Extras

The IDC will rebut at the LCA show, as will Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos. Will the governor attend? No word yet.

President Obama will raise campaign cash at the Waldorf on April 27.

Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries wants to establish rules for neighborhood branding. “It’s the Wild West in New York City right now,” he says.

Kathy Hochul has outraised her NY-26 opponents, but they’re outspending her by far.

Former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and Mayor Michael Bloomberg talked immigration reform at the White House with the president.

It’s an “immigration offensive”, says Ben Smith.

Former Gov. Eliot Spitzer wants to see proof of Donald Trump’s net worth.

Former Gov. David Paterson will deliver the commencement address at Paul Smith’s.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is staffing up.

AG Eric Schneiderman invested in a musical version of the 1952 Joan Crawford western.

Before there was a Tea Party, there was GOP Yonkers mayoral candidate John Murtagh. (Or so says his first mailer).

Will NYC Council meetings and hearings soon be webcast by enterprising members of the public?

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s SAGE commission include some of his big donors.

Purdue University will pitch the Bloomberg administration tomorrow.

Sen. Mike Gianaris will explain the “deal” on redistricting to DL21C members on April 30 20 – that’s tomorrow, thanks for the correction!

Not good. More here.

Sen. Patricia Ritchie is happy with the state Health Department.

More trouble for the WFP’s Data & Field Services.

Guy Noir, private eye, to Bloomberg’s rescue.

Even Robin Williams can’t catch a break from the NYPD for biking on the sidewalk.

ProPublica won a Pulitzer – a first for an on-line only publication.

Trump’s Monetary Ties To Disgraced Former Pols A Non-Issue In NY

Donald Trump has been getting a lot of heat from the right lately for some past liberal views as well as giving thousands of dollars to Democratic candidates in New York. Moreover, several of those pols (from both parties) who received funds from the real estate mogul are either in jail, facing charges, or forced out politics because of a scandal.

However, that’s one part of The Donald’s past that will likely be easily forgivable because as Bill Mahoney from the New York Pubic Interest Research Group put it, “this is New York State.”

“[Trump] has written checks to dozens of candidates,” said Mahoney.

“If you’re going to write 90 checks like he did, then the odds that at least one of those New York State elected officials hasn’t been convicted of a crime over the past decade are about as good the odds you pick a NCAA tournament bracket perfectly.”

NYPIRG has been lobbying lawmakers in Albany for several years to pass comprehensive ethics reform.

New Hevesi Mug Released

The state Department of Correctional Services this afternoon released a compelling and somewhat haunting mugshot of inmate 11-R-1334, also known as disgraced former comptroller Alan Hevesi.

hevesi, alan 11-R-1334-1

He is currently serving 1-4 years in Ulster Correctional Facility in Napanoch. He was sentenced Friday in the massive pay-to-play pension fund scheme that also toppled his political advisor Hank Morris.

The sentencing of the 71-year-old Hevesi was delayed last month after the Democrat had reportedly taken ill and was sent to the hospital. Hevesi resigned in 2006 in the wake of allegations that he used a state employee to act as chauffeur for his wife.

Health Department Yanks Camp Regulations

Following criticism from lawmakers that the new regulations for summer camps that govern games like tag, kick ball and wiffle ball as a nanny state run amok, the state Department of Health has decided to pull the regulations.

“The guidance that we had provided has been eliminated,” said DOH spokeswoman Claudia Hutton. “It (the rules) had been prepared under the previous administration and we felt that withdrawing it was the appropriate thing to do.”

The rules were pulled following lawmakers and media reports critical of the proposal, which would have listed games like Red Rover, tag and other summertime staples as dangerous.

The rules were meant to close a loophole for summer and day camps operating in doors that did not have the same oversight for outdoor camps.

The public comment period on the regulations runs through May 16 and the Health Department will issue new guidelines after that date, Hutton said.

Extra! Extra! Sweet Corn Defeats Onion

The results are in on the state Farm Bureau’s somewhat unscientific poll on which vegetable should be given the honor being designated the official state vegetable of New York. The winner: sweet corn in a landslide.

“The results are a-maize-ing,” said Julie Suarez, New York Farm Bureau Director of Public Policy (Yes, I did laugh at that. What of it?).

The Farm Bureau, the state’s largest agriculture lobbying organization, began its informal Facebook poll after Sen. David Carlucci, D-Clarkstown, introduced a proposal to make the onion the official state vegetable. Sen. Michael Nozzolio, R-Fayette, Seneca County, has a competing measure that would give sweet corn the designation.

In the Farm Bureau’s survey, sweet corn received 725 votes compared to onions with 311 votes. Other vegetables like cabbage, potatoes and pumpkins received 240 votes.

The real winners, say the earnest folks at the Farm Bureau, is the awareness that’s been raised for agriculture.

“Certainly there are bigger pressing issues in Albany, but at the same time naming an Official State Vegetable recognizes the importance of the vegetable industry to the economy of Upstate New York and the farm towns of Long Island,” Suarez said. “We appreciate the efforts of Senators Nozzolio and Carlucci to highlight the importance of our state’s vegetable farms to our New York consumers.”

Chocola On Trump: We’ve Seen This Show Before

As Liz noted earlier, the conservative Club Growth — which has ties to both possible GOP presidential hopefuls Tim Pawlenty and Mitt Romney — has come out swinging against reality-show host and businessman Donald Trump.

Club For Growth President Chris Chocola appeared last night on MSNBC’s The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell to again bring up Trump’s previous positions for things like a single-payer health care system.

“He’s been on a lot of teams over the years, when he ran in 2000, we’ve seen this show before,” Chocola said.

In addition to the Club for Growth, Karl Rove attacked Trump for his past positions.

Though some have said Trump’s candidacy is a publicity stunt, it seems that more in the establishment are taking him seriously.

“There’s an infatuation in the media with him and I’m increasingly convinced he’s going to run,” Chocola said.

He added: “Donald Trump has embraced a lot of bad ideas in the past. We think if he’s going to be a serious presidential candidate, it’s time to pull back the curtain, get beyond the showmanship and look at the serious analysis of his policy positions.”

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Record Number Of Judicial Complaints For 2010

The state Commission on Judicial Conduct fielded a record number of complaints filed against judges in 2010, the commission said today.

A total of 2,025 complaints were made in 2010, which resulted in the removal of a judge, seven public censures and 5 public admonitions. In addition, two stipulations were made in which judges agreed to leave and never again hold judicial office and 14 judges resigned during commission proceedings

The previous high was in 2008, when 1,923 complaints were filed against the judiciary.

“While no single-year statistics tell the whole story, the numbers for 2010 are about average for the last
five years,” said Commission Administrator Robert H. Tembeckjian.

2011 Annual Report Press Release.2011.04.19

Cuomo Makes SAGE Appointments

Gov. Andrew Cuomo today named nearly two dozen people to his committee tasked with modernizing and rethinking the organizational scope of state government.

“For decades, our state government has ballooned, evolving into the sprawling and inefficient bureaucracy we have today,” Cuomo said in a statement. “It is time to consolidate the web of state agencies, authorities, and commissions that have overlapping functions and missions and to make the remaining ones perform better and more efficiently. Antonio’s business acumen and experience with best practices in the private sector will help us create a leaner state government that performs better for the people of New York.”

The Spending and Government Efficiency Commission is inspired by Gov. Al Smith’s government reforms of the 1920s. Smith’s portrait hangs in the governor’s ceremonial office known as the Red Room.

Already in line for consolidation at the state level is the Correctional Services and Parole to create the new Department of Corrections and Community Supervision and merging Banking and Insurance Departments to create the new Department of Financial Regulation.

The committee members include members of the state’s business community and former politicians like Sen. Mike Balboni, a Long Island Republican and former Westchester County Executive Andy Spano, a Democrat.

Antonio M. Perez, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Eastman Kodak Company, will serve as Co-chairman of the commission with Paul Francis, the Director of Agency Redesign and Efficiency.

In his statement, Perez said, “Improving the performance of state government has been one of Governor Cuomo’s highest priorities, and I am honored to be part of the team that will make it a reality. Kodak began in New York, and continues to be headquartered in Rochester. We are transforming our company as we adapt to a new digital world. New York State government must also adapt to reflect current fiscal realities and take advantage of new technologies and ways of operating so that it can efficiently and effectively provide critical government services.”

The legislative members of the commission, who have already been named, include Sens. Greg Ball and Liz Krueger, and Assemblywoman Jane Corwin (who is currently the GOP candidate in the 26th congressional district).

A full list of the commission members is after the jump: More >

Ritchie: Camp Law Will Cost Local Governments

Sen. Patty Ritchie appeared in a telephone interview on Fox News this morning to knock the new state law that requires great oversight of summer camp games like kickball and wiffle ball, saying the regulations present an undue burden on local governments.

“I think everyone in small town America is familiar with these summer recreation programs and especially in northern New York where I’m from, we have to rely on municipalities to run the program,” said Ritchie, a North Country Republican.

She said that under the law, local governments that run day camps would have to pay a registration fee.

“It’s something that’s putting an undue hardship and putting the localities at risk,” she said. “I think the legislators who wrote this law had good intentions, but these guidelines show what happens when you leave it to a faceless bureaucracy to interpret the law.”

But Adam Langbart, the president of the New York State Camp Directors Association, said Ritchie’s interpretation of the law is incorrect.

“The new law is not looking to regulate certain activities it’s looking to include camps that operate indoors,” he said in an interview with Fox.  “If you’re operating indoors as well as outdoors, you’re operating as a camp.”

DiNapoli Proposes Budget Reforms

Comptroller Tom DiNapoli today unveiled a host of budget reforms that, if adopted, would be a major departure from how Albany develops its spending plans. DiNapoli did introduce the measures last year to no avail.

In fact, the plan is very much in line with Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s lament earlier this year that the state’s budget process uses a series of gimmicks to balance spending each year — a tradition that the governor has vowed to change. DiNapoli apparently agrees.

“The enacted budget avoided much of the fiscal gimmickry of the past to attain budget balance, and it starts to address the long-term implications of the structural imbalance in the state’s finances,” DiNapoli said. “Now we need to set these important changes in stone. We need long-term solutions that take away the temptation to use short-term fiscal gimmicks that continually push the state’s budget woes to future years.”

Among DiNapoli’s proposals:
-Require the governor to have a gap-closing plan for out-year deficits;
-Impose a binding revenue forecast;
-Increase reserve funds;
-Require open budget negotiations;

It’s unclear how open negotiations would work. This year’s budget process did not included public leaders meetings, but Cuomo and legislative leaders did hold news conferences after huddling on the second floor of the Capitol

DiNapoli also wants to restricts the use of one-shot budgeting. The state Legislature was heavily criticized for the use of so-called one-shot tax plans last year in order to close a budget deficit, including an increase in the cigarette tax.