Biden, Endorses Cuomo And Provides Validators

It was a classic Joe Biden stemwinder: References to his family, Ireland, Scranton, Mumbai and China.

Oh yeah, and he endorsed Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

The former vice president in the key note address on Thursday at the state Democratic convention endorsed Cuomo’s bid for a third term, saying he’s successfully pushed key liberal issues for the last eight years.

“By the way, Andrew Cuomo has not backed away from his progressive principles, not one single time,” Biden said.

Speaking for more than half an hour on the second and final day of the convention, Biden slammed President Donald Trump’s administration and its “phony populism.”

“This is not your father’s Republican Party,” Biden said. “This is a different deal. They are not who we are. They are not who America is.”

Biden is one of a trio of high-profile Democrats who appeared as headliners at the convention, alongside Hillary Clinton on Wednesday and earlier in the morning, national Democratic Party Chairman Tom Perez.

All endorsed Cuomo as he faces a primary challenge from Cynthia Nixon, an actress and public education advocate.

Biden concluded his remarks by slapping the podium and embracing Cuomo as his campaign theme by Bon Jovi played over the loudspeakers.

Legislative Leaders Formally Endorse Cuomo

The top Democratic leaders in the state Senate and Assembly on Thursday formally endorsed Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s re-election as he seeks a third term.

The endorsements came at the second day of the Democratic convention at Hofstra University, where Cuomo has received the preferred candidate status, easily over his primary opponent Cynthia Nixon.

“When you have a winning quarterback, there’s no reason to change,” said Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie. “We’re with you 100 percent.”

Senate Minority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, whose conference is seeking majority control of the chamber this year, credited Cuomo with unifying the mainline conference and the dissolution of the Independent Democratic Conference last month.

“There is one conference. There is no IDC. There is one conference, under one leader,” she said. “I want to thank the governor for helping put that together. We are one short of being in the majority.”

Highlighting the unity, former IDC Sens. Jeff Klein and Diane Savino embraced Stewart-Cousins on stage.

Democrats hope to make legislative gains in down-ballot races this year considering the expected high levels of party turnout ahead of what is expected to be a backlash year for Republicans.

“We will ride our blue wave, right out of New York, and into the nation’s capital,” Stewart-Cousins said. “But we have to start here.”

NY-19: Ten Local Officials Endorse Ryan

Democratic congressional candidate Pat Ryan this week was endorsed by 10 locally elected officials in the Hudson Valley.

The endorsements come with about a month to go until the June congressional primary for the Hudson Valley district with a slate of Democratic hopefuls vying to compete against Republican Rep. John Faso.

Ryan’s endorsements include New Paltz Supervisor Neil Bettez, Dutchess County Legislature Minority Leader Hannah Black and Red Hook Mayor Ed Blundell.

“I’m incredibly honored to have the support of so many highly respected leaders across the district. Not only do we share a commitment to fighting for our progressive values, but we also all recognize that we need to win here and take back this seat,” Ryan said.

“With a month to go before the primary election, my campaign is gaining more and more momentum every day. These endorsements are further validation of the fact that I’m the strongest candidate to beat John Faso. I look forward to working with all of these leaders to win in November and serve the people of our district as your representative.”

Faso is seeking a second term in what is expected to be a hotly contest House race.

Cuomo, Nixon Battle For Democratic Party

From the Morning Memo:

In the end, round one was not close.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Wednesday received more than 95.3 percent of the weighted vote at the state Democratic Committee’s annual convention on Hofstra University, with his primary opponent Cynthia Nixon picking up just over 4 percent.

The result means she will have to petition her way onto the ballot, going through the time-consuming process of collecting signatures to qualify for the September vote.

Nixon herself was not wholly surprised by this: She appeared at the first day of the convention briefly to hear nominating speeches and then left, calling Cuomo a “dynastic governor” who of course would receive the backing of the party he largely controls.

“We felt it was important to come, to meet people, to reach out, to talk them about the issues and show them that they have an alternative,” Nixon said in an interview on NY1, “and this is my party too and I wasn’t going to be scared out of the room.”

And Nixon did indeed reach out to convention delegates to seek their endorsement ahead of the meeting on Long Island.

In a letter obtained by Capital Tonight, the Nixon campaign sought from members of the state committee, hosting a conference call on Monday in advance of the convention vote.

“As members of the state committee, you play an important role in the political process and I want to give you the opportunity to hear from me directly and I’d like to hear from you too,” the letter states.

The letter also touted to committee members a campaign with a “progressive agenda to address the issues facing our state” that insisted there was a path to victory.

“Though I recognize this is an uphill battle, across the United States, we are witness candidates with progressive platforms win on a local and national level like never before,” the letter states.

For allies of the governor, the letter is a contradiction of the nonchalance Nixon has had toward the process about the convention.

“She thinks this is going to end like movie and when it goes embarrassingly bad she does what she does best — acts like she doesn’t care,” one Democratic source backing Cuomo said.

Here and Now

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is in Nassau County.

The GOP and Democratic state conventions continue in Manhattan and on Long Island, respectively, with former Vice President Joe Biden and the governor expected to speak at the latter, and attorney general and state comptroller candidates selected at the former.

The state Legislature is in session in Albany.

President Donald Trump this morning participates in the signing of a space policy directive to streamline regulations on commercial use of space, and also in the signing ceremony for S. 2155 – Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act.

In the afternoon, Trump presents the Medal of Honor, and then meets with the Chief of Naval Operations and the Superintendent of the U.S. Naval Academy.

At 7:20 a.m., NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio will appear live on MSNBC’s Morning Joe.

At 8:15 a.m., NYC Sanitation Department Commissioner Kathryn Garcia, New York City Councilwoman Helen Rosenthal and others speak at the Lincoln Square Business Improvement District’s annual meeting, Fordham Law School, Costantino Room, Skadden Conference Center, second floor, 150 W. 62nd St., Manhattan.

At 8:30 a.m., state Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia will deliver opening remarks at the New York Association for Technology and Computers in Education (NYSCATE) Conference titled, “Personalized Learning: Technology-Enhanced Instruction and Practices to Meet the Needs of All NYS Students,” Albany Capital Center, 55 Eagle St., Albany.

At 10 a.m., the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey board meets in executive session, 4 World Trade Center, 150 Greenwich St., Manhattan.

Also at 10 a.m., the NYC Council Progressive, Women’s and LGBT caucuses rally against cuts to Planned Parenthood, City Hall steps, Manhattan.

Also at 10 a.m., the Assembly will hold a public hearing to examine the issue of compensated gestational carrier surrogacy agreements, Assembly Hearing Room 1923, 19th Floor, 250 Broadway, Manhattan.

At 11 a.m., Queens Borough President Melinda Katz hosts a Memorial Day Observance Ceremony, Veterans Memorial Garden, 120-55 Queens Blvd., Queens.

At noon, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey board meets, 4 World Trade Center, 150 Greenwich St., Manhattan.

Also at noon, NYC Council members Laurie Cumbo and Keith Powers rally in support of Intro. 899, allowing for child care to be allocated as a campaign expense, City Hall steps, Manhattan.

Also at noon, Assemblywoman Nily Rozic holds her sixth annual Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month celebration, Townsend Harris High School, Auditorium, 149-11 Melbourne Ave., Queens.

At 1:30 p.m., Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie joins Assemblyman Steve Stern to tour Huntington Harbor and discuss water quality issues, Mill Dam Park, West Shore Road, Halesite.

At 2:45 p.m., Heastie visits Tri Community and Youth Agency, 809 New York Ave., Huntington.

At 6 p.m., Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez celebrates Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, Brooklyn Law School, 205 State St., Feil Hall, 22nd floor, Brooklyn.

At 6:30 p.m., de Blasio and NYC First Lady Chirlane McCray will deliver remarks at the Planned Parenthood rally for Title X Funding, City Hall Park, Manhattan. (LG Kathy Hochul is also scheduled to speak at 6 p.m.)

At 7 p.m., Suffolk County Executive Steven Bellone delivers his 2018 State of the County address, Newfield High School, 145 Marshall Drive, Selden.

At 8 p.m., de Blasio will deliver remarks at the Kings County Democratic Committee Gala, El Caribe, 5945 Strickland Ave., Brooklyn.

Headlines…

North Korea excoriated Vice President Mike Pence as “ignorant” and “stupid,” and the isolated regime once again threatened to pull out of a planned summit between Kim Jong Un and Trump.

One of Trump’s Twitter habits — his practice of blocking critics on the service, preventing them from engaging with his account — was declared unconstitutional by a federal judge in Manhattan

White House chief of staff John Kelly will attend two briefings at the Justice Department today about an FBI informant who interacted with the Trump campaign in the 2016 election — ensuring that Trump will have a high-level emissary there for a discussion of sensitive evidence connected to his associates.

The president traveled to Long Island for the second time in less than a year to put a spotlight on the brutal acts of violence attributed to the MS-13 gang, and also to promote his immigration agenda. He was greeted by some 60 protestors.

The IRS issued a warning to taxpayers in New York and other high-tax states whose governors have come up with plans to help taxpayers avoid new limits on federal deductions for state and local taxes.

During a roundtable discussion on Long Island, Trump warned he was working on a plan to reduce U.S. aid to countries he says are doing nothing to stop MS-13 gang members from crossing into the United States illegally.

U.S. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer slammed Trump for soaring gas prices, blaming his decision to reimpose sanctions on Iran for higher costs that he said will burn away the GOP tax cut.

Rudy Giuliani did an about-face, saying that he now believed that Trump should agree to a sitdown with the special counsel’s team investigating Russian election meddling.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo received a whopping 95 percent of the weighted vote aft the state Democratic convention, and also landed the endorsement of former U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton, who told the crowd: “We need leaders who believe in producing results and getting things done — leaders like Andrew Cuomo and (LG) Kathy Hochul.”

In her speech, Clinton painted Cuomo as a seasoned politician with a strong track record for delivering on progressive causes, like marriage equality, a $15 minimum wage and staving off the influence of the Trump administration.

Hochul won 94 percent of the delegate vote at the and will seek reelection as Cuomo’s running mate. Brooklyn Councilman Jumaane Williams picked up just 6 percent of the vote.

Actress and activist Cynthia Nixon, now a gubernatorial candidate, got a lesson in power politics at the convention, when she failed to receive the necessary 25 percent worth of the weighted vote to get onto the primary ballot in September. She now must petition her way on.

“As a two-term incumbent, it was no surprise to anyone that Andrew Cuomo won the nomination today,” said Nixon spokeswoman Lauren Hitt, who added that the campaign does not believe gathering the necessary 15,000 signatures (at least) to get into the ballot will be a problem.

State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli was unanimously nominated by state Democrats for a third full, four-year term. Unlike his fellow candidates on the statewide ticket, he faces no primary challengers.

The state Democratic Party passed a non-binding snd largely symbolic resolution last night to kick turncoat Brooklyn Sen. Simcha Felder out of the party for caucusing with Republicans and whose vote is the only reason the GOP controls the Senate chamber.

The Dems passed a second resolution that calls on the party to fully back, including financially, Felder’s primary opponent, Blake Morris, or anyone who files to challenge the incumbent senator.

The party also nominated NYC Advocate Letitia “Tish” James for attorney general, defeating two other candidates – former Clinton and Cuomo aide Leecia Eve and Fordham law Prof. Zephyr Teachout – for the nod.

Teachout and Eve each failed to pick up the required 25 percent of the delegate vote that would have guaranteed them a spot on the ballot. The two said they will instead circulate petitions to get on the September primary ballot.

As many of New York’s top Democrats gathered at the convention, one prominent Democrat was noticeably absent: NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio. He said he was not offered a “meaningful” role in the event, and so did not attend, adding: “I got a lot of other good things I can do with my time and so I’m not worried about it.”

The Republicans, holding their convention in Manhattan, were unified behind the top of their ticket, unanimously backing Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro for governor, and former state Senate candidate Julie Killian for LG.

Drawing a stark contrast from the wealthy president known for his inflammatory rhetoric, Molinaro in his acceptance speech emphasized his humble beginnings in his acceptance speech and framed himself as a compassionate conservative who could appeal to all voters.

More >

James Gets Formal Party Backing For AG

Democratic attorney general candidate Tish James on Wednesday received the bulk of the support from New York Democrats, but is likely to face one, if not two, primary challenges.

James received 85 percent of the weighted vote at the convention, with Leecia Eve, a former official in Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration earning 9.3 percent. Zephyr Teachout, a Fordham Law School professor and a 2014 candidate candidate for governor, received 5.5 percent of the vote.

Both Eve and Teachout have indicated they will petition their way onto the primary ballot.

The attorney general’s office became open earlier this month after the resignation of incumbent Democrat Eric Schneiderman amid allegations of domestic violence.

Barbara Underwood, a career attorney in the AG’s office, was appointed this week by the Legislature to fill out the remainder of Schneiderman’s term.

The role of the AG has expanded several times over since Eliot Spitzer dramatically revolutionized the approach the AG’s office has taken on financial malfeasance.

Under Schneiderman, the office became a thorn in the side of President Donald Trump, whose policies and regulatory changes were challenged by New York and other attorneys general.

James, the New York City public advocate, indicated in remarks at the convention that she would continue that effort.

“This is how our legal system is supposed to work: It’s a shield of justice,” she said. “And the attorney general must confront the stark reality and stand as the role of resistance.”

The race at first was likely to be a wide-ranging one as more than a dozen names were floated as potential candidates.

But James has quickly consolidated support from organized labor and top Democratic elected officials in the state, including Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie and Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Cuomo Says Democrats Have Broad Coalition

Gov. Andrew Cuomo made a surprise visit to the state Democratic convention on Wednesday as the party largely demonstrates unity for his re-election.

But there are fissures within the party that are a reflection of the national ideological push and pull of the party currently out of power on the federal level.

Cuomo insisted in a gaggle with reporters after picking up the endorsement of Hillary Clinton at the convention that the party’s ideological tent remains diverse.

“You have people who are more left, you have people who are more right,” he said. “It’s a diverse state and we acknowledge and recognize everyone. But our accomplishments are in arguably the most progressive in the nation.”

The convention so far has been a projection of not just unity behind Cuomo from a party committee he largely controls, but also a series of high-profile validators like Clinton and, on Thursday, former Vice President Joe Biden.

Cuomo also dove a bit into political history, pointing to the defunct Liberal Party, which he called “fringe and elitist.” Cuomo had ran on the line in 2002 during his first failed bid for governor.

The party’s demise was in part its own making beyond Cuomo’s failed campaign as it endorsed candidates who were not on the left of the political spectrum, at the least distinguishing them from the activist Working Families Party.

Extras

A federal district court judge ruled that President Trump can’t block people from viewing his Twitter feed over their political views

Trump’s son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner has been granted his permanent security clearance, a person briefed on the matter said, ending a period of uncertainty that had fueled questions about whether he was in peril in the special counsel investigation.

Amid repeated protests during the playing of the national anthem over the past two seasons, the NFL passed a revised policy that mandates players and team personnel present on the sideline “shall stand and show respect for the flag and the Anthem.”

Six families of victims killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School mass shooting, as well as an FBI agent who responded to the scene, filed a defamation lawsuit today against radio personality Alex Jones, who has repeatedly called the shooting fake.

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio says he skipped the state Democratic convention on Long Island because there wasn’t a “meaningful role” for him to play there.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Acting Director Thomas Homan took a verbal swipe at Gov. Andrew Cuomo at an immigration roundtable with Trump on Long Island.

The president of the Nassau County police union praised Trump’s tough stance on the violent MS-13 street gang — and bashed the Democratic county exec for supposedly not supporting the department.

Most voters see the notorious gang as a serious problem and don’t believe Trump is being too aggressive in dealing with the issue, a new Rasmussen poll finds.

Former chief strategist Stephen Bannon predicts that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein could be fired “very shortly,” in an interview that will be broadcast this evening in the United Kingdom.

Though a month remains in the state’s legislative session, it includes just 15 days of actual lawmaking, and there are still some big items on the agenda for small businesses – including one on which the Legislature can be circumvented.

Disbarred New York City attorney and businessman Evgeny “Gene” Freidman, an associate of Trump’s longtime lawyer Michael Cohen, pleaded guilty to felony tax fraud in Albany County Court in a deal that reportedly requires he cooperate in state and federal investigations.

Cynthia Nixon says she didn’t expect to win enough support from Democratic State Committee delegates to win a slot on the party’s primary ballot, but placed her name in nomination to show voters that they have a choice. “I’m not a protest candidate…you can’t shut me out,” she said.

As expected, Nixon did not get the 25 percent of the weighted convention vote needed to automatically win a spot on the primary ballot, and will have to circulate petitions to get on the ballot.

Nixon’s convention suit drew kudos from a fashion reporter.

Cuomo today announced an action to remind health insurers that they are required under New York Insurance Law to provide coverage for comprehensive lactation support and counseling, as well as breastfeeding equipment and supplies without co-pays, coinsurance, or deductibles.

In the most important speech thus far in his fledgling gubernatorial campaign, in which he accepted his party’s nomination to challenge Cuomo in November, Dutchess County Executive Molinaro, called himself an agent of change who will bring fresh views and transparency to “shake the yoke of corruption” in Albany.

Just in case you were wondering, NYC Public Advocate Tish James, Democratic state AG candidate, does not eat pizza with a fork.

Fordham Law professor Zephyr Teachout confirmed that she intends to launch a bid for attorney general, and will formally launch her campaign in the coming weeks.

In a letter released as part of Bloomberg Philanthropies’ annual report, former NYC Mayor Mike Bloomberg says Washington’s “direct assault on facts and data is making it harder for America to address major challenges here and around the world.”

Businesses in NYC would be barred from using disposable plastic straws and coffee stirrers, replacing them with paper or reusable metal versions under a bill introduced in the City Council.

The EPA organized its first-ever summit to address concern over chemical contamination of water, but the good intentions were undercut when agency officials blocked reporters from three news organizations at the door.

Environmental groups, South End residents and local leaders all welcomed a decision by an oil company to abandon its five-year-old plan to install a facility at the Port of Albany that could have handled Canadian tar sands oil.

Tina Fey’s “Mean Girls,” a musical based on the popular 2004 comedy film, will launch its national tour at Shea’s Performing Arts Center in Buffalo late next year.

Julia Louis-Dreyfus has been named as this year’s recipient of the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor from the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, and will be the sixth woman to receive the coveted comedy award since it was first handed to comedian Richard Pryor two decades ago.

Cuomo Basks In Clinton Endorsement

Hillary Clinton formally endorsed Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s re-election on Wednesday at the state Democratic convention, giving him a boost from the party’s 2016 nominee for president and a former U.S. senator from the state.

While some liberals grumbled when Clinton, an avatar for the left of moderate wing of the party, provided the keynote address, Cuomo was clearly thrilled with the appearance.

He appeared after her remarks, giving her a bouquet of flowers and praising her as a “pioneer and inspiration.”

It was Clinton’s first foray to a purely political event since her loss in the 2016 election to President Donald Trump. And it was largely friendly territory, speaking before an appreciative crowd of New York Democrats.

“Our state is a shining example of what’s possible when we have tough Democratic leaders,” Clinton said. “People in every corner of this state are mounting a massive resistance.”

But Cuomo is also wrestling with the fissures within the party itself, facing a primary challenge from actress and public education advocate Cynthia Nixon. Cuomo secured 95 percent of the weighted vote at the convention on Wednesday, easily surpassing Nixon’s backing at the convention.

Cuomo, speaking with reporters in a gaggle after Clinton’s speech, insisted the Democratic Party was a big enough tent to accommodate moderates and liberals alike.

The Working Families Party, a liberal ballot line, is backing Nixon’s challenge to him.

GOP Sources: Alicandro Will Have To Prove He Lived In NY To Be Considered For AG Designation

Wall Street attorney Manny Alicandro was the first Republican to announce his candidacy for attorney general, but there are questions right now about whether he’ll even be part of Thursday’s designation process.

At one point, Alicandro was the likely Republican nomination, but after Eric Schneiderman’s resignation amid domestic violence allegations, several other candidates emerged. Now, according to sources with the state party, it is not clear if he has been a permanent resident of New York State long enough to qualify for the seat.

Under the State Constitution, a candidate for statewide office must be a resident of New York for the five years “immediately preceding election.” According to state Board of Elections documentation, Alicandro registered to vote in New York in 2014.

In 2012, according to Federal Elections Commission contribution disclosures, his address was Lakewood, New Jersey. Two years later the address he listed for contributions was in New York City.

Alicandro did not make any contributions around November 2013, the time period in which he needed to be a resident, so there is a gap in information to consider.

I asked the candidate personally about these inconsistencies with the address. He assured me there was nothing to worry about and said he has had permanent residence in New York since 2008.

When I asked him about the New Jersey address, he said it was his mother’s house which he sometimes listed on the FEC documents. Sources with the party are not insinuating Alicandro is lying, but say it will be incumbent on him to prove he lived in the state before November 6, 2013 if he wants to be considered as a candidate.

They said the party can’t risk designating somebody who might not be allowed to run for the office. The other candidates include NYC lawyer Keith Wofford, Rockland County Attorney Thomas Humbach and former George Pataki aide Joe Holland.

While the seat is still up for grabs, GOP Chairman Ed Cox believes Wofford is the favorite.