Liz Benjamin

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Flynn Lands 1st Labor Endorsement in NY-19 Dem Race

From the Morning Memo:

Brian Flynn, one of seven Democrats vying for the right to challenge freshman Republican Rep. John Faso in NY-19, is poised to announce he has landed the first labor endorsement of the primary battle.

Flynn, a businessman from Hunter, is being backed by the Transport Workers Union, a national labor organization, whose international president, John Samuelsen, (also FORMER president of TWU Local 100 here in New York), said in a statement to be released by Flynn’s campaign that the candidate is “a leader who understands that the economic security of families must be the highest priority of Congress, and that unions are a necessary partner in that mission.”

“From his advocacy to strengthen airport/airline security after his personal loss in the Lockerbie bombing, to his complete grasp of labor struggles, including the expected impact of Janus, Brian Flynn is the ally the entire TWU membership needs in Washington,” added Angelo Cucuzza, chairman of the New York TWU Conference, comprised of locals across the state.

The TWU represents more than 140,000 men and women in the airline, railroad, transit, service, utility and gaming industries across the U.S., and 43,000 of them are members of Local 100 in New York City.

Flynn has a long-standing and very personal tie to this union. One of its founders and first president, Michael Quill, was Flynn’s great uncle. He successfully organized New York City subway workers in the 1930s, and then secured contracts for them that – for the first time – granted them weekends off, pensions and health care coverage.

“To be the first and only candidate endorsed by labor in this race, particularly by an organization that holds such a deep and personal legacy for my family, is a profound honor,” Flynn said. “Unions are a powerful weapon in the fight against inequality, wage stagnation and a system that doesn’t represent the needs of a large majority of American workers.”

“They work to tackle racial and gender inequality by raising wages of women, black and Hispanic workers. I believe in an America That Works For All of Us. That’s why reinvigorating unions is a major tenet of my Plan For the American Worker. At the end of the day, this is about economic justice.”

Flynn is the only candidate in this race – actually, the only candidate in the entire state – whose campaign staffers have unionized, which, apparently is something of a mini-movement at a handful of congressional campaigns (all Democratic candidates) across the country.

So, TWU in New York is, as mentioned, pretty much a downstate entity. But in a Democratic field this crowded, any small leg up – via organizing, or independent expenditures, or phone-banking, or what have you – could make a difference leading up to the June primary.


President Trump said that voter fraud is widespread and again claimed that “millions and millions” of votes were cast fraudulently – a claim for which no evidence exists.

The US surgeon general issued an advisory recommending that more Americans carry the opioid overdose-reversing drug, naloxone.

State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is investigating the NYPD shooting death of a Brooklyn man, who was holding a curved metal pipe that looked like a gun, officials said.

Samantha Davis, a top aide and close friend of EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, has issued her resignation in the midst of various scandals plaguing the agency chief.

North Country Rep. Elise Stefanik is calling on Pruitt to resign. She’s the third Republican lawmaker to do so.

Morning Consult’s 50-state approval tracker finds just 41 percent of registered voters approved of Trump’s job performance during March – a record low.

NYC First Lady Chirlane McCray thinks marijuana should be legalized, but highly regulated. Her husband, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio, isn’t quite there yet.

De Blasio remained deeply skeptical about Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s emergency order turning control of NYCHA’s repair work over to an independent monitor, saying he worried it would actually slow down needed upgrades.

Hillary Clinton has hit out at the U.S. under Trump, saying the country is facing a war on “truth, facts and reason” and taking a dig at the president without even mentioning his name.

The New York Police Department has agreed not to conduct surveillance based on religion or ethnicity as part of a deal to settle claims it illegally spied on Muslims after the Sept. 11 attacks.

The upcoming release of three-time cop killer Herman Bell has been put on hold for now, thanks to a lawsuit challenging the state Parole Board’s decision filed by the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association on behalf of Diane Piagentini, whose husband, Joseph, was murdered by Bell and two other men in 1971.

Coeymans police officers who used their official vehicles to kill a rabid raccoon will not face animal cruelty charges, the Albany District Attorney David Soares’ office announced.

With the growing possibility of cryptominers setting up shop in Lake Placid, the village could place an 18-month moratorium on the industry similar to Plattsburgh’s.

Syracuse TV anchor Michael Benny has broken his silence on the controversy surrounding a script he read on CNY Central for station owner Sinclair Broadcast Group, saying he believes in the “heart of the message” and was not forced to endorse it.

Comedian and actress Amy Schumer has cancelled an upcoming interview with Arlington-basted TV station WJLA over the Sinclair Broadcast Group’s decision to force anchors around the country to read from scripts condemning “fake news.”

Rikers Island, New York City’s violence-plagued jail complex, can be closed by 2024 – three years sooner than the city is planning, according to a panel led by Jonathan Lippman, the state’s former chief judge

Eighteen months after Cuomo unveiled his plan to bedazzle the Port Authority’s seven bridges and two tunnels with kaleidoscopic LEDs, the Harbor Lights program is rarely, if ever, mentioned at the authority due to lack of funding. But don’t tell the governor that.

Former journalist and watchdog group leader Rachel Barnhart could announce a run for the NY-25 seat in the coming days. She announced that she has secured the required number of signatures to get on the ballot for the Democratic primary in the race.

Wanting to reduce harmful air pollutants in the South End, Albany County Legislator Samuel Fein is looking to require all permanent petroleum tanks be painted white. (Dark-colored storage tanks absorb more heat, and must be vented).

Lin Manuel Miranda’s In the Heights is officially free from The Weinstein Co. The rights to the musical reverted back to Miranda and playwright Quiara Alegría Hudes prior to TWC declaring bankruptcy.

Here and Now

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is in New York City.

President Donald Trump this morning receives his daily intelligence briefing, and then departs D.C. en route to White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, where he will participate in a roundtable discussion on tax reform before returning to Washington and the White House.

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio is in the city with no public events scheduled.

At 7:40 a.m., Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro, a Republican gubernatorial candidate, will be a guest on The Keeler Show, WIBX 950.

At 9:30 a.m., the NYC Rent Guidelines Board meets, Landmarks Preservation Commission Conference Room, 1 Centre St., ninth floor, Manhattan.

At 10 a.m., former gubernatorial candidate Zephyr Teachout and New York Communities for Change announce their endorsement of Brooklyn Councilman Jumaane Williams for lieutenant governor, City Hall steps, Manhattan.

Also at 10 a.m., NYC Parks and Recreation Department Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver, Staten Island Deputy Borough President Ed Burke and NYC Councilman Steven Matteo break ground on the New Dorp Community Center, 128 Cedar Grove Ave., Staten Island.

At 10:30 a.m., the Association for a Better New York hosts a Power Breakfast with Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Cipriani Wall Street, 55 Wall St., Manhattan. (LG Kathy Hochul will also attend).

At noon, dozens of grass-roots organizations from across New York rally to tell the Independent Democratic Conference that unification is too little, too late, Foley Square, 111 Worth St., Manhattan.

At 1 p.m., state Sen. Martin Golden, Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis and Bo Dietl will hold a press conference to condemn the recent decision by the state Board of Parole to release Christopher Thomas, outside Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office, 633 Third Ave., Manhattan.

Also at 1 p.m., members of Yaffed, former yeshiva students and elected officials hold a press conference in fight to protect the rights of Orthodox children, City Hall steps, Manhattan.

Also at 1 p.m., Hochul presents the new budget, White Plains City Hall, Council Chambers, 255 Main St., White Plains.

Also at 1 p.m., state AG Eric Schneiderman will discuss some of the most common types of scams and fraud with AARP members from New York on an interactive call that allows participants to ask questions.

Also at 1 p.m., Sen. Marty Golden, Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis and Bo Dietl hold a press conference to condemn the recent decision by the state Parole Board to release Christopher Thomas, responsible for the “Palm Sunday Massacre,” who is expected to reside next to a day-care center, 633 Third Ave., Manhattan.

At 2 p.m., Rep. Nita Lowey holds a press conference announcing $3 billion increase in federal funding for the National Institutes of Health, Burke Rehabilitation Hospital, Billings Building, Rosedale Room, second floor, 785 Mamaroneck Ave., White Plains.

At 3 p.m., concerned parents of yeshiva students will speak out against attacks on yeshivas and call for a halt to the harassment, outside the Satmar Girls School, 177 Harrison Ave., Brooklyn.

At 3:30 p.m., state Sen. Jesse Hamilton announces legislation recognizing 400 years of African-American history and hosts a roundtable on diversity and inclusion in cultural institutions, Weeksville Heritage Center, 158 Buffalo Ave., Brooklyn.

At 7:30 p.m., the Queens Village Republican Club hosts candidates running for office, including U.S. Senate candidate Chele Chiavacci Farley and others, Knights of Columbus/St. Anne’s Council, 263-15 Union Turnpike, Queens.


Facing pressure from progressive groups and primary challengers up and down the ballot, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced an agreement to end a controversial power-sharing deal between state Republicans and a breakaway group of Democratic lawmakers.

The deal comes just three weeks before two vacant Senate seats get filled in special elections that could give Democrats a numerical advantage – though it can’t yet count on where one breakaway Democrat from Brooklyn – Sen. Simcha Felder – might call home at the Capitol.

The story above, by the Buffalo News’ Tom Precious, notes that the IDC is legally a part of the Senate rules, and its evaporation would face hurdles before the end of the session in June. Also, the rules were changed to require a vote of 38 members to change leaders.

The agreement would put the Democratic conference on track for Senate Minority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins to become the first woman to lead a Senate majority conference — provided the Democrats pick up two Senate seats in special elections later this month, and the conference can secure Felder’s loyalty. IDC chief Jeff Klein would be deputy leader.

Scott Reif, a spokesman for Senate Republicans, said most New Yorkers want Democrats and Republicans to work together in Albany. “It now appears that the governor and others are willing to throw it all away in a desperate attempt to avoid Democratic Party primaries,” Reif said, adding: “Let’s be honest: The only reason that any of this is happening now is because Andrew Cuomo is scared to death of Cynthia Nixon.”

Meanwhile, Nixon, an actress, activist and Cuomo’s Democratic primary opponent, paid a visit to Hoosick Falls, where she ripped into the governor’s handling of the local contaminated water crisis.

“You can bet if this was a town that was in Westchester near New York City — a town with a lot of wealthy people donating to politicians’ campaigns — this would have been addressed a lot sooner,” Nixon said at a meeting with Hoosick Falls residents.

Asked about Nixon’s role in the Senate Democrats’ unity deal, Cuomo said, “It had nothing to do with it.”

Democrats challenging IDC members in the September primaries say they are undeterred and will still move forward with their efforts – with the support of the Working Families Party.

Nixon plans to campaign in Syracuse today.

State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli’s office has rejected tens of thousands of dollars in stipends for five state senators – including two IDC members – after an investigation revealed that the lawmakers had been assigned false titles as chairs of committees they did not lead and as a result had been paid for jobs they did not hold.

GOP gubernatorial candidate and Dutchess County executive Marc Molinaro was in Buffalo, where he also railed against Cuomo, saying he “believes he is the government,” adding: “I’m sorry, he’s wrong. You, the people of the State of New York, are the government.”

The politically appointed commissioners of the state Board of Election plan to vote today on a rules change granting them more control over the investigations by Risa Sugarman, the board’s chief enforcement counsel.

The NY Post editorial board deems Cuomo’s recent boasting of his administration’s historic accomplishments “Trumpian.”

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio declined to assure Department of Investigation Commissioner Mark Peters his job is secure on after The NY Post reported that City Hall is maneuvering to unseat him.

Assemblywoman Diane Richardson, a Brooklyn Democrat, was accused of delivering a bizarre tirade against Jews, while ripping de Blasio as a sellout during a local community board meeting this week.

New York City’s new nightlife mayor paid nearly $30,000 to the State Liquor Authority for 24 violations when she ran a bar on the Lower East Side.

The feds filed a new indictment that accuses a former fund-raiser for de Blasio, Jeremy Reichberg, of obstructing justice when he was busted on corruption charges.

Following a report that eviscerated the NYPD’s Sex Crimes Unit as incompetent and understaffed, Commissioner James O’Neill has admitted the crisis, and promised a “top-to-bottom scrub” of the Special Victims Division.

A bipolar Brooklyn man waving a metal object at passersby was fatally shot by police when cops responding to 911 calls for a man with a gun said he “took a two-handed shooting stance” and pointed at them.

More >


State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli’s office has rejected tens of thousands of dollars in stipends for five state Senators after an investigation revealed that the lawmakers had been assigned false titles as chairs of committees they did not lead and as a result had been paid for jobs they did not hold.

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Cynthia Nixon’s response to news of the Cuomo-brokered peace deal among state Senate Democrats: “If you’ve set your own house on fire and watched it burn for eight years, finally turning on a hose doesn’t make you a hero.”

Nixon says Trump’s upset victory over Hillary Clinton in 2016 inspired her to run of governor of New York, calling it a “real wake-up call.”

During a visit to Buffalo, GOP gubernatorial candidate Marc Molinaro labeled Cuomo “corrupt,” “corrosive,” “loud,” argumentative,” and committed to “putting the personal politics of ambition and greed above the people,” and said there’s more commentary where that came from.

President Trump was poised to direct the Department of Defense and the Department of Homeland Security to work with governors to deploy National Guard troops to the southwest border to assist the Border Patrol in combating illegal immigration.

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said that President Trump told him farmers will not be hurt by an ongoing trade dispute with China

In her new memoir, former Planned Parenthood chief Cecile Richards says Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump were, during the 2016 transition, so eager to be recognized as shrewd political dealmakers that they made an offer that felt like a “bribe” – an increase in federal funding for her organization in exchange for its agreement to stop providing abortions.

SAG-AFTRA, the union representing some Sinclair Broadcast Group employees, issued a memo defending news anchors who are under scrutiny for reading a promo warning viewers of media bias.

The Congressional Leadership Fund, the cash-flush GOP House super PAC aligned with House Speaker Paul Ryan, is setting aside several million dollars of its resources to bail out Republican stragglers – including New York’s Claudia Tenney – whose campaigns badly underperform before Election Day.

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says that November’s midterms will be “challenging” for Republicans, but he can’t yet predict the strength of the headwinds.

Former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani and his wife of 15 years, Judith, are getting a divorce. She filed for a contested divorce today in Manhattan Supreme Court, signaling a fight over assets.

Giuliani, who married Judith in 2003, said: “It is with great sadness I can confirm that Judith and I are divorcing. We hope to do this as amicably as possible, and hope that people will respect the privacy of our children at this time.”

The politically appointed commissioners of the state Board of Election plan to vote tomorrow on a rules change granting them more control over the investigations of Risa Sugarman, the board’s chief enforcement counsel.

Rochester City Court Judge Leticia Astacio allegedly tried to purchase a shotgun at Dick’s Sporting Goods in Henrietta on Monday, but was turned away by store employees, according to the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office.

With homelessness rising throughout New York state, a coalition is calling on the legislature to expand tenant laws and other protections.

Attorney General Eric Schneiderman ripped into a new Trump administration program, saying it protects predatory employers at the expense of stiffed workers.

Disgraced lobbyist Todd Howe, still in jail after his arrest midway through a trial earlier this year, isn’t sure whether he’ll be called to testify in a second corruption trial in June.

Amid NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio’s crackdown on electric bicycles, the city Department of Transportation clarified that pedal-assist bikes that top out at 20 mph will be legal, but people on e-bikes with a throttle that require no pedaling will continue to get tickets.

How former US Attorney Preet Bharara’s brother, Vinit, has built the fast-growing media and entertainment company, Some Spider Studios.

Felder Won’t Pick Sides Until After April 24

Today’s news of a new-and-improved reunification deal brokered by Gov. Andrew Cuomo between the IDC and so-called “regular” Senate Democrats gives even more power to a single individual – Brooklyn Sen. Simcha Felder – who already proved during the recent budget battle that he’s quite comfortable in his lynchpin role, even if that means holding up proceedings to get what he wants.

Even if this latest peace deal between Senate Minority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins and IDC Leader Jeff Klein holds when lawmakers return to Albany after the Easter/Passover break next week, and even if the Democrats win both the April 24 special elections (the Westchester County race is really the deciding factor there, since the Bronx seat seems a safe bet), the Republicans will still have control of the chamber as long as Felder, a conservative Democrat, continues to caucus with them.

During a brief telephone interview this afternoon, Felder told me he “doesn’t see the benefit” of making a decision right now as to which side he’ll be on when the dust settles on April 24.

“If and when it happens, I’d have to think about it,” Felder said when asked who he’ll be sitting with in Albany. “I don’t want to think about it right now. That’s how I handle my life. I compartmentalize decisions that I have to make today rather than something I may have to decide a few weeks from now…If they don’t win those two seats, they don’t have the majority anyway. I’m not moving just to be a loyal Democrat, which I’ve always said I am not.”

The governor’s office has added a 4 p.m. event to his schedule with Stewart-Cousins and Klein at Cuomo’s Midtown Manhattan office, presumably to formally announce the details of this latest deal.

Felder said he doesn’t feel pressure to make a decision one way or another from Cuomo, who clearly is feeling pressure himself – likely from the primary challenge launched by Cynthia Nixon, who has made control of the Senate a focus of her campaign thus far – enough pressure, that is, to want to accelerate the peace deal between the warring Democratic factions that was struck late last year.

“We’ve talked about issues, but not about this recently,” Felder said, adding that he feels some “anticipatory pressure” about his impending decision, but that doesn’t mean he’ll be rushing into anything any time soon.

As for the deal for loosening state Education Department regulations for yeshivas (Jewish religious schools) that he got by holding up the state budget agreement last week, Felder said he is semi-satisfied.

“I think it’s certainly helpful, but it’s not what I wanted,” the senator said. “I think that it’s very rare that you get what you want…I don’t think you’ll find anyone who will say that the situation isn’t better than it was before. I think anybody who wants to be fair, and I’m being conservative, would say there’s a fifty percent improvement.”

The Senate Republicans should not feel confident, however, that the yeshiva deal was sufficient to keep Felder’s loyalty going forward. In fact, the senator told me he was not at all happy to see Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan predicting during an interview on WCNY’s The Capitol Pressroom that Felder would be staying put, and also downplaying his obviously outsized role in determining the budget outcome – not to mention the battle over the majority.

“I’ve love to say: Just drop dead and go somewhere else,” the senator said. “But that’s me back in first grade.”

That said, the Democrats should be careful what they wish for, too, when it comes to Felder. It’s not a foregone conclusion that if he returns to the Democratic fold that they would have sufficient votes to pass the sorts of progressive bills that activists who are paying attention to this fight expect them to take up if reunification goes through.

For example, there’s no way Felder, an observant Jew, would ever vote “yes” on the abortion rights bill. And he’s simply not movable on that issue, much like former Bronx Sen. Ruben Diaz Sr., another conservative Democrat and deeply religious man, (he’s a reverend), could not be counted on as a “yes” on pretty much anything abortion related.

“It’s not about the issues they talk about,” Felder said of the Democrats who are pushing for unity in the Senate. “Those are the issues that might motivate the average person on the street, and they want those people to be excited so they can get what they really want, which is money and power.”

Here and Now

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

The Legislature is on vacation and not in Albany.

At 10 a.m., LG Kathy Hochul highlights state investments at an announcement at Syracuse Airport, 1000 Col Eileen Collins Blvd., Syracuse.

At 10:15 a.m., former Gov. George Pataki endorses state Senate candidate Julie Killian, 957 McLean Ave., Yonkers.

At 10:30 a.m., NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio at his weekly meeting with NYC Schools Richard Chancellor Carranza, Blue Room, City Hall, Manhattan.

At 10:45 a.m., U.S. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer joins Amy’s Kitchen CEO Andy Berliner and local farmers to discuss ways to support local Hudson Valley farmers, Cornell Cooperative Extension, 18 Seward Ave., Middletown.

At 11 a.m., Rep. Nydia Velázquez is the guest speaker at Real Talk: A Conference on Sexual Assault by the Violence Intervention and Treatment Program, Wyckoff Hospital, 374 Stockholm St., Brooklyn.

Also at 11 a.m., Rep. Adriano Espaillat hosts a press conference to announce federal grant funding for malaria diagnosis and treatment in Ethiopia, Mailman School of Public Health, 722 W. 168th St., Manhattan.

At 11:30 a.m., Hochul discusses the new state budget, SUNY Oswego Metro Center, 2 Clinton Square, Lecture Room 129, Syracuse.

At noon, Rep. Adriano Espaillat and Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health announce $25 million in federal grant funding to the school to support the implementation of quality malaria diagnosis and treatment services in Ethiopia, Hess Auditorium, 722 West 168th St., Manhattan.

At 1:45 p.m., Schumer will endorse Assemblymember Shelley Mayer’s state Senate bid at a campaign rally, Shelley Mayer for Senate Campaign HQ, 437 Ward Ave., Mamaroneck. (Also attending: Rep. Eliot Engel, Westchester County Executive George Latimer, state Sen. Jamaal Bailey, local leaders, and supporters).

At 2 p.m., de Blasio and NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill will hold a media availability on crime statistics, 24th precinct, 151 W. 100th St., Manhattan.

At 5:30 p.m., Bronx Borough President Rubén Díaz Jr. hosts an event to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Bronx County Building, Veterans’ Memorial Hall, 851 Grand Concourse, the Bronx.

At 6:30 p.m., NYC Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings holds a town hall meeting to bring information about city-issued summonses and the hearing process to Queens residents, Community Bridge Home, 12050 Springfield Blvd., Queens.

At 7 p.m., Hochul delivers remarks to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Riverside Church, 490 Riverside Dr., Harlem.

Also at 7 p.m., the Staten Island GOP holds an election for a new county chair, the Staten Island JCC, 1466 Manor Rd., Staten Island.

De Blasio will attend a dinner for Computer Science for All. This event is closed press.


The White House said the president planned to deploy the National Guard to the southern border to confront what it called a growing threat of illegal immigrants, drugs and crime from Central America after the president for the third consecutive day warned about the looming dangers of unchecked immigration.

A woman opened fire with a handgun in a courtyard at YouTube headquarters, wounding three people before fatally shooting herself in what is being investigated as a domestic dispute, authorities said.

The San Bruno Police Department identified the attacker late as Nasim Najafi Aghdam, who was in her late 30s. The motivation for the shootings was under investigation, the police said, although her social media postings included criticisms of YouTube.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller III informed President Donald Trump’s attorneys last month that he is continuing to investigate the president but does not consider him a criminal target at this point, according to three people familiar with the discussions.

The first sentence stemming from Mueller’s probe into Russian election meddling was handed down by a federal judge in Washington. nAlexander van der Zwaan, 33, who pleaded guilty in February to lying to U.S. federal agents was sentenced to 30 days in jail.

Lately, Trump’s antibusiness Twitter rants have become particularly menacing and caused the stocks of some companies to plunge. His Twitter posts have carried with them the threat, sometimes explicit, that he is prepared to use the power of the presidency to undermine the companies that anger him.

China will impose additional tariffs of 25 percent on 106 U.S. goods including soybeans, autos, chemicals, some types of aircraft and corn products, among other agricultural goods, the finance ministry said.

Sinclair Broadcasting Group, under fire for having anchors read an anti-“media bias” statement on the air, requires employees to sign contracts forcing them to pay large penalties for quitting. Legal experts say those contracts may not be enforceable.

Hillary Clinton addressed the ongoing #MeToo women’s rights movement last night, saying that she believed it still would have happened if she were elected president in 2016. “I believe that it was a wave that was building and building,” she said. “I think that my losing probably accelerated that wave, but the wave was coming.”

A teacher rebellion in red states from West Virginia to Arizona has put Republicans on the defensive, forcing them to walk a fine line in the months before midterm elections between placating constituents who are angry over education cuts and conservative supporters who want a smaller government and low taxes.

Gubernatorial candidate Cynthia Nixon is scheduled to visit Hoosick Falls this afternoon to meet with residents of the embattled community who learned four years ago that their public and private water supplies had been polluted with a toxic manufacturing chemical.

Nixon vowed to fight for stricter gun-control laws, stand up for black voters, and support the legalization of marijuana in her first national TV interview – with Wendy Williams – since declaring her candidacy for governor of New York.

A prosecutor was noncommittal when asked by Manhattan U.S. District Judge Valerie Caproni if the government plans to retry Peter Kelly Jr., an energy executive accused of paying bribes to Joe Percoco, a convicted former aide to Cuomo.

Todd Howe, the prosecution’s star witness in the Percoco trial, who was jailed mid-trial after admitting to an attempted con, appeared worse for the wear during a brief court appearance yesterday afternoon.

There’s a difference of opinion on what the budget measure intended to placate Sen. Simcha Felder regarding the oversight of yeshivas actually will do.

Numerous key fiscal and policy items were stripped from the $168 billion budget deal, leaving the governor and legislative leaders a lot to do when they return to Albany for the post-budget session.

Generally speaking, school districts are pleased with the $1 billion aid increase in the new budget, even though it comes with strings attached.

In advance of the U.S. Supreme Court’s Janus decision, a provision tucked into the state budget gives public-employee unions the right to deny many services, such as free legal help, to covered employees who opt not to join or pay dues.

The NY Post editorial board: “We’re generally against installing independent monitors over city agencies, but the one for the city Housing Authority promises to be a positive step.”

Failed Syracuse mayoral candidate Democrat Juanita Perez Williams has changed her mind and plans to run for Congress in NY-24 challenging Republican Rep. John Katko, according to the Democratic Party chairman, though she has to make it through a primary first.

More >


A female suspect is dead after opening fire at YouTube’s headquarters in northern California on Tuesday in a shooting that left at least four people injured, authorities said.

President Trump said he planned to order the military to guard parts of the southern border until he can build a wall and tighten immigration restrictions, proposing a remarkable escalation of his efforts to crack down on migrants entering the country illegally.

The Republican tax law passed last fall will give the richest 1 percent of Americans an average personal income tax break of about $33,000, while the poorest Americans will receive an average personal income tax break of $40, according to a new study published this week by nonpartisan analysts.

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York named John C. Williams as its next president, choosing a longtime insider for what is widely regarded as one of the Fed’s most influential positions.

A study from researchers at Ohio State University finds that fake news probably played a significant role in depressing Hillary Clinton’s support on Election Day.

Tesla said it had produced almost 10,000 Model 3 electric cars in the first three months of 2018, a significant increase from the fourth quarter of last year but still short of the goal that investors hoped the company would reach.

Former gubernatorial aide and recently convicted felon Joe Percoco will be back in the Capital Region later this week, according to a request filed in federal court in Manhattan. He plans to take his daughter to Saratoga.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo declared himself the most accomplished governor in modern history in an interview with NY1’s Errol Louis that airs tonight.

Cynthia Nixon, the actress and Democratic candidate for governor, told supporters at a private fund-raiser last week that if elected she would seek to legalize marijuana and tax it to raise revenue for New York, attendees said.

Cat Greenleaf, longtime host of taxi-TV staple Talk Stoop With Cat Greenleaf, is suing NBCUniversal, LX, and LX senior vice-president Meredith McGinn for unlawfully discriminating against her due to her struggles with clinical depression.

Despite still not showing up for work, Judge Leticia Astacio is getting an increase in her $175,500 salary as part of an agreed upon raise for city court judges across New York.

RIP John “Jasper” Nolan, who led the Saratoga County Republican organization for almost three decades, and died Sunday morning at age 84.

Staten Island Rep. Dan Donovan said former Rep. Michael Grimm – who is challenging Donovan in the Republican primary – is behind an ethics complaint claiming that Donovan intervened in the arrest of Timothy O’Connell, the son of Donovan’s domestic partner, Serena Stonick.

The family of an off-duty parole officer who was shot and killed by a Canandaigua police officer says it plans to file a wrongful death lawsuit.

The MTA is running out of funds for a controversial program to renovate 32 subway stations, and will scale it back as a result, as most of the program’s $936 million budget has been used for just 19 stations where the cosmetic improvements have been completed or are underway

Cuomo no longer wants the state comptroller to audit the judiciary, agreeing instead to have Chief Judge Janet DiFiore deal with any performance issues.

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio today announced that DOT will begin the rule-making process to clarify that pedal-assist bicycles are legal to operate in New York City. The new rule will recognize that pedal-assist bicycles are permissible, whereas throttle e-bikes, capable of travel at speeds over 20 MPH, are not.

Cuomo has decided to keep the Western New York Children’s Psychiatric Center in West Seneca, administration officials said – a decision that ends five years of protests, demonstrations and pleading by families, former patients, staff and elected officials.

Nixon said that while the TV and film industry is important to New York, the $420 million film-tax program needs an overhaul and a better return on investment, perhaps even getting a piece of the profits.

After years of stalled development, lawsuits and delinquent taxes, the Adirondack Club and Resort is making progress on the first two phases of the ambitious real estate, ski mountain and resort project in Tupper Lake.

Here and Now

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

The Legislature is on vacation for the week.

President Donald Trump this morning receives his daily intelligence briefing and then meets with the Baltic States heads of government.

At 7:30 a.m., Westchester County Executive George Latimer, the Department of Social Services and the Campaign for Black Male Achievement CEO Shawn Dove will kick off the 4th annual New York Fathering Conference, Westchester County Center, 198 Central Ave., White Plains.

At 10 a.m., state and local officials and CUNY Latino Studies institutes release a “Latinos United in Action” report, City Hall steps, Manhattan.

Also at 10 a.m., the NYC Department of Parks and Recreation and other officials cut the ribbon on De Matti Playground, Tompkins Avenue between Chestnut Street and Shaughnessy Lane, Staten Island.

Also at 10 a.m., Monroe County Executive Cheryl Dinolfo will be joined by representatives from the Rochester Americans and Wegmans to announce a new ticket giveaway related to plastic bag recycling, Monroe County Ecopark, 10 Avion Dr., Rochester.

At 11 a.m., state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announces a federal lawsuit against the Trump administration in response to a new citizenship question on the 2020 Census, 125 Barclay St., Manhattan. (Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. will also attend).

Also at 11 a.m., state Sen. William Larkin Jr. makes a joint announcement with officials from the Newburgh Fire Department on his efforts during the state budget process to solidify funding for the department, 22 Grand St., Newburgh.

Also at 11 a.m., homeless New Yorkers and tenants from rent-regulated apartments and public housing in New York City hold a rally, Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office, 633 Third Ave., Manhattan.

At noon, NYC Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza joins NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio and delivers remarks at the Spring STEM Institute, Stuyvesant High School, 345 Chambers St., Manhattan.

Also at noon, NYC Council Speaker Corey Johnson and other officials encourage low-income New Yorkers to refrain from requesting rapid tax refunds that charge high interest rates, City Hall steps, Manhattan.

At 12:15, the president and the Baltic State heads participate in a working lunch, after which, they hold a joint press conference.

At 1 p.m., Dominican-American New Yorkers will hold a rally to support the re-election of Sens. Jose Peralta and Marisol Alcantara, and to denounce NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer’s “discrimination against” the more than 1 million Dominicans living in NYC, 1 Center St., Manhattan.

At 2 p.m., NY1’s Errol Louis moderates a “newsmakers briefing” with NYC officials on the 2020 Census citizenship question, 219 West 40th St., Room 308, Manhattan.

At 6 p.m., Cuomo hosts a fundraiser for Assemblywoman Shelley Mayer’s state Senate campaign, Harlem Tavern, Frederick Douglas Blvd. and 116th Street, Manhattan.

Also at 6 p.m., state Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan, state Sen. Catharine Young, state Republican Party Chairman Ed Cox and former Gov. George Pataki attend a fundraiser for state Senate candidate Julie Killian, Empire Steak House, 151 E. 50th St., Manhattan.

At 7 p.m., Rep. Adriano Espaillat hosts his Bronx Public Safety Forum, along with NYPD Police Commissioner James O’Neill, Diaz Jr., and Bronx District Attorney Darcel Clark, Parish Center of Our Lady of Refuge, 290 E 196th St., Manhattan.

At 7:30 p.m., de Blasio, First Lady Chirlane McCray, and NYC Parks commemorate the 50th anniversary of Dr Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop” speech, Washington Square Park, Manhattan.


As the United States prepares stiff trade measures and China retaliates, stock markets have plummeted and some of America’s biggest companies are pushing back.

“The Trump Bump is becoming the Trump Slump.”

President Trump has begun a new push for legislation to crack down on illegal immigration and make it more difficult to obtain refuge in the United States, White House officials said, arguing that lax laws have drawn a flood of migrants to the country’s borders.

The EPA took steps to challenge California’s decades-old right to set its own air pollution rules, setting up a showdown between the federal government and a state that has emerged as a bulwark against the Trump administration’s policies.

White House Chief of Staff John Kelly wants to fire scandal-scarred EPA chief Scott Pruitt, but reportedly hasn’t been able to because Trump likes him too much.

Trump and a company affiliated with him filed court papers seeking to force the pornographic film actress Stephanie Clifford to raise her disputes through private arbitration, not lawsuits.

Special counsel Robert Mueller might be zeroing in on GOP operative Roger Stone, but the longtime Trump associate claims he has nothing to worry about.

Connecticut Democratic Rep. Elizabeth Esty announced she will not seek reelection this year amid calls for her resignation over her handling of the firing of a former chief of staff accused of harassment, threats and violence against female staffers in her congressional office.

School officials, struggling to control an explosion of vaping among high school and middle school students across the country, fear that e-cigarettes are creating a new generation of nicotine addicts.

Pamela Harris, a Democrat who represents several southern Brooklyn neighborhoods, including Coney Island, resigned in the face of corruption charges.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo declared a state of emergency at the New York City Housing Authority and ordered an independent monitor be appointed to oversee and expedite repairs to the agency’s deteriorating buildings, where 400,000 New Yorkers live.

More than 80 percent of NYCHA units examined by state inspectors had at least one “severe” health risk, according to an official report released by the state Health Department.

Republican Duchess County Executive Marc Molinaro vowed to change what he called Albany’s climate of corruption and behind-closed-doors deals as he formally kicked off his campaign for New York governor.

“We expected a new day. Instead, we got a new normal,” said Molinaro, who joins Deputy Senate Majority Leader John DeFrancisco in seeking the GOP nod for governor, though already appears to have locked down sufficient support to win the nod.

Molinaro sought to position himself as a nonpartisan problem-solver who would bring civility to Albany after years of rough-and-tumble politics.

Molinaro was only 18 when he first was seated on the board of trustees in the Hudson River village of Tivoli, entering politics when most of his friends were still working in restaurants or retail. A year later, he was elected mayor, becoming the youngest such municipal leader in the country.

“Whether it’s Molinaro or DeFrancisco, it’s clear that the New York G.O.P. is intent on pushing an ultraconservative Trump agenda,” said Geoff Berman, the state Democratic Party’s executive director. “And a candidate that has the same positions as Trump with a different hair color.”

It’s clear the Democratic Party is backing Cuomo in his primary fight with actress Cynthia Nixon, which has some progressive activists unhappy.

Cuomo has pushed through a plan to shield his state residents from tax hikes under the Republican tax law — and Democratic-controlled statehouses across the country are following suit.

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The stock market kicked off the second quarter with steep losses as trade worries and continued weakness in popular tech stocks sparked selling on Wall Street that pushed the broad market back into correction territory, the Nasdaq into the red for the year and the Dow down more than 450 points.

Surrounded by children on the South Lawn of the White House for the annual Easter Egg Roll festivities, President Donald Trump lashed out again about DACA, saying that Democrats had abandoned the undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as children and who have benefited from the program.

Congressional Democrats raised ethics questions about the framework of a defense fund set up to help pay legal costs for White House, Trump campaign and transition officials caught up in investigations into Russian meddling in the election.

Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe’s legal defense fund will cease accepting donations to help cover costs associated with the myriad investigations into his conduct, after it far exceeded its original fundraising goal.

Critics are calling Sinclair’s promos pro-Trump propaganda. Now the company is defending the initiative, and calling it something much more mundane: A “corporate news journalistic responsibility promotional campaign.”

Trump is now wading into the debate himself, voicing his support for Sinclair this morning on Twitter.

The much-discussed spike in homicide rates between 2014 and 2016 is due almost entirely to gun homicides, an analysis of federal homicide data reveals.

The special counsel investigating alleged links between Trump campaign associates and Russians is looking into longtime adviser Roger Stone’s 2016 claim that he had met with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed an executive order creating a new independent monitor who will oversee the spending of the $550 million he has steered to NYCHA over the last three years.

NYC Council Speaker Corey Johnson had his vehicle’s emergency lights flashing as he and an aide headed to a TV interview this morning, according to a video that was briefly posted on Johnson’s Twitter account.

The Yankees much-anticipated home opener against the Tampa Bay Rays was postponed due to snow today, and will be played tomorrow instead.

States that have legalized marijuana for medical or recreational purposes have seen fewer opioid prescriptions for Medicaid patients, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Trump’s lawyers are asking a New York state appeals court to dismiss a former “Apprentice” contestant’s defamation lawsuit.

Sarah Huckabee Sanders is best known for being the White House’s press secretary, but she traded in press briefings for story time during the 140th annual White House Easter Egg Roll today.

How, exactly, does the state now plan to take firearms away from domestic abusers? Read more here.

Republican Dutchess County Executive Marcus Molinaro formally kicked off his campaign for governor this morning vowing to end a culture of corruption that has plagued Albany and asking New Yorkers to “believe again.”

Molinaro made his 20-minute address in the village of Tivoli, where he served as a trustee and then mayor, starting off his political career, to a crowd that filled a small room wall-to-wall.

Advocates for culturally relevant education practices hope the new NYC schools chancellor, Richard Carranza, who once established a mariachi curriculum while teaching in Arizona, will support their efforts.

It’s pothole season, and local government officials are placing the blame at the state’s feet.

State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli announced three major U.S. energy companies have agreed to detail how they will be impacted by the global effort to achieve the Paris Agreement’s goals and how they can adapt to a lower carbon future. The pension fund has withdrawn the shareholder requests it had filed with DTE Energy, Dominion Energy and Southwestern Energy.

The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority will receive $9 million dedicated to improvements to its Metro Rail system, as part of the newly approved state budget.

National Grid has a new head of its New York state business: John Bruckner, who most recently served as the company’s executive vice president of network operations.

Buffalo’s IBM hub hasn’t delivered on high-paying jobs, but officials say it’s “a work in progress.”

Buffalo and Rochester culinary defenders can put down their (pitch)forks: The author of the New Yorker “garbage plate” article, who’s a SUNY Geneseo grad, has apologized.

As state legislators approved a $168 billion budget for the upcoming fiscal year, they left out a controversial proposal to change the way the state pays local taxes on its lands.

The New York Beef Council, in conjunction with Yelp and state beef farmers, are holding a “New York’s Best Burger” contest, which started Sunday and runs until May 22.

A large number of entrepreneurs who have hitched their culinary dreams, and often their life savings, to food trucks have found their fingers burned by a Rochester food truck fabrication company called M Design Vehicles.

RIP Winnie Mandela, the wife of Nelson Mandela and a prominent anti-apartheid activist, whose reputation was sullied by a kidnapping and assault conviction in 1991. She has died at the age of 81.

Here and Now

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is in New York City.

The state Legislature is on vacation and not in Albany this week.

Today is the first day on the job for new New York City Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza; he’ll drive at the Tweed Courthouse, 52 Chambers St., Manhattan at 8:45 a.m.

In the afternoon, (1:15 p.m.), Carranza will join NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio and First Lady Chirlane McCray for lunch at Katz’s Delicatessen, 205 E. Houston St., Manhattan.

President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump this morning host the annual White House Easter egg roll on the South Lawn, preceded by a breakfast reception. In the afternoon, the president is scheduled to meet with his new National Economic Council director, Larry Kudlow, in the Oval Office.

At 10 a.m., NYC Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen, Assemblyman Marcos Crespo, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. and NYC Economic Development Corp. President James Patchett tour the construction progress of the Soundview, Bronx, city ferry landing, Clason Point Park, Bronx.

At 11 a.m., Duchess County Executive Marc Molinaro holds the first of two events at which he’ll announce his run for governor, Tivoli, where he launched his political career as the youngest mayor in the US at the time. (A second event will be held at 2 p.m. in Albany).

Also at 11 a.m., Queens Borough President Melinda Katz, state Sen. Leroy Comrie, Assembly members Alicia Hyndman and Clyde Vanel and others announce a town hall on city-issued summonses and bringing the hearing process directly to residents, Community Bridge Home, 12050 Springfield Blvd., Queens.

At 1 p.m., Staten Island Republican Rep. Dan Donovan “will address the one-hundred percent false political attack made against him involving the opioid addiction struggle of his partner’s son” at his campaign HQ, 109 New Dorp Plaza, Staten Island.

At 2 p.m., LG Kathy Hochul speaks at the dedication of an historic site to honor the first women to cast her vote in New York, 3 West Main St., LeRoy.

Also at 2 p.m., Cuomo makes an announcement, Johnson Community Center, 1833 Lexington Ave., Manhattan.

At 7 p.m., Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer attends the Riverbend Mitchell-Lama Co-Op board of directors swearing-in ceremony, 2301 Fifth Ave., Manhattan.

Also at 7 p.m., de Blasio appears on “Inside City Hall” with NY1 host Errol Louis.

At 7:45 p.m., Brewer attends Stage Directors and Choreographers Foundation’s Abbott Award Gala, Bohemian National Hall, 321 E. 73rd St., Manhattan.


China announced that it is implementing new tariffs on more than 120 U.S. imports in response to President Trump’s recent decision to increase taxes on imported steel and aluminum.

The Trump administration this week will unveil the list of Chinese imports targeted for U.S. tariffs to punish Beijing over technology transfer policies, a move expected to further intensify trade tensions between the world’s two largest economies.

The latest issue of New York Magazine features a cover with a close-up photo of native New Yorker Trump with a pig’s snout where his nose should be.

A data breach at department store chains Saks Fifth Avenue, Saks Off Fifth, and Lord & Taylor has compromised the personal information of customers who shopped at the stores.

A CNN poll regarding potential Democratic 2020 contenders shows that a top tier of candidates who all face questions about whether they’ll run due to age and other factors seems to be emerging, including: Former VP Joe Biden, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.

Sanders won’t commit to backing Trump’s pick to lead the Department of Veterans Affairs, Rear Adm. Ronny Jackson, noting that that Jackson, the White House physician, is a virtual unknown on veterans issues.

The White House is hitting back at former Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin for claiming that he was fired from his job and that he was only informed about it shortly before Trump tweeted about his replacement.

Nancy Pelosi has long been a favorite target of GOP attack ads. But Republicans seem to be taking it to another level in this election cycle. The House Democratic leader has been featured in roughly one-third – 34 percent – of all GOP broadcast ads aired in House races this year.

Maine is about to embark on an unprecedented experiment in American democracy – ranked choice voting – and Paul LePage—the state’s belligerent, foul-mouthed and polarizing governor, is a big part of the reason why.

The Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools, which was stripped of its power by the Obama Education Department, is pursuing a comeback under a more for-profit-friendly administration.

Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said that Trump’s 2020 census is an attack on blue states like New York.

Schneiderman’s likely Republican opponent, little-known corporate lawyer Manny Alicandro, hasn’t even formally announced his candidacy, but that hasn’t stopped the incumbent Democrat from trying to raise money off him.

Actress Cynthia Nixon is continuing to run a campaign for governor of New York that defies convention by granting her first television sit-down interview to Wendy Williams this coming Wednesday.

A top Long Island Democratic leader, Nassau party chair Jay Jacobs, fears Nixon could hurt the party’s chances of capturing the state Senate if she gets the progressive Working Families Party line for governor.

An anonymous political operative tells Ken Lovett the Senate Democrats, should they win the two races, might be better off not trying to reclaim the chamber right away by wooing back nine breakaway Dems currently aligned with the GOP.

Lawmakers in Albany barely batted an eye as they signed off on billions of dollars in pork-barrel spending with almost no discussion — instead beating a path out of town for the holiday weekend.

The two-pronged response to the federal tax reform law included in the new state budget could be challenged and/or scuttled by the IRS. The Cuomo administration says it’s ready for a fight. By being first out of the gate, New York’s plan will be the test case.

The state budget dealt a blow to New York’s struggling taxi and livery car industry, imposing a fee of $2.50 to $2.75 on trips in Manhattan’s business district to pay for improvements to mass transit.

App-based drivers NY1 spoke with, along with yellow taxi drivers who are already struggling to compete, said they don’t think it’s a plan that will work.

Five years after NYC’s green taxis were rolled out, the initiative is running on fumes as more drivers switch to black cars, leaving outer-borough street-hailing riders to choose between ride-sharing apps such as Uber and illegal gypsy cabs.

The plan left out some long-sought measures advocates had pushed for, including ethics laws and new spending oversight, an extension of the statute of limitations for child sex-abuse victims and more traffic-safety cameras.

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