Dec 20th - 7:51 am
Gov. David Paterson, who has not ruled out a future run for governor, is worried about life after office – especially how he will readjust to being legally blind with no full-time taxpayer-funded assistance.
Paterson approved a $500,000 member item for an art museum connected to two of his former aides with whom he also has a personal relationship. One of them, Alexandra Stanton, also worked on Governor-elect Andrew Cuomo’s 2002 campaign.
The state’s highest court will hear arguments in the Johnson vs. Martins case today.
Mayor Bloomberg will urge approval of the Zadroga bill, which senators insist they now have sufficient votes to pass before the end of the year.
“Bloomberg is keeping himself in the field in case lightning strikes and he decides to run (in 2012),” said a friend who spoke on the condition of anonymity to avoid angering the mayor.
Mike Lupica thinks Bloomberg is “almost intoxicated by power.”
Outgoing AG Andrew Cuomo plans to file civil fraud charges against Ernst & Young for its alleged role in the collapse of Lehman Brothers.
Cuomo borrowed a phrase from his father for his Christmas cards this year, promising to make New York a “stronger, sweeter” place to live.
Senator-elect Mike Gianaris is in and Sen. Jeff Klein is out as head of the DSCC in the wake of the Democrats’ all-but certain loss of the majority this fall.
Dec 19th - 3:15 pm
The vote to repeal the ban on openly gay men and women from serving in the military was 65-31.
The DREAM Act failed to pass muster.
Gov. David Paterson’s elementary school alma mater renamed itself for him.
Jennifer Cunningham, the most powerful woman in Albany, has perhaps seen her clout increase by giving up her lobbying post.
The biggest scandal of the Bloomberg administration – CityTime – got its start in the Giuliani years.
The mayor said the $80 million stolen by CityTime consultants “slipped through the cracks.”
The DN blames Bloomberg.
The mess has parallels to the 1986 scandal that almost toppled then-NYC Mayor Ed Koch.
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand says the Senate will try again on the Zadroga bill before the 111th Congress ends.
Sen. Chuck Schumer slammed Sen. John McCain for saying time spent debating the Zadroga bill is “fooling around.”
Dec 19th - 2:34 pm
SNL just has a few short weeks left to skew Gov. David Paterson, and did not let that opportunity go to waste.
Despite the fact that the show and Paterson seemed to bury the hatchet during his cameo appearance back in September, its writers could not pass up the chance to take one final (I’m assuming) swipe at the outgoing governor as he heads out the door.
Fred Armisen reprised his role with a very weird rendition of “O Christmas Tree,” along with “Snooki” and Stefon. There’s even the requisite slam on New Jersey. Check it out…
Dec 17th - 4:38 pm
President Obama signed the tax cut deal into law. Sen. Dick Durbin was the highest-ranking Democratic member of Congress present.
Reshma Saujani will not primary Rep. Carolyn Maloney again in 2012.
To straw poll or not to straw poll, that is the August 2011 question.
Former DEC Commissioner Pete Grannis called Paterson’s hydrofracking executive order “more of a political cover than a substantive effect on the ongoing work of the department.”
Gov. David Paterson’s “New York Now” exit interview airs tonight.
Eric Sumberg has moved from state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli’s campaign to his NYC press office. (No link).
Paterson signed a battery recycling bill into law.
A shuffle at the APA Board might be in the offing.
New York Tea Partiers aren’t happy about the tax cut vote.
Madoff’s victims are getting a $7.2 billion settlement.
P.S. 22′s chorus will sing at the Academy Awards next year.
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand says she believes the votes are there to pass the 9/11 health care bill.
Richard Lipsky takes issue with Assemblyman Darryl Towns.
Dan Collins laments the death of the NYC OTB.
Who knew bike lanes were so inspirational?
Rep. Charlie Rangel made Politifact’s 2010 list of ht ebigest political whoppers.
The Paterson administration, consolidated into 14 minutes and 53 seconds, compliments of NYN Managing Editor Matt Ryan.
Dec 17th - 3:37 pm
The pushback has begun in earnst against the week-long campaign in opposition to Governor-elect Andrew Cuomo’s property tax cap by local mayors, county executives and school districts.
Former Nassau County Executive Tom Suozzi, who made property tax relief a hallmark of his failed 2006 gubernatorial bid and then chaired the Spitzer-appointed commission that first formally proposed a cap, released the following statement this afternoon:
“The property tax burden in New York State has grown to a crisis. To continue to allow property taxes to climb unabated is unfair to every single homeowner in this state.”
“As the former Chair of the NYS Commission on Property Tax Relief, I understand that state mandates place a significant burden on municipal budgets, but the solution cannot be more property tax hikes on homeowners.”
“Governor-Elect Cuomo’s plan to cap property taxes, eliminate unnecessary and costly state mandates for localities and schools, and impose pension reforms to control costs, will break the cycle of skyrocketing property tax bills and gives New Yorkers long overdue relief.”
Dec 17th - 3:09 pm
…at the War Room on Jan. 1, according to Gov. David Paterson’s spokeswoman, Jessica Bassett.
No word yet from the other former governors of New York who are still with us: Eliot Spitzer, George Pataki and Hugh Carey.
Only some 200 people, most of whom will be friends and family members, are expected to be invited to be present at the scaled-down Cuomo-Duffy event.
Dec 17th - 2:30 pm
The state GOP clearly hasn’t lost interest in ousting Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, who won a decisive victory over former Rep. Joe DioGuardi on Nov. 2, but will have to defend her seat again in 2012.
State Republican Party Chairman Ed Cox released a statement today slamming the junior senator for voting “no” on the tax cut deal President Obama cut with the GOP, breaking with senior Sen. Chuck Schumer in the process.
Out of the 100 senators, Gillibrand was was one of only 19 to vote “no.”
“Kirsten Gillibrand proved again this week that she can even make Chuck Schumer scratch his head,” Cox said.
“In aligning herself with the radical left wing in the Senate, Gillibrand has demonstrated clearly that she is out of touch with the needs of New Yorkers already buckling under the heaviest tax burden in the nation.”
“What Senator Gillibrand either refuses or fails to comprehend is that the middle class will benefit more than any other group as a result of extending the Bush tax cuts. Not only will the cuts keep more money in the pockets of every American who pays taxes, but they will provide the stability within the tax code that business need to invest in new jobs.”
Cox said Gillibrand’s explanation for her “no” vote – that the deal doesn’t provide sufficient relief to the middle class and is fiscally irresponsible – doesn’t ring true based on some of her past votes, including her support of preserving taxpayer funds to thw now-defunct ACORN (Schumer opposed that one).
Dec 17th - 1:56 pm
Sen. Craig Johnson’s list of allies in his quest for a hand recount in the 7th SD just got a little longer.
State Green Party Co-Chair and 2010 gubernatorial candidate Howie Hawkins said he believes it would be “in the public interest” to have at least one election in which ballots were cast on the new electronic voting machines to go to a full recount, noting the accuracy of the machines has not yet been fully tested.
The 7th SD appears to be an “ideal” test case,” Hawkins said, which is why the Greens are joining with Common Cause NY to call on the state Court of Appeals to reject the appellate division decision that sided with Johnson’s GOP opponent, Jack Martins, in denying a recount.
Hawkins said he found it “suspicious” that the NYC Board of Elections recently “found” some 200,000 votes several weeks after the Nov. 2 general election, but his party only only gained 395 votes.
The gain of votes was only 0.2 percent of the 195,055 “found” votes, compared to the percentages reported for the Green Party on election night (Queens: 0.7 percent, Brooklyn: 1.0 percent, Staten Island: 0.6 percent, Manhattan: 1.2 percent, Bronx: 0.5 percent).
The Greens actually “lost” votes in Brooklyn and Bronx.
“We find it strange that while the basis of representative government is accurate counting of votes, NY election officials often try to block full recounts as being too costly or time-consuming,” said Hawkins’ fellow c-o-chair, Peter LaVenia.
“Getting the results right is far more important than speed or cost and crucial to the integrity of any democracy.”
“While American politicians do not hesitate to question the results of an election in another country where the government refuses to count the votes, here it is seen as an inconvenience. It is time to end that hypocrisy and solidify full, transparent vote-counting in all elections.”
The Court of Appeals is scheduled to hear the Johnson v. Martins case Monday.
Dec 17th - 1:38 pm
Assemblyman Sam Hoyt has dispensed with the traditional holiday greeting card and even shunned the less-personal e-card in favor of an all-purpose season’s greetings YouTube video.
The video is part constituent service, including a plea for Buffalonians to “shop local,” part “thank-you” message (Hoyt weathered another tough primary this year, defeating his challenger, Joseph Golombek Jr., by just a few hundred votes), and part look ahead to 2011 (it should be a good year for him, since he’s a veteran supporter of Governor-elect Andrew Cuomo and one of the few elected officials to back Cuomo for governor in 2002).
I’m sure Hoyt’s not the first to go the YouTube route this holiday season, but this is the first video I’ve seen so far this month.
Dec 17th - 12:32 pm
Comptroller Tom DiNapoli has sent out invites for his Inaugural party. It will take place on Sunday, January 9th at Cooper Union in New York City.
The date was reported earlier this week by the Observer. The reason for the later ceremony is to avoid the Jewish Sabbath, which Speaker Sheldon Silver strictly adheres to.
Silver is of course one of DiNapoli’s closest allies. He was integral in the appointment of DiNapoli to the Comptroller’s office in early 2007 in the wake of Hevesi’s resignation.