Leaders Meet, But Do They Play Ball?

Gov. David Paterson was less than optimistic about the possibility of any deals in Albany later this week after meeting at his Manhattan office with legislative leaders this afternoon.

After the get-together, Paterson spokesman Morgan Hook sent out a copy of the proclamation officially declaring Wednesday’s 6 p.m. extraordinary session, so it can’t have gone all that well….

Paterson said the leaders “came by with some proposals” that require “analysis,” so he wasn’t immediately after to say whether he would be accepting them or not.

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver departed the meeting and told NY1 Capitol reporter Erin Billups that the ball in now in the governor’s court, to which Paterson replied:

“What I would say is there is something they threw in my court. If it’s a ball, then it works. If it’s not, then we had an afternoon that was unproductive. What we need right now in this state are real and recurring reductions that put our economic picture back in balance.”

“… The Senate hasn’t been in Albany for a month, so any number of them that shows up I think is progress. What’s important is they recognize the magnitude of the problem and the urgency of the situation. If we can come to an agreement it doesn’t matter what day we vote on it. We can certainly wait for them to get 32 votes.”

Harold Ford Jr., The Book

The intrepid Josh Robin reports: Hitting bookstores next month, the autobiography of Harold Ford, Jr., “More Davids than Goliaths; A Political Education.”


Ford mentioned his memoir several times as he publicly flirted with a primary challenge to Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand earlier this year.

But anyone hoping for some insight into the botched pseudo-run are going to be disappointed. The book appears to have been sent to the presses right around the time he abandoned the challenge, and, with the exception of a brief afterword, ends in 2006.

Instead, a quick glance at the 244 pages shows much more about his early life steeped in Tennessee politics, his quick ascent in the Democratic party and his failed 2006 bid for Senate in the Volunteer State versus Bob Corker.

While Gillibrand is spared, there are some jabs at New York’s senior senator.

More >


ADDED: Newt Gingrich ripped AG Andrew Cuomo for refusing to investigate the mosque proposed for construction near Ground Zero.

People connected to the powerful personal injury firm Weitz & Luxenberg contributed another $120,000+ to Nassau County DA Kathleen Rice’s campaign.

Rep. Mike McMahon is trying to push Indy Party member John Tabacco off the Indy Party line.

Sen. Carl Kruger’s would-be primary challenger didn’t collect enough signatures to get on the ballot, but says he’ll be back.

“I’ve seen Eliot Spitzer on TV a lot, and if someone were to say, ‘Name ten thousand people that you think might be O.K. on television,’ Eliot Spitzer’s name would not be on that list,” said Robert Thompson, founding director of the Bleier Center for Television and Popular Culture at SU.

Democratic Senate candidate Dave Mejias gets some love from The Albany Project.

Cuomo’s RV tour is over. Highlights are available here.

Paterson declined to join New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie in “Jersey Shore” bashing, but says he doesn’t have time to watch the show.

Will Erie County GOP Chairman Nick Langworthy be the successor to state GOP Chairman Ed Cox?

Green Party gubernatorial candidate Howie Hawkins wants Cuomo to drop the Indy line (even though it’s too late in the cycle for that).

Who says Albany can’t move quickly? A fix to Sen. Eric Schneiderman’s tow bill, which Mayor Bloomberg criticized, is already in the works.

Azi Paybarah is tickled by the fact that Rep. Carolyn Maloney’s mailer quotes a Village Voice article.

Kenneth Blankenbush, a Republican running for the Assembly seat Dede Soczzava is vacating is considering running on Carl Paladino’s Taxpayers line.

Chelsea Clinton is getting wedding ready.

New York City’s second-richest man, David Koch, bankrolls the Tea Party movement.

Here’s Assemblyman Jack Quinn making an upstate-downstate argument about UB 2020.

Rangel, In Happier Times

Rep. Charlie Rangel’s campaign has produced a Web video that features highlights of prominent Democrats praising him at his birthday fundraiser last year that seems to serve a dual purpose:

1) Remind the establishment and the media of a time when the Harlem congressman was in his prime and counted among his supporters the cream of New York’s Democratic crop (the video starts out with a tribute from former President Clinton). Keep in mind: The House ethics probe has dragged on for two years, so Rangel was under investigation while everyone featured here was waxing on about how great he was.

2) Provide a with-us-or-against-us benchmark by which the media – and Rangel supporters – can determine who stood with him then and who’s not around now….interesting approach.

(H/T Jimmy Vielkind).

Wilson: I’m Andrew Cuomo’s Running Mate!

State comptroller candidate Harry Wilson offered a unique response when asked in Buffalo today why he has declined to endorse a candidate in the governor’s race.

“I am intentionally not getting involved in any way in that race,” the former hedge fund manager explained to YNN’s Doug Sampson.

“I am already with Rick Lazio on the Conservative line. The Republican line, obviously, will be a primary. And in fact, I am a running mate with Andrew Cuomo on the Independence line. So, I am really sort of staying out of that completely.”

Now there’s an approach of which the post-partisan AG, who has been pushing hard to woo Republicans to cross party lines and support him, will likely approve. (And, for what it’s worth, Cuomo is no big fan of Wilson’s target, Democratic state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli). I’m not so sure how Wilson’s fellow GOPers will feel about this line of reasoning…or Conservatives, for that matter.

Wilson also said he has had some preliminary discussions with Lazio opponent Carl Paladino’s campaign about potentially running on his independent “Taxpayers” line, which about a dozen Republican Senate and Assembly
candidates are also seeking.

(I’m efforting the IDs; I did see that request in the comments section. I can tell you for certain that one of them is Assemblyman Jack Quinn, who is running against Democratic Sen. Bill Stachowski).

Plouffe In The Big City

David Plouffe, the Democratic strategist who managed Obama-Biden ’08 and was brought back into the inner circle to advise the White House in advance of the potentially problematic midterm elections, is in NYC this week for two fundraisers to benefit the DNC.

The first event is being co-hosted by Mark Gallogly, cofounder and managing principal of Centerbridge Partners and an Obama bundler who is a member of the president’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board, and Huffington Post chairman and co-founder Kenneth Lerer. Cost: $1,000.

The second event is a low-dollar affair – tickets start at $44 – put on by Generation44, the Young Professionals arm of the DNC’s Finance Committee.

The president himself is due in town this week, too. He’s reportedly also going to raise cash for the DNC.

It Hurts Him Not To Talk

Here’s some footage from Rep. Charlie Rangel’s Q-and-A with reporters earlier today at which he said it’s “painful” for him not to be able to comment on the charges against him, which won’t be made public until Thursday.

“It may not be pleasant, but it is going to give me a sense of relief,” Rangel said. “At least we will know where we are going. But it’s painful to have to say, ‘no comment’, when people are attacking the very reason that you exist.”

Maggie Haberman has more on the embattled congressman’s demeanor, which she found “sad” and “downcast”. Apparently, he also took the media by surprise by mentioning “more alleged violations” that are now being looked at.

But, of course, he didn’t elaborate, and that statement could be interpreted in a number of ways.

Pushing Back Against AG Cuomo (Updated)

Here’s some footage of a press conference held earlier today at which more than 100 tenants of a Glenville apartment complex turned out to rally in support of a management company AG Andrew Cuomo has accused of discriminating against blacks.

Deana Tope, the rental agent at Socha Management, denied Cuomo’s allegations and said she feels he “issued a personal attack on my character and my reputation.” (The press release notes her partner is black and the couple has four inter-racial children).

Her attorney John Dowd said the event was called to “set the record straight and vehemently deny” Cuomo’s charges. The not-so-subtle suggestion here is that Cuomo’s case is politically motivated due to the fact that he’s running for governor.

More >

Gillibrand Loses Clinton Aide

In case you missed it from my DN column this morning (it’s the second item): A former aide to Hillary Clinton who stuck around to help the woman who inherited her boss’ Senate seat is moving on.

Karen Persichilli Keogh left Gillibrand’s payroll this month to become JPMorgan’s managing director for state and local government relations, a source familiar with her move confirmed.

Keogh, a veteran Clinton operative, stayed on with Gillibrand as a campaign adviser after Gov. Paterson tapped the former congresswoman in January 2009 to fill the seat Clinton vacated to become secretary of state.

Best known in the political world as “KPK”, Keogh has worked behind the scenes for a number of Democratic elected officials, including: Former NYC Councilman Sal Albanese, former Council speaker and mayoral/gubernatorial contender Peter F. Vallone and Albany Mayor Jerry Jennings. She started out with DC37, NYC’s largest municipal union.

In one of those small-political-world moments: JP morgan’s intergovernmental operation was once run by former Rep. Rick Lazio, who is now the GOP/Conservative gubernatorial nominee running against Gillibrand’s old boss at HUD, AG Andrew Cuomo.

Shake-Up In Malpass Campaign

Republican US Senate hopeful David Malpass has parted ways with Mike DuHaime, former 2008 Rudy Giuliani presidential campaign manager, in an ongoing campaign shake-up that has seen the departure of several staffers.

Malpass spokeswoman Jessica Proud confirmed DuHaime left about two weeks ago, and sent over the following explanation/statement:

“Mike was brought on in the early the stages of the campaign to put the pieces together, assemble the team and get us through the convention. He did so brilliantly and we are enormously grateful for his contributions to the campaign.”

DuHaime, who also worked on New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s successfull campaign last fall and is now with Mercury Public Affairs, joined the Malpass campaign back in March as the would-be candidate was gearing up to make a push to get onto the ballot at the state convention.

More >