Nick Reisman

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Takeaways From The DNC

From the Morning Memo:

Now that both major party conventions are in the books, the long slog to the general election now begins. To say the least, it’s going to be an unpredictable race and a hotly contested one on the presidential level between both parties. It remains to be seen how much Hillary Clinton can benefit from the week here in Philadelphia or if Donald Trump will continue to use uncertainty and violence in the world to his advantage.

But in New York, there a number of key issues facing elected officials and voters this fall.

1. Democrats in New York are with her, except some aren’t: Gov. Andrew Cuomo right off the bat wanted to make unity pitch to his delegation. It was clear Cuomo did not want his delegation to be the problem at the convention highlighting a New York resident’s historic nomination for the presidency. The second morning of the convention, Cuomo brought along a high-powered liberal guest: Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who urged his contingent in New York to support Clinton’s bid. Cuomo knew he — a firm supporter of Clinton and member of that wing of the party — would not be able to make that personal appeal successfully. The Sanders appearance subdued what could have been a noisy rebellion against Clinton within New York’s delegation. Still, there is talk of finding a liberal challenger to Cuomo in 2018 when he runs for a third term after they were buoyed by the better than expected showing of Zephyr Teachout in 2014. Finding a credible challenger with name recognition could be difficult, however. Cuomo, too, continues to bolster his support on the institutional left with a series of victories on the minimum wage and paid family leave.

2. The Cuomo-de Blasio feud will always be with us: Mayor Bill de Blasio quietly left the Thursday delegation breakfast after the morning’s program went too long and his time slot was taken up with lengthy remarks by Cuomo and awards given to Rep. Charlie Rangel and Senate Minority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins. Cuomo’s team insisted it wasn’t a snub, while the chronically tardy de Blasio was scheduled to attend a roundtable forum on cities. As a result, the mayor of the state’s largest city did not speak before the New York delegation, whose breakfasts were organized by Cuomo’s team. Regardless of the scheduling, the incident — fairly or unfairly — is being viewed through the prism of the longstanding feud between the two men. And how could it not? De Blasio has accused Cuomo of repeatedly undermining his agenda and the city’s interests in Albany. Cuomo’s office, meanwhile, continues to blast the mayor as feckless and his advisors as “hacks.” For all the unity themes Cuomo had sought this week, the de Blasio snafu was a discordant note.

3. A plea for help in the Senate: And speaking of unity, Senate Democrats would really like everyone singing from the same hymnal when it comes to flipping control of the chamber. Cuomo this week once again declined to explicitly endorse that campaign, however. Senate Minority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins sought to make the case before the delegation — and before Cuomo himself — the slog of negotiating with Senate Republicans would not be as much of a problem should Democrats gain control of the chamber. Stewart-Cousins this week sought to thread a needle: Yes, there have been a lot of accomplishments and key liberal victories. But these victories in New York — a minimum wage hike, paid-family leave — should be slam dunks in a liberal state like New York. For his part, Cuomo acknowledged the Senate Democrats are in a “frustrating” situation in the minority. It’s likely cold comfort, though, for Democrats who are close, but yet so far, to gaining power.

4. Father and son: And finally, Cuomo’s remarks to the Democratic National Convention was the evolution in many respects of the governor’s own interpretation of his father’s legacy. A lot — almost too much — has been written dissecting their relationship and their different approaches to governing. Mario Cuomo was the aspirant thinker, Andrew Cuomo has been the nuts-and-bolts doer. The younger Cuomo on Thursday evening sought to fuse those two personalities together: You can aspire to doing big things and those big things can get done.

Here And Now — Travel Day Edition

Good morning! The Capital Tonight team is pulling their stakes out of Philly following two weeks on the road (with one Saturday in between) to cover both the Republican National Convention in Cleveland and then the Democrats’ turn in Philadelphia. Thanks all for watching and reading this space, and we hope we gave you a window into the circus that has been these massive events. We’re driving back to Albany this morning, but check with us throughout the day for any updates.

Your schedule:

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s speech is yet to be released, while Mayor Bill de Blasio will be on WNYC radio later this morning and has nothing else public planned.

At 11 a.m., state Senate candidate Julie Killian and congressional hopeful Phil Oliva will discuss an important deadline impacting local schools and property values. Westchester County Center, 198 Central Ave., White Plains.

At noon, IDC Sen. Tony Avella will demand action on yet another “zombie” property in his district, 25-18 163rd Street, Queens.

Also at noon, Rep. Elise Stefanik will hold a news conference on issues facing the northern border, North Country Chamber of Commerce
7061 Route 9.

At 1 p.m., IDC Sens. Jeff Klein and Diane Savino will reveal an investigation that found Pokemon Go has led some to the homes of sex offenders, 250 Broadway, New York, NY, 20th Floor.

At 4 p.m., Assemblyman Kieran Michael Lalor and Sen. Sue Serino will hold a news conference to discuss the passage of an anti-crime bill, Intersection of Worrall Ave. and Eastbound Rte. 55, Poughkeepsie.

Headlines:

Hillary Clinton became the first woman to officially accept a major party’s nomination for president on Thursday night, vowing a steady hand in an uncertain world, while casting Donald Trump as being unprepared for the Oval Office.

Pivoting off of a Ronald Reagan line, Clinton decried Trump’s “midnight in America” speech.

The country may be one hard-fought election away from a woman in charge, making a question that has always been abstract more concrete: How could having a woman as president alter the experience of being an American woman?

Clinton declared the nation was at a “moment of reckoning” when it came to avoiding a Trump presidency and moving forward as a nation.

Protests of “Never Hillary!” erupted during the start of the speech in the convention arena.

While Clinton faces a deficit in trust with voters, she sought to play to a major strength instead: Her resume, plus an abiding faith in her capabilities as a leader.

Clinton was introduced by her daughter Chelsea, who has taken on a more active role as an adult in her parents’ political worlds.

Democrats in the final day of the convention included speakers blasting Trump’s rhetoric on Muslims, including a retired general and the father of a war hero.

Trump’s rhetoric and at-times incendiary language has given minority voters a powerful incentive to support Clinton’s candidacy.

At the same time, Democrats this week made a pitch to woo Republicans who are wary, disaffected or horrified their party nominated Trump.

Trump and ex-New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg once held a cordial relationship, which has since soured, though their interactions have been largely limited.

The Republican nominee’s appeal to Russia that it find damaging or embarrassing emails deleted by Clinton has shocked and alarmed foreign policy experts, calling it yet another breach in political norms by Trump.

Trump insisted he was being “sarcastic” when he asked the Russian government to find the emails.

Real-estate mogul and Republican Peter Kalikow is not being shy when it comes to his support and backing of Trump.

It was a rainy final day for the DNC here in Philly, but that did not dampen the ongoing protests that have been a facet of life outside of the Wells Fargo Center.

The rallying cry for the liberal alternative — Jill, not Hill — as some on the left flock to Green Party candidate Jill Stein over Clinton’s nomination.

An interactive look at where Hillary (and Bill) Clinton have been in western New York.

Newsday’s editorial board writes Clinton “has earned” the Democratic nomination, but questions whether she can beat Trump this fall.

Ditto The Daily News, whose editorial board endorsed Clinton in the general election.

Basketball legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar jokingly introduces himself as Michael Jordan, since Trump wouldn’t be able to tell the difference.

The biggest winners at the DNC? Lobbyists.

One prominent celebrity guest from the New York delegation has been Ken Cole, the fashion designer and brother-in-law of Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Cuomo in his convention speech highlighted the legacy of his father’s 1984 address.

Cuomo also touted his own accomplishments on key liberal issues in New York, including the recent success of the minimum wage measure and a 12 week paid family leave program.

He embraced his father’s legacy as well, drawing a line from Mario Cuomo to Hillary Clinton.

The address was delivered to a distracted room that sometimes required Cuomo to “bellow” above the din of the crowd.

Cuomo “is simply not the orator is father was” says The Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza, declaring him one of the “losers” of the night.

Cindy Adams says Cuomo told her “it might be over for Donald Trump.”

De Blasio bolted from a breakfast gathering of New York Democrats on Thursday morning even though he was scheduled to speak that morning.

In non-convention news:

Uber drivers are suing Cuomo and New York state over unemployment benefits.

New York has joined a coalition of states fighting North Carolina’s measure seen as discriminatory toward transgender individuals.

A “severe drought” is hitting the Southern Tier region of the state as some municipalities are expanding voluntary water restrictions.

Republicans in the Rochester area are fighting to keep the Democratic opponent to Republican Sen. Rich Funke off the ballot this November.

Senate Democrats are crying foul over the GOP’s use of Facebook to fuel criticism of their candidates and reinforce it with negative comments.

The state Department of Environmental Conservation has seized more than 1,000 pounds of undersized lobsters from the Price Chopper supermarket chain.

The proposal to potentially split the Capital Region area code from the longstanding 518 number is upsetting to some residents.

Splitting the region’s area code — which runs into the Adirondack Park — is being viewed as a “pain in the neck” but necessary.

A Republican primary is taking shape for the Assembly seat held by Democratic incumbent Carrie Woerner.

In Onondaga County, a lawsuit is moving forward over pay increases for county lawmakers.

Anglers search for Alligator Gar, a rare fish, in Schenectady.

 

In Convention Speech, Cuomo Invokes Father’s Legacy, Praises Clinton

In an address that invoked his father’s legacy while touting his own accomplishments as governor, Andrew Cuomo in his remarks at the Democratic National Convention on Thursday drew a line from Mario Cuomo’s liberal advocacy to enacting concrete accomplishments.

And that includes electing Hillary Clinton president, Cuomo said, a Democrat who, like him, has gotten into the weeds of governing in order to achieve broad-based goals.

The speech placed a heavy focus on the broad-based aspirations of the Democratic Party toward inclusiveness and the measures he’s achieved in office. His first mention of Clinton came 13 minutes into the address.

“She won’t just shatter the glass ceiling for my daughters and your daughters and provide a new role model for an entire generation of women, she has the vision, intelligence, and qualifications to be a transformative force for this nation,” Cuomo said from the hall of the convention here in Philadelphia.

“She will unify, not divide this nation and move us forward together. That’s why we must make Hillary Clinton the next president of the United States. That was my father’s timeless message in 1984. He was the keynote speaker for this nation’s better angels, and he was beautiful.”

The 1984 keynote address catapulted the late Mario Cuomo to the national spotlight, making him an instant prospect as a presidential candidate and a spokesman for liberal Democrats in an era in which Republicans held the White House over three terms.

Mario Cuomo died on the first day of 2015, hours after his son was sworn in for a second term as governor.

Andrew Cuomo has often invoked his father’s legacy in pushing for social justice issues. But at the same time, the incumbent governor has been critical of government when it becomes a “debating society” as opposed to a vehicle for accomplishments.

In the remarks, Cuomo touted his own recent legislative successes, such as increasing the state’s minimum wage to $15 in New York City and the surrounding suburban counties as well as his 2011 push for the legalization of same-sex marriage.

He included in these victories the passage of the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act, which was not approved in the Legislature, but enacted through regulation in the face of Republican opposition in the state Senate.

“We know what Republicans say — that Democrats are dreamers. We are dreamers, but we are also doers,” Cuomo said, pointing to aspirational Democratic presidents like Franklin Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson.

“Mario Cuomo was a dreamer, too,” Cuomo said, “but our progressive government is working in New York.”

NY-24: GOP PAC Ties Deacon To Clinton’s Email Woes

A political action committee for the House Republicans on Thursday is targeting Democratic candidates in swing districts to link them to Hillary Clinton’s handling of her email as secretary of state, including Colleen Deacon who is running for a Syracuse-area House district.

The group, the Congressional Leadership Fund, has launched the website ImWithCareless.com, highlighting the sound-bite ready description by FBI Director James Comey in describing Clinton’s use of a private email server.

“Putting politics before principle, Colleen Deacon is ‘Ready for Hillary’ regardless of how untrustworthy and reckless she’s found by voters or even the FBI,” said Ruth Guerra, Deputy Communications Director for Congressional Leadership Fund. “Democrats proudly embracing Hillary Clinton will have to explain to voters why they continue to stand by her record of scandals and dishonesty.”

Deacon is among the dozen Democrats running in battleground House districts who are being included in the round of criticism by the PAC through the website.

Deacon is running against incumbent Republican John Katko for the 24th congressional district. The seat has perennially changed hands over the last several cycles between both parties.

Katko unseated Rep. Dan Maffei in 2014, making the district a top target to be flipped by Democrats this cycle.

Stewart-Cousins: ‘We Can Unify’ State Dems In NY

A Democratic majority in the state Senate would make it easier for liberal and progressive causes to pass in Albany, Senate Minority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins said in her remarks to the New York delegation breakfast this morning.

“There is opportunity. And in terms of progressive leadership, because I know we’ve finished part of our progressive agenda, but there’s so much more to do,” she said. “We’ve got to take the state Senate back for the Democrats.”

Those victories, too, wouldn’t come with deals and strings attached Democrats have found difficult to accept, she said.

“We can do more than survive. We can grow, we can thrive,” she said. “We continue to lead the way, not by giving a little here and taking a lot there and, yes we believe in compromise and working across the aisle. But I don’t think fighting for working men and women should be a struggle.”

The speech was in many respects aimed as a pitch to Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who has worked well with majority Republicans in the Senate over the last six years. Cuomo gave Stewart-Cousins a leadership award at the breakfast before she spoke and acknowledged how the Democratic conference has a “frustrating situation” being in the minority.

The GOP conference has backed Cuomo’s push for a minimum wage increase for some parts of the state to $15 and a 12-week paid family leave program this year, with a tax-cut package coming along as part of the deal.

Democrats have long grumbled Cuomo does not want their party to control the Senate, believing he prefers the split Legislature in order to triangulate during negotiations.

Asked this week n Philadelphia, Cuomo once again declined to endorse a Democratic takeover of the Senate.

But Democrats in the Senate typically make gains in a presidential election years, and they are playing offense in districts on Long Island and in the Hudson Valley (Republicans want to flip a western New York seat as well as a district in Westchester County).

Stewart-Cousins, too, has sought to improve the relationship with the five-member Independent Democratic Conference, which has aligned with Senate Republicans.

Calling up Democratic lawmakers, Stewart-Cousins made a pointed plea for unity.

“I want you to understand that as we unify Democrats on the national level, we can unify Democrats on the state level,” she said. “I want you to understand we know how important as the governor said it’s hard to be dragged to be place when you don’t see the people, you don’t understand the problem.”

I want you to see them. I want you to understand that as we unify Democrats on the national level, we can unify Democrats on the state level. I want you to understand we know how important as the governor said it’s hard to be dragged to be place when you don’t see the people, you don’t understand the problem.

Let’s run the table.

De Blasio Leaves Breakfast Without Speaking To NY Delegation

Both Mayor Bill de Blasio and Gov. Andrew Cuomo were scheduled to speak at the New York delegation breakfast on Thursday morning.

What could go wrong, right?

The mayor, who is locked in an intense public feud with Cuomo, left the delegation breakfast shortly after the governor concluded his 25 minutes of opening remarks.

Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown told the delegation de Blasio was due to moderate a panel discussion elsewhere in Philadelphia and had to leave. His public schedule released by his office on Wednesday night showed the mayor would attend a panel discussion clled “City Solutions: Income Inequality” at 9:45 a.m.

The breakfast was scheduled to begin at 8:30 a.m., but speakers did not take the stage until around 9 a.m. Both the mayor and governor had released schedules advising they would speak at the same time.

It was de Blasio’s first and only appearance at the breakfast delegation this week while he is in Philadelphia for the Democratic National Convention.

Cuomo spoke first at the breakfast, followed by speeches and awards given to outgoing Rep. Charlie Rangel and Senate Minority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins.

Cuomo and de Blasio sat at separate tables during the breakfast, with the governor flanked by Rangel and his daughter, Cara. The mayor sat next to Comptroller Tom DiNapoli, whose office has released audits and reports critical of Cuomo’s handling of the state’s finances and economic development spending.

Cuomo Previews DNC Address

When Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks later today at the Democratic National Convention here in Philadelphia, the legacy of his late father will almost certainly be invoked, or at least remembered.

Cuomo gave a preview of his speech at the New York delegation breakfast this morning, which included a tribute video to his father, playing clips of his 1984 convention keynote in which he rebutted Ronald Reagan’s “shining city on a hill.”

“I miss him and I’m going to speak about him tonight with your permission in the speech because I think his legacy is an important part of the Democratic Party,” Cuomo told the delegation.

The keynote address for Mario Cuomo catapulted him into national stardom, stoking talk of a presidential campaign that would never be launched.

Mario Cuomo died on the first day of 2015, hours after his son was sworn in for a second term.

The current governor has not sought a similar national spotlight that had shone on his father, but he has cast accomplishments in New York as having an impact on the country’s political debates.

Cuomo, too, has pointed out the ’84 speech by his father was an address similar to what he had given before. He’s indicated a more poignant speech was given at Notre Dame, when his father outlined his position on abortion as a Catholic Democrat.

While his father was focused on work, Cuomo said his dad enjoyed political conventions as a means of communicating a platform.

“It was a place where he was most comfortable in a lot of ways,” Cuomo said. “It was a venue to discuss what Democrats are most about on a fundamental basis.”

It’s not clear when Cuomo will be speaking this evening or if the address will be in primetime. For the third time this week, Cuomo insisted that speaking on Thursday, the final day of the convention is a choice day to speak and a “sign of respect” for New York.

Cuomo To NY Delegation Touts Shared Victories

There’s a difference between Democrats in New York and Democrats elsewhere in the country, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the delegation breakfast on Thursday morning.

The difference: Democrats nationally aspire to liberal goals like a $15 minimum wage and paid family leave while in New York it’s actually gotten done.

“We did it!” Cuomo said, his voicing rising amid sustained applause. “We accomplished it! We made it happen! It’s not a dream, it’s a reality and that is all the difference in the world.”

Cuomo in the last year has achieved a series of legislative victories that have been brought to the political mainstream for Democrats, such as the $15 minimum wage (it goes to $12.50 north of Westchester County after a phase-in period and then is subject to economic factors) in addition to the 12 weeks of paid family leave.

Cuomo reached back even further in his remarks to his first-term accomplishments, including the passage of the 2013 SAFE Act, a sweeping and controversial gun control law, as well as the approval of the legalization of same-sex marriage in 2011.

In all cases, Cuomo said, New York has influenced the national debate. New York wasn’t the first state to legalize same-sex marriage, but the passage was influential on nudging President Obama toward publicly stating his support as well as other state legislatures.

“We have really made this progressive agenda a reality,” he said.

Many of these accomplishments came with the help of votes from Republicans in the state Senate, whom Cuomo has worked well with. But on Thursday, Cuomo reached out to legislative Democrats, who he sometimes has a truculent relationship with over the years.

Senate Democrats had said have a “frustrating” situation in the chamber, and thanked them for backing his agenda. Cuomo shouted out Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, who has recently feuded with over New York City policies, saying he has “such respect” for his Democratic conference.

At the same time, Cuomo outlined the differences between Democrats and Republicans more broadly, returning once again to the theme of Donald Trump’s plan to build a wall along the Mexican border and the symbolism of the new Tappan Zee Bridge construction.

“The essential difference between us and them is they say we can’t make it together,” he said. “They’re trying to raise the fears between different people and different skin color and different religions. They’re trying to blow on those flames of fear and that’s what those Republicans are doing. That says it all.”

Free Trade Debate Roils Convention

From the Morning Memo:

As workers across the country are being roiled by stagnate wages and the continued aftershocks of the economic recession, New York Democrats are making clear their opposition to free trade agreements.

“Should I, God willing, become the majority leader, we’re going to have an entirely different approach on trade,” U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer told the New York delegation on Wednesday, adding his opposition to free trade pacts that could ship jobs overseas has become only stronger in the last several years.

“You don’t need a phd in economics to know why companies want to take jobs out of America and move them to Indonesia or Mexico or anywhere else,” he said.

And Gov. Andrew Cuomo is also striking a populist tone one major trade deal in particular: The Trans Pacific Trade Partnership — a deal aimed at opening up the Asian market which was forged by President Obama.

“When they tell you now we’re going to pass TPP, what they’re saying is they don’t understand the damage they’ve done in the first place and now they want to redo it and extend it with TPP,” he said.

Throughout the week here in Philadelphia, it’s hard not spot at least one person wearing an anti-TPP button, often being worn by supporters of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.

Both parties are facing headwinds this election cycle as voters turn to populist candidates like Donald Trump and Sanders, both of whom have signaled strong opposition to trade deals. Hillary Clinton initially supported the deal, but now opposes it.

“The platform that was adopted is satisfactory to the labor movement, we’re all in favor of it,” said AFL-CIO President Mario Cilento.

Opposition to the TPP is potentially crucial for Democrats against Trump, considering the voter outreach labor unions can provide.​​

“Donald Trump does not have the organization to actually and poll people, go knock on doors,” Cilento said. “That’s the strength of the labor movement.”

Left unsaid by Democratic officials and labor leaders in New York is whether rank and file union members will stick with the Democratic Party this fall, or break for Trump and his populist economic rhetoric.

Here And Now — DNC, Day 4

Good morning from Philadelphia on this fourth and final day of the Democratic National Convention! President Obama delivered his swan song on Wednesday night to the DNC at the Wells Fargo Center and was joined by Hillary Clinton on stage in a surprise cameo appearance. Tonight, it’s her turn to deliver her acceptance speech for the presidential nomination.

Your schedule:

At 7:45 a.m., Mayor Bill de Blasio will deliver remarks at the Massachusetts delegation breakfast, Hilton Philadelphia Penn’s Landing
201 South Christopher Columbus Boulevard, Philadelphia

At 8:30 a.m., Gov. Andrew Cuomo will deliver remarks at the state Democratic delegation breakfast at the Lowes Hotel in Philadelphia. De Blasio, too, is scheduled to speak to the New York delegation around this time.

Cuomo is also scheduled to deliver remarks at the DNC later today, but a time for his address is yet to be released.

At 9:45 a.m., de Blasio will participate in City Solutions: Income Inequality Panel Discussion, Arts Ballroom, 1324 Locust St., Philadelphia.

At 10 a.m., congressional candidate Jack Martins will hold a veterans roundtable discussion, American Legion Post 144, 744 Willis Ave, Williston Park.

At 10:30 a.m., Bernie Delegates Network will provide a briefing for journalists, Philadelphia Marriot Downtown, Philadelphia.

Headlines:

President Obama made the case for a Hillary Clinton presidency at the DNC, passing the baton to her after two terms in the White House.

Both Obama and Vice President Joe Biden said Clinton would essentially keep America on the track they started eight years ago, while a Republican win would be a step back.

Complete with a Donald Trump impression, America was introduced to Clinton’s vice presidential running mate, Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine.

Kaine may not have been much of a traditional attack dog, but he impressed the crowd by effortlessly slipping into Spanish throughout the speech.

“Kaine seemed more like a nervous middle-aged guy accepting an award from the Kiwanis Club Wednesday night”

Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg blasted Trump in his remarks, calling him a demagogue, and urged independents like him to support a “sane” candidate like Clinton in a speech that was peppered with one liners.

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders was in the house for the third night of the DNC, and was mobbed by supporters trying to get his autograph while Clinton spoke.

Sanders’s supporters aren’t going anyway quietly: They were back in the media tent at the Wells Fargo Center last night to protest their candidate’s treatment.

Those backing Sanders at the DNC say hotel bills are out of control in Philadelphia.

Later insisting it was a joke, Trump drew harsh rebukes from Democrats after he suggested Russia should “find” the missing emails on Clinton’s private server.

Former CIA Director Leon Panetta was heckled during his convention center by Sanders supporters as he sought to rebuke Trump over the email statement.

A security expert believes the DNC’s data breach, which released an embarrassing trove of emails as well as personal donor information, could become much larger.

The Clinton campaign in a statement said Trump’s comment is the first time a political candidate has sought the help of a foreign government to conduct espionage against an opponent.

Trump, meanwhile, held an “ask me anything” on the online news and comment site Reddit.

Despite the unity calls and celebration of the first woman to lead a major party ticket, the base of the Democratic Party remains restive, something Clinton should heed.

The “Uber wars” have extended to the Democratic National Convention, where traditional cab drivers say Uber drivers are making it difficult to get spots.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio downplayed his afternoon time slot to speak at the Democratic National Convention, saying it’s simply about helping Clinton defeat Trump.

Jimmy Vielkind notes virtually anyone could have delivered de Blasio’s cookie-cutter speech attacking Trump’s record.

The issue of gun control took center stage at the DNC on Wednesday night, with speeches from former Rep. Gabby Gifford and the mother of a victim of the Orlando nightclub attack.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is set to address the DNC later today in an appearance that will harken back to his father’s keynote speech in 1984 that catapulted him national fame.

The stakes of this coming election are the highest they’ve been for U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer, who is in line to become the leader of the Senate Democrats and potentially the majority leader next year.

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz was chatted up by Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe about the Buffalo Bills.

In non-convention news:

The top New York official in charge of economic development efforts will face scrutiny at a hearing next week from lawmakers concerned about the effectiveness of the state’s job creation programs.

Weitz and Luxenberg has filed the first personal injury claim in the Hoosick Falls water contamination case.

Demolishing of One Seneca Tower in Buffalo could cost $35 million to implode, but developer LP Ciminelli says taxpayers shouldn’t be on the hook to pay for it.

It remains unclear how high school sports governing officials will ultimately classify public and charter schools when it comes to post-season play.

Emma Willard School is launching a task force to review its policies and protocols around handling reports of sexual misconduct after a former student came forward this spring to report she was raped by her teacher in 1998.

Former Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos has been disbarred in the wake of his corruption conviction.

A court ruling will allow the estranged wife of Adam Skelos to keep 65 percent of the proceeds of the sale of their Long Island home.

The state’s affordable housing agency is withholding documents of a former employee’s work hours citing an ongoing investigation.

The Office of General Services offered a webinar for potential bidders interested in purchasing 27 acres of vacant land at the Harriman Campus.

The MTA is planning to sue New York City over an East Harlem plant nursery fire.

The NYPD is getting set to ease its restrictions on the use of Tasers, which had been rooted in issues facing an earlier generation of stun guns.

State lawmakers are likely going to get a pay raise and whatever the amount, New Yorkers will be appalled by the increase.

The Post-Star’s editorial blasts a push to ban gun shows from Saratoga Springs as unfair and unjustified.

After a fatal boat crash, there are calls to end Lake George’s Log Bay Day.