Paladino Removed From Buffalo School Board

Carl Paladino has been removed from his post on the Buffalo Board of Education, an attorney hired by the board confirmed this morning.

The 33-page decision determine Paladino had wrongly released information that was discussion in a closed-door executive session with board members.

Paladino had vigorously denied any wrongdoing during a hearing earlier this summer in Albany.

“It confirms that no one is above the law regardless of their station in life,” said the school board’s attorney, Frank Miller. “Mr. Paladino indicated he was going to continue to do whatever he wanted to do. Everyone is subject to the law, regardless of their station in life.”

School board members and others who had sought Paladino’s removal from the board initially sought his removal after Paladino made a series of racially charged and racist comments in a local newsweekly and in blast emails.

Paladino has already filed a lawsuit challenging the board’s actions against him.

The 2010 Republican nominee for governor, Paladino has not ruled out running again in 2018. Paladino served as the co-chairman to President Trump’s campaign in New York.

Updated: Here’s the full decision from the state Education Department.

Tenney, In Statement, Urges Trump To Continue To Condemn Bigotry

From the Morning Memo:

Rep. Claudia Tenney in a statement on Wednesday urged President Donald Trump to continue to condemn racial hatred and bigotry in the wake of the Charlottesville clashes on Saturday.

The statement was released after Democrats criticized her initial reaction backing the president for suggesting “both sides” were to blame for the violent unrest in the city.

“On Saturday, I immediately condemned in the strongest terms possible this tragic display of white supremacy and called on Americans to join together to condemn these acts of intolerance and bigotry, which have no place in our society or our political discourse,” Tenney said. “I urge the President to continue to denounce white supremacy, racism and intolerance and work to promote an atmosphere of unity in our nation during this troubling time.”

Tenney added the episode was an especially personal one to her.

“As someone who worked closely alongside the Jewish Community Center in Utica to resettle Bosnian refugees who were victims of ethnic cleansing in the former Yugoslavia, it is unconscionable to me that anyone in modern day America could display such hatred, violence and racism toward their fellowman,” she said.

The statement comes after Tenney on Wednesday with reporters said she backed Trump’s reaction to the violence on Saturday — that “both sides” were responsible for violence, including white supremacy groups that gathered to oppose the removal of a Confederate statue and counter protesters.

Trump in a fiery news conference on Tuesday at Trump Tower blasted the alleged driver of the vehicle that killed one woman and injured 19 other counter demonstrators and once again condemned bigotry. At the same time, Trump knocked the “alt left” who he said held some responsibility for the violence and said some of the protesters at a torch-light rally opposing the removal of the Robert E. Lee statue were not bad people.

To reporters, Tenney said she had not watched Trump’s latest press conference.

“I didn’t see the president’s press conference yesterday,” Tenney said. “I think what the president did in condemning racism, condemning this white supremacy, condemning any kind of identity politics that are going on and this violence that is occurring on both sides, I think it’s the right thing to do.”

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee was quick to criticize Tenney’s remarks as the party seeks to gain the swing district seat in next year’s midterm elections.

“Representative Tenney is helping President Trump defend Nazis, the KKK and white supremacists,” said DCCC spokesman Evan Lukaske.

“Her disgusting comments are an embarrassment to the people she represents, who likely didn’t think they elected a Nazi apologist last fall. Her defense of racism shows exactly why she needs to be replaced.”

Tenney was elected to the 22nd congressional district last year, replacing moderate Republican Rep. Richard Hanna. Democrats are hopeful this will be among a handful of battleground districts next year that the party can flip.

Democratic Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi has declared he’s running for the seat.

WNY Leaders Promote Peace At Charlottesville Vigil

From the Morning Memo:

The crowd was literally shoulder-to-shoulder last night at Durham Memorial Church in Buffalo. Clergy, local and state leaders took turns condemning hate during a prayer vigil for the victims in Charlottesville, Va.

Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul made the trip to her hometown after spending most of the day in the Twin Tiers region. She said she needed to be there, although she came both confused and troubled.

“I know that elsewhere people are being taught to hate because one does not naturally become born and hate other people,” she said. “It’s something that is learned.”

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz also had strong words for the crowd, which began to gather outside when the church was full. He said while the First Amendement gives white supremacists the right to freedom of speech, it also provides him the right to call them small, weak, bigots.

Poloncarz told the story of Karl Hand, a local white supremacist who held a rally in Buffalo in 1981. Not one person showed up.

“But instead of our nation extinguishing the embers of hatred represented by Hand, the smoldering embers were fanned,” the county executive said. “They have taken fire. This fire must be doused.”

State Sen. Tim Kennedy, a Buffalo Democrat, called out the president for saying both sides are to blame for the Charlottesville violence – remarks the senator believes have left the community frustrated and confused.

“While we may not be able to change the minds of those who promote such hateful and shameful ideology, we can take a stand against all of those individuals,” Kennedy said. “Against bigotry, against racism, against that divide and stand up and say, ‘Not here, not ever.'”

Here and Now

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is in New York City.

President Donald Trump is back at his New Jersey golf course, where he is scheduled to have lunch with Florida Gov. Rick Scott (at 1 p.m.) and meet with the head of the Small Business Administration (at 3 p.m.)

At 9 a.m., the NYC Employment Practices Commission holds a public hearing, 253 Broadway, Manhattan.

At 10 a.m., Assembly members Nicole Malliotakis (also the GOP candidate for NYC mayor) and Ron Castorina hold a press conference to call for placing stop signs at schools and clearing sidewalks of overgrown vegetation, Greencroft Playground, intersection of Redgrave Avenue and Greencroft Avenue, Staten Island.

Also at 10 a.m., the NYC Campaign Finance Board holds a public hearing, Joseph A. O’Hare S.J. Board Room, 100 Church St., 12th floor, Manhattan.

Also at 10 a.m., advocates, social service providers and people with a history of drug use protest at Cuomo’s NYC office, to raise visibility on the epidemic and demand “bolder political action,” 633 3rd Ave., Manhattan.

At 11 a.m., Cuomo makes an announcement, Moynihan Train Hall, 33rd Street and 8th Avenue, Manhattan.

Also at 11 a.m., the NYCs Progressive Caucus holds a press conference and rally to announce their legal filing urging the court to reject the NYPD’s denial of all of FOIL request for records regarding the killing of Ramarley Graham, City Hall steps, Manhattan.

Also at 11 a.m., the Buffalo Erie Niagara Land Improvement Corp.’s board of directors holds its monthly meeting, The Brisbane Building, 403 Main St., fifth floor conference room, Buffalo.

Also at 11 a.m., the NYC Commission on Human Rights holds a public hearing on a proposal to amend its rules to establish certain definitions and procedures applying Local Law No. 37 of 2015, the Stop Credit Discrimination in Employment Act, Spector Hall, 22 Reade St., Manhattan.

At noon, NYC Public Advocate Letitia James, Assemblywoman Latrice Walker and the AIDS Community Research Initiative of America host a sexual education and HIV prevention training for senior New Yorkers, Tilden Senior Center, 630 Mother Gaston Blvd., Brooklyn.

Also at noon, NYC mayoral candidate Sal Albanese makes an announcement, Brothers Playground, East 96th Street and 2nd Avenue, Manhattan.

At 1 p.m., state Sen. Jesse Hamilton, Rep. Nydia Velasquez, Assembly members Felix Ortiz, JoAnne Simon and Diana Richardson, Brooklyn BP Eric Adams, historic preservation advocates and community leaders call on the state to fully investigate a possible African burial ground site, 193 Ninth St., Brooklyn.

Also at 1 p.m., Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie tours 845 Commons with Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara, 845 Broadway, Schenectady.

At 2:30 p.m., state Sen. John Brooks, Assembly members Christine Pellegrino and Kimberly Jean-Pierre, along with local elected officials, call for the installation of elevators in Long Island Rail Road stations, Amityville Long Island Rail Road Station, John Street, Amityville.

At 3 p.m., Heastie visits the town of Colonie’s Fire Training Facility with Assemblyman Phil Steck, 108 Wade Road, Latham.

At 4:45 p.m., Heastie attends a walking tour of downtown Saratoga Springs with Assemblywoman Carrie Woerner, Adirondack Trust, 473 Broadway, Saratoga Springs.

At 5:30 p.m., the Republican Assembly Campaign Committee holds its Gathering at the Glen, Watkins Glen International racetrack, 2790 County Route 16, Watkins Glen.

At 6 p.m., the African-American International Chamber of Commerce celebrates Harlem Week with a networking event, 24 E. 125th St., Manhattan.

At 6:30 p.m., the NYPD Muslim Officers Society holds its 9th Annual Scholarship Dinner, with Commissioner James O’Neill awarded Man of the Year, Terrace On the Park, 52-11 111th St., Manhattan.

Also at 6:30 p.m., Nassau County executive candidate Jack Martins and Steve Labriola, candidate for Nassau County comptroller, with Nassau County Clerk Maureen O’Connell, hold a Town Hall with voters, American Legion Post 303, 197 Maple Ave., Rockville Centre, Long Island.

Headlines…

President Donald Trump found himself increasingly isolated in a racial crisis of his own making yesterday, abandoned by the nation’s top business executives, contradicted by military leaders and shunned by Republicans outraged by his defense of white nationalist protesters in Charlottesville, Va.

Trump’s embrace of the country’s racially charged past has thrown the Republican Party into crisis, dividing his core supporters who have urged him on from the political leaders who fear that he is leading them down a perilous and shortsighted path.

One after another, the nation’s most powerful Republicans responded to Trump’s extraordinary remarks about white supremacists. Yet few mentioned the president.

John Dowd, Trump’s personal lawyer, forwarded an email to conservative journalists, government officials and friends that echoed secessionist Civil War propaganda, praising General Robert E. Lee, and declared that the group Black Lives Matter “has been totally infiltrated by terrorist groups.”

Gov. Andrew Cuomo called on the Army to reconsider its recent decision not to rename two streets in Brooklyn honoring Civil War Confederate generals.

A reminder: The Army on Aug. 7 denied requests from New York congressional members to change the names of Stonewall Jackson Drive and General Lee Avenue on the Fort Hamilton Army Base, the city’s only active military post.

Also, the president of the Bronx Community College said the school would remove the bronze busts of those two same Southern generals from its Hall of Fame for Great Americans, a century-old outdoor sculpture gallery on the campus.

Cuomo also said he will see to it that the busts of Lee and Jackson are indeed removed from the CUNY Hall of Fame for Great Americans.

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio said that the city will conduct a 90-day review of “all symbols of hate on city property” after Charlottesville.

Here’s a guide to the dozens of statues, markers and other monuments of the Confederacy across the country that have, or may, come down.

Three House Democrats, including Rep. Jerrold Nadler of Manhattan, are leading a charge to censure Trump for saying “both sides” were to blame for the violence in Charlottesville.

House Democrats may push for federal funding to groups combatting neo-Nazis and white supremacists in response to Charlottesville.

Hundreds of people marched with lit candles across the University of Virginia campus last night in a contrasting demonstration from the torchlight white nationalist parade last Friday night.

Trump’s relationship with the American business community suffered a major setback yesterday as the president was forced to shut down his major business advisory councils after corporate leaders repudiated his comments on the violence in Charlottesville.

The hatred and bigotry that descended on Charlottesville when a coalition of white supremacist groups clashed with anti-racist and anti-fascist protestors will not be allowed to happen in WNY, leaders vowed during a prayer vigil at Buffalo’s Durham Memorial AME Zion Church.

The Daily Stormer, a neo-Nazi news source that critics say is the nation’s top hate website, found itself virtually kicked out of the country earlier this week, as both GoDaddy and Google refused to host the site anymore after its incendiary coverage of protests in Charlottesville. But it found a new home – in Russia.

The mother of Heather Heyer, who was killed while protesting in Charlottesville, urged mourners at a memorial service to “make my daughter’s death worthwhile” by confronting injustice and channeling “anger into righteous action.”

The mayor of Phoenix scolded Trump for planning a rally there, suggesting the president is aiming to “inflame emotions” following a deadly white supremacist rally in Virginia by pardoning a controversial Phoenix sheriff.

Trump’s short-lived communications director, Anthony Scaramucci, has made a donation to a similarly colorful character — Bo Dietl, the former NYPD detective mounting an unlikely independent NYC mayoral bid.

White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon claimed he wants to “crush” the far-right — calling them “losers” and “a collection of clowns” during a surprisingly candid interview with a liberal magazine.

More >

Extras

Trump disbanded two of his economic councils after a wave of defections from high-profile CEOs, announcing on Twitter: “Rather than putting pressure on the businesspeople of the Manufacturing Council & Strategy & Policy Forum, I am ending both. Thank you all!”

Also on Twitter, Trump criticized Amazon.com over taxes and jobs and accused the global retailer, without offering evidence, of hurting U.S. localities and causing job losses

Jewish members of Trump’s administration remained largely silent after the president came to the defense of nationalist and right-wing protesters in Charlottesville, Va., who had chanted anti-Semitic slogans and demeaned the president’s Jewish son-in-law, Jared Kushner.

Vice President Pence will end his visit to South America early and fly home tomorrow, after Trump sparked enormous controversy for his comments following the deadly violence in Charlottesville.

U.S. Attorney Jeff Sessions on Charlottesville: “It very well could be a civil rights violation or a hate crime, and there might be other charges that could be brought.”

Trump’s longtime aide Hope Hicks will serve as the interim White House director of communications and will help the president find a permanent person for the job, the administration said.

The federal government will make crucial Obamacare-related subsidy payments to health insurers in August despite threats by Trump, a White House spokesman said.

In response to widespread criticism of a racial comment made by Success Academy’s chairman, Dan Loeb, the leader of the charter network, Eva Moskowitz, sent a letter to parents, teachers and staff that both defended Loeb and strongly condemned his remarks.

A flash grenade accidentially exploded in the parking garage of 26 Federal Plaza, injuring an FBI agent, law enforcement officials said.

Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino held true to his word this morning when he vetoed a bill that its supporters said would have protected undocumented immigrants in the area.

The top dentist for New York’s youth prisons has pleaded guilty to official misconduct stemming from his arrest in November on charges that he said he was working on state time while he was actually treating patients at his private practices in Amsterdam and Saratoga Springs.

Democratic Nassau Legislator and county executive candidate Laura Curran called on County Executive Edward Mangano to increase the hiring of police cadets to help combat the county’s heroin and opioid epidemic and to clamp down on gang violence.

Not surprisingly, the views on racial equality and whether it’ actually achievable in this country vary widely among blacks and whites, according to a new Pew Research Center survey.

Former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani says he’s “doing well” after undergoing emergency knee surgery following a fall over the weekend – still in the hospital but, already up and walking around.

Louis DiMarco Jr., a common councilor from Rome, was convicted of stealing nearly $20,000 in unemployment insurance benefits and has resigned from his post, the AG’s office said.

In the early days of the de Blasio administration, commissioners and employees across city agencies solicited the advice of the firm Capalino + Company to shape policy, raise funds for events and answer technical questions on myriad aspects of municipal government, according to thousands of pages of emails reviewed by POLITICO New York.

State health inspectors found nearly 100 critical violations by food vendors at the New York State Fair last year. No one got sick, they said.

The funeral service for Wayne Bennett, Schenectady’s public safety commissioner and the former State Police superintendent, will be held on Saturday at St. Mary’s Church in Albany.

Bill and Hillary Clinton are reportedly enjoying their family vacation in Canada.

Cuomo Urges Army To Rename Confederate Streets

Gov. Andrew Cuomo urged in a letter to the acting secretary of the Army to renamed two streets in Brooklyn that bare the names of Confederate-era generals.

The streets — named for Stonewall Jackson and Robert E. Lee — are located on Fort Hamilton Army Base.

Requests earlier this month from lawmakers and community leaders to change the names of the streets was denied.

“Given the events of this week, including the violence and terrorism perpetrated by white supremacists in Charlottesville and the resulting emboldening of the voices of Nazis and white supremacists, I now strongly urge the U.S. Army to reconsider its decision and I call on them to rename these streets,” Cuomo wrote to Acting Secretary Ryan McCarthy.

“The events of Charlottesville and the tactics of white supremacists are a poison in our national discourse, and every effort must be made to combat them.”

McCarthy by Nick Reisman on Scribd

Rozic Touts ‘Rising Stars’ Designation From NYLCV

Queens Democratic Assemblywoman Nily Rozic on Wednesday touted her designation as a rising star from the New York League of Conservation Voters.

The environmental group this week released its first environmental scorecard, giving Rozic a perfect score.

“I am proud of my perfect score with the New York League of Conservation Voters, and applaud their work in transforming New York to a cleaner, greener, and environmentally-friendly state. From our health to our mass transit and economy, we are all impacted by the quality of our environment.” Rozic said in a statement. “I remain committed to introducing and supporting environmentally conscious legislation.”

Rozic pointed to her bill that would require the state Department of Transportation to release data on taxpayer-financed capital projects.

“The New York League of Conservation Voters congratulates Assemblywoman Rozic on her 100% rating on the 2017 environmental scorecard. We look forward to continuing our relationship and work with Ms. Rozic to tackle environmental issues both in his district and statewide,” said Marcia Bystryn, the executive director of the New York League of Conservation Voters.

Assemblywoman Yuh-Line Niou and Sen. Jamaal Bailey also received rising star designation by the group.

Tenney: Trump Right To Condemn ‘Both Sides’

Republican Rep. Claudia Tenney on Wednesday told reporters she backed President Trump’s comments condemning racism and violence on “both sides” of violent clashes in Virginia.

Tenney, elected last year to the 22nd congressional district, said she did not see Trump’s press conference on Tuesday in which he criticized counter demonstrators as the “alt left” and suggested some of the protesters who opposed the removal of a statue of Robert E. Lee were peaceful and quiet.

“I didn’t see the president’s press conference yesterday,” Tenney said. “I think what the president did in condemning racism, condemning this white supremacy, condemning any kind of identity politics that are going on and this violence that is occurring on both sides, I think it’s the right thing to do.”

Tenney pointed to her trip to Israel and her meeting a Holocaust survivor, which she said reinforced the notion of pushing for peace.

“We need to continue to be advocates,” she said. “We can’t be bystanders. We have to stand up against this type of unfortunate situation that’s happening with humanity.”

Democratic Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi, a candidate to challenge Tenney next year, blasted Trump’s Tuesday news conference, citing the action of white supremacist leaders.

“He was giving them cover for their despicable behavior that was displayed this weekend in Virginia,” he said. “There’s no place for it in this country in 2017. There’s no place for this and we certainly can’t turn a blind eye to the hatred that we’re seeing in Charlottesville.”

Cox Says The IDC Is Focused On Policy

State Republican Chairman Ed Cox on Wednesday said the Independent Democratic Conference in the state Senate is focused on policy, saying that makes it easier for them to work on legislation with Republicans in the chamber.

“The IDC knows the Senate Democrats themselves are so really committed to policies that are economically bad for New York state,” Cox said in an interview with WCNY’s The Capitol Pressroom. “They would rather work with Republicans in the Senate than the Democrats.”

Cox also praised IDC Leader Jeff Klein, who has come under pressure from liberals and mainline Democrats to rejoin the mainline conference or form a new alliance with his party.

“The leader of the independent Democrats, Jeff Klein, is really policy oriented,” Cox said.

IDC lawmakers are actually closer to mainline Democrats on policy issues, especially when it comes to immigration, abortion, the minimum wage and paid family leave.

Allies of the mainline Democrats have accused the IDC of working as a key bloc with Senate Republicans in order to benefit from the trappings of power, such as leadership posts.

Cox: White Supremacists Are Irrelevant

New York Republican Chairman Ed Cox on Wednesday said in a radio interview white supremacists are small in number and largely irrelevant to the national political conversation today.

“They’re very small in number, they’ve been around for a long time,” Cox said on WCNY’s The Capitol Pressroom. “This is something that does not belong in this country.”

Cox did not comment directly on President Donald Trump’s comments at a news conference at Trump Tower on Tuesday, in which he once again blamed both white supremacist groups and counter demonstrators for the violence on Saturday in Virginia that left one protester opposing the neo-Nazi organizations. Trump also suggested some of the marchers who opposed the removal of a Confederate memorial to Robert E. Lee were good people.

Trump’s comments drew support from fringe figures such as Richard Spencer and former KKK leader David Duke.

“It’s abhorrent to our basic philosophy in our country,” Cox said of white supremacy. “It’s really irrelevant to the politics in our country.”

Asked if Trump’s news conference hurt Republicans, Cox said, “What’s good for the Republican Party is jobs, jobs, jobs.”