Liz Benjamin

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Posts by Liz Benjamin

Extras

At 18, GOP gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino struck people as an unusually mature – and conservative – activist, inviting comparisons to Alex P. Keaton, the teenage Republican played by Michael J. Fox on “Family Ties.”

Also, the NYT dug up some old footage of Astorino playing reporter in a campaign video.

Astorino said Cuomo should be investigated for “bribery” for openly offering the Working Families Party incentives for an endorsement.

Green Party gubernatorial candidate Howie Hawkins believes Row C is “certainly within our reach.”

Oct. 21 is the deadline for Cuomo to act on the bill that would make yogurt New York’s official snack.

Sen. John DeFrancisco: “I bet if there was a quiet moment, and you had a glass of wine with Governor Cuomo and he opened up…he’d be much more comfortable” with a Republican or IDC-GOP controlled state Senate.

But since Primary Day, Democratic LG candidate Kathy Hochul has practically shunned New York City, campaigning almost exclusively north and east of the five boroughs.

Hochul’s tax returns show she and her husband donated to the ministry of Charles Swindoll, a Texas-based evangelical radio preacher with strongly anti-abortion views.

Dan Janison examines how Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano’s pro-Cuomo TV ad stretches credibility.

GOP AG candidate John Cahill would take a steep pay cut if elected.

The Buffalo Niagara Partnership endorsed Cuomo and Hochul.

Occupy Wall Street protestor Cecily McMillan was found not guilty on Friday of charges stemming from her latest run-in with the authorities.

The NYPD added to its memorial wall in Battery Park City the names of 12 police officials who died from 9/11-related illnesses between 2003 and 2013.

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio’s embattled aide Rachel Noerdlinger and her convicted killer boyfriend were busted in 2011 after driving the wrong way in a car that reeked of pot smoke - with an underage passenger in the backseat.

De Blasio press secretary Phil Walzak said the mayor continues to support Noerdlinger.

Republicans are accusing Democratic NY-21 candidate Aaron Woolf for being sexist by accusing his opponent, Elise Stefanik, during TWC News’ debate of never having done manual labor.

Former Rep. Nan Hayworth insists she’s not a member of the Tea Party. “If you apply a narrow label to something, or someone, you miss all the folks we’re helping. I’m here for everybody.”

Rex Smith takes on Sen. Ruben Diaz Sr.

The Jewish Sentinel endorsed state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli for re-election.

The union representing nurses in New York State has thrown its political clout behind state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.

While federal investigators probe what led to the fatal plane crash that killed Larry and Jane Glazer, the family is evaluating legal options and whether to dispatch a private search team to recover the wreckage.

After Martins Complains, Cablevision Pulls Haber Ad (Updated)

Cablevision has pulled one of Democratic state Senate candiate Adam Haber’s TV ads after Haber’s opponent, GOP Sen. Jack Martins complained the spot violates an FCC requirement.

The ad in question slams Martins for opposing the full 10-point Women’s Equality Act, saying he opposes everything from abortion rights to pregnancy employment discrimination protections and pay equity. As Nick noted earlier this week, these claims aren’t entirely accurate, since the Senate GOP has passed nine of the 10 WEA provisions, refusing only to put the controversial abortion plank onto the floor for a vote – either as a stand-alone bill or as part of the act as a whole.

Truth bending – or, at the very least, omitting context – is standard operating procedure for political ads. But that wasn’t the basis for the Martins campaign’s complaint.

The senator’s beef was of a technical nature, specifically that the Haber ad did not fulfill the FCC requirement that the disclaimer portion of any political spot last for four seconds and take up 4 percent of the screen. Cablevision agreed, and the as a result, the ad is no longer running, having been replaced by an older Haber ad.

Not surprisingly, the Martins campaign is making hay of this victory.

“Adam Haber spent $2 million of his own money in his failed campaign for county executive last year, including on TV ads,” said Martins campaign advisor E. O’Brien Murray. “Someone seeking their 3rd office in 12 months knows the rules.”

The ad is also running on Viamedia. The Martins campaign has lodged a similar complaint the the cable station and is awaiting a reply.

The Haber-Martins race on Long Island is one of a handful of contested contests taking place across the state that are being closely watched as the Democrats and Republicans battle it out in a re-match for control of the Senate. A recent Siena poll showed Martins leading Haber by 25 percentage points.

UPDATE: Haber campaign spokesman Jacob Tugendrajch sent the following response:

“It appears there is no limit to the lengths Jack Martins will go to hide his record of anti-women votes. He is now grasping at technicalities in an attempt to fool voters who he hopes won’t realize that his anti-choice views are out of step with Nassau County, and that he has consistently voted against women including voting against pay equity.”

According to the Martins campaign, Viamedia has also heeded the call for the ad to come off the air. The Democrats say a new version will be back up and running by the end of the day.

WFP Co-Chair: No Need for Women’s Equality Party

From the Morning Memo:

When allies of Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the creation of the Women’s Equality Party earlier this year, it was not lost on Working Families Party leaders that just one letter of the alphabet separates “WEP” from “WFP.”

Some of the more conspiracy theory-minded members of New York’s political class wondered what the governor was up to, and if he was hoping to confuse voters and dilute the WFP vote – potentially bumping the labor-backed party from its hard-fought position on Row D, or even perhaps robbing it of ballot status altogether.

The WFP must receive at least 50,000 votes for its candidate for governor – Cuomo – in order to maintain its official standing as a party, and an automatic slot on the ballot for the next four years.

Cuomo isn’t campaigning terribly hard on the WFP line. In fact, he didn’t even bother putting in an appearance at the party’s big campaign rally in Manhattan on Wednesday night. And the feeling appears mutual among those who did attend the rally, including NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio and US Sen. Chuck Schumer.

Cuomo was not the focus of the event, and was barely even mentioned there.

Instead, the WFP has concentrated its efforts on flipping the Senate into Democratic hands – something Cuomo pledged to support when he cut an endorsement deal with the WFP back in May, but to which he has not yet visibly dedicated much energy.

What Cuomo is dedicating considerable time and resources to is the Women’s Equality Party. This weekend, he and his running mate, former Rep. Kathy Hochul, will again board their fancy “Women’s Equality Express” buses (hopefully minus the cookies this time), and head to Long Island for more campaign appearances.

Privately, a number of women in political circles have looked askance at Cuomo’s Women’s Equality Party effort, suggesting the single-issue approach to woo women voters is dated and even demeaning.

During a CapTon interview last night, WFP Co-Chair Karen Scharff dismissed the WEP altogether, saying she doesn’t see the “need” for it.

“Women are actually the vast majority of voters in New York State, and I don’t think we should be pigeonholed in a separate party,” said Scharff, who is also executive director of Citizen Action of New York.

“Women should be voting on the WFP line,” she continued. “The WFP line is what’s going to elect the state senators who will actually pass the Women Equality Act.”

“It’s great to have a women’s equality campaign message, but what actually matters to New Yorkers is passing a Women’s Equality Act. The only way that passes is if we elect a Democrat-Working Families majority to the state Senate.”

“And it’s the candidates who are on that line whose votes are needed to actually have women’s lives improve in this state.”

Scharff also noted that there are a plethora of issues that matter to women other than abortion rights, which has been the main focus of Cuomo’s WEP push.

She specifically singled out a minimum wage increase and creation of a statewide public campaign finance system – two other WFP agenda items that Cuomo promised to support as part of his endorsement deal with the party.

I asked Scharff is she thought the governor’s WEP push was a not-so-subtle attempt to undermine the WFP, with which he has had a contentious relationship since at least 2010.

“I have no idea what the motivation is,” she replied. “I’m not involved (in the WEP).”

Here and Now

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

At 10 a.m., Democratic LG candidate Kathy Hochul discusses farming with Clinton Country farmers, Guma’s Restaurant, 7577 Route 22, West Chazy.

Also at 10 a.m., the Cuomo-Hochul campaign releases five years worth of Hochul’s tax returns, 31st Floor, 750 Third Ave., Manhattan.

Also at 10 a.m., GOP gubernatorial candidate and Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino holds a news conference on Common Core repeal and improving education standards at the local level with Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis, New Dorp High School, 465 New Dorp Lane at Mill Road, Staten Island.

At 10:15 a.m., Chemung County Sheriff and GOP LG candidate Chris Moss appears on “Live from the State Capitol with Fred Dicker”, Talk 1300 AM, Albany.

At 10:45 a.m., Astorino greets voters at ShopRite, 2424 Hylan Blvd., Staten Island.

At 11 a.m., GOP AG candidate John Cahill will make 10 years worth of his tax returns available to members of the media, Republican State Committee, 315 State St., Albany.

Also at 11 a.m., Uniformed Fire Officers Association President James Lemonda and other FDNY Fire Department Union officials will be announcing their endorsement of Domenic Recchia, Jr. in NY-11, Engine 161, 278 McClain Ave., Staten Island.

Also at 11 a.m., NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio speaks at the Police Memorial Wall dedication ceremony, NYPD Battery Park Memorial, Liberty Street and South End Avenue, Manhattan.

At 11:30 a.m., environmental groups hold news conference to call on Cahill to release his energy industry client list, outside Republican State Committee, 315 State St., Albany.

At 11:45 a.m., NYC First Lady Chirlane McCray will convene and participate in a Mental Health First Aid training with Department of Health and Mental Hygiene Commissioner Dr. Mary Bassett to mark World Mental Health Day, Institute for Family Health, 1894 Walton Ave., the Bronx. (She will deliver brief remarks at 12:15 p.m.; no Q-and-A).

At 12:15 p.m., Hochul views Hurricane Irene damage and meets with storm victims, Keene Town Hall, 10892 NYS Route 9N, Keene.

At noon, Green Party gubernatorial candidate Howie Hawkins and AG candidate Ramon Jimenez will discuss the crisis caused by “the unjust criminalization of drug use,” New York City Criminal Court, 100 Centre St., Manhattan.

At 12:30 p.m., LG Bob Duffy delivers remarks at the Richardson Olmsted Complex groundbreaking ceremony, Richardson Olmsted Complex, Towers Building North Entry, 400 Forest Ave., Buffalo.

Also at 12:30 p.m., Senate candidate George Amedore will be joined by Rep. Chris Gibson for a campaign announcement at the Greene County Republican Headquarters, 285 Main St., Catskill.

At 1 p.m., Sen. David Carlucci visits the Nanuet Outdoor Education Facility’s new outdoor gardening program to witness a class in action, 135 Convent Rd., Nanuet.

At 3 p.m., Republican state comptroller candidate and Onondaga County Comptroller Bob Antonacci meets with the Buffalo News editorial board, 1 News Plaza, Buffalo.

At 5 p.m., de Blasio and McCray meet with the mayor of the City of Accra, Ghana, Hon. Dr. Alfred Oko Vanderpuije, Blue Room, City Hall, Manhattan.

At 6 p.m., Hochul attends the St. Lawrence County Democratic Dinner, SUNY Canton, 34 Cornell Dr., Canton.

Also at 6 p.m., Moss participates in Fire Prevention Week activities at the Horseheads Fire Department, 134 N. Main St., Horseheads.

Also at 6 p.m., Cahill attends the Erie County GOP Captiol Affair, Hyatt Regency Buffalo, 2 Fountain Plaza, Buffalo.

At 7 p.m., Zephyr Teachout will discuss her new book, “Corruption in America,” at The Golden Notebook, 29 Tinker St., Woodstock.

Also at 7 p.m., Astorino speaks at the NAACP of New York State Conference Worship Service (PROC), Bethel Baptist Church, I Fisher Court, White Plains.

Headlines…

In a campaign appearance before Baptist leaders in Harlem, Gov. Andrew Cuomo proposed the creation of a state Office of Faith-Based Services.

Cuomo also called his 2002 gubernatorial primary rival, former state Comptroller H. Carl McCall, and Rep. Charlie Rangel “two heroes of mine who I grew up admiring and learning from.”

Republican Rob Astorino got a boost for his run for governor from Bronx state Sen. Ruben Diaz Sr., a Conservative Democrat – and a Bronx cheer from Diaz’s son, Bronx BP Ruben Diaz Jr.

Cuomo’s surrogates immediately went on the attack. In a release signed by groups that endorsed the governor, including NARAL Pro-Choice New York and the Empire State Pride Agenda, Sen. Diaz was called “ultraconservative, anti-choice, homophobic.”

State Senate Republican Leader Dean Skelos for the first time yesterday said he hopes voters re-elect. Mark Grisanti, even if he is not the official GOP candidate. “I’ve seen the work Mark has done, and I don’t know Kevin Stocker,” Skelos said. “He certainly hasn’t reached out to us for any assistance.”

“Despite his pledge to push for Democratic control of the Senate, Mr. Cuomo has at times seemed not to have a strong opinion about the outcome of the November elections.”

More >

Extras

New Bills owner Kim Pegula recently contributed $25,000 to Cuomo’s campaign.

Terry and Kim Pegula are expected to be on hand tonight as their other team, the Sabres, open their 2014-15 season at home against the Columbus Blue Jackets.

The Cuomo-Hochul Women’s Equality Express bus will be back on the road this weekend. On schedule: A stop in Hauppauge, LI.

A slew of left-leaning NYC Council members gathered in Chelsea last night to raise campaign cash for an endangered freshman Senate Democrat: Cecilia Tkaczyk.

SUNY has finalized a deal to sell Long Island College Hospital to a Brooklyn developer, ending a two-year battle to shed the money-losing hospital.

There are no patients in New York currently being tested for Ebola, the state Health Department says.

Prompted by recent Ebola scares, about 200 cabin cleaners at New York’s La Guardia Airport have walked off the job over what they say are safety concerns.

Rob Astorino: “Mr. Cuomo is now planning to travel the world, but he won’t let New Yorkers see him debate ideas with his principal challenger? Is this America?”

There’s a petition circulating (by the anti-SAFE Act group NY2A) to oust Sen. Dean Skelos as GOP leader.

Anthony Fiala, the son of state Department of Motor Vehicles commissioner Barbara Fiala, pleaded guilty today to drunken driving after a hit-and-run accident Oct. 2.

GOP LG candidate and Chemung County Sheriff Chris Moss says the first thing he’d do if elected is convene an anti-heroin summit to battle its spread in New York.

GOP NY-4 candidate Bruce Blakeman rolled out his second set of public safety endorsements in less than a week, touting the support as a hit to his Democratic opponent, Nassau County DA Kathleen Rice.

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio and NJ Gov. Chris Christie separately sought to assure citizens today that the region is preparing to handle the threat of Ebola.

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani will defend Activision in court against a lawsuit filed by disgraced Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega over the “Call of Duty” franchise.

First-time parents-to-be Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds were spotted in Lake Placid last Wednesday – five days before Lively revealed her pregnancy.

GOP AG candidate John Cahill is keeping up the pressure on incumbent Democrat Eric Schneiderman for his continued refusal to disclose full correspondence with Jennifer Cunningham, Schneiderman’s political consultant (and ex-wife).

Schneiderman has asked an Albany court to force former Assemblyman Vito Lopez pay the $330,000 fine levied against him for sexually harassing staff members.

Here’s City & State’s latest “40 Under 40” list of NYC rising stars.

US Supreme Court Justice (and native New Yorker) Sonia Sotomayor is rattling the institution of the high court.

SUNY’s adoption of a new policy for handling sexual assaults should put administrators at the 64 campuses “on notice,” Assembly Higher Education Committee Chair Deborah Glick said.

Albany Pump Station’s new executive chef, Todd Cutler, says he will add more local food options and beer and food pairings to the brew pub’s menu.

This happened.

Here and Now

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

At 7:45 a.m., Westchester County Executive and GOP gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino delivers the keynote address at the RealShare New York Conference, Roosevelt Hotel, 45 East 45th St., Manhattan.

At 8:30 a.m., the New York League of Conservation Voters Education Fund hosts “Dig Deep for a Greener New York” policy forum, NYU Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, 295 Lafayette St., Manhattan.

At 8:45 a.m., the AARP holds roundtable breakfast with Onondaga County community leaders to discuss Boomer Flight and impact of the 50+ on the local economy, Crowne Plaza 701 East Genesee St., Syracuse.

At 9 a.m., Board of Regents Chancellor Merryl Tisch and state Education Commissioner John King visit P.S. 108K, The Sal Abbracciamento School, 200 Linwood St., Brooklyn.

At 10 a.m., Astorino and his running mate, Chemung County Sheriff Chris Moss, meet with Sen. Reverend Ruben Diaz Sr. and his New York Hispanic Clergy Organization, Maestro’s Restaurant, 1703 Bronxdale Ave., the Bronx.

At 10:15 a.m., New York City Charter School Center CEO James Merriman and state Sen. Jose Peralta and others announce the launch of “Charters Open Doors” campaign, City Hall steps, Manhattan.

At 10:30 a.m., Sen. David Carlucci hosts Senior Advisory Committee Meeting, Nanuet Public Library, 149 Church St., Nanuet.

At 11 a.m., Green Party gubernatorial candidate Howie Hawkins holds a press conference on his tour of fracking wells, Susquehanna County Courthouse, 105 Maple St., Montrose, Penn.

At 11:30 a.m., AG Eric Schneiderman makes a consumer financial protection announcement, Citibank Branch, 86 Main St., Yonkers.

At noon, Sens. Brad Hoylman, Ruth Hassell-Thompson and New York City Council members rally with VOCAL-NY to demand expansion of welfare benefits for H.I.V.-positive New Yorkers, City Hall steps, Manhattan.

Also at noon, Moss hosts a meet-and-greet, Richmond County Republican Headquarters, 2300 Richmond Rd., Staten Island.

Also at noon, NYC Bill de Blasio attends interagency Ebola preparedness meeting, Committee of the Whole, City Hall, Manhattan.

Also at noon, elected officials and New York City’s leading LGBT and AIDS service groups hold press conference to advocate for two major policy changes, City Hall steps, Manhattan.

At 1:30 p.m. Tisch and King visit Marble Hill High School, 99 Terrace View Ave., the Bronx.

At 4:30 p.m., Tisch, King and New York City schools Chancellor Carmen Farina host a showcase schools kick-off event, Doubletree Metropolitan Penthouse, 569 Lexington Ave., Manhattan.

Also at 4:30 p.m., Democratic LG candidate Kathy Hochul meets with Malone Chamber of Commerce members, community and business leaders, Malone Chamber of Commerce, 497 E. Main St., Malone.

At 6 p.m., Hochul sseaks at the Franklin County Democratic Dinner, Malone Golf Club, 79 Golf Course Rd., Malone.

Also at 6 p.m., de Blasio delivers remarks at Italian Heritage Reception, Gracie Mansion, 88th St. and East End Ave., Manhattan.

At 8:30 p.m., Astorino delivers remarks at United Missionary Baptist Association Moderator’s Night, 1883 Adam Clayton Powell Blvd., Harlem.

Headlines…

In his new book, which comes out Tuesday, Oct. 14, Gov. Andrew Cuomo discusses some personal topics he usually avoids, like his relationship with his father, former Gov. Mario Cuomo; his divorce from Kerry Kennedy; and his new girlfriend, Food Network star Sandra Lee, whom he calls a “godsend.”

The book, “All Things Possible: Setbacks and Success in Politics and Life,” to be released by released by HarperCollins’s Harper imprint, “sets down a largely positive narrative for Mr. Cuomo, who is often mentioned as a potential presidential candidate — though his memoir does not take up that subject.”

A patient at a Westchester County hospital is being monitored because he had contact with someone who was in West Africa recently, although County Executive Rob Astorino said it isn’t likely that the patient has the deadly Ebola virus.

US Attorney Preet Bharara is investigating the campaign finances of Brooklyn state Sen. Martin Golden, according to the NY Post. “The campaign fund is being looked at,” acknowledged Golden, Brooklyn’s only elected Republican official.

Phil Reisman: “One way to get attention real fast is to yell fire in a crowded movie theater — and Astorino came awfully close to doing that Wednesday when he told the world that while there were no locally reported cases of the dreaded Ebola, there were questions being raised about symptoms experienced by a patient who was being treated at an undisclosed Westchester County hospital.”

Citigroup Inc. will return $16 million to customers who were allegedly overcharged for advisory fees on certain investment accounts, according to an agreement with the state to be announced today by AG Eric Schneiderman.

In a two-pronged event at the fuel cell manufacturer Plug Power, Cuomo announced his plans to make high-speed broadband available statewide and received the backing of one of the state’s largest private business organizations.

Cuomo proposed that the state spend $500 million to expand broadband access, mainly upstate. This is one of his first campaign pledges as he seeks a second four-year term.

The state Democratic Committee is sending out a fundraising letter from former Gov. David Paterson once again calling on Astorino, the GOP gubernatorial candidate, to release five years of taxes. So far, Astorino has made returns for one year available.

New York City lawmakers sharply criticized the city’s correction commissioner, raising pointed questions about his ability to curb pervasive violence against inmates at Rikers Island.

Schneiderman is being accused of unfairly smearing an indicted Queens lawmaker, Councilman Ruben Wills, by ­including him in a TV campaign ad. Wills is demanding the AG be removed as the prosecutor in his case for violating a court rule barring prejudicial pretrial publicity against a defendant.

Board of Regents chancellor Merryl Tisch didn’t give a direct answer when asked whether voters next month should approve a $2 billion bond act to boost technology in schools.

A new survey released by the New York State Council of School Superintendents reveals that school district leaders widely believe that the Common Core Learning Standards will have a positive impact on education.

More >

Extras

Zephyr Teachout is launching a “corruption in New York” book tour tomorrow.

Teachout and her erstwhile running mate, Tim Wu, endorsed GOP Sen. Marty Golden’s Democratic opponent, James Kemmerer.

A victory by either Rep. Michael Grimm or his Democratic opponent, Domenic Recchia, in NY-11 would be problematic for the winner.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo says pundits who believe he has a likability problem: “Don’t know me,” insisting: “I would say I’m very likable.”

Environmental Advocates released its 2014 legislative scorecard and named Capital Region GOP Sen. Kathy Marchione the recipient of its “Oil Slick.”

Astorino again deployed his children in his campaign, releasing a video of them laughing at Cuomo’s latest “ridiculous” attack ad.

The head of the city’s largest municipal union, DC37 Executive Director Lillian Roberts, will retire effective Dec. 31.

Cuomo said he was not sure why his administration helped shape a federal study on water quality in the gas-rich Southern Tier.

The Pegulas officially own the Buffalo Bills, and Terry Pegula called the record-breaking $1.4 billion pricetag “one hell of a deal.”

GOP state Senate candidate Joe Dillon is going through a foreclosure on his Yonkers home and has had two tax liens filed against him in recent years.

Not one of the six state senators representing Central New York has anything to worry about on Election Day this year, because none of them have opponents.

Former President Bill Clinton teased a possible presidential bid by his wife, joking he can be more candid now that he’s out of office, but added, “Unless your wife might run for something.”

Moody’s: “While New Jersey’s pension crisis is one of nation’s worst, independent comptroller kept New York State out of trouble.”

Cuomo made some of his most extensive comments on the controversial topic of hydro fracking to date.

Airports in the United States will begin taking the temperatures of arriving passengers who have flight itineraries originating from West African countries where Ebola is concentrated.

President Obama headlined a fund-raiser at the Manhattan home of disgraced ex-Intrepid museum boss William ‘Bill’ White, who paid a $1 million settlement for his role in a massive state pension fund scandal.

Warren Buffett predicts Hillary Clinton will win the 2016 presidency.

Former NYC Mayor Bloomberg will make his inaugural public appearance as an Honorary Knight of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire at Vanity Fair’s first-ever New Establishment Summit on Thursday.

A SUNY committtee unanimously approved 17 additional charter schools to open over the next two years, with 14 of the charters going to Success Academy.

GOP NY-4 candidate Bruce Blakeman is on the air with a TV ad questioning the “priorities” of his Democratic opponent, Nassau DA Kathleen Rice.

NYC Public Advocate Tish James updated her landlord watchlist.

 

Former President George H.W. Bush likes his coffee “ stifling hot, no sugar, with light cream served at room temperature.”

A Chicago resident is starting a one-woman campaign for Clinton-Beyonce 2016.

Here and Now

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is in Albany.

At 8:30 a.m., the NFL owners meet, among other things, they’re expected to approve the sale of the Buffalo Bills to Terry and Kim Pegula, Conrad Hotel, 102 North End Ave., Battery Park City, Manhattan.

At 8:45 a.m., the AARP holds a roundtable breakfast with Monroe County community leaders to discuss Boomer Flight and impact of the 50+ on the local economy, George Eastman House, Curtis Theatre, 900 East Ave., Rochester.

At 9:30 a.m., Chemung County Sheriff and GOP LG candidate Chris Moss appears live “Binghamton Now with Bob Joseph” on WNBF 1290 AM.

Also at 9:30 a.m., the Business Council of Westchester and Assemblywoman Shelley Mayer, along with business leaders and elected officials, express their concerns with any plans to open casinos too close to facilities that already exist, Empire City Casino, 810 Yonkers Ave., Yonkers.

At 10 a.m., NYC Public Advocate Letitia James will be joined by Legal Aid and housing advocates to launch the 2014 Worst Landlords Watchlist, City Hall steps, Manhattan.

Also at 10 a.m., LG Bob Duffy makes an announcement, Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus
Goodrich & Ellicott streets, Buffalo.

Also at 10 a.m., NYC Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito delivers the opening statement at a joint Fire and Criminal Justice and Juvenile Justice committees hearing on the treatment of adolescents in New York City jails, Council chambers, City Hall, Manhattan.

At 11 a.m., Cuomo makes a campaign announcement, Plug Power, 968 Albany Shaker Rd., Albany.

Also at 11 a.m., NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio makes remarks at the FDNY’s 107th annual memorial service, Firefighter’s Monument, 100th Street and Riverside Drive, Manhattan.

Also at 11 a.m., AG Eric Schneiderman and Pennsylvania AG Kathleen Kane will make a public safety announcement, Schneiderman’s NYC office, 120 Broadway, 25th Floor, Manhattan.

Also at 11 a.m., Bronx Democratic leaders endorse state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli’s re-election bid, 1640 Eastchester Rd., the Bronx.

Also at 11 a.m., EPL/Environmental Advocates announce the 2014 legislative “Oil Slick” award winner and release their annual legislative scorecard, LCA Pressroom 120, Legislative Office Building, Albany.

At 11:30 a.m., Citizens Union holds a teleconference on a report examining the election results following the 2012 redistricting process and revealing how state legislators once again rigged the system to maximize their hold on power in each house.

At noon, Zephyr Teachout and Tim Wu join Democratic state Senate candidate James Kemmerer (challenging GOP Sen. Marty Golden) to lay out plans for campaign finance and ethics reform, in front of Golden’s family catering hall, 76th Street, just west of 5th Avenue, Bay Ridge, Brooklyn.

Ar 12:30 p.m., DC 37′s Lillian Roberts announce’s the union’s endorsement of former NYC Councilman Domenic Recchia’s NY-11 campaign, 125 Barclay St., Manhattan.

At 3 p.m., state Senate candidate George Amedore will accept the endorsement of several business groups and outline initiatives to help improve the state’s economic climate, Duckpond Farms, 4448 Western Turnpike, Altamont.

At 5 p.m., Moss participates in Fire Prevention Week activities at the West Elmira Fire Department, 1299 West Water St., Elmira.

At 6:45 p.m., de Blasio headlines a campaign kick-off/Justice for Workers rally “to call for hundreds of activists to organize to take back the state Senate and win a big vote on the Working Families Party ballot line,” Vartan Cathedral, 630 2nd Ave., Manhattan.

At 7 p.m., Hawkins delivers remarks about student debt, Siena College, 515 Loudon Rd., Albany.

Headlines…

A NYPIRG analysis shows Gov. Andrew Cuomo has amassed nearly half the $44.9 million in campaign cash he has raised since December 2010 from just 331 donors. Cuomo’s big-money donations of more than $40,000 dwarf those brought in by Republican Rob Astorino, who snagged just 17 donors with that kind of generosity.

Cuomo hasn’t spoken a great deal about his vision for a second term, but he revealed that he intends to travel out of the state more often, planning to participate in trade missions to Canada, Mexico, China, Israel and Italy – assuming he’s re-elected.

The governor is seeking to create a export-import bank that would extend loans and grants to help New York businesses tap foreign markets and encourage overseas companies to move to the state.

New York City’s five district attorneys have tried for months to get a group meeting with Mayor de Blasio to discuss crucial budget and public safety issues, as they have with past mayors, but their requests have reportedly been ignored.

State Supreme Court Justice Margaret Garvey invalidated Ramapo’s referendums on establishing a ward system and adding two Town Board members, ordering that a new vote be held.

NYC health officials met to discuss preparations in case Ebola makes its way into the five boroughs. The Department of Health says it’s prepared to detect the virus, handle it and protect the public if a case should occur.

Public and private hospitals around New York are quietly conducting Ebola drills, sending fake patients to test emergency-room staff in the proper methods to identify and safely isolate a person suspected of having the virus.

The Rev. Al Sharpton pulled the plug on his longtime collaboration with Sanford Rubenstein following accusations that the civil rights lawyer raped one of the reverend’s most-trusted National Action Network advisers. “He has no future,” Sharpton said.

Four Northeastern states – New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts – have agreed to collaborate in investigations of heroin trafficking that often cross state lines.

More >

Extras

Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy signed an order giving the public health commissioner the ability to effectively quarantine an individual or a group of individuals who may have been exposed to or infected with Ebola.

The NRCC released its third TV ad in NY-1, slamming Democratic Rep. Tim Bishop for his allegedly misplaced priorities.

The family of Eric Garner has filed a $75 million claim against the NYPD and the city of New York.

Sen. Tony Avella says he’s concerned about the Cuomo administration’s handling of a key fracking study.

NYC Mayor Bill de Blaiso said he would make pushing for a new cross-Hudson rail tunnel a “priority,” and blamed New Jersey governor Chris Christie for killing an earlier tunnel project.

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. endorsed AG Eric Schneiderman.

Governing magazine has moved the AG’s race to “likely Democratic” from “safe Democratic,” citing the low Democratic voter enthusiasm this cycle.

Sen. Lee Zeldin is eager to step into former Rep. Eric Cantor’s role as the lone Jewish Republican in Congress.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission last week approved Crestwood Midstream’s request to begin construction to expand methane storage in salt caverns next to Seneca Lake.

A new report published today by the Restaurant Opportunities Center United pinpoints the tip-based system as an underlying factor of sexual harassment in the workplace.

Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is wading into Massachusetts politics, endorsing both Republican and Democratic candidates.

…he’s also getting involved in Michigan.

Most New Yorkers support the state’s ongoing moratorium on natural gas hydrofracking, according to a poll conducted for the Natural Resources Defense Council.

Health officials say they’ve received calls from New York City physicians about 88 potential Ebola cases since August but the disease was never detected.

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Cuomo will make an appearance at The Picture House in Pelham for an advanced screening of “The Italian Americans,” a new film for PBS on Tuesday, Oct. 21.

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The POLITICO story on the 2016 GOP presidential free-for-all makes no mention of former Gov. George Pataki.

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Rock the vote!

Now An Underdog, Grisanti Wants To Debate

Sen. Mark Grisanti, who is holding onto his seat by a thread afetr losing the GOP primary in September, has called for a four-way pre-general election debate in the 60th SD.

After deciding to continue his candidacy running solely on the Independence Party line, Grisanti needs to do everything he can to remind voters he is still in this race. Debates – something traditionally sought by underdog candidates, are a good way to make headlines, and going up against his significantly less experienced opponents would enable Grisanti to demonstrate his experience after four years in office and set himself apart from the pack.

“The outcome of this race will likely determine who controls the majority in the state Senate”, Grisanti said in a press release. “With so much at stake, and with the possibility of downstate special interest groups getting a stranglehold on state government, the voters of this district deserve to hear a thoughtful discussion on issues from all the candidates.”

Grisanti today released a letter he has sent to all the WNY media outlets asking for them to consider sponsoring a debate with his opponents: Democrat Marc Panepinto, Republican Kevin Stocker and Conservative Tim Gallagher.

“The issues facing our community, our region, and our state are critically important, and it is imperative that the residents of the 60th Senate District have the opportunity to hear directly from each of the candidates of their plans to address those issues,” the senator wrote.

“If you are willing to provide this valuable community service, a representative from my campaign will be available to discuss scheduling and format. We would, of course, request that all parties agree in advance that no portion of the video or audio of the debate could be used for commercial or campaign purposes.”

Grisanti helpfully provided a photo of one of his letters, written on his campaign letterhead, as proof that said letter (at least one of them) indeed exists.

Grisanti, who first won office in 2010, does have a history of debating, though he participated in just one pre-general election head-to-head with his 2012 opponents – Democrat Mike Amodeo and Conservative Chuck Swanick. At the time, Grisanti was leading in the polls despite his controversial “yes” vote on same-sex marriage, and – as is standard practice for frontrunners – didn’t want to take any chances with an event that could provide the chance for a highly public misstep.