NY-21 Debate

The three candidates for New York’s 21st Congressional District squared off in a debate, hosted by Time Warner Cable News.

Current Rep. Bill Owens, a Democrat, is retiring and not on the November ballot.

The election is Nov. 4.

Capital Tonight anchor Liz Benjamin moderated the debate, with TWC News reporters Brian Dwyer and Matt Hunter asking the questions.

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Here and Now

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

At 7:45 a.m., Westchester County Executive and GOP gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino delivers the keynote address at the RealShare New York Conference, Roosevelt Hotel, 45 East 45th St., Manhattan.

At 8:30 a.m., the New York League of Conservation Voters Education Fund hosts “Dig Deep for a Greener New York” policy forum, NYU Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, 295 Lafayette St., Manhattan.

At 8:45 a.m., the AARP holds roundtable breakfast with Onondaga County community leaders to discuss Boomer Flight and impact of the 50+ on the local economy, Crowne Plaza 701 East Genesee St., Syracuse.

At 9 a.m., Board of Regents Chancellor Merryl Tisch and state Education Commissioner John King visit P.S. 108K, The Sal Abbracciamento School, 200 Linwood St., Brooklyn.

At 10 a.m., Astorino and his running mate, Chemung County Sheriff Chris Moss, meet with Sen. Reverend Ruben Diaz Sr. and his New York Hispanic Clergy Organization, Maestro’s Restaurant, 1703 Bronxdale Ave., the Bronx.

At 10:15 a.m., New York City Charter School Center CEO James Merriman and state Sen. Jose Peralta and others announce the launch of “Charters Open Doors” campaign, City Hall steps, Manhattan.

At 10:30 a.m., Sen. David Carlucci hosts Senior Advisory Committee Meeting, Nanuet Public Library, 149 Church St., Nanuet.

At 11 a.m., Green Party gubernatorial candidate Howie Hawkins holds a press conference on his tour of fracking wells, Susquehanna County Courthouse, 105 Maple St., Montrose, Penn.

At 11:30 a.m., AG Eric Schneiderman makes a consumer financial protection announcement, Citibank Branch, 86 Main St., Yonkers.

At noon, Sens. Brad Hoylman, Ruth Hassell-Thompson and New York City Council members rally with VOCAL-NY to demand expansion of welfare benefits for H.I.V.-positive New Yorkers, City Hall steps, Manhattan.

Also at noon, Moss hosts a meet-and-greet, Richmond County Republican Headquarters, 2300 Richmond Rd., Staten Island.

Also at noon, NYC Bill de Blasio attends interagency Ebola preparedness meeting, Committee of the Whole, City Hall, Manhattan.

Also at noon, elected officials and New York City’s leading LGBT and AIDS service groups hold press conference to advocate for two major policy changes, City Hall steps, Manhattan.

At 1:30 p.m. Tisch and King visit Marble Hill High School, 99 Terrace View Ave., the Bronx.

At 4:30 p.m., Tisch, King and New York City schools Chancellor Carmen Farina host a showcase schools kick-off event, Doubletree Metropolitan Penthouse, 569 Lexington Ave., Manhattan.

Also at 4:30 p.m., Democratic LG candidate Kathy Hochul meets with Malone Chamber of Commerce members, community and business leaders, Malone Chamber of Commerce, 497 E. Main St., Malone.

At 6 p.m., Hochul sseaks at the Franklin County Democratic Dinner, Malone Golf Club, 79 Golf Course Rd., Malone.

Also at 6 p.m., de Blasio delivers remarks at Italian Heritage Reception, Gracie Mansion, 88th St. and East End Ave., Manhattan.

At 8:30 p.m., Astorino delivers remarks at United Missionary Baptist Association Moderator’s Night, 1883 Adam Clayton Powell Blvd., Harlem.


In his new book, which comes out Tuesday, Oct. 14, Gov. Andrew Cuomo discusses some personal topics he usually avoids, like his relationship with his father, former Gov. Mario Cuomo; his divorce from Kerry Kennedy; and his new girlfriend, Food Network star Sandra Lee, whom he calls a “godsend.”

The book, “All Things Possible: Setbacks and Success in Politics and Life,” to be released by released by HarperCollins’s Harper imprint, “sets down a largely positive narrative for Mr. Cuomo, who is often mentioned as a potential presidential candidate — though his memoir does not take up that subject.”

A patient at a Westchester County hospital is being monitored because he had contact with someone who was in West Africa recently, although County Executive Rob Astorino said it isn’t likely that the patient has the deadly Ebola virus.

US Attorney Preet Bharara is investigating the campaign finances of Brooklyn state Sen. Martin Golden, according to the NY Post. “The campaign fund is being looked at,” acknowledged Golden, Brooklyn’s only elected Republican official.

Phil Reisman: “One way to get attention real fast is to yell fire in a crowded movie theater — and Astorino came awfully close to doing that Wednesday when he told the world that while there were no locally reported cases of the dreaded Ebola, there were questions being raised about symptoms experienced by a patient who was being treated at an undisclosed Westchester County hospital.”

Citigroup Inc. will return $16 million to customers who were allegedly overcharged for advisory fees on certain investment accounts, according to an agreement with the state to be announced today by AG Eric Schneiderman.

In a two-pronged event at the fuel cell manufacturer Plug Power, Cuomo announced his plans to make high-speed broadband available statewide and received the backing of one of the state’s largest private business organizations.

Cuomo proposed that the state spend $500 million to expand broadband access, mainly upstate. This is one of his first campaign pledges as he seeks a second four-year term.

The state Democratic Committee is sending out a fundraising letter from former Gov. David Paterson once again calling on Astorino, the GOP gubernatorial candidate, to release five years of taxes. So far, Astorino has made returns for one year available.

New York City lawmakers sharply criticized the city’s correction commissioner, raising pointed questions about his ability to curb pervasive violence against inmates at Rikers Island.

Schneiderman is being accused of unfairly smearing an indicted Queens lawmaker, Councilman Ruben Wills, by ­including him in a TV campaign ad. Wills is demanding the AG be removed as the prosecutor in his case for violating a court rule barring prejudicial pretrial publicity against a defendant.

Board of Regents chancellor Merryl Tisch didn’t give a direct answer when asked whether voters next month should approve a $2 billion bond act to boost technology in schools.

A new survey released by the New York State Council of School Superintendents reveals that school district leaders widely believe that the Common Core Learning Standards will have a positive impact on education.

More >


Zephyr Teachout is launching a “corruption in New York” book tour tomorrow.

Teachout and her erstwhile running mate, Tim Wu, endorsed GOP Sen. Marty Golden’s Democratic opponent, James Kemmerer.

A victory by either Rep. Michael Grimm or his Democratic opponent, Domenic Recchia, in NY-11 would be problematic for the winner.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo says pundits who believe he has a likability problem: “Don’t know me,” insisting: “I would say I’m very likable.”

Environmental Advocates released its 2014 legislative scorecard and named Capital Region GOP Sen. Kathy Marchione the recipient of its “Oil Slick.”

Astorino again deployed his children in his campaign, releasing a video of them laughing at Cuomo’s latest “ridiculous” attack ad.

The head of the city’s largest municipal union, DC37 Executive Director Lillian Roberts, will retire effective Dec. 31.

Cuomo said he was not sure why his administration helped shape a federal study on water quality in the gas-rich Southern Tier.

The Pegulas officially own the Buffalo Bills, and Terry Pegula called the record-breaking $1.4 billion pricetag “one hell of a deal.”

GOP state Senate candidate Joe Dillon is going through a foreclosure on his Yonkers home and has had two tax liens filed against him in recent years.

Not one of the six state senators representing Central New York has anything to worry about on Election Day this year, because none of them have opponents.

Former President Bill Clinton teased a possible presidential bid by his wife, joking he can be more candid now that he’s out of office, but added, “Unless your wife might run for something.”

Moody’s: “While New Jersey’s pension crisis is one of nation’s worst, independent comptroller kept New York State out of trouble.”

Cuomo made some of his most extensive comments on the controversial topic of hydro fracking to date.

Airports in the United States will begin taking the temperatures of arriving passengers who have flight itineraries originating from West African countries where Ebola is concentrated.

President Obama headlined a fund-raiser at the Manhattan home of disgraced ex-Intrepid museum boss William ‘Bill’ White, who paid a $1 million settlement for his role in a massive state pension fund scandal.

Warren Buffett predicts Hillary Clinton will win the 2016 presidency.

Former NYC Mayor Bloomberg will make his inaugural public appearance as an Honorary Knight of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire at Vanity Fair’s first-ever New Establishment Summit on Thursday.

A SUNY committtee unanimously approved 17 additional charter schools to open over the next two years, with 14 of the charters going to Success Academy.

GOP NY-4 candidate Bruce Blakeman is on the air with a TV ad questioning the “priorities” of his Democratic opponent, Nassau DA Kathleen Rice.

NYC Public Advocate Tish James updated her landlord watchlist.


Former President George H.W. Bush likes his coffee “ stifling hot, no sugar, with light cream served at room temperature.”

A Chicago resident is starting a one-woman campaign for Clinton-Beyonce 2016.

Schumer Endorses Two Senate Dems

U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer endorsed two Democratic candidates for state Senate on Wednesday on Long Island and in western New York.

The endorsements are two key, battleground state Senate districts that Democrats hope to capture in order to gain full control of the chamber this year.

In Nassau County, Schumer endorsed Democrat Adam Haber, who is trying to unseat Republican Sen. Jack Martins.

“Adam Haber will make an excellent State Senator. Nassau residents can count on him to fight for their interests in Albany, from passing the Women’s Equality Act and strengthening schools to lowering the tax burden and securing a livable minimum wage,” Schumer said in a statement.

Meanwhile, Schumer also endorsed Democrat Marc Panepinto, a lawyer running in a complicated four-way race in Buffalo.

“Marc Panepinto will make an excellent State Senator. Western New Yorkers can count on him to fight for their interests in Albany, from passing the Women’s Equality Act and strengthening our schools to lowering the tax burden and fighting for the rights of workers and their families,” Schumer said.

Panepinto wants to unseat Republican Sen. Mark Grisanti, who lost his GOP primary to Kevin Stocker last month.

Grisanti is staying in the race on the Independence Party ballot line.

As the last sitting Republican to have endorsed the legalization of same-sex marriage in 2011, Grisanti may receive the backing of Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

The governor, who supports Democrats taking over the chamber, said earlier today he will be campaigning with Democratic candidates for state Senate later this month.

“A lot of the campaign materials we’re doing together to help Democratic candidates across the state. And we’ll be campaigning with them as well,” he said.

HRC Urges Cuomo To Find Replacement For Graffeo

The Human Rights Campaign in a letter to Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Wednesday urged him to not re-appoint Court of Appeals Judge Victoria Graffeo.

The group takes issue with a number of high-profile rulings on the court that Graffeo agreed with, including signing on to a majority opinion that struck down same-sex marriages being performed on the local level.

“While many Americans have evolved on LGBT rights, in 2010 Judge Graffeo declined to recognize a lesbian mom as a full parent despite her legal relationship to the biological mother,” HRC President and CEO Chad Griffin wrote in the letter. “Consistently she has shown a lack of respect for constitutional rights afforded to all Americans and instead defers to the legislature on issues that are appropriate subject matter for the courts.”

Cuomo punted on nominating a replacement for Graffeo last week, announcing in a radio interview he would delay the decision by two weeks in order to not make the choice a political issue ahead of the general election.

Postponing the decision also means Cuomo wouldn’t be squeezed by Republicans in the state Senate over the nominating process. Once he makes his nomination, the Senate has 30 days to act.

Graffeo was appointed by Republican Gov. George Pataki in 2006.

Cuomo Letter on Graff Eo by Nick Reisman

Astorino Camp: Biz Council Endorsement ‘Absurd’

The campaign of Republican gubernatorial hopeful Rob Astorino blasted the endorsement of Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Wednesday by the New York State Business Council, calling the nod “absurd.”

“It’s absurd for any business organization to endorse a governor who has presided over the highest taxes in the nation, the worst economic outlook, one of the most unfriendly business climates and the most people leaving a state,” said Astorino spokeswoman Jessica Proud. “If we are truly going to turn New York around, it’s going to take bold reform, not more of Andrew Cuomo’s broken promises.”

Cuomo was endorsed earlier today by the business lobbying group, which cited his efforts to install a cap on local property tax increases, limits on spending hikes in state budgets and an uptick in the state’s credit rating.

Astorino had sought the Business Council’s endorsement in September at the group’s annual meeting, insisting that the business community should take a more aggressive approach to push state government on taxes and regulatory issues.

Last Night and What’s Ahead

Senate Democrats upstate are in trouble, but will Cuomo’s support help or hurt? As for cross-endorsements, the Cuomo campaign fired back Tuesday. We have the details. Plus, tipped workers speak out about the state’s minimum wage. Here’s highlights from last night and a look ahead to tonight.



Photo By Steve Jacobs/Glens Falls Post Star

Candidates for the 21st Congressional District will face off in a debate on Time Warner Cable News right before Capital Tonight this evening. The debate will begin at 7 p.m. on Time Warner Cable News in the Capital Region, Central New York, and the North Country. If you don’t live in those regions and want to watch the debate as it airs, click here. All three major party candidates will participate, including Republican Elise Stefanik, Democrat Aaron Woolf, and Green Party candidate Matt Funiciello.


Full Show – 10.07.14

Supporting Senators: Sen. Mark Grisanti Interview

Candidate Conversation: Marc Panepinto Interview

Talking Tips: Three Guests on Minimum Wage

The Insiders


Citizens Union Report Touts Redistricting Amendment (Updated)

A report of Citizens Union on Wednesday touts the benefits an amendment aimed at changing the state’s redistricting process, arguing that its passage would lead to increased competition in elections and end a partisan process of drawing legislative boundaries.

The amendment, due to go before voters on Election Day, is aimed at removing the process from state lawmakers and in to the hands of a commission appointed by the Assembly and Senate.

The measure has divided the good-government groups, with some pointing to the lingering legislative influence in the proposal.

But Citizens Union says the measure is the best chance to fix the system that has kept incumbents or their parties in the Assembly and Senate in power.

“The 2012 redistricting process was business as usual in Albany, with the majority parties controlling the process and lines being drawn for partisan purposes rather than in the best interests of voters, with greater candidate choice and more contested elections,” said Dick Dadey, Executive Director of Citizens Union. “This report confirms that the Legislature again used the process in 2012 to keep its stranglehold on power. New Yorkers now have the opportunity to fix this rigged system and hold legislators accountable by voting Yes for Proposal 1 on November 4th. This state constitutional amendment will ban partisan gerrymandering by outlawing legislative maps drawn for political advantage.”

The report released today by Citizens Union found the rate of re-election for incumbents would be lower and open the elections to more candidates, thus ensuring increased competition in state races.

If approved, the redistricting amendment’s changes would take effect for the next round of redistricting in 2022.

Updated: Common Cause’s Susan Lerner takes a different view, noting the recent court ruling that removed the word “independent” from the ballot language before voters when it came to describing the new redistricting commission.

“Spin it anyway you like, but after the judge’s ruling, it’s impossible to claim that Proposition 1 would “unrig” the system. New Yorkers understand that this proposed commission would actually make a bad situation worse.”

CU Report Rigged to Maintain Power by Nick Reisman

Debate Settled, Cuomo And Astorino Spar On Circumstances

Though the campaigns of Gov. Andrew Cuomo and his Republican rival Rob Astorino have tentatively agreed to a television debate, the two candidates continued to spar on Wednesday over the circumstances.

Astorino, the Westchester County executive, insisted in a Talk-1300 radio interview that Cuomo was too afraid to debate.

“He’s a coward on this,” Astorino said in the interview.

Astorino confronted Cuomo at the state Business Council’s annual meeting last month and asked about debating. Astorino said he could tell Cuomo was afraid when he “looked him right in the eye.”

Cuomo, meanwhile, blamed Astorino for there be only one debate instead of the two that his campaign accepted.

“I think two debates were sufficient,” Cuomo said. “He’s declined, he only wants to do one.”

The Cuomo campaign announced it had agreed to a televised debate in Buffalo including the Green Party and Libertarian candidates.

Astorino’s campaign had not been consulted on the terms or structure of those forums before Team Cuomo announced it had accepted those debates.

In the aftermath, Astorino said he wanted a one-on-one TV debate with Cuomo, not a radio forum.

“That’s his decision to drop out,” Cuomo said today. “It’s a little surprising. He was first I believe wanted debates. We then agreed to debate and then he didn’t want to debate.”

Astorino’s campaign has agreed to the Buffalo TV debate.

Business Council For Cahill, No Endorsement In Comptroller’s Race

As the New York State Business Council endorses Democratic incumbent Andrew Cuomo in the race for governor, the lobby group is backing the Republican challenger in the race for attorney general.

The Business Council endorsed on Wednesday John Cahill, the former top aide to Gov. George Pataki, over Democratic Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.

“The office of Attorney General, through the Department of Law, has enforcement, regulatory and policy-making functions that can have significant impact on individual businesses and on industry sectors. Therefore, this election matters to business, and we are pleased to be making our first ever endorsement for the office of Attorney General,” said Business Council President Heather Briccetti.

The group cited Cahill’s support for hydrofracking, making changes to the state’s Scaffol Law as well as “reasonable state-level oversight” of the financial services industry.

Schneiderman, who is running for a second term, pushed for tougher settlement terms with large, mortgage-holding banks in the wake of the housing crisis and subsequent financial meltdown.

The AG also pushed to have banks not receive immunity from future prosecutions following a major, multi-state settlement.

A Quinnipiac University poll released this morning showed Schneiderman leading Cahill 46 percent to 34 percent.

The Business Council, meanwhile, is not expected to issue an endorsement in the race for state comptroller.

Democratic incumbent Tom DiNapoli is running for a second term against Republican Bob Antonacci, the Onondaga County comptroller, who is participating in a public financing system set up earlier this year that only impacts the comptroller’s race.