Attorney General

CSEA To Endorse Schneiderman

From the Morning Memo:

The state’s largest public employees union, CSEA, is holding its 104th annual delegates meeting today in New York City, and is poised to throw its support behind Democratic state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.

“Eric Schneiderman has taken on the tough fights and worked hard to fairly represents the interests of all New Yorkers,” said CSEA President Danny Donohue in an advance copy of a press release obtained by Morning Memo.

“Holding major financial companies accountable for misdeeds, securing safer streets, addressing the heroin epidemic, protecting consumers from fraud and standing up against wage theft are just some of the ways Eric Schneiderman has earned CSEA’s support,” Donohue continued.

CSEA’s support of Schneiderman shouldn’t come as any big surprise.

The AG has long enjoyed strong support from the labor community, and unions will likely play a big role in his battle with his Republican opponent, former Pataki administration aide John Cahill.

Schneiderman has already been endorsed by the AFL-CIO, NYSUT, UFCW Local 1500, RWDSU, the Building and Construction Trades Council of NYC and a number of law enforcement unions.

A recent Siena poll showed the AG’s race tightening, but that occurred after Cahill had the airwaves to himself for several weeks.

Schneiderman is now on the air with his first TV ad, and has millions of dollars with of air time already reserved for the end of the campaign – when voters are actually paying attention.

And the labor factor in Schneiderman’s ground game cannot be overlooked, especially in union and Democrat-dominated NYC, where Cahill at least has to hold his own – and carry Staten Island, if possible – if he is to have any chance of winning in November.

Donohue already announced CSEA’s endorsement of Democratic state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli back in July. DiNapoli has also benefitted from his strong ties to organized labor, and the union’s helped him eke out a victory four years ago against Republican hedge funder Harry Wilson.

DiNapoli appears to be cruising to an easy victory this year against his little-known GOP opponent, Onondaga County Comptroller Bob Antonacci, who is struggling to meet the $200,000 threshold to become the lone participant in the state’s pilot public campaign finance program.

As for Gov. Andrew Cuomo, it’s a safe bet CSEA will today join the ranks of unions taking a pass on the governor in this’s election. CSEA did not endorse then-AG Cuomo in 2010, and the relationship between the union and the governor hasn’t improved much since then.

CSEA’s public worker union partner, PEF, has already gone out on a limb this year by backing Cuomo’s primary challenger, Fordham Law Prof. Zephyr Teachout, after supporting Cuomo four years ago. Even though Teachout lost, PEF isn’t going to be taking sides in the general election.

The AFL-CIO, which did back Cuomo in 2010, and NYSUT, which did not, have also declined to back Cuomo this year.

Cahill Campaign Discloses Complete Poll

Attorney general candidate John Cahill’s campaign released on Thursday the full questions and results of an internal poll it conducted and later released to supporters in a fundraising email.

Cahill’s campaign had initially given some details of the poll to supporters, triggering a requirement the internal survey be released in full to the state Board of Elections.

The Cahill campaign, however, filed questions and results with elections officials that were only detailed in the fundraising email, which the BOE initially said complied with the law.

However, elections enforcement counsel Risa Sugarman argued in a letter this week to the Cahill campaign the initially filing did not go far enough. Indeed, the information released did not include the precise ordering of the questions, nor did it include all of the questions asked in the poll.

“Notwithstanding that the Board has already publicly stated that the campaign’s submission was sufficient and consistent with past practice, the Cahill campaign, in the spirt of disclosure, is complying with her request,” wrote Cahill spokesman David Catalfamo in an email.

Catalfamo added that the complete poll results — while a “snapshot” of the race — show the internal survey was not a loaded “push poll.”

Finally, while polls are only a snap shot in time and open to different interpretations by fair minded people, it should be abundantly clear that this data is not the result of a push poll.

The poll found incumbent Attorney General Eric Schneiderman leading Cahill 36.8 to 29.7 percent.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo, meanwhile, has a 20-percentage point lead over Republican Rob Astorino, the poll found: 52.7 percent to 32.5 percent.

NYS 09-10-14pdf by Nick Reisman

Cahill Boe Response by Nick Reisman

Sierra Club Calls On Cahill To Drop Energy Company

An environmental group supportive of Attorney General Eric Scheiderman on Wednesday called on his Republican opponent to drop an energy company as a client from his consulting firm.

Cahill is a partner at the Pataki-Cahill Group, which represents American Electric Power, which the Sierra Club Atlantic Chapter calls a “notorious emitter of climate-altering carbon.”

“It’s impossible to take anything John Cahill says about the environment seriously when he’s profiting off Big Oil and Big Coal,” said Roger Downs, Conservation Director of the Sierra Club Atlantic Chapter. “Cahill’s consulting firm represents AEP, a leading carbon pollution emitter that has paid billions of dollars to settle pollution charges with New York and other states. Maybe that’s why he is refusing to respond to our call to release a full list of his clients. Cahill and his consulting firm the Pataki-Cahill Group should drop AEP as a client immediately.”

Cahill is a former top aide to Gov. George Pataki and served as the Department of Environmental Conservation commissioner during Pataki’s time in office.

For his part, Cahill has been critical of Schneiderman’s record on the environment, saying he hasn’t done enough to leverage the power of the AG’s office to preserve the environment.

Cahill Would Use Organized Crime Task Force To Investigate Casinos

As state gaming regulators Republican candidate for attorney general John Cahill would use the office’s Organized Crime Task Force to investigate and vet casino applicants.

Meanwhile, Cahill is knocking Democratic Attorney General Eric Schneiderman for being in the Senate during the Aqueduct Entertainment Group bid-rigging scandal occurred (albeit the then-state senator was not involved in the discussions).

Cahill says the AG’s office should take a more aggressive approach in overseeing the casino operators that want to obtain one of up to four lucrative gaming licenses in the state.

“These are sophisticated deals, potentially involving off-shore investments, foreign players and incredible sums of money. The Organized Crime Task Force has the expertise and the personnel to make sure New Yorkers are safeguarded from fraud, crime or even terrorist activities,” Cahill said in a statement.

A casino siting board is currently reviewing more than a dozen different proposals to build resort-style casinos in three regions of the state: the Hudson Valley/Catskills, the Capital District and the Southern Tier.

This week, siting board members heard public comments on the different proposals after receiving presentations from the potential developers and gaming operators themselves.


Cahill Campaign Files Its Poll Results

After touting its internal poll to donors, the campaign of Republican candidate for attorney general John Cahill filed the results over two days to the state Board of Elections.

The first batch of questions with results — showing incumbent Democrat Eric Schneiderman leading Cahill 36.8 percent to 29.7 percent — was stamped Monday, Sept. 15.

In order to comply with laws requiring internal polls made public — in this case to Cahill supporters — the campaign released a more detailed batch of questions Wednesday morning.

“To be sure we are in full compliance with the campaign code proceeding, we would like to file the following additional information,” wrote Cahill campaign manager Edward Lurie.

The law requires the details of internal polls — including the methodology, who conducted it and the sample size — be revealed within 48 hours after a campaign releases the results.

In this case, the Cahill campaign sought the opinions of 600 registered voters in a phone survey.

The additional questions with results included surveying voters on whether they had viewed Cahill’s TV ad, with 16 percent saying that had. Of those voters, 45.4 percent said they would back Cahill, with 21.6 percent saying they would vote for Schneiderman.

Additional questions also sought voters opinions on Schneiderman with 17 percent having a favorable view compared to 10 percent who don’t.

The campaign also polled voters on whether the state is heading in the right direction (46 percent say it is not compared to 40.5 percent) and whether they would vote to re-elect Schneiderman.

However, it’s unclear from the information provided what the precise sequence of questions was when the poll was conducted, which the law requires campaigns divulge or the entirety of what was polled.

A Cahill spokesman acknowledged the questions provided were not in the exact order, provided the sequence as they appear in the documents below: 14, 7, 15, 6, and 11.

The campaign is arguing it’s only required under the law to release the questions based on what was told to donors.

And the documents provided to the Board of Elections do not spell out “any special characteristics of the population included in the poll sample.”

The law governing campaign opinion polling can be found here.

Cahill Poll 2014 by Nick Reisman

NARAL Pro-Choice NY Endorses Schneiderman

NARAL Pro-Choice New York on Friday endorsed Democratic Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s re-election to a second term.

The group — which is one of the point organizations hoping to drive turn out for the Women’s Equality Party this November — cited Schneiderman’s “lifelong commitment” to abortion rights.

“We are exceptionally proud to support Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s re-election this November,” said NARAL Pro-Choice New York President Andrea Miller. “Eric has been a lifelong supporter of women’s rights, especially reproductive freedom, and his advocacy for and commitment to enforcing the existing buffer zones around reproductive health clinics will ensure the safety of New York women, doctors and health workers. It is critical that New Yorkers re-elect Attorney General Eric Schneiderman so he can continue taking on the tough fights necessary to protect and advance the rights, health and well-being of New York women and families.”

The endorsement comes after Schneiderman received a series of endorsements through a coalition dubbed “Women for Schneiderman” that includes prominent Democratic officeholders like Reps. Nita Lowey, Carolyn Maloney and Carolyn McCarthy and Sen. Liz Krueger.

Democrats this year are placing a special emphasis on women’s issues ahead of the November elections, with the new women-theme ballot line aimed at promoting the 10-point women’s agenda, which has stalled in the Legislature.

The abortion component in that package — which is aimed at codifying Roe v. Wade in state law — has become a particular point of contention in the state Senate.

“I am honored to have the support of NARAL Pro-Choice New York as I seek re-election this fall,” Schneiderman said in a statement. “It’s been an honor working with NARAL to protect reproductive choice and ensure safe access to the full range of family planning options. Recent attacks on women’s rights around the county remind us that we need to be vigilant in ensuring our laws apply to all New Yorkers equally. I promise to continue fighting alongside NARAL to protect women and families throughout New York.”

Schneiderman’s Republican opponent is John Cahill, a former top aide to Gov. George Pataki.

Schneiderman 2014 Video Highlights Foreclosure Help

A video from the re-election campaign of Democratic Attorney General Eric Schneiderman released Wednesday points to his office’s work on providing legal aid to homeowners facing foreclosure.

Today’s video, the third in a series of online profiles released by the campaign, highlights I-Asia White, a Troy resident whose home was facing foreclosure following her daughter’s medical expenses made it difficult to keep up with mortgage payments.

White says she was able to avoid foreclosure and keep her home after receiving legal assistance and counseling from the AG’s office.

“I was able to get legal assistance and homeowner counseling. I am truly thankful and grateful for Eric Schneiderman, because without his program, I would not be in my home today,” she says in the video.

The consumer and homeowner relief aspect of the attorney general’s office is one of those bread-and-butter topics the Schneiderman campaign has been seeking to highlight in the incumbent Democrat’s efforts to win a second term.

He faces former Pataki aide John Cahill this November.

Schneiderman Campaign Launches Video Series

The re-election campaign of Attorney General Eric Schneiderman on Tuesday launched an online video series, with the first featuring a personal testimonial from a woman who lost her son to prescription drugs.

In the video, Long Island resident Teri Kroll discusses her efforts to fight “doctor shopping” in New York with Schneiderman’s office.

The video serves to highlight the state’s I-STOP program, a law that is meant to crack down on prescription drug abuse.

The campaign’s video series — titled “Tough Fights, New York Voices” — will have a common theme of personal stories being impacted by state policy.

Schneiderman faces Republican John Cahill this November.

Schneiderman Bill Would Require Disclosure Of Contraception Coverage

A bill proposed by Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and Senate Minority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins on Thursday is aimed at limiting the effects of the U.S. Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby ruling over companies providing certain contraceptives in employee health insurance.

Broadly, the proposal is aimed at requiring companies to provide more information on health care and contraceptive coverage to employees.

The measure proposed by Schneiderman, a Democrat running for re-election this year, would require employers to provide 90 days’ notice before altering or changing contraception coverage.

The bill would also require the company notify perspective employees of what contraception coverage they provide.

“No woman should have her personal healthcare decisions dictated by the religious beliefs of her boss,” Schneiderman said in a statement. “As a senator, I fought for a strong law to protect women from discrimination in healthcare coverage because we must have one set of rules for everyone. In the wake of the Supreme Court’s deeply misguided Hobby Lobby decision, we need to go further to empower the women of New York State with the information they need to make their own healthcare choices. That is what the Reproductive Rights Disclosure Act would accomplish.”

The Supreme Court last month ruled that closely held companies like Hobby Lobby can use religious objections in order to avoid covering contraception in health-care plans, pointing to the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

The Schneiderman measure would create a standard notice for all employers, regardless of the type of company. In addition to the disclosure requirements, the bill would require businesses and employers to provide details on the scope of contraception coverage along with posting coverage limitations on its website.

A fine of up to $5,000 would be levied for violating the provisions.

Schneiderman Raises $2.6M

The campaign of Democratic Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is set to announce raising $2.6 million during the most recent six-month filing period.

The figure eclipses the $2.1 million Schneiderman raised in the prior fundraising cycle.

Schneiderman’s campaign has $6.9 million in cash on hand, not counting a previously purchased $1 million TV advertising effort in the fall in the state’s five major media markets.

Schneiderman, first elected in 2010 to succeed Gov. Andrew Cuomo in the attorney general’s office, is running for a second term. He enters the fall with a fundraising advantage.

His Republican opponent, John Cahill, reported having raised more than $1 million, and spent about $94,000 since announcing his campaign in May.

“We’re thrilled that Attorney General Schneiderman’s broad coalition of supporters has once again helped him achieve his fundraising goal,” said Schneiderman campaign spokesman Peter Ajemian. “Whether it’s going after corrupt politicians, prosecuting companies that gouged Sandy victims or taking on the big banks that led us into recession, Eric has worked tirelessly to ensure the rich and powerful play by the same rules as everyone else. It’s clear that New Yorkers recognize Eric is taking on big fights and they want him to be their advocate for another four years.”