Jan 7th - 12:03 pm
State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli shared the stage with Governor Cuomo during his low key swearing-in on January 1st.
But like Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, he’s also holding his own personal, invite-only and more elaborate inauguration ceremony.
The Long Island native will deliver remarks on Sunday at the Cooper Union in Manhattan to mark the beginning of his first full term in the office.
He’ll be joined by US Sen. Chuck Schumer, Nassau Co. DA Kathleen Rice (who lost in the primary to AG Schneiderman), and AFL-CIO President Denis Hughes – none of whom were at the governor’s inauguration and all of whom are slated to speak.
Gov. Cuomo was adamant that his inaugural be an austere event as a matter of sensitivity during a difficult economic climate. He made a concerted effort to remove politics from the affair by inviting a relatively small number of friends and family and only a handful of legislative leaders.
Jan 7th - 10:21 am
Things haven’t been going so well for Democrat-turned-Republican Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy, for whom problems have been mounting since he returned to his day job after failing to make the cut for a gubernatorial bid at the GOP convention this past summer.
Newsday reports that George Guldi, a former Suffolk County legislator facing a mortgage fraud trial, had Levy served with a subpoena to compel him to testify.
Levy spokesman Mark Smith said the county executive would move to quash the subpoena, adding: “This is not a court-ordered subpoena but was concocted by a desperate, pro se defendant seeking to create a Jerry Springer atmosphere to divert attention from his mortgage fraud indictment.”
Guldi is representing himself in the trial.
Newsday also reports that Ethan Ellner, a longtime friend and former housemate of Levy’s, is a co-defendant in the case, but has agreed to testify against Guldi. Levy’s relationship with Ellner, as you’ll recall, became an issue during the run-up to the GOP convention.
Jan 7th - 10:11 am
(OK, not really, it’s actually a metaphor).
State GOP Chairman Ed Cox was on hand for Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s first State of the State address Wednesday and said the Republicans plan to hold the Democratic governor’s feet to the fire when it comes to making good on his pledges of fiscal conservatism.
“The governor stole our clothes, we want to be sure he wears them the right way,” Cox said.
Cox said he’s optimistic about the Cuomo era. He also sounded a hopeful note about the four renegade Senate Democrats who broke from their conference to form an independent caucus, saying: “We have to see more what it’s about, but they’re certainly coming in the right direction now.”
Jan 7th - 10:02 am
Here’s CapTon’s Liz Alesse’s brief exit interview of Newsday Capitol Bureau Chief James T. Madore, who is departing Albany for points South after four years of covering the seat of state government.
Madore told Liz A. his Long Island-based employer has a tradition of limiting the tenure of reporters in his current post to four years (also the duration of a single gubernatorial term). So, now that there’s a new governor in town, Madore will be heading to the Newsday mothership in Melville to cover business.
The Capitol isn’t going to be the same without him.
I’m not sure what I’ll do without a regular dose of Madore’s righteous indignation about the shenanigans of state lawmakers, or his seemingly limitless knowledge of arcane budget matters, or his insistence on referring to government officials by their formal titles (Madam Budget Director was a favorite).
And who will speak for the Long Island readers! Who will champion the cause of property tax reform? (Actually, I think Governor Andrew Cuomo has that particular base covered). Veteran reporter Yancey Roy is returning from the dark side after a four-year stint as a DEC spokesman to take over for Madore.
Roy is a veteran newsman who worked at Gannett and also the Times Union before jumping ship. It’s going to be great to have him back. But I’ll still miss Madore. Good luck, JT. Don’t be a stranger.
Jan 7th - 7:55 am
Is Rudy running in 2012?
Giuliani downplayed the reports during an appearance on MSNBC’s Morning Joe this morning, saying he hasn’t reached out to any political advisors, and saying he wasn’t sure if he was going to New Hampshire next month. Though, he did say, “I love New Hampshire.” Giuliani did talk at length about Bloomberg’s handling of the snow, saying he made a mistake by not calling a snow emergency earlier. Though, he says Bloomberg has been a “great mayor.” (No Link)
Some think there isn’t enough time for Cuomo’s 3 special committees addressing medicaid, consolidation, and mandate relief to impact the budget.
Crain’s breaks down the Wisconsin medicaid model Andrew Cuomo wants to emulate.
Cuomo’s pick of Darrel Aubertine as Ag Commissioner is getting high praise.
The DN suggests that lawmakers might have a problem with Cuomo’s classroom webcasts.
The Jamestown school district likes Cuomo’s call for competitive funding.
Andrew Cuomo likes it cold when he delivers speeches.
Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s inaugural wasn’t nearly as austere as the Governors.
Wooing the “Long Island 9″ Senate block may be key to passing legislation for the next few years.
Jan 6th - 5:44 pm
Mayor Bloomberg is trying to get ahead of the next snowstorm bearing down on NYC.
Bloomberg’s approval rating has hit a new low, according to the Marist poll.
Two NYC Sanitation Department bosses were demoted.
Azi Paybarah beats me at my own game.
WHAM13 reporter Sean Carroll is getting press for being snubbed by Sandra Lee.
Ed Koch liked “Client 9.”
Some Assembly Democrats are proposing an alternative to Cuomo’s property tax cap.
President Obama has a new chief of staff.
The WFP launched an on-line push for a public campaign finance system.
Archbishop Dolan and other religious leaders who oppose abortion held a press conference to lament abortion rates in NYC.
NARAL Pro-Choice NY’s Mary Alice Carr said: “If the Archbishop and his allies are truly committed to lowering the New York City abortion rate, they might consider supporting the tools proven to reduce unintended pregnancies: comprehensive sex education and birth control for sexually active individuals.” (No link).
Assemblyman Rory Lancman defended his call to extend the millionaires tax on Fox.
Cuomo’s SoS comments about his Clinton cabinet years got noticed in D.C.
Bloomberg recorded a video for the “It Gets Better Project.”
Greg David has some unanswered questions following the SoS.
Ex-Gov. David Paterson’s new spokesman is from….NEW JERSEY! (Hello, SNL?)
Bloomberg is still being cagey about his whereabouts during the Christmas weekend blizzard.
Shams Tarek has a new job.
The NYC parking meter increase is off the table.
Jan 6th - 4:39 pm
Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver just formally announced his new counsel, state Supreme Court Justice James Yates, who was first appointed to the bench as a Court of Claims Judge by then Gov. Mario Cuomo in 1992.
Yates was elected to the Supreme Court in 1997.
He’s coming full circle by accepting this job. Yates served as counsel to the majority and legislative counsel to former Assembly Speaker Mel Miller from 1986 to 1992. He began his legal career as a staff attorney with the Legal Aid Society of NYC in 1973.
“It’s a privilege and an honor to work with and for Speaker Silver and the members of the Assembly as they endeavor to take the necessary steps toward economic recovery, restoring the people’s faith in government and doing what’s best for this great state,” Yates said in a press release.
Yates was supposed to serve as former Gov. David Paterson’s counsel. He was even appointed to the post, but then ended up backing out of the job to remain on the bench.
The counsel job in Silver’s office has been open since the departure of Michael Boxley, who was indicted on rape charges in 2003. (This wasn’t the first time Boxley had been accused of sexual assault, as you’ll recall). He eventually admitted to sexual misconduct and lost his law license temporarily.
Jan 6th - 4:24 pm
In the wake of losing eight (or possibly nine) seats – an unusually high number for a majority conference – the Assembly Democrats may have to defend yet another, this time in Queens.
D’Amico, who died in late December after a long battle with cancer, had held her job since 1991. During her tenure, the county became the first in the city to implement a jury duty call-in system.
Pheffer is not necessarily a sure thing. The appointment here is done by the presiding judge of the Second Department, who was appointed by former Republican Gov. George Pataki.
But a GOP source told me he would be surprised if the Democrats aren’t lobbying very hard on Pheffer’s behalf. Queens Borough President Helen Marshall should be in Pheffer’s corner.
The assemblywoman had her eye on the BP job, but instead endorsed Marshall’s bid for a third term in 2009 after Mayor Bloomberg’s successful push to extend term limits.
As for who might run for Pheffer’s seat, several sources have mentioned her chief of staff, JoAnn Shapiro. Others suggested the candidates who challenged GOP NYC Councilman Eric Ulrich in 2009 – Geraldine M. Chapey; Frank Gulluscio (who ended up getting knocked off the ballot); Mike Ricatto; and Lew M. Simon.
Another name that surfaced: Y. Phillip Goldfeder, a former aide to Mayor Bloomberg and Queens native who works as Sen. Chuck Schumer’s director of Intergovernmental Affairs.
The GOP, which has had some success in Queens in recent elections, will likely make a push for the seat. The district overlaps with Ulrich’s and also has a sizable Orthodox Jewish population, which could help a more conservative candidate.
(I should also note that Goldfeder is an observant Jew who has experience running campaigns, including former NYC Councilman Simcha Felder’s never-realized comptroller race and failed state Senate bid against Sen. Kevin Parker).
Jan 6th - 4:04 pm
The latest additions to Team Cuomo:
- Former Sen. Darrel Aubertine, nominated to serve as commissioner of the Department of Agriculture and Markets. (Requires Senate confirmation).
“Darrel’s experience and expertise in agriculture is unparalleled,” Cuomo said in a press release.
“He fought for years on behalf of farmers in the state legislature and delivered real results. New York’s agricultural community will thrive with Darrel at the helm of this critical department, and I thank him for his service.”
- John S. Dyson, NYPA trustee. (Also requires Senate confirmation).
“”John Dyson brings lifelong experience and a deep knowledge of energy issues and economic development to the New York Power Authority,” Cuomo said.
“New Yorkers can have confidence that with John on the team, energy delivery and allocation will be in good hands. I thank him for his continued service.”
The background information on Aubertine and Dyson appears after the jump.
Jan 6th - 3:46 pm
AG Eric Schneiderman is wasting no time getting down to business in his new job, announcing this afternoon that he is taking action to sue a major Pennsylvania electric power plant over multiple violations of the federal Clean Air Act.
The plant, Homer City Station, is the largest out-of-state contributor of sulfur dioxide pollution to New York, according to the AG’s office. It emits approximately 100,000 tons of SO2 annually – more than twice as much of this harmful pollutant as all of the power plants operating inside the state combined.
The AG is teaming up with the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection and the Environmental Protection Agency, which has filed a lawsuit today against the plant for CAA violations.
The states have filed a motion to intervene in EPA’s case, which would ensure that the cases are litigated together before the same judge.
“The owners of this power plant have repeatedly thumbed their noses at clean air laws, while dumping more than double the sulfur dioxide pollution into our air and lungs as all of the power plants operating in New York combined,” Schneiderman said.
“Their disregard for New Yorkers is simply unconscionable, and as Attorney General, I am committed to taking the fight to those who endanger the health and environment of New York. This lawsuit reflects my commitment, holding the owners of the Homer City power plant accountable for breaking the law, and polluting the air that New Yorkers breathe.”
Schneiderman’s predecessor, Gov. Andrew Cuomo, did some environmental cases during his four-year tenure in the AG’s office, but they weren’t a primary focus for him like, say, the student loans cases or the pay-to-play state pension fund probe.
Schneiderman has some pretty big shoes to fill, following in the footsteps of both Cuomo and former AG/Gov. Eliot Spitzer. Look for him to try to take the office in a different direction and seek to put his own stamp on things.