Democrats

ASC: Fiala Will Have Resources For Senate Bid

ascDemocratic Senate hopeful Barbara Fiala will have the resources to mount a competitive campaign, Minority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins said Monday in a radio interview.

Still, Stewart-Cousins wouldn’t (or couldn’t) say whether any funds from the state Democratic Committee — which is controlled by Gov. Andrew Cuomo — have flowed into Fiala’s campaign coffers.

“I can’t tell you, but I can tell you as I’ve said before that Barb Fiala is an excellent candidate,” Stewart-Cousins said on WCNY’s The Capitol Pressroom. “She is someone who is committed to the Southern Tier and very much wants to represent the area.”

Fiala launched her bid for the state Senate seat held by Republican former Sen. Tom Libous, a top-ranking lawmaker who was ousted from his seat in July following a conviction on a charge of lying to the FBI. More >

Gillibrand, Backing $15 Wage, Puts Her Closer To Sanders

gillibrandFrom the Morning Memo:

U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand on Monday sent an email to supporters pushing a $15 minimum wage on the federal level — a stance that puts her closer to Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders than the woman who last occupied her seat in the Senate, Hillary Clinton.

In the email, Gillibrand writes that she’s “had it” with the lack of a wage increase in Washington, pointing to low wages impacting not teenagers, but women and older workers.

“Americans are working full time only to have hallmarks of success – home ownership, sending their children to college, the dignity of retirement – exist on a distant horizon. No matter how hard they work, they can’t get any closer,” Gillibrand wrote in the email. “And women represent nearly two-thirds of minimum-wage workers.”

Gillibrand urges supporters to include their email addresses — a method of gathering targeted supporters for core issues — to a petition backing the $15 wage. More >

Hakeem Jeffries for Mayor?

deBlasioFrom the Morning Memo:

Few would dispute that it’s been a tough summer for NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio.

From the ill-advised fight with Uber, to accusations of mishandling the critical outreach portion of an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease in the Bronx, to his high profile spat with Gov. Andrew Cuomo, to his misadventures at the Park Slope YMCA while a deadly standoff unfolded on Staten Island.

The headlines have been brutal, and now some believe the political winds have begun to blow in a decidedly new direction.

Few potential challengers would ever openly commit to launching a primary challenge against a sitting mayor – especially this early in the game. But ‘lo and behold over the last few days, potential names have begun to surface as trial balloons. And many of those whose names have been floated are doing very little to tamp down the public chatter.

The bottom line is this: some potential challengers smell blood in the water.

There was Don Peebles in the Post the other day. Then ex-NBA Commissioner David Stern – also in Post, which has started a countdown clock for the end of de Blasio’s first term.

NYC Public Advocate Letitia James’ name popped up this week. And of course there are consistent rumors about Eva Moskowitz.

Then there are those whom the political consultants call “the real players” – Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer and Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams. (Interestingly, all three are former state lawmakers).

But sources say the strongest potential candidate is the one guy who has ruled it out publicly, and that is Brooklyn Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, a former assemblyman who told Errol Louis during an “Inside City Hall” interview on Aug. 5th: “I’ve got no interest in running for mayor or holding any other job other than the one I have now.” More >

Miner: No State Senate Run in the Cards

minerFrom the Morning Memo:

Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner, who is barred by term limits from seeking re-election to her current office, says “it’s flattering” to be mentioned as a potential state Senate contender, but she has no plans to run at the moment.

Miner said her name has been floated by “strangers that I don’t know” who have not spoken with her directly as a potential candidate next year for Senate Deputy Majority Leader John DeFrancisco’s seat.

The mayor also noted that she doesn’t live in the Republican lawmaker’s district, which would make running difficult, and has no desire to move.

“I like my house; I like my neighborhood,” Miner said. “I will continue to be an advocate for the people of the city of Syracuse and continue to try to solve problems. I know that there are a whole host of ways that that can be fulfilled.” More >

Good News For Biden In Q Poll

From the Morning Memo:

A new Quinnipiac poll of three key swing states – Pennsylvania, Florida and Ohio – should provide some food for thought to Vice President Joe Biden as he reportedly contemplates adding his name to the 2016 mix.

The poll showed the vice president and former US senator running as well or better than the Democratic Party’s current frontrunner, Hillary Clinton, against top GOP contenders in hypothetical general election match-ups.

Clinton and Republican Donald Trump continue to lead the fields for their respective party’s presidential nominations, but they have the worst favorability ratings among voters of all the leading candidates, and also the lowest scores in the “honest” and “trustworthy” categories. More >

Hochul, Stewart-Cousins Rally For Planned Parenthood In Yonkers

The ongoing detente between mainline Senate Democrats and the Cuomo administration continued on Tuesday as Senate Minority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins and Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul held a joint rally in support of Planned Parenthood.

The rally comes after Republicans in Washington sought to cut off federal funding for the organization after a video emerged of Planned Parenthood officials discussing the selling of tissue of aborted fetuses.

“Once again, Planned Parenthood and the critical preventative health care services it provides to millions of women are under attack by extremists in Congress,” Hochul said in a statement. “That is why today, we stand together united in support of Planned Parenthood.”

Hochul last year joined the statewide ticket with Gov. Andrew Cuomo as he focused on women’s issues during the campaign, including the passage of a 10-point Women’s Equality Agenda. More >

Assembly Dem Conference Grows By 1

Assemblyman John Ceretto is a Democrat — again.

The western New York lawmaker is bolting from the Assembly Republican conference and joining the large Democratic majority, Speaker Carl Heastie on Tuesday announced.

“Like the members of our conference, John is committed to working families and helping people climb the ladder of economic opportunity,” Heastie said in a statement. I have spent the summer traveling throughout upstate New York and learning about the needs of the communities I have visited, and I am excited that Assemblyman Ceretto will be bringing his views and experiences as a lifelong resident of Western New York to the Majority Conference.”

With Ceretto’s defection, the Democratic majority is growing its already large advantage in the chamber to 105 members. More >

A Summertime Focus On Upstate?

carlheastieAs he’s traveled across upstate New York this summer, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie says he’s learned a lot from visiting the urban, suburban and rural corners of the state.

“This has really been a fact finding and a learning and eye-opening experience for me,” Heastie said during a stop in Buffalo.

The newly elected speaker traveled the state this summer to familiarize himself with the regions north of his Bronx Assembly district.

Heastie says the trip could turn into some recommendations to address issues he’s seen in upstate New York. More >

Paterson’s Origin Story

From the Morning Memo:

Compliments of Caribbean News Now! comes a curious story about former Gov. David Paterson’s ancestry.

Apparently, the former governor made a recent trip to Port of Spain, Trinidad, flown in by the opposition People’s National Movement to attend a political rally. While on stage, Paterson justified his presence by saying that not only is New York home to the largest population of Trinidadians outside “T &T” as it’s known, but his family was originally from the area.

However, in a 2008 “New York Now” interview, Paterson said he traced his ancestry back to pre-Civil War African-American slaves in North and South Carolina on his mother’s side. His father was Afro-Jamaican, with roots in Carriacou, the largest island in the Grenada Grenadines.

A DNA test of the former governor’s blood, which was the focus of the extended TV interview with then-host Susan Arbetter, revealed that Paterson had white relatives on his father’s side from Scotland, Ireland and England. The test also found that at least one of the former governor’s progenitors was Jewish.

Also appearing at the PNM rally with Paterson was former Rep. Ed Towns, of Brooklyn.

Miner For Senate?

minerFrom the Morning Memo:

Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner on Thursday pushed for a series measures designed improve access to voting and make it easier to cast absentee ballots.

The bills Miner is supporting would create a 20-day early voting window, allow voters to cast absentee balloting with “no excuse” and form universal voter registration.

“New York State’s archaic voting rules disproportionally affect the poorest members of our community, individuals of color, and young people—those people who most desperately need the attention of their government,” she said in a statement. “We can no longer exacerbate this problem by perpetuating the status quo. It is time to act and I strongly encourage you to move these proposals forward.”

They also happen to be measures backed by the top Democrats in the state Senate — Minority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins of Yonkers and Queens lawmaker Mike Gianaris. More >