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Here and Now

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is in New York City and Nassau County with no public events scheduled, though he has been focusing on state Senate races on Long Island as of late.

President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump depart D.C. en route to Okaloosa County, FL.

Presumably, the couple will visit parts of the Panhandle that were heavily damaged by Hurricane Michael, though no details of the trip were given, other than that they will touch down at Eglin Air Force base, spend the day in the Sunshine State and return in the evening to Washington.

Back in D.C., Vice President Mike Pence has lunch with the U.S. Trade Representative, and in the late afternoon, participates in an event for Jay Webber for Congress and John Chrin for Congress.

At 6:20 a.m., Dutchess County Executive and GOP gubernatorial candidate Marc Molinaro will be a guest on Fox and Friends.

At 9 a.m., the New York State Board of Regents Meets, Regents Room, 89 Washington Ave, Albany.

Also at 9 a.m., NYC Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza will participate in NYU Steinhardt’s Leadership Lens series to engage in a conversation on his career and vision for public education in the city, NYU Kimmel Center for University Life, Rosenthal Pavilion, 10th floor, 60 Washington Square S., Manhattan.

At 9:30 a.m., LG Kathy Hochul delivers remarks at the NYS Canals Conference, Hilton Garden Inn, 1100 South Ave., Staten Island.

At 10 a.m., “The Brian Lehrer Show” features Washington Post correspondent Philip Bump and Rep. Adriano Espaillat, WNYC.

At 10:15 a.m., Molinaro vists Homecrest Community Center, 7909 New Utrecht Ave., Brooklyn.

At 11 a.m., NYC Councilman Rafael Salamanca officially kicks off the next cycle of participatory budgeting, Playground 52 LII, amphitheater, 681 Kelly St., the Bronx.

Also at 11 a.m., NYC First Lady Chirlane McCray will deliver remarks at The New York Soccer Initiative’s Soccer Day ribbon cutting ceremony, Hostos Lincoln Academy of Science, University Prep Charter High School, 600 St. Ann’s Ave., the Bronx.

Also at 11 a.m., NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio will attend and deliver remarks at the NYPD graduation ceremony, Madison Square Garden, 4 Pennsylvania Plaza, Manhattan.

Also at 11 a.m., two local firefighter unions are endorsing state Sen. Terrence Murphy for re-election, Hollowbrook Fire Station, 1130 Oregon Rd., Cortlandt Manor.

Also at 11 a.m., Hochul will join NY-11 Democratic candidate Max Rose to discuss how to address the ongoing opioid epidemic and how to improve access to health care for all New Yorkers, Richmond Univerity Medical Center, 355 Bard Ave., Staten Island.

Also at 11 a.m., “The Capitol Pressroom” features state Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan, Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi, the Democratic NY-22 candidate, and gubernatorial candidate Marc Molinaro, WCNY.

At noon, Molinaro visits an unnamed senior center, 1413 Ave. T, Brooklyn.

At 12:15 p.m., Albany County Executive Daniel P. McCoy, City of Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan and others join a press conference to announce Albany’s selection as the host site of an international sporting competition and entertainment festival, Times Union Center, 51 South Pearl Street, Albany.

At 1:15 p.m., Molinaro tours 8th Avenue shops in Brooklyn, Golden Imperial Palace, 618 62nd St., Brooklyn.

At 1:45 p.m., Molinaro meets with community leaders, Pacificana Restaurant, 813 55 St., Brooklyn.

At 3 p.m., NYC Council Speaker Corey Johsnon holds a press conference with NYC Councilman Keith Powers and East Side elected officials in response to the Proud Boys brawl, the Metropolitan Republican Club, 122 E. 83rd St., Manhattan.

At 6 p.m., Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, Rep. Jerrold Nadler and 9/11 Environmental Action hold a town hall to connect residents and workers with two programs established by Congress, President’s Office, 1 Centre St., 19th floor south, Manhattan.

At 6 p.m., Northern Manhattan Coalition for Immigrant Rights honors George Miranda of the Teamsters, Vincent Boudreau, President of City College of New York, Sandra Harris of Columbia University Irving Medical Center, at their 36th Anniversary Gala, Tribeca 360, 10 Desbrosses St., Manhattan.

At 6:30 p.m., NYC Councilman Mark Levine hosts a town hall with NYC DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg, School of Music, 120 Claremont Ave., Manhattan.

At 6:30 p.m., NYC Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer hosts his 9th Annual Hispanic & Latinx Leadership Awards, Thalia Spanish Theatre; 41-17 Greenpoint Ave, Sunnyside, Queens.

Also at 6:30 p.m., McCray will attend Between the Lines: For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Politics, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, 515 Malcolm X Blvd., Manhattan.

Also at 6:30 a.m., members of the NYC Advisory Commission on Property Tax Reform will hold a public hearing in Brooklyn to listen to people who pay property taxes directly or indirectly, Brooklyn Borough Hall, The Courtroom, 209 Joralemon St., Brooklyn.

Also at 6:30 p.m., Carranza will attend a town hall meeting of Educators for Excellence-New York, Museum of the City of New York, 1220 5th Ave., Manhattan.

At 7 p.m., de Blasio appears live on NY1’s “Inside City Hall.”

At 7:30 p.m., former Gov. George Pataki and Gov. Chris Sununu attend a fundraiser for Molinaro, 995 Fifth Ave., Manhattan.

Also at 7:30 p.m., Green Party gubernatorial candidate Howie Hawkins will outline his Green New Deal plan to deal with climate change and promote job creation, as well as address the issue of education reform and high property taxes, Freeport Memorial Library, 144 West Merrick Rd., Freeport.

Headlines…

The disappearance of the Saudi dissident Jamal Khashoggi is opening a rift between Washington and Saudi Arabia as the kingdom blasted President Trump for promising “severe punishment” if the royal court was responsible.

U.S. Senators called for swift and united action against Saudi Arabia if the U.S. determines that Saudi agents killed Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, with one Republican saying Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin should refuse to attend an economic summit in Riyadh this month until the facts are clear.

Having just barely survived U.S. Senate confirmation, Justice Brett Kavanaugh is now in position to tilt the Supreme Court to the right on a variety of issues – including a possible rollback of New York’s assault-weapons ban.

Trump said he believes he treated Christine Blasey Ford with respect even though he admitted mocking her inability to remember many of the details of the night when she said Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her in 1982.

Trump refused to “pledge” that he would not shut down special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe, doubling down on his claims that he didn’t engage in any collusion with the Kremlin, but also said he has “no intention” of stopping the investigation.

NBC News issued a correction via Twitter after Trump called out the network earlier for “purposely” changing the meaning of his comments about Union Gen. Ulysses S. Grant.

Larry Kudlow, Trump’s top economic adviser, said that an alarming United Nations climate change report was an “overestimate” and that models “have not been very successful in the last 20 years.”

Hillary Clinton said her husband’s presidential affair with Monica Lewinsky wasn’t an abuse of power — because the then-22-year-old White House intern “was an adult,” and he absolutely should not have resigned as a result.

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren has released a DNA test that provides “strong evidence” she had a Native American in her family tree dating back 6 to 10 generations, an unprecedented move by one of the top possible contenders for the 2020 Democratic nomination for president.

Cuomo questioned why state Republicans would have invited the founder of a far-right group to speak in Manhattan, and he blamed them and Trump for violent clashes that took place after the speech.

Cuomo called NYC’s public-housing system “fundamentally dysfunctional” as he blamed its dangerous conditions on the feds and the city — but definitely not the state. “The public housing authority in New York City is a disgrace,” he said.

Police said they are looking to identify three men who were filmed in a scuffle that broke out after the leader of a far-right group spoke Friday night at a political club on Manhattan’s Upper East Side.

Cuomo announced that he was ordering State Police to investigate the brawl between the right-and left-wing groups — even as City Hall said the NYPD does not need the state’s help.

The NYPD ignored multiple emails from BuzzFeed News asking why the “Proud Boys” members were not arrested for the violent assault.

State Republican Party leaders accused Democrats of trying to exploit the violence for political gain. “We’re the victims here,” Deborah Coughlin, president of the Metropolitan Republican Club, said.

Cuomo this week will kick off what aides say will be a $2 million TV and digital ad campaign designed to help with the effort to flip control of the Senate to the Democrat.

Bronx Democratic Councilman Ritchie Torres will introduce legislation this week requiring businesses to disclose if and how they use facial-recognition technology, potentially giving a glimpse into how widespread use of the tool is in the private sector.

A paid organizer for Citizen Action, a progressive group that frequently attacked Cuomo on corruption issues during the recent Democratic primary, has been arrested several times and served jail time.

State Republican Party Chairman Ed Cox is set to file a complaint with the state Board of Elections chief enforcement counsel accusing union allies of the state Senate Democrats of illegally coordinating campaign efforts on their behalf.

The Curse of the Bambino might be long over, but the Cuomo Curse continues for the New York Yankees. The team has won a record 27 World Series, but have never won one in the 20 years a Cuomo was in the governor’s mansion.

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The Weekend That Was

President Donald Trump described his defense secretary as “sort of a Democrat” and said he may leave the administration after the midterm elections, in an interview airing on “60 Minutes.”

Trump welcomed home on Saturday an American pastor freed by Turkey and said the release would improve relations with Ankara, but he denied any connection to the dispute between Turkey and Saudi Arabia over the missing Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

For several years running, Jared Kushner — Trump’s son-in-law and a senior White House adviser — appears to have paid almost no federal income taxes, even as his net worth has quintupled to almost $324 million, according to confidential financial documents reviewed by The New York Times.

In his first “S.N.L.” appearance of the season, Alec Baldwin returned to his recurring role as the president to help recreate the strange Oval Office meeting that transpired on Thursday between the president and the rapper Kanye West.

Members of the all-male, far-right group known as the “Proud Boys” brawled with protesters after their leader held a rally at the vandalized Manhattan GOP headquarters on the Upper East Side, officials said.

Three men were arrested on assault and robbery charges at the scene – none of them Proud Boys members – and the NYPD is reviewing additional video “and other evidence” to determine whether any other crimes were committed.

New York City Public Advocate Letitia James, the Democratic state AG candidate, called for additional arrests in connection to the melee, and encouraged Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance to pursue hate crime charges.

Other New York lawmakers, including NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and state Attorney General Barbara Underwood, condemned the attack.

Cuomo urged an investigation of what witnesses described as multiple violent clashes with the “Western chauvinist” group.

“Here’s a message from a Queens boy to the so-called ‘Proud Boys’ – New York has zero tolerance for your BS,” the governor said in a statement.

A quick stop by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg on Saturday in New Hampshire, which holds the first primary in the race for the White House, is sparking more speculation about a possible White House bid by the billionaire media company founder and gun safety advocate.

Bloomberg’s former campaign manager Bradley Tusk recalls when former Rep. Anthony Weiner was a real threat to the then-mayor, and what Bloomberg’s team did about it.

Trump reportedly has picked Washington attorney Pat Cipollone as the new White House counsel more than a month after the president announced that the current counsel, Don McGahn, was planning to leave his position following the confirmation of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

The State Department has withdrawn former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s security clearance at her own request.

Clinton’s request came after retired Navy Adm. William McRaven, the man who oversaw the 2011 Navy SEAL raid that killed Osama bin Laden, wrote an op-ed in The Washington Post issuing a stunning rebuke of Trump’s decision to revoke the security clearance of former CIA Director John Brennan.

Melania Trump revealed that the “I don’t really care, do u” jacket she wore at the height of the controversy and outrage around Trump’s immigration policy that separated children from their parents at the US border was meant to send a message — not to immigrants – but to her critics in the “left-wing media.”

The first lady also appeared to push back on claims made by her husband’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, when he said she believes the President and knows that the alleged Stormy Daniels’ affair and payment was “untrue.”

Mourners at a funeral for four sisters and their family members killed in the Schoharie limousine crash were assured Saturday that their loved ones can still see their tears and feel their heartache.

More than 650 mourners packed the pews of St. Stanislaus Roman Catholic Church in Amsterdam, N.Y., where the four sisters grew up.

Urns that rested by the altar held the remains of Amy Steenburg and her husband, and his brother, Richard Steenburg; Amy’s sister Abigail Jackson and her husband Adam Jackson; sister Mary Dyson and her husband Robert Dyson; and the fourth sister, Allison King. Each of the married couples shared an urn.

National Transportation Safety Board investigators expect to be wrapping up their work at the crash site this weekend as they investigate circumstances surrounding its case, agency spokesman Eric Weiss said.

New regulations for stretch limousines are being proposed in the state Senate in response to the crash that killed 20 people.

More >

Extras

Trump’s aides are urging him to replace departing U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley with another woman, hoping the move would help shore up support among female voters before the midterms.

First Lady Melania Trump has more pressing matters on her mind than allegations of infidelity by her husband, she insisted in a no-holds-barred interview, saying that issue is “not concern and focus of mine.”

Prince’s surviving family members are asking Trump to stop using the late rock star’s music at campaign rallies. The late singer’s “Purple Rain” has frequently been on the president’s playlist at recent rallies, including last week in South Haven, Mississippi.

Hillary Clinton is hitting back at Trump for having claimed at a recent rally — without providing any evidence — that she was the one who colluded with Russia during the 2016 presidential contest.

Rep. Joe Crowley, the Queens Democrat who shockingly lost a primary in June to democratic socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, is laying the groundwork for a future political run – perhaps in Albany.

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio went to bat for a political foe, saying the protesters who accosted Republican Sen. Ted Cruz in a Washington, DC, restaurant last month overstepped the line.

The Peace Bridge Authority is examining how it will eventually raise tolls on its international span over the Niagara River, though no hike is imminent.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo tomorrow will kick off what the state Democratic party he controls is calling a “2018 Blue Wave Bus Tour” to push for the party to flip the state Senate and grab control of the U.S. House of Representatives.

Voters in this very liberal, very white state made Kiah Morris a pioneer when in 2014 they elected her as its first black female legislator. Two years later, another Vermont surfaced: racist threats that eventually forced her to leave office in fear and frustration.

Singer Taylor Swift has reportedly seen a bump in album sales since she broke her career-long silence on politics and endorsed two Tennessee Democrats ahead of midterm elections.

U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand discussed the fallout from U.S. Supreme Court Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation and her 2020 intentions with New York magazine.

Funeral services have begun for the victims of Schoharie limousine crash.

State Republican officials said that their Manhattan party headquarters were vandalized overnight, and blamed the attack on anarchists groups.

Former top Cuomo aide Joe Percoco, who was convicted on corruption charges in March, wants to stay out of prison while he appeals his case.

State Police this afternoon remained at the scene of a suspicious death at a motel owned by the man whose limousine crashed in Schoharie on Saturday, killing 20 people.

Rising sales tax revenue helped boost Erie County budget for this year and is expected to help offset costs in next year’s proposed 2019 budget. Comptroller Stefan Mychajliw says this is proof the Trump tax cuts are working.

Salamanca Mayor Michael “Smitty” Smith says he has received assurances from the Cuomo administration that the state will step in to assist with making up $9 million in lost casino revenue if arbitration in December doesn’t go well.

Popular fundraising site GoFundMe launched a centralized hub for all verified campaigns benefitting the families of the 20 people killed in the Schoharie limousine crash.

Local and state Republicans have knocked the Democratic candidate for Amherst town clerk off that ballot line for next month’s election. The Democrats are vowing to appeal.

Here and Now

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is in the New York City area with no public events scheduled.

President Donald Trump receives his daily intelligence briefing, and then departs D.C. en route to Cincinnati, OH, where he will participate in a roundtable for supporters.

Trump will then head to the Warren County Fairgrounds in Lebanon, OH, where he will host a “Make America Great Again” rally before returning home to the White House.

Vice President Mike Pence and Second Lady Karen Pence travel today to Springfield, IL, where the Vice President will deliver remarks at a Rodney Davis for Congress event.

The couple will then head to Indianapolis, where the Vice President will deliver remarks at the 2018 Indiana Republican Party Fall Dinner.

At 10 a.m., Assemblyman David I. Weprin delivers remarks at the Queens Interagency Council on Aging (QICA) Annual Legislative Forum, Queens Borough Hall, Room 213, 120-55 Queens Boulevard, Queens.

Also at 10 a.m., NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio will appear live on WNYC’s The Brian Lehrer Show and take questions from listeners.

Also at 10 a.m., NYC Dept. of Transportation (DOT) Commissioner Polly Trottenberg joins Councilman Eric Ulrich and other community leaders to announce the installation of new distinctive pedestrian lighting treatments along Jamaica Avenue’s commercial corridor, Avenue Diner in Woodhaven, 9106 Jamaica Ave., Queens.

At 10:30 a.m., Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. and United States Department of Housing and Urban Development Regional Administrator Lynne Patton tour the South Bronx and visit the Patterson Houses, a New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) development, East 143rd Street and Third Avenue, the Bronx.

At 11 a.m., NYC Councilman Andy King attends the ribbon cutting ceremony of Jennifer Furniture’s Bronx store, Bay Plaza Shopping Center, 352 Baychester Ave., #B, Co-op City, the Bronx.

Also at 11 a.m., Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz presents his Proposed Erie County Budget for 2019, Executive Conference Room, 16th floor, Edward A. Rath County Office Building, 95 Franklin St., Buffalo.

Also at 11 a.m., de Blasio will deliver remarks at the Battery Park Police Memorial Wall ceremony, 385 South End Ave., Manhattan.

De Blasio and NYC First Lady Chirlane McCray today will travel to Southeast Florida this evening, and are scheduled to return Sunday to NYC.

At 11:15 a.m., LG Kathy Hochul makes an economic development announcement, Lancaster Opera House, 21 Central Ave., Lancaster.

At 11:10 a.m., NY-19 Democratic candidate Antonio Delgado will address and take questions from AARP members across the district in an AARP telephone town hall, following Republic Rep. John Faso’s telephone town hall on Oct. 11, via call-in, listen-only at 877-229-8493; PIN = 18948.

At 11:30 a.m., Assemblywoman Sandy Galef, Westchester County Legislator Catherine Borgia, Ossining Mayor Victoria Gearity, former Westchester County Board of Legislators Majority Leader and Democratic state Senate candidate Pete Harckham and other officials reveal $78 million funding shortfall for area public schools and proposed solutions, Roosevelt Elementary School,190 Croton Ave., Ossining.

At noon, Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis holds a press conference about criminal justice reform, repeat offenders and mental illness, at the intersection of New Dorp Lane and Clawson Street, Staten Island.

At 12:30 p.m., Borough President Diaz speaks at the Celebration of Immigrants in America. The Bronx County Building, Veterans’ Memorial Hall, 851 Grand Concourse, the Bronx.

At 12:45 p.m., Hochul delivers remarks at the Erie County Coalition Against Family Violence 40th Anniversary Luncheon, Chef’s Restaurant, 291 Seneca St., Buffalo.

At 3 p.m., Ozone Park Residents Block Association and Assemblyman Mike Miller hold a protest rally in response to the second attack in a week by a homeless adult single man, 85-15 101 Ave, Queens.

Also at 3 p.m., NYC Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer speaks at the ribbon cutting for the Queensbridge Community Compost Site with the NYC Compost Project hosted by Big Reuse, Compost Processing Site at Queens Plaza South & Vernon Blvd, Queens.

At 4 p.m., Dutchess County Executive and GOP gubernatorial candidate Marc Molinaro tours Falls Farm and Garden, 1115 Dix Ave., Hudson Falls.

At 4:30 p.m., Van Bramer speaks at the ribbon cutting to celebrate the completion of CITYarts’ Rising Up In The Community mural project, LIC Dog Park, 48-1-48-11 Vernon Blvd, Queens.

At 6 p.m., Molinaro attends the Washington County Fall Republican Dinner, Fort Edward Fire House, 114 Broadway, Fort Edward.

At 6:30 p.m., NYC Councilman Jumaane Williams presents proclamations to the honorees for their contributions to culture at the Reel Sisters of the Diaspora Film Festival, SVA Theatre, 333 West 23rd Street, Manhattan.

At 6:30 p.m., Borough President Diaz attends the annual dinner of the Puerto Rican Bar Association. Lighthouse at Pier 61 at Chelsea Piers – 23rd Street & Hudson River, Manhattan.

At 7 p.m., the Bay Ridge Community Council hosts a NY-11 candidate debate, with incumbent Republican Rep. Dan Donovan and Democrat Max Rose, moderated by Council Past President Alexander Conti, Xaverian High School, 7100 Shore Rd., Staten Island.

Headlines…

Virgin Group founder Richard Branson has suspended a $1 billion investment project with Saudi Arabia due to the disappearance of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi.

The Turkish government claims to have audio that proves Khashoggi was killed inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

Uber’s CEO Dara Khosrowshahi says he will not attend an upcoming conference in Saudi Arabia amid reports of the disappearance Khashoggi “unless a substantially different set of facts emerges.

President Donald Trump called the mysterious disappearance of Khashoggi “very bad” but stopped short of faulting the Saudi Arabian government for the dissident journalist’s suspected murder.

With cameras rolling and Trump looking on, combustive rapper Kanye West went on an expletive-riddled, ten minute monologue in the Oval Office about his supposedly misdiagnosed bipolar disorder, his daddy issues and adoration for Trump’s “Superman”-like qualities.

Trump responded to falling stock prices by continuing to throw rocks at the Federal Reserve, which he has described as “crazy,” “loco,” “going wild” and “out of control” for slowly raising interest rates against the backdrop of a booming economy.

Trump pledged to overrule Attorney General Jeff Sessions if he tries to hold up criminal justice reform, sowing more unease amid speculation Sessions may soon be fired.

An estimated 75,000 immigrants living in New York legally who qualify for benefits like food stamps could be forced to choose between that help and pursuing their permanent residency under Trump’s proposed “public charge” rule change, city officials said.

Trump’s attorneys are preparing written responses to questions sent by special counsel Robert Mueller.

“I could say I’m the most bullied person on the world,” First Lady Melania Trump told ABC News in an interview during her solo trip to Africa last week. “One of them — if you really see what people are saying about me.”

As they brace for losses in the House of Representatives, Republican Party leaders are racing to reinforce their candidates in about two-dozen districts, trying to create a barricade around their imperiled majority.

State Police said they are investigating a suspicious death at a Wilton motel owned by the same man whose limousine business is under scrutiny after one of his limos crashed and killed 20 people in Schoharie on Saturday.

A woman whose daughter survived a limousine accident that killed four women on Long Island in 2015 says Saturday’s deadly crash upstate is a reminder that strict legislation is still needed for stretch vehicles.

Thomas Marcelle, a Capital Region lawyer for nearly 30 years with experience as a county attorney, legislative counsel and municipal judge, is one step away from becoming the area’s next federal judge.

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio declared that his predecessor, Mike Bloomberg, won’t get the support of progressives if he decides to run for president in 2020 because he’s not a “real Democrat.”

Republican NYC Councilman Joe Borelli, of Staten Island, predicts: “Unlike the time he used the Republican Party to become mayor, or the time he ‘bought’ his third term, Bloomberg’s path to the White House through the Democratic Primary isn’t going to end well for him.”

Republican state attorney general candidate Keith Wofford has made addressing the opioid epidemic a top priority even as his law firm made big bucks representing Big Pharma.

Five NYC doctors were charged with taking millions of dollars in return for prescribing oxycodone pills to purported patients with no legitimate medical need for them, according to the indictments and a criminal complaint unsealed in federal court in Manhattan.

Hoping to boost staffing at troubled NYC schools, the DOE will pay up to $8,000 more a year to teachers willing to tackle the most daunting assignments as part of the new contract between the de Blasio administration and the UFT.

Cynthia Nixon’s campaign is asking the state Democratic Party to make amends for sending out a mailer to Jewish households that falsely linked her to anti-Semitism just days before the Sept. 13 primary for governor by spending the same amount – an estimated $11,000 – on Assemblywoman Deborah Glick’s behalf.

While Nixon has vowed not to actively run and instead campaign for Glick, she will still be on the ballot and some observers say Nixon could still win.

The actress-activist issued a message urging her followers to work with the minor party to help Democrats take back Congress, the state Senate and offices around the nation. She made no mention of Gov. Andrew Cuomo or the governor’s race.

More >

Extras

Rapper Kanye West met with Trump, telling the president in an Oval Office meeting before reporters why he supports the Republican. “There was something about putting this hat on that made me feel like Superman,” he said.

Kanye also spoke of alternative universes, a new plane that Trump should consider as his next Air Force One, his diagnosis of bipolar disorder that he said was actually sleep deprivation, and living in a household dominated by females given his marriage to reality TV star Kim Kardashian West.

Trump estimated that he’s lost billions of dollars while in the White House but said it’s been worth it because of what he’s done for the country.

Michael Cohen, Trump’s disillusioned personal fixer, has registered as a Democrat, his legal team announced.

A Manhattan judge tossed out one of the criminal counts faced by Harvey Weinstein, undermining prosecutors’ case against the former Hollywood producer.

Facebook announced that it has removed more than 800 pages or accounts that it said had “consistently broken our rules against spam and coordinated inauthentic behavior.”

New York City and the United Federation of Teachers have agreed to a new contract — four months before the current one is set to expire.

The new contract provides extra pay to teachers who work in hard-to-staff schools, tweaks teacher evaluations, and calls for the creation of a new screening tool to be used in hiring.

A judge recently excused NY-27 Republican Rep. Chris Collins from being required to attend a status hearing on his case on insider trading charges.

A federal judge has set Feb. 3rd, 2020 as the date Collins will go on trial to face charges of insider trading.

Asked if he would commit to serving in the next Congress — and vow that he wouldn’t resign once re-elected — Collins’s campaign spokesman would not answer the question.

A review of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s books by state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli noted upcoming budget deficits over $1 billion, a planned fare hike and a credit downgrade that could make borrowing more expensive.

New York has made it onto another list of least tax-friendly states.
Sotheby’s said that the woman who won the $1.4 million Banksy painting that self-destructed after it was auctioned in London has decided to keep it.

NYC’s top investigator, Mark Peters, abused his authority by seizing control of the independent office that investigates the school system and firing its commissioner, a new investigation found. But the probe concluded with the recommendation of what amounts to a slap on the wrist.

With the election less than a month away, Gov. Andrew Cuomo still hasn’t agreed to a single debate with Republican challenger Marc Molinaro, and critics say that’s not how democracy is supposed to work.

Prosecutors have yet to offer Dr. Thomas Frieden, the former director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a plea deal in their sex abuse case against him.

There’s speculation that more charges could be coming in Assemblyman Joe Errigo’s corruption case. Two Rochester majority conference members – Assemblymen Harry Bronson and David Gantt – have insisted they are not “Assembly Member A” named in the complaint.

A Tennessee company must stop infringing on HealthNow New York’s trademark and may have to pay damages to the Buffalo company, a federal judge ruled.

Former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger addressed the 2003 sexual misconduct allegations against him in a recent interview with Men’s Health, saying: “Looking back, I stepped over the line several times, and I was the first one to say sorry.”

Here and Now

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is in New York City and the New York City area with no public events scheduled.

President Donald Trump participates in two bill signings, one for S. 3508, the “Save Our Seas Act of 2018,” the other for H.R. 1551, the “Orrin G. Hatch-Bob Goodlatte Music Modernization Act.”

In the afternoon, Trump delivers remarks at the Interagency Task Force to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons annual meeting.

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio is in the city with no public events scheduled.

At 9 a.m., City & State holds a networking reception for the Nonprofit Power 50 list, gathering the most influential people in the nonprofit sector, Battery Gardens Restaurant, 1 Battery Place, Manhattan.

Also at 9 a.m., LG Kathy Hochul delivers remarks at a rally for NY-27 Democratic candidate Nate McMurray, USW Local 2603, 3184 Lakeshore Rd., Blasdell.

At 9 a.m., Democratic state Senate candidate Jessica Ramos and Sen. Mike Gianaris pledge to work together to reimagine the MTA, strengthen tenant protections, and improve support for schools, 31st Street and Ditmars Boulevard, Astoria, Queens.

At 10 a.m., Rep. Nita Lowey delivers remarks at a senior fair hosted by state Sen. David Carlucci and Assemblywoman Sandy Galef, Joseph G. Caputo Community Center, 95 Broadway, Ossining.

At 11 a.m., independent gubernatorial candidate Stephanie Miner and LG candidate Michael Volpe discuss a detailed plan for the state to take over county Medicaid expenses, lowering property taxes for homeowners and businesses, Boehlert Transportation Center, 321 Main St., Utica.

At 11:30 a.m., Assemblyman Victor Pichardo holds a press conference with state Sen. Gustavo Rivera to call for an investigation into Tom Liotti due to recent racist statements referencing the Bronx, Bronx County Supreme Court steps, 851 Grand Concourse, the Bronx.

Also at 11:30 a.m., Dutchess County Executive and GOO gubernatorial candidate Marc Molinaro and Sen. Marty Golden demand that Cuomo not set another cop killer free, (Anthony Bottom, partner of released Herman Bell, is scheduled to have his parole Board hearing tomorrow), outside Golden’s campaign HQ, 7615 3rd Ave., Brooklyn.

Also at 11:30 a.m., Lowey delivers remarks at the Town of Haverstraw’s 12th Annual Ninety-Plus Recognition Day, celebrating residents age 90 or older, Hudson Water Club, 606 Beach Road, West Haverstraw.

At noon, Regent Beverly Ouderkirk visits Keane Elementary School in Schenectady, as students receive comprehensive no-cost vision exams and eyeglasses, 1252 Albany St.

At 1 p.m., Hochul announces her support of Democratic state Senate Candidates Jeremy Cooney and Jen Lunsford and rallies for the Reproductive Health Act, Susan B. Anthony Park, 31 Madison St., Rochester.

At 1:30 p.m., Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. and rapper Fat Joe launch a new initiative designed to increase student performance in Bronx public schools, 977 Fox St., the Bronx.

At 2 p.m., Rep. Adriano Espaillat hosts a press conference to provide residents of New York’s 13th Congressional District with an update on his work to ensure temporary protected status remains viable, Harlem State Office Building, 163 W. 125th St., Manhattan.

At 2:30 p.m., Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis holds a press conference to call for action to address the flawed system that has caused property taxes in lower- and middle-income parts of Brooklyn to skyrocket, corner of 99th Street and Fourth Avenue, Brooklyn.

At 3 p.m., Diaz and NYC Councilwoman Vanessa Gibson host a press conference to recognize National Coming Out Day during LGBT History Month, Bronx County Building steps, 851 Grand Concourse, the Bronx.

At 4 p.m., HOT 97 and Diaz co-host a voter registration drive, corner of East 161st Street and the Grand Concourse, the Bronx.

Also at 4 p.m., state Senate candidate John Liu and Nancy Tong, 47th Assembly District Democratic leader, will announce their endorsement of state Senate District 22 Democratic candidate Andrew Gounardes, 6802 8th Ave., Brooklyn.

Also at 4 p.m., activists and advocates will deliver thousands of petition signatures to NYS Chief Judge Janet DiFiore, calling on her to take action to take action to stop ICE courthouse arrests, followed by a “speak out” at 5 p.m., Foley Square, Manhattan.

At 5 p.m., Molinaro will be a guest on AM The Answer 970 AM with guest host Jeanne Zaino.

6 p.m., Diaz hosts his annual Italian Heritage & Culture Celebration, featuring honorees Matilda Cuomo, Patrick “Pat” LaFrieda Jr. and Dr. Michael Brescia, Schiff Family Great Hall at the Bronx Zoo, 2300 Southern Blvd., the Bronx.

6:30 p.m., members of the NYC Advisory Commission on Property Tax Reform hold a public hearing to listen to people who pay property taxes directly or indirectly, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Forchheimer Medical Science Building, Robbins Auditorium, 1300 Morris Park Ave., the Bronx.

Headlines…

Hurricane Michael, one of the most powerful storms ever to hit the continental United States, slammed into the Florida Panhandle, and has been blamed for at least one death.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he is prepared to send 75 members of the 106th Rescue Wing, including specially trained pararescue airmen and combat rescue officers, to Gulfport, Miss., to pitch in during and after the storm.

As the Dow Jones closed 831 points down, Trump lashed out at the Federal Reserve, just a day after saying again that he disagrees with the decision to raise interest rates, saying it “has gone crazy.”

The FBI’s former top lawyer told congressional officials in private testimony last week that he had taken seriously a suggestion by the deputy attorney general, Rod Rosenstein, to secretly tape conversations with Trump but viewed it as too risky and unlikely to deliver meaningful information.

Trump said that his administration is talking to former White House aide Dina Powell about taking Ambassador Nikki Haley’s post at the UN — but that’s she’s one of several contenders.

A Supreme Court argument over the detention of immigrants during deportation proceedings seemed to expose a divide between Trump’s two appointees, Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh.

The former parent company of beleaguered Newsweek ran a $10 million fraud scheme, tricking lenders into loaning out large sums to pay for high-end computer servers they never bought, according to an indictment unsealed yesterday.

Former NYC Mayor Mike Bloomberg, 76, announced that he had re-registered as a Democrat for the first time since leaving the party in 2001, in what some are interpreting as a sign that he may run for president under that party’s banner in 2020.

Ester Fuchs and Chris Coffey, former Bloomberg aides, sat down with NY1’s Josh Robin to discuss the ex-mayor’s possible plans to run for president and why they think he can change the deeply partisan nature of Washington.

Republican Assemblyman Joseph Errigo, 80, who lost a GOP primary last month, was criminally charged with accepting a $10,500 bribe to further a local development project.

Errigo, who has served two stints in the Assembly for a total of 12 years, introduced a bill in March to further the aims of the unnamed party that paid the bribe.

The bill would have reduced local-government control over some development projects and given more authority to the state DOT, and never went anywhere.

The document alleged the scheme was hatched last September by another member of the state Assembly and a registered lobbyist, who then enlisted Errigo as a way to shield the first assemblyman from scrutiny. Neither of those parties is named.

Nauman Hussain, 28, the operator of a limo company involved in the crash that killed 20 people in Schoharie last weekend, walked free on $150,000 bond after pleading not guilty to charges of criminally negligent homicide during an arraignment last night.

Hussain was taken into custody by the State Police during a traffic stop on a highway in Watervliet, and charged with one count of criminally negligent homicide involving all 20 crash victims.

Hussain’s car was packed with luggage when he was stopped on a highway near Albany. His attorney, Lee Kindlon, said his client felt unsafe at home because he’d gotten threats.

SUNY Oswego professor Brian Hough, his wife Jackie, their 9-year-old son and his in-laws were on the way to a wedding when they decided to stop at the Apple Barrel Country Store and Cafe, and their lives were changed forever by the limo crash.

In the days since the limousine crash in Schoharie County that took the lives of 20 people, more than $565,000 has been raised for the victims as of last night.

Three of the most endangered sitting Republican state senators as the fight for control of the chamber heads into the final stretch are on Long Island.

More >

Extras

President Trump said that the U.S. would “get to the bottom of” the mystery surrounding the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, as some Hill lawmakers pointed fingers at the Saudi government and vowed congressional action.

Ethics complaints filed against Justice Brett Kavanaugh in the weeks leading up to his confirmation to the US Supreme Court are still live, and they’re being transferred to another judicial circuit, according to a letter made public from Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts Jr.

The operator of a limousine company at the center of an investigation of the crash that killed 20 people was arrested and charged with criminally negligent homicide, according to the State Police.

Nauman Hussain, the son of a Shahed Hussain, the owner of Prestige Limousine, was taken into custody by the State Police during a traffic stop on a highway in the Albany area. The son was operating the company while the father was out of the country, reportedly in Pakistan.

“The driver he hired should not have been operating the type of vehicle involved in Saturday’s crash,” said State Police Superintendent George Beach. “He was cited with the violations. He knew this. The sole responsibility for that motor vehicle being on the road on Saturday rests with Nauman Hussain.”

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says that if Trump decides to fire Attorney General Jeff Sessions, his replacement won’t be a Senate Republican.

U.S. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer gave a blistering critique of a USA Today op-ed by Trump, claiming the president is trying to mislead Americans about the “Medicare for All” plan touted by some Democrats. He used a red pen to “edit” the offending essay, pointing out where the president used misleading information.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott called Hurricane Michael “the worst storm that our Florida Panhandle has seen in a century.”

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he will deploy members from the New York Air National Guard to assist in Hurricane Michael response down south.

As a life-threatening hurricane barreled into Florida, Trump was wheels up to Pennsylvania for a political rally — even though he once rebuked his predecessor for doing something similar.

An independent Erie County citizens panel has unanimously recommended raises for the county executive, sheriff and comptroller. But in a nod to defeated recommendations of the past, the Citizens Salary Review Commission did not suggest raises for all county officials, nor did it recommend raises as high as what prior panels endorsed.

Citizens groups expressed frustration with the adjournment of an administrative hearing today that was to determine whether Tonawanda Coke’s air permit should be revoked. It was adjourned to Friday to give the state DEC and the company time to try and reach an agreement.

Melania Trump said women who make sexual assault accusations “need to be heard” — but so do men. “We need to have really hard evidence that if you’re accused of something, show the evidence,” the first lady told ABC during an interview taped during her four-nation tour of Africa last week.

Michael Bloomberg announced that he had re-registered as a Democrat, in a sign that the former New York City mayor could be seriously considering a presidential bid in 2020.

Former Vice President Joe Biden responded coyly when asked about his 2020 presidential aspirations — saying he is not running “at this point.”

NY-27 Democratic candidate Nate McMurray released an internal poll showing he’s running neck-and-neck with his Republican opponent, Rep. Chris Collins.

McMurray says he’s not getting any assistance from the DCCC, but the state Democratic Party has sent him a campaign staffer and is conducting a poll for him.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and first lady Chirlane McCray are headed to Florida on Friday to stump on behalf of Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum.

At a Citizens Budget Commission breakfast, interim NYCHA Chairman Stanley Brezenoff expressed regret about signing off on a consent decree in June to appoint an independent overseer to make sure the authority follows all the rules on keeping their apartments safe and habitable.

NY-24 Rep. John Katko is staking his bid for a third term in Congress on a promise to break through gridlock in Washington, a remarkable theme for a Republican whose party controls the House, Senate and White House.

New York resident Paul Rosenfeld, 56, faces charges related to alleged plans to make a bomb and threat to a public place in Washington, DC.

A llama strolls in Brooklyn.

…and this happened.

Here and Now

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is in New York City with no public events scheduled.

President Donald Trump meets with the secretary of Homeland Security and the FEMA administrator, and then has lunch with the secretary of Defense.

In the afternoon, the president participates in the signing ceremony for S. 2553 – Know the Lowest Price Act and S. 2554 – Patients Right to Know Drug Prices Act, and then departs D.C. en route to Erie, PA, where he will participate in a roundtable for supporters and host a “Make America Great Again” rally before returning to Washington.

Vice President Mike Pence travels to Wisconsin, where he will deliver remarks at two separate tenets to benefit the state GOP and Gov. Scott Walker – one in Green Bay, the other in Eau Claire – before returning to D.C.

At 8 a.m., the Citizens Budget Commission (CBC) will welcome Interim Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA), Stanley Brezenoff, The Yale Club, 50 Vanderbilt Ave., Manhattan.

At 8:30 a.m., Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams and NYC Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza unveil plans for the Brooklyn STEAM Center, 63 Flushing Ave., Building 77 Courtyard, Brooklyn.

At 8:40 a.m., Dutchess County Executive and GOP gubernatorial candidate Marc Molinaro will be a guest on The Answer 970 with Joe Piscopo.

At 8:45 a.m., state Sen. Gianaris will join city agency leaders and elected officials on National Walk to School Day to highlight expanded enforcement efforts and promote a series of community workshops to solicit public input into a comprehensive redesign of the street, Northern Boulevard and Broadway, Queens.

At 9 a.m., state Sen. Brad Hoylman and others announce a new effort to push elected officials to finally take action to fix Penn Station, Penn Station Plaza, Seventh Avenue between 32nd and 33rd streets, Manhattan.

At 10 a.m., Rep. Nydia Velazquez attends the dedication ceremony of Maria Thomson Way, corner of Jamaica Avenue and Forest Parkway, Queens.

At 10:30 a.m., independent gubernatorial candidate Stephanie Miner and LG candidate Michael Volpe discuss economic development failures and fixes, 1339 South Park Ave., Buffalo. (Tesla at Riverbend).

Also at 10:30 a.m., the Long Island Nassau-Suffolk Ambulette Coalition will host a rally to urge state regulators to increase reimbursement rates to allow them to fairly compete for driver salaries and to compensate for cost of doing business, 1319 Penataquit Ave., Bay Shore.

At 11 a.m., NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio and NYPD Commissioner Daniel Nigro will deliver remarks at the annual Fire Department Memorial Day Ceremony, Firemen’s Memorial, W. 100th Street and Riverside Drive, Manhattan.

At noon, Hempstead Town Supervisor Laura Gillen and Town Clerk Sylvia Cabana will join mental health advocates from Northwell Health and National Alliance on Mental Illness, as well as local veterans, to raise the Town’s green Mental Health Awareness Flag over Town Hall to show support for those battling mental health issues, 1 Washington St., Hempstead, Long Island.

Also at noon, Assemblymembers Ron Kim, Dan Quart, Yuh-Line Niou, Harvey Epstein, state Sen. Kevin Parker and others hold a rally to speak out against the unsustainable levels of student debt in America and New York, City Hall steps, Manhattan.

At 2 p.m., LG Kathy Hochul makes an announcement, 2 Lafayette St., Manhattan.

At 4 p.m., the NYC Civilian Complaint Review Board meets, 100 Church St., Manhattan.

At 6 p.m., the annual “This is Our New York Gala” honors Velázquez, Joseph Dorismond from the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union and Michael Dowling from Northwell Health, The Edison Ballroom, 240 W. 47th St., Manhattan.

At 6:30 p.m., Hochul delivers remarks at a vigil being held for the Schoharie crash victims, Schoharie High School, gymnasium, 136 Academy Dr., Schoharie.

At 7 p.m., Molinaro hosts a Rockland County Town Hall, 10 Maple Ave., New City.

Headlines…

United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley unexpectedly resigned without any heads up to congressional Republicans nor Secretary of State Mike Pompeo nor some key US allies, leaving both foreign diplomats and members of the Trump administration surprised by the sudden, mysterious move.

The president said that first daughter Ivanka Trump would be “dynamite” as a replacement for Haley, although Ivanka politely declined.

Trump said that he could possibly appoint as many as four new justices to the U.S. Supreme Court — but quickly added that he hopes the judges now sitting on the high court stay healthy.

A super PAC funded almost entirely by billionaire and former NYC Mayor Mike Bloomberg, Independence USA, has opened up its coffers to seven women running to unseat veteran Republican incumbents in the House, spending just more than $2 million this month in backing the Democratic challengers.

Since Taylor Swift flexed her star power Sunday with an Instagram post that encouraged her 112 million followers to register to vote, Vote.org has experienced an unprecedented flood of new voter registrations nationwide.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles Grassley, an Iowa Republican, said that he would not allow a Supreme Court vacancy to be filled in 2020 – a position that puts him at odds with the Senate’s top Republican on an issue that has inflamed partisan tensions for more than two years.

Chants of “Lock her up!” rang once again throughout an Iowa arena as Trump rallied supporters last night. But this time, the staple of the 2016 campaign against Democrat Hillary Clinton had a new target: California Sen. Dianne Feinstein.

Andrew Wheeler, the acting administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, has over the past five years frequently liked and reposted inflammatory and outright racist content on his private social media accounts.

An upstate man said he and his wife last year rented the same limo and driver involved in a crash that killed 20 people in Schoharie and claims the vehicle “shoulda been in the scrap yard.”

The diver, Scott T. Lisinicchia, was stopped by a state trooper in Saratoga Springs in late August and — after transporting 11 people in the same limo — cited for operating the vehicle without a proper license.

Kim Lisinicchia said her husband was careful about doing what he had to maintain his commercial license. But she was unsure if he knew about the additional requirement for large groups of passengers.

A group funeral will be held Saturday for the four sisters killed in the crash – Amy King Steenburg, 29, Allison King, 32, Mary King Dyson, 33, and Abigail King Jackson, 34 — as well as Mary and Abigail’s husbands, according to the siblings’ grieving brother.

Countering claims made by the limo’s owner, Prestige Limousine, the state DOT said the company was was ordered to keep the vehicle involved in the crash off the road after it failed a safety inspection last month.

Karina Halse, the sister of crash victim Amanda Halse, 26, recalled her final text exchange with her sibling, who she said was just out to have a “good time” with her boyfriend, Patrick Cushing, and a group of 16 friends in the limo for a birthday party.

Prestige tried to sell the limo in question – a modified 2001 Ford Excursion – on Craigslist just two days before the accident, offering to unload it for $9,000.

There’s now renewed questions about safety and regulations for the limousine industry after the deadly crash last weekend, though New York already has some of the strictest transportation laws and regulations in place.

The governor issued an order for flags to be flown at half-staff tomorrow in honor of the crash victims.

The parents of Brian Hough – a SUNY Oswego professor who was killed Saturday alongside his father-in-law when the limo crashed into them – are remembering their son as hardworking and loving.

Former Erie County Democratic Party chairman Steve Pigeon pleaded guilty to steering an illegal $25,000 campaign contribution from a foreign national to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s 2014 re-election campaign just two weeks after he entered another guilty plea in state court to bribing a judge in a separate case.

According to the federal charges, the donation was arranged by Pigeon and made through an American straw donor on behalf of David Baazov, the founder of Montreal-based Amaya Gaming Group.

The Cuomo campaign noted it initially rejected the contribution arranged by Pigeon because it originated from a foreign national. A spokeswoman for the governor said the campaign was “defrauded” by Pigeon, and the contribution question “will be immediately donated” – to whom, she did not reveal.

More >

Extras

President Trump’s ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, said she would resign at the end of the year, marking a high-profile departure of one of the few women in the president’s cabinet.

White House staffers were caught off guard by the announcement, which Haley and Trump had kept closely under wraps, though he said she had informed him roughly six months ago that she wanted to take a break after finishing two years with the administration.

Here’s Haley’s resignation letter.

Hillary Clinton labeled Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s ceremonial swearing-in at the White House last night a “political rally” that “undermined the image and integrity” of the Supreme Court.

Clinton said that civility in America can only begin again if Democrats win back the House or Senate this fall, telling CNN’s Christiane Amanpour: “You cannot be civil with a political party that wants to destroy what you stand for, what you care about.”

Sen. Tom Cotton, an Arkansas Republican, accused Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer of being behind the leak of an explosive letter that almost derailed Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court. A Schumer spokesperson called the allegation a “fairytale.”

Andrew Wheeler, the acting administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, repeatedly engaged with inflammatory content on his personal Facebook and Twitter accounts over the past five years, including some in the past month.

GOP Sen. Rand Paul, of Kentucky, vowed to force a vote on U.S. arms sales to Saudi Arabia after the disappearance of Washington Post contributor Jamal Khashoggi.

The limousine service under scrutiny after a crash that killed 20 people fixed safety violations in its fleet before the tragedy, said a lawyer who suggested the driver was unfamiliar with the rural road.

The stepson of the limo driver killed in a deadly crash alongside his 17 passengers and two pedestrians on Saturday, has revealed he had been reluctant to get behind the wheel that day.

Just two weeks after appearing in state court and admitting he bribed a judge, Western New York political operative Steve Pigeon appeared in federal court and this time pleaded guilty to making an illegal campaign contribution to Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Just one in three New York public high school recent graduates report that they felt “significantly challenged” in high school, and roughly half of those who went on to college report having to take at least one remedial course, according to a new survey commissioned The New York Equity Coalition.

A new ad buy from the New York Hotel and Motel Trades Council, which represents about 40,000 hospitality workers in the region, is targeting a handful of highly watched congressional races in New York and New Jersey – including the fights for NY-22 (Tenney vs. Brindisi) and NY-19 (Faso vs. Delgado).

The federal corruption retrial of former Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano and his wife, Linda, was adjourned and rescheduled for January after prosecutors discovered new material that needs to be turned over to the defense.

Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America took aim at GOP gubernatorial candidate Marc Molinaro for voting 32 times against bills to strengthen New York’s firearms laws.

“The IDC is dead. Cuomo can’t recreate it. But by creating a policy pledge tailored to suburban candidates (and preparing a separate one for those running in the five boroughs), Cuomo can hope to pit Senate Democrats against one another.”

Democratic NY-27 candidate Nathan McMurray is no fan of Trump, but he tweets a bit like the president. His opponent, Republican Rep. Chris Collins, a Trump supporter who has never been known to be careful with his words in public, seems especially careful on social media.

A new ranking of high schools with the poorest attendance records upstate includes three schools in the Central NY area.

State Sen. Brian Benjamin, a Harlem Democrat, is set to introduce a bill to give tenants who believed they’ve been overcharged on their rent an additional two years to file complaints.

RIP to former veteran Republican Queens Sen. Frank Padavan. More here.

Will The Same Playbook for Democrats Work in the Suburbs?

There may come a day where an army of union volunteers knocking on doors and pulling votes on election day no longer has the same impact. There is a lot of talk about voting reform in New York State early next year which could include implementing some form of early voting. That would mean a ground operation on Primary or Election Day could be less important if people have already cast ballots.

But that’s not the world we live in. At least not yet.

What Governor Cuomo and Letitia James were able to accomplish last month was mobilizing people and getting them to the polls. In huge numbers. That was partially money, partially anti-Trump fervor and certainly a robust education effort informing people that Primary day fell on a weird Thursday in Mid-September. But mostly it was the hard working men and women in the labor unions hitting the ground.

Which is why there is no surprise that Democrats in local races across the State would also want to highlight their union embracing bonafides ahead of election day. Take this election in the 5th Senate District on Strong Island. Republican Carl Marcellino is fending off a challenge from James Gaughran. The Democrat already has the backing of NYSUT, the State Teacher’s union. But it was this post from Gaughran that left some Republican insiders confused:

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Oh, and this:

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Turns out, Gaughran actually served as outside counsel to Cablevision, which was locked in a very bitter dispute with CWA workers who Gaughran is now claiming to stand with. Now, to quote Don Corleone, “It doesn’t make any difference to me what a man does for a living. Understand.”

But certainly it seems, in the eyes of some, a little convenient to claim you stand with boots-on-the-ground union workers just a few days before Election Day. Candice Giove, a campaign spokeswoman for Senate Republicans says.


“Career candidate Jim Gaughran is certainly proud to fight alongside anyone who might get him his next paycheck, whether he’s using CWA union members as election props or earning a buck during the near decade he represented the management company that’s feuded with CWA.”

Democrats counter that CWA has endorsed Gaughran, and plan to phone bank for him this evening. In a statement, Dennis Trainor, a CWA Vice President says,

Carl Marcellino has spent his decades in Albany attacking unions and failing the hardworking men and women of Long Island. Jim Gaughran understands the issues facing struggling Long Island families, and our brothers and sisters in labor. We are proud to stand with Jim Gaughran and we will keep fighting to get him elected to the State Senate.

With Republican Marc Molinaro struggling to raise funds in his bid to topple Cuomo, the battleground in New York State appears to be shifting to the Senate, where Republicans hold a one seat majority. Democrats are mostly playing offense, which makes them confident. But even with a fundraising boost this last period, the resources are not unlimited. Democrats have to pick and choose where to spend that money. And some key races like this one in the 5th could determine whether they can actually capture control of the chamber.