Here And Now
Voters across New York head to the polls today to determine the fate of some 700 school district budgets and pick new board members.
The school votes, as well as primary contests in Kentucky, Arkansas and Pennsylvania, are expected to be a bellwether of just how angry voters are this year.
Gov. David Paterson predicted an unusually high number of the school budget votes will fail.
Paterson has called a public leaders meeting for 11 a.m. today.
The governor either “is, or is not” contemplating layoffs of public employees, “depending on who is speaking for the administration,” writes Tom Precious.
It appears unlikely all of the Democratic AG contenders will be put onto the ballot at the convention.
State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli ripped his fellow Democrats for failing to get a budget deal.
Mayor Bloomberg has adopted a “wait and see” approach to the possible closure of 20 fire houses.
Lt. Gov. Richard Ravitch and former Schools Chancellor Frank Macchiarola had a heated exchange at last night’s Charter Revision Commission meeting.
Richard Lipsky believes the ever-growing field of primary challengers trying to oust Senate Majority Leader Pedro Espada Jr. is “a blessing” for the Bronx Democrat.
Former NYPD Commissioner Bernie Kerik unburdened himself to Cindy Adams before reporting to federal prison.
Kerik is now registered as Inmate 84888-054 at the Federal Correctional Institution in Cumberland, Md.
Things got ugly last night on the Senate floor during the debate over the latest round of budget extenders – here’s Sen. John DeFrancisco referring to Democrats as “patsies.” (Sen. Liz Krueger later called for him to apologize).
The extenders, which eventually passed both houses of the Legislature, include raises for more than 120,000 state workers – including nearly 20,000 who will get a 7 percent bump.
Parks are closed. People are angry.
The federal government isn’t thrilled, either.
Assemblyman Herman “Denny” Farrell Jr. called Paterson’s decision to cut the ribbon on a new park the same day other parks were closing “not smart politics.”
Paterson stopped by the Assembly Democrats’ conference last night for a closed-door session one member told me was “utterly useless.” (No link).
“I thought that there was some positive movement on both sides,” Paterson insisted after the meeting, while acknowledging the Assembly and he remain several billion dollars apart and are at odds over borrowing.
You can listen to the entire post-meeting Q&A with Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and Paterson here.
Bill Hammond thinks Silver should stop blaming the governor and take charge.
Democratic Rep. Mike Arcuri ended the speculation about his political future and announced he’s running for re-election.
Arcuri’s GOP opponent, Richard Hanna, said he’s confident about his chances of victory.
The WFP and SEIU 1199 have threatened to run a primary challenger against Arcuri, but so far no one has stepped forward.
Former President Bill Clinton said he “absolutely” supports the expansion of charter schools, saying the Assembly should follow the Senate’s lead and “lift the lid.” (I think he meant “cap”?)
Clinton’s comments came as US Education Secretary Arne Duncan – a charter champion – is scheduled to visit a Brooklyn charter school today.
Albany County DA David Soares is the subject of an unusual personal injury lawsuit filed by two union leaders who say they suffered “mental anguish” when he indirectly referred to them as liars.
Newly minted AG hopeful Staten Island DA Dan Donovan is making his first foray to Western NY.
Yonkers school officials are calling for a pay freeze.
Rep. Maurice Hinchey ranked 50th among 435 congressional representatives in the annual “Pig Book” that chronicles the distribution of pork.
DiNapoli said his office is reviewing the financial practices of Metro-North.
Sen. Michael Nozzolio offered advice in an ongoing dispute between the Seneca County Board of Supervisors and the Cayuga Indian Nation.
Rick Lazio and Steve Levy will attend the Sullivan County GOP Convention tomorrow night.
A US immigration court granted asylum to President Obama’s aunt.
Connecticut AG Richard Blumenthal’s Vietnam service is under question as he aims for a seat in the US Senate.
Watertown Mayor Jeff Graham thinks Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown is most likely to be Cuomo’s running mate.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is going to South Korea.
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