Nov 22nd - 2:17 pm
It flew under the radar a bit, but it’s worth pointing out that Gov. Andrew Cuomo pretty much confirmed in Buffalo on Thursday he’s not running for president.
Cuomo, speaking with The Buffalo News, responded to a question about Monday’s Siena College poll that showed him losing New York to Republican New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie in a hypothetical 2016 match up.
That’s all well and good for Christie, since Cuomo isn’t running, he says.
“It said Chris Christie has better numbers for president than I do,” Cuomo told the newspaer. “Yeah, because he’s running for president, and I am not. Hillary Clinton is ‘apparently’ running for president of the United States, and I should also say Chris Christie is ‘apparently’ running for president of the United States,” he added. “I – very apparently – am not.”
This is perhaps the closest thing we’ve gotten to confirmation that Cuomo won’t seek the White House in 2016 — though there’s always time for him to change his mind!
Cuomo last year was asked if he would ever address the speculation that he was running for president and he gave an answer that, at the time, fell in to the less-than-Shermanesque category.
“Once you start saying, let’s talk politics, my own politics, my own aspirations, it can become not just distracting in that it takes time, but it can become confusing and frustrating,” Cuomo said in April 2012. “All I’m working on is being the best governor I can be.”
He added at the time, “You start to focus on the jersey and what team you are on, collegiality goes out the window, non-partisan goes out the window.”
Nov 22nd - 12:40 pm
State tax collections increased by $2.7 billion at the end of October, a 7.6 percent increase over the same period last year, according to a report released Friday by Comptroller Tom DiNapoli.
At the same time, however, total receipts were $133.6 million below initial estimates from the Division of Budget.
But the state’s general fund has a closing balance of $5.5 billion at the end of last month, a $42.9 million higher than initial estimates.
“Overall revenue growth to date has been strong, but is slowing,” DiNapoli said. “It will be important to monitor revenue growth, as well as spending, closely for the rest of the year.”
Tax collections were able to increase in the first seven months of the state fiscal year, which began April 1, in part due to the growth in collections of the personal income tax, which have grown 9.4 percent or $2.1 billion.
Nov 22nd - 6:54 am
Gov. Andrew Cuomo is in New York City with no public schedule.
At 10 a.m., the Assembly will hold a hearing to examine the use, distribution and implications of the collection of consumer data by businesses and data brokers, 250 Broadway, Room 1923, 19th Floor, Manhattan.
Also at 10 a.m., Rep. Chris Gibson will visit and tour Cherry Valley – Springfield Central School.
From 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., former VP Dick Cheney; a former director of Israel’s Mossad spy agency, Meir Dagan; the U.S. Department of Energy’s IG, Gregory Friedman; NYPD Commissioner Raymond Kelly, professional baseball executive and former coach and player Tommy Lasorda and broadcaster and heart surgeon Mehmet Oz will be honored by Federal Law Enforcement Foundation officials; The Waldorf-Astoria hotel, 301 Park Ave., Manhattan.
At 11:15 a.m., Rep. Grace Meng presents a keynote speech and the director of the New York field office of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Stephen Rosina, leads the Oath of Allegiance during a naturalization ceremony for 79 immigrants from 28 countries, 26 Federal Plaza, Manhattan.
At 1 p.m., Gibson will visit and tour Fulton-Montgomery Community College, 2805 State Highway 67, Johnstown.
At 2:30 p.m., state Financial Services Superintendent Ben Lawsky will give remarks on regulating shadow banking at an event hosted by Americans for Financial Reform and the Economic Policy Institute in Washington, D.C. (1333 H Street NW, Suite 300).
At 4 p.m., Make the Road New York holds a vigil with immigrant leaders to call for immigration reform outside Rep. Michael Grimm’s district office, 265 New Dorp Lane, Staten Island.
At 6 p.m., Sen. Gustavo Rivera, Assemblyman Walter Mosley and others host a Typhoon Haiyan benefit, Honor NYC Showroom, 12th Floor, 48 W. 25th St., Manhattan.
At 7 p.m., NY1′s “Road to City Hall” features an interview with Rep. Charlie Rangel.
The Senate and Assembly plan to jointly file papers in Manhattan Supreme Court today to quash subpoenas from Cuomo’s Moreland Commission that seek detailed information on lawmakers’ outside income and clients, according to sources.
Cuomo has granted more than 100 interviews on talk radio programs since he took office. During that same period, even after installing two TV industry veterans to run his communications operation, and despite the fact that his brother, Chris, is a CNN anchor, he has avoided television interviews as much as possible.
The Cuomo administration is committing $225 million – the biggest single investment by the state in a new business venture in the Buffalo Niagara region – to try to turn Western New York into a Silicon Valley for green-energy companies.
Cuomo called this a “game changer” for the Queens City, but not everyone agrees.
The Buffalo News seems to, however, writing: “(Cuomo) knows how to deliver on a billion-dollar promise…Like governors before him, he saw a need here; but unlike those before him, he did something about it. And he keeps working at it.”
Former GOP mayoral candidate John Catsimatidis and his family members have given a total of $19,800 to Brooklyn Democratic City Councilman Domenic M. Recchia, who is battling Republican Rep. Michael Grimm next year.
Catsimatidis insisted his financial backing of Recchia was not payback to Grimm for backing the supermarket mogul’s primary rival, Joe Lhota, for mayor. (Grimm said he did that as a favor to Lhota’s old boss, Rudy Giuliani).
Thanks to higher-than-expected tax revenues, robust bids for hundreds of taxi medallions, some penny pinching and a couple of timely real estate deals, Mayor Bloomberg expects to hand his successor, Bill de Blasio, something no other incoming mayor has enjoyed: a balanced budget.
Nov 21st - 6:02 pm
It’s become like a right of passage each year at the State Capitol: Promoters of Mixed Martial Arts, or MMA, trek up to Albany and urge the legislature to make New York the last state in the union to legalize and regulate the sport. Then Pat Bailey from Channel 6 asks the Governor about it a bunch.
So far, the Senate has passed the MMA bill four times, but the Assembly has yet to bring it up for a vote.
Perhaps in an attempt to put it on the radar of New York City media, on Thursday the same cast of characters held a press conference at Madison Square Garden to plead their case. What was notable however was that the supporters were joined by Democratic Assemblymembers Andrew Hevesi ( D- Queens ) and Aravella Simotas ( D-Queens ). Senator Jose Peralta ( D- Queens ) also spoke from the podium. I know what you are thinking, this must be some kind of Queens thing, right? Could be, but I don’t think so.
The fact that Simotas and Hevesi are advocating for MMA so publicly could maybe be interpreted as opposition to this bill is waning. Speaker Sheldon Silver has been personally opposed, but his statements have certainly evolved on the subject from what they were even in 2012. I thought it was only conspiracy theorists who floated the idea that the culinary union was pressuring Democratic lawmakers ( including perhaps Silver ) to prevent the bill from coming up for a vote, but then UFC Chairman and CEO Lorenzo Fertitta surprised me this afternoon when he confirmed that hypothesis,
“Me and my brother own a large casino company in Las Vegas, the only non-union casino company in Las Vegas, not by our choice but by the choice of our team member.”
A spokesman for Speaker Silver says the fate of the bill has not yet been determined. But when peppered with questions about whether the Speaker is opposed either because of the level of violence associated with MMA or because of union pressure, Hevesi offered up a spirited defense of the Speaker,
“It’s not that one man is stopping it, it’s that we haven’t reached the requisite number that he needs to get it out on the floor. And I guarantee you that once he gets those votes, 76 are needed that’s the magic number he will put it up for a vote.”
There are some who say the votes are already there, and have been since last year, But Speaker Silver couldn’t afford to further alienate members who remain steadfastly opposed. Clearly the momentum is building in favor of passage, and a strong supporter is Assembly Majority Leader Joe Morelle ( D- Rochester ). So what can one read into two city Democrats attending a press conference supporting a bill their Speaker opposes? A cynic might say it shows Silver’s grip on the conference is not what it once was, others may see it as a sign of changing times as it gets harder to say no to any sort of economic activity that might help.
Nov 21st - 5:26 pm
Republican Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb released a letter Thursday to the tax commission being led by former Gov. George Pataki and ex-Comptroller Carl McCall outlining a series of recommendations for tax reform in the state.
Among his recommendations include a full repeal of the 18a assessment on utilities and the MTA payroll tax, as well and keeping the tax rates enacted at the end of 2011 (part of an agreement Gov. Andrew Cuomo devised to defuse the millionaires tax debate).
Kolb also wants a two-thirds majority in the Legislature to approve any tax increase.
The Pataki-McCall commission, created by Cuomo earlier this year, is expected to release a set of recommendations to cut taxes ahead of next year’s budget presentation.
“These proposals align with the charge of the New York State Tax Relief Commission, and I hope they will be considered as the Commission prepares its final recommendations to the Governor,” Kolb wrote. “The Assembly Republican Conference stands ready to support the Commission on measures that ease the fiscal burdens on taxpayers, facilitate job creation, and stimulate our economy.”
Nov 21st - 4:59 pm
Can Buffalo find its own Alain Kaloyeros, and who is he, anyway?
The US Senate Democrats voted to change the chamber rules and curb filibusters on most presidential appointees.
The change is the most fundamental shift in the way the Senate functions in more than a generation.
For the first time in the city’s modern history, Mayor Bloomberg announced the incoming mayor will inherit a balanced budget.
…that’s thanks to higher-than-expected tax revenues, robust bids for hundreds of taxi medallions, some penny pinching and a couple of timely real estate deals.
The Catholic League is not happy with the religious make up of Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio’s transition team.
Assemblyman Jim Tedisco want to criminalize the “knockout game,” making it a gang assault with a sentence of up to 25 years.
Does Hillary Clinton have magical Oscar-winning powers too? Mega producer Harvey Weinstein thinks so.
The Queens Tribune endorsed Queens Councilman Mark Weprin for speaker.
Westchester County Executive Robert Astorino spent an hour behind closed doors with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and their wives at the Republican Governors Association meeting in Arizona.
The UFC continued its battle to legalize mixed-martial arts in New York, releasing a study that said it would bring $135 million in annual revenue a year to the state.
Rudy Giuliani will share his post-9/11 thoughts with Oprah this Sunday.
Cuomo: “Russert used to say that Buffalo had the most complicated politics in the state…Thirty years later I can say he was right.”
Hunger Games, the TV media edition.
Outgoing Mayor Matt Ryan announced the Binghamton is Not Boring Initiative.
Actor Alec Baldwin, facing backlash over anti-gay remarks recently directed at a photographer, is now an attack line in Idaho politics.
Bloomberg’s anti-gun violence group is circulating a conversation guide on gun control for those contentious Thanksgiving family meals.
Following one conviction and multiple suspicions of fraud, Assemblyman Kenneth Zebrowski proposed legislation to prevent individuals from picking up and returning more than two absentee ballots.
The lawyer for the Onondaga Nation says County GOP Chair Tom Dadey’s criticism of Rep. Dan Maffei for speaking out about the Washington Redskins was “unfortunate” and “disappointing.”
Nov 21st - 4:08 pm
The state unemployment rate in October grew from 7.6 percent to 7.7 percent, the Department of Labor announced Thursday.
Nationally the unemployment rate in October was slightly lower, 7.3 percent.
The state’s economy added 33,800 private-sector jobs between September and October, a 0.5 percent increase.
The jobs data was delayed until today because of the month-long federal government shutdown that prevented jobs statistics to be sent to New York after the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics was closed.
“The New York State economy continued to grow during September and October 2013, adding a total of 33,800 private sector jobs. Since the state’s economic recovery began in late 2009, we have added more than 500,000 private sector jobs,” said Bohdan M. Wynnyk, Deputy Director of the Division of Research and Statistics.
In the last year, New York City has seen the steepest increase in jobs, a growth of 2 percent.
The cities of Binghamton and Elmira along with the Poughkeepsie-Newburgh-Middletown area have been the only metro areas to lose jobs in New York in the last 12 months.
Binghamton lost 1,000 non-farm jobs in the last year, while Elmira lost 500.
In the mid-Hudson Valley, 4,400 jobs have been lost in the last year, a 0.9 percent decline.
Nov 21st - 3:29 pm
A report released Thursday by a labor-backed group casts a skeptical eye at the number of jobs that would be created by high-volume hydrofracking in the states that include the Marcellus Shale.
The report by produced by several groups, including the labor-backed Fiscal Policy Institute, as well as the Parks Foundation, which has contributed to anti-fracking groups.
The study contends the number of jobs that will be created by granting fracking permits is far lower than the energy industry contends: Only four new jobs between the years of 2005 and 2012 for each new well in the Marcellus shale.
Statistically, roughly one in 795 jobs can be traced by to gas development in the Marcellus shale region, which includes six states.
New York has missed multiple regulatory deadlines for setting regulations for high-volume fracking and is operating under a defacto moratorium.
The state Business Council, a lobby group, said in a statement pushed back on the reports findings.
“Nothing has transformed the rural economies of Marcellus Shale states like natural gas drilling,” said Darren Suarez, director of government affairs. “Viewing job creation data on a statewide basis ignores the localized job creation benefit that drilling provides. The Public Policy Institute of New York State compared five Marcellus Shale counties in Pennsylvania with five Marcellus Shale counties in New York between 2009 and 2010 and found private sector employment grew. In the five-county Pennsylvania region encompassing McKean, Potter, Susquehanna, Bradford and Tioga, private sector employment grew by 4.7 percent, or 2,425 jobs, while average private sector employment in the five-county New York region Allegany, Steuben, Chemung, Tioga and Broome fell by -0.3 percent, a loss of 389 jobs.”
Nov 21st - 1:15 pm
Gov. Andrew Cuomo in Buffalo Thursday recalled the assassination of President Kennedy as a early trauma of seeing his parents, Mario and Matilda, cry.
As the first Catholic president and a Democrat, JFK would have had special significance to the Cuomo family.
The 50th anniversary of Kennedy’s assassination in Dallas is Friday.
“I remember the trauma of the moment,” Cuomo said in Buffalo earlier Thursday. “I remember my parents, I remember teachers, I remember grownups being traumatized. I remember seeing my parents cry, which I hadn’t seen before and how many grownups, how many adults were so traumatized.”
Cuomo, who was five at the time of Kennedy’s death, said he found it disturbing to see so many adults upset by the assassination.
“It was one of the early, very disturbing memories to see so many people in a position of trust and love so saddened,” Cuomo said.
Nov 21st - 12:04 pm
New York Republican House candidates Elise Stefanik, Lee Zeldin and former Rep. Nan Hayworth have been advanced Thursday morning to the first step in the National Republican Campaign Committee’s “Young Guns” program.
The “on the radar” step is the first of three levels in the program, which means the candidates will keep working with the NRCC’s program to remain competitive and well-funded in taking on their Democratic opponents next year.
In total, 36 GOP candidates were named to the level.
“These 36 candidates all provide a stark contrast to their liberal opponents, whose support of ObamaCare and this Administration’s big-government, job-destroying agenda has taken a toll on the American people,” said NRCC Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR). “With ObamaCare’s bad policies and botched rollout affecting families across our nation, and our country diving deeper into debt each and every day, it’s time to bring real change backed by conservative principles and priorities to Washington. I am confident that these candidates will continue to work hard for their communities and their campaigns as we head into the 2014 election year.”
Hayworth, though she is yet to officially announce, is moving toward running for her old Hudson Valley district after losing last year to Democratic Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney.
Stefanik is running in the North Country district represented by Democratic Rep. Bill Owens.
And Zeldin, a state senator, is running for the First Congressional District on Long Island, a seat held by Democratic Rep. Tim Bishop.