Jun 20th - 6:18 pm
It’s extender time once again here in Albany.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo sent up another temporary rent-extender measure, which continues rent control laws and regulations for New York City until Tuesday at midnight.
Rent control is scheduled to expire tonight at midnight, part of a three-day extender that the Legislature approved over the weekend.
The extender bill all but guarantees we’re back here Tuesday, even though the regular legislative session is scheduled to conclude today.
Jun 20th - 6:12 pm
New Yorkers United For Marriage, the coalition of advocacy groups formed to push for same-sex marriage, announced this afternoon they plan on holding a rally at the Capitol.
The rally would come the day after anti-same-sex marriage advocates clogged the hallways at the Capitol singing hymns and chanting against the measure.
The coalition also says what we all know at this point — that the Legislature won’t end its session today as originally planned.
“There are a number of issues still to be resolved in Albany, which means the Legislature will be staying beyond today’s June 20th deadline. We are heartened that there continues to be respectful and productive dialogue on the issue of marriage equality and believe we are getting close to a vote on the Governor’s marriage bill. New Yorkers United for Marriage asks you to join us at a Rally for Love and Marriage tomorrow –Tuesday June 21 — at noon outside the State Capitol in Albany. Together, we will make sure that all New Yorkers will soon be able to marry the person they love.”
Jun 20th - 6:08 pm
Rabbi on rabbi protest – with a little Sen. Ruben Diaz Sr. action thrown in for good measure.
A former intern for Hillary Clinton is now a porn star.
The New Jersey Senate president said his “no” vote on same-sex marriage was entirely politically motivated and the worst mistake of his career.
A Howard Stern writer was threatened at Anthony Weiner’s resignation press conference.
Weiner’s staffers are still employed, but only for the short term.
Right now, they’re busy cleaning out his office.
A Florida psychologist believes Weiner can save his marriage.
Assemblyman Dov Hikind is interested in Weiner’s seat, but doesn’t think the Democrats will nominate me. (Sources say he’s talking to the GOP).
Assemblyman Danny O’Donnell recorded a YouTube testimonial about his house passing the gay marriage bill for the fourth time. (You can hear the anti-marriage protestors singing hymns in the background).
Ezra Klein is watching Cuomo more closely than before.
Cab drivers rallied against a bill proposed in Albany by the Bloomberg administration that would let some livery drivers pick up passengers in the outer boroughs and north of Central Park.
Huma Abedin, not a victim.
Former Gov. George Pataki defended the Iowa caucuses while visiting Iowa.
Bracewell & Giuliani is running a haiku contest. The prize: “Rudy’s baseball tickets.”
The US Supreme Court sided with Walmart in a class-action sex bias case.
Twitter users are pro-same-sex marriage.
“I thought it was better than sending Weiner-like photos,” Sen. Greg Ball said of his decision to seek advice on his gay-marriage vote on Twitter and Facebook.
Jun 20th - 5:56 pm
You can no longer air your frustrations or praises on Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos’s Facebook page. He has restricted access–denying his followers the ability to freely comment–citing the nasty rhetoric being traded from both sides of the same-sex marriage debate.
“Some thoughtful and heartfelt dialog has taken place here over the past few days in regard to Same-Sex Marriage. Unfortunately, the recent tone of many posts and comments has turned mean spirited and personal,” Skelos posted.
“In light of this, I am disabling comments on the wall of this page. If you would like to express your thoughts on this matter, please send me a message to my profile or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.”
Of course, it appears the savvy social media gurus quickly found that you can still comment on status updates. So far, commenters on both sides of the issue have managed to be polite.
Jun 20th - 4:40 pm
Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos, R-Nassau County, emerged from a three-way meeting with Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, D-Manhattan, to say that discussions were continuing on working out the religious exemption language in a same-sex marriage bill.
“We have staff people and members discussing with the governor religious protections. We’re still working on them,” Skelos said. “Once they’re prepared we’ll let you know what they are.”
As Skelos notes in the video below, it was the first three-way meeting between Cuomo, himself and Silver in several weeks. No deal has been made on rent control yet, either, however the governor apprarently offered a two-year deal on rent control, but it received a lukewarm reception.
Later, Skelos said he expected to remain in Albany for several more days in order to lockdown the outstanding issues.
Jun 20th - 4:10 pm
The Empire State Pride Agenda’s Ross Levi, one of the leading gay advocacy organizations, pointed out in an interview this afternoon that there are members of clergy here at the Capitol who support same-sex unions, too.
I think the senators know that people care about this issue and are engaged. It certainly helps for them to see the people who are affected by this, loving couples, parents who want to take care of their kids. It’s very helpful for legislators to see.
As we noted earlier, today is a busy and very noisy day at the Capitol, with hundreds of advocates holding demonstrations for and against same-sex marriage.
The talks remain deadlocked, with Republican lawmakers seeking broader religious exemptions in the measure. Earlier today, Republican Sens. Kemp Hannon, Steve Saland and Andrew Lanza met privately with Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
The threee lawmakers have met with Cuomo to discuss a potential chapter amendment to the measure. Lanza, the only senator to comment after the meeting, said he didn’t expect a vote today on the issue.
Jun 20th - 4:02 pm
Five days after he announced at a raucous press conference in Brooklyn that he would step down in the wake of an on-line sex scandal, Anthony Weiner has formally submitted his letter of resignation.
The letter was sent to Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who is in charge of deciding when (and whether? I’m still not clear on this one) to call a special election to fill Weiner’s seat in NY-9, and cc’ed to House Speaker John Boehner and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.
His resignation is effective as of midnight Tuesday.
Jun 20th - 2:47 pm
Gov. Andrew Cuomo just sent out an appeal – from his government email – enlisting New Yorkers in a last-minute push to lobby members of the Senate on same-sex marriage. Here’s the text:
Our state is closer than ever before to achieving marriage equality for all New Yorkers. Today, you can help make it happen.
Last week, the state Assembly voted to pass marriage equality in New York, affirming their commitment to fairness and equal rights for same-sex couples. Now, it is up to the state Senate to do the same. With Albany’s legislative session coming to a close this week, the time for progress is now.
Contact your state Senator today and urge them to vote yes on marriage equality. With this historic legislation, we can ensure that same-sex couples in New York are finally given the rights and protections they deserve.”
The email includes this live link to the Senate home page where all the lawmakers’ contact information is located.
Cuomo met earlier today with several key GOP senators, including two potential “yes” voters, Sens. Steve Saland and Andrew Lanza, and Sen. Kemp Hannon, who is still a “no”, but has been operating as the chief legal mind for the majority conference on the negotiations over religious exemptions.
Jun 20th - 2:39 pm
Less than one week after Nassau County Comptroller George Maragos confirmed his intention to seek the GOP and Conservative lines for a 2012 challenge to Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand’s campaign sent a fundraising appeal seeking to capitalize on the fact that she might have an opponent.
Maragos is the first Republican to say definitively that he is indeed interested in running next fall. So far, we’ve heard a lot of keeping-options-open talk from two of her 2010 opponents, former Rep. Joe DioGuardi, who lost to Gillibrand in the general; and David Malpass, who lost to DioGuardi in the GOP primary.
Ross Offinger, Gillibrand’s finance manager, sent out an email this morning with “urgent news” of Maragos’ nascent campaign and his pledge to spent between $4 million and $5 million of his own cash on the race.
“This is exactly what the GOP was hoping for,” Offinger wrote. “Nassau County Comptroller George Maragos is not only willing to spend his own fortune, but he’s sure to stay in lockstep with national Republican ideology. What’s more, the entire Republican Party is eyeing her seat, hoping they’ll be able to add it to their column and use it to take control of the Senate.”
“We need to mobilize right now for Kirsten and make sure she has the resources she needs to fight the attacks to come. Because he’s self-funded, he can start attacking Kirsten immediately. And that’s exactly what he’s going to do…We all know what a terrific campaigner Kirsten is, but that doesn’t mean she won’t need our help. Particularly now. Going head to head with an opponent who can write his own checks is never easy.
“We can’t rest for a minute. The stakes are too high. Please, give today and let’s make sure Kirsten’s ready for whatever comes her way.”
This is the second appeal Gillibrand has sent out in four days. The first raised the possibility that her seat could be standing between the Democrats and loss of their Senate majority.
Maragos was supposed to be at the Capitol today to join fellow GOP elected officials (Monroe County Executive Maggie Brooks, Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb etc.) to call for mandate relief. But he called off his trip upstate due to an unspecified work-related emergency.
Jun 20th - 1:52 pm
To the ever-growing list of potential contenders for the House seat Anthony Weiner plans to vacate (any day now) add Lynn Schulman, a life-long Queens Democrat who came close to winning a NYC Council seat back in 2009.
“Some people from the county organization asked me if I would be interested, and I said I would,” Schulman told me during a brief telephone interview this afternoon. “…So, my name is now in the mix. I’m very humbled about being asked in the first place because clearly there was a thought that I had the credentials to do this.”
Schulman’s candidacy would be historic, since she is a lesbian and would – if she were elected – be the first openly gay member of New York’s congressional delegation. In addition, Schulman pointed out that her victory would return the seat to the hands of a woman – the district used to be represented by the late Geraldine Ferraro, which people tend to forget. (I know I did).
UPDATE: Gatemouth writes: “The reason you forgot Weiner’s seat was represented by Ferraro was that it wasn’t. Crowley’s seat was represented by Ferraro, although it is true that parts (far less than a majority) of the seat were represented by Ferraro
Considering the fact that Weiner’s on-line sextcapades cost him his political career, perhaps NY-9 residents, who tend to be a bit more on the conservative side in certain areas, would be ready to elect a woman – even if that woman isn’t straight. Schulman isn’t the only woman in the mix, however. Former NYC Councilwoman Melinda Katz has also been mentioned as a potential candidate.
The fact that Schulman was approached by someone connected to the Queens Democratic Party is telling. (She wouldn’t tell me who). Chairman/Rep. Joe Crowley will control the selection of the candidate if Gov. Andrew Cuomo calls a special election, and the conventional wisdom is that he would want someone who would be a placeholder so NY-9 can be easily carved up in the next round of redistricting.
I asked Schulman if she would want to be a placeholder, and she responded:
“I can’t speculate on that, and honestly, I don’t want to at this stage of the game. I was very honored to be asked. There is a process here. I’m sure that there will be meetings and everything else. There’s no timeline. Anthony hasn’t even put in his resignation…and until that happens, the governor can’t even call a special election.”
Schulman was defeated in 2009 by NYC Councilwoman Karen Koslowitz, 1,834 to 1,593. (Actually, it was a six-way race, but they were the top two vote getters).