Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy signed an order giving the public health commissioner the ability to effectively quarantine an individual or a group of individuals who may have been exposed to or infected with Ebola.

The NRCC released its third TV ad in NY-1, slamming Democratic Rep. Tim Bishop for his allegedly misplaced priorities.

The family of Eric Garner has filed a $75 million claim against the NYPD and the city of New York.

Sen. Tony Avella says he’s concerned about the Cuomo administration’s handling of a key fracking study.

NYC Mayor Bill de Blaiso said he would make pushing for a new cross-Hudson rail tunnel a “priority,” and blamed New Jersey governor Chris Christie for killing an earlier tunnel project.

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. endorsed AG Eric Schneiderman.

Governing magazine has moved the AG’s race to “likely Democratic” from “safe Democratic,” citing the low Democratic voter enthusiasm this cycle.

Sen. Lee Zeldin is eager to step into former Rep. Eric Cantor’s role as the lone Jewish Republican in Congress.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission last week approved Crestwood Midstream’s request to begin construction to expand methane storage in salt caverns next to Seneca Lake.

A new report published today by the Restaurant Opportunities Center United pinpoints the tip-based system as an underlying factor of sexual harassment in the workplace.

Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is wading into Massachusetts politics, endorsing both Republican and Democratic candidates.

…he’s also getting involved in Michigan.

Most New Yorkers support the state’s ongoing moratorium on natural gas hydrofracking, according to a poll conducted for the Natural Resources Defense Council.

Health officials say they’ve received calls from New York City physicians about 88 potential Ebola cases since August but the disease was never detected.

Here’s what to expect tomorrow when the NFL owners meet and (likely) approve Terry and Kim Pegula as the new owners of the Bills.

Cuomo will make an appearance at The Picture House in Pelham for an advanced screening of “The Italian Americans,” a new film for PBS on Tuesday, Oct. 21.

Staten Island BP James Oddo had nothing to say about his fellow Republican, Rep. Michael Grimm, who is in a tough race for re-election.

The POLITICO story on the 2016 GOP presidential free-for-all makes no mention of former Gov. George Pataki.

Hires and promotions at the DN.

Turner Broadcasting, the parent company of CNN, TBS, TNT and several other channels, plans to cut its total workforce by 10 percent in the weeks ahead. More here.

POLITICO staffers will receive free snacks once the growing operation moves to new office space.

Rock the vote!

Haber’s Ad Knocks Martins On Women’s Agenda

The campaign of Democratic Senate hopeful Adam Haber released a TV ad on Tuesday criticizing Sen. Jack Martins for opposing the passage of the full Women’s Equality Act.

In the script, Haber’s ad suggests Martins “voted against equal pay for women” as well as other components of the 10-point agenda such as measures aimed at tackling human trafficking and employment discrimination.

The ad, the second of Haber’s campaign for the state Senate, is misleading.

What Martins opposes in the WEA is the provision aimed at the codification of the Roe v. Wade ruling in state law.

While Martins opposes the full omnibus package from passing, Senate Republicans have approved nine of the 10 planks in the women’s agenda, and urged the Democratic-led Assembly to do the same.

Indeed, Martins called for the passage of the WEA in June 2013, save for the abortion piece.Gov. Andrew Cuomo himself resubmitted the WEA that month as 10 separate pieces of legislation.

“I ask that you join Governor Cuomo and I as we demand that the Assembly take up and pass the balance of the Women’s’ Agenda so important to our women of today and tomorrow – pay equity, anti harassment, anti discrimination, and laws to combat human trafficking must not be hijacked for a nonexistent threat. These are fundamental issues for all New Yorkers and New York women deserve nothing less.

Here is the full script of the Haber ad:

When Jack Martins voted against equal pay for women, we thought it couldn’t get any worse. But now he opposes the women’s equality act that would:

Preserve my right to choose

Protect me from employment discrimination if I become pregnant

And even toughen the law against human trafficking and sexually abusing a child.

We have a simple message for Jack Martins:

You voted against women.

Now, New York’s women are going to vote against you.

A Siena College poll last week showed Martins leading Haber by 25 percentage points.

Cahill: What About Our Debate?

The attorney general campaign of Republican John Cahill on Tuesday renewed its call for debates with Democratic incumbent Eric Schneiderman.

The call comes as debates are being — tentatively, in some cases — agreed to in the race for governor and comptroller.

“Whether it’s ducking debates, gutting public access, running from the press or burying his questionable tax history, Eric Schneiderman has established himself as one of ‎the least transparent AG in state history,” Cahill said in a statement.

The campaigns of Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Rob Astorino have agreed to a televised debate in Buffalo with no date set.

In the race for comptroller, Democratic incumbent Tom DiNapoli and his GOP opponent Bob Antonacci will debate on Time Warner Cable News and NY1 on Oct. 15.

TWC News and NY1 have invited Cahill and Schneiderman to debate as well.

Meanwhile, Schneiderman’s campaign earlier today rolled out a high-profile endorsement from Robert Kennedy, Jr., the prominent environmental activist.

“Eric understands that the time to act on climate change is now. He has defended New York State’s right to prosecute polluters and pressured the federal government to update their standards for air pollution limits. He has also protected one of New York’s most precious natural resources by securing millions of dollars to improve water quality around the state,” Kennedy said in a statement. “I look forward to partnering with Eric over the next four years on this important work, and I’m proud to endorse him for re-election.”

Update: The Cahill campaign responds to the RFK Jr. quote, bringing up this rather unflattering story in The New York Post.

“Let’s call the RFK Jr. endorsement what it is—one male chauvinist with power backing another. A fact sloppily hidden behind Schneiderman’s shameless politicking is his complicit efforts to silence women who have been victims of sexual harassment in the State Capitol.”

Senate Republicans Take An Anti-Panepinto Approach

Where do Senate Republicans stand in the complicated, four-way race for the 63rd Senate District?

Well, they don’t want Democratic candidate Marc Panepinto to win.

Beyond that, the Senate Republican Campaign Committee hasn’t signaled whether it will support Republican primary victor Kevin Stocker, or incumbent Sen. Mark Grisanti, who retains the Independence Party line and not much campaign cash.

To that end, the SRCC on Tuesday released a TV ad not endorsing Grisanti, Stocker or the Conservative Party candidate for that matter.

Instead, the Senate Republicans are taking an ABP approach: Anybody But Panepinto.

“What message does his candidacy send to young people about the difference between right and wrong? On November 4th, Western New York should Vote No on Panepinto,” said Senate Republican spokesman Scott Reif.

The ad highlights Panepinto’s 2001 conviction for an election-law violation — a legal snafu that Republicans, including GOP Leader Dean Skelos, have relished bringing up in the campaign.

Of course, someone has to win the Senate race next month, and Republicans could be stuck with Stocker, who has not indicated any loyalty to Skelos, or Grisanti, a former Democrat who met with IDC Leader Jeff Klein in September, fueling more intrigue of a defection to his breakaway conference.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, has not ruled out endorsing Grisanti, who is the last sitting Republican in the Senate to have supported the 2011 same-sex marriage law.

Senate Math

“The only poll that matters is the one on election day.”

-Every candidate who has ever been down in a poll prior to election day

When Republican Senator Mark Grisanti lost his primary last month, the electoral map was looking good for Democrats. But then this happened. Followed by this, and suddenly the math for Democrats retaking the State Senate just became a lot more difficult. Democrats will have to hold their seats in the Hudson Valley, and pick up seats in Buffalo and on Long Island, the latter also now looking more challenging. So, what does that mean? Well, for one it means Democrats should not be eyeing better office space at the Capitol just yet.

Sometimes when I do a wonky or boring story, I swear that I can hear the sound of television sets turning off all over New York City. I probably can’t actually hear that, right? But sometimes it feels like I can. Democrats would do well to hear the discontent out there, even if the read on those polls is a little more nuanced and complicated. Some believe all the talk about de Blasio and the New York City agenda taking over the state government may have scared some people into the waiting arms of Republicans who will stand up for putting the brakes on bold or aggressive ideas.

Others say it’s still too early to really get a read on what’s happening in some of those races.

“We are not too worried about it,” says Democrat Mike Gianaris of Queens. “Our own internal numbers are better,” he added.

“Can I see them?” I asked.

“No,” he replied.

Gianaris went on to say that he and fellow Democrats believe the science of the Siena poll leads them to question it’s accuracy. Democrats are only now getting started with direct mail and ads, and Republicans have been at it for weeks. When I asked if Denenberg dropping out was an unexpected blow, Gianaris said the Denenberg development was “not good for us, but Grisanti losing his primary was also a surprise.” One door closes another one opens, I suppose. I used to communicate entirely in cliche’s a lot more often. I should really start that up again.

Republicans ( as you might imagine ) have a very different read on what is happening in the Hudson Valley. Republican Senate Conference Leader Dean Skelos issued a statement Monday which read,

This is shaping up to be an extraordinary year for Senate Republicans and we are going to win a clear majority. Every objective measure, including the five Siena College polls released to date, continues to overwhelmingly bear that out




Cuomo’s Big Dollars Versus Astorino’s Small Dollars

Nearly half of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s campaign war chest this election cycle have come from just 331 donors, according to an analysis from Bill Mahoney of the New York Public Interest Research Group.

The NYPIRG analysis found that 49 percent of Cuomo’s money have come from donations of $40,000 and more — accounting for $22.1 million of the nearly $45 million he has raised this cycle.

Cuomo’s small-dollar donors are relatively few, especially when compared to his GOP opponent: Only 1,257 donors have given under $100, or less than a full percentage point of his overall cash raised.

By contrast, Republican challenger Rob Astorino, who began his campaign earlier this year, has raised the bulk of his $4 million from small dollar donors as he struggles to compete with Cuomo on the fundraising battle.

Astorino has received contributions from 3,767. Of those contributors, 3,002 were donors of $100 or less.

Astorino, the Westchester County executive, has 17 donors who have given more than $40,000 this election cycle, accounting for about 19 percent of his money raised so far.

Real-estate development Leonard Litwin remains Cuomo’s biggest donor. Through his holdings and LLCs, Litwin has donated $1 million to Cuomo’s re-election campaign and an additional $470,000 to the Democratic committee and running mate Kathy Hochul.

NYPIRG Gov Fundraising 10 7 2014 by Nick Reisman

Cuomo Plans International Trade Tour

Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a homebody no more.

If re-elected, Cuomo next year plans a series of trade missions to Mexico, Canada, Italy, China and Israel in order to promote New York state overseas, he announced on Monday.

Cuomo had telegraphed in August when visiting Israel — his first overseas trip as governor and a rare, extended out-of-state visit for him — that he wanted New York to take a more aggressive approach in promoting itself in other countries and bringing businesses back here.

“It’s something I’m excited about for next year and next term,” he said.

The trade missions are part of a $35 million Global NY Development Fund that’s aimed at bringing overseas investment to New York.

The five trips represent an end, it would seem, to Cuomo sticking around New York as governor.

Cuomo had an almost superstitious approach to leaving the state, rarely doing so and never staying overnight.

“I wanted to make the point my job is governor of the state of New York and that is a job you do in the state of New York,” Cuomo said today.

The governor added that trips out of state would also fuel suspicion that he’s got his eyes set on the White House.

“I wanted to make clear I wasn’t interested in any other job,” Cuomo said. “Not that we have a cynical press corps, but if you have a New York governor who travels to other states, right away they look for other motivations.”

Still, the trips take him out of the country as the presidential campaign begins in earnest and would certainly serve to boost his reputation not just nationally but globally as well.

Cuomo brush aside the significance of the trips or that his lack of traveling over his first term was all that noteworthy.

“Can you be famous for not traveling? I’m a famous, non-traveler. I may be the only the famous non-traveler,” he said.

Last Night and What’s Ahead

A surprise decision on same-sex marriage from the nation’s highest court. Albany Law’s Vin Bonventre was on to explain. State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli and Rep. Steve Israel talk about this year’s election cycle. That includes a new Siena poll showing three upstate Democrats trailing their Republican challengers. Siena Pollster Steve Greenberg breaks down the numbers. Here’s a look at last night in 2 minutes and a peek at what’s coming up:



State of Politics LIVE – 10.07.14

Campaign for Comptroller: Tom DiNapoli Interview

Siena Poll: Pollster Steve Greenberg Interview

Struggle in the Senate: Rep. Steve Israel Interview

Supreme Court Surprise: Vin Bonventre Interview

PEF Endorses Martins

The Public Employees Federation on Tuesday endorsed Republican Sen. Jack Martins, an incumbent lawmaker running in a key district this November.

Martins faces Democratic candidate Adam Haber, and a Siena College poll last week showed him with a double-digit lead over the challenger.

PEF is composed of mostly white-collar workers, and the Long Island does have a significant population of state workers.

“I thank the members of PEF for their endorsement. Having these hard working men and women supporting me and my efforts to cut taxes and make New York more affordable for our families means a great deal. I look forward to continuing to work with them to keep New York State moving forward,” Martins said in a statement.

PEF’s endorsement in this case appears to be a pragmatic one.

The labor group backed Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Democratic challenger, Zephyr Teachout, in the September primary.

For now, the group is yet to endorse in the race for governor and appears unlikely to.

Now An Underdog, Grisanti Wants To Debate

Sen. Mark Grisanti, who is holding onto his seat by a thread afetr losing the GOP primary in September, has called for a four-way pre-general election debate in the 60th SD.

After deciding to continue his candidacy running solely on the Independence Party line, Grisanti needs to do everything he can to remind voters he is still in this race. Debates – something traditionally sought by underdog candidates, are a good way to make headlines, and going up against his significantly less experienced opponents would enable Grisanti to demonstrate his experience after four years in office and set himself apart from the pack.

“The outcome of this race will likely determine who controls the majority in the state Senate”, Grisanti said in a press release. “With so much at stake, and with the possibility of downstate special interest groups getting a stranglehold on state government, the voters of this district deserve to hear a thoughtful discussion on issues from all the candidates.”

Grisanti today released a letter he has sent to all the WNY media outlets asking for them to consider sponsoring a debate with his opponents: Democrat Marc Panepinto, Republican Kevin Stocker and Conservative Tim Gallagher.

“The issues facing our community, our region, and our state are critically important, and it is imperative that the residents of the 60th Senate District have the opportunity to hear directly from each of the candidates of their plans to address those issues,” the senator wrote.

“If you are willing to provide this valuable community service, a representative from my campaign will be available to discuss scheduling and format. We would, of course, request that all parties agree in advance that no portion of the video or audio of the debate could be used for commercial or campaign purposes.”

Grisanti helpfully provided a photo of one of his letters, written on his campaign letterhead, as proof that said letter (at least one of them) indeed exists.

Grisanti, who first won office in 2010, does have a history of debating, though he participated in just one pre-general election head-to-head with his 2012 opponents – Democrat Mike Amodeo and Conservative Chuck Swanick. At the time, Grisanti was leading in the polls despite his controversial “yes” vote on same-sex marriage, and – as is standard practice for frontrunners – didn’t want to take any chances with an event that could provide the chance for a highly public misstep.