Here And Now

Dominating the headlines still is snow, snow, snow, snow.

NY Post thinks snow response failures has hurt Bloomberg’s legacy.DN agrees.

While the snow is over, the travel nightmare is not.

Andrew Cuomo will be splitting time between the Executive Mansion and his current home in Westchester.

Auburn Citizen is backing good government groups pushes for reform.

Many Senate staffers will be getting pink slips in the New Year as Republicans take control of the chamber.

The ballot spots are set for the next four years, with the Conservative and Working Families Party moving up.

PEF and CSEA are holding vigils today for state workers who are about to be laid off.

Buffalo News is calling for wine in grocery stores, sure to be another fight at the capitol this budget year.

Times Union thinks the Court of Appeals dropped the ball in the Johnson v. Martins case.

Rochester Mayor Bob Duffy announced a big downtown development deal, probably his last big accomplishment before he leaves for Albany.

Rep. Pete King is planning to go after wikileaks money.
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Extras

NY1 scored an exclusive interview with NYC Sanitation Commissioner John Doherty, who admits the storm “got ahead of us.”

The blizzard horror stories keep coming in.

Rep. Pete King is schooling the newest members of NY’s Congressional delegation on redistricting.

Rep. Charlie Rangel has started a legal defense fund.

Rangel also thinks the President’s successes during the lame duck Congressional session saved him from a 2012 primary challenge.

The comptroller and IG nabbed a Suffolk Co. contractor for overcharging the state to the tune of $272K.

Mayor Bloomberg is asking for patience.

Newark’s mayor is personally responding to residents’ tweets for help.

Meanwhile, NJ Gov. Chris Christie is riding the storm out in Disney.

Hawaii’s governor hopes to dispel conspiracy theories about Pres. Obama’s birthplace by releasing documentation proving he’s a US citizen.

The White House is taking extra precautions to make sure no shirtless pictures of the President are taken during his holiday trip to Hawaii.

Pres. Obama’s support among Democrats is still solid, but Sarah Palin has lost some traction among Republicans.

Palin’s popularity is also slipping among fellow Alaskans.

He’s Back!

Carl Paladino has been heard from, but not seen since his loss to Andrew Cuomo in the race for governor.

He sent a not-so-friendly letter to our very own Liz Benjamin (which he CC’d to the entire Capitol press corps), and just this week, he penned a missive to ESDC Chairman Dennis Mullen.

Today, the Buffalo businessman reemerged in the flesh.  He paid a visit to YNN’s Buffalo newsroom to use the studio for an interview on FOX News.

Afterward, he agreed to chat with YNN reporter/anchor Doug Sampson on the condition that no questions be asked about the election or his feelings about the results.

He had plenty to say, however, about his former rival, Andrew Cuomo, and his handling of several high profile cases.

Paladino is particularly incensed about the handling of the Alan Hevesi plea deal.  At about the three minute mark, he suggests his letter to Liz may be the reason the former NYS Comptroller has not been sentenced yet.

At the end of the interview (10-min. mark), he returns to the subject of the so-called “nasty gram” he sent to Liz.

“I wasn’t only talking to Liz Benjamin.  I was talking to the entire press corps about doing their job, about what journalism is really about. And they didn’t do that,” he said.

“We saw editorializing on the front page solely by the appointment of who they were sending out to go and do things… And it was wrong and shallow and disingenuous.  I watched Liz very shallowly go into topics.  And I was pointing out some of those topics that she could go in greater depth.”

(Well, with all due respect, Mr. Paladino, I have to disagree… but then I’m biased.)

As for his future plans, Paladino hasn’t ruled out another go at politics.

“I’m going to stay active in fighting for New York.  As to politics, I haven’t made any decisions on that.  But I’m, uh, that was Act One, Scene One for me,” Paladino said.

The LCA Honors Jay Gallagher

Friends, family and former colleagues gathered in the LCA office this afternoon to pay tribute to Jay Gallagher who lost his year-long fight to pancreatic cancer last May.

A plaque in his honor now hangs in the office where he spent more than two decades.

It reads, “In loving memory of a dedicated journalist, friend and mentor.”

Here’s just a bit of what Jay’s wife, Emily, and his colleague, Joe Spector, had to say today:

Gianaris Joins Chorus Of Frustrated NYers

Senator-elect Mike Gianaris is jumping on the bandwagon of downstate leaders slamming the city’s slow response to this week’s blizzard.

He also snapped this shot of MTA buses struck on 39th Ave. in his Queens district.
39th avenue

Here is his statement:

“Days after the storm ended our main roads are covered in snow and our side streets are a maze of ice, towering drifts and abandoned cars.

“Queens residents are frustrated and angry that we have been left behind again. While Manhattan’s Broadway may be open, in Astoria our Broadway remains covered in snow and ice.

“More must be done by our government to get us through this. In the meantime, we in western Queens will band together as neighbors to dig ourselves out, as we’ve done before.”

Rockland Co. GOP Chair Charged With Shoplifting

LoHud is reporting that Rockland Co. Republican Party Chairman Vincent Reda was arrested over the weekend for attempting to make off with a $200 coat from Macy’s.

The 76-year-old says the whole thing was a big misunderstanding and that he went to the department store to return a coat and the alarm sounded when he went through the security gates at the front door.

Local authorities say Reda was seen putting the coat in a plastic bag and leaving the store.

He was released without bail and is due in court on Jan. 12.

Quinn Calls For Hearings On City Storm Response

NYC Council Speaker Christine Quinn is promising to hold oversight hearings on Jan. 10 to look into the city’s response to the Blizzard of 2010.

Quinn had some positive things to say about the way New Yorkers banded together during the storm and praised the work of the Sanitation Department, while admitting there were some significant failures in the overall response.

Here’s her statement in full:

“Yesterday, Members of the Council encountered the true spirit of New York in every corner of the five boroughs as neighbors helped one another overcome the difficulties brought on by the elements.

“Council Members also encountered justified anger throughout their districts as New Yorkers were stranded on trains and buses, forced to suffer with a backlog in response to emergencies. New York’s Strongest, the men and women of the Sanitation Department, do an amazing job day in and day out and we are grateful for their service. That said, by all accounts, the collective storm response was not anywhere near up to the standards New Yorkers are accustomed to.

“This is unacceptable.

“New Yorkers have serious questions about the City’s snow emergency policy and response. We in the Council will seek forward looking answers on behalf of our constituents.  Therefore, the Council will convene oversight hearings on January 10th at 1pm to examine questions surrounding the City’s response to yesterday’s blizzard.

“This hearing acknowledges the reality that many New Yorkers are experiencing, that something went wrong. We will conduct a constructive fact finding effort with the goal of preventingit from happening again. As we convene this hearing we must be mindful that the events of the last two days are a stark reminder of the need to protect core public services from potentially life-threatening budget reductions.”‬

Sen. Diaz Reporting From The Bronx

Sen. Ruben Diaz is doing a little freelance work for us.

He’s driving around his Bronx district and sent along these photos of buses stuck in snow banks.

“Someone forgot to tell them to chain the tires before the storm,” Sen. Diaz remarked.

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Here And Now

Reform advocates insist Gov.-elect Andrew Cuomo will have the power to push through parts of his agenda without the approval of the legislature.

Cuomo will split his time between the Executive Mansion and Westchester.

Bill Hammond examines the warts of 2010 and offers some suggestions for New Year’s resolutions to state leaders.

The TU thinks convicted ex-lawmakers should forego their pensions.

The call for independent redistricting reform continues and public forums on the subject are being held in CNY.

Here’s a primer on the subject.

Local governments are not pouncing at the chance to borrow from the pension.

State Dems and the defunct Paterson campaign are behind on their rent.

Carl Paladino strikes again.

Clyde Haberman discusses NYS politics with a psychic.

Outgoing Assemblyman Richard Brodsky has shares his parting thoughts on public authorities reform.

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Extras

The weather outside is frightful! And the NY Times live blogged about it.

Mayor Bloomberg is defending the city’s response to the Blizzard of 2010.

PA Gov. Ed Rendell isn’t happy about the Eagles-Vikings game being postponed due to the storm.

Reform advocates insist Cuomo doesn’t need the legislature to start fixing state government.

Finger pointing has begun in states poised to lose clout due to census results, including here in NYS.

Outgoing Assemblyman Richard Brodsky had some parting thoughts on his pet project: public authorities reform.

RNC Chairman Michael Steele lost the support of another former ally in his bid for a second term.

Republican presidential hopefuls face a tough road ahead.

Politico compiled a list of the best quotes of 2010 and Jimmy McMillan makes the cut.

They also have a rather amusing piece on the best and worst political clips on YouTube.

Americans admire President Obama and Sec. of State Hillary Clinton most of all.

First The Hill named her the third most beautiful person in Washington (and Harry Reid called her the Senate’s hottest member), now Sen. Gillibrand is on the Moms on the Hill list.

NJ Gov. Chris Christie is being tight-lipped on his New Year’s resolutions.

Sarah Palin is now embracing the word she coined.