New York history, was defeated that year by Sen. Jose Serrano.

Here and Now

President Obama is still in NYC for the UN General Assembly.

In the morning, he will deliver remarks at the U.S.-Africa Business Forum at the Plaza Hotel, Manhattan.

In the afternoon, Obama will hold bilateral meetings (separately) with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel and President Juan Manuel Santos of Colombia. He will return to D.C. after these meetings.

The NYS Business Council kicks off its three-day annual meeting at the Sagamore Resort, 110 Sagamore Rd., Bolton Landing.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo in Monroe County, Chemung County (his first appearances upstate since the Chelsea bombing this past weekend) and New York City.

At 9 a.m., LG Kathy Hochul delivers remarks at Cuomo’s Sustainable Development regional conference, Hilton Long Island/Huntington, 598 NY-110, Melville. (She will be back to reconvene the conference at 1 p.m.)

At 9:30 a.m., Cuomo makes an announcement, US Airports Hangar 700, 1295 Scottsville Rd., Rochester.

At 10 a.m., Sen. Todd Kaminsky and commuters urge the MTA to strengthen its video monitoring capabilities of its stations and trains to ensure the safety of its passengers and workers, Rockville Centre Train Station, Front Street entrance, Rockville Centre, Long Island.

At 11 a.m., Hochul highlights state support for hunger prevention and nutrition assistance programs during Hunger Action Month, Island Harvest Food Bank, 40 Marcus Blvd., Hauppauge.

At 11:05 a.m., Cuomo makes an announcement, Atlantic Aviation FBO Hangar, 3 Progressive Dr., Horseheads.

At 11:30 a.m., OGS Commissioner RoAnn Destito and Office of Children and Family Services Acting Commissioner Sheila Poole will preside over a ribbon cutting ceremony for the newly-renovated Building 3 Harriman Campus, Albany.

Also at 11:30 a.m., NYC Deputy Mayor for Strategic Policy Initiatives Richard Buery and Commissioner Nisha Agarwal of the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs will hold a press conference to announce new IDNYC benefits, Chelsea Recreation Center, 430 West 25th St., Manhattan.

At 11:45 a.m., Hochul makes an announcement, Commack High School, 1 Scholar Ln., Commack.

At noon, union officials and labor supporters rally in support of Honeywell Corp. workers who have been locked out due to a contract dispute and call on the U.S. Department of Defense to suspend its contract with the company, Leo O’Brien federal office building, Albany.

Also at noon, Sen. David Carlucci will be going to ShopRite and bagging groceries to highlight Hunger Action Month, 66 North Main St., New City.

At 12:30 p.m., state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli will be joined by Queens Borough President Melinda Katz and other elected officials and representatives of the Greater Jamaica community to release a report on the neighborhood’s economy, Queens Library, 89-11 Merrick Blvd., Jamaica.

At 2 p.m., the New York Civil Liberties Union and Legal Services of Central New York announce a lawsuit, 221 S. Warren St., first floor, Syracuse.

At 3:30 p.m. Hochul adresses students and faculty about Cuomo’s Enough is Enough Initiative to combat sexual assault on college campuses, Molloy College, Hagan Center for Nursing, 1000 Hempstead Ave., Rockville Centre, Long Island.

At 6 p.m., the NYC Department of Education holds a public meeting of the Panel for Education Policy, Murry Bergtraum High School, 411 Pearl St., Manhattan. (The agenda includes an update from NYC Schools Chancellor Carmen Farina).

At 6:30 p.m., Hochul attends the Four Freedoms Park Conservancy’s Sunset Garden Party, Roosevelt Island, Manhattan.

At 8 p.m., NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio will deliver remarks at the Vocal-NY 2016 Annual Gala, Roulette, 509 Atlantic Ave., Brooklyn.

Headlines…

Ahmad Khan Rahami vowed to martyr himself rather than be caught after setting off explosives in New York and New Jersey, and he’d hoped in a handwritten journal championing jihad that “the sounds of bombs will be heard in the streets,” authorities said as they filed federal terrorism charges against him.

Rahami had a history of conflict with the mother of a child they had together and was constantly in arrears on child support, according to court papers.

While many Americans consider the bomb that went off Saturday in New York City to be terrorism, some property owners who sustained damage have reason to shy away from that term when it comes to insurance.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the “predominate operating theory” among investigators is that Rahami had assistance in conducting his bi-state terror spree over the weekend.

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio visited the Malibu Diner in Chelsea that had been closed due to the terror bombing on W. 23rd St., sipping coffee and chatting with regulars to support the targeted neighborhood.

The mayor pushed back a meeting with a group of blind residents affected by the bombing, giving himself an extra half-hour to sip coffee with his wife and hit the gym in Brooklyn.

In his final speech before the U.N. General Assembly, President Obama conceded that the United States and other world powers have limited ability to solve the most profound challenges facing the world, while calling for a “course correction” for globalization to ensure that nations don’t retreat into a more sharply divided world.

Donald Trump has been a hit with small donors, raking in two-thirds of his individual campaign contributions in sums of $200 or less, according to new financial disclosures. But with the big-money donor class, the GOP nominee has fallen short of expectations.

Hillary Clinton entered the final two months of the presidential campaign with a financial advantage over Trump of more than $90 million across all accounts, new financial disclosures show.

Clinton is preparing for two different foes in Monday’s presidential debate at Hofstra University on Long Island: an on-message, disciplined Trump and a freewheeling, more provocative Trump.

A new super PAC largely funded by two billionaire Republican donors – Casino magnate Sheldon Adelson and TD Ameritrade Holding Corp. founder Joe Ricketts – plans to run ads attacking Clinton in battleground states, hoping that will buttress the party’s chances of retaining its Senate majority and winning the White House.

Two days after he roots for his wife at the first presidential debate, former President Bill Clinton returns to Long Island for what is likely his last fundraiser there for his wife in this election cycle. The event will be hosted by Nassau County Democratic Party and former state chair Jay Jacobs.

The governors of New York and New Jersey have staked out such starkly different positions on the minimum wage that their discord could result in uneven pay scales for thousands of workers at the airports that serve New York City.

The Tesla-SolarCity merger has received a lukewarm reception on Wall Street and is facing legal challenges that could delay the deal. And unlike most corporate mergers, it’s not a certainty that the deal will win shareholder approval, especially at Tesla.

At a Monday meeting of the New York State Democratic Committee in Buffalo, the executive board upheld a motion to block IDC Leader Jeff Klein, a Democrat from the Bronx, from being named as a vice chair of the committee.

G. Steven Pigeon is questioning the independence of a veteran judge, the latest chapter in a campaign to discredit the public corruption case against him. Pigeon claims Michael Pietruszka, the Erie County judge who signed the search warrants that led to his prosecution, was a political enemy of his and might not have been neutral in his handling of the warrants.

U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand released a letter asking EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy to reevaluate and reverse the decision to stop dredging because of lingering polychlorinated biphenyl hotspots in the upper river.

Gillibrand also urged the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to immediately conduct a public health assessment of the Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics site in Hoosick Falls and surrounding communities amid ongoing water contamination issues there.

More >

Extras

Two years before the bombings that Ahmad Khan Rahami is suspected of carrying out in New York and New Jersey, his father told the police that he suspected his son might be involved in terrorism, prompting a review by federal agents.

An online feud has erupted on the Hofstra University Facebook page between supporters of Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson, who are protesting his omission from the first presidential debate, and Hofstra students charging back that the school has no control over who qualifies for the debate stage.

Back on the campaign trail after being diagnosed with pneumonia and a subsequent break from campaigning, Hillary Clinton plugged her leaking lead against Donald Trump, according to this week’s NBC News|SurveyMonkey Weekly Election Tracking Poll.

Trump spent more than a quarter-million dollars from his charitable foundation to settle lawsuits that involved the billionaire’s for-profit businesses, according to interviews and a review of legal documents conducted by the Washington Post.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said that Trump is wrong to suggest that the New York bombing suspect shouldn’t receive medical care.

A report from state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli’s office found the average New Yorker with college loans owed $32,200 in 2015, higher than the national average of $29,700. In New York, student loan debt more than doubled during the last decade, growing to $82 billion from $39 billion, an increase of 112 percent.

Sen. Sue Serino released her first TV ad of her re-election campaign, which focuses on her efforts to reduce taxes and prevent corruption politicians from receiving their pensions.

Bloomfield Industries, one of the five organizations approved by the Cuomo administration to grow and distribute medical marijuana is facing “financial constraints” that could threaten the state’s nascent program, which was created by legislation passed in 2014.

An arbitrator with the Public Employment Relations Board has ordered the Buffalo Board of Education not to eliminate the controversial cosmetic surgery rider from the teacher union contract without negotiating it with the union first

Jazz Fest organizers don’t have any plans to move to the Lakeview Amphitheater next summer, despite county efforts to the contrary. Festival Founder and Executive Director Frank Malfitano said he intends to keep the event at Onondaga Community College and keep admission free.

Syracuse officials say Onondaga County is evicting the city’s economic development department from the office it shares with its county counterpart, but the county denies it.

U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand urged the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to immediately conduct a public health assessment of the Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics site in Hoosick Falls and surround communities amid ongoing water contamination issues there.

Former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani excoriated current Mayor Bill de Blasio for looking like he was “kind of on Mars” during the early reaction to the bomb attack in Chelsea, adding: “He looked like he didn’t know what he was doing.”

Acclaimed courtroom artist Elizabeth Williams stopped by Room 9 in City Hall and did some sketches of the reporters who work there.

A Rikers Island guard admitted to covering up and lying about the brutal beating of an inmate, who died after being repeatedly punched and kicked in the head by another officer.

SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher has been appointed to the National Commission on Social, Emotional, and Academic Development, convened by Aspen Institute to broaden K-12 focus beyond academic achievement.

Responding to Cuomo’s comments that audits of spending by programs including Start-Up NY were “dead wrong,” DiNapoli defended his office’s work and reaffirmed his independence from the governor.

Assemblywoman Claudia Tenney’s congressional campaign (NY-22) launched a new website, MillionaireMartin.com, that slams her opponent, Martin Babinec.

Suozzi Channels JFK

Former Nassau County Executive Tom Suozzi, a Democrat running for the NY-3 seat on Long Island that Rep. Steve Israel will relinquish at the end of the year, today released a new TV ad that features vintage footage from President John F. Kennedy’s 1961 inaugural address in which he said that “here on earth God’s work must truly be our own.”

In the ad, Suozzi pledges to be a “new kind of old-fashioned Democrat,” following in JFK’s footsteps to “do what’s right, beyond party politics – standing up for the least among us, but always with an eye on the bottom line.”

I’m not really clear on what all of this means. But it sounds good.

Not surprisingly, the campaign of Suozzi’s GOP opponent, Sen. Jack Martins, is already slamming the Democratic contender on social media, noting he was forced to apologize after a member of his congressional campaign staff was accused of having signatures of two dead people on a petition for an independent “Fix Washington” ballot line. Suozzi eventually dropped his effort to get onto that line altogether.