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Posts by Liz Benjamin
Jun 29th - 5:27 pm
President Obama will appear next week in North Carolina with Hillary Clinton, the 2016 campaigning debut for the figure expected to be the presumptive Democratic nominee’s most potent surrogate in the fall.
Clinton just edges out Republican rival Donald Trump in a new national poll out today, though most voters say neither of the White House contenders would make a good president.
Clinton’s top aide Huma Abedin said the former secretary of state’s use of a private e-mail server to conduct government business on at least one occasion got in the way of her boss’ work and left her frustrated, according to a transcript of the aide’s deposition released today.
State Supreme Court Justice John A. Michalek pleaded guilty to taking a bribe and filing a false instrument in a case involving political operative G. Steven Pigeon, and resigned his seat on the bench. Pigeon also will face charges in the case, and is scheduled to appear in court tomorrow.
It has been well over 48 hours since the U.S. Supreme Court issued its landmark ruling striking down Texas’ strict rules for abortion clinics, and Trump has yet to mention it. Evangelicals aren’t happy.
The Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office says three suspects have been indicted in the death of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s aide Carey Gabay last year.
NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer is encouraging the de Blasio administration to provide free sunblock at public parks, pools, and beaches throughout the city.
NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio’s new social media director has quit — saying in a scathing Facebook post that he had to do it to save his own “health and sanity” from an office full of “political hacks plus a boss who just couldn’t get it.”
New York City has scored $179 million in federal grants to fight terrorism this year. But that could be the last large payment if Congress doesn’t restore the Obama administration’s proposed cut to a critical terror-fighting grant program in 2017.
Trump’s campaign aides are lining up a slate of iconic sports figures to appear at the GOP convention in Cleveland next month – including former Indiana University basketball coach Bobby Knight, and NASCAR chief Brian France.
Jon Cooper, the former Suffolk County legislator and major fundraiser for President Obama, will chair a new super PAC that will raise money to defeat Trump — but not to support Clinton.
U.S. District Court Judge Joseph Bianco set a July 11 hearing for Republican Philip Pidot’s lawsuit seeking to block state Sen. Jack Martins’ certification as the GOP candidate in the 3rd Congressional District and force a date for a party primary.
A State Supreme Court judge has placed a temporary restraining order on the Buffalo School Board for attempting to eliminate the controversial cosmetic surgery rider from the teacher contract without negotiating it with the union.
The NY-19 general election battle is now joined, and America Rising PAC slammed the Democratic nominee, “liberal Zephyr Teachout,” saying she’s “too extreme and unqualified” to represent the “moderate” district.
Rep. Charlie Rangel is “anxious” about the fact that his preferred successor, Assemblyman Keith Wright, is trailing Sen. Adriano Espaillat in the NY-13 Democratic primary to replace the veteran Harlem congressman. He said his own future is “not settled yet.”
One of the things Rangel will be doing in his post-congressional life is raising money for scholarships at City College.
The Rev. Al Sharpton backpedaled on a fiery, racially-tinged speech he made on Saturday and called for an end to “acrimony and rancor” in Rangel’s district.
In a response to an audit of the state’s “Preferred Source” contracting program, the not-for-profit New York State Industries for the Disabled accuses state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli’s office of serving up “many inaccurate and incomplete findings” that failed to present a full picture of its work.
Extensive portions of the materials that Trump Institute students received after forking over their seminar fees, supposedly containing his special wisdom, had been plagiarized from an obscure real estate manual published a decade earlier.
Jun 28th - 5:58 pm
The House Select Committee on Benghazi issued its final report, finding no new evidence of culpability or wrongdoing by Hillary Clinton in the 2012 attacks in Libya that left four Americans dead, but rebuking the Defense Department, the Central Intelligence Agency and the State Department.
Democratic U.S. senators rejected a $1.1 billion measure to fight the Zika virus, saying Republicans had inserted a ban on funding for Planned Parenthood to provide related contraceptive services.
Clinton is using a technology agenda to woo millennial voters who overwhelming backed her vanquished rival Bernie Sanders and have been slow to join the fold of the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee
Blake Zeff, who once worked for Clinton and the NYS Democratic Party, is now a reporter/columnist, and has tackled the Hoosick Falls water contamination scandal.
The Twittersphere mocked presumptive GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump for giving a speech in front of what appeared to be a large pile of garbage.
Some Republican votes in Columbia County will have to be counted by hand because the name of a third candidate in NY-19 — Bob Bishop — incorrectly appeared on the congressional primary ballot.
Retiring Rep. Charlie Rangel can’t help but get into a pissing match – in absentia – with President Obama.
Rangel says he has “mixed feelings” about retiring from Congress, but won’t be giving up politics altogether.
The NYPD Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association filed a declaration of impasse with the state Public Employment Relations Board and described its contract talks with the New York City government as “deadlocked.”
Obama teamed up with BuzzFeed to urge Americans to register to vote.
New York will reap some $147 million and some Volkswagen and Audi owners in this state will be able to sell back their cars under terms of partial settlements reached with Volkswagen AG over the emissions scandal in which the company is embroiled.
New Yorkers can report vacant and abandoned properties in their communities through a new hotline at the state Department of Financial Services.
Four minor league baseball teams, including the Auburn Doubledays, are partnering with the state to promote New York-made beverages and food products.
Hedge fund Platinum Partners is considering buying out a $20 million investment by the New York City correction officers’ union that has landed both parties in legal trouble.
New York’s auto insurance rates for parents of teen drivers are the second least expensive in the country, according to a study conducted by insuranceQuotes.com.
NYC Public Advocate Letitia James is asking NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton to reinstate a Muslim cop disciplined for wearing a beard.
The Port Authority Police Department has a beef with the 80-year-old cowboy from Ulster Park who stopped traffic on a bridge to New York City yesterday. (He’s trying to raise awareness about child hunger).
A New York patient is now the second U.S. citizen to be infected with bacteria carrying a ‘superbug’ gene, according to findings published earlier this week in the journal for Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy.
Dowling College on Long Island will lose its accreditation on Aug. 31 and must implement a plan for students to complete their degrees at other institutions, according to a report from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
NFL innovator Buddy Ryan, the father of Buffalo Bills head coach Rex Ryan, died this morning. He was 82.
Congrats to Troy’s Vic Christopher and Heather LaVine on their Eater Young Guns 2016 award!
Jun 28th - 5:29 am
Gov. Andrew Cuomo is in New York City with no public schedule.
Voters across the state who live in congressional districts with contested primaries head to the polls today, which open either at 6 a.m. or noon, depending on your geographic location – generally speaking, upstate or down. All polls close at 9 p.m.
At 7:30 a.m., NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio will appear live on 1010 WINS.
At 7:50 a.m., de Blasio will appear live on WCBS Newsradio 880.
At 10 a.m., NYC Chancellor Carmen Farina delivers remarks at the Academy for Young Writers graduation, 1065 Elton St., Brooklyn.
At 10:30 a.m., LG Kathy Hochul convenes a meeting of the New York City Regional Economic Development Council, Borough of Manhattan Community College, Richard Harris Terrace, 199 Chambers St., Manhattan.
At 11 a.m., NYC Parks hosts annual celebration to kick off outdoor pool season, Faber Pool, 2175 Richmond Terrace, Staten Island.
At 12:30 p.m., de Blasio will participate in a tele-town hall with seniors to discuss the Rent Guidelines Board vote yesterday for a 0 percent increase on one-year, rent-stabilized leases, and a 2 percent increase on two-year leases.
At 1:30 p.m., NYC Councilman Barry Grodenchik discusses his tour of all schools in his council district and the three-plus million dollars in capital funds allocated to district schools, Martin Van Buren High School, 230-17 Hillside Ave., Queens.
At 2 p.m., de Blasio holds public hearings on, and then signs into law, several bills, Blue Room, City Hall, Manhattan.
At 2:30 p.m., Hochul convenes a meeting of the Long Island Regional Economic Development Council, Long Island Association, Lower Level Conference Roomm 300 Broadhollow Rd., Melville.
At 3 p.m., Sen. Tony Avella stands against sex offender placement in family homeless shelters, Pan-American Hotel, 79-00 Queens Blvd., Queens.
At 5:30 p.m., NYC Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, Council members Jumaane Williams, Mathieu Eugene, Andy King, and the City Council, host a Caribbean Heritage Celebration for the public, City Council Chambers, City Hall, Manhattan.
6 p.m., the New York Immigration Coalition and its members, immigrants and allies rally for immigrant New Yorkers in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent ruling, Foley Square, 101 Worth St., Manhattan.
Also at 6 p.m., the City of Albany and the CDTC present a draft Complete Streets Design Manual for public review, Washington Avenue Branch, Albany Public Library, 161 Washington Ave., Albany.
At 6:30 p.m, NYC Public Advocate Letitia James hosts a Veterans Town Hall, Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, Pier 86, West 46th Street and 12th Avenue, Manhattan.
At 7:30 p.m., Sen. Todd Kaminsky, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, City of Long Beach officials, the DEC and others present the first of two informational forums on their plans to storm harden the Barrier Island’s beaches, Bishop Molly Recreational Center, Point Lookout, Long Island.
At 7:45 p.m. Hochul keynotes the Bronx Times’ 25 Bronx Influential Women event, Scavello’s, 101 City Island Ave., the Bronx.
Hillary Clinton, facing direct criticism about her trustworthiness from rival Donald Trump, admitted she needs to do more to earn voters’ trust. “I personally know I have work to do on this front,” she said.
Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren offered an impassioned endorsement of Clinton, symbolically unifying the Democratic Party behind the presumptive nominee and giving voters a rousing preview of what could be a historic joint ticket.
Trump has hired a top communications consultant who worked on Sen. Ted Cruz’ unsuccessful presidential campaign. A Republican with knowledge of the hiring says Jason Miller will serve as Trump’s senior communications adviser.
New York state exported $5.78 billion to the United Kingdom in 2015, more than any other state in the country. But the Brexit referendum last Thursday, in which Britons voted to leave the European Union, may change all that.
The U.S. Supreme Court vacated the public corruption conviction of former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, potentially emboldening the appeals of former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and former Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos, who were convicted in separate cases last year.
The Cuomo administration says no formal paperwork is required for the governor to grant private investigator Bart Schwartz the power to issue civil subpoenas according to Section 6 of state Executive Law, otherwise known as the Moreland Act.
Members of the LGBT community, along with local and federal officials, gathered at New York City’s Stonewall Inn yesterday to dedicate the site as the first national monument to gay rights.
Cuomo signed a bill into law that will expand treatment options for women with breast cancer and require better access to screenings – an issue that’s personal for him, due to his girlfriend Sandra Lee’s battle with the disease.
Cuomo and Lee, joined by the governor’s longtime friend – and fellow motorcycle enthusiast – singer Billy Joel, launched the first leg of a statewide motorcycle tour to raise awareness about the importance of breast cancer screening.
A high-profile taxi advocate whose wife needs the city’s OK for a women-only livery service admitted to The NY Post that he raised campaign cash for NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio and funneled it through an unemployed Brooklyn woman.
Rep. Elise Stefanik, a rising star who helped to write the GOP platform at the 2012 convention, “will be in her district working for her constituents and not attending the convention” in Cleveland, said a spokesman.
The FitzPatrick nuclear plant, the source of a visible oil slick on Lake Ontario, had to be shut down manually Friday after a loss of power caused water pumps to stop working. DEC officials are investigating.
A DEC hearing yesterday was the first of three across the state to discuss recent proposals to combat exposure to PFOA as well as PFOS. Exposure to these chemicals — which can be found in materials such as Teflon, non-stick pans and certain firefighting foam — has been linked to health risks such as various forms of cancer.
The Buffalo News says the state Legislature’s “unseemly” rush to adjourn this year’s session “facilitates Albany corruption.”
Skelos’ misbehaving nephew Basil (Billy) Skelos, 27, told cops he didn’t “even remember” yanking the wrist of a Daily News reporter and throwing her phone into the street as they collared him and charged him in the incident, prosecutors said at his arraignment.
Jun 27th - 5:57 pm
Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren offered an impassioned endorsement of Hillary Clinton today, symbolically unifying the Democratic Party behind the presumptive nominee and giving voters a rousing preview of what could be a historic joint ticket.
Donald Trump is taking his time in responding to Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, which constitutional scholars describe as the most significant U.S. Supreme Court abortion ruling in a decade.
Trump has a new nickname for Warren: “Sellout.”
Huma Abedin, who worked her way up from White House intern to vice chair of Clinton’s campaign for president, will be questioned under oath tomorrow by lawyers of the conservative group Judicial Watch about her involvement with her boss’ private email system.
Two more SolarCity directors with ties to Tesla Motors and its CEO Elon Musk are recusing themselves from making decisions about the electric vehicle maker’s bid to acquire the solar energy systems installer, leaving just three to vote.
“Cramming,” a time-honored end-of-session Albany tradition.
New York’s highways and bridges are among the most deteriorated in the nation, according to a new report released Monday by TRIP, a national transportation organization.
Safety inspections at New York airports have dropped 73 percent in the past decade, and federal regulators should increase such spot checks after a spate of small airplane accidents on Long Island, U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer said.
NYPA’s financial woes over the Hudson Transmission Partners line will compound each year until at least 2020, according to the authority’s most recent annual report.
A former Rensselaer County welfare investigator who covered up wrongdoing by a former Troy housing official has pleaded guilty to official misconduct.
Former correction officer Gene Palmer walked free yesterday. He was the only prison guard charged in connection with last year’s prison break at Clinton Correctional Facility, and he served the minimum possible sentence.
If museums, theaters and zoos in New York City seem more crowded lately, don’t blame the tourists. Big Apple residents are joining cultural institutions in droves, a perk of signing up for IDNYC, the city-issued identity cards.
Here’s one economic benefit that could come from the British decision to leave the European Union — lower gas prices for Americans this summer.
When New York Times fashion photographer Bill Cunningham died on Saturday, he left behind an enormous portfolio of work and a mourning staff at Stage Star Deli who thought of him as family.
Thirty houses on Long Island that were damaged by superstorm Sandy and acquired by the state’s New York Rising program will be taken over by a housing group to be made into permanent affordable housing for eligible homebuyers.
If you visit Syracuse University any time soon, be on the lookout for low-flying red-tailed hawks.
Jun 27th - 5:13 am
Gov. Andrew Cuomo is on Long Island to kick off the first of three legs of a motorcycle tour, joined by his longtime friend, singer Billy Joel, and girlfriend Sandra Lee, a breast cancer survivor, to raise awareness about the importance of breast cancer screenings.
Cuomo is also doing a round of TV appearances prior to mounting his motorcycle at 9:30 a.m., Sunken Meadow State Park, Kings Park, Suffolk County.
At 8:20 a.m., he’ll appear on NY1. At 8:30 a.m., he’ll appear on Fox 5. At 8:40 a.m., he’ll appear on Pix 11, at 8:50 a.m., he’ll appear on News 12.
Candidates across the state engage in a frantic last-minute push for votes before tomorrow’s congressional primaries.
At 8 a.m., Crain’s New York Business hosts a discussion with doctors and urgent-care providers to examine how they’re adapting to upheavals in health care and the implications for cost and quality, New York Athletic Club, 180 Central Park South, Manhattan.
At 10:30 a.m., NY-22 Republican candidate Steve Wells campaigns with Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente, Boulevard Diner, 24 Roosevelt Dr., Whitesboro.
At 11 a.m., dozens of of housing advocates and tenants will join with elected officials to announce a “scathing new report that exposes statistical evidence of Airbnb’s negative impact on affordable housing in NYC,” Public Advocate Tish James will speak, City Hall steps, Manhattan.
Also at 11 a.m., the New York Job Development Authority meets, Empire State Development, 633 Third Ave., Manhattan.
Also at 11 a.m., Sen. Kathy Marchione, chair of the Senate’s Local Government Committee, will join leaders from Columbia Memorial Health and the Town of Copake to celebrate the opening of a new Rapid Care, 283 Mountain View Rd., Copake.
At 11:30 a.m., Cuomo and his motorcycle entourage stop and the governor signs into law a measure to improve access to, and coverage for, breast cancer screenings, Citi Field, Lot G, 123-01 Roosevelt Ave., Flushing, Queens.
Also at 11:30 a.m., GOP NY-18 candidate Phil Oliva and his wife, Jessica, demand that Democratic Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney turn over the raw and unedited video footage obtained by a since fired “tracker” who was working on behalf of the Maloney campaign, Elephant Hotel, 335 US-202, Somers.
At noon, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio will join Senior Advisor to the President Valerie Jarrett, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell, and other elected leaders, advocates and New Yorkers in designating Stonewall Inn the first LGBT national monument,” Stonewall Inn, 53 Christopher St., Manhattan.
Also at noon, CUNY’s Graduate School of Journalism, the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment Commissioner Julie Menin and J-School Dean Sarah Bartlett will announce a $1 million grant from MOME to the CUNY J-School, Manhattan.
At 2 p.m., Cuomo takes a break from riding to deliver remarks at Bear Mountain State Park, 3020 Seven Lakes Dr., Bear Mountain.
Also at 2 p.m., Sen. Tony Avella and Assemblyman Edward Braunstein officially announce the passage of legislation in the Senate and Assembly expanding the J-51 tax abatement program for middle class co-op and condo owners, Glen Oaks Oval, 260th St., Glen Oaks, Queens.
At 3 p.m., LG Kathy Hochul makes an announcement during Brooklyn Tech’s commencement, Barclay Center, 620 Atlantic Ave., Brooklyn.
At 4 p.m., Cuomo takes another motorcycle break to deliver remarks at DEC Regional Headquarters, 21 South Putt Corners Rd., New Paltz.
At 4:30 p.m., the CUNY Board of Trustees holds a public meeting, Baruch College Vertical Campus Rm 14-220, 55 Lexington Ave., Manhattan.
At 6 p.m., the Senate Task Force on Lyme and Tick-Borne Diseases meets “to continue to focus on improved prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of these diseases to better protect the health of New York residents,”
Also at 6 p.m., James will host another in her screenings of of “Making a Killing: Guns, Greed and the NRA,” John Jay College of Criminal Justice, 524 West 59th St., Manhattan.
At 6:30 p.m., the NYC Rent Guidelines Board holds a public meeting to finalize and vote on proposed rent guidelines effective October 1, 2016 through September 30, 2017. (Supporters and advocates from the Rent Justice Coalition rally the board’s final vote; participants include NYC Council members Helen Rosenthal, Ben Kallos and Rosie Mendez, and Assembylman Richard Gottfried, Plaza at East 7th St. and 3rd Ave., Manhattan).
Also at 6:30 p.m., NYC Councilwoman Helen Rosenthal and Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer host reception in support of James, 225 West 83rd St., Manhattan.
At 7:20 p.m., de Blasio will appear live on MSNBC’s Hardball with Chris Matthews.
Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton joined the annual gay pride parade in Manhattan yesterday afternoon, making a surprise appearance alongside NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio, Gov. Andrew Cuomo, and the Rev. Al Sharpton.
Clinton did not speak at the event, smiling and waving and occasionally venturing to the police barricades to shake hands. But her presence resonated, attendees said, communicating a measure of solidarity in a wrenching moment after the Orlando massacre.
Edie Windsor, lead plaintiff in United States v. Windsor, a landmark gay marriage case decided by the U.S. Supreme Court, explained why she’s voting for Clinton.
Weeks of provocative and outlandish behavior have hurt presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s standing in two new national polls of registered voters, which showed him falling further behind Clinton.
Trump won’t be on the ballot in tomorrow’s congressional primaries, but that has not stopped many of the Democratic contenders from using his face and most incendiary statements in their campaign mailings.
CNN anchor Chris Cuomo crashed his 1969 Pontiac Firebird convertible in Southampton recently when, sources said, he was drag racing. But a friend of the anchor insisted Cuomo was just goofing around for photos before he clumsily cracked his radiator by hitting a parked car.
Manhattan US Attorney Preet Bharara used the bright spotlight of national TV to put de Blasio and Cuomo on notice yesterday that he expects to uncover proof of official wrongdoing in both of their administrations.
“We have found that corruption is rife in a lot of institutions in New York and throughout New York,” Bharara said on ABC’s “This Week.” “That’s true in the Legislature. It’s also the case that there’s corruption, we believe, in the executive branches as well, and we’ll ferret it out wherever we can find it.”
The state’s economic development authority is tripling the amount of money it’s spending to deal with a federal probe of the Cuomo administration’s Buffalo Billion, documents show.
De Blasio has introduced few large-scale policies this year that will drive his 2017 re-election bid, raising concerns among some aides and Democratic allies.
NYPD Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association President Patrick Lynch sent a letter Friday to the governor asking that he intervene in a fight with de Blasio over a union push to provide newer cops the same disability benefits as older ones.
A bill passed by the state Legislature and headed to Cuomo’s desk requires written consent from a spouse or next of kin before NYC officials can release an unclaimed body to a medical school, unless the deceased is already registered as a body donor.
Another bill passed unanimously in both houses would narrow the definition of a safety-net hospital and instruct the state health commissioner to raise reimbursement rates for hospitals that meet the new criteria.
Cuomo, with Senate IDC Leader Jeff Klein in tow, last week visited three cities to tout the signing of a bill to hold banks responsible for the upkeep of abandoned properties. Some eyebrows were raised that Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who has made zombie properties a top priority in recent years, was not invited to the events.
Judy Rapfogel, the former chief of staff to disgraced former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, has reportedly found a new job working for a real estate company in New Jersey.
Jun 26th - 2:34 pm
Gov. Andrew Cuomo has announced the creation of a New York City monument to honor the LGBT community, the victims of the Orlando nightclub shooting and all victims of hate crimes.
The state has identified two potential locations for the memorial, including Battery Park City, overlooking the Statue of Liberty, or Chelsea Piers on the western edge of the Greenwich Village. A memorial commission will provide recommendations about the site.
“Orlando did not happen in a vacuum,” Cuomo said before today’s gay pride parade in Manhattan. “We have no tolerance for those who would discriminate against any of us by race, color, nationality, gender or sexual identity. That’s who we are and that is how we live.”
Cuomo will hit the road alongside music icon Billy Joel in a statewide motorcycle ride to raise awareness about breast cancer. The governor will begin the ride tomorrow morning in Kings Park, on Long Island.
Hillary Clinton leads Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential race, two new polls of registered voters show – but they differ on the size of her advantage.
Clinton’s campaign is out with a new ad slamming Trump’s response to Britain’s historic vote to leave the European Union. “Every president is tested by world events, but Donald Trump thinks about how his golf resort can profit from them,” the ad states.
George W. Bush’s former treasury secretary has publicly endorsed Clinton, saying that a Trump presidency would be “unthinkable.”
In a double blow to Trump, Paulson’s comments came as George Will, a prominent conservative columnist, announced he was quitting the Republican party in protest.
Clinton’s presidential campaign released a video in celebration of Pride Month. It includes appearances by staffers, volunteers and supporters sharing coming out stories, calls for LGBT equality and testimonials in support of the Democratic presidential hopeful.
Clinton supporters have a chance to score Broadway’s hottest ticket with a special fundraising performance of “Hamilton,” scheduled as an extra matinee on July 12.
A draft of the Democratic Party’s policy positions reflects the influence of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign: endorsing steps to break up large Wall Street banks, advocating a $15 hourly wage, urging an end to the death penalty.
Sanders will vote for Clinton, but still hasn’t ended his campaign – officially speaking – or formally endorsed her.
Meet Hope Hicks, Trump’s improbably gatekeeper and spokeswoman, who is arguably the least credentialed press secretary in the modern history of presidential politics. That doesn’t bother her boss a bit.
Dogged by scandals and partisan bickering, state lawmakers passed the fewest number of bills in the past four years, a slowdown that state Capitol observers worry will have far-reaching consequences. Cuomo has signed fewer bills on average each year (655) than any other governor in the past century, a number that will further drop this year.
Fred LeBrun: “The political culture in Albany is finally tuned to vulnerability, and with a pending federal investigation threatening to blow up his administration, Cuomo is not the tower of power he was even months ago.”
The City of Niagara Falls sent 30 cease and desist letters to people hosting “illegal,” or unregistered, B&Bs – all of them Airbnb users. Officials are examining the city’s code, which doesn’t explicitly address Airbnb, to determine if it requires updates or simply stricter enforcement.
The FBI had offered $50,000 in reward money for the capture of James C. Kopp, who fled to Europe after assassinating Dr. Barnett Slepian, the Amherst abortion provider. But none of the four French people involved in Kopp’s arrest received any reward money.
More than three years after Cuomo announced millions in state funding for an affordable-housing project in the storm-ravaged village of Schoharie, its doors are still not open.
Frank Bruni says Rep. Hakeem Jeffries is one of 14 young Democrats to watch across the country.
Thousands of New York City residents who are H.I.V.-positive will become eligible for public assistance for housing, transportation and food under a significant expansion of a state program that some activists had feared was being delayed.
One year after NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio publicly unloaded on Cuomo for what he said was the deliberate thwarting of his agenda — an act of “revenge,” according to the mayor — the relationship between the state’s two highest Democrats is worse than ever.
While some state lawmakers have hailed the recent passage of new ethics measures, others along with government watchdogs say the state Legislature didn’t take a big enough step to address political corruption.
A super PAC supporting state Sen. Adriano Espaillat in Tuesday’s Democratic congressional primary for retiring Rep. Charles Rangel’s seat suggests suppression of white and black voters can help the Dominican-born candidate win. More here.
Both Espaillat and Wright said they want federal officials to monitor the voting in their primary, claiming black and Latino voters may be inappropriately barred from voting.
NYC firefighters and medics will take their first “Trans 101″ course on Tuesday, learning the correct way to interact with transgender people — and even getting a lesson in what LGTBQI actually stands for, a city official said.
The Federal Communications Commission must pave the way in New York to allow users to text 911 dispatchers during emergencies, U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer said.
U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand visited a historic home in Fayetteville to unveil a bipartisan bill aimed at promoting education about the women’s suffrage movement on the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment giving women the right to vote.
Cuba has denied visas to U.S. Rep. John Katko and a delegation from the House Homeland Security Committee that wanted to visit this weekend to inspect airport security.
A lack of staff to train air traffic controllers means it can take six years — twice the norm — for the new hires to become fully certified at the busiest U.S. control facilities, according to industry experts and government reports.
Cuomo announced that B.A.S.S. Elite Series will once again bring the premier fishing tournament back to New York State in 2017. It will take place in the Village of Waddington on the St. Lawrence River.
The president of the Public Employees Federation has banished one of the union’s vice presidents from its day-to-day operations and told her to return to her state job.
Former Senate Democratic Leader John Sampson, who will be sentenced July 22 on embezzlement charges, requested that the court allow him to drive his daughter to a high-school basketball tournament in Maryland. The request was granted, reluctantly.
The U.S. Supreme Court is set to issue its first major opinion on abortion in nearly 10 years on Monday, closing out a tumultuous term marred by the absence of one its judges.
Jun 24th - 5:19 am
Gov. Andrew Cuomo is in New York City with no public schedule.
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders returns to upstate today, delivering a version of “where do we go from here” speech in Albany and a campaign stop in Syracuse with NY-24 candidate Eric Kingson.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio will travel to Indianapolis to attend the 84th annual U.S. Conference of Mayors, where he will receive an award at the Mayors Climate Protection Awards Luncheon and chair a Cities of Opportunity Task Force Meeting with Boston Mayor Marty Walsh.
At 9 a.m., CUNY Chancellor James Milliken receives Education Update’s Distinguished Leader in Education Award presented by Luis Miranda, Jr., Harvard Club. 35 W. 44th St., Manhattan.
At 10 a.m., U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand will speak at a Special Executive Forum at the Long Island Association at the organization’s headquarters in Melville, Long Island.
Also at 10 a.m., NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton will preside over promotions, 1 Police Plaza, auditorium, Manhattan.
At 10:30 a.m., LG Kathy Hochul highlights Cuomo’s commitment to New York/Cuba relations during a Harlem/Havana Music & Cultural Festival Announcement, Sylvia’s Also, 318 Malcolm X Blvd., Manhattan. (Rep. Charlie Rangel and others are also scheduled to attend).
At 11 a.m., advocates for people with developmental disabilities, including #bFair2DirectCare members, and elected officials hold a press conference to highlight the “300 Days to Better Pay” campaign and call for funding increase in the state budget for wages for underpaid staff, Nassau County Supreme Court Building, 100 Supreme Court Dr., Mineola.
Also at 11 a.m., during Pollinator Awareness Week, the DEC and Agriculture and Markets announce the formal recommendations of the New York State Pollinator Task Force to protect and grow the declining pollinator population, Cornell University’s Dyce Lab, 209 Freese Rd., Ithaca.
At noon, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams holds a ceremony to wrap Brooklyn Borough Hall in a rainbow ribbon, Brooklyn Borough Hall, 209 Joralemon St., Brooklyn.
Also at noon, de Blasio receives an award at the Mayors Climate Protection Awards Luncheon, JW Marriott, Ballroom 5/6 – 3rd Floor, 10 South West St., Indianapolis, IN.
At 1 p.m., Sanders delivers a speech, Lewis A. Swyer Theatre, Empire State Plaza, Albany.
At 2:30 p.m., de Blasio chairs a Cities of Opportunity Task Force Meeting, JW Marriott, Grand Ballroom 7 – 3rd Floor, 10 South West St., Indianapolis, IN.
At 3:30 p.m., Assemblywoman Claudia Tenney, a GOP candidate in NY-22, will host a press conference at her Broome County campaign HQ to announce an endorsement and address the “million dollar smear campaign being run against her,” 115 Upper Front St., Binghamton.
At 7 p.m., Sanders headlines a rally for Eric Kingson, one of three Democrats competing in next week’s NY-24 primary for the right to take on freshmen GOP Rep. John Katko in November, Oncenter Convention Center Ballroom, 800 S. State St., Syracuse.
Cameron, who had urged the country to vote to remain in the EU, said he would attempt to “steady the ship” over the coming weeks and months, but that “fresh leadership” was needed after the vote. He’ll likely leave by October, though he set no certain date for his departure.
World financial markets were rocked by the “Brexit” vote, with stock markets and oil prices crashing and the pound hitting its lowest level in three decades.
Arriving at a golf course he owns in Scotland one day after the vote, presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump hailed the Brexit decision, saying voters “took back their country; it’s a great thing.”
An ongoing dispute over public space at Trump Tower took another turn yesterday when New York City officials fined the candidate $10,000 after his representatives failed to show up at a hearing to explain why a bench remained missing.
Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine is emerging as the leading candidate atop Hillary Clinton’s vice presidential short list, according to Democratic allies and operatives close to the campaign. Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and HUD Secretary Julian Castro are also top prospects for the Democratic ticket.
Clinton failed to turn over a copy of a key message involving problems caused by her use of a private homebrew email server, the State Department confirmed. The disclosure makes it unclear what other work-related emails may have been deleted by the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee.
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders vowed during a speech in New York City to continue his fight to transform the Democratic Party and the nation, saying political campaigns come and go, but “political and social revolutions continue.”
The nation’s highest court left in place a lower court ruling halting President Obama’s executive action, which would have affected as many as 4 million illegal immigrants, many of whom are parents of legal citizens, granting them work permits and deferred deportation.
More than 220,000 immigrant New Yorkers will remain unable to benefit from Obama’s immigration executive order, which would have protected millions of parents of U.S. citizens across the country from deportation and granted them work permits under a program known as as Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents, or DAPA.
The acquittal of a Baltimore police officer charged with murder and six other crimes in the death of Freddie Gray has dealt a devastating blow to the prosecution, legal experts say, and raises questions about whether the state should press ahead with the trials of four other officers.
Despite a 25-hour sit-in by House Democrats, lawmakers in the chamber remain deeply divided over gun control, and no votes on the issue were taken.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed into law a measure designed to put more pressure on banks that neglect either so-called “zombie” homes, or vacant homes they hold the mortgage on.
The new law requires banks to take responsibility for abandoned homes. If banks do not maintain the property, they face a $500 fine each day the property is not maintained.
After state legislators overwhelmingly passed a bill to decriminalize small folding knives, Cuomo is debating whether or not to sign the legislation. “It’s a bill that we’re reviewing, but there are two sides to the story,” the governor said.
One of Western New York’s two medical marijuana dispensaries is cutting its hours in half, the latest sign of serious problems with the program described as the most restrictive in the nation.
Jun 23rd - 5:32 pm
Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio criticized today’s U.S. Supreme Court deadlock on President Obama’s immigration plan that sought to shield millions living in the country illegally from deportation, effectively killing it for the rest of his presidency.
Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton called the deadlock “heartbreaking,” while Obama expressed his disappointment and said that “leaving the broken system the way it is…that’s not a solution.”
Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump tweeted that the ruling “kept us safe from exec amnesty — for now,” but he also faulted Clinton for pledging “to expand it, taking jobs from Hispanic & African-American workers.”
The ruling also will have a profound local health impact, blocking hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers from a chance at health insurance.
The Supreme Court also rejected a challenge to a race-conscious admissions program at the University of Texas at Austin, handing supporters of affirmative action a major victory.
Days after he was fired as Trump’s campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski was hired by CNN.
Nearly a year after he held an extraordinary press conference in City Hall to denounce his one-time boss Cuomo as “vindictive,” de Blasio said he had no regrets about his public criticisms of the state’s top Democrat.
De Blasio railed against the high-ranking NYPD officers busted for being “cops on call” for two deep-pocketed mayoral donors, but also made it clear that none of their shenanigans started under his watch, or under Police Commissioner Bill Bratton.
Bratton vowed to keep a this weekend’s Pride celebrations safe, but said the NYPD didn’t owe the LGBT community an apology for the 1969 raid of the Stonewall Inn that spurred the modern gay rights movement.
After more than 24 hours of sitting on the House floor, Democratic lawmakers ended their sit-in without managing to force a vote on gun control measures.
Eighteen of the 20 uniformed and civilian employees whose laziness, incompetence and dereliction who were cited in the state IG’s report for enabling two convicted killers to escape from Clinton Correctional Facility last summer are still on the job and won’t be criminally prosecuted.
Just days before three Republicans face off in a primary for his seat, retiring Rep. Richard Hanna said that Cazenovia businessman Steve Wells is the best chance Republicans have to hold onto his seat in Congress when he departs.
Wegmans has reversed a decision by a store in Virginia to refuse service to a group of former Muslims.
Jun 23rd - 5:32 am
Gov. Andrew Cuomo is in Onondaga and Suffolk Counties and New York City.
Voters in Britain today decide whether the country should exit the EU, (AKA “Brexit”).
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders delivers a “where do we go from here” speech in NYC today. He’ll be in New York tomorrow, too, headlining a rally for NY-24 candidate Eric Kingson.
At 8:30 a.m., the board of the New York City Office of School Support Services holds a public meeting, 255 Greenwich St., 8th Floor, Room 8-S1S2, Manhattan.
At 10 a.m., Cuomo signs legislation to combat so-called “zombie properties” in New York, 208 Hazard St., Solvay.
Also at 10 a.m., NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio will appear live on WNYC’s the Brian Lehrer Show, and will take calls from listeners.
At 11 a.m., LG Kathy Hochul convenes a meeting of the Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council, Monroe Community College, Flynn Campus Center, 1000 East Henrietta Rd., Rochester.
Also at 11 a.m., World Trade Center developer Larry Silverstein joins over 500 union construction workers and ublic officials, business leaders and representatives from the local community at a topping out ceremony for the 1,079-foot tall 3 World Trade Center tower, Manhattan.
Also at 11 a.m., Sen. James Sanders Jr., Cuomo, Queens Borough President Melinda Katz and Assemblywoman Vivian Cook sponsor an “Are You Ready for the Next Hurricane Sandy?” Citizen Preparedness Corps Training Program, Brooks Senior Center, 143-22 109th Ave., Queens.
At 11:15 a.m., de Blasio and NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton will host a press conference to discuss the upcoming NYC Pride March and public safety, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center, Room 101, 208 West 13th St., Manhattan.
At 12:30 p.m., Hochul highlights Cuomo’s economic development progress during an address to the Rochester Rotary, Rochester Convention Center, Highland Ballroom, 123 East Main St., Rochester.
At 1:15 p.m., Cuomo holds another ceremonial bill signing for the zombie property legislation, Educational Alliance’s Manny Cantor Center, 197 East Broadway, Manhattan.
At 2 p.m., Hochul makes an announcement with SiGNa Chemistry, Eastman Business Park, Building 218, Entrance Gate 206, near 933 West Ridge Rd., Rochester.
At 3 p.m., Sen. Toby Ann Stavisky hosts a press legislative roundtable discussion at her district office, 142-29 37th Ave., Flushing., Queens.
At 3:50 p.m., Cuomo holds a third bill signing ceremony for the zombie property legislation, IBEW Local 25,370 Motor Pkwy., Hauppauge, Long Island.
At 6 p.m., Sen. Michael Gianaris joins members of the Campaign for Alternatives to Isolated Confinement to call for passage of the HALT Solitary Act and urge Cuomo to end the torture of solitary confinement, 30th Avenue and 30th Street, Queens.
Also at 6 p.m., NYC Public Advocate Tish James hosts the first of two New York screenings of “Making a Killing: Guns, Greed, and NRA,” as part of a series of hundreds of screenings taking place across the United States, Old First Reformed Church, 729 Carroll St., Brooklyn.
At 6:45 p.m., Hochul delivers the JFK Senior High School commencement address, 305 Cayuga Creek Rd., Cheektowaga.
At 7 p.m., Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders delivers a speech, The Town Hall, 123 W 43rd St., Manhattan.
Also at 7 p.m., NYC Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer attends de Blaso and First Lady Chirlane McCray’s LGBT Pride Month celebration, Queens Museum, Flushing Meadows Corona Park, New York City Building, Meridian Road, Queens.
House Democrats demanded but didn’t get a vote on gun control legislation despite an hours-long sit-in on the House floor.
Republicans adjourned the House at 3:15 a.m. until after July 4th after Speaker Paul Ryan took the remarkable step of calling a vote on a major appropriations bill in the wee hours and without any debate., but Democrats were still at it well after 4 a.m.
With the cameras it uses to cover Congress shut off by the Republicans, C-SPAN turned to social media feeds to beam live coverage of the House Democrats’ protest to the public.
The DCCC employed the sit-in as a fundraising tool.
Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump unleashed a series of blistering attacks on Democrat Hillary Clinton on as he sought to regain his footing in the race, calling her “the most corrupt person ever to seek the presidency.” She returned fire, saying his personal attacks demonstrate he has no real policy proposals.
Trump’s New York co-chair, Carl Paladino, slammed Ryan, calling him a “screwball” for criticizing some of the presumptive GOP presidential nominee’s controversial statements.
Senate Republicans not only stuck it to NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio on mayoral control of the public schools, but also handed a victory to his nemesis, Success Academy charter school network founder Eva Moskowitz by allowing charters to hire more uncertified teachers.
The de Blasio administration, eager to learn how other global cities are confronting the regulatory challenges posed by so-called “sharing economy” stalwarts like Uber and Airbnb, is planning to host a global gathering on the topic next May.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo doesn’t believe that holding a special legislative session later this year to close a notorious campaign finance loophole or restrict lawmakers’ outside income would be productive.
Cuomo appears to have given up on the state Legislature taking action to close the notorious LLC loophole, which allows wealthy donors to subvert campaign finance laws by creating multiple limited liability corporations that can each give more than $60,000 to a candidate’s campaign.
Even as it sets ambitious goals for renewable energy, Cuomo’s administration still views natural gas as an essential part of the state’s energy mix, according to recent filings with the Public Service Commission.
The governor said he “can’t see anything but good” in Tesla purchasing SolarCity, which officials say won’t impact the Riverbend project in Buffalo.
In the final hours of their annual session, the Assembly and Senate last week quietly passed a handful of spending measures that steered $56 million to 1,675 pet projects across the state, according to the Empire Center for Public Policy.
Jun 22nd - 5:05 pm
Led by Georgia Rep. John Lewis, veteran civikl rights advocate, Dozens of House Democrats staged a “sit-in” on the House floor today in protest of GOP leadership’s refusal to allow a vote on a gun control measure following the Orlando massacre. When the Republicans killed the cameras in the chamber, Democrats responded by streaming their effort live on their own cell phones.
Donald Trump moderated his tone even as he doubled down on the substance of his attacks on Hillary Clinton, accusing the former Secretary of State of outright corruption, suggesting she could be blackmailed as president and quoting a supporter who said she should go to prison.
As both parties head into their conventions with an eye towards the general election, it appears that unless the presumptive Republican nominee is willing to sell his most valuable holdings, he has nowhere near enough cash to fully self fund his campaign.
LG Kathy Hochul, who has criss-crossed the state since joining with Gov. Andrew Cuomo in 2014, has added another level to her portfolio: pitching New York to foreign companies.
In what is believed to be a first for the Buffalo Common Council, lawmakers are preparing to subpoena a New York City investor they say ignored their past invitations to discuss the run-down church building he owns.
State lawmakers passed a bill last week allowing funeral homes to serve non-alcoholic beverages and small food items like sandwiches, baked goods and platters. If signed by Cuomo, the measure would put an end to a decades-long ban, which has long been part of state Department of Health regulations.
Taxi medallion owners, who in 2013 were part of an industry that gave NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign donations, say he is betraying them by capitulating to Uber on wheelchair accessibility.
State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced a settlement with the sandwich chain Jimmy John’s in which the company will stop including non-compete agreements in hiring packets it sends to franchisees.
The MTA has backed away from its plan to deploy eight of its own officers in the subway system to combat a spike in sex crimes – one day after Cuomo released a stern letter directing the agency to beef up patrol on subways.
U.S. Sens. Chuck Schumer and Bob Casey (of Pennsylvania) plan to introduce legislation requiring the federal government to notify Americans before their 65th birthday of their need to enroll in Medicare or face fines that last their lifetimes.
Ticketmaster is giving away free concert tickets to music fans after settling a $400 million class action lawsuit for ripping off users – but not to any shows in Syracuse.
Union officials and county lawmakers called on Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone to get personally involved in negotiations with deputy sheriffs and probation officers, who have been without contracts for six years.