Liz Benjamin

This user hasn't shared any biographical information

Homepage: http://nystateofpolitics.com


Posts by Liz Benjamin

Skoufis Hits the Airwaves

Democratic Assemblyman James Skoufis, who is running for the seat being vacated by retiring GOP Sen. Bill Larkin, is going up on the air with his first TV ad of the campaign – a spot that focuses on assistance he provided a New Windsor woman to help get insurance coverage for her ailing son.

Skoufis makes only a few brief appearances in the ad, which, interestingly, makes no mention of his party affiliation. He doesn’t have a speaking role. Instead, it’s mainly a testimonial from Heather Miele, a constituent of the assemblyman who says he helped push a reluctant medical insurer to provide coverage for her 9-year-old son, Nicholas, whose specific ailment is also not mentioned.

Miele also introduced Skoufis at his initial announcement of his candidacy for the 39th Senate District seat back in May, saying he was very responsive to her needs, meeting immediately with herself and her husband after they called his office, and managing to resolve their issue within 24 hours – not just once, but twice.

Skoufis is running in the general election against Tom Basile, a Stony Point councilman who has been endorsed by Larkin – one of five Republicans who decided not to seek re-election this fall, complicating the GOP’s already uphill battle to retain its slim hold on the majority in the chamber.

Skoufis’ campaign did not provide any details about where the new ad will be airing, other than to say that it goes up today. Also unavailable: Information about the size of the buy, other than the fact that it was characterized as “significant.”

Here’s the transcript of the ad:

“When you have a child that has the medical issues that my son does, fighting these insurance companies becomes a full time job. I had gotten so frustrated I didn’t know where to turn. A friend told me to call James Skoufis, and I’m so glad I did.

James stood up to the insurance companies and really put his foot down. Instead of getting letters that start with ‘unfortunately,’ we’re now getting letters that start with, ‘good news, you’ve been approved.’ Thanks to James I can focus again on my number one job: Being a mom.”

New CLF Ads Target Brindisi

The Congressional Leadership Fund, a super PAC endorsed by the House Republican leadership, is releasing two more ads in NY-22 today, both of which target the Democratic candidate, Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi, and seek to cast him as a political insider who is too liberal for the moderate-to-conservative leaning district.

The ads will run in the Binghamton and Utica media markets, as well as on digital platforms, and is part of some $2 million worth of time the CLF has reserved in this hotly contested district for the fall.

The fist spot, dubbed “Sheldon and Nancy,” tries – yet again – to tie Brindisi both to disgraced former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and current House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, whom the assemblyman has said he will not support to continue as head of the conference if he is elected to the House in November.

The ad also accuses Brindisi of being a “rubber stamp” for Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s agenda, voting for Cuomo’s “agenda” over 90 percent of the time.

Among the issues highlighted here is single payer healthcare, for which the assemblyman voted “yes,” though technically speaking, that NOT a key agenda item for the governor – something that became a flashpoint during his primary battle with actress-turned-activist Cynthia Nixon.

Brindisi has sought to distance himself from the former speaker, releasing an ad of his own last month that highlighted his role in push the speaker to resign when he was hit with federal corruption charges.

That ad came out on the same day the CLF, which is working hard to boost the re-election chances of Brindisi’s opponent, Republican Rep. Claudia Tenney, herself a former assemblywoman, released a different spot, which maintained the assemblyman had actually been Silver’s “go-to guy” in Albany.

Brindisi has also not been afraid to publicly criticize the governor, particularly when he felt Cuomo was ignoring the Mohawk Valley.

The second ad features a Chittenango woman, Sherry Menninger, who says she can’t support Brindisi because she’s concerned he wants to “make everyone eligible for Medicare,” which will raise the national debt and “wreck” the system for everyone.

“In Albany, Anthony Brindisi rubber-stamped Silver’s and Cuomo’s agenda over ninety percent of the time. Brindisi voted for single-payer health care, and a two hundred billion-dollar tax hike. Now Brindisi wants to rubber-stamp Nancy Pelosi’s agenda, supporting a thirty-two-trillion-dollar government takeover of health care, nearly doubling the debt. Anthony Brindisi is a tax-and-spend rubber stamp.”

“(Sherry): “I earned my social security and Medicare benefits, and I want Washington to keep their hands off them. That’s why I can’t support Anthony Brindisi. Brindisi wants to make everyone eligible for Medicare. And that’s a thirty-trillion-dollar budget buster. Brindisi’s plan would end Medicare as we know and explode the national debt, wrecking Medicare for seniors, raising taxes on everyone. Anthony Brindisi doesn’t get my vote.”

Here and Now

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

President Donald Trump this morning participates in a signing ceremony for the Biodefense National Security Presidential Memorandum, then he and the First Lady, Melania Trump, greet the President of the Republic of Poland and Mrs. Kornhauser-Duda.

The two world leaders then hold a bilateral meeting, a working lunch and a joint press conference.

In the afternoon, Trump meets with the secretary of state.

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio is in the city with no public events scheduled.

At 8 a.m., the Association for a Better New York’s Power Breakfast features a panel including Reps. Hakeem Jeffries, Carolyn Maloney and Grace Meng speaking about the midterm elections, Roosevelt Hotel, 45 E. 45th St., Manhattan.

At 9:30 a.m. , the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission meets, 1 Centre St., Ninth floor, Manhattan.

Also at 9:30 a.m., the Queens Borough Cabinet, chaired by Borough President Melinda Katz, hears a presentation from the New York State Liquor Authority on its practices and functions, Queens Borough Hall, 120-55 Queens Blvd., Queens.

At 10 a.m., LG Kathy Hochul delivers remarks at Assemblyman Michael Miller’s veterans breakfast, Oak Ridge, 1 Forest Parkway, Woodhaven.

Also at 10 a.m., Dutchess County Executive and GOP gubernatorial candidate Marc Molinaro holds the third stop of his “Cuomo Corruption Tour,” LCA pressroom, Albany.

At 11 a.m., Green Party gubernatorial candidate Howie Hawkins kicks off his general election campaign with a news conference, LCA press room, Legislative Office Building, Albany.

Also at 11 a.m., the Upstate Jobs Party, state Senate Candidate Bob Antonacci, and SpinCar hold a press conference about the upcoming elections, 344 South Warren St., Syracuse.

At 11:20 a.m., the state Board of Regents meets, Regents Rooms, 89 Washington Ave., Albany.

At noon, state Sen. Neil Breslin, Assemblywoman Patricia Fahy and environmental organizations urge the state to support powering 1 million households with solar by 2023, Million Dollar Staircase, state Capitol, Albany.

At 2 p.m., activists representing various Asian communities protest Chinese President Xi Jinping’s totalitarian rule and human rights violations, Dag Hammarskjold Plaza, United Nations, East 47th Street between First and Second avenues, Manhattan.

Also at 2 p.m., Molinaro holds a press conference with Oneida County Executive Tony Picent, Delta Marriott front lobby, 200 Genesee St., Utica.

At 2:30 p.m., New York Republican Chairman Ed Cox will hold a media availability immediately following a meeting of the state GOP, county chairs and statewide candidates, Desmond Hotel, 660 Albany Shaker Rd., Albany.

Alsop at 2:30 p.m., Rep. Claudia Tenney and local officials announce a $11.39 million loan and $2.75 million grant from the USDA to Hastings to improve water access, 1134 U.S. Route 1, Central Square.

At 4 p.m., the NYC School Support Services’ board meets, 52 Chambers St., Manhattan.

At 7 p.m., Molinaro holds a Utica town hall, Delta Marriott, 200 Genesee St., Utica.

Headlines…

The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee said it would hold a public hearing next week with Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford, the woman who claims the judge sexually assaulted her nearly four decades ago.

More than 200 women who attended the same all-girls school as Kavanaugh’s accuser – including “Veep” star Julia Louis-Dreyfus – have signed an open letter supporting her allegations of sexual assault when they were both high school students.

An anonymous source read the text of the letter Christine Blasey Ford wrote to California Sen. Dianne Feinstein detailing an event in which she accuses Supreme Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct when they were both in high school during the early 1980s.

For those of a certain age in Washington, the past few days have felt like an eerie echo of the confirmation battle that consumed the capital in 1991 when Anita F. Hill accused Clarence Thomas of sexually harassing her.

For New York Sens. Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand and their Democratic colleagues, last-minute surfacing of a sexual-abuse allegation may do to Kavanaugh what hearings did not: Delay confirmation or sink his Supreme Court nomination entirely.

Former national security adviser Michael Flynn is ready to be sentenced, prosecutors and his defense team told a federal judge. The sentencing had been delayed four times since he pleaded guilty to lying to investigators last December.

President Trump plans to cap the number of refugees that can be resettled in the United States next year at 30,000, his administration announced, further cutting an already drastically scaled-back program that offers protection to foreigners fleeing violence and persecution.

Trump ordered the Justice Department to release documents and emails from four former FBI officials and one current Justice Department official as well as documents that led to the surveillance of his former aide Carter Page.

Former NYC Mayor Mike Bloomberg, who is mulling a 200 presidential run, suggested doubts in a recent interview about the #MeToo movement, citing disgraced former TV news anchor Charlie Rose’s ousting from the media industry following harassment allegations against him.

Bloomberg, currently an independent, said it’s possible he would run as a Democrat, though he doesn’t see eye-to-eye with the party on every issue, and left the door open to changing his registration back in the coming months.

Bradley Tusk, who managed Bloomberg’s third mayoral campaign and devised his unused 2016 presidential strategy, does not believe that the billionaire has made a decision about 2020.

The Trump administration will impose tariffs on $200 billion more in Chinese goods starting next week, escalating a trade war between the world’s two biggest economies and potentially raising prices on goods ranging from handbags to bicycle tires.

Cohoes Mayor Shawn Morse gave an extraordinary press conference designed to address the domestic violence allegations that have dogged him for nearly a year. He insisted he had never laid a hand on any women – including his wife – or his son and daughter.

But, says Chris Churchill, “to fully believe Morse, you have to ignore way too much.”

Despite the fact that both the Colonie Police and State Police are now investigating him, Morse says he will not heed calls from fellow Democrats – including the governor – for him to resign.

Cuomo’s former top aide Joe Percoco wants to keep close to $100,000 of $321,000 he pocketed in bribes.

Federal prosecutors late last week filed a request that U.S. District Judge Valerie Caproni should compel the Percocos to forfeit the entire sum Lisa Toscano-Percoco was paid by Competitive Power Ventures, which paid her roughly $287,000 through a Connecticut-based limited liability company.

Former IDC Leader Jeff Klein, who lost his re-election bid for his Bronc state Senate seat last week to newcomer Alessandra Biaggi when the progressive wave hit the Democratic primaries, is being mentioned for a possible judgeship, sources said.

Embattled Western New York Rep. Chris Collins will run for reelection in November — even though he is under federal indictment on charges of insider trading and lying to the FBI, upstate GOP officials announced.

The shocker development, stemming from major concerns lodged by Collins’s criminal attorneys, was neither anticipated nor appreciated by Erie County GOP Chair Nick Langworthy and the other Republican county chairmen who toiled for six weeks to find an election law loophole to remove Collins from the ballot.

As it happens, Tom Perez, the chairman of the Democratic National Committee, was in Collins’s district when the new broke, campaigning for Nate McMurray, the Democratic challenger who opened a campaign office in Hamburg.

More >

Extras

Former NYC Mayor Mike Bloomberg, 76, is actively considering a campaign for president as a Democrat in 2020, concluding that it would be his only path to the White House even as he voices stark disagreements with progressives on defining issues including bank regulation, stop-and-frisk police tactics and the #MeToo movement.

An attorney for Christine Blasey Ford, the woman who alleged Judge Brett Kavanaugh assaulted her when the two were in high school, said that Ford is willing to testify about the allegations before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

White House counselor Kellyanne Conway said of Ford: “She should not be insulted. She should not be ignored. She should testify under oath and she should do it on Capitol Hill.”

U.S. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer says the Senate should hear formal testimony from Ford, a California research psychologist, dismissing objections that to do so would unfairly delay Kavanaugh’s confirmation.

Kavanaugh also said he was willing to talk to the Senate Judiciary Committee about Ford’s accusations, which he insists are not true, saying in a statement today: “I have never done anything like what the accuser describes — to her or to anyone. Because this never happened, I had no idea who was making this accusation until she identified herself yesterday.”

The president said he still backs his Supreme Court nominee despite the allegations against him, but also supports a hearing on the accusations.

“If it takes a little delay it will take a little delay. We want to go through a full process…and hear everybody out,” Trump said, adding that he has not spoken directly to Kavanaugh.

Former Republican lawmaker Joe Walsh tore into Trump’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., for mocking Senate Democrats over their reaction to sexual misconduct accusations made against Kavanaugh, calling him an “uncaring, narrow-minded idiot.”

A new policy brief from the Center for Law & Policy Solutions at the Rockefeller Institute of Government in partnership with the Government Law Center at Albany Law School explains the history of reproductive rights in New York State and how the state’s laws could continue to protect those rights if federal protections are weakened.

U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos says free speech on college campuses is being threatened and told students in Philadelphia that listening to people with differing views is an important part of education.

Trump made a whopping 115 false claims in the first full week of September. That is the second-most of any week of his presidency.

After largely sitting on the sidelines in the run-up to last week’s primaries, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio was a no-show for an annual Democratic unity breakfast in Brooklyn today — just after Gov. Andrew Cuomo made a surprise appearance there.

Outgoing Rep. Joe Crowley was overwhelmingly re-elected as the Queens Democratic Party chairman this morning despite losing his own congressional primary election in June to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

Federal prosecutors say Joe Percoco and his wife shouldn’t be able to hold on to a share of the money they took from a power company that received favors from the former top Cuomo aide.

Securities industry pretax profits totaled $13.7 billion in the first half of 2018, 11 percent higher than last year, according to a report released by state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli.

Albany County Comptroller Michael Conners will not seek re-election next year, he announced in an open letter released this morning.

Outgoing Deputy Senate Majority Leader John DeFrancisco has a blog.

Actress Diane Neal will be on the November ballot as an independent in NY-19 after winning a court case over her petition signatures.

A significant, and largely overlooked, winner in last week’s primaries: Sen. Mike Gianaris, who saw his nemesis, Sen. Jeff Klein, defeated.

NYC First Lady Chirlane McCray won’t be among the many Democrats lining up to run for NYC public advocate if the office’s current occupant, Tish James, wins the state AG race in November.

A federal judge found Tonawanda Coke guilty of violating its probation but held off on resentencing the company. In delaying the sentence, U.S. District Judge William M. Skretny said he hoped Tonawanda Coke could find a way in the meantime to comply with federal clean air standards.

The state Department of Environmental Conservation announced that starting Friday, roadside parking along state Route 73 at Roaring Brook Falls will be permanently banned.

A British citizen instrumental to the rescue of 12 children trapped in a cave in Thailand has filed a defamation lawsuit against Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who previously alleged he was a pedophile and “child rapist.”

Collins to Stay on November Ballot, Dems Crow

Democrats are thrilled that disgraced Rep. Chris Collins is remaining on the NY-27 ballot in the November general election despite the fact that he is fighting charges of insider trading and lying to the FBI and said – after initially insisting he intended to see the race through, that he wouldn’t be seeking re-election.

The Buffalo News reports that Collins “has heeded the advice of his criminal attorneys who fear the potential complications of protracted election law challenges almost sure to be initiated by Democrats if he removed his name from the congressional ballot.”

“In an attempt to end a devastating news cycle following Congressman Chris Collins’ indictment, Republicans immediately vowed that they would get their scandalized Congressman off the federal ballot, but we now know that this wasn’t true,” DCCC spokeswoman Meredith Kelly said in a statement.

“In the most stark sign that House Republicans are a corrupt and unethical body only out to benefit themselves and their special interests, there are now two indicted Republicans on the ballot in November.”

“The voters of New York 27th Congressional District now have the clearest of choices between scandal-plagued Chris Collins and Nate McMurray, who will be a real fighter for the families of Western New York, and the stakes just got a whole lot higher on November 6th.”

The other indicted GOP congressman running in this cycle, to whom Kelly referred, is Rep. Duncan Hunter of California, who is facing criminal charges for allegedly using campaign funds on tequila shots, family trips to Hawaii and Italy, and other personal expenses.

Local Republicans, meanwhile, are not at all happy – Erie County GOP Chair Nick Langworthy told the paper he felt like “a groom jilted at the alter.” But the truth is they have been struggling for weeks now to figure out 1) how to get Collins off the ballot without facing a prolonged legal challenge from the Democrats, and 2) who to replace Collins with once he was gone, since the top contenders were state Senate Republicans, and taking them out of the mix would potentially further endanger the party’s already tenuous hold on the majority.

Another problem NY-27 GOP officials faced was the lack of enthusiasm among local electeds about the idea of stepping aside to give Collins somewhere to drop down to in order to get out of running for Congress.

The Democratic candidate in NY-27. Nate McMurray, learned of the news regarding his opponent’s status while hosting DNC Chairman (and Buffalo native) Tom Perez at a campaign HQ opening. In a statement, McMurray said it’s “nice to finally know who I’m running against,” but also insisted he “always knew” he would end up facing off against the congressman.

“There are laws for a reason. There is accountability in our society for a reason,” McMurray said. “And in the greatest democracy in the world, voters weren’t going to take this kind of sham switching around names on a ballot at the whims of local party bosses.”

“I credit the people of Western New York for standing up in town after town saying ‘don’t force him on the ballot in my town.’ They saw through this fraud. They weren’t going to fall for the bait and switch strategy by the same team that endorsed, celebrated, took pictures with and defended Chris Collins.”

McMurray said he believes NY-27 voters “like that I’m an underdog” and expressed excitement about the remaining 50 days of the campaign.

For the record, FiveThirtyEight.com says Collins has a one in five shot at winning in November.

Pressure Mounts on Morse

State Democratic Party Vice Chair Christine Quinn is the latest to issue a statement calling on the Mayor of Cohoes, Shawn Morse, to resign in the wake of a TU report that he allegedly used physical violence against his wife and daughter.

“I’ve worked on anti-violence initiatives my entire life,” said Quinn, who is also a former speaker of the NYC Council. “I have worked on behalf of victims of domestic violence since I was a young advocate.”

“The tapes that were released, along with the numerous accusations leveled by numerous women, fit an all too familiar pattern of a serial abuser who not only shouldn’t have a role in public policy, but should probably be locked up.”

“These allegations and the tapes we have all heard paint a disgusting and disturbing picture of a violent man, who has no business in office. I stand with Governor Cuomo, Chairman (Byron) Brown, Assemblywoman (Pat) Fahy and Mayor (Kathy) Sheehan in calling for him to step down immediately.”

As Quinn noted, her statement is coming on the heels of similar calls issued over the weekend by Brown – chair of the state Democratic Party – and Cuomo himself. (The Fahy and Sheehan calls came in late 2017, after the TU published a series of allegations of abuse by Morse that dated back a number of years).

Also calling for Morse’s resignation is Assemblyman John McDonald, the former mayor of Cohoes.

The fact that Quinn, now the president and CEO of Win (Women in Need), a homeless services organization, and Brown are both appointed to their party positions by Cuomo, who controls the entire committee, makes it clear that the governor is orchestrating an effort to pressure Morse out of office.

This comes at a particularly sensitive time, as the #MeToo movement continues to make headlines, and not a day goes by when accusations of inappropriate treatment, or even flat out rape, are made against some high-level individual in a wide array of fields – from journalism and politics to Hollywood and the arts, and beyond.

The latest maelstrom surrounding President Donald Trump’s U.S. Supreme Court nominee, Judge Brett Kavanaugh, who is being accused – now publicly – by a women who says he attacked her while they were both in high school (an allegation he denies), makes it all the more important for Cuomo to speak out about this, particularly as he just defeated a woman in the Democratic primary and is now refocusing his efforts on the November general election, and perhaps the 2020 presidential race.

Morse, meanwhile, has not shown any signs of heeding any suggestion that he needs to step aside.

To the contrary, he is defiant, calling on Cuomo to resign because he is “the most corrupt governor in America,” and suggesting the governor call his former top aide Joe Percoco, who was found guilty of federal corruption charges, and “ask him why he’s not in jail.”

Here and Now

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

President Donald Trump receives an emergency preparedness and response update, followed by his daily intelligence briefing, and then has lunch with Vice President Mike Pence.

In the afternoon, Trump participates in the inaugural meeting of the President’s National Council for the American Worker, followed by the Hispanic Heritage Month Celebration.

In the evening, the president will have dinner with supporters at an undisclosed location in Washington, D.C., before returning to the White House.

9 a.m., the state Board of Regents meets, NYSED, Regents Rooms, 89 Washington Ave., Albany.

At 9:45 a.m., NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio will deliver remarks at the fifth annual Brooklyn Democrats’ post-primary breakfast reception, Junior’s, 386 Flatbush Ave. Ext., Brooklyn.

At 10 a.m., Rep. Adriano Espaillat announces the expansion of the Head Start program at the Fort George Community Enrichment Center, Inc. to serve more families and youth throughout NY-13, 1525 St Nicholas Ave., Manhattan.

Also at 10 a.m., Democratic NY-27 candidate Nate McMurray welcomes DNC Chairman Tom Perez, a Buffalo native, to headline the opening of his latest campaign office, 6050 South Park Ave., Hamburg.

Also at 10 a.m., LG Kathy Hochul delivers remarks at the Vital Brooklyn playground opening, The Winthrop Campus School, 905 Winthrop St., between E 52nd and 53rd streets, Brooklyn.

At 11 a.m., the state Senate Standing Committee on Civil Service and Pensions holds a public hearing to investigate the use of 9/11 line-of-duty sick leave, Senate Hearing Room, 250 Broadway, 19th floor, Manhattan.

Also at 11 a.m., NYC First Lady Chirlane McCray, chair of the Mayor’s Fund, NYC Commissioner of Immigrant Affairs Bitta Mostofi and NYC Social Services Commissioner Steven Banks will be joined by the city employees who provided pro bono assistance to immigrant children and families in detention in Texas, City Hall rotunda, Manhattan.

Also at 11 a.m., Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan and the GOP confernece’s Long Island delegation call for the MTA to put any proposed 2019 fare hike on hold until it makes measurable improvements in service, equipment failures and delays, Bethpage Train Station, Stewart Avenue, Bethpage, Long Island.

At 12:30 p.m., Dutchess County Executive and GOP gubernatorial candidate Marc Molinaro will be guest on Long Island News 12 with Stone Grissom, 1 Media Crossways, Woodbury.

At 2 p.m., Rep. Carolyn Maloney, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, and City Councilman Antonio Reynoso meet to discuss various MTA issues, corner of North Fifth Street and Bedford Avenue, Brooklyn.

Also at 2 p.m., Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi, Democratic NY-22 candidate, will tour the Endicott facility of BAE Systems, one of the world’s largest aerospace companies, 8 Hayes Ave., Endicott.

Also at 2 p.m., Hochul announces recipients of the state Police Officer of the Year Award, Yonkers City Hall, 40 S. Broadway, Yonkers.

At 3 p.m., Green Party gubernatorial candidate Howie Hawkins will kick off his general election campaign, City Hall steps, Manhattan.

At 5 p.m., Democratic state Senate candidate Pat Strong will be joined by supporters, volunteers and elected officials – including Rep. Paul Tonko, Sen. Neil Breslin and Assemblywoman Pat Fahy, for the opening of her Guilderland campaign office, 1827 Western Ave.

Also at 5 p.m., Molinaro will be a guest on 970 AM The Answer with Kevin McCullough.

At 5:30 p.m., Queens Borough President Melinda Katz and board hear a presentation on Where We Live NYC Fair Housing Initiative, Borough Hall, 120-55 Queens Blvd., Queens.

At 6 p.m., Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer hosts the opening reception for the “Uncivil Service” exhibit, Maggi Peyton Art Gallery, 1 Centre St., 19th floor, Manhattan.

At 6:30 p.m., City & State hosts its Westchester Power 50 networking reception, debuting its list of the 50 most powerful people in Westchester, Radisson Hotel, 1 Radisson Plaza, New Rochelle.

At 7 p.m., NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer holds a public hearing on New York City’s lead problem, Frederick Samuel Community Center, 669 Lenox Ave., Manhattan.

Also at 7 p.m., de Blasio appears Live on NY1’s “Inside City Hall.”

Headlines…

Speaking publicly for the first time, Christine Blasey Ford, a 51-year-old research psychologist at Palo Alto University, who has accused Judge Brett Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her more than 30 years ago, said that during a high school party a drunken Kavanaugh pinned her on a bed, groped her and covered her mouth to keep her from screaming.

Ford never told anyone about the incident, but contacted The Washington Post in early July when it became apparent that Kavanaugh might be a likely nominee to replace retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy. She also contacted her congresswoman, Democrat Anna Eshoo, and sent a letter via Eshoo’s office to California Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the ranking Democrat on the Judiciary Committee.

In the wake of Ford’s “serious” sexual assault allegations, the U.S. Senate “must postpone” a vote on Kavanaugh, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said.

Feinstein called for the confirmation hearings for Kavanaugh to be halted while the FBI investigates the allegations of sexual assault.

As Florence continues to dump heavy rain on the Carolinas, the Trump administration has proposed a 20 percent cut to the federal agency that monitors weather data.

Schumer called that proposal a “nonstarter…in middle of hurricane season.”

North Carolina confronted a spiraling statewide crisis as Florence slowly ravaged the region, flooding cities, endangering communities from the coastline to the rugged mountains, and requiring well more than 1,000 rescues.

FEMA administrator Brock Long denied reports that he had been asked to resign from his post amid allegations that he used government vehicles for personal travel.

Long defended Trump’s recent statements about Puerto Rico, claiming the numbers relating to the death toll from Hurricane Maria have been “all over the place.”

In a lengthy OpEd, Hillary Clinton slammed the nearly 2-year-old leadership of Trump on Sunday night, saying her former opponent had done “so many despicable things that it can be hard to keep track.”

Ken Lovett: Cynthia Nixon failed to make any gains from the 2014 challenge by Zephyr Teachout in her primary bid against Gov. Cuomo.

Soon-Yi Previn, the wife and adopted step-daughter of filmmaker Woody Allen, broke her silence for the first time on the sexual abuse allegations surrounding her husband and her fallout with his ex-partner Mia Farrow in an interview with New York magazine‘s website Vulture.com.

Previn blasted Allen’s ex-wife, and her estranged adopted mother, Mia Farrow, casting the actress as an abusive tyrant who beat her with hairbrushes, called her “moronic” and would hold her upside down “because she thought…that blood going to my head would make me smarter or something.”

“I think Woody liked the fact that I had chutzpah when he first kissed me and I said: ‘I wondered how long it was going to take you to make a move,'” Previn said. “From the first kiss I was a goner and loved him.”

Dylan Farrow and Ronan Farrow fired back at Previn and defended their mother.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo, reacting to Sunday’s Times Union report that Cohoes Mayor Shawn Morse is alleged to have used physical violence against his wife and daughter, urged Morse to resign and said State Police were reopening their investigation of the mayor’s conduct in light of the new allegations.

Cuomo says State Police have reopened their investigation into the mayor because of the TU report. Last week, the State Police said they had found no reason to file any charges against Morse.

More >

The Weekend That Was

Florence continued to douse the Carolinas with unrelenting rain and unleashed widespread flooding, threatening to keep the region waterlogged for days as rivers rise further and risk more lives.

The storm claimed a 14th victim early Sunday when a pickup truck flipped into a drainage ditch in South Carolina.

The president reiterated his claim that special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into possible collusion between his campaign and Russia during the 2016 election is illegal.

Trump’s attorney Rudy Giuliani said that former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort’s guilty plea meant nothing when it comes to the president and allegations of collusion.

Manafort is forfeiting an estimated $22 million worth of real estate in New York — including three Manhattan apartments, a Brooklyn townhouse and a home in the Hamptons — as part of his plea deal with federal prosecutors.

Alan Dershowitz said Giuliani can downplay the Manafort deal, but there’s no question Friday was a “very bad day for the Trump administration.”

New York federal prosecutors are considering charges against former Obama White House counsel Greg Craig in a probe linked to Manafort.

Stormy Daniels is free to talk, so Trump should be free to walk, his lawyer said in a court filing Friday.

Trump’s commerce secretary could get hauled in front of a federal judge in New York to explain the motive behind a citizenship question that could discourage immigrants from participating in the 2020 census.

Women have won more primaries than ever before. But it is possible that the number of women will decline or remain at status quo in Congress and in governors’ offices.

Former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg, who is rumored to be considering a presidential run in 2020, visited Seattle to name the city one of two winners of his American Cities Climate Challenge, awarding Seattle $2.5 million of support for climate action projects.

A Texas education board voted to remove Hillary Clinton and Helen Keller from required learning in the state’s schools, while keeping lessons on Billy Graham, Moses and the defenders of the Alamo in the required curriculum on historical figures.

A day after his commanding Democratic primary victory over Cynthia Nixon, a triumphant Cuomo crowed that his win was “a very loud and clear and powerful statement” that New Yorkers want progressive leadership that can get things done, not “theoretical pontificators.”

Cuomo’s decisive win, coming less than three months after Queens Rep. Joseph Crowley’s stunning defeat at the hands of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in a primary, was the latest sign that the wildfire of progressive energy that is burning through the Democratic Party nationally may not be potent enough to topple leading Democrats statewide.

As Cuomo positions himself for a possible 2020 presidential run, he’ll do so as the head of New York’s sizable Democratic majority in a state that fashions itself as a leader in challenging Trump’s actions to push the country to the right.

The state Senate could have a totally different look come January, with a host of new progressive members, and that may not be such a good thing for Cuomo.

The victory of seven insurgent candidates for the state Senate in the Democratic primary has progressive groups that backed them excited about issues that have long languished in Albany coming to fruition when the Legislature reconvenes next year.

Rachel May, who is on the verge of defeating incumbent Syracuse Sen. David Valesky in a primary, said the group of newcomers has spent the campaign season discussing their platforms together, even referring to each other as “future colleagues.”

Former IDC Leader Jeff Klein will probably end up spending more than $3 million in his stunning loss to a 32-year-old first-time candidate, Alessandra Biaggi, granddaughter of the late Bronx Rep. Mario Biaggi and a former lawyer in Cuomo’s office.

Though the former IDC members suffered in the primary, Sen. Simcha Felder, a Democrat who caucuses with the Republicans and has helped them maintain control of the chamber, did not, wining 63 percent of the vote.

More than 1.5 million Democrats — 27 percent of all those registered to vote — flocked to polls around the state, the highest in a Democratic primary in at least two decades, records show.

Only time will tell whether the surge in turnout augers a decisive blue wave in the midterm elections. “I assume what’s driving (turnout) is the Democratic party is charged up because of President Trump,” NYPIRG’s Blair Horner said, adding that it’s hard to say whether that same energy will carry over into November.

If turnout remains this high for the general elections, even congressional seats that in normal circumstances would fall to a Republican – like New York’s 27th, a rural and suburban swath of territory currently served by the indicted Rep. Chris Collins – could end up more competitive than you’d ever think.

Every single county in the state saw a higher turnout as compared to 2014 except for one: Jefferson, which had 350 fewer people vote than four years ago before paper ballots are counted.

More >

Extras

Paul Manafort, President Trump’s former campaign chairman, agreed to cooperate with the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, as part of a deal in which he pleaded guilty to reduced charges stemming from consulting work he did for pro-Russia political forces in Ukraine.

A woman, who has not come forward publicly, is accusing U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of assaulting her when they were in high school in the early 1980s, according to a source familiar with the allegations, which were relayed in a letter to Sen. Dianne Feinstein earlier this summer.

The woman alleged that, during an encounter at a party, Kavanaugh held her down and attempted to force himself on her. She also claimed Kavanaugh and a classmate of his, both of whom had been drinking, turned up music to conceal the sound of her protests, and that Kavanaugh covered her mouth with his hand.

Kavanaugh “categorically” denies these allegations.

Voter turnout in the Democratic gubernatorial primary election was more than double what it was 2014 — with more than 1.5 million voters casting ballots across the state. All told, nearly 27% of registered active Democrats went to the polls.

Cynthia Nixon drew 512,585 votes, at last count, in the primary against Gov. Andrew Cuomo, nearly tripling the number of votes that Zephyr Teachout received in the 2014 primary. But Nixon was trounced, by almost the identical percentage that Teachout lost by four years ago.

Edward-Isaac Dovere: “It turns out that campaigning through the sets of ‘The Late Show’ and ‘The Daily Show,’ while insisting your candidacy isn’t about being a celebrity or seeking national attention, isn’t effective.”

Hours before the polls closed last night for the Democratic state attorney general primary, Republican candidate Keith Wofford kicked off a hefty $3.25 million statewide television ad campaign.

Former top Cuomo aide Joe Percoco wants you to know he’s sorry for soliciting more than $300,000 in bribes from two companies with business before the state. He said so in a letter late yesterday – the same day as his ex-boss fended off a primary challenge – to U.S. District Judge Valerie Caproni of the Southern District of New York – who is set to sentence him next Thursday.

A mayor and two former government officials in Puerto Rico face public corruption charges in separate cases that involve a total of $8 million in federal and local funds, authorities said.

Former NYC Mayor Mike Bloomberg’s ex-campaign manager Bradley Tusk on Cuomo’s old school approach – which was very successful – to this primary campaign: “I would argue his view of the world is fairly outdated. But in terms of executing that approach, he’s as good as it gets.”

New York primary voters who tossed out a group of Democratic state senators in yesterday election sent a clear message to their party: There’s no room to work with Republicans in Albany in the age of Donald Trump.

SUNY Chancellor Kristina Johnson, heading into her 2nd year as leader of the 64-campus system, is focused on making college possible for more students, boosting completion of degrees and building a talented and sufficient workforce.

Erie County GOP Chair Nick Langworthy says he will work with the seven other GOP county chairs from NY-27 at a state committee meeting in Albany on Tuesday to perhaps finalize the date they’ll select someone to run in Rep. Chris Collins’ place.

Democratic state AG primary winner Tish James, the NYC public advocate, did not carry a single upstate county, but won anyway due to a strong showing in NYC.

Nearly four years ago, state Assemblywoman Addie Jenne tried to get money from a not-for-profit for a man she now describes as a “close friend,” who now faces a variety of criminal charges resulting from an alleged burglary.

Mount Vernon Vernon Richard Thomas appeared in Westchester County Court today on charges of grand larceny and making false statements.

Elisa Streeter, an evening anchor who has been a mainstay at WTEN News10 ABC in Albany for more than 30 years, is retiring at the end of the year.

The three leading local media companies serving the five boroughs of New York City along with Long Island and Westchester have now become one.

The New York State Canal Corp. is preparing for possibly heavy rainfall from Hurricane Florence next week.

The Diocese of Buffalo has hired a new communications director.

The European paradox is alive and well.

Here and Now

It was a big night for Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who won a decisive victory over his primary challenger, actress-turned-activist Cynthia Nixon.

In the end, Nixon, who got about 34 percent of the vote, didn’t manage to do any better against the incumbent Democrat than Fordham Law Prof. Zephyr Teachout did in 2014, though turnout was up significantly.

Cuomo also saw victory in the success of the rest of his “slate,” as it were. LG Kathy Hochul managed to fend off a spirited challenge from Brooklyn Councilman Jumaane Williams, though he was in the lead for much of the night as the results came in.

It was upstate, particularly Hochul’s home turf of Western New York, that gave her the edge in a race that, early on, the governor didn’t want her to run in, saying he would prefer to see her challenge Republican Rep. Chris Collins, who subsequently was charged with insider trading and opted not to seek re-election in November.

But Hochul persisted, refusing to step aside, and she was rewarded last night.

Williams had one upstate stronghold – Tompkins County, which is home to the liberal city of Ithaca. He won 62 percent of the vote there, with a margin of 2,390 votes.

Also pulling off a very big win was Cuomo’s preferred state attorney general candidate Tish James, the NYC public advocate, who is poised to become the first statewide elected African American woman in New York. She’ll face off in November against Keith Wofford, the first African American man to be nominated to run for AG by the GOP.

Cuomo, oddly, did not attend any victory parties last night or even issue a video statement after his win.

He watched the returns come in while holed up in the executive mansion in Albany, capping an unusual several days during which he declined to speak to reporters after a series of missteps – including a mailer sent by the state Democratic Party that portrayed Nixon as anti-Semitic – that marred his campaign’s final week.

As John Podhoretz wrote in the NY Post: “There’s no way of looking at Gov. Cuomo’s commanding victory — after how badly he handled the stump and his one debate in the last six months — without saying: Damn, he’s good at this.”

The loss of the progressive Nixon, Williams, Teachout (this time running for AG) slate was a big blow to the left, particularly the Working Families Party, which now much figure out what to do about Nixon in the general election.

If she opts not to run, the party will have to pull some legal maneuvers to get her off its ballot line, and then must win at least 50,000 votes for its gubernatorial candidate in November in order to maintain ballot status.

However, there was a silver lining for liberals last night in the stunning rejection of six of the eight former IDC members, who were primaried by insurgent fellow Democrats despite their agreement – brokered by Cuomo – to rejoin the so-called “regular” Democratic conference.

Topping the list of the fallen was former IDC Leader Jeff Klein, of the Bronx, who lost to Alessandra Biaggi, a former Cuomo attorney who also once worked for Hillary Clinton.

Other ex-IDCers who lost last night:

Queens Sen. Tony Avella, who was defeated in a re-match by former NYC Comptroller John Liu; Sen. Marisol Alcantara, going down to former NYC Councilman Robert Jackson; Queens Sen. Jose Peralta, defeated by Jessica Ramos, who once worked for NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio; Brooklyn Sen. Jesse Hamilton, who was toppled by attorney/activist Zellnor Myrie; and Sen. David Valesky, of Syracuse, who appeared to be ousted by Rachel May, his first primary challenger in 14 years, though he didn’t concede and she didn’t declare victory, preferring to wait until all the absentee ballots are counted in this close race.

The only two former IDC members to survive primary challenges were Staten Island Sen. Diane Savino, Klein’s long-time partner; and Hudson Valley Sen. David Carlucci.

Another high-profile upset was the loss of Brooklyn Sen. Martin Dilan to 27-year-old Democratic Socialist and community organizer Julia Salazar, who managed to pull off a decisive victory even though her campaign was plagued by problems – including her misrepresentation of both her education and personal history.

So, though Cuomo, who spent an estimated $25 million of his copious campaign war chest during his campaign against Nixon, must now face off in the November election against Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro, the GOP gubernatorial candidate, over whom polls show he has a comfortable lead, he is poised to return to Albany for a third term with a vastly different – and far more liberal – Senate Democratic conference, which just might pull off its latest attempt at winning back the majority.

A bright spot for the Republicans last night, though: Brooklyn Sen. Simcha Felder, a conservative Democrat who conferences with the GOP, won his primary race against liberal challenger Blake Morris, bolstered by strong support in the Orthodox Jewish community.

Also running for governor in the November general election: Former Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner, who is running as an independent on the “Serve America Movement” line; Green Party candidate Howie Hawkins; and Larry Sharpe on the Libertarian Party line.

Also worth mentioning:

– Nassau Democratic Chairman Jay Jacobs declared political newcomer Taylor Raynor the victor in the Democratic primary race for the 18th Assembly District seat. She defeated Deputy Assembly Speaker Earlene Hooper, who has held the seat for 30 years.

– Assemblyman Clifford Crouch turned back a primary challenge from his fellow Republican, Nick Libous, son of the late former Sen. Tom Libous, in the 122nd Assembly District.

– Monroe County Democratic Chair Jamie Romeo emerged from a three-person primary in the 136th District to become the presumptive replacement for departing Assembly Majority Leader Joe Morelle, who won a June primary to succeed the late Democratic Rep. Louise Slaughter in D.C.

– In the 133rd Assembly District, Republican incumbent Joe Errigo lost to challenger and current Caledonia village trustee Marjorie Byrnes. Errigo, who served had previously served in the Assembly, was chosen by party leaders to return to office after the death of Assemblyman Bill Nojay in 2016.

Happening today…

More >