Like Father, Unlike Daughter

ICYMI. Here’s the video of Barbara Bush, daughter of former Republican President George W. Bush, announcing her support for legalizing same-sex marriage as part of an effort run by the Human Rights Campaign.

The HRC, which has recorded numerous videos of prominent New Yorkers proclaiming their backing of gay marriage, plans to air the Barbara Bush video at its annual gala Saturday night. A spokesman for the ex-president had no comment.

The video is pretty basic. It features the younger Bush saying:

“I’m Barbara Bush and I’m a New Yorker for marriage equality. New York is about fairness and equality and everyone should have the right to marry the person that they love. Join us.”

The video comes on the heels of two polls showing a majority of New Yorkers support marriage equality. A Siena poll earlier this month found 57 percent of New Yorkers support marriage for same-sex couples. Last week’s Q poll pegged support at 56 percent.

Barbara Bush joins prominent Republicans like her mother, former First Lady Laura Bush, as well as former VP Dick Cheney and Ted Olson (a conservative attorney who represented the ex-president in Bush v. Gore in 2000) as supporters of marriage equality.

““Americans from all walks of life are increasingly supportive of the basic right to equal marriage,” said HRC President Joe Solmonese. “Barbara Bush’s advocacy shows that equality knows no party label.”

Here And Now

SNOWMAGEDDON! (Again. Sigh). It’s good for some people, though.

The day of budget reckoning has arrived.

According to those briefed on Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s plan, it will include cutting 3,000 prison beds, a reduction in scheduled Medicaid increases, and more deep slashing of state operations, which will lead to the loss of thousands of state jobs.

The jobs on the line pay more, on average, than private sector posts.

Insiders predict Medicaid will be reduced (over and above scheduled 13 percent increases) by about $2.9 billion. Ditto for education. About $1.5 billion will come out of state ops. There will be some – but not a lot – of one shots.

The budget is expected to be cut to $132.9 billion, a 2.7 percent reduction, a source told the DN – in part because of a loss in federal stimulus aid.

Cuomo’s plan will include the first year-to-year drop in spending for the overall state budget since the mid-1990s, and almost nothing will be spared.

Cuomo insisted the $10 billion budget deficit would be a lot smaller if not for the “sham” process of built-in annual increases.

Cuomo’s claims, laid out in an OpEd running in newspapers statewide, drew criticism that he doesn’t understand the budget process, but EJ McMahon thinks the governor is “smart to pre-frame the budget package this way.”

The governor also drew praise from The Post and the DN’s Bill Hammond.

Albany’s “budgetary culture” is under attack like never before, writes Bob Ward.

More >

Cuomo: Beware Of Mother Nature!

Gov. Cuomo is covering his bases ahead of the monster snow storm expected to hit the state over the next couple days.

He’s ordered the NYS Office of Emergency Management (OEM) to activate the state’s Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan and to open the State Emergency Operations Center.

“In response to the anticipated storm – including snow, ice and sleet – we have taken the steps necessary to coordinate and mobilize the resources needed to provide a timely response,” Governor Cuomo said in a statement.

“I urge all New Yorkers to take precautions to prepare themselves and their families as this storm approaches.”

The governor has put many of the state’s agencies on high alert ahead of the storm.  DOT is already pre-treating road surfaces and has more than 1,400 snow plows ready to be called into action.

The full list of precautions and safety tips from the governor’s office appears after the jump.

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EXCLUSIVE YNN-Marist Poll: NYers Confident Cuomo Can Manage Crisis

The latest numbers from the exclusive YNN/Marist poll show 58 percent of New Yorkers believe Gov. Andrew Cuomo will be able to solve the state’s fiscal crisis, although they don’t feel similarly confident in the capabilities of the state Legislature.

Sixty-eight percent of voters polled said they don’t think either the Senate and Assembly has what it takes to pull the state from its budget morass, which doesn’t bode well, considering the state’s three-men-to-tango budget process.

Another wrinkle for Cuomo: Sixty-four percent of New Yorkers want the so-called millionaire’s tax to be extended pass its sunset date at the end of the year. That is, of course, something Cuomo has been clear he does not support.

Nearly seven-in-10 say (68 percent) they support Cuomo’s two percent property tax cap, which passed the Senate with bipartisan support earlier today. The top priority for mamy voters statewide, albeit more Republicans than Democrats, is deficit reduction.

EMBARGOED_Complete January 31 2011 NY1_YNN_Marist Poll Release and Tables

Mangano Sues Over NIFA Takeover

As promised, Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano has filed a lawsuit challenging the legality of the NIFA takeover of the county’s finances last week, arguing the state board is mistaken in its assessment that his 2011 budget will incur a deficit of more than 1 percent.

A deficit of that size is one of the so-called “triggers” that would enable the NIFA to impose a control period of the county. Mangano insists the county’s books won’t be reconciled until the end of FY 2011 next December and therefore the board’s move was premature.

Nassau County Verified Petition[1]


ADDED: Deputy Nassau County Executive Pat Foye resigned in protest over his (now former) boss’ lawsuit against the Nassau Interim Finance Authority.

A federal judge in Florida ruled the entire health care law unconstitutional.

Mark Green considers Rudy vs. The Donald in 2012.

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver says he won’t extend 421-A unless it’s tied to strengthening of the rent laws.


Eat less, weigh less.

David Malpass is “staying involved” in politics and is going to be advocating for pension reform.

The Staten Island Zoo will host a live chat with Chuck’s handler tomorrow.

Mitt Romney was in New Hampshire.

Wayne Barrett has a new job.

Jimmy McMillan thinks Romney would make a good running mate. He likes Newt Gingrich, too.

Sen. Chuck Schumer: “Don’t count David Carlucci out.”

LG Bob Duffy says he’ll cast a tie-breaking vote regardless of what the Senate rules are, and face whatever lawsuits result.

An amended schedule of legislative budget hearings has been released. (The Health/Medicaid hearing is now March 3 – three days after the Medicaid Redesign Task Force’s recommendations are due).

Former NYC Mayor Ed Koch wants his reform heroes to live up to their pledges.

Kristin Davis weighs in on the Craigslist killers’ victims.

The DN is expanding local coverage in Harlem, East Harlem, Inwood, Washington Heights and Northern Manhattan.

Sliwa and Borrero are teaming up for a new afternoon drive-time radio show.

Dede Scozzafava is making more in her new job with the Department of State than she did as an assemblywoman.

Reps. Nan Hayworth and Ann Marie Buerkle responded to being targeted by the DCCC.

Here are Buerkle and Hayworth at the CPAC in Colonie last night, calling, respectively, for NPR funding to be slashed and for the repeal of Dodd-Frank.

Cuomo: Senate GOP ‘Incorrect’ On Reading Of LG Law

Gov. Andrew Cuomo was fairly terse in his response just now when asked for a reaction to the Senate GOP’s move to strip LG Bob Duffy of his right to break a tie in the event of a deadlocked leadership vote in the chamber.

“I think they are incorrect in their reading of the law,” Cuomo said. (It was the last question he took at a Red Room press conference where he swore in newly-confirmed State Police Superintendent Joseph D’Amico).

The Senate Democrats have argued the Republicans are not only disenfranchising upstaters with this rules change, noting Duffy is the only statewide leader (aside from Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand) who lives north of Westchester), but also violating the state Constitution.

Apparently, Cuomo agrees with this assessment.

The Democrats are seeking a legal opinion from their former colleague, AG Eric Schneiderman.

Tax Cap Passes Senate, 45-17 (Updated)

As predicted by Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos, Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s property tax cap program bill passed the chamber today with bipartisan support.

The vote was 45-17. All “no” votes were cast by the following Democrats – all downstaters:

Joe Addabbo, Tony Avella, Ruben Diaz Sr., Martin Dilan, Tom Duane, Adriano Espaillat, Ruth Hassell-Thompson, Liz Krueger, Carl Kruger, Velmanette Montgomery, Kevin Parker, Jose Peralta, Bill Perkins, Gustavo Rivera, Jose Serrano, Dan Squadron, Toby Stavisky.

Also as expected, all four IDC members – Sens. Jeff Klein, David Carlucci, Diane Savino and David Valesky – voted with the GOP. But nine others did, too, including Sens. Andrea Stewart-Cousins, Neil Breslin (the deputy minority leader), Minority Leader John Sampson (a bone to Cuomo?) and Suzi Oppenheimer.

The Democrats who voted in opposition argued that this vote was “premature,” as Espaillat put it, and said it would be better to wait until after Cuomo’s budget comes out tomorrow so senators can see the full spectrum of education cuts.

Espaillat predicted the same communities now advocating for property tax relief through a cap will be seeking additional education aid from the Senate once they see how much they’re going to lose in Cuomo’s proposal.

Meanwhile, the Senate Republicans – particularly the Long Islanders like Sen. Carl Marcellino – said the cap is merely a “first step,” noting it doesn’t cut taxes, but merely caps them, with the option of an override for localities.

Also, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver said earlier today that he will be introducing the governor’s cap program bill today.

UPDATE: Here’s the unofficial roll call vote on the tax cap bill:


Senate Dems Seek LG Opinion From Ex-Senate Dem-Turned-AG (Updated)

The Senate Democrats have turned to their former colleague, Eric Schneiderman, for assistance in their rules fight, asking the ex-senator-turned-AG for an opinion on whether the Republicans’ effort to take away LG Bob Duffy’s tie-breaking leadership vote is legal.

At roughly the 10:14-minute mark, Sen. Mike Gianaris takes the podium and accuses the Republicans of “subverting the Constitution” (actually, that’s a matter open to interpretation, as the Rockfeller Institute’s Bob Ward and I discussed on CapTon last week).

The former Queens assemblyman then says the Democrats, at Sen. Adriano Espaillat’s request, have asked Schneiderman for an opinion as to their legal standing if, as is expected this afternoon, the Republicans pass the rules changes they were unable to take up last week due to the absence from the Rules Committee meeting of Sen. Ken LaValle.

The Democrats are still awaiting a reply from Schneiderman, Gianaris said. UPDATE: The letter the minority sent to their old colleague appears after the jump.

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Silver: Cuomo Will Spend More Than Last Year

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver refused to take the bait this afternoon when asked by reporters to comment on Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s allegations about the so-called “sham” budget process, saying:

“Numbers are in the eyes of the one who’s supposed to close it. In the end of the day I assure you we will have a balanced budget.”

“…We’ll look at his budget tomorrow and we’ll see how he translated that into what he presents. I do want to remind you, though, that there are children in our schools, there are new people enrolled in Medicaid in an economic downturn, there is a decision by the Court of Appeals on CFE all of which has driven projections on what spending should be that are real and defined and, you know, not made up.”

Asked what he thought Cuomo’s motivation was for penning the OpEd about the built-in spending increases, Silver said he believes the governor looked at his proposed budget and determined he’s going to “wind up spending more money than was spent last year even though he said there would be a cut.”