May 28th - 11:57 am
The 30-member Senate Republican conference is poised to vote en masse against the bill that would keep state parks open and also has issues with a measure that would boost the charter cap from 200 to 460, GOP sources confirm.
The Republicans are still discussing their strategy behind closed doors, but one legislative source said he “wouldn’t be surprised” if they all emerge to vote “no” on the parks bill – at the very least – due to concerns about increased taxes and fees.
This could be a major problem for the Senate Democrats, as all 32 members of their conference are not currently at the Capitol and – assuming they make it at all – will only be in house for a very short time today.
May 28th - 11:13 am
US District Court Judge Lawrence Kahn has reportedly come down on the side of the public employee unions in the furlough lawsuit, ruling that Gov. David Paterson cannot insert his day-without-pay language into budget extender bills.
Kahn also rejected the Paterson administration’s argument that there would be no long-lasting harm to state workers’ 4 percent raises now because they would eventually get the money back, saying to do so would “constitute substantial contractual impairments.”
In addition, the judge cited the Senate resolution that deemed the furloughs unconstitutional even as they were passed, writing:
“In the absence of any showing of legislative consideration or tailoring, it is unreasonable to impose such an impairment through emergency appropriation bills, particularly when there is a unified legislative voice denying the very reasonableness and necessity of the enactment.”
“…ORDERED, that each and every Defendant, pursuant to Federal Rule of Procedure 65, is enjoined from submitting, enacting, or implementing emergency appropriations bills containing the furlough and wage provisions challenged in these actions.”
Here’s the decision:
May 28th - 10:53 am
Nassau County Comptroller George Maragos, who just yesterday announced a challenge to Sen. Chuck Schumer, today revealed he has landed his first endorsement from a GOP county chair: Orange County’s Bill DeProspo.
“Mr. Maragos’ 35 years of private business experience and accomplishments as well as his educational credentials and electoral success as Nassau County Comptroller makes him the best qualified candidate to represent New York in the U.S. Senate,” said Bill DeProspo.
“George is committed to bringing good paying jobs to upstate New York, lowering taxes, and advancing fiscally responsible policies.”
UPDATE: The Watertown Times’ Jude Seymour informs me the Clinton County GOP endorsed Maragos last night.
Maragos is a late add to the race, which at one point was shaping up to be GOP challenger-less for Schumer.
May 28th - 10:32 am
The Working Families Party is still scrambling to find a placeholder candidate for governor in advance of its June 5 convention, and is looking for someone who will not only attract 50,000 votes but also might exploit the fact that the statewide Democratic ticket lacks diversity, a source with knowledge of party leaders’ thinking said.
“They’re looking for someone of color,” a source confirmed. “The idea is to make the most of (AG Andrew Cuomo’s) perceived vulnerability if he doesn’t take the line.”
Although Cuomo has signaled he might be willing to accept the WFP line at a later date, the likelihood at this point is he will not be signing on with the labor-backed party when its members gather in Buffalo due to a concern about the ongoing US attorney’s investigation.
WFP leaders feel there’s hypocrisy in Cuomo’s willingness to accept the state Independence Party line despite an investigation by Manhattan DA Cy Vance Jr.
May 28th - 8:48 am
Gov. David Paterson today gave a big thumbs-up to AG Andrew Cuomo’s efforts to re-brand the Democratic Party and reform Albany, saying he’s “absolutely right” to embrace the fiscally conservative proposals he hasn’t had the juice to push through the Legislature himself.
“I think to some degree what he’s trying to say – and I think he’s absolutely right – is that we want a party that responds to the times,” Paterson said on 810 WGY.
“There are too many people walking around, they don’t like the tough decisions so they pretend we don’t have a crisis.”
Paterson applauded Cuomo’s call in his nomination acceptance speech (which the governor was not on hand to hear) to equalize education spending among low-income and wealthy districts and dedication to issues that have long been Democratic touchstones.
But the governor said Cuomo also understands the state can’t continue to spend money it doesn’t have.
May 28th - 8:09 am
The Assembly Democrats’ press release about the passage of a plan to keep state parks open arrived in my in-box at 3:17 a.m. The bill was approved, 86-47. The Senate is expected to pass the bill today and is scheduled to start its session at 9 a.m.
Parks staffers are now scrambling to get ready to open in time for the Memorial Day weekend.
The Assembly and Senate are expected to pass this bill to raise the charter school cap from 200 to 460 today.
The charter school agreement was reached just days before the June 1 Round II deadline for federal “Race to the Top” funding.
A deal on the budget remained elusive.
A judge is expected to rule on Gov. David Paterson’s controversial furlough plan today.
There’s a “lingering sense of unease” about AG Andrew Cuomo’s gubernatorial candidacy that is “partly of his own design,” write Danny Hakim and Nick Confessore.
PEF President Ken Brynien offered conditional support for Cuomo’s proposed wage freeze for public employees.
Cuomo said he will “restore the public trust in government.”
Just because they cheered Cuomo’s reform platform at the convention doesn’t necessarily mean Democrats are ready to whole-heartedly endorse it.
May 27th - 8:36 pm
NY1′s Shushannah Walshe reports members of the party’s executive committee met this evening and tapped Allegretti ahead of the full nominating convention, which is about to get underway.
It’s pretty much a foregone conclusion that Allegretti will get the nod of the full committee over his GOP primary opponent, Michael Grimm, who released a letter earlier today saying he wouldn’t be taking part in tonight’s convention.
(The DN’s Celeste Katz interpreted this as a “pre-emptive strike” that all-but signaled Grimm wouldn’t be getting the nod even if he sought it, and I concur with that assessment).
Grimm has the support of the Kings County Conservative Party, and is also supported by state Conservative Party Chairman Mike Long.
The SI GOP executive committee raised eyebrows when it endorsed Fossella earlier this month.
The former congressman, who decided not to seek re-election in 2008 following a drunk-driving/out-of-wedlock child scandal, had reportedly been mulling a comeback bid for some time, but ultimately decided against it.
Fossella said he took a pass on the race because he’s in a “good place” in his life, with a lucrative private sector job and some on-air commentary gigs from time to time.
May 27th - 7:31 pm
Mario and Andrew Cuomo shared a moment on the convention stage today.
Mario Cuomo could be seen “playfully poking his son to make a point after the speech,” the Times scribes report.
The newly-minted gubernatorial nominee held an impromptu post-convention press gaggle.
…So did his LG pick, Rochester Mayor Bob Duffy, which didn’t sit so well with some Cuomo aides.
The state GOP’s rapid response operation at the Democratic convention was a decidedly low budget affair.
Ex-NYC Council President Andrew Stein was indicted on tax charges.
Former NYC Comptroller Bill Thompson will endorse his ’09 mayoral primary opponent, ex-NYC Councilman Tony Avella, for state Senate.
The Concerned Women Political Action Committee endorsed Doug Hoffman in NY-23.
Congressional hopeful Michael Grimm says he doesn’t want the Staten Island GOP’s nod after it tried to draft former Rep. Vito Fossella into the race.
Gov. David Paterson called on Congress to increase New York’s unemployment funding.
The New York Building Congress is urging members to withhold all legislative political contributions until the budget is enacted.
Mayor Bloomberg wants city agencies to adopt his bullpen-style City Hall office.
Ed Rendell suggests President Clinton would have handled the oil spill differently than President Obama.
Ontario County Republican Chairman Jay Dutcher and his state committee members endorsed David Malpass for the US Senate. (Against Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand). (No link).
The Dutchess GOP executive committee; the Essex County GOP Committee and chairs of Allegany, Cortland, Schoharie and Seneca counties endorsed Jay Townsend for the US Senate (against Sen. Chuck Schumer). (No link).
Here’s Malpass appearing with state GOP Chairman Ed Cox (and a big check from “our children to Washington politicians”) at a press conference where he assailed the national debt and government spending that is “out of control.”
May 27th - 6:41 pm
He has been the Democratic Party’s gubernatorial nominee for less than a day, but AG Andrew Cuomo wasted no time in sending out his first fundraising ask.
Actually, the e-mail missive came just three hours after Cuomo officially accepted the nomination at the convention in Rye Brook, landing in in-boxes shortly after 2:30 p.m. this afternoon.
The message employs the time-honored “they’re after us” approach to add a sense of urgency, despite the fact that Cuomo was sitting on more than $16 million as of mid-January.
“This is a crucial first step in our campaign to make NY great again, and it’s a step I couldn’t have taken without you,” Cuomo wrote.
“But now that the Convention is over, our opponents are going to start coming straight at us, and I need your help to fight for all New Yorkers.”
The text appears in full after the jump.
May 27th - 6:16 pm
A legislative source reports two top aides to Mayor Bloomberg – Deputy Mayor Howard Wolfson and Director of Legislative Affairs Micah Lasher – are huddling with Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver in hopes of landing a charter school deal before the day is out.
The DN’s Glenn Blain reported earlier today that rank-and-file Democrats had been told to prepare themselves for a long night at the Capitol, with session being pushed back from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Now session has been rescheduled yet again, according to my source. It’s currently set for 7 p.m., but there’s a possibility things won’t get underway until 9 p.m.
Meanwhile, the Senate has called it quits for the day and is planning to return at 9 a.m. tomorrow to vote on a deal to keep the parks open and – for now, anyway – a charter school bill.