Oct 24th - 3:17 pm
Senate Republicans on Monday criticized the Democratic leadership in the conference for voting against legislation that would recall an elected official who is indicted for a felony.
In a statement, Senate Republican spokesman Scott Reif pointed to votes against the bill by Minority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins and her deputy, Sen. Mike Gianaris.
“When the two highest ranking members of the Senate Democrat Conference oppose a measure to give the public a mechanism to remove a corrupt statewide official or County Executive from office, you know they’re not really serious about reform,” Reif said.
The statement is the latest front in the ongoing battle for control of the state Senate, which Republicans narrowly control thanks to an alliance in part with Brooklyn Democrat Simcha Felder.
Democrats have sought to be on the offensive with reform policy proposals, including a recall measure that would be triggered if an official is accused of corruption that impacts the financials of a municipality or government.
The recall bill backed by Republicans and sponsored by Sen. Sue Serino, would allow for the removal of any governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, comptroller, state lawmaker or local-level government leader if they are indicted for a felony or convicted of a misdemeanor.
Oct 24th - 12:53 pm
Carly Fiorina’s roll out of congressional endorsements continued on Monday with a nod for Republican Jack Martins.
Fiorina, the former presidential candidate and ex-Hewlett Packard CEO, praised Martins as being able to “get America headed back in the right direction.”
“More importantly, he has shown an ability to back up his words with actions; cutting taxes, controlling spending, creating jobs and growing the economy in New York State. He is exactly the type of person we need more of in Congress and I’m proud to support him,” said Fiorina.
Martins, a state senator, faces Democratic former Nassau County Executive Tom Suozzi next month.
“Carly Fiorina is an intelligent, successful business leader who cares more about delivering results than playing politics,” Martins said. “Like so many of us, she knows our country is on the wrong track and has been fighting for change. Doing that requires Washington to focus on the important priorities; cutting taxes, reducing debt, creating jobs and strengthening our security. Just as I’ve done as a State Senator, I will work in a bipartisan manner to deliver on those priorities and I appreciate Carly’s support and confidence in my ability to do so.”
On Sunday evening, the campaign of Republican Claudia Tenney announced in a fundraising email she had been endorsed by Fiorina.
Oct 24th - 6:00 am
From the Morning Memo:
Carly Fiorina, the former Hewlett-Packard CEO and Republican presidential candidate, has endorsed GOP congressional candidate Claudia Tenney in a fundraising email.
Fiorina, who dropped her bid this year for president and later joined Sen. Ted Cruz’s hypothetical ticket as his running mate, praised Tenney’s record as a state lawmaker and a businesswoman.
“As a state legislator, Claudia has consistently fought for Upstate families. She’s been ranked as the top conservative in New York—thanks to her record of standing up for our values and getting the job done,” Fiorina said in the email.
“As the co-owner of a manufacturing firm, Mid-York Press, Claudia understands what it means to create jobs, build a business, and grow the economy. She understands that, if we’re going to bring good manufacturing jobs back to Upstate New York, we need more companies like Claudia’s—not less.”
Tenney is in a three-person race for the 22nd congressional district that includes parts of central New York, the Mohawk Valley and the Southern Tier. She faces independent Martin Babinec and Democrat Claudia Tenney. The seat is being vacated this year by Rep. Richard Hanna, a moderate Republican.
All three candidates squared off in a debate on TWC News last week.
Oct 20th - 5:05 pm
Leaders of the Erie County Democratic Committee are putting the pressure on their Republican counterparts. They called for members of the GOP in Western New York to denounce the remarks made by Donald Trump during last night’s debate regarding whether he would accept the outcome of the election.
Trump would not commit when pushed by moderator Chris Wallace. The Republican nominee has repeatedly claimed on the campaign trail that he believes the election is being rigged against him.
Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz said while some Republicans have already disavowed the statements, party members in WNY are trying to avoid the conversation.
“All across the board you have lots of candidates, lots of Republicans who are trying to hide after many months of being ‘Rah-Rah’ and supporting Donald Trump. Donald Trump is a danger to our democracy. Donald Trump is willing to put himself before our democratic institution,” he said.
Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown, who is also the state Democratic Party chairman, said while he has heard many surprising things from Trump throughout the election cycle, this was the most surprising.
“One of our major principles has been the free and fair transfer of power in this country. For an candidate running for president, the Republican nominee, to say he potentially would not abide by the results of the election, by people of every state in this nation speaking for who they want to elect as their president – it threatens our very democracy,” he said.
Congressional candidate Diana Kastenbaum and state Legislature candidates Steve Meyer and Amber Small also spoke at the press conference Thursday afternooon. They specifically called on their opponents to address Trump.
Erie County GOP Chairman Nick Langworthy and State Chair Ed Cox are holding a joint media availability Friday afternoon.
Oct 19th - 7:15 am
From the Morning Memo:
New Yorkers For Quality Health Care, an independent expenditure committee backed by the Greater New York Hospital Association, has expanded its campaign efforts in the state Senate.
Filings with the state Board of Elections show the PAC is spending $273,000 in two potentially pivotal battleground races: Senate district 40 and the 39th Senate district, both in the Hudson Valley.
The money, which includes spending for mail and digital advertising, aimed at bolstering Republican Sens. Bill Larkin and Terrence Murphy.
Previously, the hospital PAC had committed $115,199 in independent expenditure spending to aid the re-election effort of Republican Senate Health Committee Chairman Kemp Hannon on Long Island.
Oct 19th - 6:30 am
From the Morning Memo:
The latest ad from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee released for the 24th congressional district in central New York seeks to further yoke Rep. John Katko to the nominee of his party whom he has refused to endorse: Donald Trump.
The ad is a “greatest hits” of Trump’s controversial remarks on veterans and abortion, linking Katko to the comments.
“Despite disparaging war heroes and denigrating women, Congressman John Katko hitched up with Donald Trump,” said Bryan Lesswing at the DCCC. “Katko clearly put politics first when he jumped on the Trump bandwagon, and left Central New York far behind.”
Katko has sharply criticized Trump and has not endorsed his campaign. Katko has indicated he may vote for a third party candidate in the presidential election.
Running for a second term in a swing district that hasn’t granted more than two years to House representatives over the last several cycles, Katko faces Democrat Colleen Deacon. Both candidates square off in a Time Warner Cable News debate on Oct. 25 at 7 p.m.
Oct 18th - 6:30 am
From the Morning Memo:
The political action committee backed by the online rental company Airbnb on Tuesday is releasing its first TV ad targeting Republican Sen. Sue Serino.
The ad is part of a $180,000 outlay in the district from Airbnb’s Stronger Neighborhoods PAC, taking Serino to task for voting in favor a bill that is aimed at cracking down on the online advertising of multi-family dwellings for rent.
The measure was seen as being squarely aimed at Airbnb, the popular online portal for short-term rentals, while lawmakers in favor of the bill insist it is meant to bolster and preserve affordable housing in New York City. Violators could be fined up to $7,500 and the bill is yet to be approved by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
“Two years ago, Sue Serino claimed she wanted to help middle class families,” the ad’s narrator says. “Then she went to Albany and joined New York City special interests to restrict the rights of taxpaying homeowners. In a back-room deal, Serino voted for huge fines on homeowners who want to rent their homes to make ends meet.”
The company this election season has signaled it plans to push back hard after the measure was approved by state lawmakers, investing $10 million into its independent expenditure committee after initially forming the super PAC in June with $1 million.
The ad released Tuesday is expected to be the first salvo in a series of commercials that will mostly focus on state Senate races.
Serino is running for a second term for her Hudson Valley Senate seat against the Democrat she defeated in 2014, Terry Gipson.
Oct 14th - 3:11 pm
Balance New York, a super PAC founded in 2014 that is aimed at boosting Republicans in the state Senate, has received another injection of cash from the Republican State Leadership Committee.
Filings at the state Board of Elections show the committee transferred $400,000 to Balance New York ahead of what is expected to be an increasingly pitched battle for control of the state Senate.
In August, the group received $200,000 from the RSLC. But a review of the records show that Balance New York hasn’t spent any its money on state legislative races since September, suggesting the independent expenditure committee may be waiting for release a sustained barrage of spending for candidates ahead of Nov. 8.
Oct 14th - 6:45 am
From the Morning Memo:
Republican Sen. Bill Larkin’s campaign has written to cable providers and a national ad buying firm calling on them to yank ads by a super PAC backed by the New York State United Teachers union which claim he received a 47 percent pay increase.
The letters sent Thursday by the Lewis and Fiore law firm were sent to officials at Cablevision and Viamedia.
The ad knocks Larkin, a Hudson Valley Republican, for backing a pay increase. Larkin and his colleagues did not approve a pay increase, but the creation of a commission that would consider a legislative salary increase.
“The advertisement targets Senator Larkin and does so by the use of false and and defamatory statements and claims, made with reckless disregard for the truth,” the letter charges.
Larkin in the last several weeks has greatly outspent and out raised his Democratic opponent, Chris Eachus. But Eachus has been bolstered by a heavy investment through an independent expenditure committee backed by NYSUT.
The PAC, Fund For Great Public Schools, is spending $259,308 on the purchase and production, along with $40,834 in anti-Larkin mailers.
NYSUT’s spending on behalf of mainly Democratic Senate candidates in swing districts comes as supporters of charter schools have spent heavily in independent expenditure efforts of their own.
Oct 12th - 2:37 pm
Republican congressional candidate Jack Martins on Wednesday announced he has been given the nod by the Northeast Regional Council of Carpenters.
Martins, a state senator, is running for the third congressional district against Democratic former Nassau County Executive Tom Suozzi.
The seat is being vacated by Democratic Steve Israel.
“The members of the Northeast Regional Council of Carpenters are hardworking, dedicated professionals who want the same thing we all want; a good paying job that allows them to provide for their families and give their children a better future,” Martins said in a statement.
“As a State Senator, I’ve fought to make life better for them and all families by cutting taxes, creating jobs and growing our economy. I appreciate the Council’s support and trust in my ability to do the same in Washington.”