Progressive groups are planning a protest at the East Hampton home of hedge fund manager and charter school advocate Daniel Loeb, who is hosting a fund-raiser for Gov. Andrew Cuomo next Saturday.

Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer today asked NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio to authorize a ticker tape parade along the Canyon of Heroes in Lower Manhattan to honor the U.S. Women’s National Team, who won the 2015 FIFA World Cup yesterday.

Critically acclaimed author and Vanity Fair writer Bryan Burrough is working on a profile of de Blasio for the magazine.

The brother of indicted former state Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos is set to join the former law firm of the man Skelos helped install as his successor, John Flanagan.

Cuomo announced the growth of solar in New York has increased more than 300 percent from 2011 to 2014, which is twice the rate of U.S. solar growth overall.

The 36 states that participate in the multi-state lottery Powerball are making it harder to win the top prize, but increasing the odds of winning any money.

The Working Families Party voted last week to endorse Rebecca Lynch, a former de Blasio staffer, for an open Queens Council seat–setting up another showdown between organized labor and the Queens Democratic establishment.

Hillary Clinton’s campaign director defended the decision to corral members of the press with rope during a 4th of July parade in New Hampshire.

Clinton tomorrow will give the first nationally televised interview of her presidential campaign to CNN senior political correspondent Brianna Keilar.

The ample crowds and unexpectedly strong showing by Senator Bernie Sanders are setting off worry among advisers and allies of Clinton, who believe the Vermont senator could overtake her in Iowa polls by the fall and even defeat her in the nation’s first nominating contest there.

Former President George H.W. Bush and former first lady Barbara Bush are expected to be the “special guests” at a dinner Thursday in Kennebunkport, Maine, with top donors to their son’s presidential campaign

Several parties were disrupted at Thornden Park on the Fourth of July when a 16-year-old gunman opened fire in the grassy park, starting off a weekend more violent than any other Syracuse Police Chief Frank Fowler could remember.

Now deceased Clinton Correctional Facility escapee Richard Matt went on a crash diet while still behind bars, losing between 40 and 50 pounds – reportedly so he could fit into the steam pipe that he and David Sweat used to gain their freedom (temporarily).

While the Assembly’s tumultuous 2015 session began with promises of change under new leadership, Republicans in the chamber remain on the margins of policymaking.

Former Gov. George Pataki wants to debate his fellow 2016 GOP hopeful, Donald Trump, one-on-one in New Hampshire on the topic of immigration.

Former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani on Trump’s anti-Mexican statements: “”I know he’s a very good man, unbiased, unprejudiced man. However, he said it. Maybe he could have said it better.”

Trump quoted and later deleted a tweet by a Dutch right-winger, Rob Heilbron, suggesting that rival Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush favors illegal immigration because his wife is Mexican.

Pataki showed up to a press conference in New Hampshire with a rope, joking with reporters that he would take a page from Clinton’s playbook and corral them.

“Voice” winner Sawyer Fredericks will perform a free show at the NYS Fair’s Chevy Court on Saturday, Sept. 5.

The vote may have contributed to their end in public office, but the four Republican senators who voted to legalize same-sex marriage in 2011 say they have no regrets.

The killing in April of Ana Charle — the first shelter worker known to be slain in the NYC shelter system — has focused attention on these employees in recent months and prompted city officials to review security measures at the city’s 256 homeless shelters.

Cuomo and the state Department of Financial Services have reached an agreement with a Nevada-based lender regarding high-interest loans they give to members of the military.

Between 80 and 100 people, many affiliated with People of Albany United for Safe Energy, rallied in front of the governor’s mansion on Eagle Street in Albany at noon Monday, calling on Cuomo to ban oil train traffic in the state.

Here and Now

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is in New York City with no public schedule. NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio and his family remain on vacation somewhere in the Southwestern and Western US; they’re due back in town Wednesday.

Starting at 7 a.m. and ending at 9:10 a.m., NJ Gov. Chris Christie, a newly-minted GOP 2016 contender, will make appearances on CBS This Morning, MSNBC’s Morning Joe and FOX News’ America’s Newsroom with Bill Hemmer.

At 9:15 a.m., the NYC Department of Transportation, the Parks Department, and Prospect Park Alliance kick off the first day of car-free Prospect Park; Grand Army Plaza, Prospect Park entrance, Brooklyn.

At 10:30 a.m., Rep. Elise Stefanik will officially launch her NY-21 “Mobile Office”, Glens Falls City Park, Maple Street, Glens Falls.

At 11:30 a.m., Kathy Hochul tours the Anheuser-Busch Brewery to discuss the latest investments in its Baldwinsville facility, 2885 Belgium Rd., Baldwinsville. (The tour is closed to the press, but a media availability will follow at approximately 12:15 p.m.)

At noon, US Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and Rep. Chris Gibson announce a new push to pass legislation to ensure thousands of Navy veterans known as “Blue Water” vets from the Vietnam War exposed to the powerful toxin Agent Orange will be eligible to receive disability and health care benefits, American Legion Post, Joseph E. Zaloga Post 1520, 4 Everett Road Extension, Albany.

At 1 p.m., the New York State Gaming Commission meets, NYS Department of Labor, 4th Floor Commissioner’s Suite, 9 Bond St., Brooklyn. (Or NYS Division of Budget, Room 131, state Capitol, Albany).

Also at 1 p.m., Sens. Leroy Comrie and Diane Savino discuss passage of legislation that protects seniors and disabled New Yorkers from rent increases; The Beaver Brooke, 77-35 113th St., Apt. 6N, Forest Hills, Queens.


Quiet returned to Dannemora – just in time for the fourth of July weekend – after the three-week manhunt for escaped convicts Richard Matt and David Sweat came to an end.

Republicans this week will begin targeting an element of Hillary Clinton’s history that polls show to be one of her strengths as a presidential candidate: Her ability as an executive.

New election legislation in Congress that is co-sponsored by US Sen. Chuck Schumer would force New York to gain federal approval to implement photo identification laws, print bilingual voting materials and even draw fresh district boundaries.

A federal judge has ordered a city carpenters union to get back to work by today, after members walked off job sites in violation of several labor agreements. The NYC District Council of Carpenters began striking Wednesday at up to 20 sites after contract negotiations with the Cement League, a collective of unionized contractors, fell through.

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio’s recent public criticism of Gov. Andrew Cuomo is part of a “new and coordinated effort” to get the governor to move further to the political left, according to Fred Dicker.

Silvercup Studios, which has hosted television productions such as HBO’s “The Sopranos” and “Girls” at its Queens studios, is moving forward with a third facility in the Port Morris section of the South Bronx.

The first city bus driver arrested for killing a pedestrian under de Blasio’s “Vision Zero” policy never should have been cuffed, according to a damning MTA report obtained by the NY Post.

U.S. Black Chambers CEO Ron Busby in a letter to de Blasio last week said the proposed one-year restriction on new black and livery cars will put up a roadblock to job opportunities for New Yorkers of color in the outer boroughs.

An anti-Airbnb group is rolling out a new TV commercial that accuses the apartment-rental site of lining the pockets of greedy fat cats who use it to destroy affordable housing.

The NYPD and NYC lawyers are engaging in a “stunning pattern” of evidence destruction in a high-stakes class-action case alleging cops have issued 850,000 bogus summonses due to a quota system, new documents charge.

The number of pregnant women seeking treatment for their addictions to opiates and other drugs has more than quadrupled in recent years at one of the WNY region’s biggest providers of drug treatment and mental health services.

A new book chronicles the long road to construction of a new Tappan Zee Bridge, the price tag for which remains an open question.

State lawmakers have passed a bill, which takes effect in 2017, that would require new smoke detectors contain 10-year non-removable batteries.

The city of Troy has won the state Legislature’s approval to sell the 5.74-acre Scolite site on the Hudson River for future development.

Port Authority officials are lawyering up — a sign the investigations into four major road projects are advancing.

NYC politicians eager to dump GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump’s contracts with the city over his recent anti-Mexican rant are likely to find their efforts thwarted by the First Amendment, according to a leading civil liberties lawyer.

On the same day one of its top sponsors called on NASCAR to take a stance against Trump, the motorsports series said it will not hold its season-ending awards ceremony at the Trump National Doral Miami resort.

NJ Gov. Chris Christie said the media owes him an apology over coverage of the Bridgegate scandal. “Three different investigations have verified exactly what I said the day after this incident happened, that I had no knowledge of it and absolutely nothing to do with it,” the GOP presidential contender said on “Fox News Sunday.”

Cuomo took his longtime girlfriend, Sandra Lee, to Richard Gere’s Westchester inn last week to celebrate her 49th birthday. She continues to recover from double mastectomy surgery.

“Today” host Matt Lauer’s plans to plant trees on his Hamptons property has angered a neighbor who likes looking at the bucolic 40-acre horse farm.

Joey “Jaws” Chestnut is no longer the top dog. For the first time in nearly a decade, a new champ has been crowned in the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest in Coney Island: Matt “The Megatoad” Stonie.

The (Holiday) Weekend That Was

Greeks delivered a shocking rebuff to Europe’s leaders today, decisively rejecting a deal offered by the country’s creditors in a historic vote that could redefine Greece’s place in Europe and shake the Continent’s financial stability.

David Sweat, the New York prison escapee who was shot and taken into custody last week, was released from the hospital this morning and returned to prison, corrections officials said.

Sweat is now at the maximum-security Five Points Correctional Facility in Romulus in Seneca County. He will be evaluated in the prison’s infirmary over the first 24 hours, then housed in a Special Housing Unit in a single cell within the facility’s 150-bed, 23-hour confinement unit. He also will be placed on active suicide watch.

Her change of heart came in a Chinese restaurant, with only hours left to spare. Joyce Mitchell looked across the table at her husband and changed her mind. She decided to let him live. She no longer wanted any part of the plot to have him killed at the hands of Sweat and his fellow convicted murderer, Richard Matt, whom she had agreed to help break out of Clinton Correctional Facility.

This is the Selfie Election. And if you are running for president, you have no choice but to submit.

Fourth of July parade routes were transformed into campaign trails as presidential candidates spent the holiday shaking hands, mingling with voters, and dealing with hecklers. Early primary states celebrating Independence Day – including Iowa and New Hampshire – were particularly awash in White House wannabes.

The Clinton campaign corralled journalists at the Fourth of July parade in Gorham, New Hampshire, keeping the Fourth Estate away from the candidate and mostly out of earshot from exchanges with voters. Photos of cordoned-off journalists quickly went viral.

A tearful young man crying about the uncertainties of being gay received the ultimate affirmation by none other than Democratic presidential candidate Clinton.

Theirs might not be a marriage of true minds — but NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio and Gov. Andrew Cuomo should still be able to stave off a permanent split in their political union, according to professional therapists contemplating the rocky state of the 20-year relationship between the two pols.

Cuomo officiated at the marriage of rocker Billy Joel and his pregnant girlfriend, Alexis Roderick, during an annual Fourth of July bash at the Piano Man singer’s estate on Long Island. More here.

Schoolchildren across the state are enjoying summer vacation and the July weather is turning placid, but New York’s newly hired education commissioner, MaryEllen Elia, will be entering a stormy, highly charged environment when she takes office tomorrow.

New York City high school graduates who enroll at CUNY often aren’t ready for college, according to data showing the rising number of freshmen in need of remedial help.

For New York, Greek yogurt is more than just a success story. It’s a win-win tale of economic redemption, the industrial phoenix risen from the ashes of closed-down factories in small- and medium-sized towns and cities across the state.

The city Department of Education failed to tell the state that it changed Regents exam scores at Automotive HS in Brooklyn, officials say. The DOE “should have provided a full report after the fact, but failed to do so,” an SED spokesman said.

Long Island Rep. Lee Zeldin is one of nine Republicans facing Democratic attacks for meeting with an extremist conservative group. Last month he addressed the Long Island chapter of Oath Keepers, a group of retired military, police and fire department employees who are committed to fighting “the tyranny we experience in our local, state and federal governments.”

A Roman Catholic shrine in upstate New York has failed in its bid to land a spot on Pope Francis’ itinerary when he visits the U.S. this September.

A Long Island prosecutor says compliance with a state law requiring schools to report incidents of bullying, harassment or intimidation is a “disaster.” Acting Nassau County DA Madeline Singas found 58 percent of all schools statewide failed to report even one incident, and 82 percent found no incidents of cyberbullying.

Marbletown officials are waiting for Cuomo to sign legislation approved last month that will allow offices to be moved into the former Rosendale Elementary School.

Actress, singer and onetime Miss America Vanessa Williams and Jim Skrip of Depew exchanged “I do”s at a private ceremony in Western New York and then later held an equally private reception. Details of the nuptials were kept secret.

Holiday Hours

Just a little note for those of you who haven’t already started your July 4th festivities.

There WILL be a Capital Tonight show this evening at 8 p.m. We’ll be chatting with Sen. George Latimer about how Yonkers ended up being the only school district that got cash in the Big Ugly deal ($25 million) after Gov. Andrew Cuomo had proposed a $100 million funded for struggling upstate schools.

Also, Latimer will talk about how the governor signed into law yesterday a pair of bills requested by Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano and fellow city leaders that allows the city to hike its sales tax and impose a separate tax on hotel rooms – both designed to assist the school district as it struggles with a major budget gap of $26 million due to a massive accounting error.

Also joining us will be Assemblyman John McDonald, who will be sharing his thoughts on the end of the session, which focused mostly on downstate issues (rent laws, mayoral control etc.) and didn’t result in much for upstate, other than the property tax cap and rebate program.

Albany County Executive Dan McCoy had a wish list of issues he hoped the Legislature would address this session. Some of them got done, others did not. He’ll be joining us to discuss.

And, of course, since it’s Friday, the Reporter Roundtable will be on hand to review the week’s headlines. With us will be Gannett’s Jon Campbell, who’s prepared to talk about all things fracking now that the state has officially banned the controversial natural gas drilling practice; Matt Hamilton of the Albany TU, who will talk a little bit about prison reform in the wake of the Clinton Correctional Facility escape by Richard Matt and David Sweat (Hamilton is from the North Country and has family working in the corrections system); and, of course, CapTon’s own Nick Reisman will be with us, too.

There will be very light blogging today, in light of the holiday weekend. And nothing again until Monday morning…unless someone gets really inspired or big news breaks.

In the absence of either of those things, have a great weekend! Be safe, and be well. See you back here in a few days. – Liz

Here and Now

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

At 1 p.m., Brooklyn BP Eric Adams offers welcoming remarks as competitive eaters including Joey Chestnut and Miki Sudo attend an official weigh-in ceremony for Nathan’s Famous Inc.’s “International Hot Dog Eating Contest,” scheduled Saturday, July 4, on Brooklyn’s Coney Island boardwalk; rotunda, Brooklyn Borough Hall, 209 Joralemon St., Brooklyn.

At 5 p.m., Rep. Chris Gibson will help the Fort Plain community celebrate Independence Day and honor Loring Dutcher, a 46-year member of the Fort Plain Village Board.

Also at 5 p.m., Rep. Elise Stefanik speaks at the Albany Saratoga Speedway, 2671 Rte 9, Malta.


Authorities are now saying escaped convict Richard Matt aimed his 20-gauge shotgun at an armed federal agent late last week but was shot and killed before he could pull the trigger. Previously, they said only that he had been armed and was shot when he refused orders to put up his hands.

Three days after Matt broke out of Clinton Correctional Facility, his daughter living in a Buffalo suburb received a letter from him. “I always promised you I would see you on the outside. I’m a man of my word,” he wrote, seeming to allude to his imminent escape. He also had Joyce Mitchell, the prison employee charged with helping Matt and David Sweat break out, establish a relationship with his daughter.

Matt’s body has returned home to the City of Tonawanda, where a private funeral service is expected to be held. Arrangements were made by his son, Nicholas Harris, to claim his father’s remains. He is frustrated that prison officials are not assisting in the cost of the funeral.

Reports diving deep into potential shortcomings in the system that may have allowed Sweat and Matt to escape from the state prison at Dannemora will give way to reforms meant to prevent future breakouts from 54 state correctional facilities.

NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton told 822 police academy graduates they are coming onto the job at a time of “great change,” and will be looked upon to “heal wounds with communities that feel we have not done enough to keep them safe.”

Internal e-mails reveal that City Hall tried to cover up a rift with the Rev. Al Sharpton after the civil-rights preacher blasted the NYPD at a public round-table last summer with de Blasio and Bratton.

Citing his pending trial on federal corruption charges, former Assembly speaker Sheldon Silver declined to disclose his outside income for 2014, according to the JCOPE, which released financial disclosure statements yesterday for every state legislator.

Jim Dwyer says there’s more than enough blame to go around when it comes to the feud between NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio and Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Sharpton is backing de Blasio in his public criticism of the governor. But Assemblyman Matt Titone, a Staten Island Democrat, thinks the mayor’s words were not smart. “This is Politics 101,” he said. “If you think someone is vindictive and you threw a grenade at him, how does that help?”

Former US Sen. Al D’Amato offered to broker a peace agreement between de Blasio and Cuomo at a “pasta summit” at Rao’s, writing on his Facebook page: “All things can be worked out over meatballs and marinara!”

De Blasio aides hoped AG Eric Schneiderman, who has had his own differences with Cuomo, would serve as a surrogate for the mayor in his tiff with the governor, but the AG declined, saying he has to work with both of them.

The DEC’s release of a findings statement that banned tracking in New York started a 120-day clock for proponents to examine whether the ban has any legal holes. If a lawsuit isn’t filed by Oct. 27, state law says the decision can no longer be challenged.

More >


Former Virginia Sen. Jim Webb is jumping into the race for president, becoming the latest Democrat to try for a primary upset over frontrunner Hillary Clinton.

Former NYC Council Speaker Chris Quinn, now a Cuomo administration aide, says the Women’s Equality Party will “technically exist – so to speak – in the near future.”

Quinn will be the guest of honor at a political fundraiser in Irvington in Westchester County on July 23.

Presidential hopeful Donald Trump is a charlatan, a huckster and a clown who should be universally shunned, according to NYC Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito.

NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton told 882 academy graduates that their six-month training was better than the training he received when he became a police officer in Boston in 1970.

The cost of a Big Mac likely will increase in New York if the state decides to raise the minimum wage for fast-food workers to $15 an hour or more.

An investigation by AG Eric Schneiderman has found that Per Se, an ultraexpensive NYC restaurant, violated state labor law by portraying operational charges for private dining events as gratuities destined for employees’ wallets.

Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie will be attending the Great NYS Fair. (But not on Governor’s Day, his spokesman tells me).

Investigators are wrapping up their interviews with convicted murder David Sweat, who continues to reveal new details about what happened after he and Richard Matt escaped Clinton Correctional Facility on June 6.

Sweat said he and Matt bickered over Matt’s drinking and lack of physical fitness, which led to them splitting up.

Also, Sweat told investigators it was Matt, not him, who had sex with Joyce Mitchell, and also insisted it was Mitchell’s idea that the duo kill her husband, Lyle, in exchange for her driving the getaway car. (She has denied that).

Matt’s estranged son believes his father was wrongfully killed by the police. State Police Superintendent Joseph D’Amico said Matt was armed with a shotgun and refused to drop his weapon when he was shot three times in the head.

The three-week manhunt for Matt and Sweat was good for the economy in parts of the North Country.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo says the total economic impact of New York state’s tourism topped $100 billion last year for the first time.

Former Sen. Al D’Amato has offered to host a pasta summit at Rao’s to broker a peace agreement between Cuomo and NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio.

The influence of Hillary Clinton’s right-hand woman, Huma Abedin, has grown significantly in the lead up to the 2016 campaign, and she is trying to transition away from so much time on the road as her boss’ “body woman.” She will soon start headlining events on Clinton’s behalf and speaking to donors.

Priorities USA Action, the super PAC expected to be the biggest outside force for Clinton’s campaign, pulled in $15.6 million during the first half of 2015, contributing to a pro-Clinton fundraising haul that now appears to be approaching $70 million for the year so far.

PEF President-elect Wayne Spence is now certified as the winner of the union’s recent leadership vote.

The FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force has set up command centers in Buffalo and at other locations around the country to deal with possible terror attacks over the Fourth of July weekend.

If New York does not build more transmission lines, it will not be able to increase its reliance on renewable energy sources, the state’s independent grid operator has determined.

The NYC CFB has unveiled a new website in time for the upcoming July 15 filing deadline.

A dog named Diamond is running for mayor of Schenectady, and is not the first animal to seek the office.

Here and Now

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has not yet released a public schedule for the day. NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio remains somewhere in the Western US on a family vacation.

At 10:15 a.m., NYC Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito will be a live guest on the Brian Lehrer Show, WNYC.

At 11 a.m., New York Lottery representative Yolanda Vega presents an oversized check representing a $5 million top prize in the “Cash X100″ scratch-off ticket game to a Harriman resident who worked as a city firefighter in Queens before retiring, and participated in efforts to respond to the 9/11 terrorist attacks; 15 Beaver St., Manhattan.

Also at 11 a.m., NYC Councilman Andy King and Bronx residents criticize plans by the city Administration for Children’s Services to open a secure juvenile detention facility as part of the agency’s “Close to Home” initiative, saying the facility would violate zoning regulations; 3030 Bruner Ave., the Bronx.

Also at 11 a.m., Valley Agriceuticals unveils its Origin Health Center Medical Cannabis Dispensary, 955 Senator Keating Blvd., Building E, Rochester.

Also at 11 a.m., Rep. Chris Gibson attends Sen. George Amedore’s office open house, Suite 100, 721 Broadway, Kingston. (The two GOP officials are sharing office space).

Also at 11 a.m., Albany city officials hold news conference announcing new broadband study, rotunda, Albany City Hall, 24 Eagle St., Albany.

At 11:30 a.m., Sen. Daniel Squadron and the US National Park Service will announce this weekend’s Independence Day festivities and mark the 250th Anniversary of the Stamp Act Congress with a special presentation, Federal Hall National Memorial, Rotunda, 26 Wall St., Manhattan.

At 1 p.m., Rep. Carolyn Maloney and business professionals criticize federal lawmakers for failing to renew the charter of the Export-Import Bank of the U.S., which expired Tuesday, June 30; Maloney’s district office, suite 311, 1651 Third Ave., Manhattan.

Also at 1 p.m., Orange County Executive Steven Neuhaus, Sen. Bill Larkin, Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, Assemblyman James Skoufis, Orange County Legislator Chris Eachus and town of New Windsor Supervisor George Green commemorate the reopening of Forge Hill Bridge in New Windsor with a ribbon cutting ceremony, 169 Forge Hill Bridge, New Windsor.

From 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., Brooklyn Councilman Jumaane Williams and other demonstrators criticize potential deportations of residents of the Dominican Republic of Haitian descent, during a march and protest in NYC to coincide with similar “4-City March” events planned in Atlanta, Miami, Philadelphia and Port-au-Prince, Haiti; march begins at Union Square Park, University Place and 14th Street, Manhattan.

At 5 p.m., NYC Taxi & Limousine Commission CEO and Chairwoman Meera Joshi and Council members Margaret Chin and Peter Koo distribute materials to inform riders about unlicensed van services, Confucius Plaza (intersection of Division and Bowery streets), Manhattan.


Gov. Andrew Cuomo on NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio’s public criticism of him: “Everybody’s entitled to their own comments and their own feelings, and I’ll leave him to speak to his…I’ve known Bill, the mayor, a long time. I consider him a friend. He says what he says, I say what I say, and I’ll let him speak for himself.”

De Blasio and Cuomo stayed far away from each other yesterday, but turned to surrogates to fan the flames of their feud. The mayor’s aides not only reached out to supporters, but also provided them printed talking points to use, mayoral spokeswoman Karen Hinton confirmed.

Hinton, who became de Blasio’s press secretary in May, first worked for Cuomo when he was HUD secretary during the Clinton administration and is married to top former Cuomo aide Howard Glaser. She hasn’t been shy about issuing zingers at her former boss.

De Blasio’s decision to publicly vent his frustrations with Cuomo was “the culmination of months of private ire and careful strategizing at City Hall,” and a belief among the mayor’s advisors that the governor was “taking pleasure in blocking the city’s priorities in Albany.” Having tried everything else, de Blasio believed criticism was the last effective option.

Liberals who have long chafed under Cuomo’s centrist approach to governing were thrilled with de Blasio’s display. “Democrats are angry with a governor whose word is not trustworthy, and who pursues Republican policies,” said Zephyr Teachout, who challenged Cuomo in the 2014 Democratic primary. “This is a big moment for de Blasio. And for the state.”

Tom Precious: “The governor has a problem – a Democratic Party problem. And it goes far deeper than (de Blasio)…Once relegated to whispers, a growing number of Democrats no longer are afraid to publicly take on Cuomo.”

Alexander Burns and Thomas Kaplan write: “The mayor’s remarks this week, accusing Mr. Cuomo of governing through vengeance and fear, are likely to further embolden Democrats who have long chafed at what they characterized as Mr. Cuomo’s ironhanded methods and imperious personality.”

Publicly, most Democratic elected officials are declining to choose sides in the Cuomo vs. de Blasio spat. But Rep. Nydia Velazquez has a message for the top leaders of her party: “They need to put their high-level testosterone aside and get to the issues that are important to our state and our city. Come on. Grow up.”

The New York Times: “The immediate analysis focused not on the truth of what the mayor said, but on whether he was a fool and a noob for saying it, or whining, or showing weakness at playing Albany chess against a grandmaster. The important point is that everything he said is true.”

Former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani recalls when he was warring with then-Gov. George Pataki, a fellow Republican. He suggests de Blasio try diplomacy in dealing with Cuomo. “(S)it down and talk to him. Publicly attacking him? You’re not going to gain anything doing that. You’re going to lose that battle.”

Bob McManus: “Folks looking for a strong leader to stand up to Cuomo — and there are a lot of them, mostly from the extreme left wing of an already firm-left party — aren’t likely to be inspired by de Blasio’s blink-of-an-eye disappearance.”

“This is not about the difference between a wide-eyed idealist and a clear-eyed pragmatist. This is the difference between someone who is not a psychopath and someone who is,” an unnamed Democrat tells DN columnist Harry Siegel.

More >


Former Gov. George Pataki does not think it was “particularly smart” of NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio to publicly tee off on Gov. Andrew Cuomo. “There are always personal battles. You keep them behind the scenes.”

Liberal donor Bill Samuels, a frequent Cuomo critic, disagreed, saying: “It’s the only way to win, with Cuomo—is to attack.”

Assemblywoman Shelley Mayer told jurors she felt “uncomfortable” with the relationship between Sen. John Sampson and Edul Ahmad, a real-estate mogul who pled guilty to mortgage fraud and is the government’s key witness in Sampson’s federal trial in Brooklyn.

With the mass amount of road travel that typically occurs during the holiday weekend, Cuomo has paused construction to speed traffic on its way around the state.

Elected officials – including President Obama – weighed in on Twitter against the NYT suggestion that we all put peas in our guacamole.

Suzan Johnson Cook, a pastor and former Clinton Administration official, announced her candidacy to succeed outgoing Rep. Charles Rangel, adding her name to a growing field of Democrats seeking to replace the veteran Harlem congressman.

Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign raised at least $45 million during its first quarter – a figure that would mark a record start to presidential fund-raising.

A photo of escaped prisoner Richard Matt’s lifeless body was revealed last night by Buffalo TV station WIVB. The grisly image shows his bloody corpse in a wooded area near Lake Titus, where a resident reported shots fired at an RV.

The other escapee, David Sweat, who is still recovering from his gunshot wounds at Albany Med, claims to have been the mastermind of the duo’s prison break.

The short-term Big Ugly deal on 421-a has real estate developers gearing up for the next round of negotiations.

Rep. Pete King will not be seeking the 2016 GOP nomination.

Macy’s dumped The Donald, and is far from alone.

De Blasio, who is on vacation with his family, released this statement: “We are reviewing Trump contracts with the City. Donald Trump’s remarks were disgusting and offensive, and this hateful language has no place in our city. Trump’s comments do not represent the values of inclusion and openness that define us as New Yorkers. Our Mexican brothers and sisters make up an essential part of this city’s vibrant and diverse community, and we will continue to celebrate and support New Yorkers of every background.”

De Blasio spent the first morning of his vacation having breakfast with Albuquerque Mayor Richard Berry, talking as “dads and husbands and public servants.”

John Dunleavy, the longtime chairman of the group that organizes the NYC St. Patrick’s Day Parade, was ousted during a board meeting last night due to his opposition to letting gay groups participate.

Staten Island Councilman Steven Matteo was voted the NYC Council’s new Republican minority leader today.

Many residents of the New York City area were jolted awake by an emergency weather alert on their cellphones early this morning, prompting a flood of social media complaints.

Cue the selfies! The Obama administration ended the near 40-year ban on cameras and photos on the White House public tour.

Former NYC Mayor Mike Bloomberg and Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo explain why cities will be “vital players” at the Paris climate talks.

Outgoing DEC Commissioner Joe Martens wanted to see fracking through to the end, and held out on departing the Cuomo administration until that occurred.

A young Republican activist from Great Neck who volunteered for Republican president candidates Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney in 2012 filed papers for a super PAC called “Second Chance” a week ago – from a federal prison in New Jersey.

A new audit by NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer on the troubled New York City Housing Authority reveals that more than 2,000 pubic-housing apartments remain vacant because of pending repairs.

Former Gov. Eliot Spitzer is going to China.

A fifth person has entered this year’s race for Niagara Falls mayor. Robert Pascoal, president of the Landlords Association of Greater Niagara, will be seeking the Republican line

An agreement last October for IBM to transfer its semiconductor manufacturing facilities in East Fishkill and Vermont to GlobalFoundries officially closed today, the companies announced.

Here and Now

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

At 9 a.m., former Senate Majority Leader Malcolm Smith, who was found guilty on corruption charges in February, will be sentenced, federal court, Judge Karas’s courtroom, Room 521, White Plains.

At 9:45 a.m., Rep. Kathleen Rice and local officials hold a press conference to call on the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to approve South Nassau Communities Hospital’s request to open and operate a 24-hour Emergency Services Department in Long Beach, Long Beach Urgent Care Center, 325 East Bay Dr., (corner of Monroe Blvd.), Long Beach.

At 10:15 a.m., LG Kathy Hochul tours a minority-owned business celebrating its 25th anniversary with Sen. Toby Stavisky, Assemblyman Michael Simanowitz, Queens BP Melinda Katz, and NYC Councilman Paul Vallone, Crystal Window and Door Systems, 31-10 Whitestone Expressway, Flushing, Queens.

At 10:30 a.m., following a prayer breakfast in Harlem, pastor, presidential advisor and former Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom Suzan “Sujay” Johnson Cook, will announce her campaign to represent NY-13 (currently represented by retiring Rep. Charles Rangel), Settepani Harlem Restaurant, 196 Malcolm X Blvd., Harlem.

At 11:30 a.m., AG Eric Schneiderman will make a “major announcement” about affordable housing, Sunset Park Library, 5108 4th Ave., Brooklyn.

At 1:30 p.m., a coalition of elected officials, led by Assembly Deputy Majority Leader Phil Ramos, will protest GOP 2016 candidate Donald Trump’s anti-Mexican statements, calling on Macy’s to sever ties with the billionaire real estate developer and stop selling his products, Macy’s, 151 W. 34th St., Manhattan.

Also at 1:30 p.m., NYC Councilmen Dan Garodnick and Ben Kallos, Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney and Assemblyman Dan Quart discuss the release of a report about remaining construction of the planned Second Avenue Subway line of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s MTA New York City Transit agency; southeast corner, Second Avenue and 72nd Street, Manhattan.


The long-simmering tensions between NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio and Gov. Andrew Cuomo boiled over, as de Blasio went on the offensive less than a week after an anonymous Cuomo administration official (possibly the governor himself) called the mayor “bumbling and incompetent”.

“What I found was he engaged in his own sense of strategies, his own political machi nations, and what we’ve often seen is if someone disagrees with him openly, some kind of revenge or vendetta follows,” de Blasio told NY1’s Errol Louis.

The mayor is betting that he can outflank a governor who wields enormous power over his administration’s affairs, even as he needs him as a negotiating partner.

Ken Lovett says this level of hostilities between the NYC mayor and the NY governor hasn’t been seen since the early days of former Gov. George Pataki and ex-Mayor Rudy Giuliani, and believes de Blasio is taking a big risk, since the city remains a creature of the state.

John Podhoretz called de Blasio’s decision to publicly criticize Cuomo “refreshing, but nuts”, adding: “The use of the word ‘vendetta’ was…perhaps a bit much.”

After unloading on Cuomo, de Blasio departed for a nine-day family vacation to the Western and Southern US. City Hall didn’t specify which states they would visit or whether the family would travel by plane or car.

The Daily News editorializes: “(L)ecturing that Cuomo should be more a philosopher king than a transactor borders on egotistical dementia. In fact, although de Blasio doesn’t believe it because he came home from Albany without every last jot and tittle, the mayor made out well in Albany because Cuomo made deals with the Republicans.”

A “new leadership team” is being installed as part of a major shakeup at the Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora, from which Richard Matt and David Sweat escaped June 6. The superintendent and 11 other staffers have been suspended.

Matt’s brother believes that the prison escapee went straight to hell when he was shot and killed Friday in the Adirondacks. “That is where he deserves to be,” Wayne Schimpf told The Buffalo News, speaking at length for the first time since Matt was killed. “It might sound bad, but I am happy…For almost 20 years, there hasn’t been a day when I have not been afraid that he was coming to get me.”

Sweat, still recovering from his wounds at Albany Med and is in fair condition, has told investigators that he made the practice run to test the escape route the night before he and Matt broke out of prison. He also said they sawed holes in their respective cells six months before their departure.

Though it may have “shocked” the governor to learn corrections officers were involved in the breakout of Matt and Sweat, experts say fraternizing between inmates and guards is actually fairly common.

Upstate lawmakers said they were not surprised that their districts did not receive millions of dollars in extra school funding, despite an offer Cuomo made late in the legislative session. They never took the governor’s pledge seriously to begin with, some members told Capital.

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Martens to Depart DEC

One day after codifying the state’s fracking ban – the signature issue of his tenure at the helm of the DEC – the agency’s commissioner, Joe Martens, has informed his senior staffers that he plans to depart in July.

In an email being sent to all agency employees, Martens says it has been an “honor, an education and a gift” to head the DEC since 2011 – the first year Gov. Andrew Cuomo took office. He also informs staffers that his executive deputy, Marc Gerstman, will serve as acting commissioner “to ensure a seamless transition and continuation of the many initiatives we have in the works.”

An administrative source familiar with Martens’ plans says he will be returning to the Open Space Institute, of which he was president from 1998 to 2011, as a senior advisor.

“I could not be prouder of the way you responded to each and every emergency Mother Nature threw at New York State (and there were many),” Martens writes in his email. “Most recently, our Rangers and ECOs demonstrated their unique skills to help track down and bring dangerous felons to justice. I’m also proud of the leadership we have shown in virtually every one of our program areas.”

“…Throughout all of these initiatives, you continually worked to improve and streamline the way we do business,” the departing commissioner continues. “I am perhaps most proud of the way you have worked creatively with our local government partners as well as our stakeholders: business, agricultural and environmental, to solve problems. Collectively, we have put into practice the belief that when we work together, the public and private sector, we are all better off.”

Though he will likely be best remembered for heading the DEC during the long debate over fracking, which started during former Gov. David Paterson’s administration – in other words, before Martens took the helm – a number of other environmental initiatives were started or accomplished on the outgoing commissioner’s watch.

In his email, Martens mentions everything from lowering the cap on greenhouse gas emissions and securing funding for long-neglected flood control structures and coastal erosion projects to banning the sale and importation of elephant and rhinoceros ivory and undertaking “one of the largest additions to the forest preserve in the state’s history.”

“And, at long last, we concluded our review of hydraulic fracturing and decided that there was simply too many unknowns and the possible risks too great to allow it to go forward,” Martens concludes.

Martens is one of the few commissioners from Cuomo’s first term still on the job. Rumors of his departure have been circulating for some time, and it was once speculated that he might be replaced by former Sen. Mark Grisanti, a Buffalo Republican who was the last “yes” voting GOP senator still in the chamber until he lost his seat in the 2014 elections to Democratic Sen. Marc Panepinto.

Grisanti was recently nominated by Cuomo and confirmed by the Senate to a judgeship.

Last December, after the initial announcement that the Cuomo administration had decided to ban fracking in the Marcellus shale, I asked Martens during a CapTon interview if he had plans to depart his DEC post.

“I have no plans,” he responded with a laugh. “If I was going to leave, I would have left before this decision came out, because this took a lot of work.”