Extras

The Mexican drug kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman was sentenced Wednesday to life behind bars in a U.S. prison, a humbling end for a drug lord notorious for his ability to kill, bribe or tunnel his way out of trouble.

New Yorkers are being urged to take precaution as temperatures are expected to soar above 90 degrees for most of the rest of the week.

A bill expanding labor rights for farmworkers was approved by Governor Andrew Cuomo on Wednesday, but the new law is not setting well with the state’s struggling agriculture industry.

A multi-million-dollar project in downtown Saratoga is expected to help many people in need throughout the community, including the men and women who work countless hours on the backstretch.

Congress voted largely along party lines Tuesday to condemn President Donald Trump’s inflammatory tweets.

Just before chants of “Fire Pantaleo” echoed across the plaza outside City Hall, Mayor de Blasio was headed for the exit. He did not stick around to hear this.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has signed a bill that will require unregulated summer camps to tell parents they are operating without a license.

Republican Sen. Rand Paul is blocking a vote for the bill extending the Sept. 11 victims compensation fund, saying he wants to add an amendment to ensure it is fully funded.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is showing no signs of getting involved in the Mount Vernon mayoral dispute, saying he’s unaware of the situation.

State GOP Chairman Challenges Battleground Dems On Impeachment

New York Republican Chairman Nick Langworthy in a statement on Wednesday blasted the effort by some Democratic lawmakers in the House of Representatives to push an impeachment resolution of President Donald Trump.

In the statement, Langworthy singled out Democrats who represent swing districts in New York City and upstate New York to vote against the resolution: Reps. Max Rose, Sean Patrick Maloney, Antonio Delgado and Anthony Brindisi.

“Democrats are drunk with their obsession of trying to take out our President and they’ll stop at nothing to win,” Langworthy said.

“Voting ‘no’ won’t cut it; it’s time for these members to stop wasting taxpayers’ time and money and get to work for the American people instead of these cheap political stunts. If they fail to do what’s right, we’re going to make sure they’re held accountable by the voters who are sick and tired of the nonsense.”

The impeachment resolution is not expected to pass, but presents a challenge to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s efforts to stave off the push as well as a challenge to Democrats who represent districts that do not back proceeding with the effort.

The House of Representatives on Tuesday approved a separate resolution condemning tweets sent by the president over the weekend as racist, criticizing newly elected Democratic women and telling them to “go back” to their ancestral countries.

Binghamton Mayor Meets With Trump

Binghamton Mayor Rich David on Tuesday met with President Donald Trump in the Oval Office amid talk of a potential congressional campaign.

David was in Washington with other local officials from the northeast to meet with the president about federal and local government concerns. The trio was organized by the White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs as part of Northeast Regional State Leadership Day.

“It was an honor and a privilege to meet with a sitting president in the Oval Office, representing Binghamton residents,” David said.

“President Trump took a personal interest in making sure top federal officials were accessible and responsive to counties, cities and towns. I shared Binghamton’s needs in infrastructure, housing affordability and economic development with the President and White House officials — literally the top policymakers in government. Local elected officials seldom have that type of opportunity. When decisions are made in Washington, communities like Binghamton must be kept in mind.”

A Republican source said Wednesday David is one of several potential candidates for the GOP nomination in the 22nd congressional district, flipped to the Democratic column last year by Rep. Anthony Brindisi.

Former Rep. Claudia Tenney is also considering a campaign. Republican Broome County District Attorney Steve Cornwell and George Phillips have previously launched bids for the seat.

Stewart-Cousins Taking National Democratic Leadership Post

Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins is set to become the next chairwoman of the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee — a party organization that works to elect Democratic lawmakers to state legislatures in the country.

The group pointed to Stewart-Cousins’s distinction as the first women conference leader in Albany and the first woman to become majority leader in the state Senate.

“Leader Stewart-Cousins has proven to be a trailblazing leader as the first woman to lead a legislative conference in New York and a fierce campaigner by flipping the New York Senate. As the new Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee Chair, Stewart-Cousins will help us blaze a new blue trail across the country as Democrats fight to flip state chambers blue,” said DLCC President Jessica Post. “With redistricting and the very future of our democracy on the line, the stakes could not be higher — and with Stewart-Cousins as chair, we’ll be ready to meet the challenge.”

Democrats gained control of the state Senate last year and over the first six months of 2019 approved a raft of long-sought legislation for progressives.

The ideological political battleground in many ways has shifted to state capitals, with single-party rule taking hold in all state legislatures with the exception of Minnesota.

“State legislatures are the last line of defense for Americans against the Trump Administration. In just the past few months, New York has seen historic progressive change, and that was only possible because we won control of the State Senate and finally turned our state ‘true blue,’” Stewart-Cousins said.

“Together, with my colleagues on the DLCC Board of Directors, I look forward to helping more states elect Democratic majorities that will stand up to Donald Trump and protect our rights and values.”

Cuomo Approves New Labor Rights For Farmworkers

New labor rights for farmworkers in New York that will allow them to collect overtime and collectively bargain was signed into law on Wednesday by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

“The farmworkers bill is not just a great achievement in terms of the effect on the human condition,” Cuomo said. “It’s also a milestone in the crusade for social justice. It truly is a moment for reflection and celebration.”

The new law also includes a day of rest requirement as well as unemployment insurance requirements.

The governor, flanked by Democratic sponsors of the bill, his daughters and ex-wife Kerry Kennedy who had been a long-time advocate for the legislation, approved the measure at The Daily News in New York City. Cuomo cited the newspaper’s advocacy for the bill, which has been staunchly opposed by agriculture industry groups.

“This is a powerful, practical achievement, even more significant in the era of President Trump who continually diminishes workers’ rights, who continually attacks labor unions, disrespects the disenfranchised and has made ‘divide and conquer’ rather than ‘unify and grow’ the credo of America,” Cuomo said. “But the farmworkers bill has additional significance.”

Cuomo also praised Kennedy’s work on the measure and inspiring their daughters to take up the cause as well.

“Kerry even enlisted our daughters, who went Albany to protest and advocate for the bill’s passage every year,” he said.

He added with a smile, “Our youngest daughter Michaela, wrote a letter to a Democratic senator who refused to support the bill even after campaigning saying she would support the bill. Not that I remember those things.”

While the legislation’s passage by the Legislature last month was hailed as a victory for farmworkers, business groups blasted the approval and the bill signing today.

Farms in upstate New York have gotten larger as their overall numbers have shrunk — a sign of consolidation in a struggling industry. Farmers, especially small operators, worry the new requirements for workers will lead to more farms going out of business or being put up for sale.

“Today’s signing of the new farm labor mandates is another blow to the upstate economy,” said Michael Kracker, the executive director of Unshackle Upstate.

“New York State has lost thousands of farms in recent years and under these new mandates, more closures and job losses are on the way. Additionally, families will pay more for farm goods at the grocery store and their local farmers market. This bill sends a message that New York is definitely not open for business.”

Challenger Calls On Erie County Executive To Reimburse Taxpayers For Security Detail

Democratic Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz has had a visible security detail with him at public events since late-March.

His Republican-endorsed opponent Lynne Dixon is calling into question the use of that detail over Independence Day weekend. Dixon said on July 3 and 4, Poloncarz campaigned while walking in six parades in Western New York.

At each of those events, she said he had the taxpayer funded detail and in at least one parade, a county vehicle. Dixon said her opponent’s recent campaign finance report showed no reimbursement to the county for the resources.

“This is an abuse of taxpayer dollars and an abuse of his position as County Executive. These things aren’t his own personal perk as County Executive that he can use however he wants,” she said. “I’m calling on the County Executive to reimburse county taxpayers for the cost incurred to them on July 3rd and July 4th, when he misused county personnel and a county vehicle to benefit his campaign.”

Dixon complained there has been no details about the status of any investigation, which led to law enforcement providing the detail. She said if there is a credible threat to Poloncarz’s safety, than it could be dangerous to others as well.

The candidate called on the county executive and Erie County Sheriff Tim Howard to answer questions on the matter. A spokesperson for Howard declined to comment on whether the Poloncarz campaign should reimburse the county.

“Law enforcement agencies did deem credible threats, hence the security detail,” ECSO Public Information Officer Scott Zylka said.

County spokesperson Pete Anderson said Zylka’s recognition of the threat answered Dixon’s questions. He did not address the issue of reimbursement.

Erie County Republican Board of Elections Commissioner Ralph Mohr said under New York State Election law, any use of government resources for a campaign should be reported and reimbursed. He said it could not be reported as an in kind contribution because government entities are not allowed to contribute to campaigns.

However, he said without knowing more information, he could not say for sure whether the security detail was technically in aid of the campaign. Mohr said that ruling would be up to the state Board of Elections.

We’ve reached out to the state BOE for more details.

New York, New Jersey And Connecticut Sue To Protect SALT Workaround

Three of the states affected by the federal government’s $10,000 cap on state and local tax deductions have filed a lawsuit in federal court to protect a workaround for taxpayers.

The lawsuit filed by New York, New Jersey and Connecticut comes after Gov. Andrew Cuomo and other governors from high-tax states have railed against the limit, part of a federal tax law overhaul.

The timing of the lawsuit was triggered by the Internal Revenue Service blocked the ability of states to create charitable vehicles for taxpayers to pay local taxes to and avoid the $10,000 cap.

In a statement, Cuomo called the IRS determination “entirely unacceptable.”

“Today we are filing an additional lawsuit with New Jersey and Connecticut in the Southern District of New York challenging the IRS’s final rule that undermines states’ efforts to protect our taxpayers against the unprecedented, unlawful and politically motivated capping of the SALT deduction,” Cuomo said in a statement.

“The final IRS rule flies in the face of a century of federal tax law that says state choices to provide tax incentives for charitable donations do not affect the federal deductibility of those gifts. It will—for the first time and solely in the name of retribution—require taxpayers to subtract the value of state or local tax credits from their federal charitable deduction.”

Reed Open To Considering Support For “Red Light Act”

From The Morning Memo:

New York lawmakers and the governor expected legal objections to the state’s new Green Light law from President Donald Trump’s administration.

There appears to be some congressional pushback to the law which grants driver’s licenses to undocumented immigrants, as well. Legislation introduced by Rep. Chris Collins to withhold federal highway funding from states that allow the driver’s licenses could have support from another New York Republican, although he wouldn’t make a formal commitment.

“I’ve seen what Chris Collins is discussing,” Congressman Tom Reed said. “I’ve talked to him on the floor in regards to it and we’ll see because I didn’t see the final text.”

Reed said he would be “very open to considering supporting” Collins’s Red Light Act because he is opposed to the Green Light Bill.

“I am opposed to the giving of licenses to illegal immigrants,” he said. “I think that is part of an extreme agenda that doesn’t get to the issue at hand and could lead to more danger on our roads to be perfectly honest with you.”

Reed will probably not get a chance to officially support the legislation. With a Democratic congress, it seems unlikely the bill will even reach the floor for a vote.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s spokesman Jason Conwall said it is “nothing more than political grandstanding” from Collins “who’s been indicted on felony charges” and knows the bill has no chance of passing.

Debate Over House Resolution Condemning Trump Turns Bitter

From the Morning Memo:

A resolution condemning President Donald Trump’s posts on Twitter criticizing freshman members of the House of Representatives were condemned as racist by the Democratic-led chamber on Tuesday.

But the vote, largely on party lines save for four Republicans, largely devolved into a partisan squabble over rules amid a bitter political dispute over the direction of the country.

Several New York Republicans have criticized Trump’s remarks as “wrong” and inappropriate after he told the four lawmakers — all of whom are of color and American citizens — to “go back” to their countries of origin. Only one of the four is an immigrant, and she became a naturalized citizen more than a decade ago.

But on Tuesday, none of the GOP lawmakers from New York backed the resolution, which condemned Trump’s remarks as racist.

“Today’s flawed resolution is nothing more than the Democrat leadership kowtowing to their most radical members,” said Onondaga County Republican Chairman Tom Dadey.

“Congress has serious issues that must be dealt with which include securing our borders and fixing our immigration laws. I applaud Congressman John Katko for recognizing this political grandstanding by the Congressional Democrats and voting ‘no’.”

Democratic Rep. Grace Meng of Queens saw it differently.

“President Trump’s comments are racist and his vile rants on Twitter are beyond the pale, and show his callous disregard for the office he holds. He has not apologized, shown any remorse, and doubled down on his disgusting remarks,” she said.

“As an American, I am appalled by the President’s actions these past few days and the weak responses by my colleagues on the other side of the aisle. We can disagree with each other, but to tell someone to ‘go back’ is morally reprehensible. Today, our message is clear: Mr. President, shame on you.”

Here And Now

Good morning and happy Wednesday! It’s almost the end of the week. We’re almost there.

It’s going to be hot, steamy and rainy today.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is in New York City and Albany today.

Happening today:

At 8 a.m., New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams will appear on Democracy Now!

At 9:25 a.m., Mayor de Blasio will appear live on HOT 97.

At 10 a.m., Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul will represent New York at the National Lieutenant Governor’s Association’s annual meeting, Hotel DuPont, 42 W. 11th St., Wilmington, DE.

At 10:30 a.m., Gov. Cuomo will make an announcement, 4 New York Plaza, New York City.

At 11 a.m., Mayor de Blasio will hold a news conference on the extreme heat, New York City Emergency Management, 165 Cadman Plaza E, Brooklyn.

Also at 11 a.m., Riders, advocates and elected officials will rally for an MTA capital plan, Pershing Square Plaza in front of Grand Central Terminal E, New York City.

At noon, Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia will deliver remarks at the NYSED Early Learning Summer Institute, 432 Western Ave., Albany.

At 4 p.m., Public Advocate Jumaane Williams will speak at the We Are Eric Garner Rally, Foley Square, New York City.

At 6 p.m., Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer will hold a public hearing on the East Coastal Resilience project, Mt. Sinai Beth Israel’s Pavilion, 10 Nathan D. Perlman Place, New York City.

At 8 p.m., Bronx Democrats will hold their county dinner, 1 Marina Drive, the Bronx.

Headlines:

After a day full of partisan bickering, the House of Representatives condemned the president for making racist remarks against four of its members.

A new study from a Queens College professor found housing policy has further segregated communities.

Mayor Bill de Blasio is adding additional staff to his presidential campaign. The move comes after what he called a successful fundraising effort.

Although he’s not up for re-election until 2022, Gov. Andrew Cuomo is continuing to rake in big money after spending more than $25 million last year to defeat progressive challenger Cynthia Nixon in a primary and Republican Marc Molinaro in the general election.

The fundraising comes as a commission is considering a radical alteration of how campaign money is raised and spent in New York

Public Advocate Jumaane Williams and Staten Island Council Member Debi Rose joined Errol Louis to weigh in on the Justice Department’s decision not to file charges in the Eric Garner case and the growing calls for Mayor de Blasio to fire Officer Daniel Pantaleo.

When it comes to the sanctuary city debate, many residents in Troy have an opinion. But soon residents could have not only a voice, but also a vote on this issue.

Legislation to temporarily halt schools from purchasing or implementing biometric security technology, like facial recognition software, overwhelmingly passed the state Assembly this legislative session, but it’s not expected to become law.

The legal age to purchase tobacco and e-cigarettes in New York will soon be raised from 18 to 21 as Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed the measure on Tuesday into law.

The town of Vernon Planning Board has denied the appeal of Woodstock 50 to host the festival at Vernon Downs.

Middletown Mayor Joseph DeStefano confirms ICE agents were in Middletown Monday. He says the federal agency notified police they were looking for an individual who was not wanted on a criminal or judicial warrant.

It’s a vital highway that links the north to the south, from Canada to Tenessee. But the current plan to rebuild Interstate-81 isn’t sitting well with local leaders.

Oneida Shores Beach is now closed to swimming due to high levels of E. coli, according to the Onondaga County Department of Health.

The death of the toddler at the University Avenue Tim Hortons is raising a lot questions about the relatively unsecured nature of the grease trap.

If you’ve ever had a boot put on your car and didn’t understand why: you’re not alone. Buffalo Common Council members discussed “predatory booting” Tuesday.

The Dean of Science at RPI was 13 years old when Apollo 11 landed on the moon. The historic mission turned Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin into household names.

In national news:

John Paul Stevens, the bow-tied, independent-thinking, Republican-nominated justice who unexpectedly emerged as the Supreme Court’s leading liberal, died Tuesday in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, after suffering a stroke Monday. He was 99.

Facebook’s cryptocurrency was pitched to federal government regulators, who are taking an increased interest in the social media giant’s plans, stunned they were not preparing more to combat laundering.

Newly released federal data shows the scale of the opioid addiction crisis and how U.S. drug companies flooded the market.

President Trump’s comments criticizing members of Congress and telling them to “go back” could be used against him in court challenges.

President Trump’s battles with “the squad” and efforts to link them to Democrats is being seen as setting the tone for the 2020 election.

Republican officeholders have very little wiggle room: Back Trump or face his wrath.

Planned Parenthood has ousted its president amid a disagreement over the future direction of the group as the abortion debate moves to statehouses around the country.

Iran has rejected the prospect raised by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo it is wiling to negotiate over its missile program.

Twenty Democratic candidates will appear on stage the party’s CNN debate in Detroit.

From the editorial pages:

The New York Times calls for the firing of Daniel Pantaleo, the NYPD officer who will not face federal charges in the death of Eric Garner.

The New York Post says federal prosecutors were right not to charge Pantaleo in the case, a decision the editorial board believes should have been reached years ago.

The Daily News takes issue with the NYPD’s “endless blackbox” disciplinary process that has delayed the resolution of the Garner case.

The Times Union writes Congress should “stand firm” on efforts to ban PFAS from firefighting chemicals on military bases.

From the sports pages:

The Mets edged the Twins, 3-2.

The Yanks beat the Rays, 8-3, thanks to some timely homers.