Nick Reisman

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Nixon Campaign Says She Will Release Her Taxes In Coming Weeks

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Cynthia Nixon will make public her tax return in the coming weeks, her campaign said Tuesday.

Nixon and her wife Christine Marinoni have filed an extension, spokeswoman Sarah Ford said.

The acknowledgement comes as Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s campaign made an open-ended call for candidates for governor to release their taxes. But the statement was likely aimed at Nixon, who on Saturday was endorsed by the Working Families Party.

“Cynthia and Christine filed a routine extension a couple of weeks ago for their personal income taxes, while they wait on missing information from third parties,” she said. “To answer Andrew Cuomo’s latest charge, yes, they will absolutely release them in the coming weeks.”

Cuomo, as is custom for statewide elected officials, made public his taxes today, showing he earned $218,100 last year and is no longer receiving income from the proceeds of his 2014 memoir, “All Things Possible.”

“Of course, anyone running for governor or president should be willing to release their taxes to the public – a principle accepted by everyone but Donald Trump,” said Cuomo spokeswoman Abbey Fashouer.

The campaigns of Republicans John DeFrancisco and Marc Molinaro did not immediately respond to inquiries on the issue.

Candidates who have access to the ballot are required to file financial disclosure forms with the Joint Commission on Public Ethics.

Stewart-Cousins Says Mayer Faces ‘Double Standard’ On Handling Of Sexual Harassment Case

Minority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins defended Democratic Senate hopeful Shelley Mayer’s handling of sexual harassment complaints made by legislative aides, saying the lawmaker faces “a double standard” with the criticism.

Mayer was criticized by the staffers, who told The Daily News last week they felt she should have been more aggressive in her handling of the complaints.

The allegations were made when Mayer was the top counsel to the Senate Democrats against a then-staffer. Mayer at the time sought to follow protocol, which was to bring the matter to the top official in the Senate, the secretary. At the time, the women were concerned the staffer was too close to Secretary to the Senate, Angelo Aponte.

“The reality is she did do something,” Stewart-Cousins said.

“Shelley Mayer went to the person who she was supposed to go to and apparently that person didn’t do anything. So as I always say, it’s kind of a double standard. You had a woman who did what she was supposed to do and apparently her supervisor didn’t do anything and now the woman is to blame. That concerns me.”

Mayer is running for a key Senate district in Westchester County against Republican Julie Killian. Her victory would give Democrats 32 enrolled members in the chamber and potentially a working majority, depending on whether Sen. Simcha Felder leaves the Republican conference. The special election is next Tuesday.

“Shelley Mayer is a proven legislator with a great deal of intelligence, great deal of integrity and I am sure at the end of all this, she will be the next senator from the 37th district,” Stewart-Cousins said.

Updated: Killian’s campaign reacted in a statement.

“Sen. Stewart-Cousins said today that Assemblywoman Shelley Mayer ‘acted as she should have,’ but not only do the two victims say that Mayer didn’t help them and actually ‘put them in more danger,’ Mayer’s actions don’t even meet the previous standards of acceptable action set by Sen. Stewart-Cousins herself,” campaign spokesperson Mollie Fullington said. “Did Mayer ‘confront’ the sexual abuse ‘head-on’ and ‘make it clear that it is not acceptable’ as Sen. Stewart-Cousins says is required? No, she did not. Instead of confronting the abuse head on, Mayer told the victims that it would have to wait until ‘after the election.'”

Cuomo Releases Tax Returns

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is no longer receiving income from a 2014 memoir released, his 2017 tax returns made available on Tuesday show.

Cuomo last year earned $218,100 in royalty payments from publisher HarperCollins for the book, “All Things Possible.” All together, Cuomo has earned $783,000 in income from the book, which served as both a memoir and an outline of his governing philosophy.

Cuomo’s federal adjusted gross income last year was $212,776 and he paid $41,765 in federal taxes, an effective rate of 19.6 percent. He paid $12,782 in state taxes, an effective rate of 5.8 percent. In addition to his salary as governor, Cuomo earned a dividend from money in a blind trust.

His federal refund was $4,306 and his state refund was $1,554. Both are expected to be applied to next year’s taxes.

Cuomo gave $11,000 to HELP USA, a housing charity he founded.

Cuomo, who lives in Westchester County with his partner Sandra Lee, splits the property tax bill, but does not declare the expense.

Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul, who files with her husband, former U.S. Attorney William Hochul, had a combined income of $585,357, paying $153,124 in federal taxes and $38,204 in state taxes. The Hochuls contributed $21,200 to 19 different organizations, including the Buffalo City Mission and the Alzheimer’s Association.

Stewart-Cousins To Hold First Post-Unification Fundraiser

Senate Minority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins on Sunday will hold her first fundraiser for the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee since the unity agreement dissolving the Independent Democratic Conference was announced.

The event will be held at a New York City home, with tickets ranging from $250 to $2,500.

The fundraiser comes two days before a special election that will fill two seats in the chamber and potentially give Democrats a numeric majority. Sen. Simcha Felder, a Democrat who conferences with Republicans, remains for now with the Senate GOP fold.

April22BeatriceSibblies_Version10 by Nick Reisman on Scribd

Amid WFP Split, Cuomo Emphasizes Union Ties

Gov. Andrew Cuomo in his first public comments since his primary opponent Cynthia Nixon won the endorsement of the Working Families Party emphasized his ties with organized labor amid the party’s split.

Several labor groups, including CWA and 32BJ SEIU, left the WFP ahead of its vote on Saturday to back Nixon, an actress and public education advocate, over Cuomo, a two-term incumbent running for re-election.

The unions are weighing whether to form their own ballot line that would likely endorse Cuomo. Cuomo’s campaign announced before the vote that he would drop his push for the WFP’s endorsement.

Amid this division between the WFP’s two main forces — labor and advocacy groups who have been critical of the governor’s policies — Cuomo emphasized his labor ties.

“There has now been a split. I stand with the unions who are the working men and women,” Cuomo said during a stop on Long Island. “I am a middle class. That’s who I am, those are my values, that’s where I come. Organized labor represents the working men and women of New York.”

A Siena College poll released Tuesday found Cuomo leading Nixon 58 percent to 27 percent, though she has gained ground on him since announcing her candidacy last month.

Cuomo’s base has been a mix of suburban voters and labor union households — traditionally Democratic voters in New York.

“That’s who I represent, that’s who I represent from day one,” he said.

Ex-IDC Lawmakers Chip In For Mayer Campaign

The lawmakers who made up the now-dissolved Independent Democratic Conference have contributed to the campaign of Democratic Senate hopeful Shelley Mayer, who is making a bid for a pivotal seat in the chamber next week.

Notices on the state Board of Elections website show Sens. Jeff Klein, Diane Savino, David Carlucci and Marisol Alcantara contributed $11,000 each to Mayer’s campaign.

Mayer, a member of the state Assembly, is running in a key Westchester County Senate district next Tuesday that could shift control of the chamber to the Democratic Party.

The IDC agreed earlier this month to dissolve itself and its former members are officially conferencing with the mainline Democratic conference starting on Tuesday.

The Senate Republican campaign arm, meanwhile, contributed $150,000 to the campaign of Mayer’s GOP opponent, Julie Killian.

32BJ SEIU Endorses Schneiderman’s Re-Election

The labor union 32BJ SEIU on Tuesday announced its endorsement of Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s re-election.

Schneiderman, a Democrat, is seeking a third term this year.

“The men and women of 32BJ are proud to endorse Eric Schneiderman for Attorney General,” said Héctor Figueroa, president of 32BJ SEIU. “He has continually fought for economic and racial justice for all working people in New York, and used his prosecutorial powers to resist against the Trump Administration’s cruel policies, something which benefits all New Yorkers and many people beyond our state.”

Republican Manny Alicandro has filed earlier this week, making him the likely GOP challenger against Schneiderman this year.

“Eric has used the power of the courts to protect the rights of our most vulnerable, defending against the Muslim ban, the end of DACA, and upholding the concept of sanctuary,” said Figueroa. “And his persistent work against wage theft by employers violating laws for prevailing wage, minimum wage and overtime, has recovered millions of dollars that have made a huge difference for many low-income workers in the state. Our members appreciate his muscular support of our brothers and sisters.”

NY-22: Dem Super PAC To Air Ad Targeting Tenney

From the Morning Memo:

A Democratic-backed super PAC will launch a TV ad that criticizes Rep. Claudia Tenney, a first-term Republican in the 22nd congressional district.

The ad will be aired on broadcast TV and on digital platforms in the Binghamton media market, taking Tenney to task for the vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

“Congresswoman Tenney is just another career politician who looks out for herself and special interests instead of hardworking Upstate families,” said House Majority PAC Communications Director Jeb Fain. “Tenney has voted time and time again against the middle class, even backing a devastating ‘Age Tax.’ HMP is getting a head start making sure Upstate voters know the truth about Tenney’s terrible record.”

Tenney faces Democratic Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi in the central New York House seat that is considered one of the top battleground races this fall.

Siena Poll: Cuomo Favorability Rating Falls

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s favorability rating has fallen to 49 percent, tying his lowest ever as governor, a Siena College poll released on Tuesday morning found.

The poll also found Cuomo leading his main opponent for the Democratic primary for governor, actress and public education advocate Cynthia Nixon, but she has gained some ground since March.

Less than a month ago, Cuomo led Nixon 66 percent to 19 percent. The poll released Tuesday found Cuomo defeating Nixon 58 percent to 27 percent. Cuomo maintains wide leads over Republicans Marc Molinaro, the Dutchess County executive, and John DeFrancisco, a state senator from Syracuse.

Cuomo is maintaining significant advantages with women, who would re-elect him 61 percent to 24 percent. Self-identified liberals back Cuomo 58 percent to 29 percent. Union households back Cuomo 62 percent to 26 percent. In New York City, Cuomo defeats Nixon 63 percent to 21 percent. The race is closer among upstate Democratic voters, with Cuomo leading 48 percent to 37 percent.

Despite his leads over both Republican candidates and Nixon, a plurality of voters, 47 percent, would prefer “someone else” over re-electing the governor to a third term.

Cuomo has over the last several weeks worked to bolster his support from the left, brokering a unity deal in the state Senate that led to the dissolution of the Independent Democratic Conference and campaigning on behalf of Democratic candidates running in key down-ballot contests.

On Saturday, Nixon received the endorsement of the Working Families Party, a liberal ballot line that Cuomo on Friday announced he would not contest, citing a schism between advocacy groups that back his opponent and labor unions who are generally supportive of his re-election.

Voters are split at 41 percent on whether Cuomo is a moderate or a liberal.

Voters are likewise split on Nixon, an actress best known for her role on “Sex And The City” who has worked with an education advocacy group in Albany over the years: 27 percent of voters have a favorable opinion of her; 28 percent do not. Forty-five percent do not know enough about her or have an opinion.

Cuomo’s favorability rating has taken a hit, but he remains popular with Democrats at 62 percent. But he’s below 50 percent with suburban and upstate voters.

The poll of 692 registered voters has a margin of 4.3 percentage points. It was conducted from April 8 to April 12.

SNY0418 Crosstabs by Nick Reisman on Scribd

Senate Dems Unified, Officially

In the end, it’s somewhat anti-climatic, a procedural motion in the state Senate that formally ended seven years of Democratic disunity in the chamber.

“We’re excited. Our conference has always wanted this reunification,” said Senate Minority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins. “It’s more likely that we can get things done for New Yorkers if we are working together.”

The Legislature was back in Albany for the first day of the post-budget legislative session and the first time after a unity deal was brokered by Governor Andrew Cuomo, leading the Independent Democratic Conference to dissolve and join the mainline fold. There was tangible evidence of that deal, with former IDC Leader Jeff Klein moved to a smaller office.

“The size of an office doesn’t determine legislative commitment or the ability to get things done,” Klein said in his office in the Legislative Office Building across the street from the Capitol.

Klein will now serve as the deputy to Stewart-Cousins. Sen. Mike Gianaris, the former deputy for the mainline conference, is set to become the conference chairman, making him the third ranking lawmaker among Senate Democrats.

And there was grumbling from Republicans, who could lose the majority by the end of this month, pending the outcome of two special elections. Cuomo’s push for Democrats, they argue, is based on the primary challenge he’s received from Cynthia Nixon, an actress and advocate for public education.

“Obviously it’s political,” said Sen. John DeFrancisco, a Syracuse Republican. “He thinks it’s important to unite the Democrats. That’s a position I can understand especially when he’s getting hit hard from the left, and the right and in between.”

Cuomo has been under increased pressure from the left to help Democrats. His liberal critics have argued the IDC-Republican arrangement in the Senate has stifled needed legislation. Democrats hope the end of the session could see criminal justice reforms, including cashless bail for New York.

“I think that if you look at the governor’s actions over the last few weeks, I think it’s very showing and telling that he is trying to do all he can to get a Democratic Senate,” said Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie.

Complicating matters is Sen. Simcha Felder, a Democrat who conferences with the Republicans and could switch sides. Should Democrats win two vacant seats in an April 24 special election, Democrats would have a working majority. Senate Minority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins says she’s hopeful it can happen.

“I’ve had a great working relationship with him over the years,” Stewart-Cousins said, “and I’ve made it no secret he would be a very good person for our conference.”