Mar 13th - 2:46 pm
Economist David Malpass, one of three Republicans who challenged US Senate Kirsten Gillibrand in 2010, has endorsed Rep. Bob Turner to take on the Democratic junior senator this fall through his political action committee, GrowPac.
“I’m pleased to see that Congressman Bob Turner has announced he’s running for the United States Senate against Kirstin Gillibrand,” Malpass said in a statement. “GrowPac supported Bob to victory during his NY-9 special election last year, and we are very pleased to endorse Bob Turner for the United States Senate.”
“Senator Gillibrand has worked for Washington’s interests even as New York has suffered from high unemployment and taxes and the sense that government is not serving the people effectively. New York deserves a Senator who brings clear principles on better government and who can represent New York’s interests, not Washington’s. I believe that’s Bob Turner.”
Malpass finished second to former Rep. Joe DioGuardi in the three-way GOP primary two years ago. He and Bruce Blakeman were placed on the ballot at the GOP convention, but DioGuardi, who had been endorsed by the Conservative Party, did not. DioGuardi subsequently petitioned his way onto the ballot and won the primary, but then went on to lose to Gillibrand in the general election.
This sort of mishegoss is exactly what the GOP county chairs pushing for Turner as a consensus candidate are hoping to avoid. So far, that doesn’t look likely. But there’s a lot of time between now and Friday, politically speaking.
Dec 27th - 8:58 am
Here’s the Dec. 9 notice posted without announcement or fanfare on the Website of the Legislative Ethics Commission alleging that former Senate Majority Leader Pedro Espada Jr. violated the law by hiring his uncle, Juan Feliciano Jr., as an $80,000-a-year “special assistant” and then lying about their family connection.
The TU reported on the allegation this morning – the latest in a string of charges lodged against Espada, who has repeatedly insisted he has never done anything wrong.
This latest accusation could lead to another criminal charge against the former Bronx Democrat who was bounced from office in 2010, thanks to a successful primary challenge by Sen. Gustavo Rivera.
As the TU notes, the Public Officers Law clearly states elected officials may not “articipate in any decision to hire, promote, discipline or discharge a relative for any compensated position at, for or within any state agency, public authority or the Legislature.”
A “relative” is defined as “any person living in the same household as the individual and any person who is a direct descendant of that individual’s grandparents or the spouse of such descendant.”
The Ethics Commission lays out the family connection between Feliciano and Espada, and it is not the first investigative entity to do so. Then-AG Andrew Cuomo made the same allegation in a lawsuit he brought against Espada in April 2010.
The commission says Espada did not cooperate with its probe, which will be its last now that its investigatory responsibilities have been usurped by JCOPE.
Dec 15th - 3:59 pm
A reader forwarded a rather stunning story in today’s Smithtown News, a Long Island weekly, that alleges the powerful boss of Suffolk County’s Conservative party, Ed Walsh, lied about his criminal record when he applied for his current job as a corrections officer.
Documents from Walsh’s personnel file, including details of a background check conducted in 1990 by the Suffolk County Sheriff’s office, were disseminated by retired state prosecutor Lawrence Gray, the paper reports. (The story isn’t on-line, but it appears in full after the jump).
They reveal Walsh was convicted of sexual assault while attending the University of Maryland in the 1980s and also arrested in Nassau County in 1989 for criminal mischief in the third degree – a charge that was later dropped to disorderly conduct, to which the chairman pleaded guilty.
Based on these incidents, about which Walsh was not forthcoming with his would-be employers, and the fact that he was allegedly rejected from a job with the NYPD due to “drug-related irregularities,” the lieutenant conducting the background check determined Walsh was not eligible to be a corrections officer, yet he has held that title for more than two decades now.
Walsh dismissed the allegations about his past as a “cut-and-paste job” and “a lot of garbage,” adding: “It’s not like I snuck in here 22 years ago.” The chairman said he would be pursuing a libel case against Gray, and also suggested Gray broke the law by obtaining and disseminating his personnel file.
Here’s where things really get tangled.
The Smithtown News story notes that Walsh’s paperwork has been “circulated among political insiders for the past year,” and quotes an anonymous source who says the documents were obtained by an investigator working for supermarket mogul John Catsimatidis.
I spoke with Catsimatidis briefly this afternoon, and he told me that was not, in fact, the case. But he also acknowledged there’s no love lost between himself and Walsh, and he admitted that he has a copy of the paperwork Gray has been sending out, insisting he received them “anonymously” during the NY-1 race.
Nov 7th - 2:46 pm
David Malpass, the unsuccessful 2010 US Senate candidate who has been using his political action committee, GrowPAC, to keep his hand in New York’s political mix, has cut four robocalls for four GOP county executive incumbents and/or hopefuls – one of whom isn’t even on the ballot.
Malpass recorded calls for Dutchess County executive candidate Marc Molinaro,
Nassau Suffolk County executive candidate Angie Carpenter, Erie County Executive Chris Collins and Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino. Of that group, only Astorino, who ousted incumbent Democrat Andy Spano in 2009, won’t be appearing on the ballot tomorrow. But he is backing a slate of GOP legislative candidates in hopes of flipping the Democrat-controlled body into more friendly hands.
“We’re very pleased to ask voters to vote for our endorsed candidates on Election Day November 8, 2011,” Malpass and his wife, Adele, who co-chairs GROW PAC, said in a press release.
“New York’s counties are critical to the pro-growth wave of change underway in America and will help fight for fiscal reform while keeping taxes down. Strong, fiscally conservative leaders are key to economic development and private sector job growth.”
Malpass, who finished second in the three-way GOP primary last year, hasn’t ruled out a 2012 re-match against Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, who easily defeated her GOP opponent, former Rep. Joe DioGuardi, last fall. He was not, however, included on the list of potential Gillibrand challengers in this morning’s NY Post, which floated a new name: Failed Republican 2010 state comptroller contender Harry Wilson.
Jun 8th - 9:23 am
Matt Walter, a longtime NYS GOP operative who got his start working for the Senate Republicans, has a new job: Political director of the Republican State Leadership Committee.
Politico reported Walter’s hiring in the “Morning Score” today, calling him a “veteran of one of 2010’s tougher state legislative campaigns.”
“Walter was a consultant to the RSLC’s effort to take back the New York state Senate last November, which very narrowly succeeded,” allen continued. “He’s a former executive director of the New York Republican Party and Rick Lazio campaign manager, and the RSLC says he’ll ‘play a key role in directing all RSLC political expenditures, expected to exceed $21 million for the cycle.’
“The RSLC – along with its Democratic counterpart, the DLCC – has already run ads in Wisconsin ahead of the state Senate recall campaigns this summer. RSLC president Chris Jankowski: ‘Matt is an experienced political professional who is ready to continue the RSLC’s groundbreaking success and take the point for the Committee’s efforts electing Republicans to state office across the country.’”
NYS GOP watchers will recall that Walter was brought in to run the Lazio campaign following a staff shake-up that ousted Kevin Fullington. The change didn’t save Lazio from getting trounced in the GOP primary by Buffalo businessman Carl Paladino, who went on to lose big to Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo in the November general election.
Walter got his start in former Senate Majority Leader Joe Bruno’s press shop. He then went to work at the state GOP when Bruno’s ally, Nassau County GOP Chairman Joe Mondello, took over.
Walter eventually rose to the position of executive director, but was bounced from that post by Tom Basile when Ed Cox beat the GOP establishment candidate, former Niagara County GOP Chairman Henry Wojtaszek, to take control of the state party. Cox kept Walter on, but he was largely sidelined.
The RSLC is headed by former Rep. Tom Reynolds and former RNC Chairman Ed Gillespie. The committee dropped about $1 million to help the Senate GOP in its quest to take back the majority last fall.
Mar 24th - 2:44 pm
Check out this nifty embeddable and interactive map, compliments of the US Census Bureau.
Not surprisingly, the bulk of the population loss is continuing to occur at the Western end of the state, while most of the gains are concentrated in NYC and on Long Island.
Remember: The numbers from the 2010 Census will be the basis of the next round of redistricting. The new lines need to be in place in time for the 2012 elections. As we already know, New York is on tap to lose two House seats because it grew slower compared to other states.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo and legislative leaders received these numbers earlier today. New York and Maine were the last two states to get their data from the Census Bureau.
UPDATE: Mayor Bloomberg voiced concern earlier today about a potentially “significant under-count” that is believed to be the result of missing vast swaths of NYC’s immigrant community, whose members may or may not be here legally.
The Census Bureau and Bloomberg administration initially believed there were 8.4 million people living in the five boroughs, but the 2010 numbers put the number at closer to 8.2 million.
Feb 16th - 1:05 pm
According to the MidHudsonNews.com Thomas Kirwan has been finally declared the winner in the 100th Assembly District. It was the last legislative race in the country to be called.
A Brooklyn appellate court voted 4-0 this morning, declaring him the winner over Democrat Frank Skartados, who actually defeated Kirwan back in 2008.
Kirwan’s victory gives Republicans 51 of the 150 seats in the Assembly, which means they would be able to sustain any veto by Governor Cuomo if they voted as an entire block.
Dec 28th - 6:15 pm
Carl Paladino has been heard from, but not seen since his loss to Andrew Cuomo in the race for governor.
He sent a not-so-friendly letter to our very own Liz Benjamin (which he CC’d to the entire Capitol press corps), and just this week, he penned a missive to ESDC Chairman Dennis Mullen.
Today, the Buffalo businessman reemerged in the flesh. He paid a visit to YNN’s Buffalo newsroom to use the studio for an interview on FOX News.
Afterward, he agreed to chat with YNN reporter/anchor Doug Sampson on the condition that no questions be asked about the election or his feelings about the results.
He had plenty to say, however, about his former rival, Andrew Cuomo, and his handling of several high profile cases.
Paladino is particularly incensed about the handling of the Alan Hevesi plea deal. At about the three minute mark, he suggests his letter to Liz may be the reason the former NYS Comptroller has not been sentenced yet.
At the end of the interview (10-min. mark), he returns to the subject of the so-called “nasty gram” he sent to Liz.
“I wasn’t only talking to Liz Benjamin. I was talking to the entire press corps about doing their job, about what journalism is really about. And they didn’t do that,” he said.
“We saw editorializing on the front page solely by the appointment of who they were sending out to go and do things… And it was wrong and shallow and disingenuous. I watched Liz very shallowly go into topics. And I was pointing out some of those topics that she could go in greater depth.”
(Well, with all due respect, Mr. Paladino, I have to disagree… but then I’m biased.)
As for his future plans, Paladino hasn’t ruled out another go at politics.
“I’m going to stay active in fighting for New York. As to politics, I haven’t made any decisions on that. But I’m, uh, that was Act One, Scene One for me,” Paladino said.
Dec 8th - 9:17 am
Republican Randy Altschuler has just sent out a press release announcing that he has conceded the race for New York’s 1st Congressional District to incumbent Democrat Tim Bishop. It was the last undecided race in the country.
Altschuler’s campaign says they are trailing Bishop by 263 votes, with just 977 absentee ballots still to be counted. That means Altschuler would have needed to get 621 of the remaining votes, which historically would have been unprecedented.
“After consulting with my family and campaign staff, I am ending my campaign and offering congratulations to Congressman Tim Bishop on his victory,” Altschuler said.
Just this week, Newsday reported that Altschuler was preparing for a rematch in 2012.
Full release after the jump.
Dec 4th - 12:24 pm
A judge in Nassau County has ruled in favor of the Republicans in the undecided 7th Senate District race between Incumbent Sen. Craig Johnson and his Republican challenger, Jack Martins.
Democrats had been asking for a full hand recount, but the judge denied that request today. Republicans are declaring victory in the race, which would give them 32 seats in the Senate come January.
“Now that Judge Warshawsky has officially certified this election, I extend my congratulations to Jack Martins on winning the 7th District seat by 451 votes, giving Republicans 32 seats and a majority in the New York State Senate,” Republican Conference Leader Dean Skelos said.
“Jack Martins was a hard-working candidate who listened to the concerns of Nassau County families on their doorsteps and in their communities, and he deserves credit for this extraordinary victory. I know he will represent the 7th Senate District with enthusiasm and integrity.”
As you can imagine, Democrats were not happy with today’s ruling.
“The judge’s decision to deny a recount is wrong on the letter and spirit of the law. In a race where the margin is less than half of one percent, the failure to count every vote is a disservice to every voter,” said Austin Shafran, spokesman for the DSCC.
“This week, it was discovered that nearly a quarter of a million votes in New York City were not counted. For the first time in its history, New York has the ability to ensure every vote is fully and accurately counted, but instead of using the tools at our disposal, the judge set a dangerous precedent that could lead to the disenfranchisement of New Yorkers.”
Democrats are not conceding the race yet. A hearing has been set for Tuesday to decide whether a five percent audit is required before certification of the election.