Liz Benjamin

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NYLCV Hits Airwaves For Grisanti, Announces Statewide Slate

With just two weeks remaining until Election Day, the New York League of Conservation Voters is poised to announce its third and final top priority candidate: Sen. Mark Grisanti.

The League is launching a new TV ad on behalf of the Western New York Republican, which highlights the fact that he is no longer running on the GOP line after losing his own party’s primary to attorney Kevin Stocker, and instead will appear solely on the Independence Party line.

Grisanti joins two other candidates – Democratic freshman Sen. Ted O’Brien, of Rochester, facing off against Republican Richard Funke; and Andrienne Esposito, a Democratic environmental activist who running against GOP Islip Town Supervisor Tom Croci for the Long Island seat being vacated by Republican Sen. Lee Zeldin – as the NYLCV’s top priority candidates this season.

The League also went all in for Queens Sen. Tony Avella, a member of the IDC, in his successful campaign against his Democratic primary opponent, former NYC Comptroller John Liu.

The NYLCV is on track to spend $700,000 worth of independent expenditures to assist candidates on both sides of the aisle this year – more than double the $300,000 it spent in 2012.

That cash goes to cover mailers, TV ads, GOTV campaigns and door-to-door canvasses for its priority candidates.

The NYLCV has two ads out for O’Brien – a negative spot that slams Funke; and a positive spot that focuses on O’Brien’s support for the Child Safe Products Act, which made it out of the Senate Environmental Committee and had enough sponsors to pass, but never got to the floor for a full house vote.

The League’s main goal is to defend allies who advance its agenda in the Senate’s Environmental Conservation Committee, which Grisanti chairs. O’Brien is the committee’s ranking member.

The NYLCV is also announcing its support of the re-election campaigns of two statewide Democrats – Gov. Andrew Cuomo and state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli.

When it comes to the state attorney general’s race, however, the League is splitting the baby, taking the unusual step of endorsing both candidates: Incumbent Democrat Eric Schneiderman and Republican John Cahill.

Here’s the Grisanti ad:

Here and Now

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is in New York City.

At 9 a.m., to publicize the start of registrations for Internet addresses in the “.nyc” top-level domain, Manhattan BP Gale Brewer rings the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange; enter at security checkpoint, NYSE, Exchange Place and Broad Street, Manhattan.

At 9:30 a.m., GOP LG candidate and Chemung County Sheriff Chris Moss joins GOP Rep. Tom Reed for a conference call with the news media covering NY-23.

Also at 9:30 a.m., tipped and low-wage workers and advocates will rally outside a Domino’s Pizza in Harlem before marching to the second public hearing of Cuomo’s Wage Board, 409 W. 125th St., Manhattan.

At 10 a.m., Sen. Ted O’Brien will receive the endorsement New Yorkers Against Gun Violence, the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, and former Rochester Police Chief James Sheppard, O’Brien campaign HQ, 1150 University Ave., Building 5, Rochester.

Also at 10 a.m., multiple local law enforcement organizations and the National Association of Police Organizations endorse Republican NY-24 candidate John Katko, Forman Park, ​​East Genesee Street, Syracuse.

At 10:30 a.m., Cuomo’s Wage Board holds its second public hearing, art gallery, second floor, Adam Clayton Powell Jr. State Office Building, 163 W. 125th St., Manhattan.

Also at 10:30 a.m., GOP AG candidate John Cahill is a guest on “Live from the state Capitol with Fred Dicker,” Talk 1300 AM.

At 11 a.m., Cuomo and VP Joe Biden discuss infrastructure modernization, Vaughn College of Aeronautics and Technology, William Decota Hangar, 8601 23rd Ave., Flushing, Queens.

Also at 11 a.m., NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio makes an announcement related to Hurricane Sandy recovery, 12-06 Cross Bay Blvd., Queens.

Also at 11 a.m., Cahill, joined by GOP state Senate candidate Joe Dillon, discusses his plan to combat heroin addiction, 44 South Broadway, White Plains.

At noon, LG Bob Duffy delivers remarks at the RTS Transit Center ribbon cutting ceremony, RTS Transit Center, 60 St. Paul St., Rochester.

Also at noon, Grannies For Peace and Women Against War will join Assemblyman Phil Steck for a conference on the “Ground the Drones” initiative, Legislative Office Building, LCA Press Room, Albany.

Also at noon, Democratic LG candidate Kathy Hochul tours the Three Brothers Winery with local business owners, 623 Lerch Rd., Geneva, Seneca County.

At 12:50 p.m., Westchester County Executive and GOP gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino will be a guest on Long Island News Radio with host John Gomez.

At 1 p.m., Regents Chancellor Merryl Tisch and state Education Commissioner John King will address the media on the Board of Regents decision on multiple pathways to graduation, Room 146, state Education Building, 89 Washington Ave., Albany.

At 1:45 p.m., Hochul visits The Athenaeum with local officials, 150 East Genesee St., Skaneateles, Onondaga County.

At 2 p.m., Biden will attend a rally for Democratic NY-24 Rep. Dan Maffei at the Landmark Aviation Hangar, Syracuse.

At 2:30 p.m., Onondaga County Comptroller and GOP state comptroller candidate Bob Antonacci interviews with the Rochester Business Alliance and Unshackle Upstate, Rochester.

At 3 p.m., Hochul, joined by state Sen. David Valesky, tours The Cottages at Garden Grove, 5460 Meltzer Court, Cicero, Onondaga County.

At 4 p.m., Moss meets with the editorial board of the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle, Rochester.

Also at 4 p.m., de Blasio holds a hearing on Int. 466-A (in relation to the speed limit reduction) and Int. 295-A (related to transportation benefits), Blue Room, City Hall.

Also at 4 p.m., Steve Meyer, 146th AD candidate; Elaine Altman, 61st SD candidate; and NARAL Pro-Choice NY President Andrea Miller hold a press conference, Meyer campaign HQ, 3356 Sheridan Dr., Amherst.

At 5 p.m., the Women4Serino Committee will join County Legislator and 41st state Senate District candidate Sue Serino for an Equality for Women Now rally, Cosimo’s Restaurant, 120 Delafield St., Poughkeepsie.

At 6:30 p.m., Moss attends and delivers remarks at the Corning Republican Dinner, Union Hall, 100 Nasser Civic Center Plaza, Corning.

Also at 6:30 p.m., Astorino will host a Staten Island Town Hall, Cespino Russo American Legion Post, 200 McLean Ave., Staten Island.

At 8:30 p.m., Astorino will attend the Pleasant Plains, Prince’s Bay, Richmond Valley Civic Association Meet the Candidates Night, CYO Community Center at Mount Loretto, 6450 Hylan Blvd., Staten Island.

Headlines…

Gov. Andrew Cuomo may have violated state criminal and ethics laws by using his public position and employees to promote his newly published autobiography, a sworn complaint filed by Assemblyman Steve McLaughlin with JCOPE charges.

Donald Trump, whose casinos crapped out in Atlantic City, predicted New York’s new upstate casinos will generate excitement in the short term, but ultimately “go down the tubes” because the Northeast gaming market is saturated.

“Is he a son of a bitch at times? Yeah,” one of the governor’s Albany allies says. “He is a mechanic; he works on cars as a hobby, fixes engines. And in politics he moves the process forward. You don’t love Andrew Cuomo. But there hasn’t been a better governor, not in the last 50 years.”

Two top deputies of Mayor de Blasio, who campaigned on creating a new era of government openness, commonly use their personal Gmail accounts to discuss city-related issues. First Deputy Mayor Anthony Shorris and director of intergovernmental affairs Emma Wolfe routinely communicate via their private email addresses.

New York students would be able to use an exam in culinary arts, welding, accounting and other trades to meet one of their graduation requirements under a plan expected to be approved today by the state Board of Regents.

NYC officials and leaders from the Municipal Labor Committee — a group that represents more than 300,000 public employees — will meet today to discuss the city’s plan for battling Ebola.

A Manhattan woman who last week admitted to committing fraud when she helped two Republican candidates get on a new anti-Common Core ballot line may have done the same thing in at least two other races.

More >

The Weekend That Was

President Obama’s selection to lead the administration’s Ebola response drew both praise and criticism from guests on the Sunday morning political shows.

A Dallas hospital lab worker who spent much of a cruise holiday in isolation after possible exposure to Ebola, has tested negative for the disease, Carnival Cruise Lines said.

Vice President Joe Biden’s visit to Syracuse tomorrow for a campaign rally with Democratic NY-24 Rep. Dan Maffei will be open to the public with no tickets required. Biden will also appear with Gov. Andrew Cuomo in New York City for an event to discuss infrastructure modernization.

The Poughkeepsie Journal endorsed Democratic freshman Sen. Terry Gipson.

US Sen. Chuck Schumer’s “relentless” lobbying helped keep the Bills in Buffalo. Had the team departed, “it would have been a dagger to the heart and the soul of the city,” he said.

A newly created database of New Yorkers deemed too mentally unstable to carry firearms has grown to roughly 34,500 names, a previously undisclosed figure that has raised concerns among some mental health advocates that too many people have been categorized as dangerous.

Former NYC Health Commissioner Thomas Farley argues a travel ban from Ebola-stricken African countries could put Americans at even greater risk.

…Rep. Pete King disagrees, but the president agrees.

Welcome back on camera Bill Carey!

While underdog Republican Rob Astorino criss-crosses the state in a desperate hunt for votes, Cuomo is running out the clock until Election Day — a Rose Garden strategy on steroids.

In a state with twice as many Democrats as Republicans, Cuomo and his party have attempted to use social issues such as abortion and same-sex marriage against his GOP opponent in advance of Election Day, Nov. 4 — and public-opinion polls suggest the strategy may be working.

Hollywood moguls love Cuomo.

Sen. Tim Kennedy explained the wisdom behind his very successful primary strategy of courting African American voters who rejected him two years ago.

Republicans are questioning the timing and movement of more than $600,000 in funds they are characterizing as legally excessive contributions to Kathy Hochul’s Democratic primary campaign for lieutenant governor.

The NY Post’s Bob McManus calls Cuomo and de Blasio “two childlike chief executives — elected to look after the best interests of millions of New Yorkers, yet unable to keep their own tempers, their own promises or even their own schedules.”

Fracktivists rallied this weekend in Buffalo.

The DN pans Democratic NY-11 candidate Domenic Recchia, calling him “not the swiftest gazelle on the savanna.”

Astorino reached out to Hispanic voters at a campaign stop in Glen Cove Saturday. Switching back and forth between English and Spanish, he said: “I am a ciudadano de Nassau – a citizen of Nassau – because I’m spending so much time here.”

Cuomo’s relationship with some Latino leaders took a turn for the worse this year, when the state Legislature didn’t pass the Dream Act.

All told, Maffei has received 83 percent of his $2.3 million in contributions from political action committees and individuals living outside NY-24.

Phil Reisman was not terribly impressed by Cuomo’s new memoir.

A Greek Orthodox church crushed on 9/11 is finally being resurrected. More here.

Sen. Lee Zeldin, who’s challenging Democratic Rep. Tim Bishop in NY-1, delivered the Republican response to Obama’s weekly address this weekend.

While much of the attention in this year’s legislative races has focused on the closely divided state Senate, the Assembly has its own dramas — albeit in a limited number of competitive contests.

De Blasio will headline a fund-raiser for state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli this Tuesday.

RIP Ned Regan, a Buffalo Republican who knew little about high finance when he became the New York State comptroller, but soundly managed billions in public pension funds and monitored hundreds of municipalities and state agencies for 14 years. He died at the age of 84.

Second Time’s a Charm; In 2014, Cuomo for Gipson

You probably saw this one coming, given today’s Hudson Valley Women’s Equality tour, and Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s earlier endorsement of one of the region’s top Democratic state Senate candidates, Justin Wagner.

The governor and his running mate, former Rep. Kathy Hochul, just announced their support for freshman Sen. Terry Gipson, who is fighting hard to fend off a challenge from Republican Dutchess County Legislator Sue Serino.

“As Senator, Terry Gipson has demonstrated a clear commitment to economic development, women’s equality and affordable housing,” Cuomo said in a statement released by his campaign.

“We need Senator Gipson back in office this November in order to look out for the needs of the Hudson Valley.”

This is a particularly interesting turn of events, since Cuomo didn’t support Gipson in 2012. Instead, the governor backed then-GOP Sen. Steve Saland as a “thank you” for the senator’s “yes” vote on same-sex marriage.

Saland ended up losing the election, thanks to the presence on the ballot of a Conservative candidate, Neil DiCarlo, with whom the now-former senator split the vote on the right.

A Siena poll released earlier this month showed Serino leading Gipson by 12 percentage points in the 41st SD. He won the three-way race in 2012 with just 44 percent of the vote.

Like Wagner, Gipson’s effort to petition his way onto the governor’s Women’s Equality Party line was unsuccessful. In fact, just two Democrats – IDC Leader Jeff Klein and Democratic Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins – will join the statewide ticket on the WEP line next month.

UPDATE: I’m reminded by the regular Senate Democrats that businessman Adam Haber, who is running against GOP Sen. Jack Martins on Long Island, also qualified for the WEP.

Cuomo’s Second Senate Democrat: Justin Wagner (Updated)

Gov. Andrew Cuomo today announced his second general election endorsement of a state Senate Democratic candidate, issuing a statement of support for Justin Wagner, who is making his second attempt at winning the Hudson Valley seat currently occupied by GOP Sen. Greg Ball.

The Cuomo campaign this morning issued a press release timed to coincide with the Hudson Valley tour of the governor’s Women’s Equality Express bus, which is actually being “manned” (pun intended) by Cuomo’s running mate, former Rep. Kathy Hochul.

“I am confident that Justin Wagner will bring a new energy to Albany that will help make the Hudson Valley an even better place to live, work, raise a family and start a business,” Cuomo said.

“And by signing the Women’s Equality Pledge, Justin has also demonstrated a clear commitment to advance the rights of New York women.”

In a departure from the past two weekends of bus tours, Cuomo isn’t actually on the Women’s Equality Express. He had a busy day yesterday, taking a whirlwind tour of the Dominican Republican Puerto Rico to pay his “respects” to, and acknowledge the growing clout of, Latino voters back home.

Last weekend, Cuomo made his first endorsement of a Senate Democratic candidate, announcing his support for Adrienne Esposito. The environmental activist is running for the Long Island seat being vacated by GOP Sen. Lee Zeldin, who is vacating his seat to challenge Democratic Rep. Tim Bishop in NY-1.

The bus made its first stop at Mt. Kisco Public Library in Mt. Kisco, its second stop at Marist College in Poughkeepsie, and its third and final stop at the Rondout Neighborhood Center Gym in Kingston.

Wagner, an attorney from Croton on the Hudson in Westchester, narrowly missed defeating Ball in 2012 after a very contentious campaign. He announced his intention in November 2013 to seek a re-match against Ball, but the senator decided not to seek re-election this fall, and is widely believed to be planning a relocation to Texas.

The Republicans picked Terrence Murphy, a Yorktown councilman, to square off against Wagner in the 40th SD. The race has become increasingly heated, as the Democrats believe they have a good chance at picking up the seat.

As in several other closely fought Senate races, the Women’s Equality Act has been a central focus of the Democrats’ campaign strategy in the 40th SD.

As part of its efforts to engage directly with voters, the Cuomo campaign and his allies in the women’s rights movement are encouraging all New Yorkers to sign up for women’s equality text alerts by texting “voteWEP” to 225568.

This effort has caused some consternation among the governor’s fellow Democrats, who worry this WEP push could hurt their effort to re-take the majority because most Democratic Senate candidates were not able to qualify to run on the minor party line.

Wagner was one of the Democrats who failed to make the cut for the WEP line.

The WEP push is also worrying Working Families Party officials, on whom the similarity between “WEP” and “WFP” is not lost.

The governor is running on the WFP line, and needs to receive at least 50,000 votes there in order for the party to retain its official status – and, more importantly, its ballot line. But he is not urging voters to support him on Row D, preferring instead to focus on his WEP campaign.

Updated: The Murphy campaign weighs in.

“These women faced discrimination, sexual harassment, and were paid less than men for doing the same job,” said T.J. McCormack, a Murphy spokesman. “When they took their case to court, Justin Wagner’s firm victimized them again.”

Extras

Attorney Ron Klain, a Democratic Party veteran and former White House insider, is the nation’s new Ebola Czar.

WNYC’s Andrea Bernstein: “(Gov. Andrew Cuomo) stretched New York’s campaign finance limits so far they’ve become meaningless. And he did it to tell people he is cleaning up Albany.”

Harlem Assemblyman and Manhattan Democratic Party leader Keith Wright is considering retiring from politics to take a plum job as the $174,000-a-year borough county clerk.

GOP NY-1 candidate Sen. Lee Zeldin has a new TV ad out in which he says it’s time to “term limit Tim” (AKA Democratic Rep. Tim Bishop).

Crain’s endorsed Republican John Cahill for AG and Cuomo for governor.

Newsday endorsed Cahill, saying AG Eric Schneiderman’s “lackluster campaign for a second term has been as uninspiring as his tenure.”

The Astorino campaign insists it’s not behind the slew of negative reviews on Amazon of Cuomo’s new book.

The Staten Island pizzeria that embroiled NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio in the “Pizzagate” scandal was shut down by the NYC Department of Health this week.

Green Party candidate for governor Howie Hawkins has a novel approach to the heroin epidemic: Legalize it.

Not surprisingly, NY-11 opponents Domenic Recchia and Rep. Michael Grimm clashed repeatedly during a 30-minute televised debate, even arguing over who’s more Staten Island.

Several NYC and state lawmakers were with Cuomo today in the Dominican Republican and Puerto Rico, but they traveled separately from him.

New York has 71,759 tax-subsidy deals worth $21 billion on its books – more than five times as many as any other state, according to a conservative group funded largely by the Koch brothers.

Onondaga County’s sheriff won’t be sticking around once his 20-year term expires. Kevin Walsh has put his home in North Syracuse up for sale; he’s headed to California.

A State Supreme Court judge dismissed litigation against a Buffalo legal firm that epitomized the bitter split between Canadian and New York members of the Peace Bridge Authority.

Staten Island’s Republican Party is behind the bumber stickers that read “Don’t Blame Me, I Voted for JOE LHOTA.”

Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney, who crossed party lines to endorse Cuomo, backed GOP NY-24 candidate John Katko.

LG Bob Duffy continues to have fun expressing himself on Twitter.

Former NYC Mayor Bloomberg failed in his personal quest for nonpartisan primaries in the Big Apple; he’s now contributing to a similar effort underway in Oregon.

As he signed an executive order creating new protections against identity theft and credit card fraud, President Obama joked about how his own card was rejected at a trendy NYC restaurant.

…it turns out, the president doesn’t use his card enough, and the company though some fraud was occurring. First Lady Michelle Obama paid for the couple’s meal.

The New York Sun makes the Frieden-Bloomberg connection vis-a-vis the US’s Ebola response.

New Hampshire US Senate candidate Scott Brown told Fox News that Ebola wouldn’t be a problem for America if Mitt Romney had won in 2012.

If you believe government forecasters, the winter of 2014-15 might not be so bad in Buffalo-Niagara after all.

Conservative Group Targets Rep. Maloney In NY-18 (Updated)

American Action Network, a conservative 501(c)4 run by former Minnesota Sen. Norm Coleman, today announced it will spend $600,000 to try to oust Democratic Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney during the final weeks of the campaign.

The money will be spent on mailers and digital advertising as well as some TV ads later this month, AAN said.

“Sean Patrick Maloney thinks his constituents should have to live by one set of rules and he should get to live by another,” said Emily Davis, spokeswoman for the American Action Network. “From voting to have first class air travel for members of Congress to violating a ban by the very entity he oversees in Congress, Sean Patrick Maloney has proven he doesn’t deserve the trust of Hudson Valley families.”

Maloney, a first-term Democrat, is facing a challenge from the Republican he defeated two years ago, former Rep. Nan Hayworth. Recent polls – including one released by Hayworth’s campaign – have shown this race tightening into a new statistical dead heat, which has caused the DCCC to send in the cavalry (in the form of TV air time, using money that had originally been slated for congressional contests elsewhere in the state) in an effort to protect Maloney on Nov. 4.

The “violating a ban by the very entity he oversees” refers to a drone employed to record a video of the wedding ceremony this past June of Maloney and his longtime partner (and now husband), Randy Florke. Maloney is a member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee’s aviation subcommittee, which oversees the FAA. The FAA is looking into the use of the drone – or “unmanned aircraft,” as it prefers – to determine if there was any violation of federal regulations or airspace restrictions.

AAN and its sister organization, the Congressional Leadership Fund Super PAC, have announced a total of over $19 million worth of independent expenditures in 2 congressional districts across the country this year. The group was launched in 2010, and reported spending close to $19 million on Senate and House races that cycle.

AAN has a New York connection – former Rep. Tom Reynolds sits on its board.

Hayworth and Maloney squared off in a televised debate last night that was hosted by TWC News and moderated by myself, Nick Reisman and Michael Scotto. If you missed it, you catch it again here.

UPDATE: Maloney spokeswoman Stephanie Formas sent the following response:

“This Wall Street funded Super PAC and Tea Party Congresswoman Nan Hayworth are two peas in a pod. They support privatizing Social Security and giving more tax breaks to multimillionaires like themselves. Congresswoman Hayworth’s Wall Street friends want her back in Congress so she can pass her plan to let them gamble senior’s retirement on Wall Street.”

More Liberal Dem Support for Hawkins

After Zephyr Teachout’s loss in the Democratic gubernatorial primary, Howie Hawkins, the Green Party candidate for governor, made a public appeal for her disappointed supporters on the left to back his campaign.

It appears that call is being heeded. Hawkins yesterday picked up the support of a third New York City-based liberal Democratic Club – the Prospect Heights Democrats for Reform (based in Brooklyn).

“Prospect Heights Democrats for Reform is dedicated to endorsing candidates who support the average Brooklynite,” the club’s president, Raul Rothblatt, said in a statement released by the Hawkins campaign.

“We have straight-forward values: People should get paid fairly for their work. Right now, our state government seems more interested in enriching people who get overcompensated for their work.”

“The current governor’s policies are closer in line with the GOP than with our Democratic Party values.”

“We also feel the governor failed to live up to his campaign promises of fighting corruption. The failure of the Moreland Commission is just the most egregious example of why voters in Brooklyn are angry with Governor Cuomo.”

The PHDR endorsement comes on the heels of decisions earlier this week by the Village Independent Democrats and Jim Owles Liberal Democratic Club – both Manhattan-based organizations – to support Hawkins.

Also last night, the Buffalo Teachers Federation voted unanimously to endorse Hawkins, according to his campaign, becoming the third teachers union to back his minor party gubernatorial bid.

The Buffalo teachers had been strong supporters of Teachout during the primary.

Hawkins will be in Buffalo today to discuss, among other things, public education and the Common Core.

As for Teachout herself, she is still on a statewide tour promoting her new book, “Corruption in America”, and simultaneously trying to help the Senate Democrats’ in their quest to re-take the majority.

Teachout has not yet issued an endorsement in the governor’s race.

Hawkins said earlier this month that he spoke to Teachout about backing him, and she’s “open” to the idea. It’s highly unlikely she’ll support her erstwhile primary opponent, Cuomo, before the Nov. 4 election.

TV Ad #2 for Schneiderman: Pro-Cop, Anti-Crime

With just over two weeks remaining in the 2014 campaign, Democratic AG Eric Schneiderman is starting to ramp up his TV presence, cashing in on the air time he reserved months ago.

Schneiderman’s campaign today will release his second TV ad, which has a dual focus – his crime-fighting efforts, and his program to use cash from civil forfeiture funds to help purchase bulletproof vests for cops around the state.

Schneiderman started what he dubbed the “inVEST” program after the federal government cut funding over the past three years for bulletproof vest purchases by local police departments.

The AG pledged to dedicate some $3.5 million to the program, which reimburses local law enforcement agencies up to 50 percent of the cost of new vests. (The federal money also comes in the form of a matching funds).

The program has already helped purchase close to 8,000 vests, according to Schneiderman’s campaign.

The AG’s Republican opponent, former Pataki administration official John Cahill, has pledged to return a more law-and-order focus to the office if he’s elected on Nov. 4. Throughout the campaign, Cahill has accused Schneiderman of being insufficiently tough on crime – an accusation the AG’s campaign deemed “desperate.”

The Schneiderman campaign also likes to remind reporters that the AG has broad support from the law enforcement community, and has been endorsed by a variety of police unions across the state.

Cahill has the support of the State Troopers PBA, in part due to his opposition of the AG’s move to unseal documents about the 1971 Attica prison riot.

Recent public opinion polls have showed Cahill gaining on Schneiderman, though the AG continues to maintain a double-digit lead over his Republican rival. Schneiderman has a 25-to-1 cash advantage over Cahill.

That fact, coupled with the AG’s forward-thinking strategy of reserving $3 million worth of air time for the final weeks of the campaign, will enable him to blitz the airwaves and raise his name recognition just in time for Election Day in a way Cahill cannot.

Schneiderman’s new ad, which appears below, will run through Election Day. His first ad, called “One Set of Rules,” is still on the air, too.

Here’s the script of the new ad:

“Gridlock in Washington blocked funding for bulletproof vests for our police officers. As a New Yorker, I was outraged. As attorney general, I did something about it.

We’ve paid for bulletproof vests for close to 8,000 police officers across the state and funded it with money my office seized from drug gangs and criminals we’ve locked up.

Taking criminals off our streets and keeping our cops safe. There’s nothing more important.”

Here and Now

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is on a whirlwind tour of the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico today.

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio will attend an event with Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy in Manhattan, which will be closed to the press.

At 10 a.m., US Sen. Chuck Schumer endorses state Sen. Ted O’Brien at a campaign rally, 1048 University Ave, Building 3, Rochester.

At 10:10 a.m., Sen. David Carlucci hosts Lauren Sheilds, the namesake of “Lauren’s Law”, and Brian Conybeare, the special advisor to the governor on the new Tappan Zee Bridge project, on the next installment of his monthly radio program “The Albany Report,” WRCR 1300 AM.

At 10:30 a.m., Westchester County Executive and GOP gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino will greet seniors with Sen. Ruben Diaz Sr., Grand Slam Banquet Hall, 478 E. Tremont Ave, the Bronx.

At 11 a.m., Chemung County Sheriff and GOP LG candidate Chris Moss makes a “major police announcement regarding public safety,” Broome County Courthouse Steps, 92 Court St., Binghamton.

At 11:30 a.m., GOP AG candidate John Cahill discusses his plan to combat heroin abuse in New York, 615 Erie Blvd W., Syracuse.

Also at 11:30 a.m., Green Party gubernatorial candidate Howie Hawkins takes a “citizens led” tour of Buffalo, discusses education outside Lafayette High School, slated to become a charter, 370 Lafayette Ave.

At 12:10 p.m., Cahill will be a guest on Watertown Mayor Graham’s View Radio Show, WATN 1240 AM.

At 1 p.m., LG Bob Duffy delivers remarks at the University of Rochester College Town dedication ceremony, College Town, Building 6, Mount Hope Avenue and Crittenden Boulevard, Rochester.

At 2 p.m., WABC-TV hosts a debate between NY-11 candidates Domenic Recchia and Rep. Mihcael Grimm, which will air in its entirety on “Eyewitness News: Up Close with Diana Williams,” Seven Lincoln Square, 66th Street, Manhattan.

Also at 2 p.m., Moss reiterates his public safety announcement, West Capitol steps, Albany.

Also at 2 p.m., the state Senate Health Committee holds a roundtable discussion on “Ebola: Is New York Ready?”, Senate Hearing Room, 19th floor, 250 Broadway, Manhattan.

At 2:30 p.m., Cahill again discusses his anti-heroin plan, 317 Washington St., Watertown.

At 2:45 p.m., Democratic LG candidate Kathy Hochul tours the Union Street Project with Former Mayor Linda Witte and Olean Aldermen Adam Jester and Jerry Leber, Entrance to Jamestown Community College’s Cattaraugus County Campus, 260 North Union St., Olean.

At 4 p.m., Hochul tours CutCo Manufacturing Facilities with company officials and the Olean aldermen, 116 East State St., Olean.

At 4:15 p.m., Cuomo meets with Governor García-Padilla at La Fortaleza, San Juan, Puerto Rico.

At 5 p.m., Cuomo and Garcia-Padilla hold a joint press conference, Hotel El Convento, 100 Calle del Cristo, San Juan, Puerto Rico.

At 5:15 p.m., Hochul speaks at the Cattaraugus County Jefferson Jackson Dinner hosted by County Chairwoman Joyce Melfi, 2000 Constitution Ave., Olean.

At 6 p.m., representatives of the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and community officials discuss the topic “Understanding Ebola” during a town hall meeting; P.S. 057 Hubert H. Humphrey, 140 Palma Dr., Staten Island.

At 6:30 p.m., Moss attends and delivers Keynote Remarks a the Cortland Republican Dinner, Tinelli’s Hathaway House, 3976 State Route 41, Solon.

At 8 p.m., Astorino will attend and deliver remarks at the Smithtown Christian School Accelerate Banquet with Governor Mike Huckabee, Crest Hollow County Club, Woodbury.

Headlines…

While eight hospitals are prepared to treat patients with Ebola, Cuomo said all 200 hospitals across the state are being trained to recognize the disease.

Cuomo named eight “first responder” hospitals in case of an Ebola outbreak in New York. Two are upstate – the University of Rochester and the State University of New York Health Science Center at Syracuse. The others were in New York City or on Long Island.

“This city and this state are probably the most prepared in the country for situations like this,” Cuomo said. “Is anxiety higher than the probability? Yes. There is a semi-hysteria and that’s understandable but it’s not backed up by the facts or the numbers we have at this time.”

A passenger died on a Nigeria-to-JFK flight after a vomiting fit yesterday, and Rep. Pete King said officials gave the corpse only a “cursory” exam before declaring that the victim did not have Ebola.

Officials in Connecticut said that a Yale graduate student hospitalized with “Ebola-like symptoms” had tested negative for the virus, alleviating fears that the deadly disease had reached the Northeast.

A three-time Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist said he’s disappointed at being uninvited to a Syracuse University journalism conference because of Ebola fears. He has been covering the crisis in Liberia, but is symptom free.

Cuomo is out of the state today, but he’s still expected to announce his Court of Appeals pick.

More >