Apr 19th - 10:19 am
NYPIRG’s Bill Mahoney provided this spreadsheet of Donald Trump’s campaign contributions to New York committees since 1999, noting the total – $595,636.66 – is close to the amount he has given at the federal level since 1990 ($708,500).
There have been several reports now about The Donald’s habit of doling out dollars to D.C. Democrats – everyone from Sen. Chuck Schumer to Rep. Charlie Rangel has been on the receiving end of his checks.
The list of state-level candidates to whom Trump has handed out include scandal-scarred state Comptroller Alan Hevesi, who was sentenced last week to up to four years behind bars; former Gov. Eliot Spitzer, who resigned his post in the wake of a prostitution scandal and Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
He has given cash to Republicans, too, including former Senate Majority Leader Joe Bruno, who is still fighting his conviction on federal corruption charges.
Mahoney also points out another bit of NYS-related Trump trivia: The $250,000 fine on Trump Hotels & Casino Resorts in 2000 is the second largest civil penalty fine ever imposed by the state lobby commissions. (The largest was $300,000 levied against the Correctional Services Corporation in 2003, as per this PIC report).
Top NYS recipients of Trump’s political money over the past 12 years are as follows:
- State Democratic Party (Housekeeping and Reporting), $116,000.
- SRCC (Housekeeping and Reporting), $83,000.
- Gov. Cuomo, $64,000.
- Hevesi, $45,000.
- Spitzer $41,000.
- DSCC (Housekeeping and Reporting), $35,600.00
- Nassau County DA Kathleen Rice, $32,500.
- Former Westchester County DA/2006 US Senate and then AG candidate, Jeanine Pirro, $20,000.
- AG Eric Schneiderman, $12,500.
- Joseph Bruno, $12,500.
Apr 19th - 10:05 am
Indian Point, the Westchester County-based nuclear plant on the Hudson River, is running a series of 60-second radio spots in the wake of the devastating Japanese earthquake and tsunami that again raised concerns over safety at the aging facility.
Entergy, the plant’s owner, has a history of quickly responding to charges the facility isn’t safe or would endanger the high-density population that lives within meltdown range.
Here’s the script from the radio ad:
My name is Joe Pollock, and I’m in charge of running the Indian Point Energy Center safely.
We understand your need to hear from us about the safety of Indian Point, so here are some facts:
Indian Point has been designed to withstand an earthquake 100 times the magnitude of the strongest earthquake ever recorded in this area.
However, it is important to remember it was the tsunami, not the earthquake, that caused the loss of power to the cooling systems at the Japan plants.
At Indian Point, we’ve added multiple layers of on-site backup power sources that are safe from flooding to assure our cooling systems will work whenever they are needed.
All who work here have complete confidence in the safety of our plants. We continuously upgrade our systems, train constantly, and build redundancies in all our operations to assure safety.
Our families and friends live here too. We would not be here, if we didn’t also believe that Indian Point provides clean, reliable, lower cost power, SAFELY.
Apr 19th - 9:02 am
Yesterday, the Club for Growth called Donald Trump a liberal who supports universal healthcare and tax hikes on the rich.
Today, the millionaire businessman is under attack for using eminent domain to evict an elderly widow in Atlantic City back in 1997 so he could build a parking lot for limousines, Club for Growth claims.
“First we find out Donald Trump is a liberal on taxes, health care, and trade. Now we find out he’s an abuser of eminent domain. Eminent domain abuse is an assault on freedom, pure and simple” said Club for Growth President Chris Chocola.
“No real conservative would ever use eminent domain in order to take the private property of citizens. I’m shocked and appalled by these revelations. Club members and conservatives ought to know where Donald Trump stands on the issues.”
The press release goes on to quote Trump from a 2005 interview with Neil Cavuto on Fox News, where he says he supports the Supreme Court decision Kelo v. New London, where New London, CT transferred land from lower income residents to a private developer who promised thousands of jobs.
Trump said, “I happen to agree with it 100 percent, not that I would want to use it. But the fact is, if you have a person living in an area that’s not even necessarily a good area, and government, whether it’s local or whatever, government wants to build a tremendous economic development, where a lot of people are going to be put to work and make area that’s not good into a good area, and move the person that’s living there into a better place.”
Apr 19th - 7:55 am
The news is re-shaping the political debate over debt on Capitol Hill.
Several top economists debate the significance in dueling NYT op-eds.
Kickball is too dangerous according to the state health department.
Wiffle Ball too.
There’s going to be less pork this year.
Legislators appear to be okay with Governor Cuomo picking the prisons that should be closed.
Jane Corwin and Jack Davis have lent their respective campaigns more than a million dollars.
Corwin also picked up the endorsement of the NRA.
Donald Trump is being attacked from both the left and the right.
Despite being called a liberal, Trump is going to be raising cash for the NYC Republican party.
Trump is still gaining steam in the early presidential primary states.
Gary Busey for Trump.
Apr 18th - 5:57 pm
President Obama’s income took a hit this year.
Donald Trump is making the steps necessary to run for president, despite the fact that very few people are taking him seriously.
AG Schneiderman threatened a lawsuit against the feds for a hydrofracking study.
Meanwhile, Cornell University has their own fracking study, which was rebutted almost immediately.
The University of Buffalo’s soon-to-be new president wants to change the shift the narrative of UB2020 to focus on “academic excellence.”
Still in the state court system’s budget: stipends for judges to buy iPads, GPS units and expensive robes, among other things.
The weather is also a factor in Warren Redlich’s decision to leave NY
Glenn Beck is also leaving the Empire State
The Southern Tier is bracing for a hog invasion.
Senators Schumer and Gillibrand want to know where you get your milk and cheese.
Apr 18th - 5:24 pm
Former New York Stock Exchange Chairman Dick Grasso said a mayoral run by ex-Gov. Eliot Spitzer would only help the Republican candidate in the 2013 race.
Just last week, Grasso, a long-time enemy of the former Governor, said he would consider a run for New York City Mayor if Spitzer dared get into the race, and if police commissioner Ray Kelly didn’t run.
Apparently Grasso has been thinking a lot about this, because he had already done some of the electorate math when he appeared on Fox Business channel today.
“My desire for Eliot to jump into the race is that he would become a great asset for my candidacy. As an independent, and the presumption is that he is not going to seek to be mayor on the Democratic line. He would become a dilutive effect to whomever the Democratic candidate is,” Grasso said.
“If he is there as a 3rd party candidate, and assuming that John Liu doesn’t get the Democratic nomination, but he remains a candidate of the Working Families Party. You get 3 names diluting the traditional Democratic base.”
Here’s the clip. (Fast forward to about 5 minutes)
Apr 18th - 4:59 pm
The Independent Oil and Gas Association knocked Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s ultimatum to the Delaware River Basin Commission, which called upon the body to begin an environmental review of its draft natural gas extraction rules or be sued.
IOGA, the lobby for the industry, supports using the controversial extraction process known as hydraulic fracturing or hydrofracking. The process uses a mixture of chemicals and water to draw natural gas from the ground.
Schneiderman wants the various federal agencies that compromise the commission to begin its study within 30 days, but IOGA said the attorney general is misreading the basic setup of the body.
“There appears to be a fundamental misunderstanding as to the composition of the DRBC and its responsibilities under federal and state law. The Governor of New York is one of five DRBC commissioners, along with the Governors of Delaware, Pennsylvania and New Jersey, and a single officer of the Army Corps of Engineers,” said Executive Director Brad Gill.
Gill added the commission is already safeguarding the four states that compromise the basin against environmentally hazardous drilling.
“It appears to us that the commission is indeed working to do what it always has: to prevent water pollution in the Delaware River Basin. There is no reason to believe that the DRBC might somehow do other than what it always has done – protect water quality and water supply and conserve the resources of the basin for the public’s recreation and enjoyment,” he said. “IOGA of NY believes the DRBC has proven to have an effective process for the four basin states and the federal government to work together to manage water resources in an integrated manner for the benefit of all citizens within the basin.”
Update — The attorney general’s office has returned fire, slapping down the IOGA statement. This comes from Danny Kanner, a Schneiderman spokesman:
“While it’s not surprising that big oil and gas special interests would want to prevent the disclosure of fracking’s potential dangers, Attorney General Schneiderman will use the full force of his office to ensure New Yorkers are fully aware of the potential impacts of this type of drilling on the environment and public health of our communities. The Attorney General’s demand letter is addressed to the federal Army Corps of Engineers’ federal representative on the Commission, not to the Commission itself. The AG has not stated that he intends to sue the DRBC if the federal government refuses to comply with NEPA, which it is required to do, but rather the appropriate involved federal agencies.”
Apr 18th - 3:43 pm
Lt. Gov. Robert Duffy last year made more money in 2010 than his boss, Gov. Andrew Cuomo, thanks in part to his Rochester police pension.
Cuomo and Duffy both made available their tax returns today, something of a change from last year when the then-attorney general filed for an extension on his tax returns.
Cuomo reported an income of $148,609 and is due to receive a return from the feds for $8,050. He owes $3,582 in state taxes.
The governor listed the Westchester County residence of his girlfriend, TV chef Sandra Lee, as his full-time address. But he also paid $6,397 taxes for being a full-time New York City resident “out of an abundance of caution,” spokesman John Milgrim said.
Cuomo donated $10,000 to Help USA, the anti-homelessness organization he founded.
Duffy, who filed jointly with wife Barbara, reported $193,134 in income, with $122,879 from his job as mayor of Rochester and $70,255 from his police pension.
Barbara Duffy worked as a human resources consultant for St. John Fischer and reported a $42,600 in income.
The Duffys owed the federal government an additional $3,323 and are due to receive a $840 refund from the state.
Duffy reported donating $2,825 worth of clothes to Goodwill (quite a bit more than the $150 worth of clothes David Paterson gave) and gave $3,445 in cash donations. Details of the cash donations were not immediately available.
Apr 18th - 1:46 pm
The state ended fiscal year 2010-11 with $926 million less than expected in tax collections, Comptroller Tom DiNapoli’s office said this afternoon.
However, the state’s general fund, which is the main operating fund for the state, ended the fiscal year $19.1 million higher than projected on March 3, DiNapoli’s office said.
DiNapoli also seized on what he said were lower-than-expected revenues from business taxes, a source of income for the state Gov. Andrew Cuomo has pledged to reduce.
“The Enacted Budget took significant steps to address the state’s chronic structural deficit with mostly recurring actions rather than the temporary resources used last year,” DiNapoli said. “However, some risks remain. Revenue lagged projections throughout the year, and there are still significant shortfalls in certain areas, such as business taxes. It is important that the Enacted Budget Financial Plan reflect realistic projections. The state’s persistently slim financial margins necessitate close monitoring and attentive cash management.”
Apr 18th - 12:58 pm
Monday seems to be a day of vitriol aimed at everyone’s favorite TV billionaire-cum-possible presidential contender.
As Donald Trump has a surprising rise in the polls, some conservative pundits and outfits are training their fire on his history of liberal statements and otherwise flamboyant personality.
First it was the conservative Club for Growth, which pointed to Trump’s past support for massive tax hikes. And now former White House aide and Bush advisor Karl Rove is lashing out — again.
As per The HuffPo:
“His full embrace of the birther issue means that he’s off there in the nutty right and is now an inconsequential candidate,” said Rove of Trump’s penchant for raising skepticism over whether President Barack Obama was born in the United States. “I’m shocked, the guy is smarter than this.”
The criticism comes the Monday after a poll released Friday that shows Trump leading the GOP field among primary voters. Trump leads former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee 26 percent to 17 percent, the Public Policy Polling Institute found. Trump appeared at a Tea Party rally on Sunday, where he blasted the Obama administration and played up his business acumen, but stopped short of announcing his candidacy.