PBA Endorses Murray

The Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association of New York City on Monday endorsed Republican state Senate hopeful Dean Murray.

“On behalf of the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association of the City of New York, it is my pleasure to announce our endorsement of your candidacy for election to the New York State Senate in the 3rd District,” said PBA President Pat Lynch.

“Your commitment to addressing the issues affecting New York City Police officers is well recognized and it will be an honor to have you representing our members in the Senate. We look forward to working with you towards our shared goal of a stronger, safer New York.”

Murray, a state assemblyman, is running for an open Senate seat on Long Island that is being vacated by retiring Sen. Tom Croci. He faces Democrat Monica Martinez.

“It is an honor to receive the support from police all over our great state who share the same concerns,” Murray said. “I thank the PBA of NYC for their endorsement, and I look forward to working with all law enforcement officers who risk their lives every day on keeping New York safe.”

Wofford Endorsed by Construction Group

The Republican candidate for state Attorney General, Keith Wofford, was endorsed by the Empire State Chapter of Associated Builders and Contractors in his campaign to be New York’s next chief legal officer.

“We believe that Keith, unlike his opponent, has a high moral compass and the integrity to do what is right for the people of this state,” said Brian Sampson, President of ABC, Empire State. “Unlike his opponent, he will apply a fair and even hand to the laws and regulations and not let any campaign donors, or the Governor, dictate the positions his office will enforce. Keith Wofford is the only Attorney General candidate that will lead New York to a better future.”

Wofford faces New York City Public Advocate Letitia James, who won a four-way Democratic primary in September.

New York’s current Attorney General Barbara Underwood is not seeking a full term.

NY-22: Police Conference of NY Endorses Tenney

From the Morning Memo:

The Police Conference of New York endorsed Rep. Claudia Tenney in her bid for re-election to New York’s 22nd District.

“Claudia Tenney is the law and order candidate. In Congress, she has always stood up to support our men and women in blue. She’s successfully delivered important funding for equipment upgrades for local police departments and the resources we need to keep our communities and families safe. The Police Conference of New York proudly endorses Claudia Tenney’s candidacy for the United States House of Representatives, said President of the Police Conference of New York, Richard Wells.

Tenney faces Democratic Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi in the upcoming general election.

“Our law enforcement officers put their lives on the line each day to keep our families safe. We are all grateful for their service and sacrifice and it is a distinct honor to receive this endorsement. In Congress, I’ve been a staunch advocate for law enforcement, and fought tirelessly to secure federal funding that provides our law enforcement with the best resources possible to keep our communities safe and secure our border,” said Claudia Tenney. “I will continue to be a strong voice for our state and local law enforcement officials.”

In a recent October Spectrum News-Siena College poll, Brindisi led Tenney 46 to 45 percent. 53 percent of district voters said they approved of the job President Trump is doing and that same number prefers Republicans to maintain control in Congress.

The candidates faced off in a Spectrum News debate yesterday, Thursday, October 25th at Colgate University.

Senate GOP To Report About $1.5M

From the Morning Memo:

The campaign arm of the state Senate Republican conference is set to report about $1.5 million in cash on hand with 10 days to go until the general election.

The total is similar to what the Senate Republican Campaign Committee reported this time two years ago.

Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan alone has raised $1 million in two days earlier this week, according to a GOP source familiar with the filing numbers.

“The momentum over the last few weeks has been incredible,” the source said. “People want checks and balances. And they think we’re going to win.”

Senate Republicans this year are defending a handful of seats in the Hudson Valley, Long Island and in a central New York district. The competition is fiercer this year given the expected wave year for Democrats and the retirements of five Republican incumbents.

At the moment, Republicans are playing offense in only one district on Long Island, where Democrat John Brooks is running for a second term in an historically GOP seat.

Meanwhile, there’s a concerted push underway to help the Democrats gain the majority, with Gov. Andrew Cuomo helping fundraise for the effort. Labor unions, too, have funded super PACs to air TV and digital ads boosting Democratic candidates and knocking Republicans.

Nevertheless, Republicans remain hopeful, pointing to recent history this decade. In the 2010 and 2014 gubernatorial years, the GOP candidate lost, but Republicans were able to secure outright majorities in the chamber.

The GOP conference holds a one-seat advantage with the aid of Brooklyn Democratic Sen. Simcha Felder, who is aligned with Republicans in the Senate.

Who Won The Debate? Depends On Who You Ask

From the Morning Memo:

Sometimes, everyone gets a trophy.

That’s how the campaigns for the 22nd congressional district saw it last night after Spectrum News’s debate between Democratic Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi and Republican Rep. Claudia Tenney held at Colgate University.

Both campaigns, unsurprisingly, said they won.

“Claudia Tenney delivered a commanding performance in tonight’s debate by outlining how the Trump-Tenney tax cuts are helping small business owners, and promises are being kept to help our veterans, strengthen our military, secure our border, and protect seniors,” said Claudia Tenney campaign manager Raychel Renna in a press release headline “Tenney Wins Debate.”

“Meanwhile, voters saw Anthony Brindisi wilt as his Pelosi prepared talking points crumbled. Brindisi was exposed for supporting Medicare for All, taking Nancy Pelosi’s money and standing by the corrupt agenda of Cuomo and Silver.”

But, wait, Brindisi’s campaign thinks differently.

His team in a statement said their guy won the debate “by sticking to the issues.”

“Tonight’s debate presented a clear choice to the voters of Upstate New York,” said Brindisi.

“I made the case for my plans to expand healthcare coverage, improve our economy with infrastructure spending and job training, and tackle important national issues like free trade. Unfortunately Claudia Tenney offered few solutions to our biggest problems and instead focused on using false attacks to tear into politicians who weren’t even at the debate.”

The NY-22 is one of the most hotly contested House districts in the state this year as a poll this week found the race to be neck and neck between the two candidates.

The full debate can be watched here.

Upstate Leaders, Republicans Push For Upstate Debate

Political leaders from upstate New York, including several Republican elected officials in the state Legislature, called on Gov. Andrew Cuomo for a debate focused on issues impacting the region with GOP nominee Marc Molinaro.

Molinaro’s campaign on Thursday released a series of statements in support of the upstate-centric debate, featuring the backing of Rep. Tom Reed, Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb and Sen. Fred Akshar.

“The needs and interests of Upstate communities like the people I represent in the Southern Tier are just as important as the needs and interests of New York City and cannot be ignored,” said Akshar, a Republican from the Binghamton area.

“The office of the Governor answers to all of New York, and the people of Upstate deserve to have candidates debate their issues on television just as they did for New York City. Governor Cuomo should recognize that and agree to debate Marc Molinaro in Upstate immediately.”

Cuomo and Molinaro debated in a WCBS event on Tuesday that featured one upstate-related question about whether they would support a taxpayer financed stadium for the Buffalo Bills.

“Upstate New Yorkers are being treated like the poor cousin in this state by their governor, and that cannot stand,” Molinaro said.

“The money upstaters send to Albany is just as green as the money that comes from Manhattan and Brooklyn, and Andrew Cuomo has to account for how it’s been misspent. Right now, he is showing total disregard for upwards of eight million people, simply because he doesn’t want the corruption involving his so-called ‘economic development’ programs exposed.”

HTC Releases Ads Knocking 3 Upstate Republicans

From the Morning Memo:

Ads released by the political arm of the Hotel Trades Council will begin airing today, amounting to a “closing argument” with less than two weeks to go before Election Day.

The ads, first reported this week by The Daily News, focus on Republican Reps. Claudia Tenney, John Faso and John Katko — upstate lawmakers who are in competitive re-election contests in the Hudson Valley and central New York.

All three spots highlight the potential for cuts to programs like Medicare and Social Security as raised by Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell.

The ads were produced by Metropolitan Public Strategies and are due to run through Election Day.

Dean Skelos Sentenced To 51 Months In Prison

Republican former Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos on Wednesday was sentenced to more than 4 years and 3 months in a prison following his second conviction on charges that used his power to help get his son a job.

Skelos was first found guilty in 2016 on fraud and corruption charges related to the effort to help Adam secure jobs with politically connected firms. Adam Skelos will be sentenced later today.

Skelos had served as majority leader since 2010 and stepped down from the leadership post in 2015 after he was first charged.

He was convicted last year on similar charges and was sentenced to five years in prison. But both convictions for Skelos and his son were overturned when the Supreme Court narrowed the definition of public corruption, triggering a second trial. He was found guilty earlier this year, along with Adam.

Democratic former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, who had previously been found guilty of graft and bribery charges, also had his conviction overturned as a result of the Supreme Court decision. He was subsequently found guilty again and in July was sentenced to seven years in prison.

“Dean Skelos betrayed New Yorkers, and now he must be held accountable,” said Sen. Todd Kaminsky, the Democrat who won Skelos’s Senate seat following his initial corruption conviction.

“Corruption erodes the foundation of civil democratic society—and so, most importantly, today’s ruling will do some good in rebuilding the trust of the people. But we cannot continue to depend on federal courts and weakened federal laws to protect New Yorkers against corruption. Our current State laws — riddled with loopholes — protect bad actors, destroying taxpayers’ faith in government. Improvements must immediately be made to State law to strengthen our corruption laws and to empower local prosecutors to go after dirty politicians. Dean Skelos’s conviction is just the latest evidence that the time for reform in New York State was yesterday.”

Nassau PBA Endorses Murray

Republican state Senate candidate Dean Murray on Monday was endorsed by the Nassau Police Benevolent Association.

“On behalf of the Police Benevolent Association, County of Nassau, Inc., a police organization representing over 5,000 active and retired police officers from the Nassau County Police Department, we are pleased to advise you that our association will endorse your election bid for New York State Senate, 3rd District,” wrote Nassau County PBA 1st Vice Chair and Legislative Chairman Peter Paterson.

Murray is running for the Long Island Senate seat that is being vacated by retiring Republican Sen. Tom Croci. He faces Democrat Monica Martinez.

“It is an honor to receive the support of the men and women of the Nassau County PBA,” Murray said. “Our law enforcement puts their lives on the line for us every day and they deserve an elected official who will represent their concerns and fight for public safety. I am proud that so many law enforcement groups have put their confidence in me.”

Bannon Backlash In WNY

From the Morning Memo:

Nothing is coming easily for Republicans in NY-27 these days.

Ask state Assemblyman David DiPietro whose district falls entirely within that congressional district. He is one of the chairs of a group that announced earlier this week plans to bring Steve Bannon, a controversial former top advisor to President Trump, to town on Oct. 24.

Not only is Bannon scheduled to do a GOTV rally for Republican candidates in the town of Elma, he was also supposed to appear at a fundraiser for DiPietro at the Roycroft Inn in East Aurora.

However, asked about the fundraiser yesterday, the assemblyman said logistics are still being worked out behind the scenes and he wasn’t positive it will actually take place.

DiPietro suggested there was a scheduling conflict with Bannon, but Bob McCarthy’s article in the Buffalo News suggests something else could be at play: Public backlash to the polarizing political figure.

Another event organizer, Michael Caputo, who works closely with Bannon, confirmed there has been some pressure from the left not to welcome him to Western New York.

However, Caputo insisted both events are still on track at this point, and he said this kind of response to Bannon, who has long been a political lightning rod, is pretty common.

Among those criticizing the planned events was – not surprisingly – Erie County Democratic Committee chairman Jeremy Zellner.

“I just think this is a black mark on our community,” Zellner said. “This is a man who just preaches divisiveness and hatred across the country. To have him here in Western New York, that’s not what we’re all about.”

The chairman said Bannon’s message is the antithesis of what WNY and local Dems are all about. He challenged Erie County Comptroller Mickey Kearns and Assemblyman Erik Bohen, two Democrats running on the Republican line this fall, to publicly announce whether they support the visit and plan to participate.

Zellner also said his GOP committee counterparts should make public their involvement in planning these events – if they’re involved at all.