Michael Johnson

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Homepage: http://nystateofpolitics.com


Posts by Michael Johnson

WEB EXCLUSIVE: Randy Credico Discusses His Bid For NYC Mayor

The race to replace New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is picking up and both the Republican and Democratic fields are crowded with candidates. Among them is comedian Randy Credico – who is hoping to bring some levity to the race – and also highlight some issues he feels are being ignored by the front runners. He sat down with Liz to talk about why he is in the race.

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White House says it supports the US Senate Democrats plan to delay sequester cuts.

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood warns that there could be significant flight delays if sequestration takes effect.

There are reports that Obama may consider GOP plan for a chained CPI (explainer here) as part of a larger deal to avoid sequestration. Three New York Congress members are urging Obama not to do the deal.

Gawker took a creative way of explaining the sequester.

Governor Cuomo went out of the way to praise the efforts of emergency responders in the Adirondacks who responded to a plane crash yesterday.

From Azi Paybarah – “Why Andrew Cuomo is losing a fight with an engineer named Mike”

On his radio show, Mike Huckabee took aim at Cuomo over the issue of abortion.

The NRA‘s PAC raised more than a million dollars in January.

The Great NYS Fair wants you to pick this year’s theme.

ABC is close to hiring NY Times reporters Jeff Zeleny and Susan Saulny.

The US Justice Department has joined the fraud lawsuit against Lance Armstrong.

US Senate Kirsten Gillibrand has a new bill that would encourage development of high-tech manufacturing jobs – she calls it “Made In America” bill.

CNBC has implemented a new policy against sharing guests with Fox News and Bloomberg.

There’s a good chances you aren’t eating the seafood you think you are.

Poll Shows Opposition To Gambling Expansion Without Specifics

New Yorkers for Local Approval of Casinos released a poll today suggesting that most New Yorkers support the constitutional amendment that would allow for 7 new non-indian casinos, 54%, but that number drops if you tell them they won’t know where the casinos will be placed or won’t have local control over deciding if a casino will be built in your town.

59% of responders agreed with the statement that “Albany shouldn’t expand gambling without communities being protected and given a vote in the process. Albany shouldn’t dictate where to locate Atlantic City-style casinos that can harm communities. Before the Governor asks any New Yorker to vote yes on his amendment, every New Yorker should know where these seven casinos will be and be guaranteed that every community will have a local referendum to decide whether to have a casino built in their neighborhood.”

Governor Cuomo has said in the past that he wants to have an independent group decide the regions, not exact locations, where casinos should be built. And that voters should know this before they vote on the constitutional amendment. Cuomo has made it clear that he does not think the legislature should be involved in picking casino locations.

The poll asked voters if they would be more likely to support the plan if the casino sites were picked by a nonpartisan state Gaming Commission and 30% said they would be more likely to do so. 37% said they would be less likely.

But, when the poll asked if they had more local control they were much more likely to support the plan.

59% of voters would be more likely to vote for the amendment and just 18% say they would be less likely to vote for it if local communities had the right to approve a casino in their area through a vote.

The poll was conducted by Joel Benenson. He says support for expanding gaming looks very weak right now. “Usually amendments that pass start out with more than 60% support initially,” Benenson said on a conference call.

The constitutional amendment was passed last year by the legislature. It needs to be approved by the current legislature before it can be placed on the ballot.

Nylac Poll Memo Final 2-21-2013 by

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Governor Andrew Cuomo set a June deadline for imposing a teacher evaluation system on New York City.

Cuomo also proposed cheaper licenses for hunting and fishing as part of his 30 day budget amendments.

As expected, lawmakers are lining up against NYSUT’s lawsuit challenging the 2% property tax cap.

NYSUT says they are open to pension smoothing but are not backing Cuomo’s plan specifically.

Washington Post says Cuomo’s push for the Reproductive Health Act makes political sense when you break down the polls.

Former WNY Congresswoman Kathy Hochul has been tapped to be the new Vice President of Government Relations at M&T Bank.

Gov. Cuomo will be in Buffalo on Thursday.

Republican NYC Mayoral candidate John Catsimatidis is encouraged by talk that former Bronx BP Adolfo Carrion running as an Independent, saying he could be the “Ross Perot” of 2013.

Sen. Marty Golden is backing Joe Lhota for mayor.

Cardinal Timothy Dolan has been deposed to testify as part of a sexual abuse case in his former Diocese in Milwaukee.

National Action Network is upset with a Michigan hospital after said no African-American nurses could take care of a specific baby following a request by the child’s father.

A DOT official has quit after he says he was threatened to be fired by Cuomo Administration officials because he spoke to the press without permission.

DN Reporter Dan Friedman thinks one of his jokes inadvertently created a story about Secretary of Defense nominee Chuck Hagel’s connection to a fictional terror group called “Friends of Hamas.”

Sen. Charles Schumer wants to allow federal Sandy relief money to be used to rebuild elevated homes less likely to be destroyed in another storm.

Nate Silver breaks down the GOP chances of taking back the US Senate in 2014.

Former Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. plead guilty to using campaign funds for lavish expenses.

Massachusetts US Senate candidate Ed Markey is being blasted by GOP for his plan to attend a fundraiser with former NYS Governor Eliot Spitzer.

Former US Senator from New Mexico Pete Domenici has admitted to fathering a child with the daughter of his former Senate colleague from Nevada Paul Laxalt.

State Pension Fund Up 1.74% In 3rd Quarter

Comptroller Tom DiNapoli just announced that the state pension fund’s rate of return in the 3rd quarter of the budget year was up 1.74%. That brings the total value of the fund to $152.9 billion dollars.

“The New York State Common Retirement Fund has seen steady growth in the second half of 2012 and is on pace for a positive return as we approach the end of the fiscal year on March 31,” DiNapoli said. “Independent reviews of the Fund reveal it is well-run and has a long-term, diversified investment strategy designed to produce positive returns in various market conditions.”

The governor’s recent pension smoothing plan has made the strength of the pension fund a hot topic of late. As Liz blogged about yesterday, Republican Gates Town Supervisor Mark Assini suggested that smoothing could lead to underfunding of the pension plan if the fund is mismanaged or the stock market takes another dive.

Assini is a guest on Capital Tonight this evening at 8pm.

Labor Groups Push NYS To Go Sweatfree

Each year the state of New York spends roughly $43 million on apparel like uniforms for police officers, footwear, and flags. But despite the fact that the state joined a Sweatfree Purchasing Consortium in 2009 some say New York is still supporting sweatshop labor. Sara Niccoli from the Labor-Religion Coalition of New York States, Yannick Etienne from the Haitian Worker Advocacy Organization, and Casey Sweeney from the United Students Against Sweatshops talk about the issue.

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Democrats For Life Raise Concerns Over Cuomo’s RHA Plan

Governor Cuomo’s 2013 state of the state, with its list of progressive goals, won him a lot of points with his Democratic base. But even some on the left are expressing concerns about the Reproductive Health Act. Democrats for Life Executive Director Kristen Day joins us from Washington, DC to discuss this.

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Reporter Roundtable

Rick Karlin from the Times Union joins Nick Reisman and Liz to talk about the week’s top stories.

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Education Advocates Discuss School Funding Formula

Two and a half weeks after Gov. Andrew Cuomo presented his executive budget proposal, school districts are starting to work on their own financial plans.

Although Cuomo is calling for a four percent increase in education aid, not every district will get that much.

Rick Timbs of the Statewide School Finance Consortium and Bob Lowry of the New York State Council of School Superintendents explain why.

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Jonathan Gradess Interview

Next month will be the 50th Anniversary of the landmark US Supreme Court Case Gideon vs. Wainwright, where the court ruled that the government had to provide adequate legal services for defendents. Half a century later many feel that New York state is not living up to the mandate from the court. Jonathan Gradess from the New York State Defenders Association talks about this with Liz.

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