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Posts by Liz Benjamin
Feb 24th - 8:09 am
From today’s Morning Memo:
Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s plan to let inmates get college degrees is the gift that keeps on giving to New York Republicans, who are having a fabulous time using the proposal to whip their base into a frenzy.
On-line petitions have been launched, scathing press releases have been dispatched, angry sound bites have been delivered with aplomb.
Erie County GOP Chairman Nick Langworthy kept the flame alive this morning by releasing a web video featuring indignant college kids asking the governor why he’s more interested in helping cons get a college education that he is in assisting law abiding citizens with their often crushing tuition bills and debt.
“Governor Cuomo’s recent scheme to provide free college tuition for New York State prison inmates shows how out of touch that the governor is with the people of Western New York,” Langworthy said in the press release that accompanied his video.
“This proposal is an insult to law abiding New Yorker’s who struggle to pay tuition and take out enormous student loans in order to finance their college education.”
“…The fact that the Governor would forward this misguided proposal at a time when college graduates are drowning in debt and local school districts are suffering cuts in state aid, is slap in the face to hard working middle class families across New York State. Taxpayers can’t afford another four years of Andrew Cuomo as Governor.”
The governor has insisted that the idea will not merely cut down on recidivism, but also is “conservative” from a fiscal perspective because it costs less to educate a person than to incarcerate them, so keeping people from returning to prison is cost effective in the long term.
The Republicans – and even some Democrats – aren’t buying it.
There’s still the question of exactly how much this plan is going to cost, and how the governor plans to pay for it. He has said it’s about $5,000 per prisoner per year for college education, compared to $60,000 a year just to house a person in prison.
Cuomo’s 30-day budget amendments did not include any money for the college-for-prisoners proposal, which he unveiled at caucus weekend hosted in Albany by black and Latino lawmakers.
A Democratic state lawmaker said Cuomo broached the subject late last week of possibly putting this plan into the budget, or even making it a stand-alone bill.
Both those ideas would give the governor some political cover, but all but certainly would not pass muster with the Senate Republicans – and even some conservative upstate Democrats. (Remember: Former Gov. Eliot Spitzer at first tried going it along on his ill-fated driver’s licenses for undocumented immigrants proposal, but saw his plan shot down in the Senate).
A Cuomo administration official insisted the governor never had any such conversation, adding: “The initial phase of the program will be largely funded through federal grants – including college access grants – and the initiative does not require legislative approval.”
The Utica Observer-Dispatch editorialized against the idea this past weekend, saying that if the state has cash to spare, it should spend it on the education of kids who aren’t behind bars.
Feb 24th - 6:30 am
Gov. Andrew Cuomo is in New York City, Erie County and Albany. At 1:45 p.m., he’ll deliver a regional version of his 2014-15 budget address, Classics V Banquet Facility, 2425 Niagara Falls Blvd., Amherst.
At 8 a.m., NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio appears on the “Today” Show for a Rockefeller Plaza ribbon cutting (and also to face off against Al Roker), 30 Rockefeller Plaza, Manhattan.
At 10 a.m., the NYC Council Committee on Transportation and Public Safety hold a joint hearing to examine NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Vision Zero report released last week, City Hall, council chambers, Manhattan. (NYC Public Advocate Tish James will attend).
At 11 a.m., Sandy survivors urge de Blasio and other city officials to take immediate action on rebuilding and recovery in hard-hit areas, City Hall steps, Manhattan.
Also at 11 a.m., during a news conference and rally, community and government officials call for continued state funding to maintain health care services at Interfaith Medical Center, which filed for bankruptcy in December 2012; 1545 Atlantic Ave., Brooklyn.
At 11:30 a.m., Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino announces a “major” jobs initiative, InspiriaMedia Corp. located at 10 Mitchell Place, 2nd Floor, White Plains.
At noon, de Blasio attends a meeting on Sandy recovery, hosting by Staten Island BP Jimmy Oddo, Borough President’s Conference Room, Staten Island Borough Hall, Staten Island.
Also at noon, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush delivers the keynote address at the Long Island Association’s annual luncheon, Crest Hollow Country Club, 8325 Jericho Turnpike, Woodbury.
Also at noon, the Empire Center holds a press conference to release a report on the estate tax, LCA Room (130), Legislative Office Building, Albany.
At 1:15 p.m., de Blasio holds a press availability following his Staten Island event.
At 2:15 p.m., education-funding advocates hold a press conference following a stop in their week-long, statewide school funding tour, Cohoes Middle School, 7 Bevan St., Cohoes.
At 6 p.m., Sen. Greg Ball hosts a public forum on the Common Core, Our Lady of Lourdes High School, 131 Boardman Rd., Poughkeepsie.
Kerry Kennedy’s drugged driving trial starts today at the Westchester County Courthouse in White Plains.
Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino reportedly has decided to challenge Gov. Andrew Cuomo next fall, but won’t announce for another week. He made the decision after getting commitments for at least $15 million in campaign cash – half of what Cuomo has on hand now.
The Public Campaign Action Fund, a national group that seeks to lessen the influence of big campaign donors plans today to unveil a $1 million advertising campaign aimed at promoting the public financing plan Cuomo included in his budget.
…here’s the ad in question.
The Moreland Commission has issued more than 20 subpoenas over the last month to lawmakers, their campaign committees and vendors in an investigation of the use of campaign cash to cover personal expenses.
Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver will spend another $300,000 of public money to assist several law firms—including the one that employs him—as they fight subpoenas from a state anti-corruption panel.
Not on Cuomo’s official schedule: Home Depot founder Ken Langone is hosting a “Republicans for Cuomo” event at the Harvard Club at 8:30 a.m. this morning. The governor will pitch potential GOP backers of his re-election campaign.
Cuomo and IBM are set to announce a major economic-development agreement today that would preserve jobs in Dutchess County and expand the company’s high-tech footprint in New York.
Observers – and even some former rivals – say they don’t believe de Blasio’s early missteps will impact his ability to deliver on big-ticket items in the long term.
Bobby Kennedy Jr. called Andrea Peyser to plead the case of his sister, Kerry Kennedy, saying her future as a lawyer and professional human-rights activist could be negatively impacted if she’s convicted on a misdemeanor drugged driving charge.
The Alliance for Quality Education and Campaign for Fiscal Equity are gathering evidence from school districts around the state in preparation for a possible lawsuit over education funding.
Feb 23rd - 6:28 pm
NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio will face off against TV “Today” show weatherman Al Roker tomorrow, more than a week after de Blasio kept the city’s schools open during a paralyzing snow storm and Roker ripped him on Twitter for it.
Rep. Tom Reed’s Corning law office continued to operate under his name while he has been serving as a member of Congress, despite House ethics and American Bar Association rules that appear to bar that practice.
The Nets signed Jason Collins to a 10-day contract, making him the first openly gay player in the four major American professional sports.
Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley sidestepped a question on CBS’ “Face the Nation” about whether he will pursue the Democratic nomination for president in 2016 if Hillary Clinton gets in the race.
Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon of Missouri didn’t rule out running for president in 2016 if Clinton does not, stressing the importance of a “voice” for the “heartland” of the country.
The Utica Observer-Dispatch says Cuomo is “way off base” with his college-for-convicts plan, and should spent extra money – if the state indeed has it – on education for law-abiding kids.
Even though he caused their demise in 2002, the Liberal Party would like to run Gov. Andrew Cuomo on its line this year. (There have been no official discussions with the Cuomo campaign as of yet).
State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli says state tax collections for the first 10 months of the fiscal year total $58.3 billion, up 4.2 percent from the same period a year earlier.
An upstate New York pharmaceutical sales representative was among three whistle-blowers to supply information to federal prosecutors leading to a $193 million settlement with makers of the Lidoderm Patch for marketing the pain reliever for unapproved uses.
New York City’s schools chancellor, Carmen Fariña, met with more than 100 representatives from the city’s charter schools on Saturday morning, the first meeting between the group and the de Blasio administration since the mayor took office in January.
Former Republican NYC mayoral candidate Joe Lhota’s wife, Tamra, suffered a “sudden trauma to her lower spinal cord” and is recovering at the Rusk Institute at NYU Langone Medical Center.
Fellow Republican governors said they’d welcome embattled New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie to their states to campaign this year, dismissing the idea that the scandal over bridge lane closings last year would keep him off the campaign trail.
UFT President Michael Mulgrew OpEds in favor of “truly universal” pre-K.
Mulgrew and SEIU 1199 President George Gresham met Friday with selected state legislators to urge them to support de Blasio’s pre-K plan.
The Deskovic Foundation, since its creation in 2012, has collected a small, tightknit brotherhood of exonerated inmates, a society of the wronged whose members have been forced to come together and assist one another in the absence of assistance from anyone else.
Former prosecutor Robert DeMarco announced he would seek the Republican party’s nomination to run for the state Assembly seat currently occupied by Al Stirpe.
Assemblyman Dan Stec volunteered to take on the concerns of the neighboring 113th Assembly District while the candidates eyeing the seat await Cuomo’s decision on whether to schedule a special election.
Who’s running for what in Western New York – Bob McCarthy compiles a list.
Cuomo is utilizing John Mack, a senior adviser to Morgan Stanley who the governor recently brought on to be an adviser on global trade, to help him navigate the titans of Wall Street.
Feb 21st - 4:45 pm
NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio’s response to a reporter’s inquiry about his law-breaking DUV driver: “I gotta go to the gym.”
When former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani was caught speeding, he called the reporter who nailed him a liar.
NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton watched the video of the mayor’s detail speeding and blowing through stop signs, and said he wasn’t “overly concerned by what I saw.”
First speeding, then jaywalking…which law will de Blasio flout next?
According to a DMV spokeswoman, both de Blasio and First Lady Chirlane McCray ”have full and valid NYS driver licenses, with no tickets or other violations on their record.”
Meanwhile, Gov. Andrew Cuomo today announced a budget amendment to provide for speed cameras in Nassau and Suffolk County school zones.
De Blasio and Cuomo celebrated the $8 billion federal Medicaid waiver at a private party at The Harvard Club in Midtown Manhattan.
Michael Caputo, who worked on the “Draft Trump” movement, now says running for governor isn’t worth The Donald’s time.
The mayor of Lockport, recently under fire for the city’s poor financial condition and a controversy over use of his city credit card to pay for a money-losing golf tournament, has resigned.
The RNC outraised the DNC in January and continues to have a sizeable financial advantage heading into the 2014 election.
The Fix’s Chris Cillizza ranks Cuomo No. 8 on his list of the country’s 10 most popular governors.
NYC Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito laid off 10 staffers today. She probably didn’t deliver the bad news personally, since she’s on vacation in Puerto Rico.
Vice President Joe Biden will be the keynote speaker at the award celebration for the Toner Prize for Excellence in Political Reporting on March 24 in Washington, D.C.
De Blasio’s criminal record from his civil disobedience arrest last summer was officially sealed this week.
Cuomo did an about-face on a previously vetoed bill that allows the Long Island city of Long Beach to borrow up to $12 million to deal with budget deficits. (This is couched as a response to Sandy).
A potential LIRR workers strike has been postponed from its proposed March 21 date, but slow negotiations with MTA officials may cause the strike to resume in full force this July.
Geddes Town Supervisor Manny Falcone is tentatively scheduled to meet with Cuomo next week to discuss the SAFE Act.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie won’t dine at the White House on his swing through Washington this weekend.
The number of farms in New York dropped 2.2 percent and farmland increased slightly between 2007 through 2012, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Conservative congresswoman and one-time presidential hopeful Michele Bachmann says America isn’t ready for a woman president.
EJ McMahon says one of Cuomo’s 30-day amendments (on PLAs) makes an “apparent concession to construction trade unions.”
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says he is counting on former NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg “to work for humanity” in his new job as United Nations Special Envoy for Cities and Climate Change.
“What Upstate New York Can Teach the Rest of the Country About Living Well.”
Feb 21st - 6:24 am
Gov. Andrew Cuomo is in New York City with no public schedule.
At 9:30 a.m., the New York State Museum holds the “New York in Bloom” fund-raiser for children’s educational programs, 222 Madison Ave., Albany.
At 10 a.m., The Geraldo Rivera radio show includes an interview with Rep. Peter King, WABC.
Also at 10 a.m., The Brian Lehrer Show includes interviews with Personal Democracy Media’s Andrew Rasiej on broadband internet in New York and New York City Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg on Vision Zero and potholes, WNYC.
At 10:10 a.m., Sen. David Carlucci hosts The Albany Report, WRCR AM 1300.
At 11 a.m., Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, Assemblyman Karim Camara, Rep. Hakeem Jeffries and Assemblywoman Michaelle Solages and MTA officials meet to discuss disputes in ongoing contract negotiations, and a threatened strike potentially scheduled to begin Friday, March 21; TWU Local 100, third floor, 195 Montague St., Brooklyn.
Also at 11 a.m., Rep. Paul Tonko joins local stakeholders call on House leadership to pass immigration reform, Irish American Heritage Museum, 370 Broadway, Albany.
At 12:30 p.m., DMV Commissioner Barbara Fiala will deliver a regional version of Cuomo’s budget address, Hornell City Hall, City Council Chambers, 82 Main St., Hornell.
At 1:30 p.m., Attorney General Eric Schneiderman joins Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo and Binghamton Mayor Richard David to make an announcement about his efforts to help struggling homeowners statewide, Metro Interfaith Housing Management Corporation, 21 New St., Binghamton.
At 3:45 p.m., NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio, NYC Public Advocate Tish James, and advocates hold a press conference to discuss the LICH agreement, Blue Room, City Hall, Manhattan.
At 5 p.m., Local 372 hosts “Holding It Together with Unity, Strength and Power,” a Black History Month event, DC37 headquarters, 125 Barclay St., Manhattan.
At 7 p.m., Sen. Ruben Diaz, Assemblymen Luis Sepulveda and Marcos Crespo, and New York City Councilwoman Annabel Palma host “The African-American Abrazo,” Maestro’s Caterers, 1703 Bronxdale Ave., Bronx.
Citing the “slow pace” of his appeal of Assembly sanctions that resulted from sexual harassment allegations against him, East Side Democratic Assemblyman Micah Kellner announced he won’t seek re-election.
The governor quietly released his 30-day budget amendments last last night. They include additional money for emergency preparedness and response and $19 million for capital projects at SUNY Stony Brook, but nothing more for pre-K.
Cuomo, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio and SUNY Chairman H. Carl McCall issued a joint statement celebrating what they called a “win-win agreement” to end all related litigation, including the pending lawsuit that has prevented SUNY Downstate Medical Center from selling LICH.
The settlement makes it seem unlikely that community groups and unions will see one of their crucial goals fulfilled: a full hospital with inpatient beds and an emergency room that can admit patients.
The De Blasio administration’s referred questions about his speeding and stop sign-blowing police-driven SUV to the NYPD, which said officers assigned to the mayor’s security detail get “specialized training in driving based on maintaining security as well as safety.”
The bad driving incident comes just two days after de Blasio announced an aggressive plan to address traffic deaths in NYC.
The violations racked up by de Blasio’s driver would have cost anyone else their license on the DMV’s point-penalty system.
In the face of New York’s mounting homeless crisis, de Blasio will announce today that his administration is removing more than 400 children from two city-owned homeless shelters that inspectors have repeatedly cited for deplorable conditions over the last decade
Former NYPD Commissioner Raymond Kelly will be unpaid for his advisory role at the governor’s proposed College of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness, Cuomo administration officials said.
Cuomo compared himself to a parent protesting the implementation of the Common Core, seeking to distance himself from the highly criticized roll out.
Facing a group of mostly Republican critics, Cuomo made an economic argument for allowing prison inmates to work toward college degrees, insisting it’s a “conservative” proposal – from a fiscal point of view.
A new decision from New York’s highest court makes it less likely that out-of-state residents who own houses or apartments in New York will be forced to pay city and state income taxes.
In a potentially landmark ruling, the court unanimously overturned the murder conviction of Adrian Thomas, who was convicted in 2009 of killing his 4-month-old son in Troy, and blocked his statements from any retrial.
The PSC voted 5-0 to freeze ConEd’s electricity and gas rates for millions of people. The plan will hold electric charges steady for two years and natural gas charges for three years.
Sen. Greg Ball’s office said the employee responsible for cribbing uncredited writing from an array of sources for use in his legislation has been fired. The senator would not identify the staffer who was terminated after a TU story exposed the plagiarism.
Feb 20th - 5:39 pm
Posted by Liz Benjamin in [...]
NYC and state officials have agreed on how to transition LICH to more of a community-based service for Brookyn, promoting outpatient care over more expensive emergency room treatment.
Jury selection began today in the trial of Kerry Kennedy, who was charged in 2012 after swerving her car into a tractor trailer and driving away.
One day after he entered the NY-21 race, Matt Doheny was endorsed by the state Independence Party.
Ohio Rep. Michael Turner says Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand is only pushing her proposal to remove the investigation of sexual assaults from the military chain of command because she wants “attention.”
The DCCC raised $6.8 million in January – about half a million more than the $6.1 million its Republican counterpart brought in last month.
NYC has filled a record number of potholes in the first seven weeks of the year – including a really big one in Queens that Mayor de Blasio filled himself earlier today.
Just days after he announced an initiative to cut down on dangerous driving, de Blasio’s official car was caught on camera speeding and running stop signs.
Cuomo’s name won’t be on the ballot until November, but his re-election campaign is looking for phone bank help today.
The governor has all but won the pre-K battle, but can he deliver on his funding promises? Experts say no.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie held his first town hall meeting since the George Washington Bridge scandal. (The focus was Sandy).
State Financial Services Superintendent Ben Lawsky is the first Cuomo administration member to participate in an “Ask Me Anything” on Reddit. The topic: Bitcoin.
The Leader-Herald thinks Cuomo’s lifetime adventure licenses are “too pricey” and should be cheaper – especially for New York residents.
George Marlin predicts NYC residents will flee to Long Island to escape de Blasio’s “progressive policies.”
Sen. Greg Ball will be paying more attention to bill memo language after Whalegate, and has also fired the staffer responsible.
…The memo mess led to a lengthy Twitter exchange between several reporters and Ball, who posted (gratuitous?) photos of his puppy.
The PSC approved a deal hammered out between Cuomo and ConEd in which the utility will abandon a proposed $420 million rate hike in favor of a three-year rate freeze.
First Lady Michelle Obama was in NYC today, trying to make drinking water “cool.”
VP Joe Biden is headed back to NYC Monday to tape interviews for “Late Night With Seth Meyers” and “The View.”
Feb 20th - 6:26 am
Gov. Andrew Cuomo is in Monroe County and New York City. At 11 a.m., he delivers a regional version of his 2014-15 budget address in Rochester, Eastman Business Park, Research Lab Building 83, 1999 Lake Ave.
At 7:20 a.m., NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer appears on WOR710, with Joe Piscopo.
At 8 a.m., Chelsea Clinton, YMCA of Greater New York CEO Jack Lund and Alliance for a Healthier Generation CEO Howell Wechsler participate in a public panel discussion about childhood obesity as part of the YMCA of Greater New York’s “Community Conversation Breakfast” series; Club 101, 101 Park Ave., Manhattan.
At 8:30 a.m., Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer hosts a monthly Borough Board Meeting at 1 Centre Street, 19th Floor, Manhattan.
At 10 a.m., NYS Homes and Community Renewal Commissioner & CEO Darryl Towns delivers a regional version of Cuomo’s budget address, Touro Law Center, Faculty Conference Room, 225 Eastview Dr., Central Islip.
At 10:06 a.m., former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani appears on Geraldo Rivera’s show, 77 WABC. Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino will also be on at 11:20 a.m.
Also at 10 a.m., Staten Island immigrant and Latino community members will rally and speak with residents on the need to stop record deportations under the Obama administration, Staten Island ferry.
At 10:30 a.m., NYC Councilman Danny Dromm, Sen. Jose Peralta, RWDSU members and workers at Five Star Car Wash protest the owner’s refusal to pay workers’ wages, Five Star Car Wash, 42-08 80th St., Queens.
At 10:45 a.m., First Lady Michelle Obama will visit WAT-AHH!’s “Taking Back the Streets” exhibit at the New Museum on the Bowery. She’ll also attend a DNC event at a private residence and tape a segment for “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.”
At 11 a.m., Deputy Secretary of State for Local Governments Dede Scozzafava delivers a regional version of Cuomo’s budget address, Canton Municipal Building, 60 Main St., Canton.
At 11:30 a.m., NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio makes an announcement, 69th Lane and 60th Ave., Queens.
Also at 11:30 a.m., Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. delivers his State of the Borough address, Hostos Community College, Main Theater, 450 Grand Concourse, the Bronx.
Also at 11:30 a.m., Assemblyman Karim Camara, Families for Excellent Schools and others hold a rally in support of saving public charter schools at Brooklyn Borough Hall 209 Joralemon St., Brooklyn.
At 5:35 p.m., President Obama will deliver remarks at the Democratic Governors Association dinner, The St. Regis Hotel, Washington, D.C.
At 5:45 p.m., U.S. Homeland Security Deputy Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas presents a keynote speech during a “Latino State of the Union” event organized by the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, or MALDEF; Tim Warner Screening Room, 10th floor, One Time Warner Center, Manhattan.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s top aide was alerted in late November to demands for an investigation into the closure of local lanes leading to the George Washington Bridge, as that request was being made public.
NJ Gov. Chris Christie’s top appointee to the Port Authority apologized for the George Washington Bridge traffic mess orchestrated by members of the governor’s inner circle.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio defended his proposed income-tax hike for universal pre-kindergarten during a friendly interview with Chris Hayes on MSNBC.
De Blasio has no plan to pursue his predecessor’s quest to bring the Summer Olympic Games to New York City.
New York State spends more than $55,000 per capita on its highest-need Medicaid patients each year, which is why its program is one of the costliest in the country, according to a new analysis issued today by the federal Government Accountability Office.
Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino accused Cuomo of not doing enough to prevent Remington from building a new plant in Alabama instead of New York.
During a conference call with local officials, Cuomo insisted New York fought to get the new Remington plant. It was one of 24 states vying for the project.
Astorino doesn’t buy Donald Trump’s recent assertions that he has locked up an overwhelming majority of local GOP leaders, even though the real estate mogul has yet to declare his candidacy for governor.
Bishop Orlando Findlayter, who’s at the center of the de Blasio phone call to the NYPD dust-up, allegedly helped himself to $1,000 from one of his own nonprofits and has a history of stiffing small business owners.
Financially strapped Long Beach Medical Center, closed since superstorm Sandy struck in October 2012, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
Republican Matt Doheny would not have entered the NY-21 race had the man who beat him twice, Rep. Bill Owens, not announced his retirement.
Feb 19th - 5:15 pm
Posted by Liz Benjamin in [...]
New York State has agreed to sweeping changes that will curtail the widespread use of solitary confinement to punish prison infractions.
…here’s a copy of the agreement, which came as a result of a NYCLU class-action lawsuit.
Mark Ruffalo, the actor and environmental activist, met with aides to NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio at City Hall to discuss energy policy.
Amid criticism from anti-tobacco groups, Cuomo announced more than $9 million to be awarded to local organizations that fight against teen smoking.
Republican Bruce Blakeman will run for retiring Democratic Rep. Caroly McCarthy’s seat in NY-4.
Winning the Conservative nod against Elise Stefanik is going to be an uphill battle for newly-minted Republican NY-21 candidate Matt Doheny.
De Blasio pitched REBNY members on his tax-the-rich-for-pre-K plan, which he said was well received.
Meet the “first lady” of the new NYPD: Rikki Klieman.
AG Eric Schneiderman proposed legislation that would allow people who have confessed or pleaded guilty to a crime they did not commit to sue the state for damages.
Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s mother, Millie, was laid to rest at St. Mary’s Cemetery in DeWitt. (Neither Hillary nor Bill Clinton made an appearance at the funeral).
Hillary Clinton will receive a lifetime achievement award from the American Jewish Congress on March 19.
While on Long Island, Gov. Andrew Cuomo praised PSE&G, saying: “I believe they are more competent than LIPA. I believe they have handled the past storms well.”
Sen. Chuck Schumer pushed for the approval of federal FEMA funds to install a series of off-shore breakwaters to protect Staten Island’s South Shore from future storms like Sandy.
Rep. Louise Slaughter sent out a press release touting her reference in “House of Cards.”
Speaking of “House of Cards,” the show’s star, Kevin Spacey, thinks Hillary Clinton should run for president.
A new oversight committee at the Port Authority is sorry for the George Washington Bridge scandal – kinda.
NYC’s workforce is aging, and needs some new blood.
It’s quite clear that while state legislators are on vacation, some of their staffers have way too much time on their hands.
The former mayors of Albany, Utica and Binghamton knocked Poughkeepsie Mayor John Tkazyik in an op-ed today after he criticized Mayors Against Illegal Guns and dropped out of the group.
Manhattan pizzeria owner to US Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia: Eat your anti-deep dish words.
Feb 19th - 4:11 pm
The on-again, off-again feud between fellow NY-21 Republicans Matt Doheny and Doug Hoffman is apparently back on, thanks to Doheny’s decision to enter the race for retiring Democratic Rep. Bill Owens’ seat.
Hoffman, who made a name for himself by running in the 2009 special election for what was then NY-23 on the Conservative line and forcing the Republican’s more moderate candidate, then-Assemblywoman Dede Scozzafava, out of the race, has endorsed Doheny’s rival for the GOP line this year, Elise Stefanik.
Following Doheny’s announcement of his candidacy this morning and word that still another Republican, Tupper Lake Mayor and Franklin County Legislator Paul Maroun, might also enter the race, Hoffman released this statement:
“Where were all these brave men when the incumbent was running? It took a brave women to drive the incumbent out of the race. Elise Stefanik is principled and has worked extremely hard to earn the Republican endorsement, not only from the County Chairs but from hundreds of committee men and woman throughout the district. Unlike 2009, the Republicans have endorsed a true Republican and we should all be getting behind her and supporting her. She knows Upstate and Northern New York and will be a great Congresswoman for the 21st District.”
Doheny defeated Hoffman in a GOP primary in 2010, but Hoffman remained in the race on the Conservative Party line, and – just like in 2009 – forced voters on the right to split their vote, providing Owens with a path to victory. Local party leaders were furious with Hoffman for refusing to endorse Doheny, even though he stopped actively campaigning and won just a few thousand votes in the election – more the the margin by which Doheny lost to Owens.
In 2012, Doheny and Hoffman buried the hatchet, and Hoffman endorsed his formal rival’s second bid to unseat Owens. But even though Doheny had the GOP, Conservative and Independence Party lines, he still failed to unseat the Democratic incumbent.
Stefanik relocated into the district, though her family has a longstanding connection to Willsboro, where she now lives. Dohney was born and raised in the North Country, and lives in Watertown with his wife, Mary, and their seven-month-old son, Declan. The Democrats’ official candidate, filmmaker Aaron Woolf, splits his time between Elizabethtown and Brooklyn.
Maroun told The Plattsburgh Press-Republican he is considering a run because “it’s been gnawing at me that this district might be represented by somebody who really doesn’t know the district.”
Democratic former state Sen. Darrel Aubertine is reportedly still mulling a run, telling The Watertown Times: “There’s a lot to consider. It’s not like I’m pontificating at my kitchen table on my decision. I still have a job to do.”
Two other Republicans, Joseph Gilbert, president of the Northern New York Tea Party; and activist Michael Ring, of St. Lawrence County, have also announced their candidacies.
In order to get onto the ballot and force primaries for their respective lines, the candidates must collect signatures from 1,250 enrolled Republicans across the 12-county district.
Feb 19th - 6:54 am
After weeks of silence on whether he would run a third time in NY-21, Republican Matt Doheny has announced he intends to challenge the party favorite, Elise Stefanik, for the GOP line.
“I was honored that more than 120,000 voters chose me to represent them during the last election,” Doheny said in a statement released early this morning.
“Many told me they appreciated my real-world experience in tackling tough problems and working together with competing interests to find common ground. That approach and real-world experience is sorely needed in a Congress too full of career insiders.”
“…“I was humbled by strangers who stopped me in the grocery store or at the gas station and urged me to run again. Several friends I met on the campaign trail called and offered an encouraging word.”
“I’m going to be out there every day working hard to get elected and be a good representative for them in Congress.”
Doheny twice tried – unsuccessfully – to unseat Democratic Rep. Bill Owens, first in 2010 during a three-way race in which Conservative Doug Hoffman reduced his chances of success, and then again in 2012, when he had the Independence, Conservative and GOP lines, but still came up short in the GOP-dominated district.
Each time he ran, Doheny spent hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of his own cash on his campaigns.
There has been consistent talk that Doheny was mulling a third congressional run ever since Owens’ abrupt announcement last month that he would not seek re-election this fall.
That talk intensified when a polling firm that has long worked for Doheny released the results of a survey that showed him with a significant lead over former Bush White House aide Elise Stefanik, who announced her candidacy back in August – long before Owens even decided not to run.
Doheny did not return calls seeking comment after the poll surfaced, and he said not a public word when the majority of the GOP county chairs in NY-21 announced they had selected Stefanik as their candidate.
At least one NY-21 GOP chairman is standing firm behind Stefanik. Franklin County Chair Ray Scollin released the following statement last night in response to “actual or potential Republican late-comers” to the race:
“From the very first day of the 2014 election cycle, Franklin County Republicans have worked to identify a solid candidate from the ground up. Myself, and the county committee, know we have found one in Elise Stefanik.”
“She has put in both the miles and the hours to prove to everyone interested that she deserves our endorsement, and we proudly confirmed that tonight at our monthly meeting.”
“When incumbent Bill Owens was still in the race, Stefanik was doing the hard work of earning the support of grassroots Republicans, town and county committees, local business leaders and elected officials throughout the district. This is the hard work we expect from our future representatives in Washington.”
“Political opportunists are unfortunately a dime a dozen, while principled, energetic representatives are few and far between. I believe we could do with a little more earnest enthusiasm, and a little less ambulance chasing.”
In this morning’s statement Doheny stressed that while he had to leave the North Country temporarily “to continue my career, this will be my home for the rest of my life.” He said he wants to improve the district for the “next generation,” including his seven-month-old son, Declan.
Neither Stefanik nor the Democrats’ candidate, documentary filmmaker Aaron Woolf, is a North Country native.
Stefanik recently relocated into the district, to which her family has long had ties. Woolf, who has not made any public appearances since his selection by the Democratic county chairs last week, owns a house in Elizabethtown, but also has a residence in New York City.
Doheny, 43, grew up in the North Country and graduated from Alexandria Central School. He graduated from Allegheny College and Cornell Law School.
After practicing law in Syracuse, Doheny worked at Deutsche Bank, and later, for Fintech Advisory, a money management firm. He left Fintech in 2010 and started his own business, North Country Capital LLC, which is based in Watertown, where he lives with his wife, Mary.
Doheny said he intends to also seek the Independence and Conservative lines this year.
The Democratic line is not quite settled, either. There has been persistent talk that former state Sen. Darrel Aubertine will enter the race.
Aubertine, who left his post as Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s agriculture commissioner last fall and now works for state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli, has confirmed he’s considering a run, but has not yet made any announcements.