Carlucci: Strip Pensions By Taxation

Sen. David Carlucci, D-Clarkstown, would strip public officials convicted of felonies of their pensions by taxing them.

In legislation he’s introducing this week, pensions of felonious ex-officials would be assessed their full value by the state and essentially be returned to the taxpayer.

Breaking the cycle of dysfunction was one of the key reasons I helped form the Independent Democratic Conference.

That is also why I’ve introduced important legislation that would stop disgraced public officials and public employees from collected their taxpayer-backed pensions.

Simply put, if you abuse the public’s trust, you shouldn’t enjoy a public pension.

The legislation comes after former Comptroller Alan Hevesi was sentenced to 1-4 years in state prison for his role in a massive pay-to-play scheme involving the state’s pension fund. The proposal also comes after several lawmakers have been either charged or pleaded guilty to felony corruption charges who still receive their taxpayer-funded pensions.

In proposing tighter rules for lobbying before the pension fund, Gov. Andrew Cuomo also said he wanted to put end to corrupt officials receiving their pensions, but no bill has been produced.

Gibson: U.S. Reaches ‘Important Milestone’

U.S. Rep. Chris Gibson, R-Kinderhook, Columbia County, a retired Army colonel and combat veteran, said the death of Osama bin Laden was an “important milestone” in the war on terrorism.

Gibson, an Iraq veteran, also praised Sunday’s operation that resulted in the death of bin Laden.

Here’s his full statement:

“The successful precision operation in Pakistan that resulted in the death of Osama bin Laden this weekend marks an important milestone in our war against the Al Qaeda terrorist network.

“I appreciate the detailed planning, hard work and discipline that goes in to executing a mission such as this and I commend our service men and women and our counter-terrorist specialists on this monumental achievement.

“All those who are involved with national security recognize this moment, while gratifying and reassuring especially to the families who have lost loved ones in this war, is not the conclusion of operations to protect our way of life from those who are intent on ending it. Still, the success of this operation clearly demonstrates our competence and resolve to see our work through to a successful finish.

“May God Bless our Commander-in-Chief, our service men and women, and their families, and may God Bless America.”

Clinton: Transition Underway In Afghanistan

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, a U.S. senator from New York the day of the Sept. 11 attacks, said in an address this morning that the transition in Afghanistan to a stable democracy is aided by the death of Osama bin Laden.

“You cannot wait us out, you cannot defeat us, but you can make the choice to abandon Al Qaeda” and participate peacefully in the political arena, Clinton said.

But she added the death of the 9/11 mastermind doesn’t put an end to the war on terrorism.

“Let us not forget that the effort to stop Al Qaeda and its syndicate of terror will not end with the death of bin Laden,” she said.

Clinton also praised the military effort to catch bin Laden.

“From our troops and our intelligence experts and our diplomats, this has been a broad, deep, very impressive effort,” she said of the decade-long search to find the elusive terror leader.

The operation that killed bin Laden was aided by ongoing diplomatic efforts between the Department of State and Pakistan. Bin Laden was killed in a compound by U.S. Special Forces in Pakistan.

Clinton touted a close relationship with Pakistan that “helped put unprecedented pressure” on Al Qaeda and its leadership.

“I hope their families can now find some comfort in the fact that justice has been served,” Clinton said.

Siena Poll: NY Consumer Confidence Stalls

Why Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s job remains an uphill challenge: New York State consumer confidence decreased 2.7 points in April, while the nation’s confidenceincreased 2.3 points, according to the latest Siena poll.

“As gas prices rose above $4.00 and grocery bills climbed, consumer confidence dipped among New Yorkersthis month, said Doug Lonnstrom, professor of statistics and finance at Siena College and SRI founding director.

“Concern over prices at the pump rose for the seventh consecutive month and nownearly three out of every four state residents say those prices pose a hardship for their monthly budget.Add in continuing Middle East turmoil, federal budget wrangling as well as the enduring state financialwoes and it’s no wonder consumer confidence took a step backwards.”

CCIReleaseApr11 Final

Davis: A Pox On Both Their Houses

If you live outside the WNY media market, you probably haven’t seen this yet. I believe it’s the first NY-26 campaign ad launched by independent candidate Jack Davis, who has pledged to spend up to $3 million of his own cash on his bid for the seat vacated by ex-Rep. Chris Lee.

In the ad, Davis says the two major parties have sold out to Wall Street. Davis has been a member of both parties at one time or another. Currently, he’s a Republican and has said he would caucus with the Republicans if he wins the May 24 special election.

Davis and his GOP opponent, Assemblywoman Jane Corwin, have both seeded their respective campaigns with $1 million, while the Democratic candidate, Erie County Clerk Kathy Hochul, is not wealthy enough to self-fund.

Hochul’s stronger-than-expected first fundraising report and her closer-than-expected showing in last week’s Siena NY poll have raised the interest of Washington Democrats, but it’s unclear how much – if any – assistance the DCCC will be providing.

To recap: The Siena poll showed Corwin with 36 percent of the vote, Hocul with 31 percent and Davis with 23 percent. Green Party candidate Ian Murphy clocked in at 1 percent and nine percent are still undecided.

Business Council Launches Ad For Prop Tax Cap

The state Business Council is pressuring the Assembly to pass the 2% property tax cap that the Governor proposed, and the state Senate has already passed. Today, they released a radio ad, which will start running in the Albany market at first.

Here is the script:

New York needs jobs. Good, private sector jobs that create opportunity and build communities.
For too long out of control government spending and high taxes have driven jobs out of New York.
But, this year Gov. Cuomo and the legislature started to change that. They adopted an on-time budget with spending cuts and no new taxes — Putting New York back on a path to prosperity.
Still, Albany has more work to do. The highest property taxes in the country continue to kill our jobs. Businesses paid 44 percent of the property tax burden. Money that could have been spent creating jobs and improving our economy.
That is why the Assembly must enact Gov. Cuomo’s two percent property tax cap. The State Senate has passed it. The Assembly must act.
Tell Albany we need good jobs – we need a property tax cap!

Before lawmakers left the capitol in mid April, Speaker Sheldon Silver said he wanted to work with the Governor and Majority Leader Skelos to discuss a cap. But Skelos says he was not interested in negotiating the bill, saying it would weaken it. He called on the Assembly to pass it as is.

Here And Now – ‘Justice Has Been Done’ Edition

President Obama: “The death of Bin Laden marks the most significant achievement to date in our nation’s effort to defeat Al Qaeda. But his death does not mark the end of our effort.”

Google Maps pinpointed the location of bin Laden’s compound, reportedly three blocks away from a police station.

Bin Laden was buried at sea.

It was a rare moment of national unity reminiscent of the days immediately following the 9/11 attacks.

“The son of a bitch is dead. Ding dong.”

Uncanny.

The president gets to claim a major victory – his biggest national security win and the fulfillment of a campaign promise – as he heads into his 2012 re-election bid.

…Of course, this won’t likely have any impact on the economy, which is expected to be the signature issue of 2012.

More details from the raid that killed bin Laden.

NYC went wild, with people gathering in Times Square and at Ground Zero.

Obama received widespread bipartisan praise and congratulations – including from former presidents Bush and Clinton.

House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Peter King: “A magnificent victory for the United States and a devastating defeat for al-Qaida and international terrorism.”

A “thunderous strike for justice” for New Yorkers, says Sen. Chuck Schumer.

A “U-S-A! U-S-A!” chanting crowd gathered outside the White House.

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Bin Laden Death Should Bring Sense Of ‘Justice’ Says Cuomo

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in his statement on the death of Osama bin Laden that the terror mastermind’s death should bring a sense of justice to those who lost loved ones on Sept. 11.

“The death of Osama Bin Laden is a historic moment that represents a major step in our country’s efforts to defeat terrorism around the world and should bring a sense of justice to the victims of 9/11 and his other attacks.

“We will never forget those who were lost, their families and those who risked their lives to save others.

“New Yorkers endured Bin Laden’s most devastating and destructive attack, and his death brings back the horrific images and emotions of that terrible day. However, his death also reminds us of our strength, courage, and unity as a people in our response to his actions.

“The Administration’s vigilance and dedication to hunt down Osama Bin Laden has never wavered and I applaud their commitment to this cause. I also applaud our men and women in uniform who have fought tirelessly against terrorism and to defend freedom.

“The threat to our state and our nation unfortunately does not die with Osama Bin Laden. We must remain vigilant in preventing terror acts and continue to do everything to keep our state and nation safe and secure.”

Obama Called Bush On Bin Laden Death

As alluded to in President Obama’s address, former President George W. Bush said in a statement he was notified earlier today of bin Laden’s death, an action that alluded his administration for eight years. Here’s his full statement:

Earlier this evening, President Obama called to inform me that American forces killed Osama bin Laden, the leader of the al Qaeda network that attacked America on September 11, 2001.  I congratulated him and the men and women of our military and intelligence communities who devoted their lives to this mission.  They have our everlasting gratitude.  This momentous achievement marks a victory for America, for people who seek peace around the world, and for all those who lost loved ones on September 11, 2001.  The fight against terror goes on, but tonight America has sent an unmistakable message:  No matter how long it takes, justice will be done.

President Obama’s Complete Remarks

Good evening. Tonight, I can report to the American people and to the world that the United States has conducted an operation that killed Osama bin Laden, the leader of al Qaeda, and a terrorist who’s responsible for the murder of thousands of innocent men, women, and children.

It was nearly 10 years ago that a bright September day was darkened by the worst attack on the American people in our history. The images of 9/11 are seared into our national memory — hijacked planes cutting through a cloudless September sky; the Twin Towers collapsing to the ground; black smoke billowing up from the Pentagon; the wreckage of Flight 93 in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, where the actions of heroic citizens saved even more heartbreak and destruction.

And yet we know that the worst images are those that were unseen to the world. The empty seat at the dinner table. Children who were forced to grow up without their mother or their father. Parents who would never know the feeling of their child’s embrace. Nearly 3,000 citizens taken from us, leaving a gaping hole in our hearts.


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