Silver: Yes, Frustration Is Setting In

The gridlock at the Capitol today probably isn’t getting resolved any time soon.

Yet another three-way leaders meeting convened and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos emerged from Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office to say nothing’s been agreed to.

“Nothing has been resolved in terms of rent, in terms of a property tax cap,” Skelos said.

Silver, asked by a reporter “at what point frustraion sets in” responded, “I’d say it has set in.”

Still left to be resolved is a property tax cap and rent control for New York City, both onerous and tricky issues.
Silver has said the issue of the tax cap, which is obstensibly aimed at helping upstate and suburban homeowners, is now completely linked to the rent control laws for New York City.

The Legislature is expected to approve yet another temporary extender measure for the rent regulations through Tuesday.

All three measures — the tax cap, the rent control bill and the same-sex marriage bill — are considered linked in that a domino effect will be created once one measure passes. It’s also possible both measures may be consolidated into one omnibus bill in order to accomplish both measures at once.

It’s also tough recalling the last time all three leaders spoke to each other at the same time twice on the same day (the budget battle, perhaps?).

If anything, there

Cuomo Sends Up New Rent Extender

It’s extender time once again here in Albany.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo sent up another temporary rent-extender measure, which continues rent control laws and regulations for New York City until Tuesday at midnight.

Rent control is scheduled to expire tonight at midnight, part of a three-day extender that the Legislature approved over the weekend.

The extender bill all but guarantees we’re back here Tuesday, even though the regular legislative session is scheduled to conclude today.

Gpb _19 – Rent Extender – Bill

NYers For Marriage: We’ll Be Here Tuesday

New Yorkers United For Marriage, the coalition of advocacy groups formed to push for same-sex marriage, announced this afternoon they plan on holding a rally at the Capitol.

The rally would come the day after anti-same-sex marriage advocates clogged the hallways at the Capitol singing hymns and chanting against the measure.

The coalition also says what we all know at this point — that the Legislature won’t end its session today as originally planned.

“There are a number of issues still to be resolved in Albany, which means the Legislature will be staying beyond today’s June 20th deadline. We are heartened that there continues to be respectful and productive dialogue on the issue of marriage equality and believe we are getting close to a vote on the Governor’s marriage bill. New Yorkers United for Marriage asks you to join us at a Rally for Love and Marriage tomorrow –Tuesday June 21 — at noon outside the State Capitol in Albany. Together, we will make sure that all New Yorkers will soon be able to marry the person they love.”


Rabbi on rabbi protest – with a little Sen. Ruben Diaz Sr. action thrown in for good measure.

A former intern for Hillary Clinton is now a porn star.

The New Jersey Senate president said his “no” vote on same-sex marriage was entirely politically motivated and the worst mistake of his career.

NYC Public Advocate Bill de Blasio and his wife, Chirlane McCray, recall some of their favorite public school teachers. (This is part of an on-line project to protest teacher layoffs).

A Howard Stern writer was threatened at Anthony Weiner’s resignation press conference.

Weiner’s staffers are still employed, but only for the short term.

Right now, they’re busy cleaning out his office.

A Florida psychologist believes Weiner can save his marriage.

Assemblyman Dov Hikind is interested in Weiner’s seat, but doesn’t think the Democrats will nominate me. (Sources say he’s talking to the GOP).

Assemblyman Danny O’Donnell recorded a YouTube testimonial about his house passing the gay marriage bill for the fourth time. (You can hear the anti-marriage protestors singing hymns in the background).

Ezra Klein is watching Cuomo more closely than before.

Cab drivers rallied against a bill proposed in Albany by the Bloomberg administration that would let some livery drivers pick up passengers in the outer boroughs and north of Central Park.

Huma Abedin, not a victim.

Former Gov. George Pataki defended the Iowa caucuses while visiting Iowa.

Bracewell & Giuliani is running a haiku contest. The prize: “Rudy’s baseball tickets.”

The US Supreme Court sided with Walmart in a class-action sex bias case.

Twitter users are pro-same-sex marriage.

“I thought it was better than sending Weiner-like photos,” Sen. Greg Ball said of his decision to seek advice on his gay-marriage vote on Twitter and Facebook.

Skelos Shuts Down Comment Section Of Facebook Page

You can no longer air your frustrations or praises on Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos’s Facebook page. He has restricted access–denying his followers the ability to freely comment–citing the nasty rhetoric being traded from both sides of the same-sex marriage debate.

“Some thoughtful and heartfelt dialog has taken place here over the past few days in regard to Same-Sex Marriage. Unfortunately, the recent tone of many posts and comments has turned mean spirited and personal,” Skelos posted.

“In light of this, I am disabling comments on the wall of this page. If you would like to express your thoughts on this matter, please send me a message to my profile or e-mail me at”

Of course, it appears the savvy social media gurus quickly found that you can still comment on status updates. So far, commenters on both sides of the issue have managed to be polite.

Skelos: Religious Protections Being Worked On

Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos, R-Nassau County, emerged from a three-way meeting with Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, D-Manhattan, to say that discussions were continuing on working out the religious exemption language in a same-sex marriage bill.

“We have staff people and members discussing with the governor religious protections. We’re still working on them,” Skelos said. “Once they’re prepared we’ll let you know what they are.”

As Skelos notes in the video below, it was the first three-way meeting between Cuomo, himself and Silver in several weeks. No deal has been made on rent control yet, either, however the governor apprarently offered a two-year deal on rent control, but it received a lukewarm reception.

Later, Skelos said he expected to remain in Albany for several more days in order to lockdown the outstanding issues.

ESPA’s Levi: We’ve Got Clergy Here Too

The Empire State Pride Agenda’s Ross Levi, one of the leading gay advocacy organizations, pointed out in an interview this afternoon that there are members of clergy here at the Capitol who support same-sex unions, too.

I think the senators know that people care about this issue and are engaged. It certainly helps for them to see the people who are affected by this, loving couples, parents who want to take care of their kids. It’s very helpful for legislators to see.

As we noted earlier, today is a busy and very noisy day at the Capitol, with hundreds of advocates holding demonstrations for and against same-sex marriage.

The talks remain deadlocked, with Republican lawmakers seeking broader religious exemptions in the measure. Earlier today, Republican Sens. Kemp Hannon, Steve Saland and Andrew Lanza met privately with Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

The threee lawmakers have met with Cuomo to discuss a potential chapter amendment to the measure. Lanza, the only senator to comment after the meeting, said he didn’t expect a vote today on the issue.

Weiner Resigns, Officially

Five days after he announced at a raucous press conference in Brooklyn that he would step down in the wake of an on-line sex scandal, Anthony Weiner has formally submitted his letter of resignation.

The letter was sent to Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who is in charge of deciding when (and whether? I’m still not clear on this one) to call a special election to fill Weiner’s seat in NY-9, and cc’ed to House Speaker John Boehner and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.

His resignation is effective as of midnight Tuesday.


Cuomo: Call Your State Senator On Same-Sex Marriage

Gov. Andrew Cuomo just sent out an appeal – from his government email – enlisting New Yorkers in a last-minute push to lobby members of the Senate on same-sex marriage. Here’s the text:

Our state is closer than ever before to achieving marriage equality for all New Yorkers. Today, you can help make it happen.

Last week, the state Assembly voted to pass marriage equality in New York, affirming their commitment to fairness and equal rights for same-sex couples. Now, it is up to the state Senate to do the same. With Albany’s legislative session coming to a close this week, the time for progress is now.

Contact your state Senator today and urge them to vote yes on marriage equality. With this historic legislation, we can ensure that same-sex couples in New York are finally given the rights and protections they deserve.”

The email includes this live link to the Senate home page where all the lawmakers’ contact information is located.

Cuomo met earlier today with several key GOP senators, including two potential “yes” voters, Sens. Steve Saland and Andrew Lanza, and Sen. Kemp Hannon, who is still a “no”, but has been operating as the chief legal mind for the majority conference on the negotiations over religious exemptions.

Gillibrand Raises On Maragos Challenge Threat

Less than one week after Nassau County Comptroller George Maragos confirmed his intention to seek the GOP and Conservative lines for a 2012 challenge to Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand’s campaign sent a fundraising appeal seeking to capitalize on the fact that she might have an opponent.

Maragos is the first Republican to say definitively that he is indeed interested in running next fall. So far, we’ve heard a lot of keeping-options-open talk from two of her 2010 opponents, former Rep. Joe DioGuardi, who lost to Gillibrand in the general; and David Malpass, who lost to DioGuardi in the GOP primary.

Ross Offinger, Gillibrand’s finance manager, sent out an email this morning with “urgent news” of Maragos’ nascent campaign and his pledge to spent between $4 million and $5 million of his own cash on the race.

“This is exactly what the GOP was hoping for,” Offinger wrote. “Nassau County Comptroller George Maragos is not only willing to spend his own fortune, but he’s sure to stay in lockstep with national Republican ideology. What’s more, the entire Republican Party is eyeing her seat, hoping they’ll be able to add it to their column and use it to take control of the Senate.”

“We need to mobilize right now for Kirsten and make sure she has the resources she needs to fight the attacks to come. Because he’s self-funded, he can start attacking Kirsten immediately. And that’s exactly what he’s going to do…We all know what a terrific campaigner Kirsten is, but that doesn’t mean she won’t need our help. Particularly now. Going head to head with an opponent who can write his own checks is never easy.

“We can’t rest for a minute. The stakes are too high. Please, give today and let’s make sure Kirsten’s ready for whatever comes her way.”

This is the second appeal Gillibrand has sent out in four days. The first raised the possibility that her seat could be standing between the Democrats and loss of their Senate majority.

Maragos was supposed to be at the Capitol today to join fellow GOP elected officials (Monroe County Executive Maggie Brooks, Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb etc.) to call for mandate relief. But he called off his trip upstate due to an unspecified work-related emergency.