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Posts by Liz Benjamin
Nov 5th - 5:21 pm
While you were out voting, this happened.
Democratic NYC frontrunner Bill de Blasio did not oversleep this morning.
…He also got a surprise visit from his daughter Chiara, who made it home from California to vote in her very first general election.
De Blasio’s final campaign appearance was in Crown Heights, Brooklyn.
De Blasio voted for himself on the Democratic line, and not on the line belonging to the WFP, which he helped found.
In spite of the polls, Republican Joe Lhota was working on an acceptance speech.
NYC Public Advocate-in-waiting Tish James pledges to make sure de Blasio “stays focused on a progressive agenda.”
More voting machine failures in NYC.
Onondaga County elections commissioners had to sort out several polling place disputes between election inspectors and political party representatives who asked for information about who had voted.
It’s upstate’s year of the female mayor.
Turnout was high today at the governor’s polling place in Mt. Kisco.
An homage to outgoing Albany Mayor Jerry Jennings, sculpted in meatloaf and mashed potatoes.
An argument in favor of letting Mayor Bloomberg fix Obamacare.
Cuomo launched an extensive new online guide to sustainable travel in New York.
Silda Wall Spitzer showed up sans her husband, the former governor, at her Upper East Side polling site.
The state Thruway Authority said there are no plans to use revenue from the the 570-mile toll road to fund the new Tappan Zee Bridge.
GOP Chairman Ed Cox will travel to Buffalo tomorrow, where he’ll deliver the keynote address at the Independent Oil & Gas Association’s annual conference.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says he was backing Hillary Clinton for president in 2016 before Sen. Chuck Schumer did.
Humorist Calvin Trillin, presuming a de Blasio victory tonight, says the NY Public Library should invite a lot of tall people to its next gala to put the new mayor at ease.
Lede of the week? “You may be right, it may be crazy. But it just may get more money for his campaign fund.”
Nov 5th - 6:27 am
It’s Election Day! The polls are open. The forecast looks pretty good across the state. Dry, with temperatures in the 50s.
Please vote – and remember to turn your ballot OVER to get to the six constitutional amendment questions on the back.
There are a number of contested local races to look out for, including (but not limited to) the county executive races in Westhchester, Rockland, Nassau and Orange, the Brooklyn DA’s race and the New York City mayoral contest between Democratic frontrunner Bill de Blasio and Republican Joe Lhota.
Also of interest: The Rochester mayor’s race in which a campaign is being waged on behalf of the incumbent, Tom Richards, even though he’s not campaigning himself after losing the Democratic primary to Council President Lovely Warren.
Yesterday, Richards said he would indeed serve – at least in the short term – if he wins today.
If you have problems voting, call 800-771-7755 or email firstname.lastname@example.org between 6 a.m. and 9 p.m.
In NYC, you can also call 1-866-OUR-VOTE (1-866-687-8683) for English and 1-888-VE-Y-VOTA (1-888-839-8682) for Spanish. (This is the Election Protection voter helpline). NYPIRG/Common Cause has a hotline, too: 212-822-0282.
Here’s a list of some of the election night parties taking place in NYC.
No word yet from the press office as to where Gov. Andrew Cuomo will be today, or what time he’s voting.
UPDATE: Cuomo will vote at 10:30 a.m. at the Mt. Kisco Presbyterian Church, 605 Millwood Rd., Mt. Kisco. After that, he’ll be in New York City with no public schedule.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo recorded an eleventh hour robocall for Prop. 1 – the casino expansion amendment.
The Cuomo-controlled New York Gaming Commission voted to adopt regulations prohibiting Western New York racinos from advertising themselves as casinos – a move consistent with the governor’s deal struck this summer with the Seneca Indian Nations.
Cuomo’s recent criticisms of 14 state judges who collect both a salary and pension has brought cries of hypocrisy from critics, given that he has hired double-dippers himself – including LG Bob Duffy.
The Adirondack Daily Enterprise urges New Yorkers to vote “yes” on all the constitutional amendments except the first.
Rep. Charlie Rangel says it was “premature” for Sen. Chuck Schumer to endorse Hillary Clinton for 2016, adding: “I just hate to see her having to defend her candidacy at this early stage in the game.”
Nov 4th - 5:02 pm
LG Bob Duffy says he carries his ethics handbook with him and would welcome an investigation into his aborted effort to land a job in the private sector.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo was a big baby – literally.
Due to an “overwhelming response,” Cuomo’s Wednesday fund-raiser in Buffalo has been postponed to Nov. 19 at a yet-to-be-determined venue.
NYC Councilman Charles Barron is running for his wife’s Assembly seat and says he’s coming to Albany to “bag” Cuomo and Speaker Sheldon Silver.
Mayor Bloomberg blew something up in Newburgh.
Erstwhile GOP NYC mayoral candidate John Catsimatidis is targeting one of the city’s few remaining Republican elected officials: Councilman Eric Ulrich.
More music related to NYC Democratic mayoral frontrunner Bill de Blasio’s campaign.
De Blasio insists he is indeed a morning person, contrary to previous reports.
Cuomo’s office is reviewing a request to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate reports that Putnam DAAdam Levy shared a grand jury vote and other insider information with a defense lawyer in a child rape case.
SUNY Stony Brook and SUNY Purchase and were included on a Travel & Leisure list of America’s ugliest college campuses.
The Washington Post discovers US Attorney Preet Bharara.
Gawker opposes Prop. 1.
The voter drop-off for past constitutional amendments has been considerable.
The NRCC asked Sean Eldridge’s husband, New Republic owner and publisher Chris Hughes, to publish an anti-Eldridge ad on the magazine’s website. (Needless to say, he declined).
Notable women politicians from Los Angeles will headline a fund-raiser for the Ready for Hillary PAC.
Daredevil Nik Wallenda has gotten himself involved in the campaign for state Supreme Court justice.
The state DMV is now offering 35 expanded online services, which includes the ability to view the status of an ID or driver’s license, renew, or replace a license online.
Nassau County Democratic Chair Jay Jacobs has plowed nearly $150,000 into efforts to put his longtime ally, Tom Suozzi, back in the Nassau County executive’s office.
According to AG Eric Schneiderman’s office, the top 40 Airbnb hosts in New York have each grossed at least $400,000 over the past three years, a collective total of over $35 millionmocratic
Nov 4th - 1:21 pm
Incumbent Mayor Tom Richards has done an about-face on his politicl future, saying in a radio interview that he would serve if elected tomorrow, despite the fact that he has technically endorsed the woman who defeated him in the Democratic primary, Council President Lovely Warren, and is not actively campaigning.
Richards told radio host Bob Lonsberry on WHAM 1180 that he would take the oath and serve at least a part of his next four-year term should the grassroots campaign being run by on his behalf by the Independence Party and others turn out to be successful. He argued that not to do so would be a disservice to the city, throwing it into chaos and leaving it adrift without representation or leadership until a special election could be held.
“You know, there’s a lot more activity going on here than I would have quite frankly anticipated, when, you know, at the time of the primary and I was focused on other things with my family and so forth,” Richards said. “So, I haven’t had anything to do with it. I don’t know who’s doing it, but obviously there’s a lot more of it than I would have anticipated.”
“If for some reason I got elected mayor, I would be the mayor. I mean, that’s the fact. And what I would have to do at that point in time is whatever would be in the interest of making sure this city stays in a stable good position.”
“You know, I’m not just going to turn my back on it and walk away. What exactly that will mean, and what the right thing to do, you know, I’ve said before I’ll deal with. But, you know, there’s a
There’s a fact, if I’m for some reason here, get the most votes, then I’m the mayor.”
“…I don’t see any other way to avoid it, quite frankly.=,” Richards continued. ” You know what happens if I decline is we go into a special election here, and that special election wouldm’t be held until November of that year and whether that’s a good thing for the city is open to some major question. But, you know I’m not going to walk away from it. I’ve invested a lot of time in this place. This is where I intend to be.”
“…That doesn’t change what I’ve said. I haven’t campaigned. You know, I don’t know who’s doing the campaigning for me. And, and you know, the personal circumstances that have occurred with respect to me have caused me to think about it more than I would have otherwise. And we don’t get to choose all these things, do we? You just have to deal with it as it comes to you, and try to do the best you can.”
A wide variety of political leaders – both Democrats and at least one Republican, Monroe County Executive Maggie Brooks – have aligned over the past several weeks behind Warren, saying Richards’ election would be a miscarriage of democracy if it occurrs.
However, Richards supporters argue the exact opposition, arguing that some voters didn’t come out to vote on primary day because the polls indicated the race was a blowout in Richards’ favor, and those voters now deserve a chance to voice their opinions.
Nov 4th - 12:52 pm
Sen. Diane Savino, a member of the breakaway Senate conference blamed by any number of her fellow Democrats – including Gov. Andrew Cuomo – for the death of “progressive” legislation in the chamber this past legislative session, is urging New Yorkers to vote on the uber-liberal Working Families Party line tomorrow.
“As an early supporter of the Working Families Party and a member of the New York State Senate’s Independent Democratic Conference, I have always believed that voters should have choice,” Savino said in a statement released by her campaign committee this afternoon.
“For over 15 years the WFP has been the progressive voice for working class and middle class New Yorkers, it was founded to fight for good jobs, affordable housing and quality schools. I am urging people to vote for Democrats Bill deBlasio, Tish James and Scott Stringer on the Working Families Party line. So make your vote stand something, remember to vote for the Democrats on row D, VOTE WFP!”
Despite the fact that she has thrown in her lot with the Independent Democratic Conference that enabled the Senate Republicans to remain in power (a move that has a personal component, given the fact that she is dating IDC Leader Jeff Klein), Savino has a long history with the labor movement – one that predates her election to the Senate in 2004.
Savino began her career in public service as a caseworker for NYC’s Child Welfare Administration. She was an active member of her local labor union, DC 37, and eventually became its the vice president for political action and legislative affairs.
The WFP is poised to win big tomorrow with NYC mayoral frontrunner de Blasio, whom the labor-backed party has supported throughout his career. (De Blasio has a long history with organized labor, and is the cousin of John Wilhelm, the former president of Unite Here).
Savino’s embracing of the WFP is yet another on a quickly growing list of “screw yous” from the IDC (well, mostly Klein) to Cuomo. The governor has had a rocky relationship with the WFP, and actively tried to neuter it (and other minor parties) earlier this year by proposing an end to the Wilson Pakula process, which would have robbed third party leaders of the power to control who gets their endorsement. (Note: I originally wrote that Cuomo proposed doing away with fusion voting, which is the bread-and-butter of minor parties. He did not. But minor party leaders found the idea he did float almost as onerous).
The WFP has weathered its share of challenges over the past several years. Cuomo made the party sweat it out in 2010 while he delayed accepted its endorsement due to a US attorney’s office investigation into the actions of its now defunct for-profit arm, Data and Field Services, in the 2009 NYC elections.
The feds found no wrongdoing, and Cuomo did accepted the WFP line – but not before forcing the party to accept his New New York Agenda in full, including a number of proposals that were not popular in progressive labor circles like the property tax cap and wage freezes for state workers.
Though the WFP is out of the woods with the feds, it remains in the crosshairs of a special prosecutor requested by Staten Island DA Dan Donovan in 2011. That special prosecutor, Roger Adler, told the Daily News he expects to convene a grand jury shortly after Veterans Day as part of his probe into allegations the WFP illegally gave candidates below-cost campaign-related services in 2009.
Nov 4th - 6:58 am
Good morning, New York. Bundle up good today; it’s cold out there. Highs will only be in the mid to upper 40s across the state.
And by the way, less than 24 hours remain in the 2013 election cycle. Polls will open bright and early tomorrow morning, so the mad dash for those final votes begins.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo is in Albany with no public schedule.
At 7:00 a.m., Democratic NYC comptroller candidate and Manhattan BP Scott Stringer gives a live interview on WPIX 11.
At 7:45 a.m., Democratic NYC mayoral frontrunner Bill de Blasio appears on PIX 11 Morning News.
Also at 7:45 a.m., Republican NYC mayoral candidate Joe Lhota will meet and greet voters with GOP NYC comptroller candidate John Burnett at the 6 train subway stop, corner of 77th Street and Lexington Avenue, Manhattan.
At 8 a.m., IDC Leader Jeff Klein, Kerry Kennedy and Miss America host Erin Merryn’s Book Launch Event “An Unimaginable Act: Overcoming & Preventing Child Abuse”, Italian Trade Commission, 33 East 67th St., Manhattan.
Also at 8 a.m., de Blasio greets voters in Bay Ridge, 86th Street Subway Stop, corner of 86th Street and 4th Avenue, Brooklyn.
Also at 8 a.m., state Superintendent of Financial Services Benjamin Lawsky will speak on “New York Banking Law and Enforcing Iran Sanctions” at the Agudath Israel of America Legislative Breakfast, Down Town Association, 60 Pine St., Manhattan.
At 8:05 a.m., Stringer gives a live interview on WWRL.
At 8:45 a.m., de Blasio Appears on the AM 1600 WWRL Morning Show with Mark Riley.
At 9:45 a.m., Lhota will do a phone interview on The Daily Rundown with Chuck Todd, MSNBC.
At 10:15 a.m., Lhota will be a guest on the Mark Simone Show, WOR 710 AM.
From 10:45 a.m. to noon, NYC P-TECH will convene its first meeting of all collaborators from 16 communities that will open new schools modeled on P-TECH, state Education Commissioner John King and LG Bob Duffy are expected to attend, College of Nanoscale Science & Engineering, 245 Fuller Rd., Albany.
At 11 a.m., Sen. Tony Avella, DCCC Chairman Steve Israel and others call for passage of legislation to move Election Day to the weekend, 208-11 26th Ave., Bayside, Queens.
At 12:15 p.m., de Blasio meets with seniors at the Bay Eden Senior Center, 1220 East 229th St., the Bronx.
At 1 p.m., the state Gaming Commission meets at its Schenectady HQ.
At 3 p.m., Lhota will participate in a kitchen table discussion on property taxes with Staten Island residents, home of Michael Carpinello, 14 Gaynor St., Staten Island.
Also at 3 p.m., de Blasio speaks at a canvass kick off in Rochdale Village, 166th Place, Queens.
At 5 p.m., Lhota will meet and greet voters, Pier 11, FDR and Wall Street, Manhattan
At 5:45 p.m., Lhota will meet and greet voters with former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Whitehall Terminal, 4 South St., Manhattan.
At 7 p.m. and 10 p.m., both Lhota and de Blasio will check in from the campaign trail on NY1′s “Road to City Hall.”
US Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand will be in Chicago through tomorrow, hosting a series of fundraisers to raise cash for her Off the Sidelines PAC.
Democratic legislative leaders might seek “revenge” on Gov. Andrew Cuomo by formally requesting his anti-corruption Moreland Commission investigate LG Bob Duffy’s job interview with the Rochester Business Alliance.
A prosecutor investigating possible wrongdoing by the labor-backed Working Families Party, which is close to Democratic NYC mayoral frontrunner Bill de Blasio, says he expects to convene a grand jury shortly after Veterans Day as part of his probe into allegations the WFP illegally gave candidates below-cost campaign-related services in 2009.
Senate co-leader Jeffrey Klein, who had backed former NYC Comptroller Bill Thompson in the Democratic mayoral primary, says he will aggressively push for passage of de Blasio’s city tax hike plan during next year’s state budget talks.
Nov 3rd - 2:43 pm
“It’s time for a woman president,” Schumer said. “I am urging Hillary Clinton to run for president and when she does she will have my full and unwavering support. Run, Hillary, run. If you run, you’ll win and we’ll all win.”
AG Eric Schneiderman is dating Michelle Manning Barish, who was introduced at a fund-raiser as his “bride-to-be,” though there’s no ring yet. He might also run for governor.
The Daily News endorsed NYC Democratic mayoral frontrunner Bill de Blasio, but expressed “worrying reservations and strong prescriptions for the man whose stunning victory will be nothing compared with the monumental challenge of running America’s largest city.”
De Blasio is reportedly pushing East Harlem Councilwoman Melissa Mark-Viverito to become the next speaker of the NYC Council.
De Blasio is not a morning person.
De Blasio and his GOP opponent, Joe Lhota, agree that Lhota will have no role in the de Blasio administration if the Democrat wins on Tuesday.
Candidates in New York and New Jersey hit the trail hard this weekend – the final weekend before Tuesday’s general election.
The deal that will bring Staten Island its biggest development since the Verrazano Bridge came together quite unlike any other in the recent history of NYC.
Cuomo endorsed Minerva Supervisor Sue Montgomery Corey in her bid for a second term.
The Rev. Al Sharpton will meet with Macy’s CEO Monday to discuss allegations of racial profiling at the retailer’s flagship store in Herald Square.
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany has been ordered by a federal judge to turn over nearly 40 years worth of clergy abuse files to a Warren County man who is suing the diocese and a priest who raped him as a young boy.
The Daily News endorsed Prop. 1 – the constitutional amendment that would expand non-Indian casinos.
In a bill expected to be filed Monday, Albany Assemblywoman Patricia Fahy calls for a short and sweet fix to the way constitutional amendments are worded on the ballot. In fact, she wants to add just four syllables to state election law: “and un-biased.”
Buffalo Bills great Thurman Thomas, the NFL Hall of Fame running back, recorded a robocall in favor of Prop. 1.
Nov 1st - 5:50 pm
Commissioner Evelyn Aquila is retiring from the state Board of Elections after serving for 24 years, opening a rare vacancy on the four-person board.
The board is considering some changes after receiving its public flogging from the Moreland Commission earlier this week.
State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli believes it would be a “mistake” to project significant ecomomic growth from expanding casinos in New York, but he’s neutral on Prop. 1.
Democratic mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio met with Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel this morning in New York City.
Carribbean Americans for de Blasio are promoting a catchy – dare we say infectious? – song in honor of their candidate.
Chris Owens sings a song about “B-d-B (Bill de Blasio) country,” dedicated to his father, the late Rep. Major Owens.
Some memorable moments from Mayor Bloomberg’s weekly radio show on WOR.
Bloomberg posed with a Dante and a Chiara de Blasio at Bette Midler’s annual Hulaween party.
Rudy Giuliani wants an apology from de Blasio, and says the whole rationale for the Democratic frontrunner’s campaign is “phony.”
Mercury Public Affairs will re-establish its Albany office, using operatives and lobbyists who were until very recently working for Patricia Lynch Associates.
Legislation that would allow Rockland County to borrow up to $96 million to cover its budget hole was one of 35 bills sent to Cuomo’s desk today.
The Pougkeepise Journal reluctantly backs Prop. 1, but says if it fails “the state will have only itself to blame.”
Cuomo announced funding for a university based “Resiliency Institute” based at SUNY Stony Brook.
NJ Gov. Chris Christie was codenamed “Pufferfish” by the Romney campaign in 2012, which ultimately passed him up as a VP candidate because of concerns he couldn’t withstand public scrutiny.
Former Republican Florida Gov. Charlie Crist is running for his old job – this time as a Democrat.
The pro-casino group, New York Jobs Now, bashed the unlikely alliance of Prop. 1 opponents Sen. Liz Krueger and state Conservative Party chairman Mike Long.
Yes, it’s the silly season.
Nov 1st - 5:30 pm
A second New York Republican House member in as many days has declared his support of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, also known as “ENDA” – a measure to ban workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity that is moving toward passage in the US Senate.
A spokeswoman for Rep. Tom Reed confirmed to our Washington, D.C. Bureau reporter Michael Scotto that the congressman does support ENDA.
This comes on the heels of an announcement by Reed’s GOP colleague, Rep. Chris Gibson, that he has signed on to co-sponsor ENDA, making him the fifth Republican and 194th House member to attach his name to this bill.
Both Reed and Gibson are top targets for the Democrats heading into the 2014 elections. Gibson is facing a challenge from Democratic activist Sean Eldridge, who is married to Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes; and Reed is being challenged by Tompkins County Legislature Chair Martha Robertson.
Yesterday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid filed cloture on ENDA, setting the stage for a vote to proceed to debate on Monday. With the arrival of the Democrats’ newest member, Sen. Cory Booker, there are now 59of the 60 votes needed to move the bill to the floor for debate. Reid has said he believes ENDA will receive at least five Republican votes, and the entire Democratic confernce has signaled support.
The outlook for this legislation in the House is a different matter completely, since the Republicans control the chamber and have shown no interest in taking action on ENDA.
So, from a political standpoint, this is an almost risk-free move by both Gibson and Reed, since they can point to their support of this bill as proof that they are pragmatic and not, as their opponents insist, in cahoots with their Tea Party colleagues, without having to worry about actually taking a controversial vote to back up their claims.
Nov 1st - 2:49 pm
Former. Gov. George Pataki has recorded a robocall in support of Proposition 4, one of the six constitutional amendments appearing on next Tuesday’s ballot that would settle a century-old land dispute in the Adirondack Park between the state and residents of a remote commmunity known as Township 40.
The New York League of Conservation Voters is paying for the call, which will be hitting some 300,000 households this weekend. Here’s the script:
“Hi, this is George Pataki, calling you about Proposition 4, which will be on your ballot this Tuesday. If approved, Prop. 4 will add 300 acres of new, forever wild, public forrest land to the Adirondack Park at no cost to taxpayers.”
“By voting yes, you will be preserving the environment and supporting New York’s tourism industry. So, please join me and Vote Yes on Proposition 4. Thank you. Paid for by Vote Yes for Prop 4, a project of the New York League of Conservation Voters.”
Pataki, a moderate Republican, made environmental issues – and land acquistion in the Adirondacks in particular – a focus of his 12-year tenure, so much so that he was sometimes referred to as the “green” governor – a nickname his administration encouraged.
This robocall is the latest step in NYLCV’s pro-Prop. 4 campaign, which also includes voter identification calls, Get-out-the-Vote and Election Day text messaging, and a mobile smartphone site, where New Yorkers can get information and take a poll.