Nick Reisman

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Posts by Nick Reisman

Senate Retains Law Firm For “Personnel Matter”

Among the payments approved by Comptroller Tom DiNapoli’s office in recent weeks was a $9,000 fee for a law firm representing the state Senate in a personnel matter.

A Senate spokesman declined to comment on the hiring of Kraus & Zuchlewski LLP, citing the unnamed personnel matter.

The firm has been hired in the past by the Senate in order to handle a harassment complaint in the office of Sen. Tony Avella, a Queens Democrat, in 2012. Avella himself was not the target of the complaint.

Democratic Sen. Marc Panepinto of Buffalo abruptly announced this year he would not seek another term in the chamber, at the time citing a “personnel matter” as well as allegations of sexual misconduct.

The Assembly, too, continues to spend on legal fees related to sexual harassment investigations.

DiNapoli’s office reported a combined $85,000 was approved to two firms that have represented the chamber in the ongoing review of harassment policy. The law firms were retained following a spate of sexual harassment scandals involving state lawmakers.

SD-6: CSEA Endorses Hannon

Republican Sen. Kemp Hannon’s re-election bid on Tuesday was endorsed by the Civil Service Employees Association, the state’s largest public-workers union.

“I’m extremely pleased to receive the endorsement of the CSEA and their members,” Hannon said. “They have had a great impact on the lives of New Yorkers since they were first founded in 1910, and their mission and values are a testament to the strength and commitment of their members.”

Hannon is running for re-election in a Nassau County Senate district Democrats have long coveted, especially in presidential election years when his margins of victory are often smaller than in non-presidential cycles.

This year Hannon is being challenged by Democrat Ryan Cronin in one of a handful of battleground Senate districts playing out in the suburbs and in upstate New York.

“CSEA members need elected officials who fight for working people so they can earn wages that keep up with their ever increasing costs,” said Danny Donahue, the CSEA President. “We need elected official who will fight to maintain good jobs that benefit our communities. CSEA knows that building strong communities starts with good economic and tax policies that benefit everyone as opposed to just those at the top.”

SD-55: Dem Bounced From Ballot, Funke Unopposed

The state’s highest court on Tuesday disqualified Democratic state Senate candidate Steven Glickman from the race for the 55th district, leaving Republican incumbent Rich Funke unopposed.

The Court of Appeals in its ruling upheld an earlier state Supreme Court ruling that found Glickman was not eligible to run for state office given he did not meet New York’s five-year residency requirement.

Glickman had registered to vote in Washington, D.C., establishing that city as his primary residency. He did not register to vote in New York until last year.

“These factors clearly demonstrate that Glickman broke the chain of New York electoral residency which did not recommence until he registered to vote in New York in 2015,” the court found. “Thus, he cannot claim New York residency for the past five years as required by the State Constitution properly invalidated the designating petitions on that basis.”

The ruling gives Senate Republicans, who face electoral headwinds this cycle given the presidential election and their narrow majority in the chamber, one less district to defend this November.

Funke was first in elected in 2014, unseating Democratic incumbent Ted O’Brien, who had flipped the Republican held seat only two years earlier. The Rochester-area district had long been a top target for Senate Democrats when it was represented by Sen. Jim Alesi, who chose to retire in 2012.

“This ruling is a win for common sense and the State Constitution and a loss for out-of-towners who don’t follow the rules. The case is now closed,” said Funke campaign spokesman Jesse Sleezer.

Untitled (009) by Nick Reisman on Scribd

NY-19: Faso’s First TV Ad Focuses On Frugality

Republican congressional candidate John Faso on Tuesday released his first television ad of the general election which focuses on both government — and domestic — frugality.

In the ad, Faso’s wife Mary Frances discusses her husband’s record as an Assembly lawmaker pushing to close a $5 billion state budget deficit and slash spending along the way.

During this, John and Mary Frances take turns adjusting their Kinderhook home’s thermostat (Mary Frances wants it a little warmer, John wants it a little cooler, to save money).

“Being frugal in the Assembly helped him eliminate a 5 billion dollar deficit, and write the first budget in over 50-years that cut state spending,” she says in the ad. “Wait until he takes that ‘frugality’ to Washington.”

The TV spot will air on cable TV in the 19th congressional district, which is being vacated by Republican Rep. Chris Gibson this year.

Faso faces Democratic candidate Zephyr Teachout for what is expected to be a hotly contested race for the battleground House seat.

AD-65: Niou Endorsed By AFL-CIO

Democratic Assembly candidate Yuh-Line Niou this week was endorsed by the New York State AFL-CIO in her bid to unseat incumbent Alice Cancel.

“I am humbled by the endorsement of the workers and leaders of the NYS AFL-CIO,” she said. “I have always worked to be a champion for workers, and cannot wait to fight for the members of the NYS AFL-CIO and all working families in Albany.”

Niou and Cancel are facing each other in rematch following an April special election to replace disgraced former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, who was ousted late last year following his corruption conviction.

Niou ran a strong challenge on the Working Families Party line against Cancel, who had the backing Silver’s political apparatus in the lower Manhattan Assembly district.

“I am proud to announce the NYS AFL-CIO’s endorsement of Yuh-Line, and look forward to ensuring she is the Democratic nominee in September,” said Mario Cilento, President of the NYS AFL-CIO. “Yuh-Line understands the importance of continuing the fight for working men and women and giving all working people a strong voice in Albany. We know she will work for us, so we are looking forward to fighting for her.”

SD-31: Diaz Jr. Endorses Alcantara

Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. on Tuesday gave his nod to Democratic state Senate hopeful Marisol Alcantara as she vies for the district being vacated by Adriano Espaillat.

“From organizing voter registration drives, to helping tenants facing eviction navigate city bureaucracy, to standing with workers on the picket line, to passionately advocating for education funding, Marisol Alcantara has spent her career fighting for the issues that New Yorkers care about,” he said in a statement.

“Marisol has done the tough and unglamorous organizing work needed to bring change because she’s committed to helping tenants, seniors, immigrants and working families. In the Senate, she’ll be ready on day one to fight for stronger rent laws, the DREAM Act, campaign finance reform and tough new environmental safeguards.”

Alcantara, a labor organizer, faces fellow Democrats Micha Lasher, a former top aide to Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, and ex-city Councilman Robert Jackson in a primary next month.

Alcantara has racked up a series of endorsements over the last several weeks, lining up the backing of Espaillat himself, who is running for the House district being vacated by Rep. Charlie Rangel. She has also been endorsed by former Bronx Borough President Fernando Ferrer and the Transit Workers Union Local 100.

Also, Alcantara has the backing of the Independent Democratic Conference in the Senate, which is she is expected to join should she win.

NY-1: Throne-Holst Releases General Election TV Ad

Democratic congressional candidate Anna Throne-Holst on Tuesday released her first TV ad of the general election, touting her resume as a town supervisor in a 30-second spot.

The ad points to her time as Southampton supervisor and her management of the government’s budget, which saw an upgrade in its bond rating to AAA.

“I’m Anna Throne-Holst and all over Long Island, I hear the same thing. Money is tight, taxes are too high, and Washington is making it worse — wasting our tax dollars on giveaways to big corporations and the wealthy,” she says in the ad.

“As supervisor, I fought for Middle-Class taxpayers by auditing the budget, cutting the waste, restoring our triple-A bond rating, and holding the line on taxes. I’m Anna Throne-Holst and I approved this message because we need the same thing in Congress.”

Throne-Holst is running to unseat Republican Rep. Lee Zeldin, a freshman running for re-election in what is considered to be a top-tier swing district this election year.

Updated: Chris Pack of the National Republican Congressional Committee responds.

“Anna Throne-Holst is lying to Suffolk County voters about her record of raising taxes by 13.7 percent,” he said. “No matter how hard Anna Throne-Holst tries, she will never be able to run from her record of repeatedly voting to raise property taxes on Suffolk County families.”

NY-3: Cox Backs Dec. 6 General Election

State Republican Chairman Ed Cox on Tuesday backed the call from GOP congressional candidate Jack Martins to hold the district’s general election on Dec. 6 as a primary looms in October.

The official reason in court filings from the Martins campaign has to do with complying with the federal MOVE Act, which requires timely access to absentee ballots for military and overseas voters.

Martins, who opposes the October primary won in a legal challenge by Philip Pidot, has argued that if the primary should go forward, the general election for the House seat should be moved back to December.

And Cox, who has focused on battleground congressional races like Long Island’s third district, agreed.

“Holding the general election in New York’s 3rd congressional district on November 8th will deprive men and women serving in our Military abroad the right to vote in this important election,” Cox said. “I join in the call to move the election to December 6th so that our Military members who will be forced to vote by absentee ballot can exercise their fundamental right to participate in the democracy they are overseas fighting to protect.”

Holding the general election in December also takes the Donald Trump factor out of the race. Trump, the Republican presidential nominee, is deeply unpopular in the district.

Whoever the Republican nominee ultimately is will end up facing Democrat Tom Suozzi in the general election in the race to replace Democratic Rep. Steve Israel who is retiring.

Report Knocks Billionaire Ties In Legislative Races

From the Morning Memo:

A report being released on Tuesday is sounding the alarm over the myriad independent expenditure groups that are seeking to play a role in legislative races for both the Assembly and Senate this year.

The report, being released by the liberal Hedge Clippers group, points to the millions of dollars being funneled to super PACs in New York through donations from Paul Singer, Paul Tudor Jones and Dan Loeb.

Those committees, in turn, have engaged with vendor Herd Media, an entity that has ties to Republican political operative Karl Rove and billionaires David and Charles Koch.

The Hedge Clippers report suggests the wealthy donors are pushing not just to influence issues such education reform and bolster the charter school movement in New York, but also set a Legislature that is amenable to special tax breaks.

These groups, in turn, have sought to influence the outcome in key legislative races, including the April special election in which Democrat Todd Kaminsky defeated Republican Chris McGrath for the seat vacated by disgraced former Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos.

Herd Media was responsible for the $1 million ad purchase opposing Kaminsky’s candidacy.

“It looks like they’re working hard — and putting their power, influence and wealth on the line — to keep the special tax breaks they now enjoy and to get even more,” the report concludes.

The Hedge Clippers themselves are a consortium of labor-backed groups that include Citizen Action, Strong Economy for All and the Working Families Party.

Hedge Clippers Report on Hedge Funds and Private Equity Manipulating NY Elections August 23 2016 by Nick Reisman on Scribd

Assembly Incumbents Bolstered By NYSUT-Linked PAC

From the Morning Memo:

An independent expenditure committee is bolstering the campaigns of incumbent Assembly Democrats whose opponents have been aided by a group tied to the passage of the education investment tax credit.

Board of Elections records show the Fund For Great Public Schools has in recent days spent $85,048 in support of three incumbent Democrats in the Assembly who have drawn primary challengers: Assemblywoman Pamela Harris, Assemblywoman Latrice Walker and Assemblyman Phil Ramos.

The committee’s treasurer is listed as Andy Pallotta, the vice president of the New York State United Teachers.

The Democratic primary challengers in those races have drawn support from the group New Yorkers for Independent Action, whose treasurer, Thomas Carroll, has led Invest In Education, a group that’s backed the tax credit.

Records show New Yorkers For Independent Action has backed former Assembly aide Kate Cucco against Harris, city Councilwoman Darlene Mealey against Walker and Democrat Giovanni Mata against Ramos.

The tax credit legislation is designed to spur donations to public schools and entities and scholarship programs that aide private and parochial schools. The measure, which has languished in the Legislature, is opposed by the teachers unions in New York.