Gov. David Paterson will ask the Legislature to let him delay some $1.5 million worth of school aid payments due June 1.

ESPA selected Brian Ellner, a senior aide to NYC Schools Chancellor Joel Klein, to be its next executive director.

State Budget Division spokesman Matt Anderson is decamping.

Mayor Bloomberg thinks LeBron James would really love NYC.

“Who the hell would want to live in New York?” asked Akron mayor Don Plusquellic.

Rush Limbaugh, who said he would leave New York after the millionaire’s tax passed, is having trouble selling his condo.

The mayor will miss “Law & Order.”

AG Andrew Cuomo’s expanded probe of banks reportedly includes Merrill Lynch.

Assemblymen Phil Boyle and Joseph Errigo endorsed Rick Lazio. (No link).

This seems sort of like a no-brainer.

President Obama signed a bill into law that ends the automatic pay raise for members of Congress during FY2011.

Sean Coffey says the next AG will have to know how to “separate the good apples from the bad” on Wall Street.

Dan Janison stars in a new TV ad for Newsday.

The Greens will hold their statewide nominating convention in Albany tomorrow. (No link).

“American Idol” judge Kara DioGuardi will speak to young Republicans at the state GOP convention.

There’s no such thing as too many New Yorkers on the US Supreme Court, says Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

NJ Gov. Chris Christie channels Rudy Giuliani.

Rep. Anthony Weiner is in the minority on the 9-11 terror trials.

A palindrome for publishing.

Spitzer Nemeses Are Pro-Cuomo?

Ken Langone, one of Eliot Spitzer’s top targets back when he was AG, said during an appearance on Larry Kudlow’s CNBC show today that he is giving advice to Spitzer’s successor, Andrew Cuomo.

(Big, BIG H/T NT2).

The segment starts at about the 9-minute mark. Kudlow rails against Cuomo, saying he’s trying to ruin the banking system.

At first it seems as if Langone agrees, as he says he has personally warned the AG his expected gubernatorial win could be a “hollow victory” if he doesn’t stop slamming Wall Street – the economic engine of New York.

The former New York Stock Exchange director and Home Depot co-founder also suggests AGs shouldn’t be allowed to run for higher office for two years after they leave their current posts to prevent them from launching politically motivated cases.

Then Langone shifts course, saying he believes Cuomo’s gubernatorial candidacy is a “slam-dunk” and also asserting he has received personal assurances from the AG that he’s pro-business and focused on the economy, adding:

“I think Andrew Cuomo, and he’s assured me, his primary focus is going to be jobs. Doing what he’s doing today is counter productive…He assured me – he’s assured me on more than one occasion – he wants to reach out to business people to help solve the problems of New York.”

Another old Spitzer target, Dick Grasso, was on Kudlow’s show with Langone. Spitzer recently criticized Cuomo for dropping his case against the former NYSE chairman that sought repayment of some of the $140 million in compensation he received upon departing that post.

A quick check of the state Board of Elections Website shows neither Grasso nor Langone has yet made personal campaign contributions to Cuomo.

‘A Real Man’ For Governor

Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy stopped by the “Capital Tonight” studio this afternoon and made an impassioned case for his candidacy for governor, arguing it’s going to take a “real man” to shake up Albany and that he’s just the man for the job.

When I say “impassioned,” I’m really not kidding. Take a look at the clip below for a taste of what’s to come this evening at 8 p.m. and 11:30 p.m.

I had to cut Levy off at the end because we were running out of time, but I did manage to note that the whole “steamroller/blow up the Legislature” thing didn’t work so well for former Gov. Eliot Spitzer.

Levy countered by noting that Gov. David Paterson’s initial “I was one of you,” collegial approach didn’t work so well, either. He also insisted what Albany needs is “passion,” which was one of Spitzer’s ’06 buzzwords (instead of anger).

“(T)his is all about fiscal acumen – I’m the guy with it,” Levy insisted. “And we need to shake up Albany. It’s not going to be by kissy and hugging everyone. It’s going to be with a real man going up there and taking that place down to its foundations and starting all over again.”

State Dems Stick Up For Rangel

State Democratic Chairman Jay Jacobs just issued a statement slamming labor activist Jonathan Tasini for criticizing his new primary target, Rep. Charlie Rangel, and saying the veteran Harlem pol’s multiple ethics scandals will be an anchor around the necks of the party’s candidates nationwide.

Jacobs accused Tasini of primary shopping, noting he dropped his challenge to Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand after determining that he could not raise sufficient funds to run a viable campaign.

“It’s unfortunate that Jonathan Tasini feels the need to attack one well-respected public servant after another as he searches for an office to seek,” Jacobs said.

“As he flits from race to race desperately searching for any perceived vulnerability, he should be careful about attacking fellow Democrats who have served their communities well for many years. When ambition outweighs good judgment, the voters need to be wary.”

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Slaughter Studying Smerlas’ Playbook

Rep. Louise Slaughter’s first response when asked earlier today about the possibility of facing former Buffalo Bills All-Pro nose tackle Fred Smerlas this fall was fairly standard, YNN’s Mike Hedeen reports.


“I live in a democracy and I’m very proud of that and I understand that I will be opposed and that’s fine. So welcome to whoever runs and we will try to be ready,” the Rochester Democrat said.

But let’s go to the tape! The congresswoman sure is.

She admitted she was reading up on Smerlas this morning after learning that the Monroe County GOP had endorsed him (in abstentia) last night.

“I have to read more, and so should you,” Slaughter told reporters.

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Navigating An AFL-CIO Minefield

The United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 1500 just announced it has endorsed Francisco Moya in the race for the 39th AD post vacated by Jose Peralta when he successfully prevented Hiram Monserrate from re-taking his Queens Senate seat.

This is Moya’s second labor endorsement. (The first came from RWDSU) for an campaign that Gov. David Paterson appears likely to simply let play out according to the standard calendar instead of calling a special election.

Moya is the preferred candidate of the Queens Democratic Party. (Chairman Joe Crowley is scheduled to appear with him at a rally this Sunday where “game-changing” endorsements will be announced, according to his campaign).

Immigration attorney Bryan Pu-Folkes is challenging Moya in a primary, which will occur unless Paterson changes his mind on the whole special election thing.

I chatted briefly with Pat Purcell, assistant to the president of UFCW, who told me the union is treading very carefully when it comes to endorsements this year in light of the war recently launched by its parent organization, the AFL-CIO.
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Donovan Gets A Shout-Out From Cox (Updated)

Staten Island DA Dan Donovan was first up this morning at the state GOP leaders convention planning confab at the Ft. Orange Club this morning, and he received what one attendee described as a “generous” introduction from party Chairman Ed Cox.

Daniel Donovan

Cox referred to Donovan’s “strong record” as a local prosecutor and said he appreciated the DA’s “thoughtful process” in determining whether he would throw his hat into the AG ring.

This is notable since Cox reportedly refused for several weeks to return Donovan’s phone calls as he was mulling his statewide candidacy.

UPDATE: State GOP spokesman Alex Carey sent the following response via e-mail:

“Chairman Cox never refused to return any of Dan Donovan’s phone calls, and has been in contact with Dan throughout Dan’s decision-making process with regards to his candidacy.”

“When those erroneous reports first surfaced, Dan contacted Ed to point out he had not actually reported to anyone that Chairman Cox hadn’t called him back, and that this was simply a case of misunderstanding.”

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It’s All Greek To Him

Here’s a flyer that Republican state comptroller hopeful Harry Wilson will be distributing at the St. Sophia Festival in Albany tomorrow.

Wilson’s spokesman Bill O’Reilly reminded me that the former hedge fund manager’s first language is Greek, which reminded me that I ran into Wilson at the LCA show and he offered to come in and discuss the ongoing economic meltdown in Greece on “Capital Tonight.” (I’ll be taking him up on that soon).

Wilson will be heading to St. Sophia’s after he formally kicks off his campaign in Johnstown, Fulton County, in front of the now-defunct sewing factory where his mother worked while he was growing up.

Wilson is at this point the lone GOP statewide contender on which both the Republican and state Conservative Party chairs have agreed.
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Former Buffalo Bill Nominated to Run for Congress, But Will He Announce?

Even without announcing a run, former Buffalo Bills defensive lineman Fred Smerlas has received the full backing of the Monroe County GOP to run against Louise Slaughter in the 28th Congressional District.

CT SOP 0514 Smerlas

The county’s Republican Committee officially endorsed Smerlas Thursday night. County Chairman, Bill Reilich, said Smerlas is strongly considering the run.

“Given his name recognition as a former Buffalo Bill and radio personality, I believe he has the potential to be an extremely strong candidate.”

Slaughter has held the congressional seat since 1987.

Meanwhile, Monroe County Republicans also decided to back former Corning Mayor Tom Reed for the 29th Congressional District, formerly held by Eric Massa.

Liz adds: Smerlas’ name was first floated back in April. The fact that he’s a Massachusetts resident now doesn’t seem to bother anyone.

Silver: Right Back At Ya, Gov (Updated)

It looks like things have deteriorated still further between Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and Gov. David Paterson (who would have thought that possible?), with each pointing the finger of blame at his fellow Democrat for the ongoing logjam over the budget.

Speaking at the Downtown-Lower Manhattan Association breakfast this morning, Silver made no secret of his disdain for the governor’s 2010-2011 budget proposal and the desire of his conference to restore Paterson’s cuts – particularly when it comes to education.

Silver also voiced support for the borrowing plan floated by Paterson’s hand-picked LG, Richard Ravitch, from which the governor has repeatedly distanced himself.

“I and my Assembly colleagues are ready to pass a budget and we’ve been ready to act for some time now. We believe that the governor’s executive budget is unduly harsh to our school children and to the City of New York,” the speaker said.

“We passed a budget resolution that makes significant cuts to recognize we do have a $9.2 billion deficit, but we also make partial restorations and we adopt budget forms proposed by Lt. Gov Dick Ravitch.”

“By proposing a budget that ties appropriation to language, the governor has effectively precluded the legislature from engaging in any meaningful dialogue on his budget.”

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