Oct 15th - 6:21 pm
Posted by Liz Benjamin in [...]
Gov. Cuomo will visit the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico this weekend.
A Federal Elections Commission advisory forced The Watertown Daily Times to cancel a planned showing of Democratic NY-21 candidate Aaron Woolf’s documentary “King Corn” that was scheduled for Oct. 20.
So far, Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s memoir isn’t receiving rave reviews on Amazon. (To be fair, the commenters may not have actually READ the book before sounding off).
North Tonawanda Mayor Rob Ortt, the Republican running for retiring Sen. George Maziarz’s seat, touts his military service in his first TV ad.
Sen. Terry Gipson revealed he voted for Cuomo in the September Democratic primary (even though Cuomo endorsed his GOP opponent in 2012).
Adam Katz, a real estate investor and the founder of the luxury charter service Talon Air, provided the helicopter that brought Cuomo to the Sagamore in Bolton Landing for the Business Council’s fall meeting.
The patronage heavy NYC Board of Elections reaffirmed its anti-patronage policy.
HaborCenter, the Buffalo Sabres’ $172 million complex, is slated to have an opening ceremony for VIPs on Nov. 6.
Assemblyman Edward Hennessy, the Suffolk County Democrat Republicans tailed by attaching a GPS device to his car, has released an ad in which he discusses the issue.
Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is the biggest single benefactor to George US Senate Michelle Nunn’s campaign.
The New York Observer endorsed state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli.
Daily Show host Jon Stewart is getting a lot of fodder out of the NY-11 race. Last night, he savaged Democratic candidate Domenic Recchia.
Grant Lally, the Republican challenging Democratic Long Island Rep. Steve Israel launched his first TV ad, accusing the congressman of being “joined at the hip” with President Obama.
Ralph Nader is hosting another rally to support Howie Hawkins, of Syracuse, the Green Party candidate for governor. This time, the event is in New York City.
Oct 15th - 5:25 pm
The campaign of Democratic Senate hopeful Adam Haber is criticizing his GOP rival, Sen. Jack Martins, for taking advantage of his office mailing privileges close to Election Day.
The campaign released two government-funded mailers from Martins’s office, calling it an abuse of taxpayer money.
“Jack Martins is flagrantly abusing taxpayer dollars by using government mailers for campaign purposes,” said Haber campaign spokesman Jacob Tugendrajch. “It is clear Martins cares far more about using money taken directly from the wallets of Nassau County taxpayers to campaign for himself than he does about ethics reform, which he has blocked at every turn in Albany. He should refund the taxpayers for mailers sent so close to Election Day and he should cease this abuse immediately.”
It’s not unusual for a campaign to use office mail to reach out to constituents right as Election Day is around the corner. But Haber’s campaign is also questioning the timing of the mailer: Oct. 13, according to one voter who received the mail.
The Martins campaign, in turn, blasted Haber for having to yank a TV ad from the air for not complying with FCC guidelines.
“We receive the same mail allotment as other committee chairs, republican and democrat, and all our non-political government mail was mailed prior to the deadline as required. We follow the rules, unlike Adam Haber, who repeatedly tried to hide his campaign finances and broke federal law causing his TV ad to be pulled while trying to buy a state senate seat.”
The Senate race is expected to be one of the key district battles for control of the state Senate.
Oct 15th - 4:48 pm
Gov. Andrew Cuomo this afternoon launched a satellite tour to promote his book, “All Things Possible.”
We took one of the four-minute satellite windows offered up, which was being coordinated by the book’s publisher, Harper Collins (For the record, we don’t consider this “exclusive”).
Four minutes is’t a lot of time to interview someone about a 500 page book. But interviews with Cuomo are rare, especially on TV, a medium that he’s largely stayed away from over his time in elected office.
Cuomo’s book, though, covers a lot of ground: His relationship with his father, his work at HUD, the passage of the SAFE Act and sames-sex marriage and his vision of moderate Democratic politics.
So, four minutes being our window of opportunity, I managed to ask Cuomo two questions with a desire to not re-litigate settled issues:
1. Is this book tacitly criticizing President Obama, Washington and about seeking higher office one day?
2. Why was this book — along with planned trips to the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico — released as he runs for re-election?
I didn’t have time — or an inclination, really — to ask about the planned televised debate, a question he’s been asked before and answered.
Hopefully, we’ll have more time to sit down with Cuomo before Election Day.
The full interview airs this evening on Capital Tonight.
Oct 15th - 4:01 pm
The state Democratic Party is out with yet another attack TV ad this time targeting both GOP gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino AND (I believe for the first time) his running mate, Chemung County Sheriff Chris Moss.
The issue: The candidates’ failure to make public a sufficient number of past tax releases to satisfy the Democrats.
Astorino has released just one year of his tax returns, while Moss hasn’t released any so far.
Just a reminder: It’s traditional, but not legally required, for candidates to at least let reporters review their tax returns. And it’s equally traditional for the opposition to make a campaign issue out of however many years worth they release – especially if it’s zero.
I’m not sure how much voters actually care about this issue, though it does provide an opportunity for candidates to accuse one another of a lack of transparency.
Candidates who have declined to release their returns have managed to win anyway.
Kirsten Gillibrand, for example, declined to heed the tax return call of her GOP opponent in 2006 – then-Rep. John Sweeney – but defeated him handily in the general election.
Since she moved from the House to the US Senate, Gillibrand has made a point of not just making her returns public, but also posting them on her website. In 2012, the senator made five years worth of returns available online.
Here’s the text of the state party’s new ad:
“For decades, candidates for state-wide office have released at least five years of taxes. Governor Cuomo has released twenty.”
“Lieutenant Governor candidate Kathy Hochul has released five. Rob Astorino, just one. Astorino’s running mate Chris Moss? Moss hasn’t released a single year.”
“Why are they refusing to release their taxes, even for years when they have been public employees – county executive and Sheriff?”
“Who else was paying them? What are they hiding? You can’t clean up Albany with dirty hands.”
Oct 15th - 2:38 pm
Two western New York congressional members on Wednesday endorsed Democratic Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s re-election.
Schneiderman recevied the nods from Democratic Reps. Louise Slaughter and Brian Higgins, whose districts including the Rochester and Buffalo areas, respectively.
“Eric Schneiderman is the people’s lawyer, fighting for equal justice for all New Yorkers,” Higgins said in a statement. “From prosecuting debt collectors that took advantage of military personnel to securing the largest heroin bust in the Western New York history. New Yorkers can count on Eric to fight for them. I’m proud to support his re-election for Attorney General.”
Slaughter in her statement said Schneiderman has held officials in both Albany and Washington “accountable.”
“I’m proud to endorse Eric Schneiderman for re-election,” she said. “We must hold elected leaders in Albany and Washington accountable and Eric has been a key partner in that effort.”
Schneiderman faces Republican John Cahill next month for a second term.
Oct 15th - 2:33 pm
Republican candidate for attorney general John Cahill on Wednesday unveiled a five-point plan aimed at combating heroin abuse in the state.
The plan includes tightening drug laws that were scaled back in 2009, when Democratic Attorney General Eric Schneiderman was in the state Senate.
Another measure would introduce a state-level version of the Len Bias Law — named after a University of Maryland basketball player — that would strengthen investigators’ efforts in going up the drug cartel’s command chain.
Cahill would seek to pass legislation that would increase penalties for heroin trafficking. Currently, penalties for charging a drug dealer with intent to sell heroin are put in a broad category of “narcotics.”
Cahill says his proposal would remove heroin from the narcotic category and creating an intent to sell penalty defined of up to 1 gram or 20 or more individual bags of heroin.
The final two points of the proposal deal with treatment, including mandatory in-patient treatment for heroin.
Cahill backs an effort from Republican Sen. Kemp Hannon that would limit prescription painkillers to a 3 to 10 day supply.
“As I have traveled the entirety of this state, it has been made painfully clear that too many of our communities have been ravaged by heroin,” Cahill said in a statement. “As a father especially, I recognize that taking a proactive approach to tackling this issue is critical. As Attorney General, I vow to partner with law enforcement, advocates, healthcare professionals, and experts across the state to put a stop to heroin’s deadly scourge.”
The proposal comes after state lawmakers and Gov. Andrew Cuomo agreed at the end of the legislative session this year to a package of bills designed to curtail heroin and opioid abuse.
The measures included expanding available treatment options as well as new penalties for the sale or distribution of heroin.
Oct 15th - 1:26 pm
A new TV ad from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee released Wednesday knocks Republican candidate Lee Zeldin on Social Security.
The from DCCC claims Zeldin would support privatizing Social Security in Congress, featuring senior citizens speaking into the camera that such a move would be a “disaster.”
“Zeldin would put our retirement in the hands of the same banks that crashed the economy,” the ads narrator says.
The spot comes as Zeldin, a state Senator, faces Democratic Rep. Tim Bishop in the first Congressional district.
Bishop, who has been office since 2002, is considered vulnerable this year following an ethics scandal over securing a fireworks permit for a constituent.
Oct 15th - 11:47 am
Zephyr Teachout, the Fordham Law School professor who challenged Gov. Andrew Cuomo last month in a long-shot Democratic primary bid, says she wishes people would stop asking her if she’ll make an endorsement in the race.
Instead, Teachout told Susan Arbetter on The Capitol Pressroom this morning that she’s focused on shifting the state Senate to full Democratic control this year.
“What we care about long term is who controls the Senate,” she said in the interview. “I’m encouraging people to put their energy there.”
Teachout, like Cuomo, is on a tour promoting her book about corruption in politics.
She said Cuomo has not taken an aggressive approach to helping Democrats claim a governing majority in the Senate.
“He’s not putting his heart and soul into this, which is a problem,” she said.
Cuomo was threatened earlier this year with not receiving the endorsement of the labor-backed Working Families Party.
But as Teachout also sought the WFP nomination, Cuomo agreed to a host of liberal measures for next year, including endorsing a full takeover of the Senate by his party.
The chamber is currently led by a coalition of Republicans and five independent Democrats.
So far, Cuomo has publicly endorsed Senate Democratic candidate Adrienne Esposito on Long Island.
The state Democratic committee, which he controls, has helped pay for mailers on behalf of Democratic candidates and incumbents in key races.
Teachout received about 35 percent of the vote against Cuomo, who was also challenged by comedian and activist Randy Credico, who netted roughly 5 percent.
Oct 15th - 11:26 am
It’s official: Yogurt is the state snack.
As the Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Wednesday signed into law a measure that designates yogurt the snack of New York state.
The legislation’s approval comes as the third annual “yogurt summit” (yes, it’s annual now) kicks off at Cornell University in Ithaca.
Yogurt production — especially of the Greek variety — has been credited with helping revitalize the dairy industry in upstate New York, and Cuomo has sought to capitalize on the industry boom.
“This designation is a fitting recognition of the importance of this state’s yogurt industry, which has experienced tremendous growth over the past few years, making New York the top yogurt producer in the nation,” Cuomo said in a statement. “We will continue to work with New York producers and dairy farmers to build upon this progress and further strengthen this critically important industry.”
The yogurt bill launched a rather contentious debate in the state Senate earlier this year, with Democratic lawmakers questioning the need to bring up a measure. The debate resulted in a segment on The Daily Show.
Nevertheless, Republican Sen. Michael Ranzenhofer bristled at the mockery of the yogurt bill by the Democrats.
In a statement, he congratulated the elementary school students who first proposed the bill.
“Yogurt is now the official snack of New York State, and the fourth-graders at Byron-Bergen Elementary School deserve all of the credit,” Ranzenhofer said. “From initially suggesting the idea to traveling to the State Capitol earlier this year, these students deserve high marks for their efforts to get this legislation signed into law. I am pleased that the Governor has signed my bill into law.”
Oct 15th - 7:38 am
From the Morning Memo:
Gov. Andrew Cuomo assiduously avoided the national spotlight during most of his first term as governor.
He skipped Meet The Press.
He rarely traveled out of state, and when he did, he made sure he slept in his own bed by the end of the night.
But now, as he runs for re-election, Cuomo’s campaign is taking some less traditional paths to victory, including a tour that promotes his book on national TV.
As he told PBS’s Charlie Rose, the memoir includes the story of Cuomo’s failed bid for governor in 2002.
“It was living my nightmare. I came back, came to New York after a great time in Washington, and I ran for office, the same office that my father held with distinction for 12 years and it was a disaster,” said Cuomo.
On Tuesday night, Cuomo let his hair down even more, appearing on The Late Show with David Letterman to deliver the “Top 10″ list.
The list’s subject was on message — “The Top 10 Reasons why New York is better than ever” — even if the actual reasons given were not: “No. 2: We’re still the only state in the nation with a Coxsackie.”
(Letterman’s successor, Stephen Colbert, was given a package of tax incentives in order to keep The Late Show franchise in New York).
And it’s not just the promotion of the book.
Though he’s rarely traveled out of state over the last four years, Cuomo traveled to Israel in August. He also plans to visit Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic in the coming weeks, all part of an apparent effort to woo voters back home.
“I would like to visit Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic again. I’ve been there before, but I would like to get there before Election Day,” said Cuomo.
Meanwhile, Cuomo’s Republican challenger Rob Astorino is calling on Cuomo to release his book contract, which is worth at least $700,000 according to a financial disclosure form. Astorino said he’s not reading the book.
“I’m not going to read his book because I don’t read fiction. I wish him well,” said Astorino.
Astorino trailed Cuomo by 20 percentage points in the most recent Quinnipiac University poll, but the Republican hopeful said he’s looking toward November, not the latest poll.
“We’re not worried about the polls, because the polls open at 6 a.m. on November 4. That’s when everyone votes. Until then, it’s sort of meaningless,” said Astorino.
Both Cuomo and Astorino are critical of the media’s handling of the campaign. Astorino wants reporters to press Cuomo on holding a one-on-one televised debate.
Cuomo, meanwhile, criticizes a scandal-obsessed press corps in his book. The governor joked last week his one mistake in his first term was speaking too much to reporters.
“I was too available to the press. I communicated too much to the press and the second term I’m actually going to do less press conferences,” said Cuomo.