Archive for September, 2012
Sep 30th - 1:56 pm
Jeremy J. Zellner is the new Erie County Democratic chairman. He was viewed as the candidate of Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz and was supported by outgoing chairman Len Lenihan.
Former Gov. David Paterson and his wife of 19 years, Michelle Paige Paterson, have separated.
A longtime Paterson said the split was not a surprise. The couple has not yet filed for divorce.
Rivals of embattled Brooklyn Assemblyman Vito Lopez are now taking aim at the $120 million social-services empire that has served as his power base.
Alan Chartock once thought the fix was in on hydrofracking, now he’s not so sure.
Cuomo is facing increasing anger from shale drilling companies frustrated over costly regulatory delays that have stunted natural-gas production in New York.
New York’s fracking debate has reached an apparent crescendo just in time for election season, opening what may be the most well-defined rift between candidates running for some prominent local, state and federal offices representing Broome County.
The DEC has signaled it anticipates missing a little-noticed deadline for its proposed fracking regulations—a move that would force the agency to restart its rule-making process and reopen the regulations to public comment.
The Kingston Freeman says the Cuomo administration’s track record has “poisoned the well”, making it hard for the public to believe its claims of independence in reviewing fracking.
RIP Arthur Ochs Sulzberger, who transformed The New York Times in a turbulent period of expansion and change.
Cuomo remembered Sulzberger and offered condolences to his family.
Sep 29th - 6:00 am
Is the campaign season not negative enough for you yet?
Well, you’re in luck this Saturday morning!
A 30-second TV ad released this morning by Democratic Congressional candidate Dan Maffei highlights Republican Rep. Ann Marie Buerkle signing on to the No Taxpayer Funding For Abortion measure that’s been rebranded the “forcible rape” bill.
“For Ann Marie Buerkle, women who are drugged, or even minors who are statutorily raped would not be classified rape victims,” says the ad’s female narrator. “That’s just too extreme.”
The measure, which also counts Rep. Todd Akin (you’ve heard of him) and vice-presidential candidate Paul Ryan among its co-sponsors, initially included this language on the carved out pregnancies resulting from a “foricble rape.”
The “forcible rape” language is not in the current version of the bill, but the political damage was done after it was submitted.
“This is a very important issue, and what this law attempted to do was very dangerous.” Maffei said in a statement. “In its original form, this law would mean some of the most vulnerable victims would no longer be classified rape victims. This law just went too far.”
Sep 28th - 8:56 pm
Many school districts have complained about the new property tax cap. But the Statewide School Finance Consortium argues that there are other causes of districts ongoing budget troubles- including the way state aid is distributed. SSFC executive director Rick Timbs explains.
Sep 28th - 8:52 pm
Karen DeWitt of NYS Public Radio, Rick Karlin of the Albany Times-Union, and Capital Tonight’s Nick Reisman discuss Senator Roy McDonald’s decision to end his bid for reelection, Governor Cuomo’s promise of his endorsement, and much more.
Sep 28th - 8:50 pm
It looks like the race for the 43rd Senate District will be a two-person contest, now that Roy McDonald will not actively campaign for re-election. And while same-sex marriage was a key issue during the Republican primary, Republican Kathy Marchione and Democrat Robin Andrews are shifting the focus to the economy. Andrews explains where she stands.
Sep 28th - 5:54 pm
The Buffalo News has declared Sen. Tim Kennedy the winner in the 63rd Senate District primary, but Erie County Legislator Betty Jean Grant has not yet conceded.
Lobbyist Richard Lipsky, who faced a maximum sentence of five months for his role in ex-Sen. Carl Kruger’s corruption scandal, will spend just three months behind bars.
Inside NYC Council Speaker Christine Quinn’s “newlywed nest.”
Gov. Andrew Cuomo will be the special guest at an Artists for Obama fund-raiser on October 3 at the Lever House in Manhattan.
Mayor Bloomberg thinks US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is a “class act.”
NYSUT “will go to court” over the property tax cap, says union president Dick Iannuzzi.
Queens Democratic Chairman/Rep. Joe Crowley will attend former NYC Councilwoman Melinda Katz’s 2013 borough president campaign kick-off on Oct. 10.
Corey Johnson landed the first labor endorsements in the 2013 race for NYC Council Speaker Chris Quinn’s seat.
Assemblywoman Grace Meng’s congerssional campaign was featured in a Marie Claire magazine report on women running for office (and, oddly, what they carry in their purses).
New York actually has a parent trigger law, but it’s less aggressive than what’s on the books in other states, in part because it doesn’t allow any teacher replacement.
Democratic Senate candidate George Latimer filed a complaint with the Westchester County Fair Campaign Practices Committee over a TV ad from Republican candidate Bob Cohen.
Latimer to Cohen: “You want to maul me. You don’t want to talk about issues. You want to duck out of accountability and smack the living daylights out of me.”
The Suffolk County Conservative Party is honoring industrialist David I. Koch on Friday evening at the Sebonack Golf Club in Southampton, presenting him with a “Patriot of the Year” award.
Eric Schneiderman has reached a $7.8 million settlement with eAppraiseIT and its parent corporation, First American Corporation, for colluding with savings and loan giant Washington Mutual to inflate the values of homes.
Acting IG Catherine Leahy Scott says lax policy at the DOT allowed an official responsible for inspecting highway paving work by contractors to hire one of those contractors at a deeply discounted price to pave his driveway.
“Ah, Knicks. I’ve heard about this second team in New York.”
Sep 28th - 5:46 pm
It looks like there’s some fallout at the local politics level from the Roy McDonald-Kathy Marchione battle, with bad blood from the intra-party feud spilling over into the fight to succeed outgoing Saratoga County GOP Chairman Jasper Nolan.
The tussle over the chairmanship pits former Saratoga County Treasurer Chris Callaghan (best known for his failed state comptroller run in 2006, his penchant for bow ties and witty satirical ditties) against County GOP Vice Chairman and former Stillwater Mayor John Herrick.
Herrick, who also did a stint as the head of the Saratoga Springs GOP, was an early supporter of County Clerk Kathy Marchione’s successful primary challenge to Sen. Roy McDonald in the 43rd Senate District.
Nolan, who, according to a GOP source, was has been publicly neutral regarding his preference for a successor but worked behind the scenes to assist Callaghan, was backing McDonald.
Callaghan never publicly endorsed either Marchione or McDonald, although he did declare on his blog that he was offender “as a former County employee and as a practitioner of politics” by a McDonald ad that slammed Marchione for “living high on the hog at the expense of Saratoga County taxpayers.”
Thanks to Callaghan’s association with Nolan, however, he was viewed as pro-McDonald, my source said. And, as we now know, while association with the incumbent in a primary is often a safe bet, that was not the case in this race.
“I do think part of this is collateral damage,” the source said. “John was able to work this thing his way, and some of that behind the scenes stuff on Roy got on Chris a little.”
The death knell for Callaghan was the loss of the Halfmoon GOP, which voted just this week to back Herrick.
According to my source, there’s a good bit of lingering tension between Halfmoon Republicans and McDonald. Marchione won the committee’s unanimous endorsement fairly early in the race. (March 20, to be exact, which was several weeks before she officially announced her candidacy).
Coupled with support from the town of Wilton’s Republican committee, the Halfmoon vote put Herrick over the top. “It’s a fait accompli now; it’s done,” my source said.
Callaghan admitted as much on his blog, writing:
“Unlike the Packers, I cannot blame John’s last minute scores on bad officiating. I congratulate him on his victory.”
Callaghan also said he had heard rumors that Herrick’s impending victory was due to “transactional politics.” He did not elaborate other than to say he hoped and doubted that wasn’t the case “since the committees are smart enough to know that John’s chairmanship will likely last much longer than any benefit from any deal.”
The chairmanship vote will be held tomorrow morning at the Saratoga-Wilton Elks Club off Route 9 in Saratoga Springs. As of last week, Nolan was still insisting there was no frontrunner in the race.
Interestingly, if you scroll through Callaghan’s blog, you’ll find a letter of support from former NYS GOP Chairman Bill Powers. The letter is as much an ode to Nolan as it is an endorsement of Callaghan, which makes sense, since Nolan and Powers served together in the GOP trenches, if you will.
But it’s a little weird for Powers, who is now a lobbyist, to involve himself in a local political battle.
Sep 28th - 4:48 pm
Crossroads GPS, the Karl Rove-helmed “super PAC,” is airing a new ad in the 19th Congressional District race between Rep. Chris Gibson and Democratic challenger Julian Schreibman.
In the spot, it’s noted that Schreibman supports — but couldn’t have voted for — the 2010 health care law that diverted $716 billion in Medicare subsidies over 10 years to fund it in part.
The ad was first reported by Politico and quickly denounced by the Schreibman campaign.
“Rove’s TV ad in support of Congressman Gibson is the same old political attack we’ve seen coming from the Washington DC Tea Partiers for years. It attacks Julian for a cut to Medicare that Congressman Gibson actually voted for when he supported Paul Ryan’s budget in 2011- a budget he referred to as ‘my plan.’”
While the Crossroads effort is a seriously well-funded political action committee, the Schreibman campaign can take some solace that he’s caught the attention of Rove, a villain to liberal and Democratic voters.
Crossroads is also airing in the NY-1, where Republicans feel they can unseat Rep. Tim Bishop with Randy Altschuler.
Sep 28th - 4:17 pm
Democratic congressional hopeful Nate Shinagawa today received the endorsement of “Avengers” star Mark Ruffalo and the environmental group Sierra Club, with both citing the candidate’s opposition to hydrofracking.
Shinagawa faces freshman Rep. Tom Reed this fall.
“It seemed natural for me to back a candidate who has taken the right stance on environmental issues and is up against an opponent who heads the pro-fracking movement in Congress,” Ruffalo said in a statement. “Nate’s opponent is running a campaign funded with hundreds of thousands of dollars from the natural gas industry, with little to no concern about the beauty and preservation of our land and water.”
In addition to being a movie star, Ruffalo is an ardent environmental advocate who is opposed to hydrofracking, the controversial natrual gas extraction process that the state is currently studying the health effects of before deciding whether to allow high-volume fracking in parts of upstate.
Ruffalo has made multiple appearances here at the Capitol in Albany to add some star power to anti-fracking demonstrations. As far as I can tell, this is Ruffalo’s first endorsement in a New York Congressional race this fall, if any race ever.
The House district includes the Southern Tier, where natural gas deposits are believed to be especially rich. Energy companies have pointed to allowing hydrofracking as a way of growing jobs in the economically troubled area.
“There are so many threats to the natural resources of our region. We need someone in Congress will work to protect and coexist with our environment, not exploit it. I am very excited and honored to have Mark Ruffalo and the Sierra Club backing my campaign. I think we will be a great team to take on the corporate interests behind the pro-fracking lobby,” Shinagawa said.
Sep 28th - 2:39 pm
As the state is poised to takeover the New York Racing Association, new scrutiny is being placed on the embattled public-benefit corporation with a lengthy report on horse deaths earlier this year at Aqueduct.
The report came with a slew of recommendations for the state Racing and Wagering Board to overhaul veterinary care and oversight at NYRA and the three race tracks it operates in New York: Aqueduct, Saratoga and Belmont.
New York is committed to placing the health, safety and welfare of the equine athlete as the top priority of horseracing,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a statement. “As we bring accountability and responsible business practices to horseracing, these recommendations will be an integral part of a new and improved racing product. I have requested the Racing and Wagering Board to promptly adopt the changes identified by the Task Force to create a safety-conscious environment for racehorses. I sincerely thank the members of the Task Force on Racehorse Health and Safety for their important work.”
Meanwhile, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s office released new court documents pushing back against an effort from the Thoroughbred Retirement Association, which is being sued by the state over its treatment of horses under its care, to end the legal action.
Update: The Jockey Club has weighed in this afternoon. James Gagliano, president and chief operating officer, says in a statement that he hopes the recommendations are enacted quickly:
“The implementation of recommendations outlined in the report produced by the New York Task Force on Racehorse Health and Safety will significantly enhance the safety of Thoroughbred racing.
“For the last several years, The Jockey Club has worked to promote the welfare and safety of horses and riders as well as to reform medication practices in this country. We have done this through recommendations from our Thoroughbred Safety Committee and through the creation of the Reformed Racing Medication Rules, and many of those proposals are mentioned prominently throughout the task force’s report.