May 6th - 7:20 pm
Another sign that Republicans are concerned about the 3-way race in NY’s 26 Congressional District. We just received a press advisory telling us that House Speaker John Boehner will appear with Republican Jane Corwin at a campaign stop in Depew.
According to recent reports, internal polling has this race too close to call. With Corwin, Democrat Kathy Hochul in a statistical deadheat, and 3rd party candidate Jack Davis only a few points behind. The numbers have given Hochul a boost in fundraising.
Last Friday, Siena College released a poll showing Corwin up only 5 points.
May 6th - 5:14 pm
NYC Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott broke up a fight between two reporters (TV and blog) at City Hall this morning.
Eighty-four percent of Americans think it’s likely Pakistan knew where Osama bin Laden was hiding.
Chris Smith tries to explain why Mayor Bloomberg seems to be “playing nice” with the governor.
Cuomo spokesman response to the Bloomberg budget: The governor “looks forward” to working with the mayor to rebuild the NYC economy.
Bloomberg’s budget includes a plan to increase parking meter rates throughout the city – a proposal the NYC Council has already scuttled once.
The NEA became the first labor union to formally endorse President Obama’s re-election bid.
The president met with members of the “full assault force” that killed bin Laden.
The NFIB urged Cuomo not to water down the tax cap.
ESPA released a video of pro-gay marriage faith leaders.
Rudy Giuliani on his relationship with ex-NYC Council Speaker Peter Vallone Sr.: “We could kid each other, we could have drinks together, cigars together. And we still had plenty of battles, but it usually meant that we could figure out a common ground.”
Newt Gingrich hired a campaign manager.
The CUNY Board is holding an emergency meeting Monday to reconsider its decision to block playwright Tony Kushner from getting an honorary degree from John Jay.
Sen. Greg Ball has a new campaign account.
Bieber cuts deal with Nassau County DA Kathleen Rice.
May 6th - 4:42 pm
Carl Paladino’s former campaign manager Michael Caputo, a protege of political trickster Roger Stone, is mailing Tea-Party advocates urging them to support Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s 2 percent cap on local property taxes.
Governor Andrew Cuomo’s budget has come a long way since I first wrote you on January 31st. We won some battles for fiscal sanity and we lost some. But the Governor succeeded in passing an on-time balanced budget without tax hikes – quite an accomplishment in our dysfunctional state capital.
Caputo earlier today distributed a quote from Paladino supportive of the governor’s cap. The measure was approved in the Republican-led Senate, but faces a tougher time passing the Democratic-controlled Assembly.
In his letter, Caputo also touts the efforts to cut into the state’s Medicaid program, one of the costliest programs in the country. Paladino was able to ride a wave of Tea Party support in the Republican primary to surprisingly defeat former Rep. Rick Lazio last September.
Cuomo plans to travel the state in order to fire up voters on the cap, which already enjoys broad supporter, according to polls.
May 6th - 4:06 pm
The labor-backed Working Families Party has seized on a leaked internal poll that shows Democrat Kathy Hochul statistically tied with Republican Jane Corwin as a fundraising tool, sending out an email that urges supporters to contribute to the Erie County clerk’s congressional campaign.
The WFP’s Bill Lipton fired off the missive that appears below after POLITICO reported a Global Strategy Group poll conducted for Hochul’s campaign showed she’s trailing the GOP assemblywoman by just one percentage point, 31-30, while independent Jack Davis netted 26 percent of the vote.
The internal poll was conducted May 2-4, which is about two weeks after Siena was in the field. The Siena poll showed Hochul 5 percentage points behind Corwin, with Davis at 23 percent.
One percent – that’s how far behind Kathy Hochul is right now in her campaign in NY’s 26th Congressional District, according to the latest poll.
We already told you why this race matters: it’s become a referendum on Paul Ryan’s Republican budget proposal to kill Medicare. We knew it would be a close race, but we had no idea how close. That’s why we’re going to do everything we can to put Kathy over the top.
Will you help us? If you already chipped in $15, please give another $10 today. What’s another $10 in the fight to save Medicare? The Working Families Party is going all in and we need you with us.
May 6th - 3:40 pm
Jack Davis is crying foul over phone calls being sent into NY-26 by the NRCC that apparently sound like they’re coming from his campaign.
I haven’t heard the script of the calls (if you’ve got it, or a recording, please send), which were reported yesterday by Roll Call. But Davis’ campaign manager Curtis Ellis sent out the following email to the candidate’s mailing list and also provided a copy to the members of the press:
I’m writing to you because voters in Western New York have been receiving irritating phone calls pretending to be from the Jack Davis campaign. These calls are not from our campaign.
The calls begin by saying that they have information on Jack Davis. If a voter hangs up, the callers call back again.
The calls are being made by the Republican National Committee in Washington DC. While these type of dirty tricks are par for the course for Washington DC insiders, the Jack Davis campaign won’t stoop to this level to win an election. This type of behavior is inappropriate and wrong. Our campaign would never make calls like this and would like to reassure voters about our volunteer callers:
We always begin by explaining we are calling on behalf of Jack Davis.
We never repeat rumor or false statement about another candidate.
We never call after 8:30 p.m. at night.
This is an important election for our future. I hope that you will consider supporting Jack Davis. If you would like to volunteer for our phone bank or canvass operation, please click here.
Campaign Manager, Jack Davis for Congress
May 6th - 2:20 pm
There’s still time to pick up tickets for the 111th Legislative Correspondent Association show. Seats go for $300 for the black-tie Saturday event. Tonight is the dress rehearsal and admission is free, although we ask that folks bring non-perishable food donations for the Food Bank of Northeastern NY.
Interested parties can call Jean Gutbrodt at 518.455.2388.
This year’s event — A Fistful of Cuomos — will be held at the Convention Center of the Egg. The show features journalists singing in goofy costumes and rebuttals from politicos.
And here’s a taste of rebuttals of years past, this one coming from New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg:
May 6th - 2:16 pm
In the wake of Mayor Bloomberg’s bad news budget announcement, the labor-led coalition planning a week of action that culminates with a march on Wall Street on May 12 has released a collection of Web videos featuring march participants explaining why they decided to get involved.
The video that appears below stars Mike Kink, who departed his post with the Senate Democrats not long ago to head up the Strong Economy For All Coalition. Kink and the May 12 Coalition are calling for the city to “make millionaires pay their fair share” – a push that echoes the failed effort to extend the three-year PIT increase scheduled to sunset at the end of the year.
The coalition released a report that it maintains “lays out the corporate welfare giveaways, tax loopholes, mega-contracts, and bad lending practices that each cost the city hundreds of millions of dollars – at the time when the city is debating some of the harshest budget cuts since the fiscal crisis of the 1970s.”
“There’s a real alternative to the Mayor’s all-cuts-all-the-time budget proposal,” Kink said. “Our report shows that the city could get over $1.5 billion in cost savings and fair-share taxes from big banks, millionaires and hedge funds to prevent the worst cuts.”
“Making big banks and millionaires pay their fair share is the right approach in such difficult times – working and poor New Yorkers shouldn’t have to shoulder the entire burden of closing the budget gap.”
There’s also a “virtual rally” against Bloomberg’s budget going on today on the May 12 Coalition’s blog and Twitter.
Bloomberg, who is not only a billionaire, but also the richest man in NYC, has long held that taxing the wealthy is not a good idea. He recently panned President Obama’s call to tax the rich during an interview on Fox News.
May 6th - 2:09 pm
A pro-gay marriage group is circulating a recording of a sermon from the Rev. Jason McGuire, the CEO of New Yorker’s Family Research Foundation, in which he makes an analogy between child abuse and gay marriage legalization.
When a child grows up with an abusive father, it is very difficult for that child to grow up to understand a loving heavenly father. My fear is that what happens culturally with the issue of same-sex marriage is that if that becomes the law of the land a generation from now we look back; it will be that much more difficult for a generation of young people that have grown up to recognize the relationship of the rites of the church.
The talk makes reference to Gov. Andrew Cuomo meeting that same day with same-sex marriage advocates, placing it sometime around March 9.
McGuire, a common presence at the Capitol on session days, announced this week he was starting an RV tour — similar to what his group did last year during the gubernatorial campaign.
Cuomo has said he wants to sign a bill that legalizes gay marriage by the end of the legislative session in June.
May 6th - 12:24 pm
Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Division of Budget released its 2011-12 Financial Plan this afternoon showing a new budget figure for the state’s spending plan: $131.7 billion.
Originally, lawmakers and Cuomo agreed to a budget reported to spend $132.5 billion. Overall, the 2011-12 fiscal year budget, which went into effect April 1, reduces spending by $3.1 billion. It closed a $10 billion gap without increasing borrowing or any broad-based tax increases.
The new budget figure is based on adjusted estimates and tax receipts, said Division of Budget spokesman Morris Peters. The report shows that receipts and fund transfers total $54.4 billion, an increase of $343 million from the last public forecast.
In addition, tax receipts from the personal income tax and sales tax came in at $150 million higher than originally estimated.
May 6th - 12:04 pm
Deputy Comptroller Kenneth Bleiwas told a Senate committee today that the Metropolitan Transportation Authority needs to reform its finances as it faces a $250 million budget gap in 2012.
In testimony before the Senate Investigations and Government Operations Committee, said the ever-increasing fare hikes, including the MTA’s plans to increases fares by 7.5 percent starting in January 2013 won’t cover future deficits.
From his testimony:
These increases are occurring at a time when taxpayers can least afford it. Even if the MTA achieves all of its stated objectives, it still forecasts a budget gap of nearly $500 million in 2014.
Bleiwas also decried the latest round of state budget cuts, and warned the MTA could be in trouble if federal dollars are curtailed. However, he also said Chairman Jay Walder has started the process of streamlining the notoriously onerous MTA bureaucracy.
“Balancing the operating budget will not be easy, but the focus must be on reducing costs by improving efficiencies and eliminating waste,” Bleiwas said.
Meanwhile, Senate Republicans are mulling plans to repeal the much-despised commuter tax imposed on suburban counties that receive commuter rail service from the MTA.
The tax was a hot topic during the 2010 elections. A repeal of the tax, which targets payrolls, could help retain GOP gains in Long Island and Hudson Valley Senate districts.