Bernadette Hogan

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

Posts by Bernadette Hogan

Biaggi Endorsed by Westchester Women’s Democratic Alliance

Democratic candidate for state senate Alessandra Biaggi was endorsed Thursday by the Westchester Women’s Democratic Alliance for the seat in District 34, an area that includes parts of Westchester and the Bronx.

Biaggi is challenging incumbent Senator Jeff Klein, Senate deputy minority leader and former Independent Democratic Conference head, in a Democratic primary Sept. 13.

“The Westchester Women’s Democratic Alliance is happy to endorse Alessandra Biaggi. It is imperative for the women of Westchester County, and for the women of the entire State, that our interests are fully represented in the New York State Senate.  Over the course of his tenure, Ms. Biaggi’s opponent has at best failed to take actions in the best interest of women, and at worst, has stood in the way of the advancement of women, families, and the people of New York State.  Ms. Biaggi has not only exhibited an understanding of the issues facing her constituents, but has also committed to making sure that her constituents will be forcefully represented in the Senate.”

Biaggi has also been endorsed by Westchester County Board of Legislators Majority Leader Catherine Parker.

A strong proponent of electing women to political office, she’s worked in Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office on projects and policy pertaining to women’s issues, and was involved in Hilary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign as Deputy National Operations Director. Biaggi has spoken out against sexual misconduct in state government, and she’s a supporter of the Reproductive Health Act.

Self-described as, “1,300+ democratic women, and we are growing,” the Westchester Women’s Democratic Alliance is “ready to capitalize on the momentum of the 2016 election and its aftermath to make sure that our voices are heard and our communities are safe, happy, and healthy places for all their residents.”

Schumer: Quell Tariffs’ Voracious Appetite for Newspaper Industry

From the Morning Memo:

Among the many, many carnivorous forces preying on the newspaper industry, U.S. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer says to add tariffs to the list.

New York newspapers are made from a raw material imported from Canada–groundwood paper–and it’s not produced in the northeast. Instead, paper producers rely on Canadian imports.

When the Trump Administration announced plans at the year’s impetus to impose tariffs on imports in industries received from foreign nations, the paper sector did not come away unscathed.

In an open conference call Wednesday, Schumer called on U.S. Department of Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross to renege tariff implementation affecting groundwood paper imports–a decision that will be made permanent on Aug. 1 should nothing be altered.

Schumer argues in attempt to recover costs, jobs in newsrooms and printing houses will surely be slashed, further cementing a bleak fate in the foresight of an already struggling industry.

“From the Buffalo News, to the Poughkeepsie Journal and the Syracuse Post-Standard to the Watertown Daily Times, upstate New York’s hometown papers are fundamental to an informed citizenry, healthy communities and a vibrant democracy,” Schumer said. “That is why I am doubling down on my push to the U.S. Department of Commerce to reconsider their decision to impose duties on the raw material used by New York’s already at-risk upstate and local newspaper companies.”

Schumer cites a survey from the News Media Alliance of New York that shows page cuts in New York papers, on average, amount to at least six pages. He says revenue from reader subscriptions will not be enough to fend off financial pressure, and will likely lead to the shuttering of newspapers entirely.

On top of a now normalized slew of threats newsrooms face—competition from digital publishing platforms, Twitter, subscriptions declines, etc., a devastating blow to the New York journalism community hit Monday, as 50 percent of the staff at the NY Daily News was cut by parent media company Tronc. The news came as a demoralizing shock to reporters and readers of the New York City tabloid, known and loved for its insider-y, scrappy, and sometimes raunchy, boots-on-the-ground reporting.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued a statement Monday suggesting state aid is available to relieve those affected by layoffs, saying Tronc should have notified the state of its financial woes.

“These layoffs were made without notifying the State or asking for assistance. My father, as Governor, came to the aid of the New York Post when it was facing difficult financial times. Even though the Post represented an opposing active partisan interest, my father understood the value of a robust free press. So do I,” Cuomo said.

“I urge Tronc to reconsider this drastic move and stand ready to work with them to avert this disaster. I understand that large corporations often only see profit and dividends as a bottom line. But in New York, we also calculate loss of an important institution, loss of jobs, and the impact on the families affected. I hope Tronc does the same and recalculates its decision. New York State stands ready to help.”

Despite implication of a buy-out, a somewhat odd proposal on the Governor’s part, financial pressure amounts to a small fraction of factors that played into the layoffs.



Nixon Endorses Single-Payer Healthcare in Ad

From the Morning Memo:

Democratic candidate for governor Cynthia Nixon endorsed single-payer health care in New York State Tuesday morning via a digital ad released by her campaign.

Ms. Nixon chronicles her mother’s experience as an unemployed, uninsured single mother seeking treatment for a lump on her breast suspected to be cancerous. Upon finding a job and thus obtaining health insurance, Nixon’s mother waited four months before seeking medical guidance–fearing her insurance company would claim she had a preexisting condition and deny treatment cost coverage.

“We shouldn’t have to depend on our employers for insurance – and we certainly shouldn’t have to lie to our doctors to get the care we need,” said Nixon. “Health care should be a human right, not a privilege for those who can afford it.”

Critical of establishment Democrats and increasingly proving to be a thorn in the side of Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Nixon blames the blockage of key legislation that would further facilitate single-payer health care–the New York Health Act–on Senate Republicans and former members of the now dissolved Independent Democratic Conference, whom she dubs “Cuomo’s IDC.”

“Every single New Yorker can have good health care, with no copays and no deductibles,” said Cynthia Nixon. “But first we have to start sending Democrats to Albany who stand with people, not corporations.”

Williams To Return Contributions ‘Accepted in Error’

A campaign finance report made public Thursday on behalf of Democratic lieutenant governor candidate Jumaane Williams included three donations that exceeded the $5,000 limit for corporate contributions.

Aside from surpassing that limit, $50,000 worth of donations may have originated from same source, which is also not allowed under state elections law. If he is forced to return the funds, Williams will deplete his campaign’s bank account and cripple his spending capability.

Responding to questions via email about whether these contributions would be returned if deemed to be accepted incorrectly, the campaign spokesman, William Gerlich, said:

“In the past filing period, our campaign received contributions which we now realize were accepted in error. On recognizing this, we will be returning these donations.”

He did not specify which contributions in particular will be returned.

The promised refunds come as the campaign of Williams’ opponent, LG Kathy Hochul, threw down the gauntlet this week, issuing four days worth of queries about the whereabouts of his disclosure report.

A submission mix-up on the Williams campaign end, attributed to technical difficulties, initially stalled the report’s release for three days. But once it was made public, red flags were immediately raised.

In a statement Thursday evening, the Hochul campaign called on the State Board of Elections to investigate Williams’ finances, claiming his disclosure report “shows thousands of illegal corporate donations in excess of state limits.”

Hochul’s campaign says Williams should comply with BOE law and return the $35,000.

“New Yorkers deserve better than the disappointing and troubling actions from the Williams’ campaign. We demand he refund the $35,000 immediately in accordance with the law.”

The campaign issued a follow up plea just before 5 p.m. today:


On April 12, 2018, Councilman Williams illegally accepted $50,000+ from multiple corporations all leading back to one person who receives multiple city contracts in his district. Apparently the Councilman does not feel the rules apply to him.

Not only did his campaign file 3 days late, they also blatantly ignored campaign finance laws that attempt to limit corporate influence because clearly that’s not a priority for him. Councilman Williams, let voters know when you’ve finally refunded the $35,000 in accordance with the law. New Yorkers deserve better from their leaders.”

The Williams campaign emailed several minutes prior to the release, stating in the quote at the beginning of this blog post their intention to refund contributions.

Hochul reported raising $1.2 million over the past six months, and has $1.24 total cash on hand.

Over 70 percent of her donations hail from individual donors, according to the LG’s campaign, and over 60 percent of those individual donors wrote checks for $500 or less.

*This article has been updated on 7/27/18 3:30 p.m.

In the second line, $35,000 worth of donations has been updated to $50,000.

Hochul Presses Williams on Campaign Finance Disclosure

Airs of impatience wafted through the lieutenant governor’s race Wednesday morning.

Beginning at 10:44 a.m., the Hochul campaign issued four emails pressing opponent New York City councilman Jumanne Williams to release a copy of his campaign finances, posing a “friendly reminder” to the Brooklyn Democrat. The emails state Williams is not only two days behind Board of Elections’ July 16th filing deadline, but claims he “did not take the filing deadline seriously.”

This is the second day the Hochul campaign has called on Williams to release his campaign filings.

The emails speculate, “What exactly is the councilman hiding? Do the rules apply to him?” before a follow-up poses a possible solution to Williams’ disclosure report predicament. The fourth email, sent at 12:31 p.m., includes an attachment received by the Hochul campaign from the BOE reminding candidates that even though they may have submitted a report, it is to verify receipt and accuracy of the report itself. There lies the rub.


CT Hochul williams campaign finance 071818

10:44 a.m.


“Councilman Williams’ campaign financial disclosure is nowhere to be found, yet we are two days past the filing deadline. Voters continue to be left in the dark on how much the Councilman has raised and who exactly is supporting his campaign. Timeliness around a deadline and transparency have always been a priority for our campaign. We can factually say that hasn’t been the case thus far for the Councilman.

Councilman, please let us know when you’re able to get around to disclosing your report. I guess better late than never? The voters are waiting.”


11:45 a.m.


“After two days and multiple requests for comment on why there was no campaign financial disclosure filed for Councilman Williams, the Councilman’s campaign belatedly and vaguely conveyed approximate top line numbers instead of releasing the report that was allegedly submitted to the Board of Elections. What exactly is the Councilman hiding? Do the rules not apply to him? Release the copy of the report you sent to BOE. The voters deserve to know.”


12:23 a.m.


“The following email was received by the Hochul campaign from the Board of Elections after our financial disclosure was submitted (on time):

This email could not be clearer: “It is your responsibility to verify RECEIPT and ACCURACY of your report.” Councilman Williams did not take this filing deadline seriously. What exactly is the Councilman hiding? Do the rules not apply to him? Release the copy of the report you sent to BOE. The voters deserve to know.”


12:31 a.m.

**Updated with attachment of screenshot in release**



“The following email was received by the Hochul campaign from the Board of Elections after our financial disclosure was submitted (on time):

This email could not be clearer: “It is your responsibility to verify RECEIPT and ACCURACY of your report.” Councilman Williams did not take this filing deadline seriously. What exactly is the Councilman hiding? Do the rules not apply to him? Release the copy of the report you sent to BOE. The voters deserve to know.”

The Hochul campaign submitted their report to the BOE on time, having filed under Friends for Kathy Hochul, totaling over $1.24 million cash on hand. With less than two months until primary elections on September 13, Hochul is keen on defeating her opponent, releasing a campaign ad criticizing Williams’ LGBTQ and women’s rights record. She’s received a number of notable endorsements, both on her own and via a Cuomo-Hochul ticket, but as she faces a primary, Hochul is running separately from Governor Cuomo.


Jumaane Williams’ campaign clarified that their financial disclosure report was filed on time, as per the Board of Elections’ Monday, July 16 deadline, but due to technical issues, a finalized report has yet to be released. The campaign is working with the BOE to rectify the problem.

“Our campaign’s financial disclosure report was filed on time Monday evening but there were technical issues that we are working with the Board of Elections to immediately address.”

The campaign maintains they’ve raised almost $200,000 and are confident going into the September primary.

“Our campaign has built strong momentum over the past several months thanks to our grassroots donor base, so we are very well positioned to win this September.”


Nixon Campaign Releases Video, Criticizes Cuomo-Buffalo Billion Ties

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s political adversaries are wasting no time on Friday making sure the public is keeping tabs on New York corruption trials.

Cynthia Nixon’s campaign released a video Friday morning starring the four defendants found guilty on all corruption charges in yesterday’s close of the Buffalo Billion trial. The video depicts a close relationship between Cuomo and the convicted men–Joseph Girardi, Steven Aiello, Louis Ciminelli and notably, former SUNY Polytechnic president Alain Kaloyeros.

“Governor Cuomo will say that he had no knowledge of Kaloyeros’ activity, just like he said he knew nothing about the crimes his top aide Joe Percoco was committing in his own office. We’re supposed to believe that Andrew Cuomo, a notorious micromanager, had no idea what his right-hand man was doing right under his nose?”

Kaloyeros was indicted for his hand in unfairly securing economic development contracts for upstate developers favoring those who had donated to Cuomo’s campaign in the past.

Cuomo on Friday defended his administration’s response to the initial indictments of Kaloyeros and the developers, noting the contracting changes his office made to economic development spending in the wake of the charges.

At the same time, Cuomo said he would be open to new oversight measures as long as they would be effective in combating wrongdoing.

The video released by Nixon’s campaign harkens back to the March 2018 trial of ex Cuomo aide Joe Percoco, who was convicted on multiple charges of bribery, then lambasts the Governor’s abrupt dismantling of the Moreland Commission in 2014:

“This left us with just JCOPE, a puppet body controlled by the Governor, with zero credibility to take on corruption,” Cynthia continued. “If the governor truly wants to restore the people’s trust, he’ll allow for a thorough, independent investigation — one he can’t control and can’t shut down.”

U.S. Attorney General Preet Bharara’s investigated the circumstances surrounding the shuttering the Moreland Commission, but the investigation ultimately ended due to lack of sufficient evidence.

Nixon hasn’t been shy about criticizing Cuomo for what she sees is a lapse in ethical practices, and attention on this trail of corruption trials is proving to be an obvious area of discomfort for the Governor.

“We can’t clean up Albany until we clean out the governor’s mansion. Nothing is going to change until we change who’s in charge,” said Cynthia. “When I’m governor, I will convene a new, independent Moreland Commission on day one to investigate and clean up the rampant corruption in Albany.”

Nixon has pledged to “get big money out of politics and close the LLC loophole,” seeking to put distance between her campaign’s fundraising efforts and that of Cuomo.

Though the developers found guilty in the Buffalo Billion case were Cuomo donors, the donations to the governor’s campaign were not at issue during the trial.

Meanwhile, a day after the trial ended, Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul issued statements knocking both Nixon for not releasing previous tax returns. Nixon has released one year of returns so far.

“Cynthia Nixon’s failure to release her tax returns proves again that there’s a difference between reading from a script and real life governing,” Hochul said. “She can’t even live up to her anti-choice running mate Jumaane William’s resolution calling for Presidential candidates to release five years of tax returns. Instead, Ms. Nixon and Mr. Williams have followed the reality TV show Trump standard and failed to do even that. Ms. Nixon released only one year of returns after being publicly shamed for weeks.”

NY-19: Delgado Releases TV Ad, Showcases Roots

The Delgado for Congress campaign released a new digital ad this morning, taking voters down memory lane with Antonio Delgado, the Democrat running to unseat freshman Republican John Faso for New York’s 19th congressional district.

The video is narrated by Delgado, beginning:

“I live in Rhinebeck, but my story beings in Schenectady. We lived here in a rented apartment, working class. Everything we had we earned. The rules were simple: go to church, listen to your teachers, stay out of trouble.”

He says through hard work and employment at General Electric, his parents elevated the family from working to middle class, eventually moving from a rented apartment to building their own home. Delgado links his commitment to family values, fighting for affordable healthcare and good jobs to this upbringing, “The values my parents instilled in me growing up here are the same values that drive me to run for Congress — honesty, hard work and service. I believe that when you make a promise, you keep it.”

“My story is grounded in the set of values that I was raised on. Here’s the truth: for too long our leaders in Washington have been putting politics over people, have been putting dollars over democracy.”

Delgado is an attorney with degrees from Colgate University and Harvard Law School. This is his first bid for public office.

NY-19: Faso Asks, Delgado Answers

The battle over the future of ICE has come to NY-19.

Republican Rep. John Faso’s campaign manager Tom Szymanski posted a statement earlier this week on Faso’s Facebook page asking if the congressman’s Democratic challenger, Antonio Delgado, supports the call by his fellow Democrats for the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency to be abolished.

Several high profile New York Democrats have already jumped on board calling for the agency’s end, most recently, Queens Democrat Sen. Mike Gianaris.

The Republicans, led by President Donald Trump, have leapt to ICE’s defense, with some predicting that this issue will help the GOP preserve its control of Congress in the upcoming midterm elections.

“The service that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement provides in keeping our communities safe is invaluable, and it is disturbing to hear elected Democrats and Democratic candidates for office calling to abolish ICE,” Szymanski wrote.

Szymanski singled out a number of prominent Democrats, including NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio, U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, gubernatorial candidate Cynthia Nixon, and recently victorious NY-14 candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, as well as “other fellow-Progressives on the loony left by wishing to abolish ICE,” adding: “Voters deserve to know whether Mr. Delgado will work to abolish the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.”

This morning, Delgado responded with a statement of his own, and suggested that in the future, Faso contact him directly and not resort to using an intermediary to handle his inquiries.

“Congressman Faso should feel free to contact me directly with his inquiries about my positions,” Delgado said. “I would be happy to exchange cell phone numbers so that he does not need his staffer to send out statements written by (House Speaker) Paul Ryan. I am eager to discuss our country’s immigration policies and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) with the Congressman.”

He added: “Spoiler alert: I do not support abolishing ICE.”

Delgado also took the opportunity to criticize Faso’s voting record on healthcare, and noted his relationship with Ryan, who is not seeking re-election this fall.

Faso has received fundraising assistance from the Congressional Leadership Fund. Protecting the freshman congressman in the battle for NY-19, which has changed political hands several times in recent election cycles, is of particular interest to Republicans as they try to maintain their majority.

Ryan has also appeared at past fundraisers in support of Faso, who is seeking a second term.

Ticket Consumer Protections Signed Into Law

Ticket consumers scored a win on Sunday after Governor Cuomo signed legislation into law that safeguards ticket purchasers against price gauging and misrepresentation of ticket resale.

The Governor’s okay of S8501B re-ups market protections for purchasers of entertainment and sporting event tickets that would have expired on June 30th.

The law adds a protective layer to a section of the state’s arts and cultural affairs law, thus strengthening seller to purchaser transparency.

Bill sponsor State Senator Terrance Murphy said, “Any hardworking New Yorker who purchases a ticket to the world class entertainment and sporting events in our state should never fear being ripped off. This law provides consumers with the confidence and peace of mind that when they are purchasing tickets to see a Broadway show, a ballgame, or a musical performance, they will not be scammed. I thank Governor Cuomo for signing my legislation into law to protect the integrity of this industry.”

Retailers will be required to clearly display seller licenses on sites, list original ticket purchase price separate from any surcharge or added service fee and conspicuously detail refund policies.

Penalties and even the loss of a seller’s license for sites using bot technology—or purchasing software designed to buy up large amounts of tickets for the purpose of resale—will now be in place.