Here and Now

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is in New York City with no public schedule.

The Clinton Global Initiative gathers in New York this week for its 10th annual meeting, both former President Clinton and Hillary Clinton are scheduled to speak.

Climate Week events continue.

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio will meet with the Mayor of Paris Anna Hidalgo in Manhattan. This meeting will be closed press.

From 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., a public hearing will be held on proposals to put a casino in the Capital Region, Holiday Inn, 205 Wolf Rd., Colonie.

At 7:05 a.m., Westchester County Executive and GOP gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino will be a guest on 100.7FM WUTQ.

At 8:30 a.m., Astorino will attend a Cortland County meet-and-greet, Ramada Inn, 2 River St., Cortland.

Also at 8:30 a.m., Republican state comptroller candidate and Onondaga County Comptroller Bob Antonacci attends a meet-and-greet, Apollo Family Diner, 3387 South Park Ave., Lackawanna.

At 9 a.m., AG Eric Schneiderman will deliver the keynote address at a panel titled “Leading by Example: State and Local Governments as Catalysts for Action on Climate Change” at an event hosted by the New York City Bar Association, 42 West 44th St., Manhattan.

At 10 a.m., Reps. Joe Crowley, Gregory Meeks, Grace Meng and Jerrold Nadler, and NYC and federal transportation officials publicize federal funding to make public transit systems better able to withstand natural disasters; Peter Minuit Plaza, Staten Island Ferry Whitehall Terminal, State and Whitehall streets, Manhattan.

Also at 10 a.m., 10 a.m. Antonacci attends a meet-and-greet, Ralph Wilson Stadium parking lot, Orchard Park.

Also at 10 a.m., NYC Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito testifies at Chief Judge Lippman’s hearing on Civil Legal Services, at 27 Madison Ave., Manhattan.

At 10:15 a.m., Astorino will participate in a Central New York Manufacturing Roundtable discussion with area business leaders, Century Club, 480 James St., Syracuse.

At 11 a.m., the New York State Democratic Committee will hold its fall meeting, Democratic LG candidate Kathy Hochul will speak, The Desmond Hotel and Conference Center, 660 Albany Shaker Rd., Albany.

Also at 11 a.m., RACC holds a Finger Lakes golf outing, Bristol Harbor Golf Club, County Route 16, Bristol.

At 11:15 a.m., the state Tourism Advisory Council meets, Blue Room, Capitol, Albany.

At 11:25 a.m., state Financial Services Superintendent Ben Lawsky participates in a conversation with Bloomberg TV’s Erik Schatzker​ at Bloomberg Markets Most Influential Summit, Museum of Jewish Heritage, 36 Battery Pl., Manhattan.

At 11:30 a.m., de Blasio speaks at an NBA announcement, 915 Father Capodanno Blvd., Staten Island.

At noon, her Majesty Queen Letizia of Spain will be joined by NYC Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña at PS 103 – Dos Puentes Elementary to welcome four New York schools as members of the International Spanish Academies, 185 Wadsworth Avenue, between 182nd and 183rd streets, Manhattan.

Also at noon, the US Chamber of Commerce makes an announcement about state Sen. Lee Zeldin’s congressional campaign, J&R’s Steak House, 2330 Route 112, Medford.

At 1 p.m., Astorino will hold a meeting with the Greater Area Utica Chamber of Commerce, Radisson Hotel, 200 Genesee St., Utica.

Also at 1 p.m., Chemung County Sheriff and GOP LG candidate Chris Moss attends the NYSAC Board of Directors meeting and fall seminar, Hyatt Buffalo/Niagara Convention Center, 2 Fountain Plaza, Buffalo.

At 2 p.m., Hochul tours downtown Troy with Mayor Lou Rosamilia, 9 Broadway, Troy.

Also at 2 p.m., Rep. Chris Gibson joins Dutchess County Legislator and 41st state Senate District candidate Sue Serino to make a “major announcement,” Plankenhorn Farm, 353 Gretna Rd., Pleasant Valley.

At 4:15 p.m., Astorino will greet voters at the Whitesboro Farmers Market, Whitesboro Village Green, corner of Main and Clinton Streets, Whitesboro.

At 5 p.m., Hochul speaks at a Democratic rally, Mama Mia’s restaurant, 185 Ballston Ave., Saratoga.

Also at 5 p.m., Moss appears live on the Tom Bauerle Show, WBEN 930 AM Radio Buffalo.

Also at 5 p.m., Astorino will attend an Oneida County meet-and-greet, Harts Hill Inn, 135 Clinton St., Whitesboro.

At 6 p.m., Moss attends and speaks at a Town Hall Meeting at the Niagara Gun Range, 3355 Niagara Falls Blvd., North Tonawanda.

At 9:05 p.m., de Blasio attends the C40 Leadership Awards, Manhattan Center, Hammerstein Ballroom, 311 West 34th St., Manhattan.


With just six weeks left until the general election, Gov. Andrew Cuomo has yet to begin campaigning in person for Senate Democrats. And he remains noncommittal on the issue of endorsements.

Republican gubernatorial hopeful Rob Astorino, struggling for traction in his uphill fight against Cuomo, will deliver what some campaign aides see as a make-or-break speech next month outlining his vision for New York.

After having mainly reached out to voters through a massive TV ad campaign, the Cuomo campaign is set to unleash a digital and door-knocking operation designed to motivate women voters in November.

The left-leaning Fiscal Policy Institute will release a report today recommending that the de Blasio administration levy a tax on very expensive pied-à-terres. This requires a green light from Albany.

Kevin Law, the head of the state Gaming Facility Location Board, said there’s no guarantee that the panel will recommend four casinos for three regions of the state. He said they could decide to simply do one for each region.

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The Weekend That Was

Climates marches were held across the globe today, from Paris to Papua New Guinea.

An estimated 310,000 thronged the streets of Midtown Manhattan, including a number of celebrities.

Some of the prominent environmental activists who gathered in New York City for the march are not ready to support Hillary Clinton if she decides to run for president.

On Tuesday, President Obama and world leaders from government, finance and business will be at the UN Climate Summit to announce initiatives meant to move the world toward limiting global warming.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo designated the week of September 22-28 as Climate Week.

Last week, meteorologists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced that this summer — the months of June, July and August — was the hottest on record for the globe, and that 2014 was on track to break the record for the hottest year, set in 2010.

Cuomo and singer Billy Joel joined Republican Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano and two Republican legislators from Nassau at an environmental cleanup event in Oyster Bay.

Pledging to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent by 2050 from 2005 levels, the de Blasio administration plans to overhaul the energy standards in city buildings.

Cuomo’s autobiography is reportedly derailed – potentially for good.

A source close to Sen. Mark Grisanti insists the money will “be there” for the GOP lawmaker’s potentially history-making Independence Party general election run.

Some motorists worry the toll on the new Tappan Zee Bridge could even approach $20, which would make it among the most expensive crossings in the nation.

Green Party gubernatorial candidate Howie Hawkins and failed Democratic candidate for governor Randy Credico campaigned together in Harlem.

The Post-Star says any general election gubernatorial debates should include Hawkins.

Dr. Michael Baden, a private medical examiner hired to analyze the autopsy report of Eric Garner, who died after being placed in an apparent chokehold by an NYPD officer, said his most “severe finding was compression of the neck.”

Rep. Dan Maffei holds an 8 percentage point lead over Republican challenger John Katko in the NY-24 race heading into the campaign’s final six weeks, according to a new poll by Post-Standard and Siena College.

Cuomo leads his GOP challenger, Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino, by 12 points in the Syracuse area, but his popularity has dropped among upstate voters.

The DCCC released another TV ad slamming GOP Rep. Michael Grimm.

Most upstate New Yorkers are convinced the nation’s best economic times are behind it, that future generations will have a less secure retirement, and that job prospects will remain stagnant, according to a Siena College research poll conducted for the Times Union.

Aaron Woolf, Democratic candidate for Congress in the 21st District, said that his effective tax rate was 29.53 percent in the tax returns he filed with his wife last year.

“Huma (Abedin) has been an important part of Secretary Clinton’s work for the past 18 years,” Hillary Clinton spokesman Nick Merrill said, “and no matter what the future holds, Huma will remain so.”

Rep. Pete King bashed the White House security breach that allowed a crazed knife-wielding man to run inside the presidential mansion before being tackled.

Former President Bill Clinton agrees with his wife’s view that arming Syrian rebels years ago would have been worthwhile and he would have “taken that chance,” but emphasized her point that there’s no way to know whether it would have stopped the rise of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.

Zellner Re-Elected Erie County Dem Chair

Erie County Democratic Committee Chairman Zellner fended off a challenge to his leadership and secured another term, our colleagues at Time Warner Cable News Buffalo report.

Zellner’s victory comes after Sen. Tim Kennedy and Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown supported Mark Manna, a contract negotiator for the UFCW in western New York and Amherst town councilman, over Zellner’s re-election.

(Kennedy himself was at one point floated as a possible replacement for Zellner, but denied his interest earlier this month on Capital Tonight).

The faction that lined up against Zellner came after the chairman supported Erie County Legislator Betty Jean Grant’s second failed primary bid against Kennedy.

Grant, who also had the support of Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz and Rep. Brian Higgins, had previously challenged Kennedy for the Democratic ballot line in 2012 and lost.

Zellner had accused his rival faction of having Steve Pigeon, a former county chairman himself, find Manna out of nowhere in order to knock him from his post.

Zellner initially won the chairmanship in Erie County after Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s allies behind the scenes stepped in to oust then-Chairman Len Lenihan.

Still, Zellner wasn’t the choice of Cuomo sympathizers, who backed Cheekotowaga Chairman Frank Max.

Nevertheless, as Liz reported earlier, there has been a thaw in the relationship between Cuomo’s political operation and Zellner, which comes as the governor focuses heavily on western New York in order to achieve an overwhelming victory against Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino this November.

Hillary Clinton Fundraise For Rice And A Few Others (Updated)

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will appear at a Sept. 29 luncheon fundraiser for Kathleen Rice, a Democrat seeking to replace Rep. Carolyn McCarthy in the 4th congressional district.

Updated: As Colin Campbell on Business Insider points out on Twitter, the event is actually for a ton of Democratic candidates running for House seats in New York, not just Rice.

Tickets to the fundraiser range from $500 to $1,000.

Rice, the Nassau County district attorney, faces Republican Bruce Blakeman for the seat.

“When I was first elected District Attorney, I was honored to have Hillary swear me into office,” the campaign wrote in an email to supporters. “Now as we push into the final weeks of my campaign for Congress, I’m thrilled that Hillary is hosting an event to support me and my fellow Democratic congressional candidates from New York.”

Clinton, a former U.S. senator from New York, is widely believed to be considering a campaign for president in 2016 and in recent months has been traveling the country appearing alongside Democratic candidates.


The Republican State Leadership Committee, a national group that focuses on state races, has given $250,000 to help New York Republicans win a majority in the state Senate.

The governor sought to downplay his enthusiasm for a Senate controlled by his own party while speaking to members of the state Business Council.

US Sen. Kirsten Gillirand’s book has debuted at No. 8 on the New York Times’ hardcover nonfiction best-seller list.

The Cook Political report has changed the outlook of the NY-21 race to “leans Republican.”

Cuomo said he doesn’t think the state Business Council knew he was running on the WFP line when it endorsed him in 2010.

NY-11 Democratic candidate Domenic Recchia says he has “great knowledge” of foreign affairs, citing his experience running a school exchange program more than a decade ago and trips to Italy.

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio blasted a new ad campaign that will run on city buses and subway stations that feature disturbing images of journalist James Foley in the moments before he was beheaded.

After de Blasio’s comments, the MTA announced it has rejected one of the ads.

Whither the Tappan Zee Tolls and Financing Task Force?

Commissioner Roger Goodell says the NFL wants to implement new personal conduct policies by the Super Bowl. He has not considered resigning.

The state’s cash position is strong, according to state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli’s office.

A challenge by Republican Tom Croci to Adrienne Esposito’s state Senate candidacy on the Women’s Equality Line is still alive.

Georgina Bloomberg, the equestrian daughter of former Mayor Bloomberg, took home first place and a $69,300 prize at the $210,000 Central Park Grand Prix.

In 2011, the former mayor made an anonymous donation of $250,000 to a privately funded counterterror center at West Point.

Will climate change replace same-sex marriage as the next big social issue?

Citing terrorist activity overseas, Cuomo announced the National Guard is being called in to help beef up security in the city and beyond.

If you’re driving in the Adirondacks, be on the lookout for moose.

By mayoral proclamation: on Oct. 1, Troy shall be known as “Ginger City, USA.”

Donald Trump: “The Wilson family should thank me. Pegula overpaid for the @buffalobills because of me!”

Former Connecticut Gov. John G. Rowland was found guilty in federal court here on all seven counts of corruption.

Assemblyman Peter Lopez is featured along with other community residents in a video pitching the gaming/water park project proposed at the Howe Cavern tourist complex in Schoharie County.

POLITICO’s Dylan Byers says Democratic NY-19 candidate Sean Eldridge is “pretty much done” and was “doomed from the get-go.”

DiNapoli Hopes Loan Claw Back Will Trigger Spending Plan For TZB

Comptroller Tom DiNapoli is hopeful the partial denial of more than $400 million for the Tappan Zee Bridge replacement project will help shine more light on the spending for the project.

“The big question mark still is how’s it going to be paid for and the real question is what’s the impact on tolls,” DiNapoli said in an interview after speaking to the state Business Council. “So as soon as the Thruway Authority comes forward with that information, I think the more confidence we’ll all have. So perhaps this denial will force a little more priority to have that full disclosure of the financing plan.”

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency this month denied more than $400 million be used as a loan from the bridge, with the money come from a clean-water revolving loan fund. The state had initially sought $500 million to help pay for the Tappan Zee Bridge replacement project, but EPA officials only approved $29 million for aspects of the project.

The state plans to appeal the decision.

Meanwhile, an independent authorities budget office is investigating the process through which the Thruway Authority requested the loan.

DiNapoli said he couldn’t compel the Thruway Authority to release more details on the proposal.

Cuomo, speaking with reporters today, reiterated that the loan was never a key piece for the bridge construction.

“The loan had nothing to do with anything. It was not part of the financing,” he said. “It was not part of the budget. The EPA loan came after the fact — way after the fact. So it was never an integral component for the Tappan Zee bridge or calculations for the Tappan Zee Bridge.”

He said there’s been “no discussion” about using a portion of the state’s $4 billion budget surplus to pay for the construction of the replacement bridge.

Esposito Receives Green Party Nod

Adrienne Esposito became at least the third Senate Democratic candidate on Friday to gain the endorsement of the Green Party through the opportunity-to-ballot process.

Esposito, who is running for the Suffolk County Senate district held by Republican congressional candidate Lee Zeldin, is competing for the seat against Islip town Supervisor Tom Croci.

“I am deeply proud of securing the Green Party ballot line because of the work I have done throughout my career to protect Long Island’s natural beauty. I’ve dedicated my life to preserving and improving our environment, and I plan to be an environmental champion in the Senate. In the wake of the toxic dumping scandal that has rocked our community, Suffolk County needs leadership on environmental issues now more than ever. I will be honored to lead the way as a State Senator,” Esposito said.

Sens. Cecilia Tkaczyk and Terry Gipson this month also gained the Green Party ballot line as well.

All three candidates are running in tightly contest races this year as Democrats try to gain full control of the state Senate.

NRCC Ad #2 in NY-24: Maffei ‘Puts Us At Risk

The NRCC has released its second ad in the NY-24 race, accusing Democratic Rep. Dan Maffei of being soft on terrorism and putting Americans at risk.

The ad cites Maffei’s votes over the past two years on several amendments to defense spending bills, including his support for a measure that prevents the use of federal funds for the use of military force in Iraq, and his rejection of a measure that prohibits the transfer of Guantanamo detainees to foreign countries.

One amendment was proposed by California Rep. Barbara Lee. According to her office, it “prohibits funding for the use of force pursuant to the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force, or AUMF, effective on December 31,2014, when the last American combat troops will rotate out of Afghanistan and the responsibility for security will have passed to the Afghan people.”

Technically speaking, this isn’t a simple funding cut, and it’s a bit of a stretch for this ad to say that the congressman voted in favor of reducing financial support for troops fighting terrorists overseas.

One hundred thirty five of Maffei’s fellow Democrats voted “yes” on Lee’s amendment, and so did 21 Republicans – including Rep. Chris Gibson, a US Army vet who taught at West Point and is the author of “Securing the State”, a book on national security decision-making that was published in 2008.

The claim that Maffei voted in favor of bringing individuals accused of terrorism to be tried here in the US isn’t so cut-and-dried, either. Robert Harding of The Auburn Citizen has a detailed explanation of the ins and outs on this issue, as well as the ad’s claim that the congressman would keep police from detaining illegal immigrants who have been accused of crimes. In one of those cases, Maffei and Gibson were again on the same page

The new ad will run for the next week on broadcast stations in the Syracuse market. The buy is $145,000. Maffei is facing Republican former prosecutor John Kato in the November general election.

Here’s the script:

ANNCR: In a world like this…

NEWS ANCHOR: The country is about to go to war. Violence, street gang, crossing the border

ANNCR: Dan Maffei puts us at risk.

Maffei cut funding for troops fighting terrorists. Backs constitutional rights for foreign terrorists, voted to bring them to America. Maffei would keep police from detaining illegal immigrants who’ve been suspected of crimes.

Dan Maffei: Dangerously wrong for our security.

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

To Business Leaders, Cuomo Touts His Bipartisan Accomplishments

Gridlock, dysfunction and chaos were spoken of in the past tense.

And Gov. Andrew Cuomo pledged to business leaders jittery about his support from the union-aligned Working Families Party and endorsement of a full Democratic takeover of the state Senate that he has no intention of going backwards.

In a speech to the state Business Council’s annual meeting in Bolton Landing on Friday morning, Cuomo relied heavily on touting his record on the state budget as well as his efforts to combat property taxes while also taking some veiled swipes at his Republican opponent, Rob Astorino.

Cuomo proposed using some of a $4 billion surplus, which he acknowledged was a “one-shot” revenue source from numerous financial settlements, on infrastructure spending, education and for helping local governments find ways to share services as part of an overall economic development boost for the upstate region.

Cuomo in a question-and-answer session with reporters after his speech said he would commit about $500 million to the shared services effort and, without naming Astorino, said a hypothetical county executive hasn’t convened local government leaders to take necessary stops to reduce costs.

But the speech was very much Cuomo boosting the results of New York in 2014, four years after he’s taken office: 500,000 new jobs, a credit rating upgrade from the major agencies and approved budgets that kept spending increases under 2 percent year over year.

Cuomo told the business leaders the reason for this was a state Capitol that ran a lot smoother than the years before he took office.

“Washington thinks they discovered gridlock,” Cuomo said. “Albany invented gridlock and it was a vicious form of gridlock.”

The governor also pointed to the state’s massive investment in the economically depressed city of Buffalo in western New York, crediting the emphasis placed on the region with the recent purchase of the Bills football team from an owner who plans to keep the team in the area.

“I don’t know if Terry Pegula buys the Bills four years ago,” Cuomo said. “Today he does.”

Pegula made his money in natural-gas development and the governor’s administration is yet to make a decision on whether to allow high-volume hydrofracking in the state, a controversial extraction process that is supported by the energy industry, but staunchly opposed by environmental groups.

Astorino’s campaign has sought to make Cuomo’s indecision on hydrofracking a major issue in the campaign, and the GOP candidate reiterated his support for the process in his speech Thursday night.

Still, Cuomo sought to shore up support from business leaders that he won in 2010, despite concerns that he will be forced in to a more liberal agenda next year.

In receiving the Working Families Party endorsement, Cuomo pledged to back a faster phase-in of the state’s minimum wage and allow local governments to increase the wage on their own through a state-based formula.

But in a slide-show presentation, Cuomo repeatedly highlight accomplishments made with a state Senate that was either fully or partially controlled by Republicans, and included a photo of him with a smiling Senate GOP leader, Dean Skelos and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, a Democrat.

Cuomo later said the Business Council’s leadership raised concerns with his WFP endorsement.

“I told them I was endorsed by the Working Families Party four years ago, something that I don’t think they were aware of,” Cuomo said.

The circumstances of those two endorsements were vastly different: The WFP four years ago was under an investigation for the actions of its for-profit arm, Data and Field Services. Cuomo ultimately took the line, forcing them to accept his more economically moderate platform.

This year, the WFP nearly nominated its own candidate, Fordham Law School Professor Zephyr Teachout, after party activists raised alarm over the governor’s economic record.

In the end, Cuomo was endorsed after backing a Democratic state Senate and a host of liberal friendly measures.

Cuomo said later this morning he’s willing to work with Senate Democrats, brushing aside concerns they would seek to drag him to the left on economic issues.

In a clear rebuttal of Astorino’s view that the business community should be more forceful in pushing back against policies from Albany detrimental to job growth, Cuomo said he’s never seen them “more engaged” than ever with state politics.

With Astorino watching on, Cuomo knocked Westchester County for having the highest property taxes in the nation and for having a recent credit-rating downgrade.

Cuomo Doesn’t Rule Out Endorsement Of Grisanti

Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Friday did not rule out endorsing Republican Sen. Mark Grisanti,saying it was a “difficult” choice to make.

Grisanti, a GOP lawmaker in his second term who lost his primary this month to attorney Kevin Stocker, is the last of the Republicans in the state Senate who supported the 2011 same-sex marriage law.

Cuomo told reporters after speaking to the state Business Council in Bolton Landing (and touting his work with Republicans in the Legislature) that he was yet to make a decision as to whether he would back Grisanti or the Democrat in the race, Marc Panepinto.

Senate Republicans, meanwhile, have not made a decision either as to whether they’ll back Grisanti’s bid in the general election or Stocker.

The governor insisted that it was Grisanti’s vote for the same-sex marriage law that cost him the primary, though the Buffalo Republican survived a challenge from Stocker in 2012 as well. More likely, Grisanti faced a backlash for his vote in favor of the SAFE Act, a gun control law Cuomo championed in 2013.

“It’s a difficult problem for me, because I want to be there, I want to be supportive,” Cuomo said.

Cuomo had endorsed or offered to support two Republicans in 2012 who had voted in favor of the measure: Sen. Stephen Saland, who lost a three-way race, and Sen. Roy McDonald, who had retained the Independence Party line after losing his primary, but ultimately declined to compete in the general election.

Cuomo this year supports a full Democratic takeover of the state Senate, which is currently controlled by a coalition of Republicans and five independent Democrats.