NRCC Counters Clinton’s NY-24 Visit With a New Anti-Maffei Ad

Just in time for former President Clinton’s appearance this afternoon in NY-24 on behalf of Democratic Rep. Dan Maffei, the NRCC has released a new TV ad accusing the congressman of putting Washington interests ahead of the interests of his Central New York constituents.

“After decades in Washington, Dan Maffei has become the ultimate, self-interested politician,” said NRCC spokesman Ian Prior. “Maffei has given Central New York families nothing but Obamacare and higher taxes, then turns around and hands out $200,000 in taxpayer money to give lavish bonuses and gifts to his own staff. Under Dan Maffei Central New York loses while Washington D.C. wins.”

The new ad will air through Election Day in the Syracuse and Rochester broadcast markets. Maffei is facing off against Republican former prosecutor John Katko. The two candidates will be going head to head in a TWC News debate this coming Monday, Oct. 27. The debate will air in Syracuse and Rochester at 7 p.m. Those interested in watching who don’t happen to live in that viewing area can catch it online. I’ll be moderating along with TWC News’ Syracuse reporter Bill Carey and Rochester reporter Seth Voorhees.

Here’s the script for the NRCC’s latest attack on Maffei in NY-24:

Announcer: “For Congressman Dan Maffei, Washington comes first. So when Maffei showered his staff with outrageous bonuses, it wasn’t surprising. DC first, it’s the Dan Maffei way.

He voted to allow first class travel and special health care perks for Congress. But for us, Maffei voted with Pelosi to push job killing taxes and devastating Medicare cuts, jeopardizing care for seniors.

With Dan Maffei’s Washington ways, we lose.”

The National Republican Congressional Committee is responsible for the content of this advertising.

Conservative Group Launches 2nd Ad Against Bishop

American Action Network, a conservative 501(c)4 run by former Minnesota Sen. Norm Coleman that is involved in several of new York’s hotly contested House races, has released its second TV ad of this cycle targeting Long Island Democratic Rep. Tim Bishop, who is in a tight race with his GOP challenger, state Sen. Lee Zeldin.

The ad, called “The Game,” slams the veteran congressman for being under investigation by the House Ethics Committee for a pay-to-play fundraising scheme involving a constituent and also for paying his daughter more than $500,000 worth of campaign cash for fund-raising work since he took office in 2002.

““Tim Bishop has played Long Islanders for fools with his pay-to-play scandal and family cash ring,” said Emily Davis, spokeswoman for American Action Network. “Long Island families deserve better than a corrupt politician like Tim Bishop who even tried to mislead them about the fact that he’s still under investigation.”

The Republicans used the “daughter on the campaign payroll” attack against Bishop in the 2012 campaign, too. Bishop ended up winning that race handily, defeating his GOP opponent, businessman Randy Altschuler, who came considerably closer to defeating the congressman when he ran for the first time in 2010.

A September Siena poll showed Bishop 10 percentage points ahead of Zeldin, but as Election Day approaches, Democrats are stepping up their efforts to protect the congressman. Yesterday, former President Clinton headlined a rally on Bishop’s behalf, lashing out against “ideological extremism” in Washington, D.C. Zeldin responded to the former president’s appearnce by deriding Bishop as a “rubber stamp for the Obama/Pelosi agenda.”

This ad will run as part of AAN’s existing $1.5 million independent expenditure cable TV, online and mail campaign. The organization’s first ad – “Damn Good Idea” – has aired on cable TV since September 30. The AAN is also up on the air in NY-18 with an ad targeting Democratic Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney.

Here’s the script for the AAN NY-1 ad:

Announcer: “Politicians get a bad name because of back room dealers like Tim Bishop.”

“He paid his daughter half a million bucks for helping him collect checks. Bishop shook down a constituent for campaign cash. When a Long Islander needed a favor, Tim Bishop delivered but solicited $10,000 in return The Post called it a bribe. He’s under investigation. But that’s how Bishop plays the game. And why we would be better off without him in Congress.”

American Action Network is responsible for the content of this advertising.

The Politics Of Ebola Management

As the first case of Ebola is reported in New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo this morning did a round of interviews on national network and cable television.

In the interview — conducted on the morning programs of NBC, CBS, CNN and MSNBC — Cuomo sought to reassure the public the situation was being handled responsibly and that the doctor infected, Craig Spencer, was being closely monitored, as are the people he’s come into contact with.

The concern, at least on Cuomo’s part it would seem, is to not replicate the bungled response to Ebola cases in Texas, where two nurses were infected with the disease (They’ve since recovered).

“We’ve watched what happened in Dallas, and we’ve learned from it,” Cuomo said on CNN’s New Day. “This is New York. We’d hoped we wouldn’t get such a case, but we expected that we would and we have been preparing for weeks — literally.”

Both Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio have stressed the difficulty in contracting Ebola and insisted the case is being contained, while the doctor infected followed proper protocols once his symptoms became apparent.

Cuomo, of course, is running for re-election in 11 days and demonstrating that he’s monitoring the situation is key for him.

But even in non-election years, Cuomo has sought to project an aura of confidence in the face of a real or perceived crisis, ranging from hurricanes, tornadoes and train derailments.

The governor earlier this month made a point of riding the subway in New York City after potential threats were made against mass transit in western countries.

At the same time, there are pitfalls to overplaying his hand. Cuomo cannot be seen as exploiting the Ebola situation for political gain, which is a perception issue, not a substance one.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry, it should be noted, was here in New York fundraising for Rob Astorino when that state’s first Ebola cases were confirmed. It would be difficult to imagine Cuomo making that same perception mistake.

On substance, the state and city public health responses have to work, or the governor could be blamed for bungling the situation.

But for Cuomo’s Republican opponent, Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino, the mistakes have already been made.

Astorino is slamming Cuomo for what he says is a lack of preparation in the lead up to the case coming here, and for not closing off the city’s international airports to planes with passengers coming from Ebola-stricken countries.

“The CDC explicitly warned New York last week that Ebola carrying passengers would be arriving via JFK,” Astorino said in a statement. “It is beyond comprehension that Governor Cuomo and President Obama are allowing these flights to continue arriving daily. If a brave humanitarian like the New York City doctor now infected could catch Ebola after taking all the precautions he did in Africa, how are we allowing others from those nations, who have had no such training or protective gear, to flow into New York every day? This is sheer and utter madness.”

Republican candidate for attorney general John Cahill trained his criticism on the federal response.

“How a doctor, returning from Guinea ith the expressed purpose of treating patients with Ebola, is allowed to reenter the general population is simply incomprehensible,” Cahill said. “Federal authorities are clearly not taking this threat seriously enough.”

Meanwhile, the Ebola issue is trickling down to the state Senate level as well.

Republican Terrence Murphy, a Yorktown city councilman running for the state Senate in the Hudson Valley, issued a statement calling for a 21-day “strict quarantine” for travelers coming in to the U.S. from countries with a large amount of Ebola cases.

“As a health professional this is simply common sense,” he said in a statement. “It is clearly time for action to protect the public. Ebola is spiraling out of control in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone. Infected travelers may not display symptoms until after they enter our country. Airport screening simply is not enough, and more precautions should be taken.”

Murphy, according to his Twitter page, is a chiropractor.

Pro-Charter School Group Spends $500K In Two Key Districts

A pro-charter school independent expenditure committee is spending a combined $504,310 in TV and radio ads to oppose to Democratic Senate candidates running in key swing districts next month, according to Board of Elections records.

The group, New Yorkers For A Balanced Albany, is spending $272,000 in radio and TV ads opposing Justin Wagner, a Democrat in the Hudson Valley.

Wagner is running for the open seat being vacated by Republican Greg Ball, and he faces Yorktown Councilman Terrence Murphy.

Further to the north, the group is spending and additional $232,310 to oppose Sen. Terry Gipson, a freshman Democrat running against Dutchess County Legislator Sue Serino.

The committee is backed by StudentsFirstNY, a group that is primarily funded by wealthy hedge funds and supporters of charter schools such as Paul Tudor Jones II and Daniel Loeb.

On Long Island, the group on Thursday posted a $168,341 cable and TV media buy to oppose the candidacy of Democratic Senate hopeful Adrienne Esposito, who faces Republican Tom Croci in Suffolk County.

Hayworth Fundraises Off Hillary

From the Morning Memo:

With former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton coming to help campaign for Democratic Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, his Republican opponent, former Rep. Nan Hayworth, sees a fundraising opportunity.

In email sent last night, Hayworth takes note of the heated tone of the campaign.

“Let me be your voice. Maloney has been aggressively attacking me on air, flooding the media market with several nasty, unwarranted ads,” she writes in the email.

And with Clinton helping raise money, why not match them blow for blow.

“The Clintons will be joining my opponent next week here in the Hudson Valley,” the email states. “Don’t let them take your voice back to Washington and distort your needs. Will you stand with me?”

Hayworth recently gave her campaign an additional $1 million of her money for the rematch race in the 18th congressional district.

Both Bill and Hillary Clinton have been hitting the campaign trail for Democratic congressional candidates, mostly incumbents running in tight races in New York.

The former president today is in Syracuse for Rep. Dan Maffei after stumping for Rep. Tim Bishop in Suffolk County.

Hillary Clinton, meanwhile, held a rally on Wednesday in New York City for Gov. Andrew Cuomo and his running mate, former Rep. Kathy Hochul.

Here and Now (Updated)

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is in New York City, and will do a trio of TV interviews this morning.

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio is in the city, but has not yet released details of his public schedule.

At 7 a.m., Cuomo will be a guest on the Today Show on NBC.

At 7:15 a.m., Chemung County Sheriff and GOP LG candidate Chris Moss greets voters at the corner of Archer Avenue and Parsons Boulevard near Jamaica Station, Queens.

At 7:20 a.m., Westchester County Executive and GOP gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino will be a guest on WIBX 950 with host Bill Keeler.

At 7:30 a.m., Cuomo will be a guest on CNN’s New Day, which is co-hosted by his brother, Chris.

At 7:45 a.m., Astorino will be a guset on WENY with host Frank Acomb.

At 8:00 a.m., Astorino will be a guest on WUTQ 100.7FM.

Also at 8 a.m., Cuomo will be a guest on CBS This Morning.

Also at 8 a.m. (and until 3 p.m.), Sen. David Carlucci and Nyack Hospital will be offering free breast cancer screening at the Breast Center at Nyack Hospital for women over the age of 40. The hospital will be offering free clinical breast exams, mammography, pelvis exams and PAP tests, 160 North Midland Ave., Nyack.

At 8:30 a.m., Astorino will be a guest on WACK/WUUF with host Barry Vee.

At 9 a.m., Astorino will attend the 119th Annual NYS Empire Missionary Baptist Convention, Holiday Inn, 439 Electronics Pkwy., Liverpool.

Also at 9 a.m., AG Eric Schneiderman and state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli make the first stop of a three-stop GOTV tour of Long Island and the Hudson Valley, American Legion, 730 Willis Ave., Williston Park, Nassau County.

Also at 9 a.m., Moss appears live on “Talk of the Town” on WUTQ 100.7 FM Utica.

At 9:45 a.m., during a ribbon-cutting ceremony, Sen. Brad Hoylman, Rep. Jerrold Nadler, Gay Men’s Health Crisis officials, The Mount Sinai Hospital administrators, executives from Walgreens Co. and Duane Reade drugstores and city officials mark the opening of an HIV-specialized Duane Reade pharmacy in GMHC’s David Geffen Center for HIV Prevention and Health Education; 224 W. 29th St., Manhattan.

At 10:20 a.m., Moss appears live on “Live from the State Capitol with Fred Dicker” on Talk 1300 AM, Albany.

At 10:30 a.m., Brooklyn BP Eric Adams will be joined by local elected officials to respond to the report of the first Ebola patient in New York City, corner of Berry Street and N. 14th Street, Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

At 11 a.m., Nanette Bourne, chair of the NYLCV’s Westchester Chapter, will join Senate candidate Justin Wagner for a media availability, endorsement event, and policy announcement in Peekskill, Charles Point Pier Park, end of Louisa Street.

At 11:30 a.m., Schneiderman and DiNapoli make stop No. 2 on their GOTV tour, CSEA HQ, 595 West Hartsdale Ave., White Plains.

At noon, Democratic LG candidate Kathy Hochul attends the Ibero American Action League annual luncheon, Hyatt Regency Rochester, 125 E Main St., Rochester.

At 1:30 p.m., Astorino will hold a press conference unveiling the Astorino/Moss Empowerment and Opportunity Plan with Monroe County Executive Maggie Brooks, Highland Bowl Ampitheater, South Avenue, Rochester.

At 3 p.m., stop No. 3 of the Schneiderman/DiNapoli GOTV tour, Teamsters Local 445 Hall, 15 Stone Castle Rd., Rock Tavern.

At 4:30 p.m., former President Clinton will attend a rally on behalf of and endorse Democratic NY-24 Rep. Dan Maffei, Syracuse Landmark Aviation Hangar #113, 13 Tuskegee Rd., Syracuse.

At 6:30 p.m., Astorino will attend the Orleans County GOP Fall Dinner, Hickory Ridge Country Club, 15861 Lynch Rd., Holley.

At 7:30 p.m., Moss attends and delivers remarks at the Lynbrook Republican Gala, Lynbrook VFW Hall, 235 Merrick Rd., Lynbrook.


Craig Spencer, a doctor in New York City who recently returned from treating Ebola patients in Guinea became the first person in the city to test positive for the virus, setting off a search for anyone who might have come into contact with him.

City officials said that while they were still investigating, they did not believe Dr. Spencer was symptomatic while he traveled around the city on Wednesday and therefore had not posed a risk to the public.

But Spencer’s case has raised complicated logistical issues of how to trace the possible contacts of an infected patient in a city of more than 8 million people with a sprawling mass transit system and millions of commuters – some even from other states.

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio: “There is no reason for New Yorkers to be alarmed. Ebola is an extremely hard disease to contract. It is transmitted only through contact with an infected person’s blood or other bodily fluids – not through casual contact. New Yorkers who have not been exposed to an infected person’s bodily fluids are not at all at risk.”

Gov. Andrew Cuomo spoke to President Obama’s Ebola czar, Ron Klain, who following the discussion directed a CDC team to travel to New York to assist at Bellevue in the event it is needed.

Bellevue officials say staff at the 828-bed complex overlooking the East River in Manhattan has been training for more than 2½ months to handle any suspected case of the disease.

Officials said Spencer has come into close contact with at least four people – his fiancee, two friends and an Uber driver. None of the four is showing symptoms and the driver is not being monitored. One of the others is also at Bellevue.

Republican gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino criticized Cuomo and Obama for not closing air travel between the US and countries in West Africa hit with an Ebola epidemic, saying the Spencer case was “avoidable.”

Bellevue Hospital, where Spencer is isolated, is one of the eight hospitals statewide that Cuomo specially designated earlier this month to treat Ebola patients as part of the State’s Ebola Preparedness Plan.

Schools are responding to fears of an Ebola outbreak by drafting first-of-a-kind policies that include isolating students, querying parents about travel and requiring documents showing a clean bill of health for new enrollees from West Africa.

A 2-year-old girl in Mali has been diagnosed with Ebola, making her the West African nation’s first confirmed case of the disease. WHO officials said the child was brought to Mali from neighboring Guinea.

Astorino tried to capitalize on his one and only televised debate with Cuomo, and said he had received a “flood of donations” after the event. Meanwhile, Cuomo moved on, and sought to downplay talk of any other debates.

The most unexpected news of the day was the midafternoon release of “Moving the New NY Forward,” a 245-page policy manifesto for Cuomo’s longed-for second term. Half adulatory progress report and half blueprint, the book included numerous previous Cuomo proposals yet to be achieved.

More >


A Doctors Without Borders physician who treated Ebola patients in Guinea and returned to NYC 10 days ago was rushed in an ambulance with police escorts from his Harlem home to Bellevue Hospital.

Candidates for the 60th SD – Sen. Mark Grisanti, Kevin Stocker and Marc Panepinto -  will be debating at 6:30 p.m. tonight on WBBZ-TV.

Republican NY-24 candidate John Katko accused Democratic Rep. Dan Maffei of attempting to “destroy my character” with a series of critical TV ads. But Maffei stood by the ads.

The Syracuse Post-Standard, which editorialized against state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli in 2010 and is his opponent’s hometown paper, endorsed his re-election this year.

AG Eric Schneiderman’s fourth TV ad includes footage of his former Senate colleague, Shirley Huntley, leaving court after her arrest on corruption charges.

One day after Make the Road New York announced it would protest NYC’s bid to host the 2016 Democratic National Convention, the organization cancelled a demonstration and reversed its position.

The state Senate Democratic Campaign Committee took in $408,300 in donations yesterday – a major infusion of cash for the Democrats less than two weeks before the Nov. 4 election.

What you need to know about the latest round of rebate checks, which is costing the state $400 million.

John Cassidy’s take on the gubernatorial debate: ”this most tightly wound of fellows” vs. “an overage member of the Little Rascals.”

CNBC reporter John Harwood says the poor sales of Cuomo’s book is a reflection of the fact that the governor is “not an especially likable person…in terms of his public demeanor.”

GOP NY-4 candidate Bruce Blakeman’s new TV ad casts his Democratic opponent, Nassau County DA Kathleen Rice, as a rubber stamp for President Obama.

Diana Walker, the photographer who took the photo of Hillary Clinton wearing sunglasses while checking her phone on a military flight, has a book out.

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio is asking his health policy team to formulate a plan for how the administration can better reach immigrant communities and connect them to health care.

GOP Rep. Michael Grimm thinks it will be “very difficult” for the Republicans to beat Clinton – if she runs – in 2016.

Two more de Blasio staffers have taken leaves to work on Democratic campaigns – one is assisting Grimm’s opponent, Domenic Recchia, the other is working for state Senate candidate Justin Wagner.

Clinton heaped praise on Cuomo’s “Women’s Equality Agenda,” the centerpiece of the governor’s effort to appeal to female voters.

Cuomo said he hopes Clinton does “something really, really, really big” in the future.

US Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand did not attend the Clinton-Cuomo “women’s equality” rally, instead headling the Eleanor Roosevelt Legacy Committee annual luncheon a few doors down.

The former secretary of state will stump for NY-18 Democratic Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, (who worked in the White House for her husband), in Somers on Monday.

The CBC says the MTA’s capital plan is full of “misplaced priorities” that should be adjusted before it is approved by a review board.

Republican Rep. Peter King thinks the doctors are wrong on Ebola, suggesting the deadly virus might have mutated and gone airborne.

Barnes & Noble is not leaving the Bronx after all – at least not right now.

Poloncarz Denounces NYSUT’s Anti-Grisanti Mailer

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz deemed a domestic violence-themed mailer sent out by NYSUT’s political arm in opposition to GOP Sen. Mark Grisanti “disgusting” and said he has urged Grisanti’s Democratic opponent, Marc Panepinto, to disavow it.

Poloncarz said the mailer, which depicts a battered woman and proclaims that Grisanti “won’t protect her from her abuser,” is “inappropriate” and “disgusting.”

“I was texting back and forth with Marc today, he agrees,” the county executive told me during a CapTon interview that will air in full at 8 p.m. “He has a debate tonight, and I think he said he would disavow it. I called on him to disavow it. I disavowed it.”

“I think it’s a horrible piece of, of…it’s disgusting to say that a candidate doesn’t want to care about the protection of battered women. Mr. Grisanti may not agree with the entire Women’s Equality platform. I do. But, I know Mark Grisanti is not out there saying he doesn’t care about battered women, and that piece of mail, it bothered me.”

In fact, it bothered Poloncarz so much that he took to Twitter to publicly call out NYSUT’s political action committee, VOTE/COPE, for sending the mailer, saying the organization should be “embarrassed.”

A near replica of the mailer also popped up in the 40th SD race, targeting Republican Yorktown Councilman Terrence Murphy, who is running against Democrat Justin Wagner for the seat being vacated by retiring GOP Sen. Greg Ball. Murphy, like Grisanti, has said he supports nine of the 10 planks in the governor’s Women’s Equality Act, expressing opposition only to the abortion rights proposal.

Because Republicans have refused to pass the Women’s Equality Act in its entirety, instead approving the other nine plans individually, Democrats have accused them of holding the act hostage and being opposed to everything from pay equity to cracking down on domestic violence and sex trafficking.

Poloncarz said he supports Panepinto in the four-way 60th SD race in which Grisanti is running on the Indpendence Party line after losing the September GOP primary to attorney Kevin Stocker. He also said he’s not concerned that his chastisement of NYSUT will cost him politically down the road, saying he believes his support among Erie County teachers is firm.

Watch Here >>

Balance New York Targets Wagner, O’Brien

Balance New York, an independent expenditure group supported by the Washington, D.C.-based Republican Leadership Committee, spent $362,810 on TV and radio ads knocking two Democratic Senate candidates.

Board of Elections records show the group spent $188,385 on radio and television against Sen. Ted O’Brien, a freshman Democrat running for a second term against Republican Rich Funke.

In the Hudson Valley, the group today posted a $174,425 media buy aimed at Democrat Justin Wagner, who is running for an open state Senate held by Republican Greg Ball. Wagner faces Yorktown City Councilman Terrence Murphy.

Meanwhile, on Long Island, the pro-charter schools PAC New Yorkers for a Balanced Albany posted a $168,341 cable and TV media buy to oppose the candidacy of Democratic Senate hopeful Adrienne Esposito, who faces Republican Tom Croci in Suffolk County.

Jobs For New York, a group funded by wealthy landlords in New York City, reported a $25,000 contribution from Josephson LLC.

The group, controlled by the Real Estate Board of New York, has been running independent expenditure campaigns boosting Senate Republicans.

Jobs For New York reported spending an additional $11,949 on mailers for Republican Sen. Jack Martins and $11,469 on mail for Croci.

Working Families Party: Vote Our Ballot Line

Facing competition this Election Day from the Women’s Equality Party ballot, the labor-backed Working Families Party on Thursday released a video featuring prominent Democratic women urging a vote for the WFP.

The message of the video is clear: The WFP stands for everything the WEP stands for, and them some.

The video comes though as the Women’s Equality Party — formed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo earlier this year as a way to promote his backing of the Women’s Equality Act — could lead to a potential downgrade in their ballot position, currently Row D.

In the video, elected officials such as Public Advocate Letitia James and U.S. Rep. Nydia Velazquez, says a vote for the WFP is a vote for women’s equality, as well as campaign finance reform and the Dream Act.

“Equality means all of this, and more,” says Karen Scharff, the party’s co-chair, in the video.

Cuomo had to fight for the WFP’s endorsement earlier this year, and ultimately won their backing after pledging to support a full Democratic takeover of the state Senate as well as re-affirm his support for a liberal agenda next year.

But the speculation has been Cuomo formed the Women’s Equality Party in part to challenge the supremacy of the WFP as the left-leaning third party ballot line in the state, or at the very least to make party leaders nervous heading in to Election Day.

Still, women who are prominent in liberal-advocacy politics are not totally on board with the idea of the Women’s Equality Party.

Scharff has been critical of the women-centric party, and in an interview on Capital Tonight questioned the need for the ballot line.

Democratic state Sen. Liz Krueger of Manhattan has called the party a “mistake” and said it could lead to a marginalization of female voters.