Extras

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich dismissed BuzzFeed’s bombshell report that said federal investigators have evidence Trump ordered his former personal attorney and fixer Michael Cohen to lie to Congress about plans to build a Trump property in Moscow.

“BuzzFeed is the equivalent of those tabloids you buy at the grocery store on the way out that introduce you to Martians and tell you the story of three stars who had anguished lives that you never knew about,” Gingrich said before later adding, “To take BuzzFeed seriously is a sign of how desperate we are for news.”

Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani officially denied the Cohen-Trump bombshell report and attacked the credibility of thepPresident’s former lawyer, despite the fact that the BuzzFeed News report cites two federal investigators – not Cohen – as the sources.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Trump revealed that she and other lawmakers would be making a trip to Afghanistan on a commercial flight, a revelation that made it too dangerous to go forward with the trip.

Queens Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez applauded Cardi B for her expletive-filled rant against the partial government shutdown, joking that “Bronx girls are gonna reopen the government.”

Academy Award-winning actor James Woods is warning fellow conservatives to ignore Ocasio-Cortez “at your peril,” calling her “the most dangerous person in America right now.”

Ocasio-Cortez has been a member of Congress for only 15 days, but she already has some of the most veteran House Democrats chasing her heels and taking notes.

Union membership has fallen to a record low, according to numbers released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Three of the Americans who lost their lives in a blast set off by a suicide bomber in Northern Syria have been identified, including Shannon M. Kent, a Navy Chief Cryptologic Technician from Pine Plains, Dutchess County.

Six weeks after Bustle Digital Group bought the digital website Mic and fired all of its staff, many of the former employees are seething and ready to wage a publicity battle on the site’s new ownership.

Days after U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand declared her intention to run for president, a Siena poll shows she is just the third most popular Democratic official in her home state of New York.

The state Education Building on Washington Avenue was evacuated this morning after a fire alarm malfunctioned.

Under fire for skirting government bidding requirements, the Buffalo Municipal Housing Authority is going to begin using Erie County’s purchasing office to save money and avoid trouble.

Gearing up to seek a third term as Erie County executive, Democrat Mark Poloncarz has no idea who will run against him in November. But it’s a sure bet his eventual opponent will launch an all-out assault on his self-acknowledged liberal politics, according to early hints dropped by leaders of the Republican and Conservative opposition.

State officials are alerting backcountry downhill skiers, snowboarders and others who venture into northern New York’s mountainous areas to be aware of the risk of avalanches.

The coming winter storm expected to blanket parts of New York with up to two feet of snow will be problematic to deal with because of its sheer size, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said.

Disgraced former state Sen. Carl Kruger, 69, is rumored to be eyeing a NYC Council seat. According to political sources, the convicted felon Kruger is looking to make a comeback in local politics.

Tesla Laying Off Employees Company-Wide, Up To 50 In Buffalo

In an email Friday morning, Tesla CEO Elon Musk told employees the company was cutting 7 percent of its full-time workforce.

Musk says Tesla is trying to cut costs as it increases the production of a more affordable version of the company’s Model 3 electric vehicle. While the $750 million state subsidized gigafactory in Buffalo produces solar roof technology, not cars, it appears it will still be affected.

A spokesperson for Tesla would not give a headcount of how many Buffalo employees could be laid off, but Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul says the state was told the cutback may affect 50 people.  At last notice, the company had roughly 400 employees in the facility, but there are another 400 Panasonic employees as well.

That 800 employee total counts toward the company’s agreement with the state and therefore it has already exceeded a benchmark of 500 workers in the building by April.

“They’ve also committed to us that this does not affect whatsoever their commitment to Buffalo, their desire to continue with the production line for the solar panels, so this maybe seems to be a temporary setback but we’re going to continue moving forward and the rest of the jobs will be protected,” Hochul said.

However, the company still has a way to go to reach its April 2020 goal of 1,460 total jobs in the region. Hochul said the state would continue to monitor the situation.

“We don’t control what a company like Tesla does,” she said. “We deal with the impacts but we still know that there’s a place that will have over 750 jobs which is far more than it had the decades that that property was laying fallow.”

The new Assembly member representing South Buffalo, Pat Burke, said his constituents aren’t going to be pleased by the news and he plans to relay that to the company.

“It’s the jobs here that matter,” he said. It’s the future of that plant that matters. If they’re going to take the benefits, and they’ve taken benefits from multiple government agencies, then they should follow through on their promises.”

However, Rep. Brian Higgins, D-NY, said setbacks can be expected when dealing with emerging technology, but still believes solar is the future.

“I think we have to stay the course and I think in ten years, we’ll see full employment at that plant,” he said.

The state has continued to point out, it owns the Tesla facility and has claw backs built into the agreement with the company should it not meet its employment goals.

Cuomo Says He Won’t Back A Budget Deal Without Ethics

A budget without ethics reform is a no-go, Gov. Andrew Cuomo told reporters in a conference call on Friday.

Cuomo in the call, held to discuss state preparations for the coming snowstorm this weekend, called reform measures such as efforts to crack down on independent expenditure committees, public financing and new regulations for lobbying the most difficult items in the negotiations.

“I’m not going to pass a budget without ethics reform and I’m not going to allow cherry picking of the budget where we pass just the easy bills and not the hard bills,” Cuomo said.

The Democratic-controlled state Legislature in recent weeks has approved a flurry of bills that had stalled under Republican control in the state Senate, including provisions meant to make it easier to vote and protections for transgender New Yorkers. They plan next week to pass legislation aimed at strengthening abortion rights and access to contraception.

Cuomo has included this measures in his $175 billion budget proposal as well.

In addition to the ethics legislation, Cuomo pointed to his proposal for a congestion pricing toll plan in Manhattan as well as a push to gain more control over the leadership of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority as additional heavy lifts.

The process this year — the Legislature acting virtually on its own — has been an inverse of previous years in which the budget proposal was a clearinghouse for headline-inducing policy measures.

“You can’t pass a budget piecemeal,” he said. “This is a different dynamic than past years. We’ve made that point numerous times.”

But the reform measures, he says, will be the bigger sticking point.

“It’s also difficult practically. I put forth lobbying reform. That is very close to home,” Cuomo said. “I put forth a Freedom of Information Law for the Legislature which progressive legislators have proposed in the past. Why? Because they don’t want the Freedom of Information Law.”

The budget is scheduled to pass by the end of March.

Senate Dems To Back Permanent Property Tax Cap

The Democratic-led state Senate next week is set to vote on a bill that would make the state’s cap on property tax increases permanent.

The measure, first approved in 2011, is set to expire this year.

The cap limits local and school property taxes to year-over-year increases of 2 percent or the rate of inflation, whichever is lower.

The Senate’s version of the tax cap legislation is backed Sen. Jim Gaughran, a freshman from Long Island elected to a Republican-held district in November.

“I ran for State Senate on the promise that I would fight tirelessly for overburdened and overtaxed Long Islanders,” Gaughran said in a statement. “Today I took the first step and introduced vital legislation to make the property tax cap permanent. No more temporary extensions. A permanent tax cap for permanent relief.”

The tax cap remains a signature economic measure for Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who included a provision for a permanent tax cap in his 2019-20 budget proposal that is due at the end of March.

Cuomo and state lawmakers alike have pointed to the $10,000 federal cap on state and local tax deductions that makes the state’s tax cap all the more key for those who pay among the highest levies in the country.

Cuomo Proposes Reorganization Of Marijuana Bureaucracy

From the Morning Memo:

The proposed $175 billion state spending plan includes a sweeping re-organization of the state’s marijuana bureaucracy, consolidating regulation and oversight of the marijuana growing and retail industry under a new state offfice.

The budget would create an Office of Cannabis Management, overseeing commercial adult-use marijuana as well as medical marijuana and hemp.

Medical marijuana is currently overseen by the state Department of Health; Agriculture and Markets regulates hemp production in New York.

The new office would be under the umbrella of the State Liquor Authority and overseen by an executive director.

The office would be led by an executive director with wide authority over new regulations for the potential commercial retail industry for marijuana, including the number of licenses issued and oversight of pricing, including ceilings on retail markup.

At the same time, the budget includes provisions meant to spur minority, women-owned businesses and those in community impacted by drug laws in order to promote diversity in licensing.

That includes those from a “community group that has been disproportionately impacted by the enforcement of cannabis prohibition” as well as someone who was convicted of a marijuana-related offense in the past.

In his budget address on Tuesday, Cuomo said the program would “create an industry that empowers the poor communities that pay the price and not the rich corporations who come in to make a profit.”

And the new agency would be tasked with how marijuana at the retail level is marketed, including restrictions on advertisements similar to alcohol sales. Marijuana ads would not be allowed on TV, radio or digital programming that has an audience predominantly under the wage of 21.

The state projects the retail marijuana industry will result in $300 million in revenue from a three-tiered tax structure.

Gov’s Budget Omits Male Contraception Coverage

From the Morning Memo:

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s $175 billion budget plan does not include insurance coverage for male contraception, explicitly omitting language that would include condoms and vasectomies.

It’s one of the key differences from the legislature’s version, the Comprehensive Contraception Care Act, which offers equitable coverage.

“The legislature feels very strongly that contraception is a two way street, men and women, and of course, when you’re talking about condoms that’s a public health issue that protects women and men from sexually transmitted diseases,” said Sen. Liz Krueger Tuesday night in a Capital Tonight interview. She is a co-sponsor of the Legislature’s version of the contraception bill.

Both versions read: “All FDA-approved contraceptive drugs, devices, and other products. This includes all FDA-approved over-the-counter contraceptive drugs, devices, and products as prescribed or as otherwise authorized under state or federal law.”

But the Governor’s version immediately tacks on, “notwithstanding this paragraph, an insurer shall not be required to provide coverage of male condoms.”

The legislature’s bill allows “voluntary sterilization procedures,” where the executive proposal specifies solely “voluntary sterilization procedures for women.”

“We’re legislators. We need to read, we need to review, we need to make the decision whether we agree with something or we need to change it and we have the ability,” Krueger said. “Now, thanks to both houses being Democratic, to pass the kinds of bills we believe are literally in the best interests of New Yorkers.”

Both versions are congruent in covering up to 12 months of contraception, education and counseling services and follow up services.

Next week the state Senate is expected to pass the CCCA along with the Reproductive Health Act.

Moody’s: Seneca Arbitration Decision ‘Credit Positive’ For WNY Cities

From the Morning Memo:

Moody’s Investors Services said last week’s resolution in an arbitration between the state and the Seneca of Nation of Indians will have a positive financial impact on three Western New York cities.

The arbitration panel ruled the Senecas must continue to pay the state a percentage of the nation’s slot machine revenues, as well as nearly two years of back payments. Buffalo, Niagara Falls and Salamanca will all receive funding they have been due but were not receiving while this battle was being waged.

Of the three cities, Niagara Falls was in the worst financial shape, with a negative rating from Moody’s. While, the rating service’s declaration of “credit positive” does not automatically mean there will be an imminent credit rating or outlook change, it is a recognition of a significant event for the city.

“In particular, the ruling will greatly improve the financial position of the City of Niagara Falls (Baa3 negative), which relies heavily on Seneca Nation revenue-sharing funds to support operations,” the report reads.

Moody’s noted Salamanca also relies heavily on the funding, but was in a better financial position than Niagara Falls at the outset of this prolonged fight. The service pointed out that only some of the lost casino revenue could be made up from a property tax increase, so cuts would’ve been needed had the arbitration not ended up the way it did.

“Had the Seneca Nation won the arbitration and refused to make payments to these cities going forward, both cities would have faced significant financial uncertainty,” Moody’s said.

The report said even though the amount of money Buffalo received was small compared to the city’s total budget, it had still “struggled to maintain balanced operations, and any loss of recurring revenue can be difficult to absorb.”

Siena Poll: Trump Numbers Sink, Most Voters See Negative Race Relations In NY

From the Morning Memo:

Nearly half of voters in New York have a favorable view of U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, a Siena College poll released Friday morning found.

Gillibrand launched her presidential bid this week, is viewed less favorably among fellow Democrats than two other prominent statewide elected officials, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and U.S. Sen Chuck Schumer.

Sixty-one percent of Democrats have a favorable view of Gillibrand, with 68 percent having a favorable view of the governor. Seventy-four percent see Schumer favorably.

Overall, Gillibrand has a 48 percent to 31 percent favorable rating, the poll found. She was handily re-elected in November, her third victory statewide.

President Donald Trump remains deeply unpopular in New York, with 64 percent viewing him unfavorably, his worst showing since April.

Most New Yorkers believe race relations are either fair or poor as Martin Luther King Day approaches.

The poll found five percent view race relations in New York as excellent, 30 percent view them as good. But 43 percent view them as fair, while 19 percent see race relations as poor.

It’s a decline from the previous year’s survey from Siena’s polling institute, when 39 percent viewed race relations positively and 58 percent negatively.

Seventy percent of New Yorkers say sexual harassment is a significant or very significant problem in the workplace, down slightly from the previous year. Forty-five percent of women surveyed say they have been sexually harassed in the workplace.

“More than two-thirds of New Yorkers continue to believe that racial and ethnic minorities in the state experience discrimination because of their race or ethnicity,” said Siena College pollster Steve Greenberg said.

“Eighty-three percent of blacks, 65 percent of Latinos and 64 percent of whites say that minorities face discrimination. The only demographic group that disagrees and thinks minorities do not experience discrimination is conservatives by a 49-43 percent margin.”

The poll of 805 registered voters was conducted from Jan. 6 to Jan. 10. It has a margin of error of 4.1 percentage points.

Crosstabs can be found here.

Here and Now

It’s comingprepare yourself.

The federal government is still shut down.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is in New York City with no public events or interviews yet announced.

Democratic U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, fresh off announcing her 2020 presidential run, is in the first-in-the-nation caucus state of Iowa. She’ll take a walking tour of businesses in Sioux City, and then attend a Truman Club house party.

Vice President Mike Pence this evening delivers remarks at the 37th Annual March for Life Rose Dinner, Renaissance Hotel, Washington, D.C.

At 7:45 a.m., former NYC Council President Melissa Mark-Viverito, now a candidate for public advocate, greets commuters at the Junction Boulevard 7 train, Jackson Heights, Queens.

At 8:15 a.m., former Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman speaks on “the closing of Rikers Island as a catalyst for criminal justice reform,” New York Law School, 185 West Broadway, Manhattan.

At 9:30 a.m., Arlene Gonzalez-Sanchez, commissioner of the state Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services, delivers a presentation on the governor’s State of the State and budget address, Hilton Garden Inn, 1100 South Ave., Staten Island.

At 10 a.m., Rep. Anthony Brindisi announces his committee assignments and legislative priorities, Henry P. Smith Post 24, American Legion, 325 Erie Boulevard West, Rome.

Also at 10 a.m., OGS Commissioner RoAnn Destito will deliver a presentation on the governor’s State of the State and budget address, Herkimer College Amphitheater, 100 Reservoir Rd., Herkimer.

Also at 10 a.m., NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio will appear live on WNYC’s The Brian Lehrer Show and take calls from listeners.

Also at 10 a.m., Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. is a panelist at the New York State Bar Association’s environmental justice event, New York Hilton Midtown, 1335 Sixth Ave., Grand Ballroom West, third floor, Manhattan.

At 10:30 a.m., former Rep. Mike McNulty, Albany County Executive Daniel McCoy and other regional economic development leaders attend a press event to celebrate the grand opening of the Bull Moose Club, 150 State St., fourth floor, Albany.

At 11 a.m., NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer holds a press conference on transportation in eastern Queens, 93-02 Sutphin Blvd., Queens.

Also at 11 a.m., de Blasio will deliver remarks on the NYC Ferry expansion, Staten Island Borough Hall, 10 Richmond Terrace, Staten Island.

At 11:15 a.m., state Sen. Toby Ann Stavisky, state Sen. John Liu, Assemblyman David Weprin, Assemblyman Ed Braunstein and New York City Councilman Barry Grodenchik attend the ribbon-cutting for a new technology center at Cardozo High School, 57-00 223rd St., Queens.

At 11:30 a.m., LG Kathy Hochul sends off students as part of SUNY’s Puerto Rico recovery assistance legal clinic, University at Buffalo, O’Brian Hall, 211 Putnam Way, Buffalo.

Also at 11:30 a.m., Guillermo Linares, acting president of HESC, delivers a presentation on the governor’s State of the State and budget address, RAIN Eastchester Neighborhood Senior Center, 1246 Burke Ave., the Bronx.

At noon, Rep. Carolyn Maloney joins with elected officials and advocates to call on the Trump administration to follow a court ruling and remove the citizenship question from the 2020 census, 32BJ SEIU headquarters, 25 W. 18th St., Manhattan.

At 1:30 p.m., former US Attorney Preet Bharara discusses pressing legal topics of the day and current events with Fordham University School of Law Dean Matthew Diller, NYSBA Annual Meeting, New York Hilton Midtown, Manhattan.

At 2:30 p.m., Hochul delivers a presentation on Cuomo’s 2019 State of the State and budget address, Rochester City Hall, Atrium, 30 Church St., Rochester.

At 3 p.m., Rep. Adriano Espaillat hosts his annual open house event, honoring the life and legacy of Martin Luther King Jr., Harlem district office, 163 W. 125th St., Manhattan. (Mark-Viverito will attend).

Also at 3 p.m., Cuomo’s chief diversity officer Lourdes Zapata delivers a presentation on his State of the State and budget address, The Paramount Theater, 17 South St., Middletown.

At 5:30 p.m., state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli and Assemblyman Charles Lavine attend a Martin Luther King Jr. service, Temple Beth-El, 5 Old Mill Road, Great Neck.

De Blasio travels this evening to Bangor, Maine, to visit his aged aunt.

Headlines…

An end to the government shutdown looked more distant than ever after President Donald Trump abruptly canceled Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s planned visit to Afghanistan.

“The purpose of the trip was to express appreciation & thanks to our men & women in uniform for their service & dedication, & to obtain critical national security & intelligence briefings from those on the front lines,” Pelosi’s chief of staff explained on Twitter.

Hours after Trump grounded Pelosi’s planned trip to visit the troops, first lady Melania Trump was winging her way to Mar-a-Lago — on a government jet.

Trump also has canceled his administration’s trip to Davos, Switzerland, for the World Economic Forum next week.

Trump directed his longtime attorney Michael Cohen to lie to Congress about negotiations to build a Trump Tower in Moscow, according to two federal law enforcement officials involved in an investigation of the matter.

Cohen acknowledged that he had paid the owner of a technology services company to help doctor results of an online poll to help Trump as he considered a run for president.

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio warned that if the government shutdown continues, it could cost New Yorkers — especially the most vulnerable — hundreds of millions of dollars in needed benefits.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo directed state agencies to provide support for federal workers affected by the federal government shutdown.

Electric and gas utilities in New York announced that customers affected by the partial federal government shutdown can take part in special collection practices.

Fresh off her 2020 announcement, U.S. Kirsten Gillibrand said she plans to attend a Women’s March in Iowa this weekend — even though the event has been shrouded in controversy since one of its organizers refused to condemn anti-Semitic religious leader Louis Farrakhan.

A global New York-based law firm has agreed to pay $4.6 million to settle a Justice Department investigation into whether its work for a Russia-aligned Ukrainian government violated lobbying laws.

A series of depositions that a federal judge authorized this week to explore Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email account as secretary of State have been put on ice due to the partial government shutdown.

De Blasio defended his administration’s decision to allow a senior aide to resign after he was accused of sexually harassing two women, saying firing him would have exposed the identity of his alleged victims.

After winning a commanding re-election in 2017, de Blasio was effusive in praising a key member of his core City Hall team: Kevin O’Brien, his acting chief of staff. Three months later, O’Brien was gone, quietly forced to resign after complaints of sexual harassment filed by two female city employees were substantiated.

A hearing on sexual harassment will take place in Albany next month, giving survivors and advocates a long-sought platform to weigh in on the issue as lawmakers seek to bolster the state’s sexual harassment laws.

The annual two-and-a-half-month do-si-do over how much money the governor and State Legislature should put toward public education has begun. Not only are school districts disappointed by the funding levels proposed by Cuomo, but they’re wary about his proposal to force districts to shift more money to their poorest schools.

Contrary to Cuomo’s recent assertions, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority he effectively controls does not expect to seek the approval of its board to proceed with the governor’s L-train plan.

This occurred just two days after the agency’s board bashed the plan during a heated “emergency” meeting Tuesday.

The NYPD gained information from undercover sources embedded in the Black Lives Matter protests that swept through the city in 2015, according to hundreds department emails made public yesterday.

While NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill defended the practice laid bare in a series of department emails, de Blasio said he found it concerning because the activists “are not a security risk in any way shape or form.”

The Legal Aid Society is filing a federal class-action lawsuit accusing de Blasio’s housing agency of maintaining an “unlawful and devastating policy” that imperils domestic violence survivors.

More >

Extras

After she told him to delay his State of the Union address in her chamber, the president announced that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s scheduled trip to Egypt, Brussels and Afghanistan “has been postponed” due to the shutdown, telling her: “If you would like to make your journey by flying commercial, that would certainly be your prerogative.”

Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani now says he “never said there was no collusion” between Russia and members of Trump’s 2016 White House campaign, contradicting public positions that he and his client have taken.

Amid the longest government shutdown in U.S. history, Trump’s job approval rating has declined since last month, and cracks in the president’s base are part of the reason, according to a NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll.

Trump slammed “radical Democrats” in Congress for not agreeing to his demand that lawmakers cough up $5.7 million for his long-promised wall on the Mexican border.

All State Department employees furloughed because of the ongoing government shutdown are being ordered to report back to work next week — but they won’t see a paycheck until mid-February at the earliest.

The NYPD infiltrated the Black Lives Matter movement by using undercover agents and other “sources” to track the activists’ movements while calling them “idiots,” according to the department emails newly released following a Freedom of Information Law request.

Queens Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s first speech on the House floor quickly made C-SPAN history, becoming its most viewed twitter video of any remarks by a House member of either party, seen 1.16 million times.

Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand, a junior New York U.S. senator and newly minted 2020 presidential contender, apologized for holding “callous” views on immigration amidst a broader mea culpa over her formerly conservative views on “The Rachel Maddow Show.”

New health care regulations outlined by Cuomo would give New Yorkers more options when it comes to having children — and could require insurers to cover the cost of condoms.

The LIRR hired an outside agency to help with the homeless problem in and around railroad stations. Eleven months into its five-year, $860,000 contract, an audit by state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli found Services for the Underserved is not doing its job – even lying about its outreach.

A group of state lawmakers plans to hold hearings regarding the LIRR’s recent performance, which they described as “subpar and in desperate need of thorough review.”

The de Blasio administration says it’s opposing a controversial NYC Council bill that would allow employees to blow off their bosses’ after-hour emails and texts without penalty, saying it’s just too tough to monitor.

Advocates say the governor’s promise to invest $200 million in fighting the opioid epidemic is specious, advocates say, if not outright misleading.

One hundred and ninety one pages of the governor’s budget bill are devoted to the topic of legalizing marijuana for adult recreational use.

Kevin O’Brien, who had served as NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio’s acting chief of staff in 2017 and was then a senior adviser, departed City Hall last year because of a substantiated allegation of sexual harassment from two people, according to city documents.

The number of Buffalo Public Schools in academic good standing with New York State has more than doubled in the past three years, while at the same time the number under threat of an outside takeover has gone from 25 down to just three – two that were on that original list and one new one.

Days after former “Today” host Megyn Kelly’s exit deal was finalized with NBC, she was summoned for jury duty.

New York public university faculty members and graduate assistants are choosing not to pay union dues at a higher rate than any other major group of state government employees since getting the right to choose in last year’s landmark ruling in Janus v. AFSCME.

A Good Samaritan found $8,000 on the side of the road and delivered it to a woman whose husband died in the Schoharie limousine crash – getting her the money just before a cruise they’d planned as a honeymoon.