Nov 5th - 10:14 am
Democratic Rep. Dan Maffei, who is now trailing his Republican opponent, Ann Marie Buerkle, by 659 votes in NY-25, sent a fundraising appeal to supporters, saying he want to raise $25,000 by Monday to assembly the “strongest team possible” to run his recount operation.
It’s been a long few days, but I wanted to give you an update on my race,” Maffei wrote.
“While it still has not been called, we are neck and neck, with thousands of absentee ballots to be counted. National Republicans are already starting to send folks up to my district – and as Florida in 2000 showed us, they will do anything to win.”
“We need to make sure that every vote is counted. Can you contribute today?”
“We need your help right now. We are in the process of assembling our team to help ensure that every vote is counted, but this is a costly process. We need to raise $25,000 by Monday to make sure that we have the strongest team possible.”
“Your generous support has gotten us to this point – but we need your help to ensure Republicans can’t steal this election…This process could take days, possibly weeks, but I have every confidence that we will come out victorious.”
It doesn’t sound like Maffei has any intention of conceding any time soon. If he loses, the GOP will have won six seats in Democrat-dominated NY. The Tuesday GOP victories occurred in the following congressional districts: 13th, the 19th, the 20th, the 24th, and the 29th.
Nov 5th - 8:09 am
Good morning from overcast – yet very warm – San Juan, Puerto Rico. Thankfully, the air card works like a charm. The headlines:
Governor-elect Andrew Cuomo spent a second day largely out of the public eye (save for a radio interview), and huddled with the heads of his transition team: Michael DelGuidice, a former top aide to ex-Gov. Mario Cuomo, Howard Glazer and Andrew Zambelli may be named co-executive directors of the transition team, sources said.
No pressure or anything…”Cuomo’s reputation for his whole four-year term will be made or broken by what he achieves during his first few months in office,” said a longtime state observer.
Political consultant Hank Morris reportedly reached a deal with AG Cuomo and will plead guilty to a single felony in the ongoing pay-ro-play pension fund scandal.
Still unclear: The fate of former Obama administration car czar Steve Rattner, who reportedly rejected a plea deal with Cuomo’s office that would have required him to pay a $20 million fine.
Richard Lipsky hopes Cuomo takes some cues from his counterpart across the Hudson.
First girlfriend Sandra Lee won’t have any official titles, duties or staff, but will be bringing “great garnishes” to the executive mansion.
Lee and Cuomo won’t be officially relocating from Mount Kisco to Albany. It’s also unclear if she’ll have the security detail typically afforded to first ladies.
The Poughkeepsie Journal praises Gov. David Paterson for refusing to “go down without a fight” on cutting more spending, regardless of his motives.
Nov 4th - 5:12 pm
Hank Morris has reportedly reached a plea deal in the pay-to-play pension fund case with AG/Governor-elect Andrew Cuomo’s office.
Carl Paladino is still waiting for a return call from Cuomo.
Day One falls on Shabbat.
Cuomo’s psyched to have the executive mansion back in the family.
The GOP takeover of the House was meticulously planned and two years in the making.
AG-elect Eric Schneiderman and Staten Island DA Dan Donovan ran almost even in Upstate America.
Gov. David Paterson said Republicans have most likely taken control of the Senate.
Mayor Bloomberg tried to reach NYC’s newest (and only) GOP House member.
Would the WFP line have saved Sen. Darrel Aubertine?
Health-conscious Bloomberg gives out full-sized candy bars on Halloween.
Jonathan Tasini is worried about free trade.
Will First Girlfriend Sandra Lee adopt a pet cause?
Soon-to-be-ex-Assemblyman Michael Benjamin is blogging.
He’s also planning to run for Congress in 2012.
Less than half of the county Boards of Elections put sample ballots on-line prior to Election Day.
Bloomberg’s going to China.
Roger Stone is still pissed at the Libertarians.
Jerry Goldfeder, who used to work for Cuomo in the AG’s office, has some advice for the incoming governor.
Nov 4th - 4:45 pm
As the 31-31 scenario becomes increasingly possible in the Senate, both sides are boning up on the tie-breaking powers of the lieutenant governor, who presides over the chamber.
While insisting he still believes the Democratic conference he only recently joined (after blocking expelled ex-Sen. Hiram Monserrate from regaining his Queens seat in a special election), Sen. Jose Peralta admitted today it looks like LG-elect Bob Duffy could indeed end up being a very important person in Albany next year.
“They’re doing their homework just in case that is the scenario, that it is deadlocked,” Peralta said.
“We know that we in the Senate are doing our homework. The Democrats are doing their homework. I also heard that the Republicans are doing their homework. So, I’m pretty sure Cuomo’s people are doing their homework. So, I think everyone is looking into that possibility.”
As you’ll no doubt recall, former Senate Majority Leader Joe Bruno claimed that in the absence of an LG following Gov. David Paterson’s move to the governor’s office, he, as the next in the chain of ascension, should be afforded two votes on procedural matters – including leadership.
Nov 4th - 4:21 pm
Democratic Assemblyman Sam Hoyt today had some rare kind words for his fellow Buffalonian, Carl Paladino, following the businessman’s big loss to Governor-elect Andrew Cuomo in Tuesday’s election.
Hoyt, who came within just over 200 votes of losing his own seat in the Sept. 14 primary, is a longtime Cuomo ally. He and Paladino have a love-hate relationship, according to the Buffalo News. As Hoyt put it, the two have been both “the best of friends and the worst of enemies.”
“I’ve known Carl forever,” Hoyt told me during an interview this afternoon here at the Somos conference in Puerto Rico. “…He’s supported me. He’s aggressively supported my opponents.”
“…I’m saddened by, you know, how Carl has been portrayed and the difficult moments he’s had being in the spotlight, the national spotlight, the New York City spotlight that he wasn’t ever familiar with.”
“And, you know, something that he might say to a friend, you know, jokingly, is then statewide fodder …and I feel bad for the guy. I don’t know that he knew what he was getting into, and I think he’d tell you that today as well.”
Nov 4th - 3:55 pm
I called Sen. Ruben Diaz Sr. after seeing his comments to Jimmy Vielkind about the possibility of his support for a Republican Senate majority leader, and he confirmed he’s “not committed to anybody” at the moment.
“I have to wait and see what happens,” the Bronx Democrat told me. “That’s nothing new.”
“I think we’re going to go back to last year. That means it’s going to be chaos. I’ve got to see who’s going to be the leader, what they offer, what’s going to be. You know?…If it’s 31-31, I’m going to have to decide. The only thing that I could tell you, Liz, is that it’s going to be very interesting to see how things develop.”
Diaz Sr. referred to himself as the “lonely amigo, the only one left.” (Senate Majority Leader Pedro Espada Jr. was defeated in the Sept. 14 primary by Gustavo Rivera and Hiram Monserrate was expelled by his peers in February). Sen. Carl Kruger is still around, but Diaz Sr. rather mournfully said: “I don’t think he’s an amigo anymore.”
The senator said he hasn’t spoken to either Senate Minority Leader Dean Skelos or Democratic Conference Leader John Sampson, adding: “Nobody talks to me. I don’t talk to nobody. I’m pretty sure that when the time comes, they’re going to be talking. Right now, there’s nothing to talk about.”
“The only thing I can tell you is this: My colleague, Ruth Hassell-Thompson, paid for two buses so people could come to my office to picket me…And when I went to Staten Island to demonstrate against the discrimination on the Mexicans, Diane Savino received me with a demonstration, talking bad things about me. OK? OK.”
“If you hear what I’m telling you, you gotta know that in politics they say: Never get angry, get even.”
Nov 4th - 3:09 pm
Senate Democratic spokesman Austin Shafran sent over the latest available information on the three cliffhanger races that will decide who controls the chamber – unless, of course, there’s a 31-31 deadlock, which is looking increasingly possible with each passing day.
The Republicans are continuing to insist they’ve got a lock on the majority with a 32-30 split. But the Dems are holding out hope for that the recounts will turn the tables in their favor. Said Shafran:
“Every vote counts, so every vote must be counted. Once every vote has been counted, it will be clear Senate Democrats kept the majority.”
- SD-60 (Sen. Democratic Sen. Antoine Thompson vs. Mark Grisanti, a Democrat who has, according to the Republicans, agreed to caucus with the GOP if he’s elected)).
With all EDs counted, Thompson trails by 468 votes. The Republicans dispute this number, saying it’s more like 598 after the recanvassing.
“Mark Grisanti has a significant lead, and we remain confident about the absentee ballots that have been returned. Grisanti looks like a winner,” said Senate Republican spokesman Scott Reif.
Some 2,600 absentee ballots remain to be counted, including 2188 absentee ballots from Erie County (3-1 Democrat enrollment advantage); 1,000 emergency ballots remain to be counted.
An Order to Show Cause was signed in state Supreme Court Erie County. Former Senate Minoprity Leader/election attorney Martin Connor is appearing before the judge tomorrow.
An Order to Show Cause was also filed by Republicans in Niagara County. A full manual recount of all ballots expected to begin next week
- SD-37 (Democratic Sen. Suzi Oppenheimer vs. Republican Bob Cohen). UPDATE: With 279 out of 281 EDs counted, Oppenheimer is up 466 votes. “She’s gaining strength and closing,” Shafran said.
There are 2,106 absentee ballots to be counted (Dem- 992, R- 699, Ind- 44, Con- 24, WFP- 1, Blank- 346). The specific number of emergency ballots is unknown.
An Order to Show Cause being filed and signature expected today. Attorneys Frank Hoare (a former aide to AG Andrew Cuomo) and Henry Berger will appear on behalf of the Democrats.
- SD-7 (Democratic Sen. Craig Johnson vs. Republican Jack Martins). Johnson is down 415 votes with all the EDs counted. Some 3,383 absentee ballots are outstanding. The number of voided or provisional/emergency ballots is unknown.
An Order to Show Cause being is filed and signature expected today. Attorney Tom Garry will appear for the Democrats.
Nov 4th - 1:56 pm
The National Federation of Independent Business’ Mike Elmendorf today released a letter to the Working Families Party’s Can Cantor, urging an “open dialogue” about how to achieve the reforms the labor-backed party endorsed when it backed Governor-elect Andrew Cuomo’s “New New York Agenda” in order to get him to run on its ballot line.
In his tongue-in-cheek letter, Elmendorf notes the WFP’s “dramatic reversal” on issues like a property tax and spending cap was seen by more cynical observers as a “politically expedient” move taken in the interest of self-preservation. (Recall that if the WFP didn’t receive 50,000 votes for its gubernatorial candidate, it would have lost its official party status).
“I, however, would prefer to take you at your word and wholeheartedly concur when your statement that we are at “a pivotal moment in the history of this state” and that “leaders in the labor, civic, political and business arena must put aside their individual agendas for the good of the entire state.” We’re right.”
“In that spirit, I am writing to you today to open a dialogue that I hope will help us work together to enact much-needed reforms on which the NFIB and the WFP now stand united: Enactment of a property tax and a spending cap, reducing state spending and our job-killing cost of doing business and fighting efforts to increase taxes even further in New York.”
To sweeten the offer, Elmendorf even offered to pick up the tab for lunch.
Nov 4th - 1:19 pm
Elected officials, lobbyists, labor leaders and Democratic operatives are starting to trickle in to the Intercontinental San Juan Resort & Casino for the annual post-Election Day tradition: The Somos winter conference.
Bad weather and the Senate re-count has put a bit of a damper on the start of the event, (although the weather is lovely; I won’t torture you all by posting a photo of the sunlight glinting off the ocean).
Some Somos stalwarts like Senate President Malcolm Smith and Democratic Conference Leader John Sampson aren’t going to make it this year, although I did spot Sen. Jose Peralta – a member of the newly expanded Senate Hispanic conference – and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver is scheduled to be here later today.
I haven’t been able to get an answer out of the Cuomo camp as to whether the governor-elect is going to uphold tradition and attend this event. Assemblyman Felix Ortiz, who is chairing the NYS Assembly/Senate Task Force as of April and thus is hosting Somos, hasn’t had much luck, either.
Needless to say, he’s none too happy about that.
“We have issued an invitation to him when he was in the AG’s office,” Ortiz told me.
“I have spoken to him every time I had a chance during the campaign. I told him: Are you coming to Somos? This is my first year; it would be nice to have you there. He said: We’ll talk about it later. This is later. Later is today. The election is over, and I hope he can give us the courtesy and the respect that the Hispanics deserve.”
“…I don’t know what will not allow him to be here at least for a few hours.”
Nov 4th - 12:45 pm
Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb told Kaitlyn Ross on CapTon last night that he expects to have “anywhere from 49 to 51 seats” come Jan. 1, and predicted the GOP will be a power the Democrats are forced to reckon with – even if Speaker Sheldon Silver maintains his veto-proof majority.
The Republicans needed to win 10 seats to rob Silver of his single-conference override power. But even if that doesn’t happen after all the dust settles, Kolb argued the margin will be close enough to give some Democrats – particularly the upstaters – pause.
“I think we’re going to be darn close…We’ve got four or five seats that are going to go to absentee ballots. You’ve got to go through the recanvassing process. I got here on the absentee ballot victory ten years ago I won by a whopping ten votes, so I know what this process is like.”
“I think we’re going to be anywhere’s from 49 to 51 seats, but I think the significance of being that close, especially in this environment, I think there’s going to be some Assembly Democrats across the state that’d be a little reluctant just to vote in lock-step with the leadership and the New York City-dominated Assembly majority.”