Nov 2nd - 3:44 am
The Democratic Endorsed Candidate for Rochester Mayor received some support from an unlikely source Friday. It was an endorsement that raised some eyebrows, and made one Monroe County Democrat’s blood boil.
“I’ve been in politics for over 50 years and I have never been so shocked and appalled as I am right now,” said Monroe County Legislator Paul Haney.
In an e-mail to fellow democrats, with the subject line “Disgusting News,” Haney sharply criticized Democrat Lovely Warren for accepting the endorsement of Republican Monroe County Executive Maggie Brooks.
“Some God awful deal has been made and I am disgusted!” Haney wrote. Haney was irate that Warren would stand side-by-side with someone who as he put it “blocked virtually every initiative that Democrats have advanced in the County Legislature and who opposed Pres. Obama, Gov. Cuomo and tried to knock Louise (Slaughter) out of the box.”
During a Friday morning press conference Brooks suggested her statement of support for Warren was a pledge to work together.
“Residents should know that I believe she and I will have a unique ability to govern together when the election is over,” Brooks said.
Warren pulled a stunning upset in September when she soundly defeated Rochester Mayor Tom Richards in the Democratic Primary. Since then, Warren’s momentum has been slowed by speculation she may not be the most qualified candidate.
“I think the main thing Lovely Warren is fighting right now is the possibility that some voters are going to panic and say I’m hearing Tom Richards will stay. Maybe he can get enough votes and win, maybe this whole election is up for grabs again?” said Aaron Wicks, co-publisher of the online political publication Smugtown Beacon.
Although Richards will appear on the ballot, under the Independence and Working Families lines, he has twice announced he was out of the race and supporting Warren. But Richards has refused to campaign for Warren, and a group of his supporters are continuing to campaign on his behalf.
“One of things that’s been clear from this campaign is that there is still not complete uniformity of opinion within the Democratic Party particularly within the city. Obviously the “Turn Out For Tom” effort shows there are a number of Democrats who are not content with the nominee,” Wicks said.
Wicks believes the Brooks’ endorsement, along with the endorsement of former Rochester Mayor Bill Johnson, was designed to reassure those who voted for Warren in September.
“I think it sends a signal to voters that some of the rhetoric aside, Lovely Warren has been City Council President. She knows the city and she can govern. She’s qualified, so voters need not panic. They don’t need to worry and think about holding onto the existing mayor. They can take a chance on her and know that she’s up to the job. That’s what this endorsement was all about,” said Wicks.
Still, the move seemed to catch Monroe County Democratic Party Chairman Joe Morelle off guard. Morelle said he was not consulted or made aware of the endorsement prior to the press conference.
“Though he has thrown his support publicly behind Warren, there has been some speculation about how warm that support is. So I think the move by the Warren Campaign was done to protect her candidacy. And whether the chairman was involved, or not, was probably irrelevant to their considerations. If they could get this endorsement they were going to get it,” Wicks said.
While Haney, and some of Brooks’ political adversaries, may not like the move Wicks doubts it will cost Warren many votes.
“This is a signal from the most unlikely of sources, a Republican County Executive, that Lovely Warren is someone you can do business with. So I think her base sees this as validation, actually, of what they’ve seen all along,” Wicks added.
But for at least one Democrat this endorsement is simply unacceptable.
“The smell of this ‘deal’ exceeds anything that the old Emerson Street landfill or the Van Lare Sewerage Treatment plant ever produced,” Haney concluded.
Both Brooks and Warren declined to comment on Haney’s email.
Nov 1st - 7:16 pm
The new task force assembled by President Obama to look into climate change preparedness doesn’t include a single New Yorker – despite the fact that the Empire State was devastated by Hurricane Sandy.
The 26-member panel is made up of state and local officials, including California Governor Jerry Brown and Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer.
President Obama created the panel as part of an executive order issued Friday. The task force is charged with advising the Federal Government on how it can help localities that are already feeling the impacts of climate change.
Both Mayor Bloomberg and Governor Cuomo have made dealing with extreme weather a top priority.
Bloomberg, of course, is out of office in eight weeks, so it makes sense that he wouldn’t be asked to participate.
As for Cuomo, we reached out to the governor’s office to see if he was approached or even interested in serving on the panel.
The White House tells me they assembled the group, in part, after reaching out to the National Governors Association.
“We asked NGA and additional organizations to seek nominations,” a White House official told me. “The task force was selected from those who were nominated or nominated themselves.”
Nov 1st - 5:50 pm
Posted by Liz Benjamin in [...]
Commissioner Evelyn Aquila is retiring from the state Board of Elections after serving for 24 years, opening a rare vacancy on the four-person board.
The board is considering some changes after receiving its public flogging from the Moreland Commission earlier this week.
State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli believes it would be a “mistake” to project significant ecomomic growth from expanding casinos in New York, but he’s neutral on Prop. 1.
Democratic mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio met with Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel this morning in New York City.
Carribbean Americans for de Blasio are promoting a catchy – dare we say infectious? – song in honor of their candidate.
Chris Owens sings a song about “B-d-B (Bill de Blasio) country,” dedicated to his father, the late Rep. Major Owens.
Some memorable moments from Mayor Bloomberg’s weekly radio show on WOR.
Bloomberg posed with a Dante and a Chiara de Blasio at Bette Midler’s annual Hulaween party.
Rudy Giuliani wants an apology from de Blasio, and says the whole rationale for the Democratic frontrunner’s campaign is “phony.”
Mercury Public Affairs will re-establish its Albany office, using operatives and lobbyists who were until very recently working for Patricia Lynch Associates.
Legislation that would allow Rockland County to borrow up to $96 million to cover its budget hole was one of 35 bills sent to Cuomo’s desk today.
The Pougkeepise Journal reluctantly backs Prop. 1, but says if it fails “the state will have only itself to blame.”
Cuomo announced funding for a university based “Resiliency Institute” based at SUNY Stony Brook.
NJ Gov. Chris Christie was codenamed “Pufferfish” by the Romney campaign in 2012, which ultimately passed him up as a VP candidate because of concerns he couldn’t withstand public scrutiny.
Former Republican Florida Gov. Charlie Crist is running for his old job – this time as a Democrat.
The pro-casino group, New York Jobs Now, bashed the unlikely alliance of Prop. 1 opponents Sen. Liz Krueger and state Conservative Party chairman Mike Long.
Yes, it’s the silly season.
Nov 1st - 5:30 pm
A second New York Republican House member in as many days has declared his support of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, also known as “ENDA” – a measure to ban workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity that is moving toward passage in the US Senate.
A spokeswoman for Rep. Tom Reed confirmed to our Washington, D.C. Bureau reporter Michael Scotto that the congressman does support ENDA.
This comes on the heels of an announcement by Reed’s GOP colleague, Rep. Chris Gibson, that he has signed on to co-sponsor ENDA, making him the fifth Republican and 194th House member to attach his name to this bill.
Both Reed and Gibson are top targets for the Democrats heading into the 2014 elections. Gibson is facing a challenge from Democratic activist Sean Eldridge, who is married to Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes; and Reed is being challenged by Tompkins County Legislature Chair Martha Robertson.
Yesterday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid filed cloture on ENDA, setting the stage for a vote to proceed to debate on Monday. With the arrival of the Democrats’ newest member, Sen. Cory Booker, there are now 59of the 60 votes needed to move the bill to the floor for debate. Reid has said he believes ENDA will receive at least five Republican votes, and the entire Democratic confernce has signaled support.
The outlook for this legislation in the House is a different matter completely, since the Republicans control the chamber and have shown no interest in taking action on ENDA.
So, from a political standpoint, this is an almost risk-free move by both Gibson and Reed, since they can point to their support of this bill as proof that they are pragmatic and not, as their opponents insist, in cahoots with their Tea Party colleagues, without having to worry about actually taking a controversial vote to back up their claims.
Nov 1st - 4:34 pm
The Democrats and Republicans who comprise the majority coalition Friday took some credit in a statement for the casino expansion amendment clearing its legislative hurdles this past session.
“Since many Senate Democrats voted against this legislation, the Governor only earned a referendum on this key economic program by working with Senate Republicans and the Independent Democratic Conference,” the coalition said in a joint statement. “Without the leadership of the IDC and Senate Republicans, one the Governor’s biggest economic development programs would have likely been dead on arrival in the Legislature. We were pleased to provide the leadership to get this through the Senate, much like we did with the other key pieces of the Governor’s economic agenda, such as the family tax rebate, tax cuts for the middle class and incentives for small businesses.”
The statement — no mention of the Demcoratic-led Assembly which also approved the amendment is made — adds they hope the amendment passes next week.
The statement comes nearly a week after Cuomo at a political rally in Westchester County in which Cuomo credited Democrats in Albany with passing a series of fiscal reforms, including tax rate changes and a 2 percent property tax cap.
Senate Republicans were clearly rankled by that assertion.
“We understand that things get said at political rallies, but the Governor’s comments are misleading and way out of line,” Senate Republican spokeswoman Kelly Cummings said. “He knows that Democrats and Republicans have worked together to turn Albany around, and it’s the only way we can continue to deliver the bipartisan results New Yorkers want and deserve.”
Constitutional amendments must be approved by two separate sessions of the Legislature.
In addition to the approval of the amendment this year, lawmakers approved enabling legislation for the first phase of casino construction, which authorizes up to four north of New York City.
The full statement is after the jump. More >
Nov 1st - 3:36 pm
A new batch of detailed schedules from Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office released Friday show he met with the major credit rating agencies in back-to-back meetings on Aug. 5 in New York City.
The schedules show Cuomo huddled with top officials for Fitch Ratings, Standard & Poors and Moody’s.
The officials from the rating agencies appear to be in charge of ratings for municipalities and state governments, as well as officials in charge of public financing.
In addition to Cuomo, the meetings included the governor’s budget director Bob Megna and Secretary Larry Schwartz, his top aide.
The meetings, held at the Empire State Development Corp.’s Manhattan office at 633 Third Ave., were put together as a pitch session by the governor to tout the state’s financial outlook.
Later that month Moody’s raised the state’s credit outlook to positive.
Nov 1st - 3:24 pm
Yes, Rochester is having a whether odd year politically.
First there was the unexpected victory of Lovely Warren in the Democratic mayoral primary over incumbent Tom Richards.
Then a campaign to back Richards on the Independence Party line sprouted up, even as Richards himself insists he isn’t campaigning, nor is he behind the effort.
And now today, Republican Monroe County Executive Maggie Brooks is backing Warren in the race that aslo features Green Party candidate Alex White, but no GOP candidate.
“I’ve been where she’s been. I think there are some opportunities for us to work together,” Brooks told our colleagues at YNN Rochester. “So this is really a personal statement of support for her because I see her as a unifier.”
But the endorsement also gives Brooks a potential ally should she decide to run for Congress again. Brooks was defeated last year by longtime Democratic Rep. Louise Slaughter.
If Warren wins she would be the first woman to become mayor of Rochester.
Nov 1st - 2:49 pm
Former. Gov. George Pataki has recorded a robocall in support of Proposition 4, one of the six constitutional amendments appearing on next Tuesday’s ballot that would settle a century-old land dispute in the Adirondack Park between the state and residents of a remote commmunity known as Township 40.
The New York League of Conservation Voters is paying for the call, which will be hitting some 300,000 households this weekend. Here’s the script:
“Hi, this is George Pataki, calling you about Proposition 4, which will be on your ballot this Tuesday. If approved, Prop. 4 will add 300 acres of new, forever wild, public forrest land to the Adirondack Park at no cost to taxpayers.”
“By voting yes, you will be preserving the environment and supporting New York’s tourism industry. So, please join me and Vote Yes on Proposition 4. Thank you. Paid for by Vote Yes for Prop 4, a project of the New York League of Conservation Voters.”
Pataki, a moderate Republican, made environmental issues – and land acquistion in the Adirondacks in particular – a focus of his 12-year tenure, so much so that he was sometimes referred to as the “green” governor – a nickname his administration encouraged.
This robocall is the latest step in NYLCV’s pro-Prop. 4 campaign, which also includes voter identification calls, Get-out-the-Vote and Election Day text messaging, and a mobile smartphone site, where New Yorkers can get information and take a poll.
Nov 1st - 2:21 pm
Democratic Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, who spends a lot of time excoriating the Tea Party Republicans he says have hijacked the agenda in D.C., spent some quality time today with one of the state Senate’s most conservative – dare I say, Tea Party-esque? – members: Sen. Greg Ball.
Maloney and Ball teamed up for what was billed as a “Main Street Listening Tour” of Mahopac, Putnam County, which happens to be located in both of their respective districts.
Ball sent out a press release touting the event, complete with the photo that appears here and the following quote from the senator:
“The Mahopac business district is a vital economic corridor in Putnam County. I am happy to work together with Congressman Maloney to enhance the small business climate for business owners and residents not only in Mahopac, but for the entire Hudson Valley Region.”
“Our ma and pa shops in Mahopac have so many wonderful goods and services to offer, they also have a unique insight into the red tape and obstacles that government often creates. I look forward to continuing my friendship with Congressman Maloney as we work in unison for a brighter and more prosperous future for all our constituents.”
The congressman had this to say:
“Small businesses are the backbone of communities like Mahopac and drive economic growth in the Hudson Valley. I ran my own company – I know how difficult running a business can be. Unfortunately, many small businesses in the Hudson Valley still face bureaucratic hurdles and government red tape.”
“I am eager to roll up my sleeves and partner with our local business leaders, Senator Ball and Assemblyman Katz to reduce unnecessary regulations and help our hardworking business excel and grow.”
While railing against the Tea Party, Maloney spends a lot of time promoting himself as a political pragmatist, sometimes voting against his own party and with the GOP in order to demonstrate the sort of independence that plays well in his closely divided Hudson Valley district.
Maloney is facing a likely rematch against the woman he ousted in 2012, Republican Nan Hayworth, who has been raising campaign cash and loaning herself money as she gears up for another run.
Ball and Hayworth have a history of not getting along terribly well.
As you may recall, he was toying with the idea of primarying her back in 2012, and spent a lot of time publicly criticizing her on a variety of issues, but ultimately decided to seek re-election for his Senate seat instead.
Nov 1st - 2:11 pm
Assemblywoman Claudia Tenney, a Republican from the Utica area, interrupted a news conference this week in New York City being held by Oneida Indian Representative Ray Halbritter to confront him about her client’s lawsuit over a pending eviction from his land.
Video of the confrontation at the news conference, held to discus the ongoing campaign by the Oneida Indian Nation to have the Washington Redskins change their name and mascot, is below.
The video shows Tenney standing up in the third row of the press seating to confront Halbritter, and after roughly 1-1/2 minute exchange is asked to leave by Oneida spokesman Joel Barkin.
“You’ve got your three seconds of camera time now can you please leave?” Barkin is heard asking before calling for security.
Back in her district, YNN’s Andrew Sorensen caught up with Tenney, who is representing Oneida suing Halbritter and the Oneida organization.
Tenney has been a vocal opponent of the agreements struck by the state, local governments and the Oneida Indian Nation that created exclusivity clauses in exchange for the settlement of long-standing land claims as well as revenue sharing agreements.
“They’re just distracting from the issue, the issue is, and I asked him publicly, is Ray Halbritter a true Oneida Indian blood member?” Tenney told him in an interview.
She claims she has papers, which show he’s not.
“Why is that significant? It’s because he’s trying to remove my client from his property,” she said.
In a statement released by the Oneidas, the tribe said, “It is revealing that she is making a public spectacle of defending those who want to continue using a racial slur against her fellow citizens of Central New York.”