Jul 25th - 6:30 am
From the Morning Memo:
Democrats meet this week in Philadelphia for their national convention.
Like the Republicans, it’s a moment to show of their party unity, bold-faced names and articulate a vision for the country.
And just like the Republicans, Democrats face mounting problems toward displaying any semblance of party unity in the wake of a populist campaign.
While Republicans continue to be roiled by the nomination of Donald Trump, Democrats are dealing with the ongoing fallout of the release of national party emails showing officials there deriding and undermining Bernie Sanders’s campaign.
On the state level, Democrats have to keep it together this week as well, though the New York party’s top officials remain deeply at odds with each other.
Here are four things to watch for in Philly:
1. How will Cuomo and de Blasio get along?
It’s the obvious, if not most closely watched question for Democrats this week. For the moment, it’s unclear when Gov. Andrew Cuomo will be traveling to Philadelphia (his scheduled today has him in New York City, with nothing public planned). But as chairman of the state delegation, Cuomo role will be a prominent one for the state Democrats. De Blasio, meanwhile, will be pressing his advantage as the mayor of New York City, holding events throughout the week here around the city and, according to his office’s schedule, be in Philadelphia all week. Cuomo in 2012 held a relatively low profile, attending the DNC in Charlotte for less than a full day to take in President Obama’s speech and then leave.
2. New York at the center of it all, again.
Like in Cleveland with the Republicans, the New York delegation in Philadelphia is once again at the center of the action, with a home state nominee leading the ticket. And that means prominent speaking slots for New Yorkers, including Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, Reps. Nita Lowey and Joe Crowley as well as Cuomo and de Blasio. Topping it all off is a former mayor of New York in Hillary Clinton’s corner: Democrat-turned-Republican-turned-independent Michael Bloomberg, who will be endorsing her in a convention address. Bloomberg last spoke at a Republican National Convention in 2004, when it was held in New York City at Madison Square Garden. It will be interesting to see who speaks when and what topics they are given. Does Cuomo press his victories on the $15 minimum wage or knock Donald Trump for his immigration rhetoric. Does de Blasio push his own efforts to combat income inequality. While imperfect messengers and despite the feud, Cuomo and de Blasio do offer advantages for Clinton: Mainstream Democrats touting Clinton’s bonafides on issues in which liberals have been skeptical.
3. The Bernie Brigade.
Supporters of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders have no plans to go quietly. The email scandal at the DNC re-opened the rift between the two factions within the party. At the same time, it has confirmed for some Sanders supporters party officials were working against their candidate — reinforcing the charges of a “rigged system.” For New York, it becomes a question of whether Sanders delegates can get along with a predominantly pro-Clinton delegation, and that includes the state delegation chairman, Andrew Cuomo.
4. Drawing distinctions.
Cut through the noise of the liberal dissatisfaction and the parochial squabbling, there’s still the unifying force binding Democrats together and that’s the nomination of Republican candidate Donald Trump. Like the similar clarion call for the GOP to unify against keeping Clinton from the Oval Office, Democrats this week will almost certainly try to draw stark distinctions between their platform and the Republican agenda. For New York Democrats running competitive elections this fall, that includes linking their Republican rivals to Trump. In particular, that’s the standing order for Democrats in the state Senate, who trying to gain control of the chamber this November. Senate Democrats in Philadelphia will no doubt this week point to Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan’s full-throated backing of Trump in Cleveland.
Jul 25th - 5:48 am
Good morning from the City of Brotherly Love, where Democrats will be trying hard to project a message of unity and togetherness, despite the ongoing fallout of the Democratic National Committee email scandal and resignation announcement of the party’s chair, Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz.
First Lady Michelle Obama and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, Clinton’s erstwhile primary opponent, are scheduled to address the delegates at the Wells Fargo Center for Day One of convention.
Also on tap to speak tonight: A group of top labor leaders – SEIU President Mary Kay Henry, Building Trades President Sean McGarvey, AFSCME President Lee Saunders, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, and American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten – New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, and Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy, chair of the Democratic Governors Association.
A small sample of some of the other events taking place today follows.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo is in New York City with no public schedule.
NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio starts the day in the Big Apple with a 10:30 a.m. press conference at the 84th police precinct in Brooklyn with NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton, and later will travel to Philadelphia, PA.
At 10:30 a.m., Team Sanders holds a briefing with members of the news media, Philadelphia Marriott Downtown, 1201 Market St., Third Floor, Conference Room 304, Philadelphia, PA.
At 11 a.m., Assemblyman Felix Oritz is hosting a “Podesta, Pasta, AND Politics” event at the DNC, Barbuzzo, 110 St. and 13th St., Philadelphia, PA.
At noon, Education Reform Now holds a “Camp Philos” panel & lunch, Kimmel Center, 300 S. Broad St., Philadelphia, PA
At 1:30 p.m., a number of New York delegation embers will attend the “Celebrate Hillary Clinton and New York Women” event, El Vez, 121 S. 13th St, Philadelphia, PA.
At 3 p.m., American Legislators for Gun Violence Prevention holds a reception, The National Museum of American Jewish History, 101 S. Independence Mall East, Philadelphia, PA.
At 3 p.m., there will be a “United Together” event featuring First Lady Michelle Obama and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, DNC, Philadelphia, PA.
At 3:30 p.m., de Blasio speaks at the DNC Convention Immigration Forum, National Museum of American Jewish History, 101 S. Independence Mall E, Philadelphia, PA.
5:15 p.m., New York Democrats hold a labor welcome reception, Lucky Strike Philadelphia, 1336 Chestnut St, Philadelphia, PA
At 6:45 p.m., Coca Cola holds an opening reception of the 2016 International Leaders Forum, The National Constitution Center, 525 Arch St., Philadelphia, PA.
Meanwhile, back home in New York…
At 4:15 p.m., state Gaming Commission members will tour the Rivers Casino & Resort Schenectady construction site following their meeting in Schenectady.
Hillary Clinton thinks Republican National Convention rallying cries to throw her in jail “felt very sad.”
“I don’t know what their convention was about aside from criticizing me,” Clinton said in an interview on CBS’ “60 Minutes.” “I seem to be the only unifying theme. There was no positive agenda. It was a very dark, divisive campaign.”
Clinton said she won’t engage in the kind of “insult fest (Donald Trump) seems to thrive on.”
Support for Trump ticked up across battleground states following the Republican National Convention last week, according to the new CBS News Battleground Tracker Poll. He now has 42 percent support across the 11 battleground states surveyed — up from the 40 percent he had last week before the convention.
Trump will try to steal some of Clinton’s thunder during the Democratic convention with a slate of swing-state appearances that will test the appeal of his new running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence.
New York’s advertising campaigns promoting the state’s economic-development opportunities have faced criticism for their high costs and meager returns in job creation. Now they have encountered another challenge – this time from a former North Carolina Supreme Court judge.
Donald Trump Jr. said that he’d “love to” make New York City great again by running for mayor — after he’s helped his old man win the White House.
Some New York Republicans say it’s a little too early to talk about political futures for the Trump kids, though they could be members of strong bench of candidates in the future.
Anti- and pro-Airbnb forces have each scheduled media buys and other measures designed to grab the attention of Clinton and Democratic delegates in Philadelphia this week.
U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer called on federal authorities to probe security at New York airports, pointing to a recent report that highlights security “blind spots” at La Guardia and Newark airports.
US Attorney Preet Bharara’s corruption probe into the dealings of two shady businessmen and donors to NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio has expanded north. He has subpoenaed the offices of Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino about dealings with de Blasio financial backers Jona Rechnitz and Jeremy Reichberg, who have been linked to recent city pay-to-play scandals.
Nearly half of the $663,706 raised by the state Republican party since January for its “housekeeping account” came from just three individuals, including lightening rod donor David Koch.
State Senate Democrats plan to use Senate GOP Majority Leader John Flanagan’s full-throated endorsement of Donald Trump during last week’s Republican National Convention in Cleveland as an issue during the upcoming fight for control of the chamber.
De Blasio and NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton will announce today that cops are getting more tactical equipment, including helmets and bulletproof vests.
The de Blasio administration has failed to make its last two payments to the NYPD pension fund.
Sports radio host Mike Francesa waded into political waters this month, contributing $2,000 to Flower Hill Mayor Elaine Phillips, a Republican running for the State Senate seat being vacated by Sen. Jack Martins, according to State Board of Election filings.
Several recent congressional primary contenders not only lost their elections, but also were left with some significant campaign debts.
Long lines at the bridges into Canada have been getting even longer this summer – and there’s no sign they will shorten any time soon. The problem rests with too few open inspection booths, bridge officials on both sides of the U.S-Canadian border say, leading to long delays – sometimes more than an hour – at the Peace, Rainbow and Lewiston-Queenston bridges.
A long-simmering murder case in Potsdam connected to the strangulation of a 12-year-old boy is shaping up as an important legal test of a cutting-edge method of teasing DNA evidence out of microscopic amounts of biological matter.
New York City’s first zoning resolution, responsible both for the density of Manhattan and its sidewalk, subway and traffic congestion, is turning 100.
Could a lift bridge, a shorter span or even a tunnel under the Buffalo River someday replace the Skyway? Rep. Brian Higgins said that such alternatives could be less expensive than the proposed costs of rehabilitating the 60-year-old bridge.
One day after lifting a “boil water” public health advisory, the Erie County Water Authority on Sunday reported 11 separate water main breaks in parts of Amherst, Depew, Hamburg, West Seneca, Lackawanna and Lancaster.
A former student of the Emma Willard school in Troy is claiming she was sexually abused by a staff member nearly two decades ago. The school has launched an investigation into the incident.
For the first time in six years, owner and 90-year-old socialite Marylou Whitney won a race at Saratoga Race Course this afternoon to applause and chants of “Mare-ee-lou!”
The drought that has taken ahold of the Northeast is hitting farmers particularly hard.
Jul 24th - 9:23 pm
The CapTon team has arrived in Philadelphia, PA for the Democratic National Convention, where Hillary Clinton will be formally nominated to run for president.
Though the Democrats had hoped to avoid the division and drama experienced by the Republicans in Cleveland last week, they’ve already had their fair share – and it isn’t even Day One yet.
That’s thanks to a trove of emails from Democratic Party officials that were made public by Wikileaks, revealing exactly what the establishment thought about Clinton’s erstwhile primary opponent, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, and the lengths to which they were willing to go to sideline him when they were supposedly staying neutral in the intra-party contest.
Given the ongoing uproar over Clinton’s use of a private email server while she was secretary of state – and the FBI’s refuel to bring charges against her, a major GOP talking point – the last thing the Democrats want or need right now is another mess involving emails.
Hoping to curb the fallout from this latest email debacle, DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a Florida congresswoman, has heeded calls – led by Sanders himself – for her to step down. Wasserman Schultz, who was already a polarizing figure and unpopular with some Democratic leaders, reportedly discussed her decision to depart with both Clinton and President Obama.
She announced she’ll resign at the end of the convention. DNC Vice Chair Donna Brazile will serve as the party’s interim chair, though plans remain intact for her to remain one of CNN’s talking-head contributors for the convention. She will not, however, be compensated for her appearances.
Also today, a large crowd of Sanders supporters protested in Philadelphia, marching to the convention site (The Wells Fargo Center) and chanting “Hell, no, D.N.C., we won’t vote for Hillary.”
Team Clinton will be trying hard to put forth a united front as the official convention business gets underway tomorrow, just as Team Trump did in Cleveland. But Sanders supporters will likely work hard to make their presence known – likely both inside and outside the arena – throughout the week.
Meanwhile, New Yorkers will again be front and center at this convention, and a number of elected officials – Gov. Andrew Cuomo; NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio; Rep. Nita Lowey, a Westchester congresswoman who gave up a run for the U.S. Senate in 2000 so Clinton could run, providing her with a launchpad to the White House; and both U.S. senators, Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand – have speaking roles.
There will be lots of blog content coming your way, but here are some headlines for you to peruse in the meantime…
Here’s 12 things to know about Clinton’s VP pick, Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine.
Clinton and Kaine will launch a bus tour of two critical battleground states – Pennsylvania and Ohio – after the convention wraps up.
But with Kaine’s selection Clinton’s vice-presidential running mate, the gifts he received in the four years he served as Virginia’s chief executive and his time as lieutenant governor before that are certain to be cited by his Republican critics as a sign that the now-U.S. senator is not as squeaky clean as he portrays himself.
Russians may have hacked internal Democratic Party emails to help Trump, Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook said.
Clinton will have some real star power supporting her White House bid in Philadelphia this week, with Katy Perry, Lena Dunham, Demi Lovato and America Ferrera planning to show up, but A-listers backing Sanders – like Susan Sarandon – are still on the fence.
Billionaire media mogul Michael Bloomberg, the former NYC mayor who mulled his own presidential run this year, will endorse Clinton during a prime time speaking slot at the convention. (He hasn’t been a registered Democrat since 2010).
Donald Trump suggested in an interview that he would expand his proposed immigration restrictions to include anyone entering the United States from countries or territories “compromised” by terrorism, including allies such as Germany and France.
Trump fired off consecutive tweets attacking Democratic party officials for mocking Sanders’ “heritage” within minutes of calling Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas,” in reference to her Native American background.
Trump said he prevented Ted Cruz from being violently pulled off the Republican National Convention stage by entering the Cleveland arena as hundreds of angry delegates lashed out at the Texas senator.
Trump has already begun picking candidates for some of the top slots in his administration — and several names are very familiar. Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani is considered a front-runner to head the Department of Homeland Security. NJ Gov. Chris Christie is mentioned as a potential U.S. AG pick, and Dr. Ben Carson may head the Department of Health and Human Services.
President Obama’s Kenyan half-brother wants to make America great again — so he’s returning to the U.S. to vote for Trump.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s DNC speech is a high-stakes appearance before a national audience, made riskier because some Democrats will expect oratory perfection as if it is a Cuomo birthright, remembering his father’s star turn on the convention stage in 1984.
With little to do but wait until U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara reveals where his investigation is taking him, Cuomo has maintained a determined face in public, with lots of appearances in both June and July.
Cuomo announced Saturday that all seven lanes of the Tappan Zee Bridge would be open to traffic, four days after a crane collapsed on the bridge, blocking northbound and southbound traffic.
Three days after the 25-story boom of a crane toppled onto the Tappan Zee Bridge, creating havoc and a huge traffic jam but killing no one, three separate investigations were proceeding into what caused the accident.
The NYT opines: “If (Cuomo) is serious about ‘a redesign of the M.T.A. on every level,’ he should look for new ways to pay for mass transit. Raising the gas tax would be one option. Another is to support the strategies promoted in a proposal called the ‘Move NY Fair Plan.'”
Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano issued a warning to those targeting and gunning down police officers, saying: “Target our citizens, target our police, and you’re going home in a body bag.”
The state Department of Taxation has a warrant against former Staten Island Rep. Vito Fossella’s 2008 re-election campaign because it owes the state $3,298.92 for not paying withholding taxes from its employees’ paychecks.
State Business Council President and CEO Heather Briccetti says “economic development incentives are a useful tool, when well designed and thoughtfully applied,” but the Cuomo administration needs to take a broader look at what it’s doing overall to help or harm New York’s business climate.
The state Department of Transportation will conduct the first comprehensive study of alternatives to Buffalo’s Skyway, examining the 60-year-old structure, alternative routes and what effect changes to the bridge could have on I-190.
Acting District Attorney Michael J. Flaherty Jr. so far has collected more campaign money than any other candidate in the race to become Erie County’s top prosecutor. Interestingly, there was one contribution Flaherty didn’t want – $500 from defense lawyer Thomas J. Eoannou. (He returned the money).
Niagara County’s jail, where three inmates died since medical care was privatized, will be getting its third provider of inmate medical services in less than a year.
Health officials on Friday reported the first baby born in New York City with the Zika-related birth defect known as microcephaly, a condition marked by an abnormally small head and impaired brain development.
Cuomo says a new Dick’s Sporting Goods distribution center in Broome County will create 466 full-time jobs over the next five years.
Jul 22nd - 5:27 am
Good morning from Cleveland! It’s a travel day for the Capital Tonight team as we head back to Albany this morning after spending the last four days here covering the Republican National Convention.
But there’s going to be little down time as we head to Philadelphia on Sunday to cover the Democratic National Convention. Stick with us for continued coverage of that and the New York Democratic delegation.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo is in New York City and has nothing public planned.
At 9:30 a.m., Commissioner Basil Seggos and New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services Representatives will announce the start of ‘Operation Clear Passage’, a three-day, multi-agency Homeland Security exercise and water quality/navigational-boating enforcement event on Lake Champlain, Treadwell Bay Marina, 214 Bouchard Drive, Plattsburgh, NY 12901, west shore of Lake Champlain.
At 10 a.m., Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul will deliver remarks at a ribbon cutting of the new Fairfield Inn & Suites, 643 Rainbow Boulevard
At 11 a.m., Hochul will tout investments and an increase in tourism in New York. Niagara Falls State Park, Goat Island Carriage Complex, 332 Prospect Street, Niagara Falls
Donald Trump accepted the Republican nomination for president of the United States on Thursday, capping an unlikely and unpredictable year since he announced his candidacy.
Trump’s nominating speech for some pundits struck a dark, fear-based tone, warning that in a world of terrorism and violence, a strong leader is needed.
Trump pledged to be a “law and order” president and is the only person equipped to handle an increasingly dangerous world for the United States.
Trump’s speech “conjured up chaos and promised overnight solutions” but failed to escape his own caricature.
The remarks by the New York businessman “could mark the start of an American revival.”
The speech was also an attack on Hillary Clinton and the very political establishment Trump upended over the last 400-plus days of his campaign.
A fact check of Trump’s speech reveals some… issues with reality.
What does it look like behind the scenes at a national political convention? NY1 anchor Errol Louis gives you a tour.
Silicon Valley investor Peter Thiel tells the RNC — to cheers — that he’s proud to be gay.
Thiel’s speech was an especially strange one for Gawker, considering he helped fund a lawsuit against the online news site after a story outed him.
Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani questioned Clinton’s feminist credentials in a speech to New York Republicans at their daily delegation breakfast.
New York’s delegation, sitting front and center for the RNC at the Q, have been the most vocal and boisterous supporters for Trump during the last week.
Sen. Ted Cruz faced a sharply divided delegation from his home state of Texas after he refused to endorse Trump in his convention speech on Wednesday night.
Overall, it was a convention in which Republicans may have been divided on policy and ideology, but not when it comes to take on Clinton.
While the RNC this year may have had its ups and downs, the mistakes are unlikely to doom Trump’s campaign.
Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine has emerged as the heavy favorite to join Clinton on the Democratic ticket as the vice presidential candidate.
Liberals within the Democratic Party are not happy with the potential selection of Kaine, as they had hoped for a more left-leaning running mate, like Sens. Elizabeth Warren or Sherrod Brown.
Another name floated for the ticket is Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, a one-time presidential candidate and former governor of Iowa.
Either way, Clinton’s VP selection process is pretty much down to the wire, and a final pick, plus announcement could come by today or Saturday.
At least four potential Republican gubernatorial wannabes were roaming the convention hall in Cleveland over the last several days.
New York state Republicans say the party needs to be more inclusive of minorities, but they don’t believe Trump’s more passionate rhetoric is a problem for the GOP.
Outside the arena and among the many demonstrations and protests has been dirty tricks operative Roger Stone and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones holding court.
In non-convention news:
Gov. Cuomo has signed a bill that would make it easier for people living near Superfund-declared sites to sue, aimed at providing some relief to the people who live in Hoosick Falls and Petersburgh.
New York officially lifted its tax on tampons, which supporters say is a matter of fairness and justice for women.
For the average woman, the repeal of the tax could mean a savings of $140 over a lifetime.
Mayor Bill de Blasio’s non-profit, the Mayor’s Fund To Advance New York, has raised more than $25 million.
Teachers and principals unions are criticizing de Blasio’s policies of eliminating suspensions and metal detector policies as making schools in the city less safe.
Often hailed as a miracle drug for reversing heroin overdoses, Naloxone is less effective when it comes to synthetic drugs, the latest scourge to reach upstate New York.
Congressional lawmakers are touting a bill that would fight heroin addiction by addressing the prescription of pain medication.
More than 200,000 people are impacted by a water main break in the western New York town of Amherst.
As a result of that water main break, bottled water is not surprisingly flying off the shelves.
An anti-discrimination lawsuit filed against the Utica School District by state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s office has been settled.
State Police officers have arrested a man for spreading feces at the Department of Environmental Conservation building in downtown Albany.
Investigators have started their review of why a crane collapsed onto the Tappan Zee Bridge, snarling traffic and causing minor injuries.
Rupert Murdoch is taking over at Fox News as its once-powerful chairman Roger Ailes resigns under a sexual harassment cloud.
The NBA All-Star game will not be held in Charlotte next year as the controversial HB2 legislation viewed as anti-LGBT still stands.
How an anti-missile pact with Poland could impact apple farmers in upstate New York.
Jul 21st - 5:40 pm
Day 4 – the final day of the 2016 Republican National Convention, which will bring us to the coup de grace of this entire event: Donald Trump’s formal acceptance of the GOP presidential nomination.
It’s not going too far to say this is the most important moment of Trump’s political career, a moment that could significantly alter the course of his general election battle with the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton.
Trump will be introduced by his daughter, Ivanka, a frequent campaign trail for her father and the final adult Trump child to be speaking at the convention.
We haven’t seen his youngest child, 10-year-old Baron, who is Trump’s son with his third wife, Melania, but he might make a post-speech appearance, as it’s traditional for the entire family to join a nominee on stage for the big balloon drop.
And yes, there are balloons, which are a convention standby. Some traditions are indeed being preserved here at this unconventional convention. How Trump plans to top his Day 1 reveal – with fog machines pumping and Queen’s “We Are the Champions” blaring over the speakers – remains to be seen.
Also we’ll see how Trump plans to take back the narrative and top off a convention that has been marked by controversy and upheaval. Will he go into more detail about his various policy proposals? Will he deliver a message of unity from the stage? Or will he continue to be defiant and divisive, belittling his critics and those who continue to have reservations about his candidacy.
Here are some headlines to peruse while we await the final show…
Just hours before accepting the preisdential nomination, Donald Trump taunted his party during a speech to top donors, ripping into his rivals and joking that, had he run as an independent, he could have defeated the GOP.
Trump’s speech needs to be the performance of a lifetime. It will cap off a convention that has so far been a rolling disaster of infighting and poor planning – all playing out on the national stage at a time he desperately needs a boost to compete against Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton.
Clinton, the presumptive Democratic nominee, has featured at least as prominently at the convention so far as Trump. For a convention that’s supposed to be all about the GOP nominee, his opponent is getting more than her share of the attention.
Onondaga County GOP Chairman Tom Dadey said he feels like “a little kid on Christmas Eve” ahead of Trump’s big moment, adding: “”I can’t wait to see him tonight. I’m ecstatic.”
Speaking to his home state delegation this morning, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz pointedly and repeatedly refused to endorse Trump, saying that he was not “a servile puppy dog.”
Donald Trump Jr. said his father does not need Cruz’s endorsement going into the general election. “We got it de facto from the people that matter,” he told CNN’s Erin Burnett. “Those are the voters the people that my father has been speaking to directly. The hardworking people in this country that have been left in the dust.”
“The New York delegation was engaged in a way I’ve never seen,” said Rep. Tom Reed, a Corning Republican who joined in the “Endorse Trump” chants of Cruz’s speech last night. “The boos kept getting louder. There was just more and more energy.”
The guest lists for six suites at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland this week offer a peek into the VIP access enjoyed by the party’s most important financiers.
The Trump campaign’s sharp attacks against Ohio Gov. John Kasich this week may have imperiled a crucial behind-the-scenes effort to build out the Republican nominee’s meager operation in the battleground state.
Trump and Clinton are deadlocked in Ohio, according to a new Suffolk University poll that shows the crucial state very much in play.
Trump’s campaign says it set a new record for its money-raising effort, garnering $3.5m from online fundraising today. Also, Trump fulfilled his promise to forgive the $47.5m he loaned his presidential campaign on the way to securing the GOP nomination.
Ivanka Trump sent out a fundraising appeal on her father’s behalf hours before her big convention appearance introducing his acceptance speech.
Trump may be the nominee, but here in Cleveland, his children are the attraction.
Former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani misstated Clinton’s home town by several hundred miles during his speech to the NY delegation, saying she lives in Chappaquiddick (Massachusetts), not Chappaqua (Westchester County).
21st Century Fox today announced that Roger Ailes, Chairman and CEO of Fox News Channel and Fox Business Network, and Chairman of Fox Television Stations, has resigned from his role effective immediately.
Sen. Al Franken of Minnesota – a comedian-turned-politician – traveled to Cleveland to deliver a few jabs to the Donald Trump-Mike Pence ticket, while another Democratic senator, Cory Booker of New Jersey, made the case for fighting with love.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo has signed legislation to exempt feminine hygiene products from sales and use taxes. The bill, dubbed the “tampon tax” bill, passed with broad support at the end of May.
Also signed into law by the governor: a bill that gives state employees up to four hours each year to receive prostate cancer exams. Previously, only those outside of New York City were offered paid leave.
The Erie County Water Authority knew by 3 a.m. yesterday that a huge water main break may have exposed more than 100,000 residents to contaminated water, but no public advisory was sent for at least three more hours.
The chair of the Assembly Energy Committee, Amy Paulin of Westchester, is questioning the Cuomo administration’s plan to subsidize upstate nuclear reactors and its potential cost to New York residents.
The Late Late Show Starring James Corden traveled to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C., to shoot a very special episode of Carpool Karaoke with Michelle Obama
Jul 21st - 6:30 am
From the Morning Memo:
As the country becomes increasingly diverse, Republicans have staring down the barrel of a demographic shift that could deny them the White House once again.
Donald Trump’s rhetoric on immigration and his dalliance into the “birther” movement questioning the authenticity of President Obama’s citizenship hasn’t helped matters with Hispanic and black voters.
At the same time, a pitched debate is taking place across the country on the role of policing and how law enforcement interacts with people of color.
Still, New York Republicans are confident they can win on the issues when it comes to minority voters.
Republican Chairman Ed Cox in an interview Wednesday here in Cleveland pointed to Republican Gov. John Kasich’s success in the city as a sign the GOP can win urban voters.
“We are here in Cleveland where Gov. Kasich carried Cayoga County which is exactly the kind of county you’re talking about — just like New York City is,” he said.
As for policy, Cox pointed to the Republican Party’s support for education reform efforts that have put them at odds with politically influential teachers unions.
“We have a great message for the inner city minorities,” Cox said. “We have the high ground on the civil rights issue of our time — that’s good education. School choice, charter schools.”
Cox hopes to attract those voters who have been unsatisfied or in some cases hurt by traditional public schools — a slice of the electorate he hopes could make a difference in 2017 when Republicans hope to run a competitive campaign against Mayor Bill de Blasio.
“This is the last issue we need to crack in New York City and to do that we need to locate the voters who are really concerned and who will vote on charters, vote on parochial schools, vote on the problems caused by the strength of the teachers’ unions,” he said.
The Rev. Michael Faulkner, a black Republican running for mayor of New York, brushed aside the more pointed rhetoric about race that has been heard at the Republican National Convention.
“The problems of the black under class are the responsibility of the black middle class,” Faulkner said.
Faulkner was complimentary of Trump, insisting he was no racist.
“I think Donald Trump gets it. He understands business. He understands the way for a man to feel like a man is to help him prosper,” he said.
“He’s never been accused of not hiring somebody or not elevating somebody because of the color of their skin. He’s been accused of a lot of things, but not that.”
Jul 21st - 5:22 am
Good morning from the fourth and final day of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland! Donald Trump is expected to deliver his acceptance speech for the Republican nomination for president, wrapping up an unusual and unpredictable convention.
Republicans from New York at their daily delegation breakfast will hear from former Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Rep. Peter King and the GOP legislative leaders, John Flanagan and Brian Kolb.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo, meanwhile, is in New York City with nothing public planned as Democrats prepare to gather in Philadelphia next week fro the Democratic National Convention.
At 9 a.m., the Republican delegation breakfast will hear from former Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Renaissance Hotel, Cleveland.
At 9:30 a.m., elected officials, including Rep. Jerald Nadler, will call for the immediate termination of the Port Authority Bus Terminal (PABT) Design + Deliverability Competition, 4 World Trade Center, SW corner of Liberty Street at Greenwich Street, New York
At 10 a.m., Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul will join Commissioner Arlene González-Sánchez to Mark Launch of New Programs Connecting CNY Residents to Addiction Treatment Services, Prevent Network, 906 Spencer St., Syracuse.
At 11 a.m., Rep. Elise Stefanik will host another in a series of “Results Tour” campaign events focused on her record of results across the 21st District. City Park, across from the Queensbury Hotel, Glens Falls.
At 11:15, Hochul will highlight the expanded manufacturing operation at Matt Industries, 6761 Thompson Road, North Syracuse.
At 1:30 p.m., Hochul will make announcement about clean energy in New York, 191 Clinton St., Avon.
Texas Sen. Ted Cruz was booed at last night’s convention when the former presidential candidate declined to endorse Trump in his address.
Indiana Gov. Mike Pence was formally nominated as Trump’s vice presidential running mate, but the remarks were overshadowed by the fallout from the Cruz address.
Pence’s remarks came after Cruz spoke, and the Indiana governor tried to strike a tone of unity at the convention.
Pence is being given the “uncomfortable job” of defending Trump in the general election as the vice presidential running mate.
Trump attempted (awkwardly, jokingly) to kiss Pence after his speech.
Carl Paladino on Ted Cruz: “It was a man destroying himself.”
Rep. Peter King called Cruz’s appearance “disgraceful” after he declined to endorse the Republican nominee for president.
The jeering at the convention appears to have been chiefly led by the New York Republican delegation, which is sitting right up front.
Trump himself on Twitter called the event “no big deal.”
The episode laid bare the deep divisions of the Republican Party at the convention and Trump himself even appeared at the back of the convention hall to seemingly egg on the crowd.
“Ted Cruz knows exactly what he’s doing.”
Cruz is actually joining the majority of the Republican contenders for president, all vanquished by Trump, who did not endorse the nominee.
Cruz lost the support of a western New York man who had organized the Republican candidate’s presidential campaign effort in the state.
Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro, who is considering a run for governor, won’t say if he’s endorsing Trump for president.
Robert Trump was a no-show at a joint event featuring Molinaro and Rob Astorino near the convention hall in Cleveland.
U.S. Senate candidate Wendy Long in her battle against Sen. Chuck Schumer sees inspiration in Donald Trump’s presidential bid.
How the RNC is bringing two rival TV reporters together (hint: Very strong air conditioning at the Q).
Sen. John DeFrancisco wearing a cool hat.
Hillary Clinton is narrowing her search for vice president, with the hope of having someone with national security experience on the ticket.
The finalists for Clinton’s pick appear to be Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine.
Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner raised eyebrows when she helped pay the way to the DNC for Bernie Sanders delegates.
In non-convention news:
A congressional committee has granted the Cuomo administration an extension in turning over documents related to their response to the Hoosick Falls water contamination crisis.
Howard Glaser, a former top aide to Cuomo, also received a $200,000 “balloon mortgage” from a politically connected lender who provided a loan to Joe Percoco as well.
The collapse of a crane on the Tappan Zee Bridge has prompted a review of traffic diversion plans after the incident snarled rush-hour commuting.
Despite lanes reopening on the bridge, traffic problems are still possible.
Through an executive order, Cuomo has extended a worker exploitation task force to combat abuses such as wage theft.
The editorial board of the Rochester D&C is calling for a change to policing in Rochester.
The Rochester woman who was seen in a viral video being arrested during a Black Lives Matter protest shares her side of the story.
Some jailed teens on Rikers Island have earned up to $1,000 for good behavior.
As they battle to keep control of the state Senate, Republicans are facing a series of departures from veteran lawmakers, top staff and a rising star.
New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito is being criticized by some who say she is too deferential to the NYPD and Mayor de Blasio.
The city of Ithaca is strengthening laws against swimming in its natural gorges.
The city of Rye is gearing up for a legal battle over proposed changes to the Westchester County-owned Playland amusement park.
Gannett, the largest newspaper chain in the country, is making a renewed push to buy Tronc, formerly Tribune Publishing.
Syracuse-based Dinosaur Bar-B-Que is closing its Chicago location.
Jul 20th - 5:29 pm
The formal program on Day 3 at the RNC convention in Cleveland is (ostensibly) all about Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, who will accept the nomination to be Donald Trump’s vice presidential running mate.
Pence will be introduced by one of the men he (ahem) trumped in the veepstakes, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who will be joined by is wife, Callista.
Delegates will also hear this evening from another Trump progeny, Eric; as well as three of the men Donald Trump defeated in the GOP primary: Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio (who is speaking via a pre-taped video), and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz; among others.
The theme of the night is “Make America First Again,” though these themes have been only loosely addressed for the past two nights, so it’s unclear exactly how that figures into this evening’s program.
Team Trump is hoping, once and for all, to put to rest the dust-up over Melania Trump’s Day One speech, which lifted parts of Michelle Obama’s 2008 convention speech, thanks to a longtime Trump Organization staffer who took responsibility for the gaffe.
While we await the start of this evening’s festivities, here are some headlines to peruse…
Donald Trump arrived – via helicopter – in Cleveland today, and was met by his children; his running mate, Illinois Gov. Mike Pence; and several New York Republicans, including state GOP Chair Ed Cox and Long Island Rep. Peter King.
Meredith McIver, the in-house speechwriter for the Trump Organization, took responsibility for penning the Melania Trump address featuring uncanny echoes of a 2008 Michelle Obama speech, and said she offered to resign but Trump wouldn’t let her.
McIver lives on the Upper West Side of Manhattan and is a registered Democrat. She has been working for Trump since 2001 — and they’ve co-authored numerous books together for several publishers, including the 2004 hit, “Trump: How to Get Rich.”
Trump’s take (on Twitter): “Good news is Melania’s speech got more publicity than any in the history of politics especially if you believe that all press is good press!”
Thanks to the uproar caused by his wife’s convention speech, the pressure is on for Trump’s own speech tomorrow night to be bulletproof. The candidate’s chief speechwriter, Stephen Miller, reportedly has reassured colleagues that the text as prepared for delivery is wholly original.
Elmira native Eileen Collins, a retired NASA pilot and the first woman to pilot the space shuttle, will address the convention tonight as part of Trump’s “Make America First Again” lineup of speakers. He role has drawn some criticism from former NASA officials and others who think the candidate is anti-science.
Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, one of New York’s highest ranking Jewish elected officials, ripped into Trump as “dangerous, offensive and grossly uninformed” and someone who has given “explicit endorsement to anti-Semitic imagery.”
Veteran WNY political operative Michael Caputo is wistful about what might have been for him here in Cleveland if not for one ill-advised tweet.
Trump may soon call for the federal government to provide the nation’s 800,000 police officers with training in anti-terrorism intelligence gathering, according to former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani.
“I would bet my life, if you put me in front of 12 fair and decent Americans and you let me prosecute this case against Hillary Clinton, she would go to jail,” Giuliani, a part-time Palm Beach resident, told the Florida delegation this morning.
When Democrats gather in Philadelphia next week to crown Clinton as their presidential nominee, some of the party’s top U.S. Senate challengers won’t be there.
Protestors were arrested in Cleveland today.
Wendy Long, a long shot candidate who is trying to unseat Democratic U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer this fall, may be trying to out-Trump Trump.
Trump has not given up on the hope that he can persuade Ohio Gov. John Kasich to grace the stage of the Republican convention with his presence and, implicitly at least, his endorsement.
Following a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that has ripple effects on government corruption cases nationwide, two Democratic state lawmakers from Long Island – Sen. Todd Kaminsky and Assemblyman Charles Lavine – are proposing a measure to strengthen existing state protections against government bribery.
This is Jessica Singleton’s last week as chief digital officer of the City of New York. She’s headed to Harvard Business School, and had previously delayed her application in order to continue working for the de Blasio administration.
NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton said it would take “upwards of almost a year” for the department to put into action reforms promised as part of a deal with the mayor and City Council speaker that circumvented a package of police reform bills supported by a majority of the Council.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed an executive order to make permanent his Task Force To Combat Worker Exploitation, which is aimed primarily at protecting immigrant workers, permanent, and would also addressing the misclassification of employees.
Jul 20th - 5:23 am
Good morning from Day Three of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland! The state Republican delegation breakfast kicks off at around 8 a.m. and is due to feature speakers John Catsimitidis and Rep. Tom Reed.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo is in New York City and has an event later today.
At 7:45 a.m., Comptroller Tom DiNapoli will speak to the Dutchess Chamber of Commerce, Poughkeepsie Grand Hotel & Conference Center
40 Civic Center Plaza, Poughkeepsie.
At 10 a.m., Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney tours Takasago International Corporation, 114 Commerce Drive South, Harriman.
Also at 10 a.m., Rep. Paul Tonko will tour the new engineering building at UAlbany’s Downtown Campus, Schuyler Building, 135 Western Avenue, Albany.
At 10:15 a.m., Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul will make an announcement at Tessy Plastics, 7474 State Fair Boulevard, Van Buren.
At 10:30 a.m., Gov. Cuomo will make an announcement at the Jacob Javits Center, Room 1A14, 38th St., New York.
Also at 10:30 a.m., Assembly Charles Lavine and Sen. Todd Kaminsky will announce a push for new ethics legislation, 55 Front Street
At noon, Hochul will meet with small business owners in downtown Lyons, beginning at 26 Church St., Lyons.
Also at noon, tenants and housing activists; local residents; workers; members of the campaign targeting the Real Gentrifiers of NYC, 1 Dekalb Avenue at Fulton Street, Brooklyn.
Also at noon, Comptroller DiNapoli speaks to the Orange County Chamber of Commerce, Villa Venezia, 2257 Goshen Turnpike, Middletown.
At 1:30 p.m., Maloney tours President Container, 290 Ballard Road, Middletown.
At 3 p.m., Maloney tours GTI Graphic Technology, 211 Dupont Avenue, Newburgh.
At 5:30 p.m., Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan will launch City Hall on the road, Arbor Hill Community Center, 50 Lark St, Albany.
Donald Trump was officially nominated for president by the Republican Party on Tuesday night, with New York’s delegation putting him over the top.
Trump received the nomination alongside his family and three of his children spoke at the second night of the convention even as Republicans aren’t necessarily unified.
New York Republican Chairman Ed Cox credits New York with putting Trump over the top in the nomination process itself.
The speech given by Donald Trump Jr. was especially well received last night, with him being considered the breakout star of the convention.
As one pundit puts it, Trump Jr. gave the speech “his dad never could.”
Most New York Republicans either shrugged or defended Melania Trump’s speech from Monday in which several lines appear to have been lifted from a Michelle Obama address in 2008.
Will New York Republicans ever return to dominance in a heavily Democratic state? They haven’t won statewide in nearly 14 years.
Melania Trump’s repetition of Obama’s remarks drew instant scorn from Democrats and Republicans alike, and turned what should have been a high point of the campaign into a major embarrassment.
Ex-NRA lobbyist Chris Cox gave an impassioned speech for gun rights at the RNC amid a backdrop of gun violence across the nation.
Ohio Gov. John Kasich has been a conspicuous no-show at the Republican convention as he gears up for a potential run for president again in 2020.
On the street outside of the convention, it has been an occasionally tense scene, though major clashes with demonstrators and police is yet to occur.
In his address at the convention, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie attacked Hillary Clinton, asking the audience if she is “guilty or not guilty” of a variety of problems during her time as secretary of state.
Indeed, it seemed like Christie was auditioning to become the next attorney general in a Trump administration.
House Speaker Paul Ryan in his convention speech made a subtle push for unity within the fractious Republican Party and urged them to support the ticket of Trump and Indiana Gov. Mike Pence.
It was also a chance for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to strike an unlikely alliance with Ryan as top congressional leaders.
Queen was not happy Trump used their anthem “We Are the Champions” as his entrance music on the first night of the proceedings.
In all, Day Two of the RNC was an effort by the Trump campaign to turn the page after a messy first day in Cleveland.
And now a new problem at the convention: Norovirus!
Rep. Chris Collins’s loyalty to Trump could pay off with a post in the cabinet.
Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton is pretty much ignoring the RNC festivities and is campaigning in Nevada ahead of her own convention in Philadelphia next week.
Amid all of this is the potential for a major shakeup at Fox News, where Chairman Roger Ailes may soon depart over a sexual harassment scandal.
Ailes, who built the cable news channel into a powerful conservative platform, allegedly harassed star Megyn Kelly a decade ago.
He is said to be negotiating his departure from the company, with the Murdoch family wanting him gone by the end of this month.
In non-convention news:
A midday crane collapse at the Tappan Zee Bridge will be investigated as to what exactly happened to cause the structure to fall on several cars on Interstate 87.
The collapse of the crane, understandably, was a shocking sight for witnesses near the bridge.
Gov. Cuomo says it’s a miracle no one was seriously injured in the accident, which snarled traffic along the Thruway.
Lanes at the bridge finally reopened several hours after the collapse.
All told, four people were hurt in the incident.
The crane collapse is the latest mishap to occur at the construction site of the bridge, which has seen fatal accidents since it began.
Attorney General Eric Schneiderman traveled to Miami several times in the last year, using campaign funds to do so, records show.
Cuomo has been playing “Santa Claus” of sorts with grants awarded to revitalize struggling downtowns in small upstate cities.
In the Southern Tier, Cuomo announced a major investment from sporting goods retailer Dick’s, saying it will be a boon to the region.
Facing low poll numbers, a very large chunk of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s schedule — some 38 hours — is apparently being set aside for him to dial for dollars a year before he seeks re-election.
A new report finds any local replacement for the controversial Common Core education standards will likely be similar to the current standards themselves.
JFK Airport is removing artifacts from the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks from a hangar as its prepared for aviation use once again.
Court of Appeals Chief Judge Janet DiFiore has assembled a task force to determine whether an overhaul of the state Constitution would benefit the judiciary.
A former city employee of Lockport testifies in court the then-mayor texted her for a nude photo.
The Buffalo Public Schools will turn to a familiar partner to help pull off the district’s new community schools program beginning in September.
The Rochester Police Department is backing off from a plan to have “two-badge” policing and keep one officer in a patrol car.
New rules are going into effect for testing for Legionella in New York to test for the bacteria in water systems.
The owner of an animal safari in western New York was trampled to death by his own antelope.
Jul 19th - 4:59 pm
We’re here at “The Q” (AKA the Quicken Loans Arena) in Cleveland, OH for Day 2 of the Republican National Convention. The action is scheduled to get underway shortly.
The theme of the night is “Make America Work Again,” and speakers include Dr. Ben Carson, a former presidential candidate; UFC President Dana White; U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell; House Speaker Paul Ryan; New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (also a former presidential contender); and two of the presumptive nominee’s children: Tiffany Trump and Donald Trump Jr.
Team Trump will be trying to right the listing convention ship after the plagiarism mishap of Melania Trump’s big speech last night, which dominated the news cycle today and was definitely NOT the narrative the campaign was looking for.
Also happening tonight: The roll call of states putting the candidate’s name into consideration, which will – we think – end with the formal endorsement of Donald J. Trump for president.
Of course, given yesterday’s floor fight in which an anti-Trump faction failed in its effort to force a vote on releasing delegates from the candidate to whom they were pledged during the primaries, it’s entirely possible that something unexpected is in the cards.
“Unexpected” is actually the unofficial theme of this unconventional convention, which the reality TV start-turned-presumptive presidential nominee promised would be anything but average. So far, he’s delivering, though it’s a safe bet things aren’t turning out quite the way he had hoped.
Here are some of the day’s headlines…
Donald Trump’s campaign blamed Hillary Clinton for the backlash to Melania Trump’s convention speech, as the presumptive Republican nominee’s wife faces accusations of plagiarism due to strong similarities between her speech and Michelle Obama’s convention address in 2008.
Even more than the candidate himself, Trump’s campaign chief, Paul Manafort, has emerged as the early star of the Republican National Convention.
RNC spokesman Sean Spicer quoted My Little Pony in a bid to prove Melania Trump’s speech did not plagiarize Obama’s remarks eight years ago.
New Jersey governor and former Republican presidential candidate Chris Christie said he didn’t think Trump was going to pick him to be his running mate, though he knew he was “close.”
Fast approaching her final decision on a running mate, Clinton appears to be looking closely at Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine and Labor Secretary Tom Perez, a Buffalo native.
Several staffers from California in Cleveland for the Republican convention are reportedly being quarantined after falling ill from the norovirus.
President Obama won’t discipline HUD Secretary Julián Castro, who has been mentioned as a potential Clinton running mate, for violating a rule prohibiting federal officials from making personal political statements while in an official capacity.
Trump spent the night after Day One of the convention at home in Manhattan. (Helps to have a private plane at your disposal).
Clinton’s campaign is rolling out the red carpet for its top fundraisers at the convention in Philadelphia next week – including exclusive parties and panels with Bill and Hillary Clinton, former Attorney General Eric Holder, and briefings from all of the senior campaign staff.
Georgina Bloomberg regrets not heeding her father’s advice and taking an accounting class when she went to college. She also said she has learned to be proud of her last name, but hated simply being seen as “someone’s daughter” when she was younger.
Cuomo announced DICK’S Sporting Goods, Inc., the nation’s leading sports and fitness retailer, will invest $100 million to build a regional distribution facility at the Broome County Corporate Park in Conklin.
A crane collapsed on the Tappan Zee Bridge today, causing minor injuries and blocking all lanes of traffic on the busy span north of New York City.
University at Albany President Robert Jones is leaving the school to become chancellor of the University at Illinois at Urbana-Champaign – a post he described as his “dream job.”
Due to reports of shark sightings, stretches of Coney Island Beach have been closed and reopened “multiple times” today.
NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio has a working workout almost every day at the Y in his old Brooklyn neighborhood, to which he is chauffeured from Gracie Mansion on the Upper East Side.
Charging that automaker Volkswagen AG showed “total disregard for the rule of law,” state Eric Schneiderman announced that the state has filed a lawsuit against the company over its sale of cars outfitted with illegal “defeat devices” to beat emissions test and its alleged attempted cover-up of its actions.
New York City is one step closer to a year-round subterranean park now that the Lowline, a one-acre underground green space, has received a preliminary go-ahead from city officials.
With a personal-best fundraising performance, Republican Rep. John Katko has a significant financial advantage over Democratic challenger Colleen Deacon in the NY-24 race. He raised $522,491.19 in the second quarter of 2016.
Fox News’ Megyn Kelly reportedly told investigators this month that Roger Ailes sexually harassed her 10 years ago.
Ailes is departing the network and will receive at least a $40 million buyout.