Liz Benjamin

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Here and Now

Happy New Year (Shana Tova!) to those of you who celebrate.

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

At 10 a.m., LG Kathy Hochul convenes a forum to discuss implementation of laws to combat heroin addiction and opioid abuse in WNY, Horizon Health Services, 699 Hertel Ave., Buffalo.

At 11 a.m., Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan will release her 2017 budget, City Hall, 24 Eagle St., Albany.

Also at 11 a.m., Sen. Andrew Lanza, Assemblyman Michael Cusick and City Council members Steve Matteo, Debi Rose and Joe Borelli make an announcement on property tax exemption legislation for New York City veterans, Marine Corps League 246th Detachment, 46 Ontario Ave., Staten Island.

Also at 11 a.m., NYC Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer, Community Board 2 and residents announce that the City Council secured funding to purchase and renovate the former Phipps playground in Sunnyside and turn it into a public park, 50th Street and 39th Avenue, Queens.

At noon, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio and NYPD Commissioner O’Neill will host a press conference to discuss crime statistics, One Police Plaza, Manhattan.

At 1 p.m., Hochul hosts a women’s leadership roundtable with members of the Amherst Chamber of Commerce and National Association of Women’s Business Owners, Phillips Lytle, 125 Main St., Buffalo.

At 1:30 p.m., Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney joins Orange County Executive Steve Neuhaus and Assemblymen Frank Skartados and James Skoufis to announce new federal legislation to halt a U.S. Coast Guard proposal to expand mooring infrastructure on the Hudson River between Kingston and Yonkers, 2 Washington St., Newburgh.

At 6 p.m., supporters of state Sen. Jack Martins’ congressional campaign host a fundraiser, The Davenport Press, 70 Main St., Mineola.

At 9 p.m., the documentary “Governor Mario Cuomo: Poetry & Prose,” which features an interview with Gov. Andrew Cuomo, premieres, WMHT-TV.


NBA star LeBron James endorsed Clinton for president, praising her in an op-ed in an Akron, Ohio, newspaper for her record on children and education.

Donald Trump’s campaign lurched between refusing to acknowledge that the 1995 tax records, portions of which were published on Saturday night by The New York Times, were bona fide, to insisting that his not having paid taxes for nearly two decades was evidence of his unrivaled business prowess.

Former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani: “Don’t you think a man who has this kind of economic genius is a lot better for the United States than a woman, and the only thing she’s ever produced is a lot of work for the FBI checking out her emails?”

Clinton told a black congregation in North Carolina yesterday morning that her own grandchildren will never feel the fear that many African-American children do because they are white and privileged.

Trump’s talk about trying to compete in his homestate of New York seems to be a lot of hot air. With just over a month to go in the race, the GOP nominee has done no real campaigning in the state since the April GOP primary, and few now expect that he will.

Barbara Bush, a daughter of former President George W. Bush and first lady Laura Bush, attended a Clinton fundraiser in Paris Saturday night, posing for a photo with the candidate’s longtime aide, Huma Abedin.

Libertarian nominee Gary Johnson is getting some much-needed support in his home state – so much so that Nate Silver says it’s “plausible” New Mexico may just go his way in the November election, which would deadlock the Electoral College between Clinton and Trump.

Giuliani was invited to a financial services trade group’s award dinner last week to speak about leadership, but instead delivered a political speech that strayed so far from that topic the group felt it necessary to apologize to its guests.

Trump reportedly judged female contestants on “The Apprentice” by their business deals, breast size and sexual finesse.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo, DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos were joined by members of the media yesterday on motor boats to observe the Hudson River water outside Indian Point for oil sheens near the power plant in Buchanan.

SUNY Board of Trustees Chairman Carl McCall is not ruling out cleaning house at SUNY Polytechnic Institute as a result of the bid-rigging scandals that led to the arrest of the college’s president and nine other associates of Cuomo.

A week after federal and state corruption charges ensnared top New York developers and current and former state officials, watchdog groups reaffirmed their demands for more oversight.

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio padded the city payroll with 264 “special assistants” during the past fiscal year — a more than 140 percent increase over his predecessor.

Commuters face crowded NJ Transit trains and shuttle buses on this morning’s commute as workers keep clearing debris from the site of last week’s crash.

A black box found in the wreckage of the Hoboken train that crashed last week was not working — and the engineer can’t recall any details about the accident, investigators said.

The engineer, Thomas Gallagher, said he felt well rested and was unaware of any mechanical problems in the moments before the accident.

Gallagher also said the train was traveling at about 10 miles per hour when entering the station, countering reports of extremely high speed.

More >

The Weekend That Was

Donald Trump declared a $916 million loss on his 1995 income tax returns, a tax deduction so substantial it could have allowed him to legally avoid paying any federal income taxes for up to 18 years, records obtained by The New York Times show.

Trump surrogates New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and former New York City Mayor Rudy Guiliani defended the GOP nominee for having not paid his taxes, repeatedly calling him a “genius.”

Giuliani answered the charge that he faces accusations of infidelity by saying it’s not just him. “Everybody does,” he said, adding: “And I’m a Roman Catholic, and I confess those things to my priest. But I’ve never ever attacked someone who’s been the victim…of sexual abuse. Not only that, I put people in jail who’ve been the victim of sexual abuse.”

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton had her best fundraising month so far in the election, raising $84 million for her campaign and another $70 million in joint Democratic Party funds in September.

Trump suggested during a rally in Pennsylvania that Clinton was not “loyal” to her husband, former President Bill Clinton, an insinuation about their relationship that plunged the 2016 presidential race further into a personal battle.

Audio of Clinton addressing donors at a Virginia fundraiser back in February has surfaced and is gaining attention because of how she describes Bernie Sanders’ supporters, and Trump and his campaign have jumped on the story in an effort to bring the Vermont senator’s backers to their side.

Clinton told donors at the fundraiser that Sanders’ “ideas are indefensible,” claiming the middle-class tax increases they require would be both bad policy and a political loser.

Sanders said he agrees with Clinton’s characterization of his young supporters, whom the former secretary of state described as “living in their parents’ basement” after buying into a “false promise” in the wake of the Great Recession.

Clinton’s campaign mocked Trump over revelations that he appeared in a Playboy adult film in 2000, after he berated former Miss Universe Alicia Machado on Friday and told people to watch her alleged “sex tape.”

Lin-Manuel Miranda, creator of the smash hit “Hamilton,” is performing at a “Stronger Together” fund-raiser for Clinton Oct. 17 — with some star-studded support. Chelsea Clinton will be a special guest and Billy Crystal will play host.

NJ Transit underwent a Federal Railroad Administration audit earlier this year to examine the system’s safety protocols, and authorities found dozens of violations, according to an official familiar with the matter.

The U.S. Supreme Court is set to begin its new term as it ended the last one, down one justice and ideologically deadlocked on a range of issues. The absence of a ninth justice since Antonin Scalia’s death in February has hamstrung the court in several cases and forced the justices to look for less contentious issues on which they are less likely to divide by 4-4 votes.

When Mayor Byron Brown found himself facing allegations of a pay-to-play scheme at City Hall, he turned to one of Buffalo’s most respected defense lawyers. Six years and $645,341 later, the high-profile lawsuit against the mayor and city drags on, though Brown has a new attorney.

Complaints about unsupervised children who went missing from school buildings, buses and field trips or were left unattended surged to 457 last year — nearly twice the 279 cases reported in 2014, the office of the Special Commissioner of Investigation for city schools told The NY Post.

Crews at the Indian Point nuclear plant Saturday in Westchester County were continuing cleanup efforts after an undetermined amount of oil spilled into a drainage canal leading to the Hudson River.

“There is no reason for neighbors to be of concern – to be concerned about this,” Cuomo said. “There is no evidence that the oil leak made it to the Hudson River but that is something we checked (Friday) and we will continue to check throughout the weekend.”

Amid tears and the mournful wail of bagpipes, thousands gathered Saturday to say goodbye to Michael Fahy, the battalion chief at the Fire Department of New York who was killed earlier this week when he was crushed by debris from a home that exploded in the Bronx.

Felony bid-rigging charges filed Sept. 22 against SUNY Poly President Alain Kaloyeros, lobbyist Todd Howe and developers in other upstate cities have brought a new round of scrutiny to the college’s shadowy contracting practices as Cuomo’s administration scrambles to reconfigure who oversees the state’s major economic development projects.

Private emails exchanged by top Cuomo officials, documenting the alleged influence peddling, might never have been made public without the coordinated corruption and bribery probes by U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara of Manhattan and state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. Their separate but coordinated investigations snared multiple business executives and three politically connected operatives.

Cuomo says he’s taking over economic development projects from SUNY Polytechnic Institute in the wake of a corruption scandal — but legally it may not be so easy to do. Such a move is going to require negotiations not only between the state and two private nonprofit entities tied to SUNY Poly that oversee the projects, but also the companies with whom they have contracted.

The Democrat & Chronicle: “It is time to get mad. We don’t mean the shake your head, throw up your hands, and complain over a beer kind of mad. We aren’t referring to the “toss ’em all out of Albany” posts on Facebook kind of mad.”

The NY Post: “Cuomo is belatedly promising reforms to state procurement processes — now that several of his close allies have been indicted on federal and state charges, including bribery and bid-rigging on facilities that SUNY nonprofits built in Albany, Buffalo and Syracuse.”

Cuomo has vetoed legislation to require the state study the high job vacancy and turnover rates among caregivers for developmentally disabled New Yorkers and what’s needed to fix them.

Toxin from blue-green algae has been found in treated drinking water from one of New York’s Finger Lakes. But concentrations in Owasco Lake, which supplies 50,000 customers in Cayuga County, were below levels classified by the federal government as dangerous. No ill effects are expected in people who consumed the water.

The governor signed legislation that allows Yonkers to create a new authority to oversee its $2 billion reconstruction of the city schools. The state Legislature approved the bill in the waning days of the session in June after months of wrangling over how to address the district’s crumbling infrastructure.

More than half of the children in Buffalo – 54 percent – lived in poverty in 2015, up 7 percentage points from the year before, according to new census estimates from the federal government.

A power struggle among Albany County Democrats this week has resulted in a new chairman — who was then fired from his Board of Elections job — and new worries for the future of the county’s long-dominant party.

Airbnb is fighting back against a coalition that claims the site gobbles up cheap apartments, calling the group a front for the hospitality industry because it hasn’t tried to stop the spate of hotel conversions also exacerbating the housing crisis.

U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer says many 911 centers use outdated technology that is vulnerable to terrorists or hackers who could overwhelm the system, preventing 911 dispatchers from responding to actual emergency calls.

The Buffalo nursing home where an 82-year-old woman suffered fatal injuries in a beating in late August has been cited for four deficiencies by the state Health Department, and the operators’ plan to correct the problems has been rejected.

The police lieutenant who shot himself in the stomach Friday was recently visited by the feds in the NYPD corruption investigation — making him the second cop in five months to turn his weapon on himself after being drawn into the probe.

Off-duty NYPD cops who patrol in uniform inside city stadiums and other high-risk public venues have been sidelined, after the venues like Yankee Stadium and Madison Square Garden could not come to an agreement over liability issues.

The Suffolk Independence Party is giving its ballot line to Republican Rep. Lee Zeldin over its former party member, Anna Throne-Holst, who switched parties to run as a Democrat in the First Congressional District.

Police Chief Brendan Cox and civil rights leader Alice Green flew to Europe today to discuss their collaboration on a program that diverts low-level criminals from jail and into treatment for addiction and mental illness.

Nassau Republicans have selected Louis Imbroto, an attorney for Nassau University Medical Center, to run in next month’s special election to fill the seat of the late Democratic County Legislator Judith Jacobs.

The first group of outside contractors participating in a privatization of state agency computer help desk functions are set to arrive tomorrow.

New York continues to lead the nation in Zika cases, with 811 people testing positive for the mosquito-borne virus, according to figures released Friday by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

New York has awarded more than $440,000 in grants for 10 projects to help communities protect water quality and habitats in the Hudson River watershed. The DEC says the money will support the 150-mile estuary from Troy to New York Harbor.


It turns out Donald Trump was right about there being issues with his mic during Monday’s debate, but what those issues were, specifically, has yet to be revealed.

“Regarding the first debate, there were issues regarding Donald Trump’s audio that affected the sound level in the debate hall,” the Commission on Presidential Debates said in a statement.

Hillary Clinton is maintaining a 5-point lead over Trump, according to a new national Reuters/Ipsos tracking poll released today.

Trump can’t seem to stop talking about Alicia Machado, the Venezuelan 1996 Miss Universe.

The nominee said in a 1999 interview that he had a deal with his daughter Ivanka – then 17 years old – that he would not date anyone younger than her. “So as she grows older, the field is getting very limited.”

A member of The Wall Street Journal’s traditionally conservative editorial board has endorsed Clinton for president, calling her “eminently sane” and bashing Trump as the candidate of “white supremacists and swastika devotees.”

The National Transportation Safety Board is interviewing the engineer, Thomas Gallagher, 48, who was operating the commuter train that plowed into the Hoboken terminal Thursday morning, as investigators analyze one of two black boxes that was recovered from the wreckage, officials said.

Gallagher is cooperating with investigators. A blood test on him at the hospital tested negative for alcohol and drugs.

The conservative super PAC America Is Worth It is targeting U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer with a two-minute television ad that has been launched upstate, calling him the “chosen candidate” of the media.

Kenneth A. Kavajecz, a former Syracuse University dean, has denied agreeing to pay a deputy posing as a prostitute for sex.

New York is set to become the first city in the country with a major municipal program geared toward helping female filmmakers and theater-makers.

With a record number of 60,000 New Yorkers sleeping homeless shelters, Christine Quinn, the former NYC Council speaker who now runs nonprofit helping homeless women and children, said her onetime opponent Mayor Bill de Blasio had made progress but that there’s still work to be done.

NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer has not said definitively whether he will challenge de Blasio next year, but he has had lots of criticism for the mayor.

Attorney General Schneiderman is part of a multi-state settlement with a firm, now in bankruptcy, which allegedly exploited members of the military with high interest rates, lawsuits and even calls to their commanding officers if they had trouble collecting.

Though the mayor is a frequent critic, the NY Post is one of 72 different periodicals and publications that City Hall subscribed to this year, up from the 54 subscriptions the de Blasio administration listed in June of 2014.

Freshman Republican Sen. Sue Serino’s second TV ad of her re-election campaign focuses on her refusal to accept per diem payments for traveling to Albany.

The iconic Carnegie Deli in New York will close at the end of 2016, though locations elsewhere in the nation will remain open.

Here and Now

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

At 7:50 a.m., LG Kathy Hochul delivers opening remarks at the American Planning Association Conference, Hyatt Regency, Grand Ballroom B, 2 Fountain Plaza, Buffalo.

At 10 a.m., President and CEO of WIN Christine Quinn celebrates the topping-off of the largest supportive housing facility on the East Coast, 91 Junius St., Brooklyn.

At 11 a.m., Orange County Executive Steven Neuhaus hold the annual county budget address, Graham Skea Lodge at Thomas Bull Memorial Park, 211 Route 416, Montgomery.

At 1 p.m., NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer, Public Advocate Tish James, state Sen. Brad Hoylman and others attend a ceremony and reception recognizing Jane Schreibman, who notified authorities of the second bomb in Chelsea the night of Sept. 17, FIT, John E. Reeves Great Hall, West 28th Street and Seventh Avenue, Manhattan.

At 6 p.m., actress Scarlett Johansson and Stringer host a “New York for45” fundraiser in support of Clinton, Manhattan.

Also at 6 p.m., Sen. Adriano Espaillat and others attend and The Black Institute and the New York City Council Black, Latino and Asian caucus host a forum on access to credit and capital for MWBEs, RWDSU, 370 Seventh Ave., Manhattan.

Also at 6 p.m., Rep. Nydia Velazquez attends OCA-NY-Asian Pacific American Advocates, NY Chapter, 40th Anniversary Community Service & Leadership Awards Gala, Joy Luck Palace Restaurant, 98 Mott St., Manhattan.


A deadly New Jersey commuter train crash is the latest in a series of fatal passenger train accidents around the country.

Even before one of its trains crashed in Hoboken Terminal, killing one woman and injuring more than 100 others, New Jersey Transit was an agency in distress.

Thousands who rely on the Hoboken terminal in New Jersey may face longer than usual commutes and heavy crowds today as investigators try to determine why the train crashed into the station.

A man suspected of running a marijuana-growing operation in a house that exploded in the Bronx, killing a New York City fire chief, was charged with two counts of criminal possession of marijuana.

The train tragedy again brought together two unlikely political allies – Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who called off a trip to Israel due to the accident – and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. The duo has collaborated on numerous occasions in times of crisis.

Unlike Cuomo, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio did not cancel his plans due to the crash, heading to Oklahoma as planned for a two-day meeting of the US Conference of Mayors.

Lawyers for Bridget Anne Kelly, the former Christie aide accused of scheming to snarl traffic in the Bridgegate scandal as political payback, want to paint a picture of her for jurors as a hard-working single mom being hung out to dry by the former Port Authority exec who actually masterminded the plot.

In its 34-year history USA Today has not endorsed a candidate in a presidential election. Only once have they “disendorsed” a candidate – former KKK leader and white supremacist David Duke in 1991 when he ran for governor of Louisiana. That changed yesterday when the USA Today editorial board “disendorsed” Donald Trump.

The State Department has agreed to release an additional 1,850 pages of emails recovered by the Federal Bureau of Investigation from former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s private server before Election Day.

Clinton seized the moment on a new report alleging that Trump explored business opportunities in Cuba in the late 1990s, in an apparent violation of the U.S. trade embargo.

Trump’s charitable foundation – which has been sustained for years by donors outside the Trump family – has never obtained the certification that New York requires before charities can solicit money from the public, according to the state attorney general’s office.

Large and varied unions, which helped Clinton win her U.S. Senate race in New York in 2000, are dispatching members and retirees to nearby states that are in play and will determine if Clinton or Trump becomes the next president. And they are setting up both traditional and “virtual” phone banks to call union members elsewhere.

Former Florida gov. Jeb Bush repeatedly suggested voting for Libertarian Party nominee Gary Johnson at a private luncheon on this week, seemingly going further than his previous comments that he’d consider voting for Johnson.

In the wake of the latest public corruption scandal, Cuomo said his State of the State message next January will include a reform package that will provide more checks and balances when it comes to awarding state economic development contracts.

More >


A commuter train crashed into one of the busiest train stations in the New York area during the morning rush, killing at least one person, injuring more than 100 others and creating a scene of chaos and destruction.

Given the high speed of the train, the fact that there was only one fatality is a “blessing,” said Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Cuomo appeared at a joint press conference with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, and the duo said citizens could take some solace in at least one thing: the two of them work well together in times of crisis, despite their political differences.

Due to a mix up by Verizon, a 78-year-old retiree in Poughkeepsie is getting calls on his home phone for Donald Trump.

Hillary Clinton wrote in Fortune about what she learned from being a working mother. “(L)et’s be real. We still have a long way to go. Our policies just haven’t kept up with the challenges women and families face today.”

The practice among top Cuomo aides of calling one another “Herb” originated in former governor Mario Cuomo’s scheduling office, according to four former state officials, and is a reference to Herb London, one of the late governor’s opponents in the 1990 campaign.

The state will investigate the death of 6-year-old Harlem boy Zymere Perkins, Cuomo said.

Nassau Comptroller George Maragos announced that he has switched his registration from Republican to Democrat and will seek the party’s nomination for county executive next year.

Former Ohio Rep. Dennis Kucinich has sent complaints to the inspectors general of the U.S. Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency calling on them to investigate New York’s permitting process for Competitive Power Ventures’ gas-fired power plant project in Orange County.

The number of people sleeping in New York City homeless shelters has risen to nearly 60,000, according to an official city count released today, reviving questions about the effectiveness of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s policies to combat homelessness.

Good news for freshman Republican Rep. John Katko: The Cook Political Report changed its outlook for the NY-24 race from “tossup” to “leans Republican.”

The Legislature between October 2015 and March this year increased spending on mail to constituents by 7 percent compared to the same period in 2014, the last time lawmakers were on the ballot, state records reviewed by the USA Today Network’s Albany Bureau showed.

The regular Senate Democrats and the IDC have reached a détente of sorts – for the moment.

Republican Sen. Jack Martins, who is running for Congress in NY-3, asked the FEC to let him raise more campaign cash due to his now-cancelled primary.

For the second time this year, a court has blocked efforts by the state Public Service Commission to restrict energy sales by independent marketers that sell electricity and natural gas to residential customers.

Twenty-two New York locations have been nominated by the Cuomo administration for listing on the National Register of Historic Places.

Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino’s message to NYC Council members who won’t stand for the Pledge of Allegiance: “Get off your a**es and show respect.”

PolitifactNY says Cuomo’s recent statement about Buffalo having the most private sector jobs in its history today is true, though the data doesn’t prove his policies and economic development projects are responsible for the increase.

District Administrative Judge C. Randall Hinrichs has barred Suffolk’s traffic court from jailing defendants who don’t have an attorney without a review by a higher court judge, curtailing a practice that defense attorneys have complained violates motorists constitutional rights.

Deacon Lands WFP Line

From the Morning Memo:

Here’s some not-too-surprising, but nevertheless good news for Colleen Deacon, the Democrat challenging freshman Republican Rep. John Katko in NY-24 – one of the country’s most hotly contested congressional races:

The Working Families Party has decided to endorse the first-time candidate, putting her name on its ballot line in November instead of its current contender, labor lawyer Mimi Satter.

“We are thrilled to endorse Colleen Deacon for Congress,” New York WFP Political Director Ari Kamen said in an emailed statement that I received late last night. 

“Working families in Central New York deserve a member of Congress who fights for them, not the extreme GOP agenda,” Kamen continued. “And we look forward to supporting Colleen and urging voters to vote for her on the WFP line in November.”  

The WFP tapped Satter to hold its line while three Democrats – Deacon, SU professor Eric Kingson and Manlius and Syracuse lawyer and Navy veteran Steve Williams – battled it out in a primary.

Deacon, a former aide to U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and the DCCC’s preferred candidate in the race, won the June primary easily, receiving about 48 percent of the vote.

Deacon has embraced a number of top policy issues for the WFP – including Paid Family Leave and a higher federal minimum wage. Both the Democrats and their progressive allies see this seat as a prime pick-up target in the general election, since the district is closely divided and has changed hands several times over the past few cycles.

It’s a fairly standard practice for the WFP to tap a placeholder to keep its ballot line warm – and satisfy state Board of Elections deadlines in the process – while waiting to see who the Democrats end up with for the general election.

In order to facilitate easy removal from the line – by means of a judicial nomination – the party, which is by no means alone in using this method, picks an attorney (like Satter) to do the honors.

Kamen didn’t mention which judgeship Satter has been nominated for, but since she didn’t campaign for her congressional bid, it’s a safe bet she won’t be actively running for that office, either.

Here and Now

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is in New York City and will travel to Tel Aviv, Israel to attend the funeral of former Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres.

This afternoon, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio will travel to Oklahoma City to attend the U.S. Conference of Mayors 2016 Fall Leadership Meeting. He will return to the city tomorrow night.

At 8:45 a.m., LG Kathy Hochul speaks at the Tying Communities Together Labor Awards Breakfast, Alhambra Ballroom, 2116 Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvd., Harlem. (Also attending: Former Gov. David Paterson and NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer).

At 9 a.m., tenants and housing activists demand no public land or removal of deed restrictions should go to for-profit developers, front of City Hall gates, 1-15 Centre St., Manhattan.

At 10 a.m., Hochul highlights the NYS Investment in Workforce Development Program, STRIVE International, 240 East 123rd Street, 3rd Floor, Harlem.

Also at 10 a.m., Onondaga County GOP Chairman Tom Dadey will hold a press conference with Cicero Town Councilor Mike Becallo and Manlius Town Councilor Vince Giordano to announce a “major development” in the 127th AD race, GOP HQ, 2910 Erie Blvd. East, Syracuse.

Also at 10 a.m., Sen. Jose Peralta, Assemblywoman Deborah Glick, Transportation Alternatives and Make Queens Safer will unveil legislation aimed at tackling speeding drivers in school zones, in front of P.S. 41, Greenwich Village School, 116 West 11th St., Manhattan.

Also at 10 a.m., America Works CEO Dr. Lee Bowes releases a study on the impact employment of ex-offenders has on recidivism, America Works office, 44 Court St., 7th floor, Brooklyn.

At 10:30 a.m., NY-19 candidate John Faso will hold a press conference to address “phone accusations” made by his Democratic opponent at his home at 14 Sylvester St., Kinderhook, Columbia County

At 11 a.m., Citizens Union holds a conference call to release the latest edition of its report, “Spending in the Shadows,” on unspecified lump sum spending in New York’s FY 2017 Enacted budget.

Also at 11 a.m., Orange County Executive Steven Neuhaus Neuhaus holds the annual county budget address, Graham Skea Lodge at Thomas Bull Memorial Park, 211 Route 416, Montgomery.

Also at 11 a.m., Assemblyman Ron Castorina Jr. announces plans to introduce legislation granting a state tax credit for child care, Small World Preschool, 144 Bloomingdale Rd., Staten Island.

Also at 11 a.m., Sen. Todd Kaminsky will announce legislation to enhance existing penalties for felony animal fighting and eliminate a loophole that prevents animal fighting from qualifying for second felony offender status, Long Beach Animal Shelter, 770 Park Pl., Long Beach, Long Island.

Also at 11 a.m., the Straphangers Campaign launches #FairFares photo tour featuring subway riders and college students, 68th Street and Lexington Avenue, Manhattan.

Also at 11 a.m., Sen. Tom Croci will be announcing plans to construct the Lieutenant Michael Murphy Navy SEAL Museum to be located at the West Sayville County Golf Course at Charles R. Dominy County Park, 200 Main St., West Sayville, Long Island.

Also at 11 a.m., Sen. Michael Gianaris, NYC Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer and Queens Library President and CEO Dennis Walcott hosts topping out ceremony for the new Hunters Point Community Library, 47-40 Center Blvd., Queens.

At 5:30 p.m., members of the labor movement and Bronx community groups march to oppose the rezoning of Jerome Avenue, Plaza at West Burnside and University, Bronx.

At 6 p.m., NYC Councilman Ben Kallos, Office of Emergency Management Commissioner Joseph Esposito and others host a training on emergency preparedness, Good Shepherd Chapel, 543 Main St., Roosevelt Island.

At 7 p.m., Hochul delivers the keynote address and receives an award at the Professional Women in Construction’s Salute to Women of Achievement, Battery Gardens, 1 Battery Plaza, Manhattan.


Former Sen. George Maziarz’s own campaign committee is suing its former treasurer, Laureen Jacobs, seeking a court order forcing her to explain details of more than $200,000 in unreported expenditures. The proceeding demands that Jacobs explain a $120,000 cash shortfall.

The politicians who received campaign contributions from developer Louis P. Ciminelli and his allies are scrambling to figure out what to do with that money after the Buffalo construction executive was charged last week as part of a sweeping statewide pay-to-play scandal.

Unlike some New York elected officials, Deputy Senate Majority Leader John DeFrancisco’s campaign will hold on to donations from COR Development despite the arrests of two of its executives on bid-rigging charges. Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner and Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney have no plans to return COR contributions at the moment, either.

ESDC CEO Howard Zemsky, the state official enlisted in the wake of corruption charges to oversee upstate’s revitalization projects, said he will not rule out halting some projects, noting a review has just begun and all options are “on the table.”

State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli said lawmakers are looking at expanding his authority to review contracts like the ones totaling nearly $1 billion that have led to criminal charges against Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s top aides.

The arrest of his ex-top lieutenant Joe Percoco (whom he did not name, referring to him instead as a “friend of mine for many, many years”) on corruption charges was “an emotional situation” that was “very, very disappointing” for Cuomo, he said.

In a rare TV sit down interview for a documentary film about his late father, Cuomo reflects on his 2010 comeback win, saying he doesn’t think he could have been successful if New York voters hadn’t gotten over the anger that led them to oust the late ex-Gov. Mario Cuomo from office in 1994.

Cuomo tried not to get too emotional at the book party for “Mario Cuomo: Remembrances of a Remarkable Man” by family friend William O’Shaughnessy,” saying he cries – sparking a “crescendo of tears” from his mother – when he speaks of the late governor.

SUNY Provost Alexander Cartwright joined state photonics board chairman John Maggiore yesterday for a preemptive address to reassure AIM Photonics partners that all was well with the regional initiative.

A MTA board member recommended by NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio raised questions about the costs of Cuomo’s plans to overhaul Pennsylvania Station.

Two men wanted as witnesses in the New York bombing investigation after they removed a bag apparently left by the bomber have been identified by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, according to officials close to the case.

A sprawling federal initiative to strengthen Long Island against coastal storms is inching closer to becoming a reality even as doubts persist in the South Shore towns and villages that stand most to benefit from it.

Congress yesterday voted overwhelmingly to override a veto by President Obama for the first time, passing into law a bill that would allow the families of those killed in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks to sue Saudi Arabia for any role in the plot.

Asked by a service member to weigh in on some NFL players kneeling during the national anthem, Obama said he hoped the controversy would spark Americans to listen to others’ concerns and not just go into separate corners.

Averting an election-year crisis, Congress late yesterday sent the president a bill to keep the government operating through Dec. 9 and provide $1.1 billion in long-delayed funding to battle the Zika virus.

While Donald Trump talks tough about dealing with China, his old military prep school is building bridges to that country. The New York Military Academy began classes this fall with new Chinese backing and a former New York City high school principal, originally from China, in charge.

More >


The U.S. Senate approved a stop-gap funding bill to avert a looming federal government shutdown, after Republicans and Democrats agreed to help Flint, Michigan, resolve its drinking water crisis.

The Senate also voted to override President Obama’s veto of a bill letting the victims of the 9/11 attacks sue Saudi Arabia, striking a blow to the president on foreign policy weeks before he leaves office. It was the first override of his tenure.

A new poll suggests voters are buying in to Donald Trump’s insinuations about Hillary Clinton’s health. They’re ignoring the medical reports that have deemed her fine.

Alicia Machado, the Miss Universe called “Miss Piggy” and “Miss Housekeeping” by Trump, appears in a new Clinton campaign ad.

Trump said he calmed his nerves before Monday’s debate by taking a deep breath and pretending he was talking to his family, and not the largest debate-watching audience in history.

Clinton, campaigning today with Sen. Bernie Sanders in New Hampshire, worked to sway millennial voters by promoting a plan to provide free public-college tuition for working families

Alan Kaloyeros’ alleged involvement in a bid-rigging scandal is only the beginning of problems for SUNY Poly, which faces close to $500 million in debt.

Images of Kaloyeros, the now-suspended founding president and CEO of SUNY Polytechnic Institute, have been removed from the school’s walls after he was hit with state and federal corruption charges.

Speaking of Kaloyeros…he issued a warning of sorts to his detractors on social media today.

A signature Kaloyeros project — renovating and re-branding historic Peter D. Kiernan Plaza at the base of State Street in Albany — has been losing money for the past three years, records show.

Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney has no plan to return donations from Cor Development Co. executives in the wake of federal bribery charges against them.

A day after Gov. Andrew Cuomo unveiled plans for the new Penn Station, a Metropolitan Transportation Authority board member – Veronica Vanterpool, chairwoman of the Tristate Transportation Campaign – is raising concerns about the project’s timeline and its funding.

Cuomo met earlier this week with a group of real estate executives working to hash out a deal to revive the expired 421-a tax abatement program.

Frederick Ippolito, former Town of Oyster Bay commissioner, was sentenced to 2 years and 3 months in prison in a tax evasion case, and the judge admonished local officials for not recognizing that Ippolito’s dealings with a paving contractor were a clear conflict of interest.

Republican Sen. George Amedore does not plan to return donations to his campaign from prominent Albany developer Joe Nicolla, who is mired in a state political scandal.

Mayor Bill de Blasio said he remains “dubious” about the idea of legalizing recreational pot use – a day after an explosion at a suspected “growhouse” killed a firefighter in the Bronx.

NY-1 Democratic congressional challenger Anna Throne-Holst will have the ballot line of the Working Families Party in her November race against freshman GOP Rep. Lee Zeldin.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art is laying off 34 employees, or about 1.5 oercent of its workforce, museum officials said.

Welch Allyn plans to add 100 new jobs to its medical equipment factory in Skaneateles, already one of Central New York’s largest employers.

Here and Now

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is in Onondaga County and New York City.

At 8:30 a.m., the MTA Safety Committee meets, MTA Board Room, 2 Broadway, 20th Floor, Manhattan. (The full board meets at 10 a.m.)

At 10 a.m., Cuomo makes an announcement, 4341 State Street Rd., Skaneateles Falls.

Also at 10 a.m., Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., musician Common and others march to double NYC charter school sector to 200,000 Children by 2020, Prospect Park, Captain Vincent E. Brunton Way and Prospect Park Southwest, Brooklyn.

Also at 10 a.m., NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio will appear live on WNYC’s Brian Lehrer Show and take questions from listeners.

Also at 10 a.m., NYC Councilwoman Vanessa Gibson, the Women’s Prison Association and others celebrate the anticipated passage of Int. 899-A to establish clear procedures around admittance and record keeping for the Rikers Island nursery, City Hall steps, Manhattan.

At 11:30 a.m., de Blasio will host a press conference to make an announcement regarding NYC’s Minority- and Women-owned Business Enterprise program, Brooklyn Navy Yard, Building 92, 4th floor, Brooklyn.

At noon, NYC Councilman Jumaane Williams announces his intention to continue his protest during the Pledge of Allegiance that he began two weeks ago, City Hall steps, Manhattan.

At 12:45 p.m., LG Kathy Hochul will address the Power of the Latino Voice Conference, Desmond Hotel, 660 Albany Shaker Rd., Colonie.

At 1 p.m., NYC Councilman Ritchie Torres and others address the US Department of Housing and Urban Development’s proposed rule that could increase rents for Section 8 households, City Hall steps, Manhattan.

Also at 1 p.m., the NYC Council holds a stated meeting, Council Chambers, City Hall, Manhattan.

At 1:15 p.m., Cuomo makes an announcement, P.S. 059 Beekman Hill International, 231-249 East 56th St., Manhattan.

At 3:15 p.m., Hochul visits the West Point Military Academy, West Point.

At 3:30 p.m., de Blasio holds public hearings for and Signs Intros. 923-A, 976-A, 981-B, 1005-A, 1019-A, 1020-A, 405-A, 695-A, 795-A, 997-A, 948-A, 961-A and 968-A, Blue Room, City Hall, Manhattan.

At 7 p.m., de Blasio participates in a town hall, Southern Queens Park Association, 177-01 Baisley Blvd., Queens.


U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara delivered a keynote address yesterday before some of the city’s top politicians, where he was presented with City & State’s “Newsmaker of the Decade” award and praised the media for putting issues in the spotlight – like the Buffalo Billion corruption case he brought last week involving some of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s aides.

Former Cuomo aide Joe Percoco, who was one of nine people arrested on corruption charges last week, works for a potential stakeholder in the governor’s latest deal to transform he former Farley Post Office on Manhattan’s West Side to a first-class rail facility.

When a staffer wanted to leave the team before Cuomo wanted him or her to leave, it was Percoco’s task to block, or delay, an exit. He played that role even after he left Cuomo’s payroll last January to join Madison Square Garden Co.

There’s division over how close former lobbyist Todd Howe, who pleaded guilty to corruption charges and is assisting Bharara in his ongoing investigation, is to Cuomo. Those currently close to the governor insist Howe was not influential, others who have been around Albany a long time beg to differ.

City of Rensselaer officials said they rejected a $4,000 per month contract proposal from Howe as they waited for SUNY Polytechnic Institute to push ahead with a $12.5 million high-tech development plan for the city’s riverfront.

Cuomo’s campaign will set aside the donations from two recently arrested Syracuse-area development executives in case the funds are seized as part of the criminal case.

That announcement followed pledges by the state’s two other top elected officials – state AG Eric Schneiderman and Comptroller Tom DiNapoli – to divest themselves of political donations tied to Cuomo’s allegedly graft-riddled “Buffalo Billion” revitalization project.

In the wake of the scandal, JCOPE staffers will be paying “closer attention” to financial disclosures, though officials for the watchdog agency declined to say how it missed crucial information in Bharara’s case against Percoco.

The governor is expected to announce the creation of new jobs at Welch Allyn during a visit to the medical equipment maker in Skaneateles this morning.

The plan calls for Related Companies and Vornado Realty — the same two development companies that tried to turn the old post office into a train hall last time around — to join forces with construction giant Skanska to take another go at it.

NYPD detectives are investigating as a crime scene a Bronx home that exploded yesterday morning, killing a firefighter and injuring more than a dozen others. Chief Michael Fahy was killed when he was struck on the head and elsewhere by part of the building’s roof.

Early this morning, police had a person of interest in the Bronx home explosion case in custody.

New York City has agreed to pay $5.75 million to settle a lawsuit stemming from the 2013 death of a mentally ill inmate, Bradley Ballard, who was found naked and covered in urine and feces after being locked in a cell at Rikers Island for six days.

State Senate candidate and Erie County Clerk Chris Jacobs’ own money and Albany contributions establish him as the financial favorite in the 60th SD race at this point. But questions still surround what, if any, outside dollars may assist his Democratic opponent, Amber Small.

David Wildstein, the mastermind behind the George Washington Bridge lane closings in the so-called “Bridgegate” scandal, testified that New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie was informed of the lane closings the week they were happening, and recalled how Christie reacted with laughter.

A pair of clips teasing Mary J. Blige’s interview with Hillary Clinton on her upcoming Apple Music show The 411 isn’t winning over social media users.

After refraining from calling Clinton names at the first presidential debate, Donald Trump took the stage at a rally in a Florida
airplane hangar night and declared: “Almost every single poll had us winning the debate against ‘Crooked Hillary Clinton’ big league. Big league. She is as crooked as they come.”

Trump also lashed out in the aftermath of a disappointing first debate with Clinton, scolding the moderator, NBC’s Lester Holt; criticizing a beauty pageant winner for her physique and raising the prospect of an all-out attack on Bill Clinton’s marital infidelities in the final stretch of the campaign.

More >

The Weekend That Was

The total audience for the first general election presidential debate at Hofstra University tomorrow could be as high as 100 million viewers — Super Bowl territory. That would surpass the 80 million who watched Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan in 1980, the record for a presidential debate, and rank among TV benchmarks like the finales of “MASH” and “Cheers.”

Gennifer Flowers, the former model who had an extramarital affair with Bill Clinton in the 1980s, says she’ll accept an invitation from Donald Trump to sit in the front row of Monday’s presidential debate, according to an assistant.

The New York Times endorsed Clinton, saying its decision to back her for president “is rooted in respect
for her intellect, experience and courage.” The paper also did acknowledge Clinton “has evinced a lamentable penchant for secrecy and made a poor decision to rely on a private email server while at the State Department.”

The editorial board made a single brief but pointed mention of the GOP candidate as the “worst nominee put forward by a major party in modern American history” before declaring that “the best case for Hillary Clinton cannot be, and is not, that she isn’t Donald Trump.”

Philippe Reines, a longtime Clinton aide who insiders say has made it his mission to know all the Democratic candidate’s weaknesses, is reportedly role-playing Trump in her debate prep.

At the request of the city’s mayor, Clinton postponed her hastily planned visit to Charlotte, NC that was scheduled for Sunday.

In dedicating the National Museum of African American History and Culture, President Obama said the story of black Americans is the story of the nation’s essential greatness.

There is a sense in some quarters that Cuomo, while undeniably damaged and even personally pained by the accusations against friends and associates, has, by comparison, dodged the worst of it. At least for now.

So how could Cuomo not know about the several schemes that Bharara outlined? Two possible answers arise. First, he has a penchant for reliance on a very small circle of trusted advisers. Second, he also has a penchant for getting things done, and as a result sometimes due diligence doesn’t get done.

Madison Square Garden boss James Dolan is sticking by Senior Vice President Joseph Percoco, one of the nine charged by U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, but insiders expect he will be cut loose with a buyout or severance package eventually.

Opponents of a gas-fired power plant near Wawayanda say the recent indictment of the governor’s top aide confirms their concerns about the project.

The Buffalo Billion is now squarely in the hands of Howard Zemsky and Empire State Development. Zemsky said he hopes to build “more of an integrated, collaborative and communicative relationship” with officials at SUNY Polytechnic, which under Kaloyeros played a leading role in state-backed technology developments across the state.

Here’s a look at who received political donations over the last 10 years by COR Development partners and family members, according to New York state records. (The list does not include donations to federal politicians).

LPCiminelli, whose roots trace back to the founding of the Frank L. Ciminelli Construction Co. in 1961, is one of the largest general contractors in Western New York, with a long history of work on major public- and private-sector projects.

An unpopular portion of the specialized high school entry exam for some of NYC’s most competitive schools – “scrambled paragraphs” – is being removed and replaced with multiple choice questions intended to evaluate writing skills.

A plan to alter passenger limits at Westchester County Airport has run into a roadblock, with lawmakers questioning the impact on nearby towns and a chief critic accusing County Executive Rob Astorino of playing politics to satisfy airlines eager to expand.

Hattie’s Restaurant in Saratoga Springs was included on Food & Wine’s list of the “Best Fried Chicken in the U.S.” and on’s “America’s 50 Best Fried Chicken Spots.”