Liz Benjamin

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Posts by Liz Benjamin

Holyman Seeks Hymn Bill Veto

Sen. Brad Holyman, a Manhattan Democrat, has written a letter to Gov. Andrew Cuomo, urging him to reject a bill passed by both houses the Legislature is session that establishes “an official state hymn of remembrance” for veterans, arguing it violates the constitutionally mandated separation of church and state.

The hymn, “Here Rests in Honored Glory,” was written by former Onondaga Community College Professor Emeritus, Dr. Donald Miller, and has been played in memory of our service men and women at events and ceremonies across the world, according to the bill’s sponsor, Assemblyman Bill Magnarelli, a Syracuse-area Democrat.

The assemblyman called the hymn a “moving composition” and “a fitting tribute to those that served and made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom.”

But Hoylman notes the lyrics of the piece include several overtly religious references, and appears to be based on a 19th century hymn traditionally sung on Palm Sunday to mark Christ’s entry into Jerusalem.

“As you can see, the lyrics are not only religious, but they are explicitly Christian, representing a clear violation of the Establishment Clause,” the senator wrote.

Hoylman also sought to link the hymn to the Trump administration’s travel ban, which was recently upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court, arguing that making a Christian hymn the official state hymn of New York contributes to a culture of “profiling and religious discrimination.”

Those were Cuomo’s own words in decrying the president’s ban, and deeming the high court’s decision to uphold it a “stain on this country’s history.”

Hoylman said that when the bill, which was sponsored by the Senate by retiring Deputy Majority Leader John DeFrancisco, an erstwhile GOP gubernatorial candidate, first came up in his chamber back in February, he requested as the ranking member of the Investigations and Government Operations Committee that it be removed from consideration to allow committee members to read the lyrics.

According to Hoylman, the committee never again considered the bill, which was discharged by the GOP Senate leadership in the final days of the session – “seemingly to avoid controversy” – and passed.

“As we prepare to celebrate July 4t1 this weekend, what better way to celebrate Independence Day than supporting the separation of church and state, a founding principle of our nation? In the spirit of American independence, I respectfully ask you to veto S6856A/A8704A,” Hoylman concluded.

Sen. Brad Hoylman asks Gov. Andrew Cuomo to veto hymn bill. by liz_benjamin6490 on Scribd

Gianaris Calls for Abolishing Ice

From the Morning Memo…

State Sen. Mike Gianaris, of Queens, is the latest Democratic elected official to call for abolishing ICE, taking that stand at a rally welcoming a Guatemalan woman detained at the U.S.-Mexico border to NYC for a brief visit with her three children, from whom she was separated at an Arizona immigration facility six weeks ago.

“ICE is a rogue agency under the direction of a rogue President and both must be stopped before more havoc is wreaked on people seeking a better life in our country,” Gianaris said. “We must abolish ICE and then abolish Donald Trump at the ballot box as soon as possible.”

According to his press release, Gianaris was the first person to welcome Yeni Maricela Gonzalez Garcia to Queens when a convoy in which she had made the cross-country trip to see her children – 6-year-old Deyuin, 9-year-old Jamelin and 11-year-old Lester – stopped by a rally held to offer her support.

Gonzalez Garcia was detained in Arizona for five weeks while her children were taken from her under the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s “zero tolerance” family separation policy, which has since been rescinded by an executive order signed by President Donald Trump.

Gonzalez Garcia’s children have been in the care of the Cayuga Center in East Harlem, which placed them in a foster home. She is scheduled to see them today, but it could be weeks before the family is permanently reunited.

Gonzalez Garcia was released from detention on a bond raised on a GoFundMe page organized by volunteers, led by Julie Collazo. Volunteers drove her across the country after she was freed.

Gianaris, the former deputy Senate minority leader and head of the Senate Democrats’ political arm, is one of a growing number of Democrats calling for ICE’s abolition in the wake of self-prossed Democratic Socialist Alexandria Ocacio-Cortez’s upset victory in last week’s NY-14 primary primary over veteran Queens Rep. Joe Crowley.

Ocasio-Cortez traveled to the U.S.-Mexico border at the height of the “zero tolerance” policy controversy, and also call for abolishing ICE, making that a significant plank of her campaign.

Gianaris has long been close with Crowley, who has also served since 2006 as chair of the powerful Queens Democratic Party.

Here and Now

It’s still really hot. Take precautions as necessary.

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

President Donald Trump has lunch with the secretary of defense. He then departs the White House en route to White Sulphur Springs, WV, where he will make remarks at the Salute to Service dinner being held at The Greenbrier, before returning to D.C.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and First Lady Chirlane McCray are traveling to Vermont as well as Ontario and Quebec in Canada for a family vacation.

At 10 a.m., Cuomo makes an announcement, Boricua College, Fourth Floor, 890 Washington Ave., the Bronx.

At 11 a.m., Rep. Adriano Espaillat and Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer will visit NYCHA developments slated to undergo renovations under the Rental Assistance Demonstration program throughout the district, starting at Park Avenue East 122nd and 123rd Street, Manhattan.

Also at 11 a.m., NYC officials will announce specific services that the city is providing to children who were separated from their families at the border because of the federal immigration policy, NYC Administration for Children’s Services, Manhattan Room, 19th Floor, 150 William St., Manhattan.

Also at 11 a.m., the official weigh-in for the Nathan’s Famous International 4th of July Hot Dog eating contest takes place, Empire State Building, 350 Fifth Ave., Manhattan.

At 11:15 a.m., Rep. Eliot Engel, NYC Public Advocate and state AG candidate Letitia James, Westchester County Executive George Latimer, state Sens. Andrea Stewart-Cousins and Shelley Mayer, Assemblyman Gary Pretlow, and others tour the Rising Ground facility, followed by a press conference, 463 Hawthorne Ave., Yonkers.

At noon, Cuomo makes an announcement, Hicksville Community Center, 28 W. Carl St., Hicksville, Long Island.

At 12:30 p.m., Westchester County Executive George Latimer announces the North Boardwalk at Playland, which has remained closed since Superstorm Sandy, will officially reopen in time for the 4th of July holiday, 1 Playland Parkway, Rye.

At 1 p.m., Connecticut U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal will join Stew and Kim Leonard, who tragically lost their child in a pool drowning, Mill Pond Park Pool
123 Garfield St., Newington, CT.

At 4 p.m., GOP LG candidate Julie Killian tours The New Windsor along with the supervisor of the green emergency services facility, 555 Union Ave., New Windsor.

At 5 p.m., Killian tours the New Windsor Inclusive Playground.

At 6 p.m., Killian attends the Town of Newburgh Community Day, Cronomer Park, Powder Mill Road, Newburgh.


President Trump has written sharply worded letters to the leaders of several NATO allies, taking them to task for spending too little on their own defense and warning that the United States is losing patience with what he said was their failure to meet security obligations shared by the alliance.

Trump interviewed four prospective U.S. Supreme Court justices and had plans to meet with a few more as his White House aggressively mobilizes to select a replacement for retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy.

The White House refused to disclose the names of whom the president met with, but they reportedly were: the federal appeals court judges Amy Coney Barrett of the Seventh Circuit; Brett M. Kavanaugh of the District of Columbia Circuit; and Raymond M. Kethledge and Amul R. Thapar of the Sixth Circuit.

Trump denied a request to lower American flags in honor of the five victims of a deadly shooting at the Capital Gazette newspaper last week, according to Annapolis Mayor Gavin Buckley, who made the ask.

Irish rock star and activist Bono warned that the United Nations and other international institutions including the European Union and NATO are under threat — and nations must work together to ensure their continued existence.

Trump reached out to Mexico’s new populist president-elect in an early, but potentially short-lived, show of détente, saying the two leaders engaged in a “good conversation” about border security and the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Police say orange-colored ecstasy pills bearing an image resembling Trump’s face are making the rounds in northern Indiana.

Robert Mueller, who has been leading a special counsel investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, likely possesses the tax filings of the National Rifle Association, which spent $30 million to help Trump get elected.

A discussion about how high U.S. interest rates should go in this tightening cycle could feature prominently in the release of minutes later this week of the Federal Reserve’s June 12-13 policy meeting.

When pressed about Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s upset win over longtime Rep. Joseph Crowley in Queens, Illinois Sen. Tammy Duckworth warned against Democrats shifting “too far to the left,” saying it could ostracize Midwestern voters.

Ocasio-Cortez said she embraces the “Democratic Socialist” label but doesn’t want to force other Democrats to do the same.

Bill Lipton, state director of the Working Families Party, said Ocasio-Cortez’s win was has provided “big momentum” for Nixon, adding: “Our phones are ringing off the hook from people who want to work on Cynthia’s campaign, who want to make contributions and who want to endorse.”

Gubernatorial candidate Cynthia Nixon, who backed Ocasio-Cortez just before her primary win, exchanged endorsements with another Democratic insurgent trying to topple a long-term incumbent: Julia Salazar, who is running in the September primary against eight-term Brooklyn state Sen. Martin Dilan.

Ocasio-Cortez is facing questions about whether she grew up in an urban Bronx neighborhood or on a quiet suburban street in Westchester County.

As a result of Kennedy’s retirement from the U.S. Supreme Court, abortion rights could become a significant issue in this year’s gubernatorial race in New York.

A woman publicly confronted EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt while he was eating lunch at a D.C. restaurant and urged him to resign, according to a Facebook post.

Samantha Dravis, the former policy chief at the EPA, told a congressional committee that Pruitt asked her to help find his wife a job as a fund-raiser at the Republican Attorneys General Association.

A federal probe into Facebook’s sharing of user data with Cambridge Analytica now involves the FBI, the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Justice Department.

When Michael Cohen, Trump’s longtime personal fixer, sat down with “Good Morning America” for his first interview since federal agents raided his office in April, he said it was a step toward reaching his ultimate goal of “resolution.” But the interview raised more questions than it answered.

An Indian reporter at yesterday’s press briefing assured White House press secretary Sarah Sanders that she is welcome to eat at any Indian restaurant in the area.

Barbara Underwood, part of a coalition of 18 AGs, asked a federal judge to order the government to provide details about and access to victims of the Trump administration’s family separation policy on an expedited schedule. She filed new victim declarations like this one and this one.

Andy Byford, the much-heralded recent new head of New York City transit, told The New Yorker magazine that he’s been unable to get a sit-down with Mayor Bill de Blasio. A mayoral spokesman said a meeting has been scheduled for July 10.

The NY Post: “New York state’s budget is headed for disaster, a new report by Comptroller Tom DiNapoli warns — maybe not tomorrow, but within a few short years.”

More >


Already facing rape and criminal sex act charges and a potential 25-years behind bars, Harvey Weinstein today was hit with even heavier legal weight from the Manhattan D.A. – that could see him in jail for life.

The lawyer for embattled FBI agent Peter Strzok slammed House Republicans for selectively leaking portions of Strzok’s closed-door testimony last week and charged that the invitation for Strzok to return next week for a public grilling was a “trap.”

A New York state trooper responding to an early-morning domestic call south of Corning, near the Pennsylvania state line has been killed along with a suspect.

Trooper Nicholas Clark, 29, was fatally shot when he responded to a call that a suicidal man was barricaded inside his home in the town of Erwin, police said.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo today directed that flags on all state government buildings be flown at half-staff in honor of Clark.

Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen said he is not prepared to be anyone’s punching bag, stating in his first in-depth interview since the FBI’s April raid of his home and office that his loyalty was to his family rather than his former boss.

Though Cuomo has been touting the Buffalo Billion projects as transformational, an examination of the plans and progress of those plans and projects reveals a far more uneven return on investment to date: a mix of street-level successes, expensive brick-and-mortar gambles and ill-conceived misfires.

The Journal News/lohud has sued the New York State Thruway Authority over the agency’s refusal to turn over documents pertaining to the construction of the Gov. Mario M. Cuomo Bridge.

The repair bill for New York City’s embattled Housing Authority is now estimated to reach an astonishing $31.8 billion​​, new figures show.

Following the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision last week in Janus v. AFSCME Council 31, the state will stop deducting so-called agency fees from nonunion members’ paychecks this month.

The Building Trades Employers’ Association (BTEA) has presented its first-ever Master Builder Award to Cuomo.

Ten lawmakers – including U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand – penned a letter to government agencies requesting a list of all migrant children separated from parents as a result of the Trump administration’s controversial “zero tolerance” policy.

Trump said he interviewed four candidates for the Supreme Court vacancy this morning and intends to make a decision in the next “few days.”

U.S. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer says abortion rights are hanging in the balance with the retirement of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy. In an op-ed in The New York Times, he wrote: “The next nominee will obfuscate and hide behind the shopworn judicial dodge, ‘I will follow settled law.'”

A former New York state corrections officer and his wife were arrested for allegedly giving false pay stubs to “boost” their family income to qualify for mortgage loans from KeyBank and Citizens Bank, according to an investigation by state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli’s office.

The federal case charging developer Louis P. Ciminelli and other “Buffalo Billion” defendants with conspiracy and wire fraud moved forward in federal court today, as the judge allowed prosecutors to enter new evidence and call new witnesses even though they prematurely rested their case late last week.

The voters who propelled Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to victory over Rep. Joe Crowley are a mass of working-class families who hustle to make a good life in the shadow of Manhattan’s extreme prosperity. The district, NY-14, has gone from being predominantly white in 1980 to being nearly 50 percent Hispanic, 17 percent Asian and 23 percent white in 2016.

Cuomo signed a bill that will allow a new town separating Kiryas Joel from Monroe to come into existence in January, one year earlier than state law otherwise would have permitted.

A Guatemalan woman’s cross-country trek to be reunited with her three children could come to an end tomorrow, when she is due to see them for the first time since they were taken from an Arizona immigration facility six weeks ago.

Comedian Roseanne Barr revealed in a recent podcast interview with Rabbi Shmuley Boteach that she’d received numerous offers since being fired by ABC from her namesake show “Roseanne” in May following a racist tweet.

The heat wave continuing to crash into Upstate New York will make for one of the hottest Independence Days on record.

The New York State Fair’s annual “Star Spangled Challenge” begins July 4.

NY Bernie Backers Stick With Teachout

The New York-based organization People for Bernie has continued its track record of backing Fordham Law School Prof. Zephyr Teachout, announcing over th weekend its endorsement of her state attorney general bid.

The co-founders of The People for Bernie – Kat Brezler Charles Lenchner Winnie Wong and Moumita Ahmed – worked on Zephyr’s unsuccessful gubernatorial run in 2014, in which she turned in a stronger-than-expected performance against incumbent Gov. Andrew Cuomo in the Democratic primary.

The organization also backed Teachout in 2016, when she ran unsuccessfully for an open House seat, (vacated by former Republican Rep. Chris Gibson), against Republican John Faso. Sanders himself endorsed and campaigned with Teachout in that campaign, but she lost the general election to Faso in November.

“Zephyr Teachout literally wrote the book about corruption,” Brezler said. “We need her tenacity to fight back against corporate power.”

In true Sanders style, People for Bernie announced its support of Teachout in a tweet, saying it will focus on helping her petition her way onto the ballot after she failed to make the cut at the state Democratic Party convention in May.

NYC Public Advocate Tish James, who is supported by Cuomo, was selected by the party rank-and-file at the convention to be the official Democratic nominee.

Also seeking to petition onto the September ballot is Leecia Eve, a former top aide to Hillary Clinton and Cuomo who is on leave from her job as a lobbyist and top government affairs official for Verizon; and Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, who ran unsuccessfully for AG in 2006 – the year Cuomo won the four-way Democratic primary for that office, and went on to beat Republican Jeanine Pirro in the November election.

Throughout all of her political campaigns to date, Teachout has focused on campaign finance reform. That focus continued today, when she highlighted the fact that she is the only Democratic AG candidate to reject exploiting the LLC loophole to maximize her fundraising capability.

Teachout also took a swipe at James for being the beneficiary of a fundraiser big money fundraiser being headlined next week by Cuomo, who has raised $16.5 million since 2011 from LLCs alone.

“I accept no corporate PAC money, and no LLC money,” Teachout said. “This is not complicated: No attorney general should take money from corporations she is charged with overseeing and investigating and whose law breaking she may prosecute. When law enforcement candidates takes corporate money, it undermines trust in the law itself, and people get shut out.”

Though not getting the Democratic nod at the convention complicated things for Teachout, forcing her to expend time and resources to get onto the ballot, it also freed her, in a sense, to take positions far to the left of what the governor, (who basically runs the party), is comfortable with. That could prove problematic in a general election, but might help her eke out a victory in the primary.

32 BJ Splits the Democratic Primary Baby

The building workers union Local 32BJ is out with its endorsements for the upcoming Democratic state primaries in September – a list that, as expected, includes one of the insurgent candidates seeking to oust an erstwhile IDC member.

As has already been announced, the union is bakcing Alessandra Biaggi, a former counsel for Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who is challenging state Sen. Jeff Klein, the former IDC leader.

Much was made of this endorsement, which led to a war of words between 32BJ head Hector Figueroa and Sen. Diane Savino, another erstwhile IDC member, who slammed the union leader for questioning in a New York Times interview whether the IDC is really indeed dead following a deal negotiated by Cuomo earlier this year, likening the conference to a “zombie,” adding: “Only a blow in the head, (meaning Klein), can kill a zombie.”

As Nick Reisman noted last week, 32BJ played a key role in brokering the agreement to bring the IDC back into the fold with the so-called “regular” Senate Democrats. It seems that deal has been endangered – if not outright upended – by the surprise victory last week of Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez ofer Queens Rep. Joe Crowley, with a number of elected officials, including NYC Council Speaker Corey Johnson, rushing to demonstrate their solidarity with the left by backing the IDC primary challengers.

But when it comes to members of the former breakaway conference other than Klein, it appears the union is actually opting to stay on the sidelines.

According to the list released today, 32BJ isn’t picking favorites in the 13th Senate District, where Queens community organizer Jessica Ramos is running against Sen. Jose Peralta. It also declined to back former NYC Councilman Robert Jackson, who is trying to unseat Sen. Marisol Alcantara in the 31st Senate District.

The union is also taking a pass on endorsing anyone in the 20th Senate District, where affordable housing advocate Zellnor Myrie is running against Sen. Jesse Hamilton.

In addition, no endorsements were made in the 11th Senate District, represented by Tony Avella, or the 23rd Senate District, which is represented by Savino. The same goes for the 38th, which is home to Sen. David Carlucci; and the 53rd, held by Sen. David Valesky.

Here’s Figueroa’s official statement on the endorsements:

“Right now, more than ever, New York State needs champions of that will fight for workers’ rights. Union members are focused on electing progressive candidates to represent working New Yorkers in Albany.”

“In the face of unprecedented attacks on working families, we are endorsing candidates who will fight for good jobs and help more New Yorkers join and form unions. Together we will champion legislation to protect immigrant communities, defend voting rights and access, achieve bail reform, and stand up for policies to protect the environment.”

“Thousands of 32BJ SEIU members will get involved in political action this year to remind voters, candidates and elected officials that New York needs unions to build the middle class.”

DiNapoli: $17.9 B Budget Gap Looming, State Not Saving for Rainy Day

State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli has released his analysis of the 2018-19 state budget negotiated by the Legislature and Gov. Andrew Cuomo earlier this year, and the outlook is not good.

The comptroller said the enacted budget financial plan projects that spending will outpace revenues over the next three years with potential cumulative gaps totaling $17.9 billion, and the state is so far unprepared to handle that looming financial chasm.

“The state ended the last year with the largest General Fund balance in recent years, but continues to face real fiscal challenges,” DiNapoli said.

“New York’s growing out-year gaps, shrinking debt capacity and the lingering threat of federal funding cuts cloud the horizon. Yet, there are no plans to add to our reserves, leaving the state with little cushion in the event of an economic downturn.”

The combined balance of the state’s primary reserve funds,

DiNapoli’s office also found that the Tax Stabilization Reserve Fund and Rainy Day Reserve Fund is $1.8 billion, which is less than half of the $5.2 billion they are currently authorized to hold. The last deposits to these funds were made in 2015, and no further deposits are projected during the four-year financial plan period.

The budget includes some $6.7 billion in temporary and non-recurring resources, excluding federal funds, which are also known around the Capitol as “one shots” – one time influxes of cash used to plug budget holes in the short term that do not address long-term financial problems. Relying on one shots is one of the contributing factors to the looming budget gaps, the comptroller said.

Another interesting point: more spending is being taken off budget, which is basically an accounting trick that allows the state to say it’s holding the line on spending when that really isn’t the case.

A word about gaps, though….supposedly, we were headed into this budget cycle with a multimillion dollar hole, and the governor was making sire predictions about how difficult this year’s spending plan was going to be – a situation compounded by expected cuts in health care and other spending by the federal government.

At the end of the day, however, the gap was miraculously closed without too much drama or difficulty, in part because some revenues came in higher than expected. So, the takeaway there is that you can project all you want, but things are always subject to change, based on a wide variety of factors – from the strength of tax receipts to Wall Street bonuses to D.C. spending cuts and more.

Ortiz Makes Ice Abolition a State Issue

As the ongoing debate over whether to abolish ICE divides the Democratic Party, giving fuel to Republicans who – led by the president – are predicting the issue will prove decisive in the midterm elections, one Brooklyn assemblyman is seeking to get his colleagues on the record on the matter.

Assemblyman Felix Ortiz, the chamber’s assistant speaker, announced this morning that he is introducing a resolution urging Congress to abolish ICE.

Ortiz said in a press release that the agency has “become a nightmare” and is “destroying families and creating havoc in our court system and in our society” by conducting raids, detaining illegal immigrants and enforcing the (now scuttled) Trump administration “zero tolerance” policy that separated children and their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border.

“Congress must abolish ICE and create an agency designed to protect our borders, ending ICE’s ability to conduct horrifying raids in our towns and cities,” said Ortiz, who moved to the U.S. from Puerto Rico in 1980. “We need an immigration agency that works within the law and that recognizes that all people are created equal, deserve respect and must be treated with honor.”

The Legislature is not currently in session, which gives Assembly members some breathing room on this.

But there has been a call for lawmakers to return to Albany sooner rather than later to address issues left undone in the lackluster 2018 session – particularly the NYC speed camera program, which was not reauthorized and is set to expire next month.

It’s clear, however, the if the Legislature does come back to the state Capitol, there will be plenty of people anxious to push a wide variety of issues other than speed cameras, including this one, which no doubt is not something certain Democrats seeking re-election this fall are anxious to discuss.

In the wake of last week’s surprise victory by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez over Queens Rep. Joe Crowley, the left has intensified its call for ICE to be abolished, or, at the very least, re-imgained, perhaps by splitting it into two separate entities – one focused on immigration, the other on law enforcement.

U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio have gotten on the abolish ICE train, Gov. Andrew Cuomo so far has not, though he has been critical of the agency created in the wake of 9/11. I don’t believe Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie is on the record either way yet.

Gillibrand’s GOP Opponent Makes an Issue of ICE

U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand’s little known Republican opponent, Chele Chiavacci Farley, this weekend seized on the Democrat’s decision to join a growing call to abolish ICE, accusing her of engaging in a “publicity stunt…to get her name up in her quest to run for president in 2020.”

“It’s crazy,” Farley said during a Saturday appearance on “Fox and Friends Weekend.”

“It’s not going to happen,” she continued. “Nobody thinks it’s going to happen. It shouldn’t happen and we need criminal deported. Period, full stop.”

Farley went on to praise ICE for its work combating members of the gang MS-013, saying the agency deported 796 of them last year alone.

“If you remember, MS-13 is the gang that hacks kids to death, a 15-year-old here in New York, two girls who were 15 and 16,” Farley said. “It’s appalling. It’s fantastic that 796 of them were sent home, and frankly, they all should be sent him, and that’s ICE’s job.”

Though she has worked hard to avoid linking herself too closely to President Donald Trump, who is not terribly popular with New York voters – other than members of his GOP and Conservative base – on this issue, Farley is in agreement with the president.

During a wide-ranging interview Sunday morning, also on Fox News, Trump went on the attack against Democrats who are calling for ICE to be abolished, predicting that if they continue to do so, they will pay a price at the polls during the midterm elections this fall.

Gillibrand last week became the first sitting member of the Senate to call for ICE to be abolished, saying it has become a “deportation force” and calling for the separation of criminal justice and immigration issues. (It has been noted that she didn’t call for ending deportations altogether).

Gillibrand’s comments came in the wake of the surprise upset victory of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in NY-14 over veteran Queens Rep. Joe Crowley. Ocasio-Cortez, a self-professed Democratic Socialist, has called for ICE to be abolished, and is also in favor of universal health care and free higher education.

Though the junior senator is often mentioned as a potential 2020 contender for the Democratic presidential nomination, she has repeatedly insisted she is only interested in remaining in the Senate.

Farley needs all the help she can get to make a dent in Gillibrand’s considerable lead in the polls, not to mention her significant fundraising and name recognition advantage.

Asked during the Fox interview how the race has been going thus far, Farley admitted Gillibrand has “much higher name recognition than I do,” but repeated her accusation, which at this point has become the cornerstone of her campaign, that the senator is more focused on her own political future than she is on representing New Yorkers in D.C.

When it was noted that Farley is running in a state where Ocasio-Cortez’s liberal brand of politics appears to be increasingly popular, Farley replied:

“I think she won because she ran against a career politician. I’m running against a career politician.”

Here and Now

The heat wave continues through the end of the week. Use caution. Stay inside if you can, with AC, pulled shades, fans, etc. If you must go out, remain hydrated; wear loose-fitting, light-colored clothing with long sleeves, and learn the signs of heatstroke.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is in Ulster County, Oneida County and New York City.

President Donald Trump meets with the secretary of state, and then meets with the prime minister of the Netherlands, followed by a bilateral meeting.

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio, NYC First Lady Chirlane McCray depart the city for a family vacation in Vermont, Ontario, and Quebec.

On Thursday, the mayor will return to New York City for a street co-naming ceremony in honor of Detective Miosotis Familia, and then resume his vacation. The couple will be back in the city for good on Sunday.

At 9 a.m., NYC Council members commemorate late Rev. Dr Samuel Smith with a street renaming, corner of E. 187th Street and Tiebout Avenue, and corner of Strang and Murdock avenues, the Bronx.

At 10 a.m., Cuomo makes an announcement, Best Western, 503 Washington Ave., Kingston.

Also at 10 a.m., MTA officials will unveil and demonstrate a new MTA website as well as MYmta, a new app designed to improve and unify navigation of the region’s public transportation offerings, MTA Headquarters, 2 Broadway, 20th Floor, lower Manhattan.

Also at 10 a.m., “The Brian Lehrer Show” features NPR national political correspondent Mara Liasson, WNYC.

At 11 a.m., Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh, Rep. John Katko, and Assemblywoman Pamela Hunter attend the City of Syracuse and Onondaga County’s designation as a Hidden Heroes Community, pledging support to the community’s military and veteran caregivers, Syracuse City Hall, 233 E. Washington St., Syracuse.

Also at 11 a.m., de Blasio will attend and deliver remarks at the NYPD graduation ceremony, Madison Square Garden, 4 Pennsylvania Plaza.

Also at 11 a.m., LG Kathy Hochul launches a 10th anniversary celebration at Buffalo’s Canalside, Canalside Boardwalk, 44 Prime St., Buffalo.

At noon, Cuomo makes an announcement, Mohawk Valley Community College, 1101 Floyd Ave., Rome.

At 12:45 p.m., Hempstead Town Supervisor Laura Gillen, local officials and Bay Constables launch and christen a newly acquired, high-tech U.S. Coast Guard response boat ahead of the busy July 4th holiday week, West Marina, 1401 Lido Blvd., Lido Beach, Long Island.

At 1 p.m., state Senate candidate Jessica Ramos will hold a press conference blasting Sen. Jose Peralta “for failing to deliver on real rent reform for working families,” 84-09 35th Ave., Jackson Heights, Queens.

At 6:30 p.m., U.S. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer holds a town hall meeting, Congregation Beth Elohim, 274 Garfield Pl., Brooklyn.


Maine Republican U.S. Sen. Susan Collins said she would not support a Supreme Court nominee who vowed to overturn Roe v. Wade.

Across the country, a new generation steeped in an era of resistance and revolt is making its way to Washington. If they provide the numbers to give Democrats control of the House, or even fall short and remain in the minority, they will be a force to be reckoned with upon arrival.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, a California Democrat who has served in that position for seven years, last week resisted the idea that the Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s nomination represents a shift in the party, saying: “I am female. I am progressive. What’s your problem?”

Trump’s longtime personal lawyer Michael Cohen, who is under investigation by federal prosecutors in New York, says he sat down for an interview with ABC News and his “silence is broken.” The interview is set to air today on “Good Morning America.”

Canada began imposing tariffs on $12.6 billion in U.S. goods as retaliation for the Trump administration’s new taxes on steel and aluminum imported to the United States.

Trump congratulated Andrés Manuel López Obrador, the winner of Mexico’s presidential election, a left-wing populist who has vowed to take a tougher stance against the U.S. president.

After launching tariffs based of alleged national security interests, the Trump administration has drafted a bill that would abandon rules of the international trading system.

Families hoping to win release for migrant children held by federal immigration authorities must navigate an exhausting — and sometimes expensive — thicket of requirements.

Relatives, friends and colleagues of slain journalist Rob Hiaasen will gather this evening to remember the man who was one of five victims killed in last week’s shooting at a Maryland newspaper.

The U.S. Supreme Court decision in the Janus case, which struck down mandatory union fees for government workers, was not only a blow to unions. It will also hit hard at a vast network of groups dedicated to advancing liberal policies and candidates.

The retirement of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy is set to become a prime issue in state Senate races as the Democrats will use it to highlight the need to strengthen New York’s abortion laws. “Women’s rights are under attack,” state Senate Democratic Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins said.

As partisans on both sides of the abortion divide contemplate a Supreme Court with two Trump appointees, one thing is certain: America even without legal abortion would be very different from America before abortion was legal, as a result of medical advances.

According to a precinct-by-precinct analysis of last week’s results by Steven Romalewski, director of the Mapping Service at the City University of New York’s Center for Urban Research, Ocasio-Cortez’s success can be attributed, in large part, to a strategy of preventing usual drop-off voters – young people who don’t usual vote in off-year elections – from doing so.

The Working Families Party has hired people to help circulate designation petitions to get actress and activist Cynthia Nixon on the Sept. 13 Democratic primary ballot against Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Former NYC Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito threw her support behind Nixon, calling the gubernatorial candidate a “fighter for communities across New York.” Mark-Viverito’s successor, Speaker Corey Johnson, is backing Cuomo.

Julia Salazar, who like Ocasio-Cortez is a Latina democratic socialist and first-time candidate, is seeking to replicate the congressional candidate’s success with her challenge veteran Brooklyn Democratic state Sen. Martin Dilan in the Sept. 13 state Senate primary.

A NY Post examination found that an influx of new constituents moving into gentrifying neighborhoods in Brooklyn inflamed festering concerns that Rep. Yvette Clarke had “checked out,” and almost led to her being ousted like Queens Rep. Joe Crowley.

Ken Lovett: “In New York, where the electorate is charged up in the President Trump era and 400,000 new Democrats have registered since 2014, it could make the job (of polling correctly) even tougher, forcing both public and private pollsters to engage in new models in hopes of getting it right.”

Suffolk County Democrats are touting a new poll that shows Trump’s popularity there slipping, which they say could have implications for Democrats running statewide and in the effort to claim control of the state Senate.

Cuomo next week will be headlining a big-money fund-raiser for New York City Public Advocate Letitia James’ attorney general campaign. Tickets to the New York City cocktail reception on July 10 range from $1,000 a person to the maximum primary donation of $21,100.

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