Dec 14th - 10:17 am
Governor Paterson has once again issued an executive order in conjunction with vetoing a similar bill. The first one was the controversial decision about hydrofracking. This time, it has to do with archiving state records.
The main purpose of the bill was to declare all documents created by the Executive Chamber as property of the state, and subsequently allow the NYS Archives to collect the documents when one administration left office. Currently, the documents are property of the Governor. Archivist Christine Ward explained the bill to Capital Tonight back in May.
In his veto, Paterson said the bill “did not provide adequate protection for valued, centuries old governmental privileges that are indispensible to ensure unfettered, candid advice.” Which I take to mean he was concerned that some of the private conversations among staff members or through email might be damaging or embarrassing to staff members.
In a press release, Paterson laid out his reasoning for signing an executive order instead.
“Today’s Executive Order will develop a protocol and policies for the preservation of documents and electronic records from the Executive Chamber,” Governor Paterson said. “We must continue with our efforts to increase transparency and accountability to provide all New Yorkers with information about actions taken by their elected officials.”
He goes on to say that “all records of historic and governmental significance will be preserved, published and made publicly accessible.” But, because it is an executive order, Paterson’s successors in the Executive Chamber could rescind the order if they don’t want to release their documents to the archives.
The full release is after the jump.
Dec 14th - 8:24 am
Former Gov. Eliot Spitzer has a lot of detractors, but his successor isn’t one of them.
Gov. David Paterson told Don Imus this morning that he thinks the disgraced former governor is “remarkably talented” and it was “unique” that New York “had the chance to have a person who had such a rare combination of skills” serve as its chief executive – if only for a short while.
“He was not afraid of anyone. He was not afraid to mix it up with anyone, and he was brilliantly talented,” Paterson gushed.
There was an awkward moment when Imus asked Paterson how well he had known Spitzer, joking about whether the two had been “double dating,” and then seeming to realize all that comment implied. Paterson flatly replied: “No, actually…and we didn’t date each other, either.”
The governor said he knew Spitzer “pretty well” before the two became running mates, recalling that they had met in 1995 during a radio debate over whether the NYPD should be allowed to keep yearbooks on site to help them identify potential criminals.
Dec 14th - 8:04 am
After narrowly winning the Nov. 2 general election, state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli is shaking up his staff, and has asked for resignation letters from 15 senior aides.
The legal wrangling over the health care reform law could last for years.
Mayor Bloomberg isn’t just post-partisan, but post-party, which could be exactly what Americans are looking for.
The “No Labels” logo appears to be not very new at all.
NY political party leaders pushed back against the “No Labels” concept.
No Labels founding member (and former Rudy Giuliani speechwriter) John Avlon: “There’s this idea that somehow walking in lock step with a party is courageous. I think it’s conformity…That’s the opposite of courageous. It’s cowardly.”
The tax cut deal has some significant sweeteners in it.
Sens. Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand were at odds on the tax cut cloture vote.
“I disagree that we didn’t get anything. We got screwed,” Rep. Gary Ackerman said of the tax cut agreement.
Gov. David Paterson questioned whether Albany is “even governable.”
First Lady Michelle Paige Paterson said she can’t wait for her husband to leave office so she can get her “privacy” back.
Dec 13th - 5:44 pm
Outgoing LG Richard Ravitch was a surprise guest at the No Labels event and said he thinks Cuomo will be a test case for the post-partisan effort.
No Labels is inclusive right down to its logo.
Chris Cillizza explains why it’s “virtually impossible” to imagine Bloomberg winning a presidential race.
Jonathan Capeheart (a former Bloomberg aide): “Here’s really why Bloomberg can’t win: he has no one to vote for him.”
Bloomberg is worried about disenfranchised voters in the race to replace him.
Mario Cuomo is buying his way into the banking industry, for which Cuomo made life difficult in AG.
Former Assemblyman/DEC Commissioner Pete Grannis has a new job.
School districts are warning about the dangers of a property tax cap.
Steve Kornacki on what Rep. Anthony Weiner did and didn’t learn from his mentor, Sen. Chuck Schumer.
Eliot Spitzer refuses to pass judgment (publicly, at least) on Gov. David Paterson.
Paterson signed the Wage Theft Protect Act into law.
Dec 13th - 4:39 pm
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand voted “no” today on the cloture vote to end debate on the tax cut deal President Obama cut with the Republicans that has caused a civil war among his fellow Democrats.
Sixty votes were required to pass. The vote is still open to give senators time in inclement weather to return to the chamber. So far, the vote is 69-10, with nine Democrats and one Republican (Sen. John Ensign) voting “no.”
“I’m opposing this deal in its current form because right now we need to focus on the middle class, who are always left behind, not the people at the very top, who are doing just fine in this economy,” Gillibrand said.
“Although this deal includes important measures I have fiercely advocated for, extending Bush tax cuts for the very wealthy will saddle our children with billions of dollars of debt.”
“With unemployment near 10 percent and a growing budget deficit, every dollar in this deal should be spent in a way that creates jobs and gets our economy growing, and tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires do not create jobs and will not help our economy grow.”
“This kind of fiscal recklessness is bad for our economy and bad for future generations.”
UPDATE: Sen. Chuck Schumer, who had a falling out with the president over tax cuts and how hard to fight the Republicans, voted “yes” on cloture.
UPDATE2: Schumer’s statement appears in full after the jump.
Dec 13th - 4:33 pm
Governor-elect Andrew Cuomo is putting a particular emphasis on luring Republicans into state government, sources familiar with the transition effort confirm.
“People on the transition team have been told (Cuomo) wants to build a bipartisan administration and to get resumes of Republicans willing to serve,” the source said.
This isn’t particularly surprising, since Cuomo made a particular point throughout the campaign of highlighing his Republican support.
His GOPers for Cuomo effort was led by former Pataki spokesman Mike McKeon (a move that the ex-governor was none too pleased with, initially), former Sen. Mike Balboni and former state GOP Chairman Pat Barrett.
The pro-Republican effort will no doubt be appreciated in certain GOP circles, as long as Cuomo, unlike Eliot Spitzer, doesn’t reach into the Senate majority conference to create a vacancy in hopes of tipping the balance of power back in Democratic hands.
Some Democrats might be put out, since the governor’s office controls a lot of patronage jobs, but Cuomo has repeatedly insisted he plans not to hew to the politics-as-usual approach. So, you can’t say he didn’t give everyone ample warning.
If I remember correctly, Spitzer made a particular point of insisting his administration would be blind to political affiliation when hiring, and his appointments office came under fire for not moving quickly enough to suit rank-and-file Democrats in cleaning house of Pataki-era appointees.
Dec 13th - 3:23 pm
Sen. Liz Krueger was joined by fellow anti-hydrofracking advocates – including actor Mark Ruffalo – at a protest earlier today outside Gov. David Paterson’s Manhattan office at which they lamented his veto/executive order combo, saying it “creates an easily exploitable loophole.”
Krueger, an Upper East Side Democrat, said the moratorium bill that Paterson rejected was actually purposefully drafted in a broad manner to temporarily ban all fracking – even the kind that has been taking place since the 1970s and has generated no current complains (at least none that I know of).
“The fact is that this legislation was drafted in a very specific manner to ensure that we put a temporary hold on all drilling that could do irreparable harm to areas of the State of New York,” Krueger said.
“The Executive Order the Governor signed gives us some delay on some types of drilling, but it still leaves the State of New York vulnerable to overzealous gas companies who wish to make up for the ban on horizontal drilling by increasing the number of vertical drills.”
“It will now be up to incoming Governor Andrew Cuomo to see through the promises made in his ‘Cleaner, Greener NY’ environmental paper and keep New York’s drinking water and environment safe.”
Dec 13th - 2:52 pm
Former Gov. George Pataki issued a victory statement in response to a Virginia federal judge’s decision earlier today that the Obama administration’s health care law is unconstitutional – a move that brings this dispute one step closer to being settled by the US Supreme Court.
Pataki noted that his national PAC, Revere America, spent well over six figures targeting Democrats who had voted “yes” on health care reform, including outgoing Rep. John Hall, who lost to Republican Congresswoman-elect Nan Hayworth.
Pataki’s spending put him at odds with NYC Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, who has been decrying the skyrocketing of undisclosed contributions to independent expenditures thanks to the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision.
The former governor has acknowledged he hasn’t ruled out another potential White House run in 2012, but while he’s moving around the country a good deal, higher profile Republicans like Sarah Palin, Mitt Romney, and Mike Huckabee (to name a few) are getting the lion’s share of attention.
Here’s Pataki’s statement in full:
“Today’s ruling by the U.S. District F Court that ObamaCare exceeds the regulatory authority granted to Congress under the Commerce Clause of the Constitution is a victory for better healthcare outcomes, a stronger economy and a reaffirmation of Constitutionalism,” Pataki said.
“While this ruling sends an important message, the most immediate means to repeal and replace ObamaCare is through congressional Action. Revere America looks forward to the seating of the 112th Congress and calls on its members to take swift action to immediately undo the most pernicious impacts of this law.”
“This ruling confirms what I have been saying all along, ObamaCare is both bad policy and unconstitutional.”
Dec 13th - 2:23 pm
Gov. David Paterson has fired his body man, David Johnson, almost nine months after suspending him without pay in the wake of a domestic violence scandal that helped end the governor’s career in public office.
Nick Confessore reported on City Room that Johnson was formally removed from the state payroll on Nov. 19 – news that was subsequently confirmed by a Paterson administration spokeswoman. Johnson has been suspended since Feb. 25.
Mr. Johnson’s lawyer, Oscar Michelen, said there was no particular significance to the date of Mr. Johnson’s termination and described it as a housekeeping matter that accompanied the winding down of Mr. Paterson’s term and the conclusion of two formal inquiries into the administration’s handling of Mr. Johnson’s domestic violence case.
Mr. Johnson asserted his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination in both investigations and refused to provide testimony.
Mr. Johnson still faces criminal prosecution in the Bronx on misdemeanor assault and other charges. No trial date has yet been set in that case.
“He’s not employed,” Mr. Michelen said. “I can say he has not started a new position anywhere.”
Dec 13th - 2:03 pm
A reader sent over the lyrics to AKON’s “No Labels Anthem,” unveiled earlier today at the kick-off event for the grassroots centrist committee that bears the same name.
Sounds like it might make a good campaign theme song, no? (Interesting that he brings up the whole “tie” thing…Adam Lisberg was just musing on the fact that Mayor Bloomberg seems to have a newfound penchant for purple cravats).
UPDATE: Apparently, there was a sing-a-long.
UPDATE2: You can listen to the song here…And I’m told AKON himself didn’t show up.