Dec 27th - 3:46 pm
Sen. Carl Kruger is slamming city officials for their slow response to the first blizzard of the season.
The Brooklyn Democrat is calling on the City Council’s sanitation committee to hold emergency hearings to address what he is calling the city’s “colossal failure.”
His strongly-worded press release comes following reports that FDNY EMS is working on a three-hour delay for critical cases and a 12-hour delay for non-critical cases.
“At 1 p.m. today there was already a backlog of 1,300 critical calls,” Kruger said.
“How many people are going to die today because our streets haven’t been cleared?”
Kruger says the main streets in his southern Brooklyn districts still haven’t been cleared and he compared the situation to the so-called “Lindsay debacle” following a blizzard in February 1969.
Dec 27th - 8:23 am
Hope everyone had a lovely holiday weekend. I’m holding down the CapTon fort today and tomorrow, so feel free to send your comments, questions and tips my way: email@example.com
Now to the news…
Mayor Bloomberg and other city officials held a press conference yesterday about the first major storm of the season.
Bloomberg says the city’s budget concerns won’t hamper its blizzard clean-up efforts.
A look back at a scandal-scarred, deficit-plagued year in state government.
The DN blames Albany for New York’s slow population growth and the loss of two Congressional seats.
Sixteen years later, the Cuomo’s prepare for their return to the Executive Mansion.
Andrew Cuomo’s transition team provides a glimpse of the kind of tight ship he’s likely to run as governor.
The governor-elect plans to hit the ground running.
The NYS DOT reminds you to be kind to your local snowplow operator.
The state is getting creative about making ends meet.
The State Democratic Party and the “Paterson for Governor” campaign are facing eviction.
The TU thinks GOP Rep. Pete King is “on the verge of making a national spectacle of himself” and suggests he drop the idea of holding hearing on the radicalization Muslim culture in America.
Republican OK Senator Tom Coburn has no regrets about his handling of the Zadroga bill.
The law firm that successfully sued the city in the wake of 9/11 is trying to cash in on the recently passed Zadroga bill.
A look back at the career of disgraced state Senator Vincent Liebell.
It cost a lot to lose to Sen. Larkin.
The Post defends Gov. Paterson’s decision to commute the sentence of John White.
Dec 26th - 6:17 pm
Times Union wonders why Senate Republicans didn’t respond to calls for redistricting reform last week.
Bob McCarthy warns that the war over re-drawing the lines has already begun.
NY Post is questioning a non-profit that Senator Eric Adams founded over missing state funds.
New York Times urges Andrew Cuomo to raise taxes in order to deal with the state’s financial problems.
Larry Levy is the latest to reflect on the legacy of David Paterson.
NY Post is praising outgoing Inspector General Joe Fisch.
Outgoing NYC School Chancellor Joel Klein has some regrets.
John Liu has spent a lot of time running for mayor, the NY Post suggests.
NY Pols think Obama has his swagger back.
Joe Biden said same-sex marriage is inevitable in America, during Friday’s Good Morning America.
Ashley Dupre explains why she won’t go see “Client 9″.
One quick reminder. My colleague Liz Alesse will be taking care of the blog for the next two days. Her email is Liz.firstname.lastname@example.org
Dec 25th - 12:52 pm
Hello everyone, and Merry Christmas to those to whom it applies!
Liz A. here. Liz B. is out of the country on a much-deserved vacation, so we’ll do our best to keep you up to speed in her absence.
In the meantime, feel free to vent or reflect here about the last year in NYS politics and what you anticipate in the Cuomo era. Have at it!!
Dec 24th - 12:29 pm
It has been a good month, professionally speaking, for Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, who saw a number of legislative successes – from the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” to the passage of the 9/11 health care bill.
And now comes news of yet another win for New York’s junior senator – this time on the domestic front. The Register-Star reports Gillibrand and her husband, Jonathan, have finally sold the historic home they’ve been trying to unload for some nine months.
On Dec. 5, the couple sold their five-bedroom house with Hudson River views for $1.3 million to Time magazine managing editor Richard Allen Stengel and his wife, Mary Pfaff Stengel.
The property first went on sale in April at a price of $1.71 million. By October, it had dropped to $1.48 million. A Gillibrand spokeswoman told the paper that the senator, who spends much of her work week in Washington, D.C., wanted to move with her husband and two young sons to Albany to be closer to family.
The Gillibrands have owned this house for seven years. At first, it was a part-time residence, as Gillibrand, a Capital Region native, was wrapping up her life in NYC in preparation for her first run for public office.
This became an issue in her 2006 campaign against then-GOP Rep. John Sweeney, who sought to portray his Democratic opponent as a carpetbagger out of touch with upstate values.
Dec 24th - 12:13 pm
Gov. David Paterson announced this morning that he has issued 24 more pardons to immigrants subject to deportation because of their prior convictions.
At a press conference in his Manhattan office (which started 36 minutes late), Paterson had some strong words for the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement Office, which he said is casting too wide a net and catching small fish while trying to keep the US safe from terrorists.
“As we tighten and strengthen our laws on those highest offenders, there is no reason that we should be as inflexible and insensitive for those who have committed comparably smaller crimes, particularly when there’s only one offense,” Paterson said.
“I believe in rehabilitation and redemption. ICE clearly does not.”
UPDATE: Here’s the press release with the names and background information of the pardonees.
Paterson said the people he has pardoned have “paid their debt to society” and are now “otherwise enterprising citizens.” He said he recognizes the power of pardons and insisted he has only utilized it in the interest of “justice.”
He spoke of one man who committed a misdemeanor crime 37 years ago and is now facing deportation.
Another man shot and killed an intruder who was sneaking into his window, the governor said. The DA declined to charge the man with murder, but he was convicted on an illegal weapons charge. “ICE ignores the law because there was a death in the incident,” Paterson said.
The governor lamented that crimes that were once not considered deportable offenses now are classified as such. He suggested people who pleaded guilty to those crimes years ago might not have done so had they known the law would change.
Prior to today’s announcement, Paterson had already granted 9 pardons to immigrants convicted of crimes that included drug possession, robbery, and attempted murder. All were subject to deportation as a result of their convictions.
This past May, the governor set up a panel to weigh pardons for people facing deportation. He set an Oct. 1 deadline for applications and received 1,100 pleas.
During the press conference, Paterson was grilled about the controversial commutation he issued yesterday to John White, an African-American man who was convicted of manslaughter in the 2006 shooting of a white teenager, Daniel “Dano” Cicciaro Jr.
The governor was criticized for announcing the commutation prior to speaking with the Cicciaro family. Paterson admitted that “in retrospect I would have sought the victims’ input.” He said he spoke with Cicciaro’s parents for about an hour this morning.
Paterson refused to disclose the details of that conversation and insisted he would not have changed his mind about White’s commutation had the talk taken place prior to his granting of it.
He did, whoever, say Cicciaro’s mother has raised some “issues” that he will “think about over the holidays.”
Dec 23rd - 4:23 pm
As expected former state Senate Majority Leader Joe Bruno’s attorneys have filed an appeal of his January 2009 indictment on federal corruption charges, arguing in part that the theft of honest services statute under which he was convicted has been invalidated by the US Supreme Court.
The attorneys argue that the government “rolled the dice” in its case against Bruno and “cannot get a ‘do-over’ simply because it got the law wrong.”
The feds have said they should be allowed to take another crack at the former Rensselaer County Republican by filing a superceding or new indictment against him using a different legal arguement this time around.
But Bruno’s attorneys say the government is barred under the double jeopardy close of the Constitution from pursuing any additional chares.
Dec 23rd - 4:09 pm
Karl Rove supects Hillary Clinton will run for president in 2016.
Ten years of Clinton style.
Gov. David Paterson has “vacated” the executive mansion and will spend Christmas in NYC.
Gersh Kuntzman tried to convince Assemblyman Vito Lopez that OpEds are a good thing.
State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli will push for a law that bars lawmakers convicted of felonies from receiving their pensions.
Joseph Spinelli will be the acting chair of the Public Integrity Commission following Michael Cherkasky’s departure, effective Jan. 1. (No link).
Suffolk County DA Thomas J. Spota blasted Paterson for commuting John White’s sentence without reaching out to the victim’s family first.
The Open Space Institute’s Joe Martens is being considered by Team Cuomo as the next DEC commissioner.
Larry Schwartz’s job with the Cuomo administration might not be good news for the environmentalists.
Whole Foods is under fire from wineries, unions and small businesses for its plan to sell wine in its stores.
Dan Collins includes Bloomberg and Rudy Giuliani in the “losers” column when it comes tot he Zadroga bill.
A tree that survived the 9/11 attacks returned home.
Rahm Emanuel won his residency case, bringing him one step closer to his dream of becoming mayor of Chicago.
State lawmakers and Labor Department officials met with the producers of “Spiderman” to express concern over safety at the accident-prone Broadway show.
Cuomo has reportedly hired Assemblyman Dov Hikind’s chief of staff to be his Jewish liaison.
Paterson signed a bankruptcy protection bill.
Debate began in court over the waiver granted to NYC Schools Chancellor-in-waiting Cathie Black.
Dec 23rd - 3:37 pm
We are rockin’ and rollin’ here at CapTon today, trying to tape a week’s worth of holiday shows while simultaneously preparing for tonight’s show, so I’m going to be signing off the blog a bit early.
Tomorrow, of course, is Christmas Eve, (yes, I flubbed this the first time around; Liz A. fixed it) and we’ve decided to give the hard-working CapTon crew the day off to spend it with their friends and families. I will be around, but will probably be blogging only a bit because I’ve got a lot of packing to do.
Yes, it’s true. I’m taking a vacation.
Those of you who know me well are probably aware that this is a miracle befitting the holiday season.
I’ll be out of the country for six whole days with only spotty Internet service – at best. (If I survive this spate of disconnection without having a nervous breakdown, we’ll have yet another miracle on our hands; I’m already missing the BlackBerry).
And so, I’m leaving the blog in the capable hands of Liz Alesse and Michael Johnson. Please be kind to them. You can contact them at email@example.com (Monday and Tuesday) and firstname.lastname@example.org (Wednesday and Thursday).
I’ll be back Friday in time for Governor-elect Andrew Cuomo’s private swearing-in at the executive mansion.
Until then, I hope you have a happy and healthy holiday season. Thanks for all you do for me, the blog and the show. I couldn’t do it without you.
Dec 23rd - 2:33 pm
Comptroller Tom DiNapoli has been busy this week, announcing several members of his new staff. He just released a statement with another appointment. Stephen Hamilton will be his new Inspector General, replacing George King who had been in that role since 2007.
According to the release, Hamilton served as Special Counsel for the Office of State Comptroller’s Investigations Unit of the Legal Services Division. He was also counsel for Law Enforcement and Compliance at the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and the Associate Counsel for the New York State Ethics Commission.
His salary will be $150,000.