Bernadette Hogan

Video Producer for Capital Tonight. Email: Twitter: @bern_hogan

Posts by Bernadette Hogan

SD-41: DiNapoli Backs Smythe

Comptroller Tom DiNapoli threw his support behind Karen Smythe, the Democrat running against Republican incumbent Sen. Sue Serino in the Hudson Valley’s 41st Senate district.

“Karen Smythe ran a successful business and raised a family in Dutchess County and deeply understands the needs of her region. As a senator, I am confident that she will work to expand economic opportunities for all, advocate for increased transparency in government, and stand up for the rights of every resident of the 41st State Senate District. She will be a tireless advocate for her constituents in Albany, and I am proud to endorse her for State Senate.”

Smythe was endorsed by President Obama earlier this week, and has accepted the support of Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul, and progressive groups like Citizen Action.

“I want to thank Tom DiNapoli for his support. He has been a strong leader in protecting taxpayers in Dutchess and Putnam counties and helping New York’s economy grow. I look forward to working with Comptroller DiNapoli to make the Hudson Valley more affordable and to root out corruption in New York State. As State Senator, I will be committed to working with my partners in state government to ensure fiscal responsibility and fairness for all New Yorkers.”

Cuomo Ad Chastises Molinaro On Tax Returns, Links To Trump

Tuesday’s bombshell New York Times article revealing an extensive report regarding President Donald Trump’s financial history catching limelight, and Gov. Andrew Cuomo has found personal utility for it in a new ad “Hide Like Trump.”

The ad chastises his Republican opponent, Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro, for failing to release his tax returns, calling on him to release 10 years worth of financial documentation.

The New York Times called it a “pattern of deception,” Donald Trump profited $413 million from fraud and tax evasion. No wonder he wouldn’t release his taxes. Who else wouldn’t release his taxes? Republican candidate for governor and Trump mini-me, Marc Molinaro. Is he trying to hide his own corruption? Like a family member, hired by a government contractor, making tens of thousands. Trump mini-me Marc Molinaro is deceiving New Yorkers. No tax releases. No shame. What’s he hiding?

Molinaro released one year’s worth, 2017, of his tax returns in May, but also included five years’ of income data.

President Trump broke with tradition in the 2016 election, having refused to release returns, although a copy of his 2005 filings was obtained and reporter by MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow.


Molinaro campaign spokeswoman Katy Delgado responded to the ad in a statement:

“It’s tough to be a liar, a hypocrite, and a tax scoff all in one single ad, but Andrew Cuomo just pulled it off. Molinaro has released his taxes; Cuomo didn’t until after he was governor, and his partner pays his property taxes. It’s a trifecta of deceit for a governor already known for corruption and dishonesty.”

NY-21: Cobb Stacks Wood in New Ad

Democrat Tedra Cobb, challenger to Republican Rep. Elise Stefanik in New York’s 21st District, released a new ad Wednesday.

The 30 second TV spot “North Country” displays picturesque scenes from the eponymous district, a farmer’s tractor, men hunting and family-owned dairy farm foil Cobb’s own cameo–the congressional candidate is busy piling split wood. It’s part of a platform and image set to separate Cobb from her opponent, who she dubs a Washington insider. Cobb wants it clear, she’s a proud outsider.

“We know that when the voters of Northern NY hear our positive message, it resonates. They are tired of being represented by a DC insider who doesn’t understand our values or reflect our priorities. Unlike Rep. Stefanik, I am not taking a dime from corporate donors or lobbyists so they won’t own my vote in Washington. The people of New York’s 21st Congressional district deserve a representative who is focused on ways to make their lives better, not lining the pockets of millionaires and billionaires. I say to Congresswoman Stefanik and those who would sell us off to the highest bidder, hands off the North Country.”

“My opponent and her special interest allies have filled the airwaves with negative attacks on me that have really turned voters off. People are wondering – why doesn’t Congresswoman Stefanik use her ads to explain her votes to take healthcare away from 64,000 Northern New Yorkers and close rural hospitals? Why doesn’t she run ads touting her vote to let companies dump toxic coal waste into our waterways and bring acid rain back to the Adirondacks?”

Cobb and Stefanik have been locked in what at times has turned into a nasty political scuffle. The Stefanik campaign has released several anti-Cobb ads, crowning her as ‘Taxin’ Tedra’ and linking her to Governor Andrew Cuomo. Cobb for her part, has faced additional campaign clouds; in August she filed for an independent ballot line after a secretly recorded, and subsequently mass distributed, video showed her saying she supports an assault rifle ban but couldn’t voice that support out loud for fear of polarizing voters. The request was ultimately denied, and Cobb will appear as the Democratic candidate in November.

Cobb has been endorsed by Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul and former NY-21 Rep. Bill Owens.

Stefanik is an incumbent seeking a third term.

NY-2: Cuomo Campaign Releases Video Supports Grechen Shirley

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s campaign released a video backing Democratic Congressional candidate Liuba Grechen Shirley’s campaign for the seat in New York’s 2nd District.

“I’ll tell you how we stop the Congress from doing bad acts to New York. We elect Democratic congress people who will stand up and protect New York. We elect Liuba Grechen Shirley.”

“This seat has been held for 25 years by the Republicans. It’s so important that we take back this seat because we need a representative who will actually listen to everyone in this district, who will fight in Washington, to make sure that we have a government that is taking care of working families in this district.”

Earlier this week Governor Cuomo campaigned in Long Island on behalf of several Democratic Senate candidates, a strategic anticipation of the 2019 legislative session. But when it comes to congressional races, his anti-Trump rhetoric is a key component in exemplifying a fierce commitment to blue wave politics.

Grechen Shirley, a political newcomer, is taking on Republican Rep. Peter King, an incumbent who boasts a 25-year congressional career. She rose to some national prominence when she successfully pushed the Federal Elections Commission to allow campaign money be used for child care.

King’s position writ large should be safe come November, as the Long Islander is popular with his constituency–a mix of Suffolk and Nassau counties–but nothing is truly certain for Republicans, as reflected in national developments tied to the Trump administration and the results of September’s primary elections in New York, which has proved a shot in the arm for Democrats.

King has in the past also been a Republican ally for Cuomo, especially on issues like receiving federal emergency aid in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.

NY-11: Rose Endorsed by CWA

Democratic congressional candidate Max Rose on Tuesday received endorsements from CWA District 1 and CWA 1102 in his campaign for the seat in New York’s 11th House District.

Rose is challenging Republican incumbent, Rep. Dan Donovan, for the district that includes Staten Island and parts of Brooklyn.

“This year we have a huge opportunity to take back the House, and Max Rose is a fantastic candidate and the right man for the job. Max’s decision to reject corporate PAC and federal lobbyist donations means he won’t be beholden to special interests in D.C. and can fight for the working families of Staten Island and South Brooklyn desperately in need of a pro-labor champion. We’re proud to endorse him for the U.S. House of Representatives,” said Dennis Trainor, Vice President, CWA District 1.

“Our brothers and sisters in labor deserve a leader who will stop at nothing to ensure their rights remain protected,” said Max Rose. “The people of Staten Island and South Brooklyn deserve to have a representative who will never sell them out. Unlike Dan Donovan, I have not and will not take a cent from corporate PACs or federal lobbyists. It’s time we have someone in D.C. fighting for us, not Purdue Pharma.”

Rose’s campaign has been backed by a number of notable names and groups, yesterday adding former President Barack Obama to a list already including names like U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and Governor Andrew Cuomo. Union backings have played a pivotal role this year’s election cycle for the Empire State, as evidenced by Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s own active courting of labor and teachers union. It’s all part of a nationwide effort Democrats hope will result in a triumphant blue wave over Congress and state government come November.

Cuomo Applauds Amazon $15 Minimum Wage

Gov. Andrew Cuomo praised Amazon’s pledge to raise the minimum wage of U.S. workers to $15 an hour, linking the company’s move to New York’s own good example.

“I applaud Amazon for following New York’s lead and raising the minimum wage to $15 for its U.S. employees. By raising its minimum wage, Amazon is sending a clear message that says it respects its workers and recognizes their contributions.”

Cuomo on Friday publicly pushed for a minimum wage increase of $19 for New York metropolitan area and Newark airport workers, says:

“In New York, we believe in a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work. We were proud to pass the first statewide $15 minimum wage in the nation, and earlier this month we took another step forward when the Port Authority Board approved a minimum wage increase to $19. And we will always fight for fairness and decency for working men and women.

I applaud Amazon for following New York’s lead and raising the minimum wage to $15 for its U.S. employees. By raising its minimum wage, Amazon is sending a clear message that says it respects its workers and recognizes their contributions.”

The $15 minimum wage for Amazon workers takes effect November 1st, but $15 minimum wage in the Empire State is cleaved out depending on what part of the state you’re looking at; explained in a blog post here. The $19 minimum wage approved by the Port Authority Board will take full effect over a five year period, coming to completion in 2023.

Senate Parole Board Hearings, Day One ReCap

From the Morning Memo:

State Senate Republicans yesterday held the first of two consecutive joint hearings by the Committee on Crime Victims, Crime and Corrections and the Committee on Elections regarding the state Parole Board and the restoration of parolees’ voting rights by the governor.

Among other things, the GOP says it’s reviewing an executive order issued by the governor this past spring that granted voting rights to over 24,000 parolees, making them eligible to participate in this year’s election cycle.

The Republicans claim the decision was political, and yet another effort by the governor to circumvent the Legislature and curry favor with the left.

Committee on Crime Victims, Crime and Corrections Chair Pat Gallivan, a former Parole Board member and WNY Republican, said the hearings were called to examine the executive order, the process put in place to facilitate it, and address the concerns surrounding that process.

“The purpose of today is not to have a debate on whether or not certain individuals should have voting rights or not – that was not purpose of the hearing,” said Gallivan. “It is my contention, and I feel strongly about this, that the governor usurped the power of the Legislature, that the constitution was not intended to deal in a blanket fashion with tens of thousands of individuals. It was rather intended for individual injustice.”

Witnesses were invited to testify, and the list of appearances included former Parole Board member James Ferguson and law enforcement representatives such as Patrick Lynch, president of the NYC Police Benevolent Association.

Voting rights advocates say it was the Senate Republicans who were politically motivated in this instance, seeking to generate controversy among members of the conservative grassroots as they fight to main control of the majority in the November elections.

“We believe the state Parole Board is taking steps in the right direction by releasing more people, but they need to release more people,” says David George, a Community Organizer for the Release Aging People in Prison Campaign.

“We believe, really that these hearings are political purposes, and that the state Senate Republicans and their leadership are using these hearings to inspire a sense of fear that’s based in racism in their voters in battleground state Senate districts.”

Several Cuomo administration officials submitted written testimony in lieu of appearance, including the governor’s top attorney, Alphonso David. Cuomo spokesman Tyrone Stevens said:

“Let’s be very clear: These hearings are nothing more than an election-year stunt by the Senate Republicans, and we’re not going to be their props.”

“As we’ve previously said, the Parole Board has made decisions that we’ve disagreed with, but as the Senate Republicans know full well, this is an independent board, every member of which the Republican Senate have confirmed.”

“If they really wanted to protect New Yorkers, they should dispense with the fear mongering and pass the Child Victims Act.”

Democratic Sen. Gustavo Rivera, of the Bronc, expressed a similar concern. He and his fellow Democrats all boycotted the hearing, and won’t be attending a second event that is planned for today on Long Island.

“While there may be legitimate concerns around our State’s current parole policies and the restoration of voting rights for New Yorkers on parole, the fact is that my Republican colleagues are rushing these hearings a mere four weeks before November’s general election in their attempt to score cheap political points and mobilize their base of voters,” River said in a statement.

“Furthermore, we cannot deny that one of the main goals of these hearings is to deepen the public’s distrust against incarcerated and formerly incarcerated individuals, even after they have paid their debt to society, and have been rehabilitated.”

Gallivan said all majority and minority members received individual notices directly to their offices regarding the hearings, and he had had correspondences “with at least two other offices.”

Gallivan was joined by several fellow Republicans, including: Sen. Fred Akshar, Chair of the Committee on Elections, Sen. Sue Serino, Sen. Joe Griffo, Sen. Jim Tedisco and Sen. Thomas O’Mara.

At the hearings’ conclusion, following an examination of testimonies and records gathered, a written record will be issued alongside recommendations, Gallivan said.

SD-46: Strong Endorsed by EMILY’s List

The Democratic candidate running in New York’s 46th State Senate District, Pat Strong, received an endorsement from pro-choice political action committee EMILY’s List.

“Pat Strong is a small business owner who understands the challenges facing Upstate New York families today,” said Geri Prado, senior director of state and local campaigns at EMILY’s List. “In the state Senate she will advocate for good-paying jobs and strong communities and EMILY’s List is proud to support her.”

Strong is taking on Republican incumbent Senator George Amedore, Chair of the Senate Committee on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse and vice president of his family owned business, Amedore Homes. He was first elected to the state Senate in 2014. Strong has served as a businesswoman and community leader in Ulster County. She has received endorsements from several other women’s groups, including Eleanor’s Legacy. This is her first bid for public office.

“I am thrilled that EMILY’s List has endorsed me in my race for State Senate in the 46th District,” Pat Strong said. “I am committed to making New York a more equitable state. The work that EMILY’s List does is vital to ensuring that women are elected into office and with the support of EMILY’s List I am sure that I will win in November.”

Although the seat in SD-46 has been under Republican control for two terms, Democrats have controlled the district in the past, as Amedore himself unseated Democratic former Sen. Cecilia Tkaczyk in 2014 after narrowly losing the district two years earlier.

Skoufis Adds Endorsements by PEF, RWDSU

From the Morning Memo:

State Senate candidate James Skoufis has picked up additional union support as he seeks to flip retiring Republican Sen. Bill Larkin’s seat into Democratic hands in November.

The assemblyman has been endorsed by the Public Employees Federation, New York’s second-largest state workers union; as well as the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union.

“The Public Employees Federation is proud to endorse Assemblyman James Skoufis in his election bid to the New York State Senate,” PEF President Wayne Spence said.

“Assemblyman Skoufis has dedicated his entire public service career to helping working families, ensuring our children receive a quality education, and fighting for better wages and improved healthcare for all New Yorkers. At a time when anti-union forces are ramping up efforts to tear us down, we know Assemblyman Skoufis will have our backs in the New York State Senate.”

As we saw in last week’s Democratic primaries, organized labor remains a force to be reckoned with in New York, despite the decline of unions elsewhere in the country.

Labor helped turn out the vote for Gov. Andrew Cuomo in his race against actress-turned-activist Cynthia Nixon, having repaired the rather rocky relationship it has had with him since he took office; and also assisted a number of insurgent state Senate candidates defeat incumbent former IDC members.

Larkin’s Hudson Valley seat is one of five opening up this fall due to retirements by GOP incumbents. It is one the Democrats are counting on to change hands as they push to regain control of the chamber.

Skoufis has similarly received the backing several powerful state unions such as AFL-CIO, NYSUT and CSEA. He faces Stony Point councilman, Republican Tom Basile, in this November’s general election.

Cuomo TV Ad Blasts Molinaro as ‘Trump Mini-Me’

From the Morning Memo:

It’s no secret that President Trump is the Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s favorite punching bag and scapegoat for any and all problems plaguing New York.

Since winning the Democratic primary last week, Cuomo has continued to focus mainly on Trump, and also is stepping up his effort to link his general election opponent, Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro, to the president, who is deeply unpopular here in his home state.

In a new ad released yesterday by Team Cuomo, Molinaro is branded as Trump’s “mini-me” – a moniker the governor’s campaign has been employing for some time now.

The ad brands Molinaro as opposed to abortion rights, an assault weapons ban, affordable healthcare, and marriage equality. It also says he voted against equal pay while serving in the state Assembly and supported the federal government’s 2017 Tax and Jobs Act.

The tagline:

“A Trump mini me for governor? No way, no how.”

Molinaro has sought to explicitly run as a Trump opposite in both temperament and personality. Molinaro has noted repeatedly he did not vote for Trump in 2016, writing in Rep. Chris Gibson that year instead.

Prior to his significant win against his primary opponent, actree-turned-activist Cynthia Nixon, Cuomo and his campaign paid little attention to Molinaro, who is vastly underfund compared to the governor, and also is running an uphill battle in a Democrat-dominated, largely anti-Trump state.

Molinaro, meanwhile, is trying to capitalize on free media and has launched a so-called “Cuomo Corruption Tour.” He continues to hammer away at Cuomo’s alleged ties to Albany corruption – particularly the conviction on federal corruption charges of former top Cuomo aide Joe Percoco, who is scheduled to be sentenced today.

It remains to be seen whether this line of argument holds weight with voters, as a June Siena poll showed Cuomo has a nearly 20 percentage point lead over Molinaro.

“Andrew Cuomo’s corruption is eroding all public trust in government, and that cannot stand,” Molinaro said. “His administration acts like a corrupt enterprise operating beyond all bounds of normalcy and under strict and willful secrecy. Even his so-called ethics commission, JCOPE, appears to be inside the Cuomo cabal. We must find a way to get at the truth, and this bill will do it.”

In a statement released yesterday, referencing gun control comments Molinaro made at a campaign stop in Utica, Cuomo campaign spokeswoman Abbey Collins said:

“We knew that Trump mini-me Marc Molinaro is an NRA puppet, we just didn’t think he’d be so brazen about it. After a long career opposing common sense gun safety reform, ‘A’ rated Molinaro has made rolling back the toughest and smartest gun legislation in the nation – the SAFE Act – part of his campaign platform, threatening just yesterday to dismantle it piece by piece.”

“At a time when people of all ages across this country are crying out for increased gun safety measures, this latest move proves Trump mini-me Molinaro is in the iron grip of the gun lobby. His position is disturbing and dangerous, and the overwhelming majority of New Yorkers will remember Molinaro in their thoughts and prayers when he loses this election by a landslide.”

Molinaro has reiterated on multiple occasions that he did not cast a ballot for Trump in the 2016 election, instead writing in the name of former Rep. Chris Gibson from NY-19.

Also while in Utica, Molinaro picked up the endorsement of Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente, a fellow Republican, who in the past crossed party lines to endorse Cuomo for re-election.