NY-11: Rose Releases TV Ad

Democratic congressional candidate Max Rose on Wednesday released his first TV ad of his campaign, a spot that highlights his military service in Afghanistan.

“Years after we sent men and women to war without the protection they needed, Congress finally worked in a bi-partisan fashion to equip my unit’s stryker vehicles with the armor it needed,” Rose said.

“That act of putting country before party saved my life and more importantly, the live’s of my fellow soldiers. We need courageous act’s like these from our representatives to help bring our country into the future. Unfortunately, politicians like Dan Donovan sell out to the corporate PAC’s and federal lobbyists and Staten Islanders and South Brooklynites pay the price.”

Rose is running against Rep. Dan Donovan in the district covers Staten Island and parts of Brooklyn.

Judge Nixes Grimm’s Euoprean Travel Request

A federal judge has rejected frormer Rep. Michael Grimm’s request to modify the terms of his bail so he could travel to Europe this spring for a job opportunity while awaiting sentencing on his tax fraud conviction.

Judge Pamela Chen determined that the ex-Staten Island lawmaker is too much of a flight risk to be allowed to leave the country for a week, which would open the possibility that he would travel still further to a country that does not have an extradition agreement with the US.

“Even though Grimm has posted his home as security for his pre-sentence release bond, the Court does not find that the loss of that property provides sufficient suasion if Grimm decides to leave the United States to avoid a possible prison term,” Chen wrote.

“Obviously, if Grimm chose to flee, he would not need a house in the United States. Furthermore, the Court does not find the reason for Grimm’s motion, i.e., to qualify for a potential job opportunity, sufficient to justify lifting the travel restriction. While Grimm is certainly entitled to seek future employment, his desire to obtain a particular job does not trump the need to ensure his appearance for sentencing.”

Grim faces a maximum prison sentence of up to three years as a result of the guilty plea he entered last December. That plea came after he successfully stood for re-election, defeating former Democratic Brooklyn Councilman Domenic Recchia despite the mutli-count federal indctment hanging over his head.

Ex-Rep. Michael Grimm denied required to modify bail to travel to Europe. by liz_benjamin6490

Independence Party Backs Donovan in NY-11

The state Independence Party has announced its support of Staten Island District Attorney Dan Donovan’s run to fil the House seat vacated by former GOP Rep. Michael Grimm, giving the Republican candidate three ballot lines in the May 5 special election.

The Independence Party’s decision comes on the heels of an announcement yesterday from the state Conservative Party that it, too, had voted to back Donovan, who will face off against Democratic Brooklyn Councilman Vincent Gentile in two months.

In a statement announcing the endorsement, state Independence Party Chairman Frank MacKay said Donovan “has proven time and again that he puts people before politics,” adding:

“His integrity and commitment to public service is unparalleled. With all of the important issues facing our city and nation right now, I know Dan is the right man for the job. We are proud to endorse him as the next congressman for the people of Staten Island and South Brooklyn.”

When he ran for state attorney general in 2010, Donovan removed his name from consideration for endorsement by the Independence Party after his office received “several allegations of misconduct” by MacKay. The DA said he was withdrawing his name “to preserve the integrity of my office and the integrity of any possible investigation undertaken.”

Donovan later cleared MacKay in a probe that involved a candidate seeking the Independence Party endorsement in a NYC Council special election whose company had loaned $10,000 to a software company run by MacKay’s wife, Kristin.

The Independence Party ended up backing a placeholder candidate, Long Isdland attorney Steve Lynch, and then replacing Lynch with then-state Sen. Eric Schneiderman after his won the five-way Democratic state AG primary. Schneiderman went on to defeat Donovan in the November general election. (In order to get Lynch off the ballot, the Monroe County Democrats agreed to nominate him for a state Supreme Court judgeship, which he did not win).

Conservatives Back Donovan in NY-11

The state Conservative Party announced today it “enthusiastically” and officially voted at an executive committee meeting today to back Republican Staten Island DA Dan Donovan in the May 5 special election for the seat vacated by former GOP Rep. Michael Grimm.

“Dan Donovan will bring an extensive background in public service to Congress,” said Brooklyn Conservative Party Chairman Jerry Kassar. “Like the Conservative Party, he is an advocate of pro-growth economic policies through tax cuts and spending caps.”

“And when it comes to foreign policy, Dan places America’s interests first backed by a strong national defense. I am very pleased the State Conservative Party has nominated him for election to Congress.”

Staten Island Conservative Chairman Harold J. Wagner, Jr. called Donovan “home grown,” a candidate who knows the district and its people.

“He has served his community for over 25 years with honor and distinction,” Wagner continued. “He possesses the political skills to navigate Washington and will know how to advocate for the 11th Congressional District. Knowing Dan for a long time, I have always found him to be attentive to his constituents, and I believe he will reflect the will of the people.”

State Conservative Party Chairman Mike Long also cited his longstanding relationship with Donovan, and said he believed the DA’s “knowledge of the issues will be his strength” in representing the district in D.C.

The state Conservative Party backed Donovan in his failed state AG bid in 2010 against the current Democratic incumbent (but then state senator) Eric Scheniderman. In fact, the Conservatives endorsed Donovan even before his own party did, holding their state convention in late May, while the Republicans gathered a few days later (in early June).

Donovan hasn’t always seen eye-to-eye with the local Conservative Party, however, In 2011, the Staten Island Democrats snubbed Donovan, endorsing Democrat Michael Ryan rather than the incumbent DA, who was seeking a third term.

The move was widely seen as the result of Donovan’s falling out with his onetime mentor, former Staten Island BP Jim Molinaro, which was caused by the DA’s call for a special prosecutor in a 2006 case involving Molinaro’s grandson. The borough president denied that charge, though he personally backed Ryan as well.

Donovan handily won re-election in the 2011 November general election, defeating Ryan by a wider margin than he had four years earlier, even though he lacked the Conservative line.

The Republicans picked Donovan, who is perhaps best known as the prosecutor in the Eric Garner case, as their candidate to replace Grimm long before Gov. Andrew Cuomo even called the special election. (Actually, Cuomo’s hand was forced by a lawsuit).

After seeing their preferred candidates – former Rep. Michael McMahon and Assemblyman Michael Cusick – take a pass on the race, the Democrats just recently settled on Brooklyn Councilman Vincent Gentile as their candidate.

Court Orders Cuomo To Call Special Election

A federal judge on Tuesday ordered Gov. Andrew Cuomo to set an official date for a special election in the vacant 11th congressional district, which covers Staten Island and Brooklyn.

If Cuomo fails to call a special election in the district by noon on Friday, the court will set one itself, U.S. District Court Judge Jack Weinstein wrote in the ruling.

The lawsuit forcing Cuomo’s hand on the special election was filed in part by Staten Island attorney Ronald Castorina, a Republican who also sits on the city Board of Elections. He filed the suit in his capacity as a private citizen.

Castorina in a statement said he is “hopeful that the Governor will heed the court’s guidance and call for the election immediately, as not to further disenfranchise the voters of the 11th Congressional District. The ball is now in the Governor’s court.”

Cuomo spokeswoman Melissa DeRosa said in a statement Cuomo would set a special election date “shortly” — which the state had previously indicated in court filings last week.

“As reflected in the State’s papers filed last week, the Governor will announce the date for the Special Election for New York’s 11th Congressional District shortly, consistent with our constitutional obligation and in a manner that balances both the economic impact of the election as well as the need for fair representation,” DeRosa said.

Cuomo last week was non-committal on calling an election, telling reporters in Rockland County that such elections are “expensive to conduct.”

The 11th congressional district has been an open seat since the start of the year, following Republican Rep. Michael Grimm’s resignation after he was charged with tax evasion.

Republicans have settled on Staten Island District Attorney Dan Donovan to run for the seat; Democrats appear to be coalescing around Assemblyman Bill Colton, but are yet to formally back a candidate.

Castorina – Cuomo Decision by Nick Reisman

Federal Suit Seeks To Compel Cuomo On Special Election

A lawsuit filed in federal court by a Staten Island attorney seeks to compel Gov. Andrew Cuomo to call a special election in the 11th congressional district.

The suit, filed by Ronald Castorina, a New York City Board of Elections commissioner, would force Cuomo to call the special election in the district vacated by disgraced former Rep. Michael Grimm.

“No right is more precious in a free country than that of having a voice in the election of those who make the laws under which we live,” Castorina said in a statement. “The Governor has failed to perform his duty under the Constitution  of calling for this election and I intend to convince the Court to compel him as soon as possible, so that the people of Staten Island and Brooklyn won’t be disenfranchised.”

Castorina’s suit is being filed in an individual capacity, not in his official role as an elections commissioner.

One of the plaintiffs includes Frank Morano, a radio producer and political activist who is close with billionaire supermarket mogul John Catsimatidis.

Republicans are backing Staten Island District Attorney Dan Donovan to run in the special election.

Democrats are yet to settle on a candidate, but names floated include former Rep. Mike McMahon (who may also be interested in Donovan’s job) and Assemblyman Michael Cusick.

Cuomo Complaint 1 by Nick Reisman

Greens ‘Very Focused’ On Running A Candidate In NY-11

The Green Party is “very focused” on finding a candidate to run in the 11th congressional district race following the resignation of Republican Michael Grimm, former gubernatorial candidate Howie Hawkins on Friday said.

“That’s a special election, so we’re very focused on that,” Hawkins said today while in Albany to respond to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s $141.6 billion budget presentation.

The district, which covers Staten Island and parts of Brooklyn, was vacated by Grimm following his guilty plea on a felony count of tax evasion.

Republican District Attorney Dan Donovan is the GOP’s candidate, while Democrats are eyeing Assemblyman Michael Cusick to run.

Hawkins declined to give a name as to who is being considered in the NY-11.

“Nobody I can name,” he said. “There are people who are being talked to.”

Last year, Green Party candidate Henry Bardel received 2,687 votes as Grimm easily defeated Democrat Domenic Recchia.

The Green Party plans to field candidates in several upstate congressional races, including the open 19th congressional district and as well as the central New York seat held by GOP Rep. John Katko.

“We are getting inquiries from people all over the state,” Hawkins said of the candidate search.

No Congressional Run For Malliotakis

Republican Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis will not run for the 11th congressional district, essentially yielding the GOP nomination to Staten Island District Attorney Dan Donovan.

Malliotakis, who first confirmed the news to NY1’s Zack Fink, said in a statement she will back the Republican nominee for the seat vacated by disgraced former Rep. Michael Grimm, who resigned following a guilty plea on a tax evasion charge.

Malliotakis had the backing of former Gov. George Pataki as well as the informal support of Brooklyn Republican Chairman Craig Eaton.

However, Statend Island Republicans have rallied around Donovan, the DA who presided over the Eric Garner grand jury, as its favored candidate to replace Grimm.

Here is her statement:

“Over the past few weeks, an overwhelming number of constituents and supporters have urged me to explore the recently vacated congressional seat representing Brooklyn and Staten Island. I am truly humbled and appreciative of the grassroots effort made on my behalf by those I currently represent in the State Assembly. While I believe conventions including all members of the Brooklyn and Staten Island county committees would have provided an open nomination process, I respect the decision of Chairman Antoniello and believe it is important that we unite behind Dan Donovan’s candidacy to ensure we maintain New York City’s only Republican seat. Accordingly, I have chosen to end my exploration activities today and will not pursue the nomination process for the Conservative Party, Independence Party, or Kings County Republican Committee. I want to thank Governor George Pataki, Brooklyn Conservative Chairman Jerry Kassar, Brooklyn Republican Chairman Craig Eaton, as well as the countless members of our community and people across the country, who have privately and publicly expressed their support for a potential candidacy.”

Donovan Officially Enters NY-11 Race

Republican Staten Island District Attorney Dan Donovan on Friday officially announced he would seek his party’s nomination to replace the disgraced former Rep. Michael Grimm in Congress.

At the moment, Donovan is the apparent choice for Staten Island Republicans in the district that also includes parts of Brooklyn.

Donovan, who had stated his interested in the seat following Grimm’s resignation, said the “enthusiasm for my candidacy has only broadened and intensified, with expressions of support also from beyond the two boroughs.”

“Accordingly, please consider this my formal announcement that I will be seeking the endorsements of the Republican, Conservative, and Independence Parties in the upcoming Special Election for the 11th Congressional District of New York,” he said in the statement. “I expect the selection processes of those parties to commence sometime in the near future and will only comment further in due course after those party processes have taken place.”

Donovan faces questions, including from Republicans on the national level, regarding his role in the grand jury that voted to not indict New York City Police Officer Daniel Pantaleo in the choke hold death of Eric Garner.

Donovan ran for state attorney general in 2010, losing to Democrat Eric Schneiderman that year.

The candidacy Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis of Staten Island is backed informally by Brooklyn Republicans.

Ms. Malliotakis Goes to Washington

From today’s Morning Memo:

GOP leaders in NY-11 may be coalescing behind Staten Island DA Dan Donovan to run in the yet-to-be-called special election to replace disgraced former Rep. Michael Grimm, but Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis isn’t quite ready to throw in the towel.

Malliotakis, a Staten Island Republican, traveled to Washington yesterday to meet with NRCC leaders about her potential candidacy for the lone NYC seat in the GOP’s column.

Her effort could be assisted by the fact that national party leaders reportedly aren’t thrilled by the idea of having the guy best known as the DA in the Eric Garner case as their candidate – a move that would no doubt focus the election on the sticky issues of criminal justice reform and race relations.

NY1’s Michael Scotto caught up with NRCC Chairman Greg Walden after his meeting with Malliotakis yesterday, and the Oregon Republican tried hard to maintain an air of neutrality.

Walden insisted both Donovan and Malliotakis are “very fine candidates” with “different strengths” who would “represent that district very effectively here in Washington.”

“The long and short of it is that the people on Staten Island and Brooklyn will decide who the nominee is,” Walden said. “Our job is to move forward from there and hold that seat.”

“…I’m meeting with them as we do any candidates, but I know I don’t have a vote. The Republicans on Staten Island do. I am really excited about both these individuals. They both bring different talents; they both bring very strong electoral capabilities.”

Asked about the complication for Donovan’s candidacy of the Garner case, in which the grand jury’s decision not to bring charges against a white police officer for the chokehold-related death of an unarmed black man sparked protests and significant unrest in NYC, Walden said:

“I think if Republicans pick Dan Donovan then he will have an opportunity to go explain in further detail his side of the story there certainly that perhaps he hasn’t had a chance to do.”

“But the long and the short of it is we have a good opportunity to hold that seat, and I’m excited going forward.”

Malliotakis was also playing her cards close to the vest, telling Scotto that she had a “very good, pleasant, productive conversation” with Walden.

“We’ll go through the process and see where it ends up,” the assemblywoman said. “We’re not going to discuss any of the particulars of the meetings. We’re going to keep it private. We’re just talking about the landscape of the district.”

Malliotakis said she’s “encouraged” by the grassroots support she has been receiving.

Yesterday, Brooklyn GOP Chairman Craig Eaton released a statement announcing that the majority of his party’s leaders had signaled support for Malliotakis’ candidacy during a recent informal meeting.

Eaton said he will wait until Gov. Andrew Cuomo calls a special election in NY-11 (something the governor has shown no signs of doing any time soon), and then convene a convention of county committee members to which all potential candidates will be invited to make their respective cases.

“I will then bind myself to their vote and deliver same at my meeting with (Staten Island GOP Chair John) Antoniello at the lawfully appointed time,” Eaton said.

“In the very end, my committee and I will support the candidate selected through this process and work diligently to ensure that he or she is victorious in the election.”

But the reality is that Brooklyn will have a very small say in the candidate selection process, since only a sliver of the borough in included in the district, which contains all of Staten Island.

Antoniello has announced his support for Donovan. But Malliotakis said she’s hopeful Staten Island GOP officials will follow the lead of their counterparts in Brooklyn and hold a convention to select a candidate.

“All we’re asking for is an open and transparent process where the rank-and-file members can be heard, she said.

While the Republicans are holding a very public battle over who they’ll select to run in Grimm’s stead, the Democrats have been fairly quiet.

The potential candidates getting mentioned most on that side include former Rep. Michael McMahon, whom Grimm defeated in 2010, and Assemblyman Michael Cusick.