Say My Name

Taylor Raynor is no more.

The Democratic Assemblywoman representing the 18th District on Long Island has legally changed her last name to “Darling.”

Darling was elected ( as Raynor ) last November after defeating long serving Incumbent Earlene Hooper in the June Primary. The Assembly is coming off a banner year in Albany where they managed to pass multiple legislative priorities that had been bottled up by Senate Republicans for years.

Reached by phone, Darling explained that the name “Raynor” was her married name, and she is now divorced. She wasn’t a huge fan of her maiden name which was “Bertley,” so she decided to go with something empowering, and settled on Darling.

“I wanted a name that Cherishes myself,” Darling said. It can also mean that she is the “darling” of America, or most certainly the darling of the 18th district.

Asked when she chose to make the change, Darling said it happened last year after being exploited and ultimately fired by her previous employer. Pressed for more detail, Darling simply said he was “a Trump supporter.”

And I am going to bet that will likely satisfy most of Darling’s Democratic voting constituents.



Cuomo Plans Yonkers Fundraiser

From the Morning Memo:

Gov. Andrew Cuomo will hold a high-dollar fundraiser in Yonkers, with contributors being asked to donate or help raise as much as $25,000 to attend.

The event scheduled for Oct. 7, will be held at Fortina Restaurant in Yonkers and is being thrown by Westchester For Cuomo.

There’s a wide dollar range for tickets to event: Younger donors are being asked to give $150, with individual support tickets running as much as $5,000.

For large donors, who also help raise money, contributions range from $10,000 to $25,000 with the perk of a host committee reception.

Cuomo last year won re-election to a third term and continued a solid fundraising push in the first half of 2019, raising $4.5 million.

His campaign, which began the year with $4.7 million in the bank, now has $8.4 million in cash on hand.

Tedisco Urges Cuomo To Waive License Plate Fee

From the Morning Memo:

Criticism of a plan starting next year to replace blue-and-white license plates on the road at the cost of a $25 fee grew on Tuesday, and state lawmakers are urging Gov. Andrew Cuomo to waive the cost of the replacements.

“While I do not have an issue with updating the design of New York’s license plates, and certainly understand the need to replace the plates that are peeling and ensure they are readable for both law enforcement and automated tollbooths, taxpayers should not have to foot the bill for the inferior product that was produced,” wrote Sen. Jim Tedisco in a letter to Cuomo released Tuesday afternoon.

Tedisco, a Republican who represents the Capital Region, said the state should put the company behind the peeling and crumbling license plates on the hook for funding the replacements.

“If these costs must be recouped, the DMV should go after the manufacturer that issued these faulty plates to the state,” he wrote. “Given the already high cost taxpayers must pay to drive and register a car in New York an additional $45 is too high a burden for taxpayers.”

Cuomo on Tuesday said the replacement plates are needed for them to be visible to cameras as the state transitions to cashless tolling throughout the Thruway system.

With an estimated three million blue-and-white plates on the road, the state could generate as much as $75 million for the replacement effort, which begins next April.

Plates that are 10 years and older are affected under the change.

Renewal Fees Letter to Gov. Cuomo by Nick Reisman on Scribd

NY & CT Becoming Fishing Buddies And More

From the Morning Memo:

Two governors take a fishing trip on Lake Ontario…

It sounds like a set up for a joke but that’s actually what happened Tuesday as New York Governor Andrew Cuomo hosted Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont in Niagara County. After a couple of hours on the lake, Cuomo presented Lamont with a pole and a tackle box and the two showed off their catches of the day.

However, the Democrats insisted they talked business as well in what could be a burgeoning partnership for the neighboring states. They said there a number of issues and resources the states could benefit from if they worked more cooperatively.

“First thing I’ve learned though is that these state borders are pretty artificial and we have a lot of overlap there,” said Lamont, who’s been on the job for eight months.

The governors pointed to interconnected transportation systems, tourism and security as issues the states could work together better on. They also announced a new mutual aid emergency management compact, allowing police and EMA staff from New York and Connecticut to train together and share best practices.

“The most important issue we can collaborate on is the safety of our residents which is why this emergency management partnership is so crucial,” Cuomo said. “Today’s agreement is about ensuring our two states have the resources we need during difficult times, and that’s what neighboring states do.”

In fact, the northeastern states have been working together even before the governors started sharing fish stories. Earlier this month, for instance, Connecticut gave notice of its intention to file an amicus brief supporting New York State in a lawsuit challenging the new Green Light Law.

“New York-Connecticut, our region is a global center and people from around the world we welcome here. We’re a much stronger state and a much stronger region when we welcome people and that’s not the message they’re always getting out of Washington, D.C. right now. So whether it comes to driver’s licenses and tuition and just really treating people with respect, I think that’s something where New York and Connecticut are aligned and I think our region is aligned so I’m proud to stand next to Governor Cuomo on the driver’s license issue,” Lamont said.

Connecticut has been granting driver’s licenses to undocumented immigrants for more than four years.

Here And Now

Good morning and happy Wednesday! The New York State Fair opens today.

Happening today:

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is traveling to Iowa.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is heading to the state fairgrounds outside of Syracuse today, but is yet to release a public schedule.

At noon, Rep. Paul Tonko will hold a reception to recognize the Canalway Challenge, Waterford Harbor Visit Center, One Tugboat Alley, Waterford.


The Staten Island district attorney announced Tuesday that he will not reopen the investigation into the death of Eric Garner.

The union that represents NYPD officers urged “extreme caution” in making arrests after Pantaleo was fired.

Former New York City Police Commissioner Bill Bratton warned that a showdown over Pantaleo “serves no purpose.”

Discussions with Pantaleo’s legal team and NYPD officials have fallen through to save his pension.

It is rare when a fired police officer in New York City successfully sues to get their job back, an issue all the more pertinent given the dismissal of Daniel Pantaleo.

New Yorkers can pick their next license plate, but how many want to pay $25 to get a new one? For drivers with the blue and white plates, there won’t be much of a choice next year.

Federal officials are pressuring the MTA to finish the installation of a technology meant to prevent train crashes.

It’s been nearly a year since a homeless advocate confronted Mayor Bill de Blasio about the homelessness crisis during his morning workout at the Park Slope YMCA. She remains homeless herself.

Three more women are coming forward to sue the estate of disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein.

Epstein’s former cellmate claims he was warned to “shut up” by guards.

Harvey Weinstein is pushing for his trial to be moved out of New York City, pointing to his numerous mentions in The New York Post’s gossip page.

Attorney General Letitia James’s office announced a lawsuit challenging the “public charge” rule change by the Trump administration that would deny social services to immigrants.

From the day he rode down a zip line at Jones Beach to open up the summer season, to photos captured of him driving his car this past weekend in upstate New York, to even walking his dog, Captain, near the state capitol on a Sunday morning, Gov. Andrew Cuomo has been enjoying what some are calling “The Summer of Andrew.”

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s office is the only office among New York City members of Congress that doesn’t have a real, live human being answering the phone.

Ticket sellers offering rides around, but actually to, Liberty Island, have been banned from Battery Park.

Sex crimes in New York City schools have increased for the third straight year.

A man who is wanted in connection to dousing cops with water attempted to run from being arrested.

Christopher Briggs, the Cohoes Common Council president, has been sworn in as mayor for the rest of the year after Shawn Morse pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud in federal court Tuesday in Binghamton.

Colonie police are investigating an incident reported at the Crossings last night.

When it comes to ride safety, New York State Fair officials want parents to know, they’re all over it.

This month, both the state Thruway Authority and the lieutenant governor insisted New York is working with the Seneca Nation to repair a two-mile portion of the I-90 that runs through the Cattaraugus Territory.

Matthew Bojanowski announced he is stepping down as academic chair of the Executive Counsel at Christ the King Seminary Tuesday morning. He is the second person to resign from Christ the King in the last week, joining Dean of Seminarians Stephen Parisi.

The Village of East Aurora is packed with busy bars and restaurants, but starting next March, if you have a coke or a coffee in one of those establishments you won’t be using a plastic straw or a stir stick to take a sip.

After announcing it was ending its contract with RNN to provide hyperlocal news on Fios 1 News, Verizon says it will continue to offer some form of news content to its customers.

Sen. David Carlucci said the state failed to follow proper procedure for adding an “M” to the Mario Cuomo Bridge signs.

An iconic Brooklyn pizzeria, popular with residents and tourists, was shut down Tuesday over a lot of dough — in this case money owed to New York state.

Spot Coffee workers have voted to form a union.

The headline here kind of says it all.

In national news:

President Donald Trump backed off a push for stronger background checks for gun purchases after speaking with a top official at the NRA.

The president said Tuesday he is supportive of adding Russia back to the G7 — a consortium of economically advanced nations.

President Trump confirmed he’s open to a payroll tax, but downplayed concerns of an economic recession.

And yet to donors, the Trump team is acknowledging a recession is a real possibility.

Trump has postponed a trip to Denmark after the prime minister said Greenland is not for sale.

The president said Jews who support Democratic candidates are showing ignorance and disloyalty.

Walmart is suing Tesla over solar cells that allegedly can cause sparks.

Former House Speaker Paul Ryan is moving his family from Wisconsin to Washington.

From the editorial pages:

Bob McManus in The New York Post criticized Commissioner James O’Neill’s handling of the Daniel Pantaleo firing.

Newsday says the MTA and the Long Island Rail Road must find a way to control overtime costs.

The Times Union writes that the rollback of environmental protections by the federal government is a new threat to endangered species.

The Buffalo News frets about the staffing in the Buffalo city comptroller’s office.

From the sports pages:

Cleveland Browns QB Baker Mayfield said the Giants pick of Daniel Jones at the quarterback “blows my mind” — causing a stir in the process.

The Yankees kicked off a west coast swing with a loss.

The Mets beat the Indians as the team continues its late summer surge.


Attorney General Letitia James is suing the Trump Administration, over a new rule that could deny legal immigrants a path to citizenship.

Temperatures are in the upper 80s and August is far from over, but for some New York City students it’s time to hit the books again.

Cohoes Mayor Shawn Morse pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud in federal court Tuesday in Binghamton.

The 2019 butter sculpture at the New York State Fair has been revealed.

More than 100 drivers in Rochester were ticketed this week as part of a collaboration between New York State Police and the Department of Transportation.

John Hurley, president of Canisius College and leader of the Movement to Restore Trust in the Diocese of Buffalo, met with Bishop Richard Malone and the joint implementation team Tuesday.

New Law Expands Employment Protections For Domestic Violence Victims

A measure meant to expand protections against discrimination in employment for domestic violence survivors and victims was signed into law on Tuesday by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

“Victims of domestic violence are forced to deal with far-reaching, lasting ramifications that can understandably interfere with their work schedules,” Cuomo said in a statement.

“By signing this measure into law we are strengthening our nation-leading domestic violence protection laws and ensuring survivors never have to fear losing their job as they deal with the aftermath of these unthinkable traumas.”

Previously law did not explicitly define protections and accommodations that an employer must provide to domestic violence victims. The measure would list reasons for an employer to allow a victim to take time off, including for services like medical attention, victim services or rape crisis and counseling, as well as safety planning and relocation.

“My mother dedicated her life to helping survivors of domestic violence, and her work has inspired me to be a voice for our most vulnerable populations during my time in public service,” said Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul.

“This legislation continues our efforts to combat domestic violence and ensure survivors are supported in every way possible, and that includes protecting their ability to earn a paycheck and achieve financial independence. New York is leading the way with our Women’s Justice Agenda, advancing gender equality, protecting all New Yorkers, and strengthening our society.”

The bill was sponsored by Sen. Roxanne Persaud and Assemblywoman Helene Weinstein.

Cuomo Says New Plates Are Needed For Cashless Tolling

New license plates are needed for cashless tolling cameras to read them, Gov. Andrew Cuomo told reporters at Lake Ontario on Tuesday as state lawmakers are pushing back against the change.

“Nobody wants to pay any money for anything,” Cuomo said. “I don’t want to buy new plates, either. It’s 10 years. You need a plate that works with E-Z Pass.”

Cashless tolling is already available in parts of the state Thruway system.

Motorists who have the blue-and-white plates, issued more than a decade ago, will beginning in April be required to purchase new plates for $25, along with a $20 fee if they want to keep the current license plate number.

The state estimated there are three million blue-and-white plates in circulation, which could lead to $75 million in revenue for the state in the initial changeover.

The proposal drew comparisons to a broader plan later withdrawn by then-Gov. David Paterson in 2009 that would have required all motorists switch their plates to the current gold-and-blue design.

Republicans and Democrats alike on Tuesday blasted the plan.

“This is a regurgitation of the same, uninspired idea that Governor David Paterson proposed a decade ago, one that failed thanks to strong opposition from County Clerks and Republicans in the state Legislature,” said Senate Minority Leader John Flanagan. “It’s also the latest example of Albany’s nickel-and-diming of hardworking middle-class taxpayers.”

Democratic Sen. David Carluccci also knocked the proposal.

“Hardworking New Yorkers should not be burdened with this unnecessary cash grab by the State,” he said. “A required fee to replace old license plates is arbitrary and does not in any way benefit drivers.”

Lawsuit Challenges ‘Public Charge’ For Immigrants

Attorney General Letitia James’s office announced Tuesday a lawsuit attempting to overturn President Donald Trump’s so-called public charge regulation.

Under this regulation change, immigrants would be denied green cards and visas when seeking forms of public assistance, including Medicaid, food stamps and housing vouchers. Administration officials say it’s meant to encourage self-sufficiency. James in the lawsuit argues the move circumvents the intent of Congress and will hurt immigrant children.

The suit was filed by Connecticut, Vermont and New York City.

“Generations of citizens landed on the welcoming shores of Ellis Island with nothing more than a dream in their pockets,” she said in a statement.

“The Trump Administration’s thinly veiled efforts to only allow those who meet their narrow ethnic, racial and economic criteria to gain a path to citizenship is a clear violation of our laws and our values. Quite simply, under this rule, more children will go hungry, more families will go without medical care and more people will be living in the shadows and on the streets. We cannot and we will not let that happen.”

The public charge rule change is set to take effect in two months. ​

The lawsuit was cheered by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, who is among the crowded field seeking the Democratic presidential nomination.

“The ultimate city of immigrants will never stop fighting President Trump’s xenophobic policies,” he said.

“We are proud to join the Attorney General and let our immigrant brothers and sisters know New York stands united behind them. When you mess with our neighbors, you mess with all of us. To the President, we’ll see you in court.”

New Law Waives Marriage License Fee For Active Duty Members

A law approved Tuesday by Gov. Andrew Cuomo will waive the state fee for marriage licenses for active duty members of the armed forces and their spouses.

The new measure will also allow local governments to waive their fees for marriage certificates for service members or spouses.

“These brave men and women leave their loved ones behind and risk their lives to protect the freedoms and values that this nation and this state were founded upon,” Cuomo said in a statement. “Waiving this fee is one small way to thank these valiant New Yorkers for their service.”

The bill was sponsored in the Legislature by Sen. Shelley Mayer and Assemblyman David Buchwald.

“On the happy occasions when a member of our armed forces gets married in New York, we as a society should be doing everything we can to say thank you and congratulations,” Buchwald said. “This is but a small gesture to show our gratitude to the men and women who protect our freedoms every day.”